August 2015 Av/Elul 5775
What About Bob?
On Becoming A Rabbi Itâ€™s Never Too Late to Turn A New Page Battling Bagel Hips Sweating for Survival
Late Night with Solomon Society Welcomes Bob Saget T KIDS? GO
WEB SPONSOR PAGE
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Exhibition on Display September 4 through November 15, 2015 Open Daily 10 AM – 5PM Sundays 11 AM – 5PM Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Startling evidence of the once vibrant, thriving Jewish community in Iraq came to light in May 2003 when a U.S. Army team discovered over 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents in the flooded basement of Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters. The Library is the only west coast venue chosen to host this exhibition, which features original documents dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries, preserved and made accessible by the National Archives and Records Administration with support from the U.S. Department of State.
For more information visit: Nixonlibrary.gov email@example.com
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Girl in The Bomb Shelter
A plan for change comes to the O.C.
JLIFE | Av/Elul 5775 | AUGUST 2015
Global Game Changers
On The Lighter Side
Fresh Orange Jews
A Daily Ritual Ending
O.C.’s Fresh Faces
People of the Book?
Rachel Goes Rogue
Battling Bagel Hips
Your Bubbe Gets It!
A Twenty First Century Educator
Yiddish Slang within American English
Meeting Needs is Primary Goal
Death & Taxes
An Angel (Investor) Among Us Cornell Professor Forges the Path To Investments In Israel
Facing the inevitable with grace.
On Becoming A Rabbi Why at your age?
Orange County’s Jewish History & The Blogosphere
IN EVERY ISSUE
Tale of A Donor
Behind the scenes at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
First & Foremost Mastering American Jewish Community
Shpilkes A Parkinson’s Support Group with a Jewish Perspective
Letters/Who Knew Words from our Readers
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
News & Jews
Out & About
O.C. Jewish Scene
A Guide to OC Fun
Fitness, Education & More
With Judy Bart Kancigor
Look inside for Kiddish, our insert publication, right after page 40.
At Your Service
The Blue Stars Up, Up & Away!
22 On the Cover What about Bob? Late Night with Solomon Society Welcomes the Talented Bob Saget
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Photo by Brian Friedman
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PUBLISHER | MODY GORSKY, LLM, MBA PUBLISHER | MARK EDELSTEIN PUBLISHER | MOTAN, LLC PUBLISHER EMERITUS | DR. MARK MOSS MANAGING EDITOR | TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY EXECUTIVE EDITOR | LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D. EXECUTIVE EDITOR | FLORENCE L DANN GEN Y EDITOR | RACHEL SCHIFF CONTRIBUTING EDITOR | TANYA SCHWIED FOOD EDITOR | JUDY BART KANCIGOR EDITORIAL INTERN | HANNAH SCHOENBAUM CREATIVE DIRECTOR | RACHEL BELLINSKY PHOTOGRAPHER | CHARLES WEINBERG CONTRIBUTING WRITERS MARTIN BROWER, MERAV CEREN, ADAM CHESTER, FLORENCE L DANN, ROBIN DAVIS, PH. D., RABBI DAVID ELIEZRIE, HARRIETTE ELLIS, JUDY FLORMAN, STEFANEE FREEDMAN, LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D., EVE GUMPEL, CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, DVORAH LEWIS, CARINE NADEL, PAMELA PRICE, NAOMI RAGEN, MAYRAV SAAR, RACHEL SCHIFF, TANYA SCHWIED, ANDREA SIMANTOV, DALIA TAFT, TEDDY WEINBERGER COPYEDITOR JOSH NAMM CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS/ARTISTS RACHEL BELLINSKY, ALLEN BEREZOVSKY, PEPE FAINBERG, JANET LAWRENCE ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES DIANE BENAROYA (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) MARTIN STEIN (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) EDITORIAL (949) 230-0581 (TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY) OR (949) 734-5074 EDITORJLIFE@GMAIL.COM ADVERTISING (949) 812-1891, MODY.GORSKY@GMAIL.COM CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS MODY.GORSKY@GMAIL.COM, (949) 734-5074 ART ART@OCJEWISHLIFE.COM JLIFE IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE, LLC 1 FEDERATION WAY, IRVINE, CA 92603
Jlife is published monthly by Orange County Jewish Life, LLC. Subscription rate is $24 for one year (12 issues). Send subscription requests to Jlife, 1 Federation Way, Irvine,CA 92603. Jlife is a free and open forum for the expression of opinions. The opinions expressed herein are solely the opinion of the author and in no way reflect the opinions of the publishers, staff or advertisers. Orange County Jewish Life, LLC is not responsible for the accuracy of any and all information within advertisements. Orange County Jewish Life, LLC reserves the right to edit all submitted materials, including press releases, letters, articles and calendar listings for brevity and clarity. Orange County Jewish Life, LLC is not legally responsible for the accuracy of calendar or directory listings, nor is it responsible for possible postponements, cancellations or changes in venue. Manuscripts, letters, documents and photographs sent to Orange County Jewish Life, LLC become the physical property of the publication, which is not responsible for the return of such material. Orange County Jewish Life, LLC is a member of the American Jewish Press Association and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. All contents © 2014 Orange County Jewish Life.
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FIRST & FOREMOST
LOOKING FOR LEARNING Mastering American Jewish Community BY RACHEL SCHIFF
APPROXIMATELY FIVE YEARS ago, I was in search of a master’s degree that focused on American Judaism. As a public high school teacher, I was not in search of a program dealing with “education.” I have been teaching for about a decade and I did not want to move to a Jewish school; I wanted an education focused on sociological issues that Jews deal with in assimilated American society. I wanted to learn about diverse American Jewish communities. It is important to understand how they interact with one another, with other religious communities, and secular society. I found my options to be, to my surprise, incredibly limited in Southern California. In Orange County, they did not even exist. Jewish In 2015, a Pew report education, at claimed that Jews and Hindus all levels, needs are the most highly educated population in the United pleting my thesis this summer to have a wider States. Yet, Jewish education, with the support of Dr. Leila scope. in a graduate level setting, Zenderland, the head of my seemed to be limited to the thesis panel. My subject of following: Jewish educators, focus is American Jews and their use of online theology, or a PhD program in Religious communities: how space (internet vs. brick Studies. None of these fit my desired scope and mortar) has created a shift in cultural of interest. norms. My chapters include the following: It is a strange parallel, with little to no edu- religious outreach, online dating, and altercational intersection. Our community looks native sub-communities that contrast with at the Pew report, but does not cultivate a Jewish communal norms. graduate degree that specifically asks and Jewish education, at all levels, needs to have answers questions related to the report. It was a wider scope. Not all Jews will become rabbis, important to find something that suited my Jewish community leaders, Talmud enthusiasts educational curiosity, something that made or Israel advocates. However, the majority of these two ideas intersect. us born in the U.S. will remain here. This I ended up at California State University alone means Jewish education needs to prepare Fullerton (of all places to study American individuals to be Jewish Americans in a vast Judaism) in the American Studies depart- multicultural and multidimensional society. Arguably, education is a key component of ment. Fast-forward five years. I am com12 AUGUST 2015 |
Model synagogue Tzedakah boxes. The Sarajevo haggadah
what keeps our community close. We learn about religion, culture and community as Jews. With education, we come from a common foundation that demonstrates understanding and harvests connections to Jews we just met. In this month’s Jlife, we welcome you to not only engage in the magazine by reading, but perhaps also by writing in to our magazine. Share your educational experiences with us and/or tell us what Jewish education you would like to see in Orange County that may or may not exist as of yet. A Rachel Schiff is an English teacher who graduated from Cal State Fullerton. She was president of Hillel, a representative of World Union of Jewish Students and a YLD intern. Currently, she is a master’s degree student in American Studies with emphasis on Jews in America.
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SUSAN WEISS GOLDSMITH Any Holocaust story is amazing and so that was the case with the WWII hero honored in the News & Jews feature in a recent issue. Your readers might be interested to know that Susanne Weiss Goldsmith’s story appears in a recently published book by Michele M. Gold and illustrated by Gabriella Y. Karin titled “Memories That Won’t Go Away.” The author’s mother was on the Kindertransport and the illustrator was one of the children saved. Both author and illustrator are docents at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust located at The Grove in Los Angeles. This museum is actually the oldest Holocaust Museum in the United States. Dorothy Lasensky, Irvine
KOSHER QUEEN Thanks so much for the recent article on Jamie Geller, “The Queen of Kosher.” I loved hearing her take on how eating kosher actually started the trend of conscious eating that is becoming more and more prevalent. It’s nice to
look at terms like “Organic, Free Range, Whole Food, etc.” and know that we set the foundation naturally. It was also nice to hear her take on the importance of Shabbat especially in regard to this tradition helping to keep the family centered. We’re all pulled in so many directions these days. It’s important to remember the things that really matter in life, like making these family memories that last a lifetime. Hannah Freedman, Laguna Beach
A READERSHIP DIVIDED When has criticizing the government become un-American? When has criticizing President Obama become un-American? And why, when criticizing President Obama, are WE called racist and maybe guilty of bigotry? I don’t recall criticism of President Bush being un-American. I will match my love of country/patriotism with any reader of Jlife. Herb Klein
P.S. I won’t hold my breath waiting to see this letter in print.
We welcome your letters! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback. 14 AUGUST 2015 |
PHOTO BY ZACH DALIN
Kvetch & Kvell
Who Knew? To celebrate our Education Issue we are honoring one of the coolest Jews in the galaxy, Carl Sagan. Sagan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Nov. 9, 1943 and passed away much too soon at the age of 62 on Dec. 20, 1996. He was a pioneer in the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, astrobiology, space science and planetary science. His contributions were central to the discovery of the high surface temperatures of Venus. However, he is best known for his contributions to the scientific search of extraterrestrial life. Sagan assembled the first physical messages that were sent into space: the Pioneer Plaque and the Voyager Golden Record, universal messages that could potentially be understood by any intelligence that might find them. Here’s to you Carl Sagan, may your work inspire brilliant young students for years to come.
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Israel Scene | BY ANDREA SIMANTOV
Girl in the Bomb Shelter
CAN A COMMENT UTTERED IN PASSING ALTER A LIFE? 16 AUGUST 2015 |
OVER THE YEARS, hundreds of young people stayed in our home for Shabbatot or holidays, but one young woman remained vivid in my memory. Unceremoniously, we called her “The Girl in the Bomb Shelter.” A cousin to a visiting yeshiva boy, Taryn appeared in the middle of the night. Apparently, halfway through a teen-tour, she’d had a falling out and was told that if she could find a safe place until her parent-approved flight departed, she could go. A cab dropped her off at midnight and I had no space for this bedraggled, dread-locked girl. With my own children, a nephew and two lone-soldiers sleeping, I tossed a futon into the overstuffed safe-room. She seemed content to sleep among cartons of Passover dishes, duffel bags filled with clothing for charity, gas-masks and shelves that groaned beneath obsolete textbooks and broken fans. Nightly, she pulled shut the weighty door of the airless shelter and emerged only after we’d been up for hours. Showing no signs of leaving, the Girl-in-theBomb-Shelter even added a few personal items to the family shopping list. Saying little, she conveyed views of Judaism and Jewish identity that were at odds with our Orthodox lifestyle. We invited her to come to synagogue and loaned her a skirt. She was respectful and seemed to enjoy the services. Eventually, she left for America. She returned seven years later to teach English in a poor southern community. I’d seen on Facebook that she was active in streams of Judaism that make me uncomfortable and I did not reach out to her. Still, she called several times and we finally met for dinner. I almost choked on a falefal ball when she said that I was the reason she’d returned to Israel. “You told me that it was alright if I accidentally turned off the light on Shabbos or put a dish in the wrong sink. Until then, I’d felt like an outsider when I wanted ‘in.’” The Jewish groups that welcomed her with open arms did
DRAWING BY PEPE FAINBERG
Small Gestures of Greatness
not provide her with the spirituality she yearned for; they seemed to celebrate every exception and none of the rules she ached to know. Still, I felt ashamed by an awareness that my Orthodox synagogue offered no warm-and-fuzzy greetings to outsiders. Refreshingly free of egoism and a truth-seeker to her core, she remembered that she trusted me and was determined to stay in touch. If not for her tenacious spirit, Taryn’s quest for authenticity might have waned and died. We decided to learn together in the remaining weeks of her stay. Consequently, I relearned much of what I’d loved on my own journey toward Torah observance. What events potentially result in self-exploration and a deeper excursion toward discovering our eternal birthright? Can a comment uttered in passing alter a life? Perhaps no more is needed than a word, a meal, an open house or a forgiving heart. Then, again, maybe it just takes a bed in the bomb shelter. . . A New York-born Andrea Simantov is a mother of six who moved to Jerusalem in 1995. She frequently lectures on the complexity and magic of life in Jerusalem and can be contacted at email@example.com.
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On the Lighter Side | BY MAYRAV SAAR
A Daily Ritual Ending My break up and make up with Jon Stewart
HE DID NOT SPEAK UP FOR JEWISH KIDS WHO ARE BEING BULLIED DAILY FOR SIMPLY BEING JEWISH. 18 AUGUST 2015 |
IN A FEW short days Jon Stewart leaves the Daily Show. Heavier hitters than me have spilled ink to say goodbye, but I can’t let this moment go without adding my voice to the chorus, particularly since I quietly said “goodbye” a while ago. There was a time when I didn’t miss a single episode. Before choosing a vacation spot, I’d insist on staying in hotels that offer Comedy Central. Among my keepsakes I include a recorded episode of the Daily Show that aired the day my first child was born. Then last summer, something changed. When the world started to show its fangs toward Israel, when college campuses decided to provide warm homes to organized Bigotry, Defamation and Slander (that’s what BDS stands for, right?), when social media started to suffocate under the weight of casual, unquestioned anti-Semitism, Jon Stewart didn’t say a word. He has spoken up for veterans, he has spoken up for Iranians, but he did not speak up for Jewish kids who are being bullied daily—just as he reportedly once was—for simply being Jewish. Stewart’s views on Israel don’t comport with mine. That’s fine. I can listen to, respect and laugh at wellwritten jokes that I don’t agree with. But I can’t laugh at silence. Silence isn’t funny. I believe Jon Stewart had an obligation to say something about the bullying on college campuses and the wildly asymmetrical hatred being directed at his brethren on social media. He, apparently, did not. So my DVR started to fill up. Episodes were getting deleted before I had a chance to watch them. Hubby noticed the difference but, a little jealous of my talkshow crush, said nothing. When Jon Stewart announced he was leaving, I felt sad, but not devastated. Stewart is leaving me? I already left him.
And then Charleston happened. When news that a hate-filled villain with a gun terrorized and murdered nine innocent churchgoers, I along with countless others, ingested all I could handle of the horror. And then we all waited until the next day. To hear how Jon Stewart was going to handle it. After the Towers fell, after this nation elected its first black president, after anything of consequence has happened in the last 17 years, Jon Stewart provided the quintessentially American—and inadvertently Jewish— perspective. During that first monologue after the shooting, when he said, “Al-Qaeda, all those guys, ISIS. They’re not sh-t compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis,” he both declared something that all Americans need to hear, and he summed up every story that Sholem Aleichem ever wrote. So, Jon, meet me at Camera 3: Baby, how can I stay mad at what you didn’t say, when I recognize so much Jewish wisdom in what you’re saying now? Stew-Beef, I want to get back together. Just in time to say goodbye. A Mayrav Saar is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.
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Israeli Guy | BY TEDDY WEINBERGER
People of the Book? Primary education in Israel.
STUDENTS FREQUENTLY PERFORM AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCALE IN COMPARISON WITH THEIR PEERS ABROAD. 20 AUGUST 2015 |
JEWS IN AMERICA are extremely committed to school. Throughout America, Jewish children are overrepresented in magnet schools, AP classes and prep courses. And it’s almost unheard of for a Jewish American not to pursue higher education soon after graduation from high school. It would be tempting to think that in the Jewish state, every school would be a magnet school, every child a bookworm, every citizen a college graduate. The reality of the situation is that the education system in Israel is pitiful. Classes are overcrowded, teachers are underpaid, children routinely finish school by early afternoon, the state invests little in education relative to other western countries, and students frequently perform at the bottom of the scale in comparison with their peers abroad. A long strike a few years ago of middle and high school teachers is very instructive. Israeli society simply adjusted to the fact that its 7th-12th graders were not in school for eight full weeks. They adjusted to the fact that these young people went to bed every night at about 3:00 a.m. and woke up after noon. As the strike went on day after day, it ceased to be a leading news item. Unless there was some “action” (such as the mass rally in Rabin square that brought about 60,000 children, parents, and teachers out in support of the strikers), radio headlines stopped referring to the strike and newspapers started burying articles about the strike on their inside pages. The Prime Minister at the time (Ehud Olmert) could not be bothered, it seemed. Asked about the proposition that he meet with the head of the teachers’ union, he said: “With all due respect, there is no reason why the union head should meet with the prime minister in person.” This statement was in a newspaper article marking day #35 of the strike. Had primaryschool teachers struck, the country would have been up in arms, and the strike would have been settled in a matter of days—since parents cannot leave small children at home alone all day. But no such urgency was felt during this abominably long strike. Israel’s school system gets excellent marks for paying close attention to the emotional and social needs Jlife
of its students. But at times it seems that the system is designed so that any academic learning that takes place between grades 1-12 is regarded as some kind of “bonus.” It doesn’t help matters that reforms and new initiatives brought by one Minister of Education often last only as long as the government in which that minister serves, and in the case of Minister of Education, Shay Piron and the last Israeli Government, this period was just a little over a year and a half. I wish the current Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett, good luck in his new position—he’s going to need it. A Teddy Weinberger, Ph.D., is Director of Development for a consulting company called Meaningful. He made aliyah with his family in 1997 from Miami, where he was an assistant professor of religious studies. Teddy and his wife, Sarah Jane Ross, have five children.
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BOB? Late Night with Solomon Society Welcomes the Talented Bob Saget BY LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D.
oking aside, Bob Saget is a mensch. His call, on a Friday afternoon, accommodated my schedule and he still made sure it was a good time. Introducing himself as “Bob” I almost forgot with whom I was speaking. Bob Saget: actor, comedian, musician, and advocate, had called me! Yes, it was scheduled, but still… Bob Saget. While I only caught a glimpse of his humor, intelligence, and creativity, members and guests of the Solomon Society of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS) will have the opportunity to see and hear him in all of his “R-ratedness” at the City National Grove of Anaheim on September 10. “Late Night with Solomon Society” is the largest annual gathering of Jewish men in Orange County and features a marquee comedian each year. This year the event will headline Bob Saget, with Mensch of the Year Award recipient Howard Mirowitz, and Master of Ceremonies Elon Gold. Saget is honored to be headlining this event. A veteran to fundraising, Saget put scleroder-
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ma on the map and has helped to raise millions for the once unknown disfiguring disease that took his sister’s life at age 47. Raising money around the country for scleroderma, Saget says, “I have no choice but to do this.” Saget, who was raised Jewish, Bar Mitzvah’d, and continues to “love the culture and religion,” is all for the support and betterment of the Jewish community and Israel. How does he feel about performing at a Jewish event? “It’s an all guy thing. But they can be the toughest audience. And it’s Jewish guys, so double down on the toughness!” But despite the tough crowd, Saget is honored to be performing at the Grove. In addition to fundraising and performing at fundraisers, Saget is very busy these days. While not on the road, he is currently writing an independent film, and working on Netflix’s “Fuller House.” “It will be fun,” says Saget. “We are close to having the full cast and getting together to show where everyone is.” Always busy, Saget said he has to stop touring to recharge. “I’m in a nice place right now.” Saget continues to do a lot of writing just a year after the release of his NY Times bestseller
book, Dirty Daddy, detailing how comedy got him through life’s pain. “There has been a lot of death in my family…” says Saget. Not only did Saget lose his sister Gay to scleroderma, Saget’s other sister Andrea died from a brain aneurysm at the age of 34; Saget’s father passed away in 2007. “We’re [comedians] good at what we do because of pain.” Saget did not always want to be a comedian; his early aspirations were medicine. He graduated from Temple University with a Documentary Film degree. But humor and comedy are innate in Saget and at 17 he officially began to make people laugh. “I did not choose comedy, it’s just who I am… I love comedy, I don’t study it, I just want to do it.” He hit the comedy scene in 1978 when Billy Crystal was just cutting his teeth on a comedy called Soap, and Saget was “all guitar.” “It [comedy] is all about the human condition.” Does Saget have a favorite comedian? “Don Rickles, he has been like a dad to me. I was at his 89th birthday—it is a pleasure to sit in the presence of Don and [Rickles’ wife] Barbara. He is iconic and gut funny.” He has had the opportunity to work with other icons
PHOTO BY BRIAN FRIEDMAN
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PHOTO BY KEVIN WINTER
Actors Mimi Rogers (L), Bob Saget and director Troy Miller talk at the premiere of ‘Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd’ at the Loews Universal City on June 11, 2003 in Los Angeles, California.
Humor and comedy are innate in Saget and at 17 he officially began to make people laugh.
of comedy as well: Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal among others. In 1991 Saget and his family made their first trip to Israel. When Saget speaks about the trip it is clear it was an exciting time for him, “We got to go to the Temple Mount… Things were different then. When you go to Israel you fall in love with the land. It’s hard to understand why we cannot get along…But I do understand why people have such passion.” In addition to headlining Bob Saget, Solomon Society will honor Howard Mirowitz as Mensch of the Year for 2015. Mirowitz served as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee of JFFS for several years; he was the co-founder of JFFS’s Montefiore Society, and he currently co-chairs The Network division of JFFS and serves on JFFS’s Board of Directors and Finance Committee. During his tenure as Treasurer, Mirowitz assisted with navigating the financial aspects of the complex merger process between Jewish Federation and Jewish Family Services, with the financial aspects of constructing and opening Mandel House, and with advising JFFS Community Partners on financial and strategic planning matters. He also stepped in to act as temporary CFO in 2013, directly managing JFFS’s accounting operations for several months, including the preparation and approval process for the orga24 AUGUST 2015 |
nization’s 2014 budget, while coordinating JFFS’s search for a new CFO. Mirowitz was a member of the Board of Directors of Congregation B’nai Israel for many years, and he also served as Treasurer and President of the Bureau of Jewish Education. He currently serves on the Hebrew Academy’s Finance Committee. Mirowitz’s community service record spans nearly two decades and includes not only the Jewish community but also charities and community work in the broader community. Mirowitz, who has been involved with JFFS for many years, was also nominated for the Spirit of Volunteerism award given by OneOC in 2013. And what about Bob? The veteran performer that he is, Saget still worries about his edgy and adult only performances, “I hope I don’t offend anyone…” “Well,” I said, “People attending the event know who is performing and should know what to expect—they’re hoping for Bob Saget.” If you are looking for the Bob Saget of Full House, you may want to watch reruns and checkout Fuller House on Netflix when it is released. If you are hoping for the edgy and adult oriented Bob Saget, then make sure you get your seat for Late Night with Solomon Society on September 10. Late Night with Solomon Society may never be the same. A
Solomon Society Inspired by the wisdom and leadership of King Solomon, Solomon Society of JFFS is Orange County’s fellowship of dynamic Jewish men— brothers, fathers, sons and friends—who today inspire each other through Jewish values and commitment to community. Through business and social networking, leadership, philanthropy and leveraging its collective power, Solomon Society provides our community with assistance when needed and support for Jews in Orange County, Israel and around the world. Contact: Doris Jacobson or Adrienne Domash (949) 435-3484 SolomonSociety@JFFS.org
F E AT U R E S
A 21 CENTURY EDUCATOR ST
Meeting Needs is the Primary Goal
PHOTO BY CHARLES WEINBERG
BY FLORENCE L. DANN
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F E AT U R E S
SUE PENN WAS born in South Africa and raised as an orthodox Jew that shapes the outcome. in a large extended family where her cousins were her best friends. She Developing programs that meet the unique and individual needs came to the U.S. when the men in the family were conscripted, and of children has been a hallmark of Penn’s approach to Jewish educarefused to fight for the apartheid state. When she assisted the teachers tion; and the five programs she oversees, provide opportunities for a in her children’s classes, Penn was encouraged to go back to school wide range of congregants and their families. “Traditional” classes are and pursue a career in education. After receiving her Master’s Degree held on Sunday mornings which includes a Shacharit service, and a she taught at the Hebrew Academy and Tarbut V’ Torah. Eight curriculum designed for each age level focusing on Hebrew, history, years ago she became the Religious School Director at University values, Israel and liturgy. What drives Penn’s continuous push toward Synagogue (US) in Irvine and since then has become a leader and an innovation is one ideal: “Every Jewish child needs to have a positive innovator in Jewish Education. Jewish education regardless of their learning styles. We focus on what President of RENA (the Reconstructionist the child can do, not what the child is unable to Educators of North America), Penn is currently the do.” That includes those students for whom the Director of Congregational Learning at University classroom environment is overly challenging. Synagogue; and in the years since she has been at The Alternative Jewish Education (AJE) program US, the scope of programming has been expanded was developed for those students. “Once a month and the approach of traditional religious school We focus they meet at a local campground,” said Penn. has been re-envisioned. She has been on the cut“There they participate in prayer services, Hebrew on what the ting edge of new programming, so necessary in the study and focus on building a sense of community child can do 21st century. by ‘doing Jewish’ with other students.” This involves not what the Most in the Jewish community agree that Jewish celebrating calendar and life cycle events that take education will and should remain a vehicle for child is unable place within the group. “Perhaps the main differshaping identity, instilling literacy, inspiring comto do. ence between this program and traditional school, mitment and forging community. Jewish texts, “said Penn, “is that it provides a relaxed and less values, history, traditions, and the knowledge and formal environment. It doesn’t feel like school.” skills needed to appreciate these and actualize them Penn also oversees the extensive Adult Education program that in one’s life, will continue to be the “stuff ” of which Jewish learning includes a wide variety of classes, from Yoga and Tai Chi to Torah, is made. Talmud and Musar. More than 20 classes are offered every year. US However, the HOW it is to be accomplished has shifted. Though Bridges, one of the newer programs is designed for people with early the new vision for Jewish education builds on many elements from to mid-stages of memory loss. Jewish past; the focus has shifted in two important ways: recognizing “Our Youth Group programs are also really special,” said Penn, the learner as an active agent in fashioning his/her own learning experience, and using the social experience of learning as a dynamic force Continued on page 29
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F E AT U R E S
PHOTO BY CHARLES WEINBERG
Continued from page 27
Sue Penn with Teen Director Rebecca Robinson.
“and provide engaging opportunities for those in 3rd to 12th grades.” Each level has specific events and activities within both the synagogue and greater community. The SABABA program brings together teens from US and other Orange County congregations for a variety of evening activities. SABABA, which means “no worries”, is designed for Jewish teens to just get together and socialize without pressures of formalized learning--an example of the social experience of learning. “Next year,” said Penn,” our teens will participate in a four-week college prep program with those from other synagogues, to provide them with an understanding of Israel and Middle East issues before
possibly confronting the anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses. We will be hosting two of the four weeks here at University Synagogue.” Penn feels privileged to work in an environment that encourages innovation, where when challenged with a new request, “I don’t have to say ‘no.’” Several years ago the grandchild of a member wanted to become a bat mitzvah, but there were no synagogues in her area. Penn designed a program via Skype which is still in use. “There are many reasons why a student is unable to be physically present, so we do not want that to prevent the child from receiving training,” asserted Penn. This focus on individual learning needs and styles is what Penn is most passionate about and she has a developed a reputation for meeting children where they are, allowing them to learn as they are able. The effects of this approach have paid off. “There is an increase of children remaining connected to Jewish education,” commented Penn. “It used to be that kids came in and stayed until their bar/ bat mitzvah for a total of two to three years. Today,” she added, “I see kids staying five to eight years.” And when the kids stay—so do their parents! While Penn has received recognition for her programming, she is quick to express her gratitude to the synagogue for providing her with the resources to develop specialized programs as well as the many people who mentored and supported her. Chief among them is her husband Dovi and their three children; but there have been others: Elmore Weingarden, Natalye Black (z”l), Carol Richmond, Miriam Leavitt and Rabbi Arnie Rachlis. Penn sees the challenges of the changing Jewish landscape not as an obstacle but as an opportunity to expand the depth and breadth of Jewish learning for the entire community. A Florence L. Dann, a fourth year rabbinical student at the Academy for Jewish Religion in LA has been a contributing writer to Jlife since 2004.
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One of the most appealing aspects of investing in an Israeli company is the value.
AN ANGEL (INVESTOR) AMONG US Cornell Professor Roni Michaely Forges the Path To Investments In Israel BY LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D.
RONI MICHAELY IS putting Israel on the map in a major way—and it is not through politics or agriculture. As Professor of Finance and Entrepreneurship Program at the CornellTech program in New York City, Michaely engages students with startup companies in Israel. “The [Cornell] tech program will be to New York what Stanford is to Silicon Valley,” Says Michaely. When asked if he sees himself as an ambassador of sorts, Michaely replies, “It’s about the startup world, not Netanyahu.” But he may be more of an ambassador than he knows. This 30 AUGUST 2015 |
year 45 students will participate in a program between Cornell and Israel’s Technion. He predicts the number will jump to 150 students in three years time. “By exposing students to Israel’s technology many will go on to be hired by companies in Israel. Through this program [the students] are getting acquainted with many of the 5,000 startups in Israel,” says Michaely. The U.S. has Silicon Valley; Israel has the Negev. The next area targeted for substantial investment is Beersheva--this is where the next big cyber center will be located. And, accord-
ing to Michaely, “American companies are already investing in the South (Israel).” Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of dealing with a company in Israel is the value. According to Michaely, the companies in Israel are doing the same thing (for a lot less) as the companies in Silicon Valley and New York. This is where the angel investors come in. “Angel investing is like growing a new baby...,” says Michaely. “Startups need help growing. Like parents you do it alongside someone who knows what they are doing. It is not just about the big bucks, you can be supportive, provide resources, networks, and vendors. If you want to increase the potentiality of the investment provide advice, support and expertise.” Finally, you must find an angel investor with credibility. “Everyone can talk the talk— you need to find someone who can walk the walk.” That means finding an investor who understands the intricacies of business and understands how much and what to invest. And, you do not need to go at it alone; there are individuals such as Michaely who are willing to guide others who are interested in angel investments in Israel. You can also use iAngel, which is helping individuals invest their money in Israeli startups by following experts. So, you do not have to be a billionaire to invest in startups—just an angel. If you are interested in finding out more about investing in Israel contact Jlife Magazine at editorjlife@ gmail.com and we will connect you with Professor Michaely. A Originally from Israel, Professor Roni Michaely is a Rudd Family Professor of Management and a Professor of Finance at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. He obtained his Ph.D. from New York University. 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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ON BECOMING A RABBI Why at your age? BY FLORENCE. L. DANN
PHOTOS BY CHARLES WEINBERG
Holding the Torah
I DIDN’T ALWAYS want to be a rabbi. I never had visions of myself standing on the bima, leading services, quoting Torah and Talmud, or counseling people. Yet, now, many years later I understand that somewhere, deep within my being, the desire was there. It just took almost a lifetime to recognize it. While I wasn’t raised in a very observant home and we never belonged to a synagogue, I always loved Judaism—the rituals, the Torah stories—a sense of being special. My father, a secular, cultural Jew, used to speak reverently about the ethics inherent in our tradition and our history. He came to love Judaism in his adult years. The only formal education he had 32 AUGUST 2015 |
was as a young boy in the cheder in his home town of Neshem, Russia. The 1905 pogroms ended that when the family left for America. But when he was in his forties, a close friend became his mentor and introduced him to the beauty and legacy of Judaism. When I came home from Jewish summer camp and wanted to light candles, there was no objection, but no real motivation to continue once I stopped urging my mother to do so. At 11 years of age, I wanted to prepare for a bas mitzvah—but we didn’t have a conservative shul in our neighborhood or the money to invest. (I did have one though, 40 years later.) But through the years, I read and learned on my own. I became a fan of Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel and then ultimately Mordecai Kaplan. After moving to California from New York, I decided to join a Reconstructionist synagogue-the first I had ever belonged to. I became an active member, often leading services, teaching in Religious School, and serving as Vice president of the West Coast Region of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation (JRF) for four years. But with all that, the idea of becoming a rabbi—of going back to school at an age when most retire--never seriously entered my mind. Upon receiving a service award from the JRF I spoke briefly to the assemblage—after which my rabbi whispered, “In another life you could be a rabbi.” Wow! I was tremendously flattered, and when I shared what he had said with two friends who were attending rabbinical school, they said, “Why another life? Why not in this life?” My reaction was both astonishment and terror. Pshaw, I thought. I don’t have the time, or the money—and I wondered if my grey cells
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would be up to the challenge. For five years, my friends continued to urge me, but I would have none of it. And then I attended an open house at the Academy for Jewish Religion for an article I was writing. I was intrigued; a trans-denominational seminary, with students of all ages and a faculty as diverse as they were welcoming. Everyone I interviewed asked me why I wasn’t applying—and I gave them my standard reasons—money, time. But the real reason was fear! I looked over the application and froze-three essays, transcripts from every school, three referrals, a psych interview, and on and on. I put the application away. Two years later, after attending my friends’ ordination, I began to question my initial reaction and wonder if I could really do that. I pulled out the application and decided to slowly take the steps to complete it. In the meantime, I would enroll for one course— Hebrew 1. That was beginning of what would be a seven-year journey. But it was at our annual retreat, that first year, at the Monday morning Shacharit service that I knew it was where I wanted to be. I was filled with a sense of belonging I had never known. Joseph Campbell always spoke and wrote about finding your bliss. And I used to ask myself—“What is my bliss?” I would review all work I had done, and while there were parts of each job I liked—none of them was “my bliss.” But at that Monday morning service, I knew. I also knew that it is the process of becoming a rabbi that was the bliss—the joy. Now, five years later, I am only a year’s worth of classes away from my ordination and I have loved every minute. But why did it take so long?
About 30 years ago, my sister called to tell me that all my college books that had been stored in her basement in New York had been destroyed in a flood. However, she had insurance money and I needed to tell her which books I would like to purchase. Aside from the YALE desk dictionary, the complete works of Shakespeare and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, I asked for the tractates of the Steinsaltz Talmud, the Sefer Ha Aggadah and several other Jewish texts. When they arrived, I couldn’t make head or tail of them so I placed them on my bookshelves where I felt they looked rather good. Uncannily, twenty five years later, I began using them. Maybe somewhere deep down inside I did know what my bliss was. What took so long was a combination of things: the era in which I grew up, parental and societal expectations, and fear. Not the spine tingling fear we feel when confronted with danger, but the nagging doubt that gnaws at the edges of our confidence. Perhaps that is what keeps many from venturing into new areas of endeavor. Going back to school can seem overwhelming—but I see it as part of one’s personal evolution. When I was young, going to school was like going to vocational school—to acquire a skill or credential so you can get a job. I am frequently asked what I will do once I am ordained. It is my hope to share what I have learned and experienced. But for right now, my focus is the learning. A
The idea of becoming a rabbi—of going back to school at an age when most retire— never seriously entered my mind.
Florence L. Dann, a fourth year rabbinical student at the Academy for Jewish Religion in LA has been a contributing writer to Jlife since 2004.
Discussing Torah text with University Synagogue faculty members.
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Examining Floyd’s medals.
TALE OF A DONOR Behind the Scenes at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem BY MARK GOODLEY
THIS STORY BEGINS in Germany, 1945. At the end of the war, thousands of Nazi soldiers were being rounded up, and sent off to holding camps. As they were being processed, possessions were given away, often to a pastor or priest. One of these pastors, US Army Chaplain, Captain Floyd Rolf later became a close family friend. We were perhaps his only Jewish friends? On an otherwise unmemorable day, 51 years ago, Floyd was at our home and asked my father if he would like to have the Nazi medals and war memorabilia he had collected. My father, very understandably replied “Absolutely NOT, I want NOTHING Nazi!”… patient Pastor Floyd, thought, and carefully replied; “Please ask Mark, maybe he would want them?” I’ve never seen a look on a face, before or 34 AUGUST 2015 |
since, like the look on my father’s that day when he told me this story. Agitation, sadness, curiosity… He held a hard brown and gold cigar box. “Floyd asked me, to ask you, if you’d like these Nazi medals from World War II?”… silence… A seven-year-old boy replied almost immediately “YES!... to remember.” My father’s face was first shocked, then smiled, a strange, sad, surprised and awkward smile. I have carried those medals with me, for over fifty years. Not often remembering them, but thinking of them… from time to time, I’d been offered large sums, but not by people I would be comfortable having them. Upon my father’s passing last year in Jerusalem (Kiryat Yearim), and somewhere along the timeline of saying his daily Kaddish, the medals and
Floyd came to mind… I wondered if maybe, Yad Vashem would want them?... or would they react the same way as my father had those fifty some years before? “I want NOTHING Nazi!” I wrote on an early Friday morning; comforting myself they wouldn’t reply until the next week… thereby postponing the “inevitable” rejection. Their answer came quickly in a Sunday morning email: “yes,” they wanted the medals. The head of restorations began her email with a warning: print out all our correspondence, and keep it at all times with the medals. Israeli airport customs would likely not look kindly upon Nazi War items. We took the tram from City Center and arrived at the top of Mt. Herzl… down the hill, a staff member met us at the main entrance and escorted us to a back room. I unwrapped the medals. For some reason that I can’t explain, I had kept them wrapped in my blue Bar Mitzvah Tallis bag. She told me my choice was “very interesting,” but “I’ve seen it before” with a warm smile… I felt comfortable with her understanding, yet embarrassed by the paradox I had created. This wasn’t a trivial dust off setup. Ongoing restorations of silverware, dolls, books, furniture, artwork, etc. were everywhere. What struck me was the care, love and meticulous attention to detail that was invested in every item. These people truly loved and respected the owners of these items, not just the items themselves. She escorted us, room by room, through countless numbers of well marked and organized drawers, opening many for us to examine. Every item had a unique and personal ID. The intentional intent being to “capture” the murdered person they had belonged to. After returning, I received a nice “Thank You” letter. After 50 years of wandering, Floyd’s medals were finally home, where they belonged. A Mark Goodley is a contributing writer to Jlife magazine.
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Anita’s favorite cartoon which she uses as a therapeutic tool that always keep her laughing.
SHPILKES A Parkinson’s Support Group with a Jewish Perspective BY TANYA SCHWIED
IN A COZY booth at Mimi’s Café is where I first had the pleasure of meeting Anita Austin. Not only is she charming and lovely—she is also the incredibly brave and creative visionary behind Orange County’s first Parkinson’s peer-to-peer support group with a Jewish perspective. JFFS and Congregation B’nai Israel have partnered with Anita in this venture—the group will provide a place for people living with this disease to “kvech and kvell” with one another, share triumphs and losses, build a community and a common bond. The first thing she asks me when I sit down is, “Do you know what Shpilkes means? It’s Yiddish for “I gotta get outta here—I’m nervous—I have ants in my 36 AUGUST 2015 |
pants.” Instead of saying Parkinson’s in a hushed tone—Shpilkes is a clever way to keep things light with a little Jewish sense of humor. She talks to me about her inspiration, Michael J. Fox, and all the incredible work he is doing with the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and she thought it was about time for her to start something of her own. In the beginning stages during the formation of the group, Anita was asked if she was prepared to be the face of Parkinson’s in the Jewish community? Her response? “Yah! Bring it on!” Anita has had Parkinson’s (ahem “Shpilkes”) for nine years. Early on in her diagnosis she describes the experience as a
complete shock and this can’t be happening to her—at one point she was in line at the grocery store and was “frozen”—one of the most difficult symptoms of the disease, unable to move. She also began to notice most of her friends at her doctor’s support group would get solace from their Christian organizations and she wanted a place to go where she could wrestle with the really big, unanswerable questions that anyone diagnosed with such a disease would ask... Why did this happen to me? At the time there was nothing specific to the Jewish community where Anita could go and be surrounded by likeminded individuals with her faith and “Shpilkes.” The group that she formed is held at Congregation B’nai Israel—Rabbi Elie Spitz even gave a short sermon to the group at their first meeting. It is important to Anita that the group still has their sense of humor—you can laugh through the pain. Come to kibitz and build relationships with others in the community who are living, loving and most importantly, still laughing with Parkinson’s. The group meets on the 2nd Monday of each month from 10:30a.m.-12p.m. at Congregation B’nai Israel—Bet Midrash room, 211 Bryan Avenue Tustin, CA. Wheelchair accessible. RSVP to Allison Johnson, LMFT at JFFS Tel: (949) 435-3484 ext. 365 or Allison@ jffs.org. A Tanya Schwied graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and currently works for the CEO and President of Jewish Federation & Family Services.
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out&about THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA The Phantom of The Opera comes to Segerstrom Center Aug. 5–16 as part of its brand new North American Tour. This Phantom features a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and a new staging by director Laurence Connor. The beloved story and thrilling score—with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” and “Masquerade”—will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this Phantom one of the largest productions now on tour.
STEPHEN STILLS Stephen Stills plays two nights at the Coach House Concert Hall in San Juan Capistrano Aug. 4 and 5. Stills is one of rock music’s most enduring figures with a career now spanning six decades, multiple solo works, and four hugely influential groups. Stills was ranked #28 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.
PACIFIC SYMPHONY: STAR TREK A night at the movies comes to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre as the Pacific Symphony performs the music of Star Trek on Aug. 22 conducted by Principle Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman. On the big screen: J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek. On stage: Pacific Symphony performing Academy Award -winner Michael Giacchino’s score live.
SAWDUST ART FESTIVAL
The 49th Sawdust Art Festival takes place on Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach until Sun, Aug 30 and is open daily from 10a.m. – 10p.m. The Sawdust will feature the fine art and craft of over 200 Laguna Beach artists and is sure to be the highlight of your summer adventures. Art enthusiasts, collectors, and novice artists have come to the Sawdust since our beginning in 1966 for our mix of fine art and craft.
Orange County summer nights are not complete without the final concerts at the Orange County Fair. This year’s concerts series runs from Aug. 1–16 and includes performances for great acts like Huey Lewis & The News, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, Echo & The Bunnymen and Berlin, Fifth Harmony, The B-52s and The English Beat, Steel Pulse and The Wailers, and many more.
ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE | August 2015
Chris Isaak Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, actor and talk show host Chris Isaak will be headlining the City National Grove of Anaheim on August 11. With a career spanning over twenty-five years, his iconic vocal style has garnered enormous acclaim and his songs have been featured in numerous films and television shows. Throughout his impressive recording career—right from his stunning 1985 debut to his latest stellar effort, Beyond The Sun—Chris Isaak has tunefully and artfully explored the many complex facets of love and matters of profound human interest. He has done so with an abiding respect for popular music’s past, but at the same time with clear and vital passion for the here and now. Isaak’s best-known song Wicked Game was released in 1989 as part of the Heart Shaped World, album with an instrumental version of the song later featured in the 1990 David Lynch film Wild at Heart. Lee Chesnut, an Atlanta radio station music director who was obsessed with Lynch films, played the vocal version and it
became the station’s most-requested song. Chesnut spread the word to other radio stations and the single became a national Top 10 hit in February 1991. The accurately titled Beyond the Sun, Isaak’s Vanguard Records debut, is a self-described labor of love. Since he fell in love with his parents’ 45s as a child, this passionate writer/artist has been obsessed with the glory days of Memphis’ Sun Studio and the visionary artists who got their starts there—including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison,
Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis—all of them discovered and nurtured by producer Sam Phillips. Now, at long last, Isaak recaptures the brilliance of Sun Studio, and beyond, by paying tribute to the roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll with renditions of classics, plus new, original selfpenned tunes. Isaak’s self-produced, Beyond the Sun was recorded mostly at the historic Sun Studio in Memphis with his longtime band—bass player Rowland Salley and drummer Kenney Dale Johnson, who’ve
been with him from the start, and he has also added guitarist Hershel Yatovitz, pianist Scott Plunkett and percussionist Rafael Padilla. The album also features a guest performance by the Memphis legend, ‘Cowboy’ Jack Clement. On May 3, 2015, Isaak was confirmed to be replacing Redfoo on the seventh season of The X Factor Australia. He will be joining James Blunt and returning judges Guy Sebastian and Dannii Minogue.
PHOTO BY ANN GAGNO
40 AUGUST 2015 |
Israeli-Style Satay with Tahini Dipping Sauce
PHOTO BY ANN GAGNO
I believe that you eat with your eyes first.
GOOD FOOD Just add a pinch of “friends” and “fun.” BY JUDY BART KANCIGOR
There is a scene in the blockbuster movie “The Karate Kid” in which Daniel watches Miyagi practice the crane technique and asks him, “Could you teach me?” “First learn stand, then learn fly,” Miyagi responds. Sure, we learn by taking baby steps, but it also helps to have a great master to guide us. That’s as true of cooking as anything else, and the synergy between a great teacher and a willing student can produce spectacular results. When Daniella Silver, a young mother with a burning desire to write a cookbook, dialed fellow Canadian Norene Gilletz, the best-selling cookbook author and “matriarch” of kosher cuisine, as she is sometimes called, her heart began to race. “What will she say?” Daniella thought. ”Will she even meet with me?” Daniella needn’t have worried; she couldn’t have found a more generous mentor than Norene. Food writer, culinary
consultant, cooking teacher, and now food manufacturer (her individual kugels, called “Koogletz,” came out this year), Norene had fifty years’ experience and nine cookbooks to her credit. On the other hand, Daniella, for years challenged by her children’s’ food allergies and passionate about serving her family healthful, attractive meals, had amassed a collection of recipes and ideas, but in order to turn her bulging binder into a cookbook she needed help. That phone call began a collaboration that resulted, two years later, in “The Silver Platter: Simple to spectacular wholesome, family-friendly recipes” (Artscroll, $34.99) by Daniella Silver and Norene Gilletz, with over 160 beautifully photographed, easy-to-follow recipes. “When I first met Daniella and saw her passion and commitment,” Norene said, “I was very excited about helping her achieve her goal of writing her own cookbook. Daniella reminded me of myself when I
was her age, a young mom, very involved in community projects, highly energetic and committed. Her passion for creating spectacular food from simple ingredients and her beautiful sense of color and design blew me away.” From childhood cooking and baking had become Daniella’s outlet of artistic expression. Descended from a long line of fine artists and graphic designers, Daniella is ever mindful of presentation, as evidenced by the mouth-watering color photos that accompany each recipe. “I believe that you eat with your eyes first,” she said, “so each dish was created to have aesthetic appeal. Food has to look beautiful to be appetizing.” The recipes run the gamut from elegant appetizers such as Roasted Asparagus with Poached Eggs to everyday favorites like Chunky Chili and Sesame Ginger Chicken, to kid-friendly dishes such as Halibut Fish Sticks, to hearty mains including Jalapeno Short Ribs. The salads and sides are standouts: Red Cabbage and Kale with toasted sunflower seeds and hearts of palm, Roasted Balsamic Tomatoes and Feta, Black Rice with Mango, Pomegranate and Avocado and all sorts of lovely quinoa permutations. “I belong to the “desserty” subset of foodie culture,” asserts Daniella, so there is no lack of sweet treats, like Almond Crusted Chocolate Tart and Chewy Raspberry Oatmeal Bars. Each recipe is accompanied by “Norene’s Notes,” helpful hints or suggestions, explanations of ingredients, serving options and substitutions, and freezing and storage instructions. We can almost see Norene, ever the teacher, guiding Daniella—and us. With grilling season upon us, IsraeliStyle Satay makes an elegant appetizer for entertaining, while being easy enough for family dinners. In Norene’s Notes we learn that tahini “is made from ground sesame seeds and makes a great addition to hummus. To prevent it from becoming rancid, store tahini in the refrigerator once the container has been opened. This tahini sauce keeps about two week in the refrigerator.” And don’t let the lack of a grill dissuade you from preparing this recipe. “Sauté chicken strips in a nonstick skillet for four to five minutes per side, or bake it,
| AUGUST 2015 41
The synergy between a great teacher and a willing student can produce spectacular results.
covered at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes,” she suggests. Nothing says summer like berries, and I love this Cranberry-Blueberry Crumble. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Norene even offers variations in her “Notes”: nectarines for the cranberries or strawberries for the blueberries. With one daughter allergic to nuts and another allergic to gluten, Daniella is particularly mindful of these limitations. Many of the recipes are gluten-free or offer a gluten-free option, making them perfect for Passover as well. “In eliminating certain foods from our household,” she said, “I’ve learned to understand what’s really involved in choosing the best ingredients–what’s healthy, what’s not; what’s processed, what’s not; and most importantly, what I want to serve my family to keep them satisfied, strong and happy.” The spirit of this unique collaboration of the generations is best summed up in the book’s opening line: “Good food goes best with friends and family, and if you don’t have an occasion, make one.”
Israeli-Style Satay with Tahini Dipping Sauce Yield: 6-8 servings
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT 12-16 bamboo skewers TAHINI SAUCE 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
6 single boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 1/2 pounds London broil 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/3 cup flour (or gluten-free flour with xanthan gum)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (preferably fresh) Kosher salt, to taste
1 Cut chicken or London broil into long, thin strips.
2 In medium bowl, combine salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and parsley. Mix well.
3 Add chicken or meat strips to spices and
mix well. Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
4 Meanwhile, soak bamboo skewers in
water for 30 minutes. Thread chicken or meat strips onto skewers.
5 Preheat grill to medium-high. 6 Grill over indirect heat 4-5 minutes per
side, until grill marks appear and juices run clear.
7 Stir tahini sauce ingredients together in a 8 Transfer skewers to individual plates or a serving platter and serve with tahini sauce.
Cranberry-Blueberry Crumble Yield: 8 servings
3 teaspoons sweet paprika
Norene’s Notes: If crumble has been frozen, reheat before serving to crisp up topping. Do-Ahead: Assemble crumbles earlier in the day and store them in the refrigerator. Bake before dinner.
3 teaspoons onion powder 1/2-1 teaspoon cumin 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
42 AUGUST 2015 |
1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 3 teaspoons garlic powder
4 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 cup water
This easy-to-prepare Israeli spice rub is delicious on juicy grilled chicken or beef.
FILLING 2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
TOPPING 1 cup flour (or gluten-free flour with xanthan gum) 1 cup rolled oats 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 8 ramekins
or 10-inch deep pie plate with nonstick cooking spray and place onto parchmentlined rimmed baking sheet.
2 FILLING: In medium bowl, combine
cranberries, blueberries, sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Mix well.
3 TOPPING: In second bowl, combine
topping ingredients; mix together to form crumbs.
4 Divide filling among ramekins or spoon into pie plate. Sprinkle evenly with topping mixture.
5 Bake ramekins for 35-40 minutes or large crumble for 45-55 minutes, until topping is golden and juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Jlife food Editor Judy Bart Kancigor is the author of “Cooking Jewish” (Workman) and “The Perfect Passover Cookbook” (an e-book short from Workman), a columnist and feature writer for the Orange County Register and other publications and can be found on the web at www.cookingjewish.com.
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| AUGUST 2015 43
CROSSWORD BY: ALAN OLSCHWANG } EDITOR: DAVIDBENKOF@GMAIL.COM } DIFFICULTY LEVEL: EASY
At Your Service
HINT: 1 ACROSS
3 Medium on which you can download Neil Diamond music
37 Randall’s character in the 70’s sitcom “The Odd Couple”
4 “___’s Ark” (Australian title of Thomas Keneally Holocaust novel)
38 Masada’s Snake Path, for one
5 MGM’s milieu
44 Judy Garland had them when she starred along with Bert Lahr in “The Wizard of Oz”
6 Abba Eban was known to do this well 7 New Year opener 8 This might be added to a Rummikub game to make it more interesting
ACROSS 1 Shoes for Jennifer Grey in “Dirty Dancing”
24 Like Shimon Peres: Abbr. 25 She preceded Ruth onto the US Supreme Court
5 “Downtown Abbey” Lady whose father was named Isidore Levinson
28 How a ‘60s Sabra may be sold
9 “___ Were The Days” (song recorded by Theodore Bikel in Russian)
33 Ends of Jewish years
14 Many a Spielberg movie 15 ___ Man (Robert Downey, Jr. role) 16 Ingredients in some gefilte fish
30 They don’t like it when you bring a bottle of Mogen David? 34 “Oy vey!” 35 Removes payot, with off 36 Do it before chanting the weekly portion, at your service 39 One-tenth of an ephah
17 Shin preceder
40 Paul Newman’s “Hud” costar Patricia
18 Campaigner against Mordecai Manuel Noah’s Tammany Hall organization
41 431 is in the south of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area
19 Siskel’s one-time partner 20 Do it while standing, at your service 23 A Jewish congregation was initiated there during its gold boom of 1900 44 AUGUST 2015 |
42 Land of Cain’s exile 43 Disney CEO 44 Emulates Sid Luckman with a football 45 Ended Yom Kippur observance 46 “Night” author Wiesel
47 Do it while chanting the final prayer, at your service 55 Like 46-Down 56 Garr who costarred with Richard Dreyfuss in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” 57 Home st. of Burt Bacharach’s second wife, Angie Dickinson 58 Overdo it at the Seder, say 59 Help stealing the afikomen, say 60 Remove from an article intended for this publication 61 2001 Holocaust movie “___ of the Lord” 62 Feast of ____ (Purim) 63 Red and Dead
DOWN 1 Deborah who starred in Fred Zinnemann’s “From Here to Eternity” (1953) 2 Sword favored by Israel’s Boaz Ellis
43 Application on which you can download Neil Diamond music
45 “Cast thy bread upon the waters, and it shall return to thee,” for one 46 Cattle ___ (a bird of Israel)
9 Some of Philip Roth’s novels have mature ones
47 Non-Biblical Ruth
10 Kissing the mezuzah, for many people
49 Aaron Sorkin’s “The West ___”
48 Poet born in 3717
50 Like computer maker Camillo Olivetti: Abbr.
12 Word repeated in the title of a Livingston/Evans song made popular by Doris Day
51 Mount from which Moses viewed the Promised Land
13 Biblical bk. named after a woman
52 Notion from Marcel Marceau
21 Samson’s was very impressive in his prime
53 Moira Kelly voiced her opposite Matthew Broderick’s Simba in “The Lion King”
22 “___, My Love” (Debbie Friedman song)
54 Instruments occasionally used by Klezmer groups, briefly
25 Place atop one’s head, as a yarmulke 26 Eldan rent-a-car alternative 27 Reheated the kugel, the fast way 28 Where glasses get broken 29 Early stand-up comic Mort 30 Bagel shape 31 The locust plague, e.g. 32 Biblical symbol of mourning 34 What the bar mitzvah’s Hebrew pronunciation should be done to? 35 Tzitzit, so to speak
Left: A bird’s-eye view. Below: The Israeli Aerobatic Team
THE BLUE STARS Up, Up & Away! BY TANYA SCHWIED
IT’S A BIRD…It’s a Plane… It’s Superman! (Close, it’s actually the Tzukit!) Some of you might be wondering what that is and what it symbolizes. The Tzukit is the legendary airplane used by the Israeli Air Force Aerobatic team that trained generations of Israeli fighter pilots. A jet powered trainer that is used in the selection process in the IAF Flight School and for training cadets. It was developed from the French Fouga Magister that served the Israeli Air Force(IAF) as both a jet combat plane and a trainer since 1960. It just so happens that the Israeli air force is selling its fleet of Tzukit and Avi Maltzman is the man with a plan. The timing and opportunity will bring two of his passions together: flying and sharing the glory of the Jews. Avi has a deep family history of flying –it “runs in his blood.” He is a second generation pilot
—his uncle was a fighter pilot in the IAF and his father was in the Special Operations Forces in World War II. Having come from a military background Avi remembers looking up to the skies as a little boy and always knowing that is where he wanted to be. His son, who grew up in the U.S., decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the Israeli Air Force. The IAF is one of the most powerful symbols of Israeli excellence. They train generations of Israelis to go on to be top CEO’s of major corporations, scientists, professors-
-truly productive members of the human race. The quality and type of person who can pass the test and fly these planes is what is so unique and special about the fleet of Tzukit. Avi has come up with a very creative, effective and exciting way to promote solidarity with Israel—to form an aerobatic team here in Southern California, using the Tzukit used by the IAF. There are already over 60 air shows throughout the US—from the Miramar Air Show in San Diego to the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in Wisconsin. The team will participate in air shows, special events, such as Israeli and U.S. Independence Days, Memorial Day and other occasions. They will regularly offer flights to youth, donors and the general public during such events throughout the year—all are welcome to enjoy the incredible show. Right now Avi is actively seeking funding for this project and hopes to find people that can fly this particular type of airplane: ex-Israeli pilots, even U.S. Navy fighter pilots and veterans with a valid pilot’s license and the appropriate credentials. The objective of his mission is to promote awareness and solidarity with the State of Israel using the Israeli Aerobatic Team (with the original IAF Aerobatic Team markings) flown by ex IAF pilots. For more information please contact Avi Maltzman at: email@example.com. A Tanya Schwied graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and currently works for the CEO and President of Jewish Federation & Family Services.
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News&Jews OC JEWISH SCENE | AUGUST 2015
An Evening of Networking at the 4th Street Market
New Clubs for Jewish Students The Orange County Bureau of Jewish Education in partnership with Jewish Student Connection (JSC) has established five new Jewish clubs in local high schools. By empowering teens to be leaders in their schools, bringing in Jewish professionals to present further opportunities, creating bonds of friendship, and of course, food, they are excited to reach more Jewish teens than ever before. Starting fall semester 2015, they will be in the following schools: OCSA, Northwood, Irvine, Fountain Valley and Corona del Mar. If your teen is interested in starting a club at their school, please visit www.bjeoc.org. For more information on JSC, please visit www.myjsc.org.
The Network brings together Orange County’s most influential Jewish professionals and business leaders, creating opportunities to expand the reach of your business and philanthropic ventures. This month join commercial real estate developers Irv Chase and Ryan Chase at the exciting 4th Street Market for a discussion about the revitalization efforts and new economic business opportunities in downtown Santa Ana. Thursday, August 6 at 6:00 p.m.. For more information please contact Adrienne Domash at (949) 435-3484, ext. 344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Scholar Program’s 10th Annual Summer Camping Trip From hiking and horseback riding in the Bryce Canyon Hoodoos to swimming and rock-walking in the water-filled Narrows in Zion National Park, 35 participants in CSP’s 10th Annual Summer Camping trip recently enjoyed camping in and exploring some of the American West’s most spectacular scenery. If you’re ready for adventure, Orange County Community Scholar Program (CSP) is heading out to Joshua Tree National Park from October 23-25, 2015 for its 11th Annual Dads & Kids “In-Tents” camping adventure. For more information about CSP, please visit www.occsp.org or call (949) 682-4040.
JewGlue Jews Cruise! JewGlue is going to Sea…Again! Sail away with them on the TikiBoat in the Newport Beach Harbor for the 2nd annual JewGlue Jews Cruise! They’ll have music, dancing, drinks... and 120 people you’d be lucky to be stranded on an island with! Saturday, August 8 at 8:30 p.m. 11:30 p.m. For more information contact JewGlue@jffs.org or Adam Chester (949) 435-3484 ext. 338 or email@example.com. 48 AUGUST 2015 |
Temple Beth Sholom’s “Return & Renewal” On Sunday, August 30 at 4:30 p.m. (18 months after their devastating fire) Temple Beth Sholom (TBS) will reopen its Sanctuary and Social Hall! Come join them for special celebratory Chanukat HaBayit and re-dedication of the TBS home. The Torah scrolls will be brought back into the sanctuary by everyone present and the halls will be filled with voices of the community once again. For more information please visit www.tbsoc.com.
Music for a Summer Evening The Laguna Woods Region of JFFS is putting on an event called “Music for a Summer Evening,” featuring instrumentalist, Gary Gould. It’s a chance for newcomers and summer residents to connect and get information about Jewish activities. Bring your friends! Monday, August 3 at 7:00 p.m. at Laguna Woods’ Clubhouse 5. For more information, contact Chelle at (949) 4353484, ext. 334.
Bullets & Bagels Bullets & Bagels is the first noshing, networking and shooting club for Jews. The goal of the organization is to encourage Jews to learn the value of firearms as a sport and social medium, as well as how to use them to defend themselves, their families and their communities. The club holds bi-monthly events, featuring guest speakers such as rabbis, historical figures, local and federal law enforcement representatives, certified firearms instructors and other experts. The next event is Sunday, August 23 at Raahauges Range in Corona. For more information please visit www. bulletsnbagels.com or call (424) 227-2797.
Mandel House’s “Chef’s Kitchen”
Jewish Federation & Family Services’ (JFFS) Mandel House featured “Chef’s Kitchen” on Sunday July. Guest chef volunteer was Michelle Schneider who is a cordon bleu chef. The objective of Chef’s Kitchen is to develop the resident’s cooking skills and provide the opportunity to explore new tastes from their very own vegetable garden. The lunch menu designed by the chef included a tomato and herb tart, fruit puff, garden crudités with homemade hummus and yogurt dip. For more information please visit www. jewishorangecounty.org.
OC Taglit-Birthright Israel Trips! Summer is here, and what a better way to kick it off than a free trip to Israel? Two Taglit-Birthright Israel trips, organized by Hillel of OC and JFFS NextGen OC, recently departed with participants eager for the adventures awaiting them. Together, they are exploring their Jewish identity as they travel the country, visit key landmarks, learn our people’s history, get to know each other and soak up Israeli culture. For more information on future trips contact firstname.lastname@example.org (Hillel trip for students ages 18-26) or email@example.com (“OC Way” trip for young professionals and students ages 21-26). Jlife
| AUGUST 2015 49
GLOBAL GAME CHANGERS A plan for change comes to the O.C. BY LISA J. GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D.
THE WORLD SEEMS to be amid a loss of control, what with an upsurge in recent terrorist attacks at home and abroad, economic crises, global warming, and continued chaos. So, what is the world to do in seemingly dire circumstances? The YK Center, a for benefit institute that prepares managers for the new economy, came to the conclusion that, “Humanity must be able to make the major shifts in order to secure the sustainability of future generations and as so, it is up to us to act accordingly.” The YK Center, founded by Tal Ronen and Prof. Yehuda Kahane, brought the Global Game Changers Lab to Orange County in May 2015. Professionals from a wide swath of disciplines, met for a three-day conference, which provided a proving ground of sorts to test ideas in a safe and compatible environment. According to the YK Center, “This lab can be where we think the unthinkable in service of 50 AUGUST 2015 |
an effort to reboot and reconfigure humanity.” The Lab provided an opportunity to dissect the current challenges our world is facing on a daily basis. Presenters discussed genetics, spirituality, global business, human trafficking, national security, politics, the environment, medicine, and women’s issues among others. Topics, that while they significantly impact our world, are often avoided or dismissed due to their volatility In addition to the three-day lab, a group of local executives met for dinner with Jewish Federation & Family Services CEO Shalom Elcott and three of the lab participants, YK Center Chairman and Co-Founder, Prof. Yehuda Kahane, Founder and Director of Humanity’s Global Era Research Center, Shlomo Yishai, Ph.D., and Colonel Shay Shabtai of the Israeli Defense Forces. The private dinner provided attendees with the opportunity to meet with the presenters
and other like-minded executives in Orange County. According to dinner attendee Alla Rubinstein, Aspen Partnership and Donor Relationship Manager, “It was such a unique and pleasantly surprising opportunity to have the chance to speak with Shay and Shlomo over dinner. I could have spent hours listening to how they envision technology will guide us in a more humanitarian approach to security, peace and governance.” Prof. Yehuda Kahane, Chairman and Co Founder of YK Center is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Science and was awarded for life time achievements by the Israeli insurance industry. Until recently he headed the institute for business and the environment at Tel-Aviv University. Prof. Kahane has taught in many universities, including, the Hebrew University and The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania). Prof. Kahane is also an active entrepreneur and investor in technological incubators and technological companies. Shlomo Yishai, Ph.D. is Founder and Director of Humanity’s Global Era Research Center and author of “Humanity’s Global Era: A Dual Paradigm Change.” In 2011, he led the team respondible for formulation Israel’s Air Force Academy leadership rationale, which has served as the basis for the development of a Senior Officer Academy. He currently heads the program for training directors at Herzog College. Col. Shay Shabtai is a soon to be retired colonel with the IDF. Col. Shabtai has worked with national strategy and policy, national strategic assessment, and national threat assessment for the government of Israel and the IDF. Shabtai was one of the first to propose the establishment of an IDF cyber command thanks to his engagement with cyber strategy challenges within the Israeli government. Perhaps Thomas Paine said it best, “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” To find out more about YK Center or learn how to get involved, go to www.ykcenter.org. You can see Prof. Yehuda Kehane at: www. youtube.com/watch?v=YD3Sa6KTwUI 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.
Lara Bledin, Miriam Gelfand, Dayne Katz & Boaz Carmi Mark Oknyansky, Robyn Oknyansky & Yelena Bakman
The NextGen Israeli Wine Tasting was filled with the tastes and pleasant aromas of Israel! 50 young adults met at Chemers Gallery to schmooze, experience Israeli wine, and learn about how Israeli innovations and technology are aiding in solving Californiaâ€™s current drought crisis. Additionally NextGen Machers Mark, our professionals networking group, had a successful breakfast panel featuring three top business professionals in Orange County and moderated by our very own Marc Garelick.
Join us for
Andrew Krongold, Marc Garelick & Adam Miller Kate Drexler & Jacob Silverman
52 AUGUST 2015 |
On June 4, over 60 young adults had a blast at Saddle Ranch Chop House in Costa Mesa for the JewGlue Happy Hour! JewGlue is a program of NextGen, the young adult department of Jewish Federation & Family Serviced (JFFS). For more information about NextGen and to learn about upcoming events, contact us at NextGen@jffs.org, or visit www.JewishOC.org/NextGen.
Barrett Davis, Terri Samuels, Adam Zachary Chester, Pouneh Radparvar, Daniella Drobis & Jason Sarkozi
e o s G l R o e g h
so By fa J e w is h M ille n nial.
Battling Bagel Hips I am one chubby bunny. I have struggled to be a single digit pants size my whole life. I feel like the weight goes beyond my body, but is a part of my spirit as well. It is a mental obstacle as much as a physical one. It has been engrained in America, through pop culture, that women should have beach bodies, fit and slim. I’ve had too many bagels and lox in my lifetime to fit that image. This has been my battle since I was a kid. However, the past two years (September 20th 2013 being my “anniversary”), have profoundly changed my outlook and provided me with a desire to not “look the part,” but make the “healthy change” for a longer life. The epiphany happened when I lost my friend and colleague, Patricia Hadley, in a mountain climbing accident. She was the most active, positive and radiant woman. At her funeral, it was clear that she had two separate groups of friends: her coworkers and her weekend warrior enthusiasts. Sadly, I could see that one of these groups was
Between spin (thank you Full Psycle and bike2thebeat for supporting me), running with friends (many of you in the community at some point or another), road biking, and my new found love for United Studios of Self Defense (karate), I have lost 50 pounds. Yes, I have also broken my left foot twice and my tailbone, but who is counting? I have also changed my diet dramatically (with the exception of cheating on egg whites with gummy bears). I still struggle. Every single moment I smell french fries I have a struggle. I have more weight to lose and I am sure the yo-yo will continue. I have learned that I like me this way. I’ve gained more confidence. I feel sexier than ever before, and I continually laugh at obstacles because I’m a fighter. I may not be where I want to be yet, size wise, but I also know I am not the only person in Orange County on this journey. We can’t all be slim and fit. Nor should we make impossible standards. But we can strive to be healthier and happier people, one day at a time. My friend Pat would always say, “You can do it!” Two years after she’s left us, I wish I could tell her, “I’m doing it, Pat! I’m doing it.” A
I was seemingly unscathed by my poor health decisions and I still had time to avoid continuing them.
fit and radiating, while the other was clearly less active. It was at this moment when I looked at my over200lb body and decided my personality could stay large, but for my health and happiness, the body had to change. I wanted Pat’s legacy of a healthy lifestyle to continue in someone; so, I guessed it was going to have to be me. I had a list of health reasons that fueled my fire. Every woman in my family has diabetes due to weight. By forty, no woman in my family has been able to keep her gal bladder. Every person from the generation above me is at an unhealthy weight, which might explain many of the medications on the kitchen counter. I don’t mean to say this callously, but in reality, it is true. I was still seemingly unscathed by my poor health decisions and I still had time to avoid continuing them.
Rachel Schiff is an English teacher who graduated from Cal State Fullerton. She was president of Hillel, a representative of World Union of Jewish Students and a YLD intern. Currently, she is a master’s degree student in American Studies with emphasis on Jews in America.
| AUGUST 2015 53
It’s all Yiddish to me!
YOUR BUBBE GETS IT!
Yiddish Slang within American English BY DEVORAH LEWIS
SCHVITZ, SPRITZ, KLUTZ—these are only a few of many Yiddish words used every day without a second thought to their origin. Now, if you happen to have a relative who affectionately calls you bubelah or yells “Get your tuchus over here!” or maybe you like to watch reruns of The Nanny then these words aren’t that unfamiliar. In fact, you can find any of these from the maven of all words: the dictionary. Several of the words adopted within 54 AUGUST 2015 |
American English have changed in meaning depending on the context. Many Yiddish words once carried negative connotations. Chutzpah is a great example of this. Leo Rosten defines it in The Joys of Yiddish as “arrogance such as no other word, and no other language, can do justice to.” In American English, chutzpah carries a more positive connotation, a characteristic that one is proud to have. Yiddish slang brings so much flavor and humor to a conversa-
tion. Even if some of the words are used in a heated situation, there is something about Yiddish that lightens the mood. And sure enough, the source of the majority of today’s yiddishisms comes from comedy movies and TV shows: look to anything with Mel Brooks or Adam Sandler. The advent of cinema is not the sole reason for the adoption of Yiddish in English. Similar to how Yiddish was a product of Jews interaction with non-Jews in Europe, Yiddish slang within American English became a product of non-Jews interaction with Jews in America. Countless times, I informed both Jewish and non-Jewish friends, “You know that’s Yiddish, right?” People order a bagel with lox every day without realizing they just used Yiddish. I have had professors refer to their lectures as spiel or shtick and usually receive a few laughs in response. These words are used so much that even I forget their origin. Sometimes I call myself a ditz when I am scatter-brained. That’s Yiddish, though the verdict is still out on this word. Or I am a big fan of crepes filled with cheese a.k.a blintzes, that’s Yiddish! If you are like my sister and like to say “Oy vey schmeer,” that’s…kind of Yiddish. The proper phrase is “Oy vey ist mir” or “Woe is me.” Schmeer is what you spread on bagels. The next time someone sighs “I am stuffed to the kishkas” or your bubbe licks her thumb and says “You have some schmutz on your punim” and then proceeds to wipe it away, just remember there’s more to where that came from, and if you have the urge to say “Oy gevalt,” then I say go for it. No one will call you a meshuggener. A Dvorah Lewis is a contributing writer.
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| AUGUST 2015 55
Because the body is considered holy, Jewish law forbids cremation.
DEATH & TAXES Facing the inevitable with grace. BY RABBI DAVID ELIEZRIE
THERE IS AN old saying: “You cannot evade death and taxes.” Every April 15th we are reminded about taxes. Death seems far more remote and distant—out of our frame of reference. We are not sure exactly how to deal or plan for it; fortunately, Judaism gives us clear directives. The first directive is how we look at life. Is it random, without any Divine plan, or are we created for a purpose? Does Judaism believe in the world to come? What about reincarnation? Finally, what is the Jewish attitude to burial and death? 56 AUGUST 2015 |
Human life is the fusion of two opposites, the body and the soul. The essence of each human is a spark of the Divine. Death is the separation of the two, the body is interred and the soul lives on. According to the Torah the soul rises to a spiritual domain and continues to exist. The soul is subject for judgement for the life lived in this world. If the soul has reached its purpose it remains, if not Jewish mysticism teaches us the soul can be infused with a new life. Reincarnation in Judaism is called Gilgul Haneshomos- the recycling of souls.
As the carrier of the G-dly soul, the body is imbued with sanctity and must be treated with the greatest respect and dignity. Judaism mandates the body be interred in the ground as soon as possible. The body is prepared for burial with a Taharah, literately, a purification. It is washed with water, placed into shrouds and buried in a simple wooden box. Many in Israel have the custom of burying in shrouds alone, without the casket. Mausoleums are prohibited by Jewish Law. Because the body is considered holy, Jewish law forbids cremation. Jewish law goes as far as stating that if some intentionally cremates a loved one he is not permitted to sit Shivah—observe the week of mourning. Judaism also teaches us to prepare for death. It should not fall on loved ones in a moment of crisis. Rather we should arrange for burial, purchase of a casket and a Taharah in advance. We should insure that all of this is done according to Jewish tradition. Burying a person who has no loved one, or money, is called Chessed Shel Emes, a true act of kindness. It is a favor that cannot ever be repaid by the beneficiary. There is a story told about a man who never did a good deed in this world. The prosecutors in the heavenly courts were filled with excitement, sure they would prevail. Just as the court was to give its ruling an angel popped up and said, “Hold on a moment, in 1954 he gave a nickel to a poor man.” The court was in consternation as there had been no other redeeming value in his life. Finally the judges said, “Give him back his nickel and let him go to hell.” As the Talmud teaches us, in this world we have a unique opportunity to act with dignity and holiness, those Mitzvahs stand in our merit forever. A More at OCJewish.com/mourning. Rabbi David Eliezrie is at Congregation Beth Meir HaCohen/ Chabad. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONCIERGE PODIATRY NEWPORT BEACH: Proudly announces the acquisition of the newest laser technology for treating nail fungus.
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The FDA-approved Noveon Nail Laser TM uses patented photobiology and computer controlled operation to quickly and completely destroy fungus. The Nail Laser is fully automatic, able to treat multiple toes simultaneously, bathing each toenail with a computer controlled mix of light wavelengths specifically selected to destroy fungus while controlling heat. Fungus nail care is now available for the low price of $399 for the first visit, $299 for follow-up visits and $150 for follow up visits without laser.
THURSDAYS 9:30 AM Keeping Fit/ Mel Grossman Ezra AAFC 10:30 AM Various Lecture Topics Ezra AAFC
CALENDAR AUGUST 2015
MONDAYS 9:00 AM Gentle Yogalates & Meditation Merage JCC 10:00 AM News & Views Merage JCC 10:00 – 11:00 AM “What’s Up” Bob & Ruth Wilkoff Ezra AAFC 10:00 AM Tai Chi/ Jack Finkelstein Ezra AAFC 10:30 AM Stretching/ Jerry Steinberg Ezra AAFC
58 AUGUST 2015 |
11:00 AM Various Lecture Topics Ezra AAFC 11:30 AM Drop-in Bridge Merage JCC 7:00 PM Drop-in Mah Jongg Merage JCC TUESDAYS 10:30 AM “The View for Women of All Ages” Merage JCC WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS 8:45 AM & 10:00 AM Gentle Yoga Merage JCC
FRIDAYS 10:00 AM Men’s Club at the JCC Merage JCC TUESDAYS, JULY 7 – AUG. 11 10:00 AM – NOON 6 classes Beginner Supervised Bridge Play Merage JCC TUESDAYS, JULY 7 – AUG. 11 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM 6 classes Intermediate Supervised Bridge Play Merage JCC WEDNESDAY, AUG. 12 11:00 AM “Writing for Reminiscences” Temple Beth Tikvah TUESDAY, AUGUST 18 7:00 PM Men’s Wine Tasting Merage JCC SUNDAY, AUG. 23 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Poker league 2015 July – November Merage JCC SUNDAY, AUG. 23 1:30 PM Jane Neff Rollins Presents “What to Reveal, What to Conceal” Temple Bat Yahm
TUESDAY, AUGUST 25 10:00 AM Books & Bagels “Henns House” by Nomi Eve Merage JCC WEDNESDAY, AUG. 26 11:00 AM “Writing for Reminiscences” Temple Beth Tikvah TUESDAYS, JULY 21 – AUG. 21 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM iPhone Tips & Secrets Part 1 4 Sessions 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: email@example.com. The Ezra Center is located at Temple Beth Emet on Monday & Thursday 1770 W. Cerritos, Anaheim, (714) 776-1103 and Temple Beth Tikvah on Wednesday 1600 N. Acacia, (714) 871-3535. Temple Bat Yahm is located at 1011 Camelback St., Newport Beach. For reservations please contact Michelle Sandler at: (714) 891-0788
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| AUGUST 2015 59
ORANGE COUNTY’S JEWISH HISTORY The other King in the March on Montgomery BY DALIA TAFT Thank you letter to Rabbi Bernie King, April 23, 1965. Image courtesy of Barbara King.
BLOGOSPHERE Jlife wants to acknowledge some of the interesting blogs related to the Jewish community. Enjoy!
MANDEL CENTER Through its blog (and research projects, publications, videos and events) the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education promotes deeper understanding of the purposes and practices of Jewish education. blogs.brandeis.edu/ mandeljewished
RABBI BERNARD P. KING achieved much in his life: founding rabbi of Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’a lot in Irvine, winner of the 1993 National Conference of Christians and Jews Humanitarian Award, named one of the 100 most influential leaders of Orange County by the OC Register, to list just a few. But for Bernie, the moment that changed his life came in an Alabama airport in 1965, when he shook Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s hand and knew “he was definitely one of the great human beings to walk the earth.” Born in 1938 in Arizona, Bernie was a submariner in the Navy and earned a philosophy degree before deciding to become a rabbi. While studying in March of 1965, he was prompted to join the last of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Selma-to-Montgomery marches by news reports he heard on the radio. The 60 AUGUST 2015 |
next day he boarded a charter flight with a number of other clergy from LA and flew to Montgomery. They landed just in time to join the final leg of the third march, which ended at the state capitol building, where Bernie recalled seeing only Confederate, not American, flags flying. When Rabbi King passed at age 72 in 2010, he left behind a profound legacy of tolerance and faith. Dalia Taft, archivist of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society - a program of Jewish Federation & Family Services highlights images from the archives every month. For more information, please visit www.jewishorangecounty.org. You can also contact Dalia at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (949) 435-3484, ext. 167.
JEWISH GPS In August 2010, JewishGPS, LLC was launched in an effort to help guide Jewish organizations in a variety of aspects of Jewish education. jewishgps.wordpress.com
21ST CENTURY JEWISHED This blog reflects on “Jewish Education in the 21st Century, as we begin to discover the contextual ramifications of 21st Century life on Jewish learning, practice and living.” 21stcenturyjewished. blogspot.com
59 Allan Silverman
37 Dr. Blake
4 Laguna Playhouse
13 Spicer Financial Group
55 Art of Moulding
7 Hebrew Academy
17 Loren Stein Design
35 Bureau of Jewish Education
59 Dr. Hilary Buff
17 Outcome Genii
28 Storybook Mini Gardens
57 Dr. Ivar Roth
51 Pageant Of The Masters
43 Blue Mountain Realty 59 Bubbe and Zayde’s Place 29 Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP 17 Chai Mission 21 Callahan & Blaine 43 Challah Bake 13 Congregation B’nai Israel 15 Congregation B’nai Tzedek 5 Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot 63 Crews4Kids
62 AUGUST 2015 |
17 Feig Law Firm
55 Swan Pools 19 24 Carrots
15 Mariner Pest Control
7 Temple Bat Yahm
43 Gourmet Detective
27 Mortensen & Reinheimer PC
6 Temple Beth David
59 Harbor Lawn
3 Nixon Library
37 Friends of Yad Sarah
9 Heritage Pointe 31 Israeli Pilots 28 Jason Novak Realtor 7 Jewish Community Center 25 Jewish Federation and Family Services 21 Klein Financial
4 Renaissance Club Sports
10 Temple Beth El 11 Temple Beth Tikvah 17 Torah with Liora
31 Ron Sieger
2 Tustin Ranch
15 Russian School of Mathematics
61 University Synagogue
31 Sherri Primes 17 Soul Mates Unlimited 28 South Coast Repatory Theater
21 VITAS 64 Zounds Audio
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ORANGE COUNTY’S JEWISH YOUTH & PARENTS
INSTILLING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE It All Starts With Confidence BRAIN GAMES Get Those Minds Ready For A New Year
Back to School! Preparing Your Kids From the Inside Out
G IN LL W LL RO O FA EN NOR F PRESCHOOL FOR CHILDREN AGES 26 Olam Programs • Ages 2-6 years old • Choice of two, three or five day classes • Half-day program: 8:30 to 12:00 • Full-day program: 8:30 to 2:30 • Full-day Plus: 8:30 to 5:30 • Early Care: 7:30-8:30 am
Extra-Curricular Activities These activities are available in addition to our Montessori curriculum. The instructors come to Olam once a week for families who are interested in additional programming. • Gymnastics with Mr. Dean • Webby Dance • Play Ball • Summer Camp
“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.” — Maria Montessori www.olamjewishmontessori.com firstname.lastname@example.org 3900 Michelson Drive · Irvine, CA 92612
Call for a tour! (949) 786-5230 Serving Orange County since 2004
The Torah U’Masoret Religious School We offer small, personal classes with involved instructors to provide a nurturing environment for children to learn and grow in Judaism. Wednesdays and Sundays in Costa Mesa.
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a peek inside august 2015
BACK TO SCHOOL
It all starts with confidence.
Preparing your kids from the inside out.
also inside! Editorâ€™s Note 06 Super Shabbos 07
For August Calendar Events please visit: www.ocjewishlife.com
BACK TO SCHOOL CHECKLIST
THE AMERICAN SUMMER
Help make the first day of school the best yet. This back to school checklist should come in handy.
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GET IN TOUcH wITH yOUr INNEr TOP GUN!
PUBLISHER ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE EDITOR IN CHIEF TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY, MBA CREATIVE DIRECTOR RACHEL BELLINSKY COPYEDITOR JOSH NAMM CONTRIBUTING WRITERS TAMMY KECES, AUDRA MARTIN, LISA MONETTE, SUE PENN, M. ED., HANNAH SCHOENBAUM ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES DIANE BENAROYA (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) MARTIN STEIN
ere it comes again, the first day of school. The
(SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE)
long days of summer vacation are wrapping up
and those extra hours of daylight are starting to
fade away. It’s only August so most of us still have
summer on the brain. Plus, thanks to the can’t-be-beat Orange County weather we’ll be enjoying warm sunny days well into October. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ‘Endless Summer” and there’s no two ways around it… school is starting. Some of your kids may have even already begun the “Goodbye Summer grieving process. But don’t be too sad… a new school year is an exciting new chapter. A wonderful new adventure filled with new friends, new subjects and “bouquets of freshly sharpened No. 2 pencils.” And if you approach the new school year with half the enthusiasm your kids do summer vacation, your family will be well on its way to a healthy new
TARMSTRONG24@GMAIL.COM ADVERTISING (949) 812-1891
ART@OCJEWISHLIFE.COM ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE AND KIDDISH IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE, LLC 1 FEDERATION WAY, IRVINE, CA 92603
school year attitude. After all, home is where it all starts and providing your kids with the right tools can set them up for a very bright school year! Don’t just fill their backpacks; fill their hearts with as much love as the straps can carry. Giving them confidence and help with self-awareness makes all the difference in the world.
— 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. ( מספר4:27) 4. ( הר3:25) 6. ( קול4:36) 8. ( נשמה4:15) DOWN 1. ( לפני4:10) 3. ( תחת4:49) 5. ( שש5:13) 7. ( בית5:6)
• A friend didn't say thank you after a play date. • The landscaper cut your grass 2 days in a row.
Can you judge these situations favorably?
you be the judge
Share with a family member something good that happened to you this week.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Check your answers at: www.thefamousabba.com/JLIFE
Complete the crossword by translating each Hebrew word into English. Use the parsha reference for help.
• How many blessings are in the Shemoneh Esrei? • What is the theme of 2 of the blessings in the Shemoneh Esrei?
Taking the initiative: If your counselor needs a volunteer, jump at the chance to help!
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!
Moshe davens to HaShem to let him enter the land of Israel, a request that is denied. However, HaShem does show Moshe the entire land. Moshe continued his last speech to the Jewish people including not to “add or subtract” anything from the Torah, to study and perform mitzvot and that HaShem is close to them whenever they call. Moshe mentions that HaShem commanded him to teach the Jewish people the laws. We are not to make a god of any image, animal or constellation. The Jewish people are warned that the failure to follow HaShem will lead to exile from the land. The Jews are reminded of the awesome miracle that HaShem spoke to all of them and they were brought out from the midst of another nation. In short, HaShem has shown Himself and His wonders to the Jewish people. The Ten Commandments are reviewed and Moshe recites the first two parts of the Shema.
Visit www.thefamousabba.com/chinuch-podcasts for this week’s Chinuch Podcast! Hear from a new speaker each week.
400 300 200 100 90
א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר ש ת
כג + יז
One of the things Moshe taught the Jewish people:
• HaShem showing Moshe the entire land (3:27). • The Ten Commandments (5:6).
Act out these scenes with friends and family.
PARSHA SKIT ideas
spot the difference
Which one is different? (Hint: The Ten Commandments)
• Name 3 things we refrain from on Shabbat. • True or False: we light candles ON Shabbat.
(Hint: The Shema)
SUPER SHABBAT SHEET 16 AV 5775 PARHSA VA'ETCHANAN SHABBAT NACHAMU
Instilling Emotional Intelligence It all starts with confidence. BY TAMMY KECES
magine a world in which problems
learning, healthy friendships and
were solved with hugs, compassion,
academic success. Just as core academic
patience and empathy. Now imagine
subjects require experiential learning
that world was your child’s school.
and daily practice to achieve mastery,
A school environment in which
communication and social skills also need
children act respectfully towards each
to be explicitly taught and practiced in a
other, communicate feelings effectively,
safe, nurturing environment. To become
openly display empathy and celebrate
truly skilled takes patience and a defined
individuality is a foundation for joyful
method practiced by an entire school community. Irvine Hebrew Day School (IHDS) uses an approach called Positive
Discipline in which children are taught to identify complex emotions and cope with them productively. Emotional articulation and selfawareness also connects directly to academic learning as students develop the skills to analyze emotional conflicts Instilling self-
in literature and explore how one might
solve a similar problem. Essentially, when
one of the most
“Common Core” education is properly
important ways you
implemented, this is what it looks like.
can prepare your
One morning, I witnessed a student
children for the new
having a difficult transition to school. As
adults we often feel compelled to swoop in
Send them off with a big hug.
and fix our childrens’ problems. However,
only in virtue of emotion, empathy and
I had faith in this child’s abilities, and as he
sympathy, feeling-with and feeling-for. We
wrote about his emotions in his Feelings
act with kindness because we know what
Journal, I gently stepped forward to
it feels like to be in need of kindness...
validate his feelings...but before I had the
Chesed requires emotional intelligence.”
chance, another student went to comfort
(To Heal a Fractured World). Positive
him. She gave her classmate some “tips”
Discipline teaches the foundational
on how to deal with missing his mommy, offered a hug and invited him to play. If we are to build a compassionate society, we must provide the tools necessary to achieve it. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks explores the active emotional engagement required for true Chesed (translated as Kindness) in a way that resonates with the practices of Positive Discipline: “Chesed exists
emotional intelligence necessary for true Acts of Kindness. Our children, therefore, respond to emotions with reflection, a sense of curiosity and positive deeds. What if hugs could solve our problems? Let us guide our children to find out. ✿ Tammy Keces is a contributing writer to Kiddish Magazine.
EMOTIONAL ARTICULATION AND SELFAWARENESS ALSO CONNECTS DIRECTLY TO ACADEMIC LEARNING.
Back To School Preparing your kids from the inside out. BY SUE PENN, M. ED.
Encourage your kids to embrace new challenges.
encouragement. Very few people transition flawlessly, without some anxiety or issues, and most adults do not embrace change. With change comes opportunity! Teach this to your children. Model it and point it out. Reinforce it. At a recent graduation ceremony in Israel, Shimon Perez said “it is better to dream than to remember!” This is the charge by which we should parent, encouraging our kids to look to the future, to harness the opportunity, to embrace
ow exciting the first day
new challenges, moving forward into It is helpful for our children to
a brighter future and succeeding more
of school is! It is a new
begin the new adventure, or any
and more a little at a time, knowing
beginning, a brand new
transition, knowing that they are
that if they don’t succeed or suffer a
start and it begins a year
supported and loved unconditionally,
temporary set-back, they can fall back
filled with promise. There is always
no matter what. It gives them
into the loving arms of their family. ✿
a little apprehension as students
confidence to know that if they are
wonder who they will be in class with,
unsuccessful at a test, struggle to
what their teacher will be like and
make a new friend in the class, or
if the classes will be interesting and
seem to antagonize the teacher, they
within their ability.
can come home to love, support and
Sue Penn is the mother of three, Director of Congregational Learning at University Synagogue, president of Jewish Reconstructionist Educators of North America and a member of the Jewish Educators Assembly.
Back to School Checklist Help make the first day of school the best yet.
So many exciting preparations go into a new school year.
he first day of school can be as hectic as it is exciting. Try making a back-to-school checklist to help make sure
nothing falls between the cracks.
First Steps • If you have any questions, you can call the school district with questions about your child’s school. • Verify what day classes start and what time your child should arrive. • If they’re not already enrolled from a previous year, make sure your child is enrolled. • Fill out all the emergency contact sheets and any other necessary forms.
Check Medical Requirements • Double check that your child has all required immunizations. • Schedule a physical exam for your child (if needed) to participate in school activities. • If they’re due for an exam, get your
Make a list and check it twice!
child’s vision checked before school starts. • Notify the school nurse, the principal’s
• Know what your child is expected to learn in his/her grade level. • Familiarize yourself with the
office and your child’s teachers about
information on the school website.
any health problems or medications.
• Note the phone numbers for checking school closures or reporting absences.
Stock Up on School Supplies • Check the school website or call for a list of required supplies. • Inquire whether or not your child will store supplies at home or at school. • If they’re getting a locker, buy some
• Find out the procedure for taking your child out of school early. • Read the school handbook and make. sure your child understands the rules. • Review the school’s Federal Report Card.
locker-sized organizational and decorating materials. • Buy a backpack or bag to carry daily items.
Get Involved • Mark school events on the family calendar.
• Review the school dress code.
• Attend the back-to-school program.
• Buy school uniforms and gym clothes,
• Schedule and attend parent-teacher
conferences. • Introduce yourself to the leaders of the
Learn as Much as You Can About the School • Find out whether the teacher prefers to communicate by phone, email, or written note.
FIND OUT WHETHER THE TEACHER PREFERS TO COMMUNICATE BY PHONE, EMAIL, OR WRITTEN NOTE.
Plan Healthy Meals • Make sure you have healthy snacks on hand for breakfast and after-school snacks. • Find out how much school breakfasts and lunches cost. • Snacks- Are they available on campus and/or can your kids bring them from home? • Ask where to obtain weekly school lunch menus. • Alert school staff if your child has a severe food allergy.
Help Your Child Prepare for School • Arrange for your child to play with others in his/her age group before classes start. • Make sure your child knows where to go after school each day. • This one is important but often overlooked. Discuss your child’s feelings about starting school and talk over any concerns. • Talk with your child about his daily school schedule. • Talk about peer pressure with your
Arrange Transportation • Practice getting to school with your child. • ON FOOT: Walk the route together, introduce yourself to the crossing guards (once school begins) and review pedestrian safety guidelines. • BUS: Make sure he/she knows where and when to be picked up before and
child. • Help your child memorize your home address and home and work phone numbers. • Tour the school with your kid(s) so they she can find her classrooms, the restrooms and the cafeteria. • Schedule a time for you and your child to meet his new teachers.
after school. • BICYCLE: Review road safety and make sure they wear their helmets. • Arrange a carpool if necessary and introduce your child to the other adults and children. • Compile contact information of parents who can pick up your child in an emergency.
DON’T OVER DO IT! CHOOSE EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES CAREFULLY TO AVOID OVERSCHEDULING.
Lay the Ground Rules • Establish a firm bedtime before school starts. • Plan and arrange for a suitable spot in the house to do homework. • Create a plan for balancing homework and play time. • Set rules for the time spent on TV, video games, and computer use for
Make After-School Plans • Arrange child care or after-school activities. • Don’t over do it! Choose extracurricular activities carefully to avoid overscheduling. • Make sure your child knows where to go after school each day.
non-school projects. ✿
The American Summer Jewish Camps bring fun and learning. BY AUDRA MARTIN
Summer Camp provides memories that are totally unique.
community, from socialist Zionists to Orthodox Jews.” As a Camp Director, I shudder to think that the hijinks of the film and series represent the “real world” (they do not!). But with loudness and ruach (spirit) unique to camps, the film and series do capture Camp Modin and our camps’ essential values of pluralism and
n late July, Netflix revived the
American Summer, David Wain, went
movie Wet Hot American Summer,
to Camp Modin in Maine, and suggested
turning it into an eight-episode
that the film is a caricature of some of
series. The series, “Wet Hot
his experiences. According to Wikipedia,
American Summer: First Day of Camp,”
Camp Modin was founded in the 1920s
is a prequel to the original film and set
as “The Summer Camp with a Jewish
during the first day of camp.
idea” and was notable for its Jewish
Set at a Jewish summer camp in
pluralism, welcoming children across
the summer of 1981, the series parodies
the religious spectrum. By mixing
clichés seen in other classic camp
recreation with religious and cultural
movies from the 1980s.
education, Camp Modin has been
As a child and teen, the director and writer of the original Wet Hot
described as “the prototype for camps sponsored by every branch of the
inclusiveness. Values by which we raise our next generation of leaders. Are they any different from the values we espouse during the rest of the year? Of course not, but only camp provides such an intense immersion in those values. It’s what Benjamin Franklin had in mind when he said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ✿ Audra Martin has worked with children in the JCC field for over 17 years, she is the Director of Children and Camp at the Merage JCC. Contact Audra at email@example.com.
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Irvine Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics 949.559.0674 SHAUL YEHEZKEL, DMD, BOARD CERTIFIED 4902 Irvine Center Dr., Ste. 111 • Irvine, CA 92604 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.irvinepdo.com