September 2015 Elul/Tishrei 5775
Origins of Rosh Hashanah One Among Four A Work of Ark Reflections of Past and Present
Jeffrey Tambor on His Role as a Jewish “Matriarch”
Lessons From “ Maura”
T KIDS? GO
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Israel Scene When Good Enough Is Perfect
On The Lighter Side Book Club Recommendation
Swiping through Israel’s hottest startups.
An Old Cure for a New Problem The Social Network Paradox
Who Decides Who is Safe?
Yom Kippur In Israel
Jewish Law and the Iran Agreement
One Among Four
O.C.’s Fresh Faces
Origins of Rosh Hashanah
Fresh Orange Jews
Reflections of Past and Present
The Israel that Doesn’t Make the Media
Rachel Goes Rogue
A Work of Ark
A Faith Killing? Intolerance Rears It’s Ugly Face
Orange County’s Jewish History & The Blogosphere
A Conversation with an American Icon
IN EVERY ISSUE
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
First & Foremost
Caring For Our World
Out & About
A Guide to OC Fun
Words from Our Readers
News & Jews
With Judy Bart Kancigor
O.C. Jewish Scene
Crossword Technicolor Dreams
Fitness, Education & More
Jewish National Fund Building A Better Israel
Look inside for Kiddish, our insert publication, right after page 46.
An old Jewish tradition becomes new.
No Longer A Shanda Substance Abuse in the Jewish Community Page 60
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JLIFE | Elul/Tishrei 5775 | SEPTEMBER 2015
30 On the Cover Lessons From “Maura” Jeffrey Tambor on His Role as a Jewish “Matriarch”
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COME, CONNECT & CREATE YOUR JEWISH FUTURE 60 years of Jewish enrichment, spirituality and inspiration in North Orange County
TBE Welcomes the New Year Selichot: Saturday, September 5th Program, Dessert and Service, 8pm – 11 pm Erv Rosh Hashanah: Sunday, September 13th Festive Erev Rosh Hashonah Dinner – 6pm Call the temple office for reservations. Rosh Hashanah Day 1: Monday, September 14th Service – 8:30 am – Sermon 10:45 am Mincha/Ma’ariv Service – 6:30 pm Rosh Hashanah Day 2: Tuesday, September 15th Service – 8:30 am – Sermon – 10:45 am Kol Nidre: Tuesday, September 22nd Service – 6:15 pm Yom Kippur: Wednesday, September 23rd Service – 9:00 am – Torah Service 10:15 am Sermon & Yizkor Service – 11:00 am Neila/Havdalah/Final Shofar Blast – 6:15 pm
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Temple Beth Emet is a Conservative congregation providing uplifting worship services, learning opportunities, and life-cycle events in a spirited, caring community. • Traditional and alternative Shabbat and Holiday services • Shabbat dinners and programs on the last Friday of each month • Engaging adult education classes with adult b’nai mitzah • Women’s League, Men’s Club & Chavurot • Mitzvah Day programs all year long • Judaica gift shop • Home of the Ezra Center for active adults
Temple Beth Emet
1770 West Cerritos Avenue Anaheim, CA 92805
For more information, contact Mary Ann Malkoff: (714) 772-4720 email@example.com www.tbe-oc.org
Rabbi Joel Berman Cantor Zev Brooks Dr. Mordecai Kieffer Rabbi Emeritus
New members receive free membership for their first year. Temple Beth Emet warmly welcomes interfaith couples and families wishing to embrace Jewish tradition.
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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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High Holy Day Schedule ROSH HASHANAH September 13 7:30pm Erev Rosh Hashanah Service September 14 9:00am Rosh Hashanah Tot Service (Tot Service designed for 5 yrs old and under, but all are welcome!) NO TICKETS NEEDED 10:00am Rosh Hashanah Service Children’s Programming begins at 10:00am September 15 10:00am Rosh Hashanah Service at Huntington Beach Pier Plaza. (CBT will also have a service in Fountain Valley, check website for time)
Join CBT for High Holy Days Joining CBT means joining a loving, caring community. CBT makes joining our community easy as we have eliminated dues. With your commitment to CBT, you will receive High Holy Day tickets. Call CBT’s office or log on to our website for locations and times. Not all services are at CBT.
www.cbtfv.org · 714-963-4611 9669 Talbert Avenue · Fountain Valley, CA 92708
YOM KIPPUR September 22 7:30pm Kol Nidre Service September 23 9:00am Yom Kippur Tot Service (Tot Service designed for 5 yrs old and under, but all are welcome!) NO TICKETS NEEDED 10:00am Yom Kippur Morning Service Children’s Programming begins at 10:00am 2:00pm “Ask Rabbi Young” teaching session 3:30pm Yom Kippur Afternoon Service, followed by Yizkor and Ne’ilah
TEMPLE JUDEA WANTS YOU! High Holy Day Children’s Services 9:30 - 10:30 am RH Day 1, Day 2, YK Parents Welcome!
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We’re looking to grow our family. Temple Judea 24512 Moulton Parkway (1 block south of El Toro Rd) 949.830.0470 www.templejudealw.org
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FIRST & FOREMOST
CARING FOR OUR WORLD Shemittah, Jubilee and Drought BY FLORENCE L. DANN
WHEN THE SHOFAR sounds after Yom Kippur—we will be in the Shemittah Year or the Jubilee. Our Torah recognizes the need for rest: after seven days, people and animals, and after seven years the land. As soon as the Jews settled in the Holy Land, they began to count and observe seven-year cycles. Every cycle culminated in a Sabbatical year, known as Shemittah, literally: “to release.” After seven, seven-year cycles, the Shemittah year was declared the Jubilee (liberty) when G-d wants the return of every man to his possession and all debts be forgiven. The Jubilee year is currently not observed since it is only to be commemorated when all twelve tribes of Rest from labor the Jewish nation are living in Israel. But are there any “takeis an absolute aways” from this tradition? necessity both It is generally accepted that for animal and water to provide our nation rest from labor is an absolute with more food than any other vegetable life. necessity both for animal and state. While there may not be vegetable life and that continuan immediate danger of water ous cultivation will eventusupply interruptions here in Orange County, ally ruin the land. In the early 20th century, our reservoirs are drying up and we just don’t extensive deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains displaced the native, deep- know how long the drought will last. Efforts rooted grasses that normally trapped soil and are being made to expand water recycling moisture even during periods of drought and programs, and support for “toilet to tap” high winds. So, when a series of droughts and programs appears to be growing. Desalination wind conditions occurred, the land literally plants, like the ones in Israel, once considblew away in millions of tons of dust. These ered impractical and too expensive are being dust storms led to the displacement and severe developed. (Since 2005, Israel has opened poverty of over half a million people and four desalination plants, with a fifth set to go online later this year. Roughly 35 percent ruined the land for years. Today, California is in the midst of one of of Israel’s drinking-quality water now comes the most serious droughts in modern times. from desalination. That number is expected But it’s more than just Californians who are to exceed 40 percent by next year and hit 70 feeling the impact; the state uses its scarce percent in 2050.) 16 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
Model synagogue Model synagogue Tzedakah boxes. Tzedakah boxes. The Sarajevo haggadah
Several years ago at a High Holiday Seminar, keynote speaker Rabbi Arthur Green, suggested that since Rosh Hashanah is considered the “birthday of the world” perhaps reading Bereshit was a more appropriate Torah portion–since Bereshit 1.1 commands us to “guard” the land implying our responsibility over it. His reasoning was simple: we must assume the responsibility to preserve our beautiful planet, or in the not so distant future, it may become inhabitable. Now, with the drought, we are once again reminded of the fragility of our environment and how we need to be the caretakers of the earth as our Torah teaches. 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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PHOTO BY ZACH DALIN
Kvetch & Kvell
WAY TO GO SCHIFF! Kudos to Rachel Schiff for losing fifty pounds. She might really enjoy “Hungry Girl” who has a bunch of cookbooks and is known for finding amazing substitutes for high cal meals so you become a master in substitutes. Hungry Girl has recipes online and, actually, she should be in Jlife. She’s Jewish. Anne
Thank you Anne for the words of encouragement. We didn’t know she was JEWISH! We’re on it! —Ed
HUCKABEE IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT When Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee recently stated that the proposed nuclear deal with Iran is tantamount to marching the Israelis “to the door of the oven” (in obvious reference to the Holocaust), Jew-haters and
Obama-lovers the world over had a virtual cow! But Huckabee’s comment, although blunt and prophetic, was nevertheless right on the mark. What this shameful treaty with Iran does is to assure that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. It further provides Iran, the leading sponsor of terrorism throughout the world, $150 BILLION in U.S. aid! And it lifts sanctions on Iran, and allows this terrorist nation to continue its nuclear program unabated! And what does the free world get in return? A promise from Iran, which has violated numerous treaties to date, that it will not use its nuclear facilities to develop nuclear weapons, eventually to be used against Israel…. (To read the letter in it’s entirety please visit www.jlifeoc.com). The Honorable Eddie Rose Former Laguna Niguel (CA) City Councilman
We welcome your letters! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback. 18 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
Who Knew? Did you know that this loveable “Train wreck” is Jewish? Well, Schumer’s father is Jewish and her mother is from a Protestant background, but Schumer was raised Jewish! We love it. Of course, it’s not all that surprising right? She’s hilarious, talented and fabulously self-deprecating… she must be Jewish. Schumer was born in the NYC, on the Upper East Side to be exact, but life threw her family some curve balls and her upbringing was far from “silver spoon.” Perhaps these experiences made her the wonderfully resilient woman she is today. We think so. One thing’s for sure, this gal is just getting started and we can’t wait to see her take Hollywood by storm with her writing and acting skills. Also of note, her cousin is Sen. Chuck Schumer, who represents a strong voice for Israel in our Congress. Now that’s a family tree that stands strong.
Israel Scene | BY ANDREA SIMANTOV
When Good Enough Is Perfect
I KISSED THE CHILDREN GOODBYE AND JOYFULLY PICKED UP BLOCKS, WASHED DISHES, STRIPPED BEDS.
I KNOW A woman who shows her 30-yearold wedding album to every visitor who crosses the threshold. She loves to describe finding that perfect gown and JackieKennedy veiled pillbox hat. Giggling like a young girl, she admits that she was half the size she is today. Her friends clear their throats and offer half-commiserating murmurs which fill the deadly silence, attempting to stifle the awkward facts; her husband ran off with another woman four years after the wedding and never looked back. Still, she shares the album like a southern belle reliving the grand balls and fox hunts of her youth. Shades of Miss Havisham. Another acquaintance had a cameo role in a 1980 young-hoods-in-Brooklyn type film. His closest brush with fame was followed by a few more years of auditions and waitering jobs that ultimately resulted in teaching high school English and working weekends in a garage. Still, he keeps his living room walls plastered with resume shots and posters from “Raging Bull,” “Goodfellas,” and “The Pope of Greenwich Village.” Conversations often veer toward his once close friendships with Paddy Chayefsky and Billie Friedkin. Always quick to point out the kookiness in others, I shamefully admit that my den closet is filled with jigsaw puzzles, wooden blocks and Lego sets, vintage Barbie dolls, water paint, modeling clay and boxes of colored chalk and crayons. A plastic crate filled with such classics as “Corduroy,” “Good Night Moon,” “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “Ira Sleeps Over” sits atop a wicker basket filled with old wigs, ball-gowns, costume jewelry, Easter bonnets and stiletto heels; dress-up items suited for every imagination. It is the closet of a handson grandma. Except that my grandchildren aren’t near enough for lazy afternoons of baking or make-believe. When lucky, I see them once a year on their turf in South Africa. The rare times they visit Israel are when my ex brings them for a family simcha from his side. And because the relationship between us is strained, I typically only manage to squeeze in an hour or two in the local mall with my
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DRAWING BY PEPE FAINBERG
Finding Joy in Imperfection
beloved babies. They came again this summer and I remained “on call” for an awkward ice-cream parlor outing or quick rendezvous on the neighborhood playground but, instead, my son-in-law called to tell me they were coming for Shabbos. Was I dreaming? Cooking, baking, laying out mattresses and reading books aloud to toddlers; my heart was so filled with excitement that I feared it might burst. Space constraints only permit me to state that it was a dream come true; uneventful and normal, it was the Shabbos that I frequently imagine in my sleep before jolting awake, always choking on tears (of happiness). Awash with thankfulness, after Havdalah I kissed the children goodbye and joyfully picked up blocks, washed dishes, stripped beds. Only a little weepy, I marveled at how G-d slips perfect moments between the messy folds of life. The noise and disorder that is part of the package called “family” is a reward to be cherished and embraced with humility, resulting in appreciation for all we have. 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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Share Your High Holy Days With Surf City Synagogue & Temple Isaiah
at The Livingstone Campus 2987 Mesa Verde Drive East | Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (at the corner of Baker and Mesa Verde East) Additional parking is available on Baker Street
For ticket information call (714) 596-2220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.surfcitysynagogue.org
Erev Rosh Hashanah Sunday Evening, Sept. 13, 7:30pm Rosh Hashanah Day Services Monday, Sept. 14, 9:30am Tuesday, Sept. 15, 9:30am Erev Yom Kippur/Kol Nidre Tuesday Evening, Sept. 22, 6:15pm Yom Kippur Services Wednesday, Sept. 23, 9:30am Yiskor Service, 12:15pm (approx) Mincha/Neila Evening Service, 5:30pm Join us for Break the Fast following services.
AFFILIATED WITH UNITED SYNAGOGUE
We are the only full service synagogue in O.C. providing services three times a day, 365 days a year.
Delicious Weekly Kiddushes
Active NCSY Teen Program
Warm and Nurturing Jewish Montessori Preschool
• Expanded Samson Family Campus • Olam Jewish Montessori Preschool • Social Hall • Rabbi Yisroel Ciner • Irvine Community Mikveh • NCSY Teen Program • Life Cycle Events • Bar and Bat Mitzvah Training • Beth Jacob Women’s Group • Hebrew Classes • Judaism and Torah Classes for Adults of all Levels • Jewish Enrichment Classes for Children • Regular Daily and Shabbat Services • Community Events • Guest Speakers • Delicious Weekly Kiddushes • Sephardic Minyan
Contact (949) 786-5230 • bethjacobirvine.org
Call for a tour of our preschool!
ENROLLING NOW FOR THE 2015-16 SCHOOL YEAR
Preschool for Children Ages 2-6 For a tour please call (949) 786-5230 or email Dawn Kreisberg at email@example.com
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On the Lighter Side | BY MAYRAV SAAR
Book Club Recommendation The Book of Life
ON THE HOLIEST DAYS OF THE YEAR, WE STAND AROUND AND TALK ABOUT A BOOK.
A FRIEND RECENTLY asked me if I thought the Iran deal is a good deal. “It doesn’t matter what I think,” was my answer. Whatever your stance on geopolitical issues, one thing we can all agree upon is that I have virtually no impact on the fate of the planet. I can think the deal is a great deal. I can think it stinks. Either way something is going to happen. And since I cannot affect the outcome of that something, the only thing I can do is hope that the outcome turns out to be a good one. This may sound like a fatalistic cop-out, but as we approach the High Holy Days, it strikes me as an appropriately timely response. For the rest of the year we talk about Tikkun Olam, about repairing the world. Tikkun Olam is a call to action, a call that convinces us that our voices matter, that our deeds can move mountains. But on the holiest days of the year, we do no action. On the holiest days of the year, we stand around and talk about a book. The Book of Life, we’re told, is being inscribed by the hand of G-d. It’s a book we can never read, and one we most certainly play no part in writing. Who is to live and who is to die? Who by fire and who by plague? It’s all preordained, and it’s all about to be committed to print with no input from us. The impotence of this imagery has always struck me as decidedly un-Jewish. Pre-destiny is as anathema to me as bacon, and way less delicious-smelling. The concept of an interventionist G-d passing judgment doesn’t jive with my understanding of Judaism. In my understanding of Judaism, if there’s a Book, there’s a book club. The Book of Life Book Club. It would be run by some sisterhood somewhere, and a middle-aged woman named Judy would always bring the rugelach. We’d invite the author to attend as a guest lecturer for a few of the book club meetings, of course. But for the most part, we’d gather in someone’s apartment to drink wine and discuss the themes of alienation and
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marginalization in the Book of Life before the whole discussion devolved into a conversation about kids, grandkids and the relative merits of dog ownership. That’s Judaism. And that’s why every year, when I try to find meaning in the prayer and the ritual of the service, I still struggle to appreciate the imagery of a Book of Life being written, and the book being closed at the conclusion of Yom Kippur. So this year when I greet people with, “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life,” I think I might add an addendum: “And may you have a hand in writing your own incredible stories.” Unorthodox, sure. But it just feels more Jewish. A Mayrav Saar is based in Los Angeles.
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Israeli Guy | BY TEDDY WEINBERGER
Yom Kippur in Israel Getting a jump on this day of observance.
THE WHITE ROBE KNOWN AS A KITTEL IS AN OUTWARD SIGN OF PURITY AND HOLINESS.
ON THURSDAY MORNING September 24, I will open my newspaper and see the traditional day-after Yom Kippur picture: one of Israel’s busiest highways completely deserted during the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. It’s true that if you are in Israel on Yom Kippur, you will certainly be amazed at the absence of vehicular traffic, but there are several other significant differences between the way Yom Kippur is observed in Israel and the way it is observed by Jews in the diaspora. Perhaps the most crucial aspect of Yom Kippur observance in Israel does not take place on Yom Kippur at all—it takes place on the eve of (erev) Yom Kippur, which this year occurs on Tuesday September 22. Erev Yom Kippur in Israel is a national holiday: Government offices, banks, the stock market, schools, etc. are all closed. For those who want to prepare themselves for Yom Kippur, there is plenty of time for study, meditation, going to the mikveh (ritual bath), praying the afternoon service at shul in the early afternoon, and then a leisurely pre-fast meal. (Of course for others, Erev Yom Kippur becomes part of a two-day holiday; and if, as is sometimes the case, Erev Yom Kippur falls on a Sunday, then many Israelis are tempted to skip out on Yom Kippur that year in favor of a 4-day European vacation.) Since I am a religious Jew, I love it that Israeli society allows me the luxury of taking my time to transition into the holiest day of the year. In the days leading up to Yom Kippur, it is traditional to wish one another a gmar hatima tova, which literally means “may you have a good final sealing” (in the Book of Life). Though this wish would seem to display deep religious belief, Israelis from across the religious and secular spectrum have adopted it. I guess people feel that “Shana Tova” is by now old and that “Chag Sameach” (Happy Holiday) does not seem a good fit for a fasting day, but yet they want a special Yom Kippur greeting and “gmar hatima tova” is it. One more difference: the white robe known as
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a kittel is an outward sign of purity and holiness (appropriate for this day when, like angels, Jews do not eat). Most of the men in the various synagogues in which I prayed in the U.S. did not wear a kittel on Yom Kippur, and I assumed that this was because they did not feel pious enough. However, when I got to Givat Ze’ev, I saw that the kittel was standard attire for men. I decided to go with the flow, and so for many years now I have been a proud kittel-wearer on Yom Kippur. I know that this does not necessarily make me a tzaddik, but I hope that it’s a decent “sealant.” Besides, it’s fun to wear. Gmar Hatima Tova! 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.
PHOTO BY MARCIA PEREL PHOTOGRAPHY
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Lessons From ” Maura Jeffrey Tambor on His Role as a Jewish “Matriarch” BY LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D. AND TANYA SCHWIED
THE AWKWARDNESS OF JEFFREY TAMBOR’S CHARACTER MAURA PFEFFERMAN IS PALPABLE. But Tambor is anything but awkward. Whereas Maura (nee Mort) struggles with who she is, Tambor has known most of his life that the stage and screen is where he belongs. And this is evident when you see him in the roles he has taken on through the years. You do not get Jeffrey Tambor as… You get Maura Pfeffman, George Bluth Sr., Sid and Hank Kingsley. You see Tambor become the people you find yourself being drawn to. I certainly found myself loving the Jeffrey Tambor received the Rabbi Erwin and Agness Herman Humanitarian Award at Beth Chayim Chadashim’s Annual Awards Brunch for his work in ”Transparent.”
affable Maura on “Transparent” but wanting to deck the narcissistic, unscrupulous George Bluth, Sr. on “Arrested Development.” Jlife
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Tambor in his role as “Maura” on the show “Transparent.”
effrey Tambor knows who he is. Born and raised in San Francisco, CA he is the second son of Eileen and Bernie Tambor. Like the Pfeffermans, Tambor grew up a West Coast Jew and understands being a West Coast Jew. When asked what he is like as a dad, Tambor makes it clear he is nothing like the dads he plays on television and in film. “I am a much better dad than I am on TV!” He admits that he is an older dad, “I’m no teenager, I have a 42-year-old daughter…” He also has a 10-year-old son, Gabriel, an eight-year-old daughter, Evie, and five-yearold twin boys, Eli and Hugo. “I learn from my kids—they’re my best teachers,” says Tambor. “And they are funny—the hardest thing about parenting is keeping a straight face.” Tambor admits that his wife is the true disciplinarian. “With me they just laugh. When I say, ‘I really mean it,’ they just start laughing.” Tambor’s latest gig, as Maura Pfefferman, was offered to him by the show’s producer Jill Soloway. He admits that he was halfway 32 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
through the script and told Soloway, “I’m in…” And for Tambor it is the role of a lifetime. “Jill Soloway changed my life because she gave me the role of Maura Pfefferman and the responsibility of Maura Pfefferman.” During the interview Tambor mentioned he had just come from a table read for the series and gushed about the quality of the show and how fortunate he is to have this kind of work. How much he loves his work is evident when you see the awards Tambor has accumulated just after the show’s first season. Not only did Tambor receive the coveted Golden Globe for his part as Maura, he was recently honored by the world’s first synagogue founded by, and for, lesbians and gay men, for his groundbreaking role and as an inspiration to the transgender and LGB communities with the Rabbi Erwin & Agnes Herman Humanitarian Award. The award is named for two leaders of Reform Judaism instrumental in Beth Chayim Chadashim’s founding in 1972. The award recognizes those making outstanding and lasting contributions to the
Jill Soloway changed my life because she gave me the role of Maura Pfefferman and the responsibility of Maura Pfefferman.
LGBT and Jewish communities. Tambor admits his parents were not overly enthused about him acting. “My dad was very nervous about me acting… He was middle class, came up on the East Side [of New York]… He was scared, he wanted me to be a teacher.” But Tambor’s father saw him on Broadway and in his first film, with Al Pacino and said, “Maybe you’ll be okay.” When I asked Tambor about the transition from previous roles to Maura he described it as a learning experience, and he went on to say something quite profound: “You have to understand that Maura is very young in her life and Jeffrey [Tambor] is very young in learning how to be Maura. And so the two are meeting each other at a very delicate time… Continued on page 34
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COVER STORY Continued from page 32
Actor Jeffrey Tambor and wife Kasia Ostlun, and Film Independent’s Dawn Hudson arrive to the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival’s ‘HellBoy: II The Golden Army’ Premiere at the Mann Village Westwood on June 28, 2008 in Westwood, California. (Photo by John Shearer)
a wonderful time… Maura feels like an old, old friend.” And what about the role, the makeup, the dresses, the shoes? Tambor has no problem with any of it. And just like Maura he too is learning as he goes. Tambor admitted that he was surprised that women have to learn how to put on makeup. “It’s been a big learning curve… but it’s been great” says Tambor. He goes on to disclose that “We’re sort of he has had to access more of Jeffrey then he teaching about has ever had to in a role not fearing and it has made him a of secrets on families. the other and better parent and a betThe show has also pronot ostracizing ter human being. vided healing for many When asked about who watch it. Tambor people. I’ve how Tambor’s family shared that many paralways believed feels about him playents of lesbian, gay, acting and ing Maura, he says that bisexual, transgender laughter was he was a little careful (LGBT) children have at first when talking approached him and instruction.” to his eight-year-old thanked him for his daughter about the work on the show. role. But, she seemed And, says Tambor, “It to have more insight is not just about transthan some adults, as gender issues, people she responded with “Daddy, it’s okay, I under- want to talk about their families… the show stand, your character is more comfortable hits a cord.” being a woman…” Out of the mouths of Our final question to Tambor was one babes. Tambor reflects and says “They haven’t that caused him to pause, “As a father, what learned to be prejudiced, they haven’t learned would you say to a child that comes to you about the ‘other.’ We as Jews, we know about and says, ‘I’m gay or lesbian, or I’m in the the other…” wrong body’?” Playing a Jewish woman, a matriarch, means “Oh, what a profound and beautiful quesa lot to Tambor. He was unable to reveal the tion…” He relayed a story that parents he met upcoming season’s premise, but he did let us brought to him: “They said to me, ‘We love know that there is a significant Jewish theme your show… We really, really love your show.’ that will run through the season. While it is Their son called and said, ‘I don’t want to go a fictional show that reflects a Jewish family, back to softball anymore, please don’t make transgender issues, and family dynamics, it me go back.’ The parents said, ‘Why? What’s is also very real. The family dynamic thread wrong?’ He [the son] said, ‘Daddy, mommy, that runs through the show is relatable. You I’m not a boy-boy. The parents asked, ‘What do not have to be Jewish to understand do you mean?’ And he said, ‘Mommy, daddy, disparity between siblings, parents and part- when I grow up, I want to be like Katy Perry.’” ners. As Jews we understand the impact Tambor went on to say the parents listened, 34 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
and all three of them watch the show together. “My father wanted me to be a teacher, and in a way, Jill Soloway and company, we’re sort of teaching about not fearing the other and not ostracizing people. I’ve always believed acting and laughter was instruction.” So perhaps Jeffrey Tambor became a teacher after all. Teaching us a lesson that may be hard for some to hear, but as Jews we understand what it is like to be “the other.” We know the pain of exclusion, the history of separation, and the fear of living in a world that sees us as outcasts. Take some time to watch “Transparent.” To watch Tambor as Maura Pfefferman is sometimes heartbreaking, but the transition from Jeffrey to Maura is nothing short of genius. Allow yourself the space to experience a family that despite the fictional script, is playing out someone’s real life. Maura Pfefferman could be your father, your child, your friend… Maura Pfefferamn could be you. A Dr. Grajewski is a licensed psychologist who splits her clinical time between JFFS and a private practice in Irvine, as well as an adjunct Assistant Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Grajewski has been writing for Jlife Magazine since 2004. Tanya Schwied graduated from New York University, studied abroad in Israel, and currently works for the CEO and President of Jewish Federation & Family Services.
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F E AT U R E S
THE ORIGINS OF ROSH HASHANAH One Among Four BY FLORENCE L. DANN
L’Shanah Tovah! Wishing Everyone a Sweet New Year
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WHILE WE CELEBRATE Rosh Hashanah as the Jewish New Year, month—that was a cause for celebration. By “celebration,” we mean as the day the Hebrew calendar begins, that wasn’t always the case. that more animals were sacrificed at the Temple than usual. The new Nowadays we celebrate Rosh Hashanah on the first day of the fall moon of Nisan was not marked differently. From what we know about month of Tishrei. But in biblical times, that period was explicitly called the Israelite’s Canaanite neighbors, they didn’t pay any attention to the “the seventh month.” During the First Temple period (8th to mid-6th “new year” either. century BCE), the year began in the spring, on the first day of Nisan. Though the first of Tishrei, celebrated as Rosh Hashanah nowadays, In fact, the ancient Hebrews probably had no concept of when the is mentioned as a holiday—it is a very minor one. It is in no way a year started at all. Nor did they give the months names: the Torah celebration of the “new year.” Quite the contrary; Leviticus (23:24) merely enumerating them—”the first month,” “the seventh month.” says regarding that first day of Tishrei: “In the seventh month, in the And in ancient times, there were four “New Years” in the Jewish cal- first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath [as in “day of rest”], a endar—each with a distinct significance: The first of memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocathe Hebrew month of Nisan, the New Year of Kings, tion” (23:24). was the date used to calculate the number of years The Bible does not list any special practices for a given king had reigned; the first of the Hebrew the holiday beyond blowing trumpets and sacrificmonth of Elul was the new year for tithing of cattle, ing some animals, fewer than sacrificed on the two a time when one of every 10th cattle was marked and The ancient major holidays—Passover and Sukkot. No specific offered as a sacrifice to God; the first of the Hebrew reason is given for the blowing of the trumpets, nor Hebrews month of Tishrei was the agricultural new year, or are we told what we are supposed to remember. probably had the New Year of the Years—when we increase the So how did the holiday evolve? Remember the no concept of year number. Sabbatical and Jubilee years begin at Jews lived among the Babylonians and they marked this time; and the 15th of the Hebrew month of when the year a “Day of Judgment” each year. They believed that, Sh’vat, known as Tu BiSh’vat, was the New Year on that day, a convocation of their deities assembled started at all. of the Trees. When listing the holidays, the Bible in the temple of the god Marduk. These gods, they always starts with the spring holiday of Passover, in held, renewed the world and judged each human the seventh month—Nisan. being, inscribing the fate of every individual on Though at first, this concept might seem odd, think of it this way: the tablet of destiny. Sound familiar? The legend was so powerful the American “new year” starts in January, but the new “school year” that the Jews most likely borrowed elements from it in shaping Rosh starts in September, and many businesses have “fiscal years” that start Hashanah. The meeting of many deities evolved into a belief that the at various times of the year. one G-d judged every Jew on that day, immediately inscribing the Just because the ancient Hebraic year started on the first of Nisan completely righteous in the Book of Life and consigning the comdoesn’t mean that day was marked in any special way. The bible tells Continued on page 41 us that it was the new moon each month—that is, the first of the
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F E AT U R E S Continued from page 39
pletely wicked to a sad fate. Those “in between,” however, had ten days, concluding on Yom Kippur, in which to repent before the Book of Life was sealed for the New Year. In addition to the biblical “holy convocation” and the transformed Babylonian “Day of Judgment,” the first of Tishrei also was associated with the anniversary of the creation of the world, Yom Harat Olam. For these three compelling reasons, the first day of the seventh month ultimately became the “official” Jewish New Year with the emphasis on teshuvah. The first day of Tishrei does have one other significance, based on the Book of Ezekiel. That prophet, at the very end of the First Temple period, prescribes that the Temple should be purified (naturally using the blood of a bullock, of course) on the first of Tishrei. Ezekiel is also the first to use the phrase “Rosh Hashanah” (40:1), though for him it clearly does not refer to any holiday, rather just the beginning of the year. It was not until about the second century C.E. that the holiday acquires the name Rosh Hashanah, which first appears in the Mishnah. “On Rosh Hashanah all human beings pass before him [God] as sheep before a shepherd” (Tractate Rosh Hashanah 2). It is in these texts that we first have elaboration on the importance of the holiday and its traditions. Before then, however, the day had many other designations. The oldest name, found in the Torah (Numbers 29:1) is Yom T’ruah (Day of Sounding the Shofar). Two other names, reflecting Babylonian influence, were Yom HaZikaron (Day of Remembrance) and Yom HaDin (Day of Judgment). While those terms are still preserved in the liturgy and rabbinic literature, Jews all over the world today refer to Rosh Hashanah as THE Jewish New Year. And, regardless of how Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur evolved, it remains the holiest time of the Jewish year and is treasured by Jews around the world. A
Apples Dipped In Honey
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.
the same as the number of Jewish
Eating honey to start the year sweetly— In Europe, during the High Middle Ages, the consumption of honey evolved into eating challah and fruit, which today has become almost universally apples dipped in honey.
Gefilte Fish Eating a calf's head so that we should finish the year ahead began during the time of the Gaonim (500-1500 CE). Later the calf’s head would be replaced with fish heads, and that in turn got replaced among Ashkenazi Jews with gefilte fish. Sephardic Jews elected for other fish dishes such as chraime (a spicy fish stew in tomato sauce).
Pomegranates A new tradition of eating pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah arose at about the same time, based on the false belief that the number of seeds in a pomegranate is 613, commandments.
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F E AT U R E S
A WORK OF ARK Reflections of Past and Present BY FLORENCE. L. DANN
EVERY JEWISH SYNAGOGUE contains an Ark, known in Hebrew as the Aron Kodesh, by the Ashkenazim and as the heichal among most Sephardim. Simply a receptacle, or ornamental closet, which contains each synagogue’s Torah scrolls. It is not only the focal point of the sanctuary, but also the holiest place in the synagogue, both because it contains the sacred writings of Judaism and because it represents the original ark of the Jewish people. Our tradition tells us that the original ark was created to hold the stone tablets (containing the Ten Commandments) that G-d gave Moses at Mount Sinai. In most cases, when possible, the Ark is located on the wall of the synagogue closest to Jerusalem. The term “Ark” is a combination of two Hebrew words, “aron kodesh,” which means holy cabinet; its shape and decorations have evolved over the many years. What began as a humble niche containing a simple wooden cabinet to hold the Torah, has developed into magnificent works of art. Because of its dominance as the most central focal point of synagogue furniture, it is important to endow the aron kodesh with beautiful and spiritually uplifting art. Among the common themes traditionally appearing are the Ten Commandments, The Tree of Life, Mount Sinai and The Twelve Tribes. This past June, University Synagogue in Irvine, dedicated a new ark, commissioned by several synagogue members, which, in 44 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
Rabbi Arnold Rachlis’ words “presents a very new feature: the twin tablets of the Ten Reconstructionist approach with roots in our Commandments set on top of the structure. In the early 18th century, arks in German tradition that soars into modernity.” Throughout the world there are examples synagogues were baroque structures adorned of arks representing the art of the periods with columns, pilasters, broken cornices, during which they were created. In 245 pediments and vases. The style became popuC.E. the synagogue of Dura-Europos fit a lar in Eastern Europe, where Jewish wood niche in the wall facing Jerusalem to place and stone carvers were inspired to create their the scrolls which are thought to have been own masterpieces. This is when we begin to see lions, birds, dolplaced in a low, woodphins, stags, and eagles en cabinet. Similar intertwined with opencabinets are pictured in work scrolls that covPompeian frescoes. In ered the double-tiered the Middle Ages, howark. The built-in ark, ever, the ark took the It is important to such as the one of 1763 form of a taller niche endow the aron in the Touro Synagogue or cabinet in which the kodesh with beautiful in Newport, Rhode scrolls stood upright, Island, appeared in the mounted, wrapped in and spiritually late 18th century. cloth and sometimes uplifting art. Until the 1840’s, the topped with crowns. most common type of In the 15th-century the ark becomes a freestanding, tall, double- ark in the U.S. was a neoclassical structure tiered cupboard; the upper tier was fitted to with a curved, convex front and sliding hold the scrolls and the lower one to con- doors. For the next twenty or so years the tain ceremonial objects. A gothic ark from synagogue arks in Europe and America were Modena from the year 1505 can be found designed in the Oriental style. They featured in the Musée Cluny, Paris, decorated with “bulbous domes and horseshoe arches, and carved panels. A more elaborate Renaissance were covered with geometrical polychrome Ark from Urbino with painted decorations decorations.” The Central Synagogue in New is in the Jewish Museum in New York. The York is an example of that, built in 1872 in Sephardi synagogue in Amsterdam (1675) the Moorish Revival style “it pays homage to has a baroque ark, which occupies the the Jewish existence in Moorish Spain.” “After World War II, the creation of arks whole width of the nave. This ark adds a
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PHOTO BY CHARLES WEINBERG
The beautiful ark at University Synagogue.
became an art form and many artists experimented with new forms, and materials.” Nowadays artists strive to create an ark which stems from tradition yet speaks to today’s audience. They use new imagery or reinterpret common themes to instill an uplifting sense of awe and beauty in the congregation. Using modern forms is an opportunity for these artists to render their own unique styles and personal artistic touch. The new ark at University Synagogue is very much an example of the new trends in ark design. The artist, Laddie John Dill, has been crafting light and earthy materials like concrete, glass, sand and metal into luminous sculptures, wall pieces and installations
since the 1970s. The first work he did for the synagogue, a large piece titled “Shema” dominates the synagogue’s entrance. For the design of the ark, Dill did extensive research on what the ark means and visited synagogues all over the world. He wanted to create something that had never been seen before and lived with the idea for over a year. The ark is a vision in his language of plywood and glass. It incorporates the highest grade of ground minerals, metals, and aluminum and oxide glass. The shapes, somewhat reminiscent of the synagogue’s logo—the eternal flame—are based on the classical calligraphy of Hebrew, and the dome-like shape was designed to coordinate with the
architecture of the sanctuary. In Temple times the Holy of Holies which contained the ark and the Ten Commandments, was out of bounds to everyone, except the high priest on Yom Kippur. Today, the synagogue ark is often what captures one’s attention when entering the sanctuary—its purpose to not only house the Torah, but to inspire a sense of awe and wonder; and most importantly, to make it accessible to all. A Source: Jewish Virtual Library 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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A day that should have been one of celebration was instead marked with terror.
A FAITH KILLING? Intolerance Rears its Ugly Face BY FLORENCE L. DANN
OVER TWENTY YEARS ago at a High Holiday Service in Irvine, Rabbi Mordecai Liebling addressed the subject of homosexuality. When some of the congregants said it wasn’t normal behavior, he calmly replied, “Actually it is quite normal. About 10 percent of every society throughout the ages has been homosexual.” Silence! And silence is perhaps how, in the past, many in our community have responded to the issue of LGBT rights. Our government has made some progress; as has Israel, which maintains the most advanced laws toward homosexuality in the Middle East. However, while Israeli society in general is very positive toward LGBT communities, “there are still hotbeds of hatred and of homophobia,” said Tom Canning, a spokes46 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
man for Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance. LGBT people in Israel are regularly victims of discrimination. “It can be violence, it can be rejection of services, it can be slurs on the street,” Canning added. As if to underscore that reality, in late July, Shira Banki, a 16-year-old Israeli teen marching in Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade to support friends, was fatally wounded after being stabbed by Yishai Schlissel, a Haredi man from Modiin Ilit. He had stabbed three participants in the 2005 Gay Pride March and was recently released from prison after serving ten years of a twelve-year sentence. After his release, Schlissel returned to his hometown, where he distributed hand-written pamphlets calling on “all Jews faithful to G-d” to risk “beatings and imprisonment” for the
sake of preventing the parade. Knowing his history, why didn’t anyone take steps to prevent a repeat of his actions? Why was he released early, and allowed to post his plans for others to see? The following Saturday at a rally for tolerance, Orthodox Rabbi Benny Lau (cousin of the Chief Rabbi of Israel) said, “Anyone who has been at a Sabbath table, or in a classroom, or in a synagogue, or at a soccer pitch, or in a club, or at a community center, and heard the racist jokes, the homophobic jokes, the obscene words, and didn’t stand up and stop it, he is a partner to this bloodshed.” Lau also took aim at those in the religious community who offered only lukewarm condemnation of the fatal pride parade attack in Jerusalem. “It is unacceptable that after Thursday night’s stabbing, someone should come and say that he condemns the act because ‘a Jew doesn’t stab another Jew,’” he said. “That is racism. A Jew does not stab another human being. Period!” Rabbi Jason Miller, member of “Rabbis Without Borders” asserts that extremists who consider themselves religious Jews grossly violate the core principles of the Jewish religion, citing the Torah as the blueprint for their brutality. “If we Jewish people call on Muslims to rail against Islamic extremism, then we in the Jewish community must heed our own call. We must stand in opposition against those who tarnish Judaism through their hate and bloodshed.” Is it not a responsibility of all Jews to stand with the oppressed? Yes, being an ally can be risky. Giving up the privilege of safely standing on the sidelines cost Shira Banki her life. But we must honor her, as we do Michael Schwerner, Jewish martyr of the US Civil Rights movement, by working for change so her death will not be a meaningless tragedy. Zikhronah livrakha. (May her memory be for a blessing). 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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DENNIS PRAGER A Conversation with an American Icon BY TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY
JLIFE MAGAZINE WAS recently honored with the rare chance to interview Dennis Prager, a man who has lived a life so full it could easily rival the nine lives of a cat. Educator, lecturer, author, talk show host… the list goes on and on. To start, Prager is one of America’s most respected radio talk show hosts and has been broadcasting in LA since 1982. In 1999, his popular show became nationally syndicated and it continues to air live, five days a week. To-date he has appeared on “Fox and Friends,” “Red Eye,” “Hardball,” “Hannity,” “CBS Evening News,” “The Today Show” and many others. This may sound beyond uber-busy to you, but Dennis still finds a way to help out at the local level as well. He is set to appear at Temple Bat Yahm on October 18 for a much-anticipated evening of dialogue that’s sure to be a night to remember (please see details below). In the meantime, take a moment to get to know this wonderful man just a little bit better. How do you feel your Orthodox upbringing has influenced your adult life? Massively. Probably more than any one other thing. I am grateful every day that I attended yeshiva through high school rather than secular schools. In terms of practices, I left Orthodoxy the day after my Bar-Mitzvah, but I never stopped affirming the Jewish “trinity” of G-d, Torah, and Israel. I still subscribe to Maimonides’s Thirteen Principles of the Jewish Faith, believe in the Jews as G-d’s Chosen People, and the Torah as ultimately a divine book.
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What inspired you to undertake each of your fields of study? My undergraduate majors were history and Middle Eastern Studies. If you don’t know history, you cannot possibly understand the present. And I wanted to understand the Arab and Muslim worlds, so, among other things, I studied Islam and Arabic. In graduate school I studied at both the Russian and Middle East Institutes of Columbia University’s School of International Affairs. There I continued studying the Russian language and concentrated on Communism and Communist Affairs. In all these cases, I wanted to understand America’s and Israel’s enemies. And the communist studies helped me understand the most dynamic religion of the last hundred years, Leftism. You are an educator, a writer and a talk show host. Do you feel that these three aspects of your career influence each other and if so in what ways? Being able to talk to millions of people for over 30 years has given me a laboratory for every idea I hold. What a unique gift. And, of course, it gave me a platform to try to educate many people. You recently wrote two books: “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code”; and “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Path To Follow” (for children). How did you approach this topic differently based on your audience?
The children’s version was my book simplified for young children. By age 11, or perhaps even earlier, young people should read the regular edition. Do you feel that children bring a different perspective to Jewish learning? Children bring a different perspective to all of life. But I am not among those who believe that children have a great deal to teach adults. How could they? They haven’t lived life long enough to accumulate the most important thing we are supposed to give children—wisdom. On the other hand, having and raising children teaches you more about life than almost any other experience. If so, what do you think are the best lessons we can learn from them? Children teach you about the human condition. Unless we decide to grow up— which many people in my generation have in fact decided not to do—we are all children. We have to leave the poor impulse control of childhood, the naiveté of childhood, the avoidance of responsibility of childhood, etc. Also, I learned more about society as a summer camp counselor than in all my years at college and graduate school. If you were to recommend one 5-minute video from your site Prager University to someone who has never visited the site, what would it be and why? Every one of the hundred or so videos is meant to be mind-,
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nature (including sexual nature), and how different it is from theirs. And finally, you also have a segment called “Ultimate Issues.” In your opinion, what are the top three hot button issues we are facing today? Has America been the world’s greatest force for good or just another of history’s great powers? Why the belief that people are basically good is as dangerous as it is wrong. How good and evil are only opinions of there is no G-d.
Left, Dennis Prager, with Scott Seigel, President of Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach.
even life-, changing. That’s how good the presenters are and how much editing we do. So it all depends on what subject you most wish to learn about. So, if I were to show one video: To a married or dating couple: He Wants You. To a young person: What Matters Most in Life. To college students and their parents: The Speech Every 2015 College Grad Needs to Hear. To a young woman: Feminism 2.0. On race relations: Don’t Judge Blacks Differently. On G-d’s existence: Does G-d Exist? 4 New Arguments. On the Middle East conflict: The Middle East Problem. On Israel: Do You Pass the Israel Test? On energy: Why You Should Love Fossil Fuel. On Judaism: Remember the Sabbath. On America: The American Trinity.
I learned more about society as a summer camp counselor than in all my years at college and graduate school. DENNIS PRAGER
You have some recurring segments to your radio show like the “Happiness Hour” based on your book “Happiness Is a Serious Problem.” In your opinion, what are the best ways people can help improve their level of happiness? Act happy even when you don’t feel happy. Be grateful. The rest is commentary. You also have the “Male/Female Hour.” Are there any tips you can give us to improve communication between the sexes? Men should act in such a way as to be admired by their woman. Women should work to understand men’s
EVENT DETAILS Temple Bat Yahm is thrilled to host this evening of dialogue with Dennis Prager. Jlife caught up with Temple President, Scott Seigel who was instrumental in coordinating this special evening. “Dennis has agreed to have a really enhanced VIP experience unlike any other he has done,” said Seigel. “For those that can attend the VIP event I can guarantee you will continue to make a huge difference in our Temple’s many endeavors and you will have a chance to connect with Dennis and dialogue with him personally.” And you can feel great about your donation because Seigel assured, “Every dollar raised from this event will go 100% toward our Temple’s needs.” AN EVENING WITH DENNIS PRAGER SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18TH General Admission: $54.00 per/person Student Admission: $18.00 per/person VIP Admission: $500/per person includes: • 4:30 p.m. Intimate private time for VIP sponsors including appetizer, wine and scotch tasting • Lively dialogue with Dennis on Prager University- the behind the scenes and interactive discussion on one of his most popular videos- Check out this video (near 5 million hits): www.youtube.com/ watch?v=8EDW88CBo-8 • 5:30 p.m. Dinner with Dennis Prager • Photo opportunity • Signed books • Reserved parking • Reserved sanctuary seating • 6:45 p.m. A very special evening with Dennis Prager in the Sonenshine Sanctuary Tracey Armstrong Gorsky is a contributing writer to Jlife Magazine.
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out&about BILLY BOB THORNTON & THE BOXMASTERS Teddy Andreadis, J.D. Andrew, Brad Davis and Billy Bob “Bud” Thornton make up “The Boxmasters;” an American roots-rock band that will be playing at the Coach House Concert Hall on Sept. 17. Formed in 2007, the band released the self-titled debut record “The Boxmasters” to critical acclaim. The Boxmasters are back with “Somewhere Down The Road” which was released in the spring of 2015.
BURGER A-GO-GO 2
Currently on exhibit now through Oct. 11 at the Orange County Museum of Art is the work of 20th Century American artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008). In 1952, he began creating collages or “combines” as he later named them. Nine works dating from 1971 to 1985 will be on view of selections that includes collages prints and light boxes.
Burger A-Go-Go festival returns to the Observatory OC featuring over 100 bands on Sept. 5 starting at 2 p.m. This year’s headliners include Cat Power, The Julie Ruin (Kathleen Hanna), Kate Nash, Bleached, Glitterbust (Featuring Kim Gordon And Alex Knost), Kimya Dawson, Cherry Glazerr, The Aquadolls and many more.
NATIONAL ACROBATS OF CHINA One of the world’s most accomplished acrobatic companies returns to Segerstrom Center to thrill young and old alike on Sept. 26 with two performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China have toured the world with one-of-a-kind acrobatic acts, making this a thrilling and unforgettable experience for the whole family.
MICHAEL MCDONALD Five-time Grammy Award winning Michael McDonald will take the stage at City National Grove of Anaheim on Sept. 27. Over the course of four Steely Dan albums, McDonald became an integral part of the group’s sound. Session player friend, Jeff Baxter, asked McDonald to join The Doobie Brothers. It was on 1976’s “Takin’ It To The Streets” LP that McDonald really hit his stride artistically.
ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE | September 2015
Olga Kern Russian Pianist Olga Kern leads this year’s Pacific Symphony’s traditional end to its Summer Festival 2015 concerts at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on Sept. 5. This season’s finale concludes with Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture including the thrilling climax of thundering cannons and spectacular fireworks. Also enjoy some of the most enchanting pieces by favorite Russian composers—including Rachmaninoff’s hugely popular, achingly romantic Piano Concerto No. 2, Stravinsky’s suite from “The Firebird” and excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s “The Sleeping Beauty.” Recognized as one of her generation’s great pianists, Kern’s career began with her historic gold-medal winning performance at the Eleventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Kern was born into a family of musicians with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, and began studying piano at the age of five. Kern is a laureate of many international competitions including her first place win at
the first Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at the age of seventeen and has toured throughout her native Russia, Europe, and the United States, as well as in Japan, South Africa and South Korea. Kern was the recipient of an honorary scholarship from the President of Russia in 1996 and is a member of Russia’s International Academy of Arts. She studied with Professor Sergei Dorensky at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and Professor Boris Petrushansky at the acclaimed Accademia Pianistica Incontri col Maestro in Imola, Italy. Kern is also a
corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Division of the Arts. In 2014, Kern joined the roster of Steinway & Sons Artists. Kern’s discography includes Harmonia Mundi recordings of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Christopher Seaman (2003), a Rachmaninoff recording of Corelli Variations and other transcriptions (2004), a recital disk with works by Rachmaninoff and Balakirev (2005), Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Warsaw Philharmonic and Antoni Wit (2006), Brahms Variations (2007) and a
2010 release of Chopin Piano Sonatas No. 2 and 3 (2010). She was also featured in the awardwinning documentary about the 2001 Cliburn Competition, Playing on the Edge. Most recently, SONY released a recording of Kern performing the Rachmaninoff Sonata for Violoncello and Piano with cellist Sol Gabetta. For more information or to buy tickets for the final event of the 2015 summer season visit the symphony’s website at www.pacificsymphony. org or call the box office at (714) 755-5799. Show starts at 8 p.m. and gates open at 6 p.m. for picnicking.
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PHOTO BY JON EDWARDS
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Nova Scotia Honey Orange Sponge Cake
Rosh Hashanah Challah
PHOTO BY KARINA BART
I once again retrieve Corinne’s honey cake recipe.
NEW TRADITIONS Making “sandy” holiday memories. BY JUDY BART KANCIGOR
Every old recipe tells a story, and my favorite Rosh Hashanah symbolic food is not my grandmother’s honey cake—we kids hated its strong, smoky, almost bitter taste—but my mother’s “honey cake lite,” a recipe she picked up from her friend, Corinne Pink, from Nova Scotia. Is it the honey cake itself that is so satisfying or the memories it brings back of that summer before I turned 14 when my parents let me skip camp in favor of accompanying them as they sang their way through New England and Nova Scotia? I was still smarting from the previous summer when my bunkmate, Ellen Radutsky, made my life a living hell (and Jewish summer sleep-away camp in New York in those days was a full eight weeks—
do you know how long eight weeks seems when spent in a living hell?) While Ellen Radutsky and her ilk were waging color war, I got to visit Molly Picon, the legendary star of Yiddish theater, screen and television, at her home at the foot of the Berkshires. She and my parents were friends, often sharing the stage on the Sunday WEVD live radio show, “The American-Jewish Caravan of Stars.” The diminutive Miss Picon had all the counters in her home built to her specifications, and we felt like giants! After the requisite visit to my brother at camp—maybe he was living in hell too, but no one was listening—I finally got to see firsthand how my parents actually made a living: entertaining and
fundraising for Israel bonds. Through the years my mother would tell the story of how I was watching my dad from offstage and became so hysterical with laughter that she didn’t know if the folks that could see me behind the curtain were laughing at him or at me. He was so corny at home. Maybe he saved the good stuff for the paying customers. In Nova Scotia the most memorable part of the trip for me was the arrival of Princess Margaret, who almost killed herself stepping out of her shoe as she exited the small plane. For my mother, the most impressive moment was when Corinne sent her mother out into the yard to dig up potatoes for our dinner. As summer turns to fall with Rosh Hashanah in the air, I once again retrieve Corinne’s honey cake recipe, lighter than the old standby, really a honey sponge, and remember fondly that long-ago summer when lifetime memories were made. These days I like to serve thick slices with my Aunt Sally’s Apricot Pineapple Sauce, the start of a new tradition. This summer I forged new memories when my granddaughter, Lauren, and I visited my brother and his family at their second home in Kauai. What an opportunity for the two of us to bond in this spectacular setting! Karina, Gary and their six-year-old son, Jared, like to observe Shabbat on the beach, and every Friday Karina bakes challah, packs up the candles and wine, and then it’s blessings at sunset with toes in the sand, steps from incoming late surfers and perhaps a sleeping monk seal. What are the odds that the challah recipe Karina uses is sweetened with honey, making it all the more perfect for Rosh Hashanah, when sweetness is the order of the day? With this story in mind, I asked her to shape the loaf into the traditional holiday round, symbol of the cycle of life, for the photo op. Perhaps years from now Lauren will think of that summer excursion she spent with grandma every time she bites into a piece of challah.
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This summer I forged new memories when my granddaughter, Lauren, and I visited my brother and his family at their second home in Kauai.
Rosh Hashanah Challah 1 1/4 cups warm water (110°F) 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Nova Scotia Honey Orange Sponge Cake Serves 12
1/4 cup honey
1 cup cake flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 eggs + 1/2 egg for brushing
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 In large bowl, sprinkle yeast over water.
Beat in honey, oil, 1 1/2 eggs and salt. Add flour 1 cup at a time, beating after each addition, kneading with hands as dough thickens, until smooth, elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with damp, clean cloth and let rise 1 1/2 hours or until dough doubles.
2 Punch down risen dough; turn out onto
floured board. Knead 5 minutes, adding flour as needed if sticky. Divide into thirds; roll into long snakes about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch ends of the 3 snakes together firmly and braid from middle. Bring ends together curving braid into a circle. Pinch ends together. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover with towel; let rise about 1 hour.
3 Preheat oven to 375°F. 4 Beat remaining 1/2 egg; brush loaf
generously. Bake about 40 minutes until you hear hollow sound when thumped on bottom. Cool on rack at least 1 hour.
1 teaspoon ground allspice 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup sugar 6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature 1 cup corn oil 1 cup honey 2 tablespoons orange juice 2 tablespoons orange liqueur or brandy
5 Scrape batter into prepared tube pan;
bake on center oven rack 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300°F; bake until top of cake springs back when touched, about 45 minutes more.
6 Let cake rest in pan 30-45 seconds. Then
invert pan on its little feet (if your tube pan has them) or over a soda bottle (making sure it sits level) and let the cake cool completely.
7 Run knife around center tube and sides of pan; lift tube from outer pan. Gently slide knife between bottom of cake and pan; lift cake off pan. Slice, top with sauce and serve.
1 teaspoon pure orange extract
1 Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 10-inch tube
Source: “Cooking Jewish” (Workman) by Judy Bart Kancigor
2 Sift both flours and baking powder,
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.
pan with removable bottom with circle of parchment paper cut slightly larger than bottom. Press extra paper against sides of pan. baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and salt together. mixer on medium-high speed. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar until mixture is thick and lemon-colored, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; blend in oil and honey, then orange juice, liqueur, zest, and extract. Reduce speed to low; gradually blend in flour mixture.
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egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar very gradually. Raise speed to high; beat until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/4 of egg whites into batter to lighten it. Fold in remaining egg whites in three additions until incorporated.
For an extended version of this column, including Aunt Sally’s Apricot Pineapple Sauce recipe, please visit ocjewishlife.com.
Grated zest of 1 orange
3 Beat egg yolks very well with electric
Adapted from allrecipes.com.
4 Using clean, dry bowl and beaters, beat
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CROSSWORD BY: DAVIDBENKOF@GMAIL.COM } DIFFICULTY LEVEL: MANAGEABLE
HINT: 21 DOWN
4 “Let me ___ forget Those days of degradation”: Emma Lazarus
38 Something one might do around Sukkot time in agricultural areas
5 It’s only an hour’s drive from Hadera, which can be confusing
41 To nosh, more formally
6 Meshugene 7 Dictator’s opening 8 Not a kosher way to kill a cow 9 Complain 10 1939 document about partitioning Palestine 11 Ancient figure known for his “edifice complex”
ACROSS 1 Sababa, e.g. 6 “The Patriot” is a Star-of-Davidshaped flying one of these 10 Give a forshpeis to 14 “Blazing Saddles” prop 15 One place to find Mayim Bialik 16 Zach Braff’s Jewish-themed film “Wish I Was ___” 17 Loosened, as with immigration laws 18 Many Jews wonder if the Torah is this
32 Haman quality
56 Former right-fielder for the Mets
33 Nazi Exploitation film “___, She Wolf of the SS”
63 Strip of note
35 Tragic woman of Genesis
65 Judy Garland’s daughter with Sidney Luft
39 Org. that has tried to bring down kosher slaughterhouses
64 Nasty slur
66 Help a gonif, e.g.
40 Feivel of “An American Tail” is a cartoon one
67 Falco who played Feiga in “A Price Above Rubies”
42 New York university where Joan Roland researches the Jews of India
68 “Hakn a tshaynik” (knock a teakettle, or rattle loudly with no meaning)
43 Sport for Jesse Owens at the “Nazi Olympics”
69 “Beautiful Mind” subject accused of anti-Semitism
45 Second Temple Period and others
19 Age of the Divided Kingdom
46 ___ the Scribe
70 It could make a pair of tefillin unkosher
20 Novel set in Genesis with a woman’s point of view
47 Cartoonist Jack who co-created Captain America
71 Mood in the Middle East, virtually always
49 She played a Jewish mother in “Prime”
23 Last name of the authors of the “Curious George” series of books
51 ___ ibn Shaprut
24 Hebrew school of yesteryear
54 Wissotsky product
26 Temple sacrifice
55 One of Julie Taymor’s two awards for less prominent New York productions
30 Woody Allen type
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1 Mark that a Jewish Journal editor might use 2 Mother of Reuben and Simeon 3 Where some Christians daven
12 Give Israelis more work to do in the Negev 13 Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt was one 21 Levi’s material 25 One of Fran and Barry Weissler’s Broadway shows, perhaps 26 Refrained from putting in the pushke 27 “World ___” (children’s magazine published by the New York Board of Jewish Education)
44 On Israel’s Yom Hazikaron, the nation mourns its soldiers in this category: Abbr. 48 Tried to make peace in the Middle East, pretty much by definition 50 Alternate name for Birthright 51 Character whose show starred Werner Klemperer and Robert Clary 52 Addis ___ (birthplace of many 1980s immigrants to Israel) 53 Tallises come in several 54 @yidwithlid does it several times a day 57 Imitate Anne Frank 58 In the same mishpocha 59 Enjoyed a chariot 60 Moran who starred with Winkler on “Happy Days” 61 Adam’s oldest grandson 62 33-Across or 61-Down
28 Actress Wilson who recently played Larry David’s wife on Broadway 29 Blame for this 1300s disease led to Jewish persecution 30 Shylock was known for it 31 Gregory Chamitoff was its most recent Jewish astronaut: Abbr. 34 Leopold’s partner-in-crime 36 Scary location in Kubrick’s “The Shining” 37 It’s sometimes spelled Akko
The majestic Negev desert in Israel.
JEWISH NATIONAL FUND Building A Future For Israel BY LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D.
LANGUAGE AND CONFLICT aside, California and Israel have a lot in common. Both were pioneer destinations; desert land intent on becoming an agricultural mecca; areas of vast expanse rife for adequate and comfortable living conditions, yet so many insist on cramming into the better-known cities. There is the culture of each location, the beaches, the glamorous (and not so glamorous people)… And then there is the land. Yes, the land. A source of contention for California and Israel—but let us discuss Israel. Long before Israel was a state, a Viennese journalist named Theodore Herzl troubled by anti-Semitism took action at the Fifth Zionist Conference and determined that a national fund should be established to work toward a Jewish homeland. This was not the first time 64 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
someone had postulated this ideal—truth be told three Zionist Congresses had overlooked the recommendation despite burgeoning followers of the idea. But in 1901 the dream became a reality and the Jewish National Fund (at the time also known as Karen Kayemeth Leisrael) was established. The first fundraising goal, and quite formidable at the time, was £200,000. The fund was …”the property of the Jewish people as a whole.” So began more than a century of not only creating a homeland for the Jewish people but a country that modeled for the rest of the world a way to build something from nothing. Swamps were drained, trees were planted, and today oceans are being used to grow crops and create drinking water. One hundred and fourteen years later JNF is working hard to
establish a better homeland and is a global environmental leader. Phil Waldman is no stranger to the Jewish community of Orange County. Now he is in the final months of his term with JNF where he has helped to raise money in Orange County, Long Beach and Palos Verdes. According to Waldman, JNF has embarked on a 10-year plan to raise $1 billion,“That’s $100 million per year… It is ambitious planning on the part of [JNF CEO] Russell Robinson. Our local chapter has done well, but we still need to increase members.” And it is more than trees these days. Currently the Negev is center stage for a lot of JNF’s projects. Project Blue Print Negev, which has been working diligently to fulfill Ben Gurion’s dream of “making the desert bloom,” continues to turn waste into want. There is a renaissance of sorts going on in the Negev. Be’er Sheva has seen unwanted pipes turn into a bridge that is a go-to location for photos and weddings. The only thing missing in the blooming Negev says Waldman,“Is a top hotel chain.” But it is not just the desert that is benefitting from JNF. In the north, towns on the border have been made safe thanks to innovative engineering that keeps roads safe. According to Waldman, “If Israel is establishing a new community or working on programs to provide better housing, medical care, or infrastructure, JNF is involved.” Jewish National Fund is a United Nations NGO (non-governmental organization), and has worked to develop partnerships with a number of government and professional organizations to further cooperative relationships, conduct research, share technical expertise and obtain educational exchanges. If you would like more information go to: www.jnf.org. A Dr. Grajewski is a licensed psychologist who splits her clinical time between JFFS and a private practice in Irvine, as well as an adjunct Assistant Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Grajewski has been writing for Jlife Magazine since 2004.
MIND BOOSTER SERIES COURSE SCHEDULE
Mind Booster Series offers individuals with a diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment and couples dealing with early memory challenges an opportunity to learn ways to keep their minds active, tools to better manage stress, and strategies to take control of their lives.
This 6-week course runs from October 1 - November 5, 2015 Week 1: All About the Diagnosis: Maintaining Skills & Slowing Progression William R. Shankle, MD, Teryn Clarke, MD
The goal of Mind Booster Series is to provide education, resources, and experiences that contribute to early treatment, interventions, and improving quality of life for individuals and families dealing with early memory challenges.
Week 2: Exercise & Stress Management Debra Rose, PhD Week 3: Cognitive Tools & Mental Health Cheryl Alvarez, PsyD
Mind Booster Series integrates the most recent research and developments into this course.
Thursdays, 9am – 12pm Jewish Federation & Family Services 1 Federation Way · Conference Room D Irvine, CA 92603-0174
Week 4: Nutrition: Superfoods & Diet for Optimal Brain Health Cindy Stivers, RD Week 5: Legal Issues & Planning for the Future Fay Blix, Esq.
Cost: $260/couple or $150/individual To register, please call Cindy Howe, CPG at 714-593-1852
Week 6: Resources & Tools Corinne Enos, MSW
Other course dates will be available throughout the year. Series funded in part by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
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Julia Bendis has been in the business of bringing people together for over 15 years.
MATCHMAKER, MATCHMAKER An old Jewish tradition becomes new. BY TANYA SCHWIED
THIS CLASSIC SCENE from the musical Fiddler on The Roof was about as much as I knew about matchmakers growing up… Tzeitel: But Mama, the men she finds. The last one was so old and he was bald. He had no hair. Golde: A poor girl without a dowry can’t be so particular. You want hair, marry a monkey. Now in an age of technology and endless apps and swiping left or right, it seems only fitting that that we go back to the oldest, 66 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
most traditional way of finding a husband or wife. The matchmaker. Meet Julia Bendis. Ever since high school she would ask people if they were single and put them together—“I just knew I had an instinct and a gift!” Matchmaking is becoming more common and a trusted way of finding a partner in life, versus online dating or meeting randomly at bars/restaurants or through friends. People (myself included) are getting tired of being disappointed after a horrible date with someone they met online
who said they have big ambitions (when in actuality their only ambition was to finish the entire pint of ice cream). Most people want that personal touch- it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. You won’t know if you have chemistry until you sit across from the person and actually converse. “You can’t teach someone what I do—either you have it in you or you don’t. I have a feeling about who would be great for you. I have to meet you in person—see your posture, facial expressions, body language, look you in the eye, etc. I will ask the hard questions in the very beginning,” said Bendis. How much does something like this cost you might ask? (Wait that’s actually me asking for myself ) She works with everyone’s budget and tailors different packages based on the individual’s yearly salary. Her rates are extremely reasonable compared to other people in this business. When I asked her what her process is like she had this to say, “After many years of doing this… I have set up a great process. My database is full! You go to my website and the first step is a signup form with all the questions, then I ask you to send a couple recent photos. The only way I will take you on is if I think I have a potential match. We finally meet and then I go to work. I don’t show pictures. This is something that sets me apart—I don’t think it’s a good idea. One part is intuition and the second part is giving people what they want in a partner.” With every new client, she gets to know them on a personal level; their needs, wants, and desires for their future mate. Where do I sign up? For more information please visit matchbyjulia.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 | SEPTEMBER 2015
A German LifeAgainst All Odds, Change is Possible Join Congregation B’nai Israel on Sunday, October 25th as Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger shares a powerful personal history. Dr. Wollschlaeger, author of: “A German LifeAgainst All Odds, Change is Possible” will share his struggles with his faith and identity, his pathway to Judaism, and his acceptance of his own decisions. $20 includes reserved seating and dessert reception; $10 for unreserved seating. Please call (714) 730-9693 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Celebrate the Jewish Holidays with Racheli Morris This book is the premiere guide for elegant and stylish Jewish hospitality. In it, Morris shares her secrets for having fun while entertaining guests in a sophisticated, creative and festive manner. You’ll discover your own creative side as you set your table for the holidays. Whether it’s a warm Shabbat dinner or a stunning Rosh HaShanah feast, your guests will be delighted! Entertaining is more than a multicourse meal. It is about gathering family and friends together and making memories. This book will help you put all the details together so that your event will be meaningful and joyful. For more info please visit: www.rachelimorris.com.
Lessons of the Holocaust United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Marcus Appelbaum, Director of Justice and Society Initiatives, presented law enforcement and society training programs to the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and the local Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in Los Angeles. “The Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust” program enables law enforcement officers to examine the role their profession played in the Holocaust and challenges them to reflect upon their professional and personal responsibilities in a democracy today.
Fighting the Wrong Battles? In his recent discussion of the New Anti-Semitism to the Orange County Community Scholars Program, Michael Berenbaum, best known as the Project Director overseeing the creation of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C, drew from examples around the world, touching on recent events in Europe and in the Middle East, emphasizing that those who refight the last war often lose the next one. The American Jewish community is fighting the wrong battles according to Berenbaum. 68 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
News&Jews Continued on page 72
TVT’s Community Learning Program
Tarbut V’Torah, (TVT) is introducing its Community Jewish Learning and Engagement Program. Open to the adult community this program puts a distinctly grown-up twist on TVT’s unique curriculum. Registration will open in September for: I-Engage, Developing a New Relationship With Israel, Adult Ed. series. Registration and Questions Contact: email@example.com. On Sunday, Oct 8th at 6:30 p.m.: An Evening with Rabbi Sharon Brous, IKAR Topic: Creating a Jewish Social Action Agenda for your 5776. Seats are limited so please RSVP at: TARBUT.com/Brous. On Monday, Oct 19th at 6:30 p.m.: Bnei Mitzvah Dvar Torah Jump Start: Torah-Style Speed Dating Suggested for local students in grades 5-7, this event is designed to supply the community with mitzvah-themed inspiration at a 21st century pace. Registration and Questions Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. All events held at Tarbut V’Torah, 5 Federation Way, Irvine, CA
New JFFS Interim President & CEO The Board of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS) announced that it has appointed Dr. Lauren Gavshon, JFFS’ current Director of Clinical Services, as interim President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Shalom Elcott as President and Chief Executive Officer. “Dr. Gavshon and her family have been involved in the local Jewish community for over 20 years, and she is well-positioned to take on this expanded role,” said Daniel J. Koblin, Chair of the Board.
Kim Gubner and Lainey Mitzman recently chaired an incredible event called Childspree. Congregants donated lots of cash and their time to sponsor a backto-school shopping trip at Kohl’s for 40 kids living at Laura’s House, a domestic violence shelter. Tilly’s donated a backpack for each child, Kohls was a generous host, and there was an outpouring of coordination and community involvement that went into this successful event. This was truly a multi-generational community service project that left both the volunteers and recipients lives forever touched. For more info, please contact Kim Gubner at email@example.com or (818) 203-3213.
The Mega Challah Bake OC Mega Challah Bake is a remarkable “hands on” event that connects Orange County Jewish women to Jewish women from around the world. Jewish communities from China to Brazil, Australia, Russia, Mexico, Italy, South Africa, and many more will be baking challah at the same time! It is part of the International Shabbos Project. Last year 800 women participated and this year we will be 1800 strong. Join us and bring your mothers, grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters. This experience will stay with you for the rest of your lives. Visit ocmegachallahbake.com for details. Jlife
| SEPTEMBER 2015 69
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News&Jews Continued from page 69
New Hanukkah Program Oh Hanukkah, Oh, Hanukkah. Come light the menorah. Four Seasons Resort Maui, the island’s only Forbes five-star resort, has asked Rabbi Arnold Rachlis and Cantor Ruti Braier of University Synagogue, Irvine, to officiate at the resort’s inaugural Hanukkah program from December 6-10, 2015. The program will include a nightly candle lighting ceremony, featuring music, games and holiday storytelling for all ages, latke demonstrations with Four Seasons Executive Chef Craig Dryhurst and more. It’s a perfect experience for the entire family to enjoy. The resort is offering the lowest rates of the year, starting at $399 per night with no daily resort fee. Call (808) 874-8000 to receive this special rate valid from December 5 –19. To check out the beautiful resort please visit www.fourseasons.com/maui.
Rabbi Rachlis and Cantor Ruti Braier
Jonna’s Body, Please Hold The outrageously funny chronicle of Jonna Tamases’ real-life bouts with cancer (yes, we just used cancer and funny in the same sentence) takes us on a masterful journey inside Jonna’s body, where a sassy receptionist fields calls from a parade of quirky body parts. When two nasty killers invade, it’s a fight for Jonna’s life. “Jonna’s Body, Please Hold” is playing Nov. 14, 2015 at Temple Bat Yahm, 7:00 p.m.. Tickets are available by phone at (949) 644-1999 or by mail (to ATTN: WTBY at the above address). Ticket prices are $20 (in advance) or $25 (at the door). Seating is limited so advance purchase is recommended.
Congratulations Judith Gottesman Soul Mates Unlimited (owned by Gottesman) has been selected for the 2015 Best Businesses of San Diego Award in the Matchmakers category by the Best Businesses of San Diego Award Program. Each year, the Best Businesses of San Diego Award Program identifies companies that have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and the community. These exceptional companies help make the San Diego area a great place to live, work and play. To read our feature on this great company go to page 66 of this issue. For more information on Soul Mates Unlimited please visit: www.soulmatesunlimited.com. 72 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
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NO LONGER A SHANDA Substance Abuse in the Jewish Community BY TANYA SCHWIED
Never let pride or shame keep you from asking for help.
THERE IS A growing problem of drug and alcohol abuse in the Jewish community, specifically Orange County, and members of the community and professionals I have spoken to have all expressed a collective frustration that there are too few resources to help those in needâ€”whether itâ€™s information, support, or just a place to feel welcome. I wanted to write an article that would get the conversation started about a 74 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
few of the things being done in the community and try to remove some of the stigma surrounding this issue. One obstacle to dealing with the alcohol and drug problems head-on is the shame these problems cause in the Jewish community. Whether it is embarrassment or fear, drug and alcohol problems are often kept behind closed doors by families, shuls and organizations. This only serves to exacerbate
the problem. There should be no shame in dealing with either substance abuse issue. We must all understand this and come together as a community to provide support for our neighbors dealing with these issues. They need our help. This is important for the individual as well as for the community. Allison Johnson, LMFT, Director of Client Services at JFFS and a substance abuse pioneer in the Jewish community said, “This is a real problem in Orange County and only recently has our community begun to address it. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have seen a marked increase in the number of teens and adults struggling with substance abuse issues, and am saddened by those who are still too embarrassed to seek help. I am working with congregations and other organizations in Orange County to decrease the stigma related to sharing these issues with friends and family, and building support within our community for those ready to seek help. This is something we all need to stand together on and say, ‘it’s ok to talk about this.” According to the OC Health Care Agency report, published in 2014, the rate of drug overdose deaths in Orange County has increased 61% and alcohol related deaths have risen 41% between 2000 and 2012. Yet we are still told to keep everything “hush hush” in our community. It’s about time we finally start talking—we’re Jews, it’s what we do best! A community member whose family has coped with their child’s addiction issues for nearly a decade is thrilled to see that interest is growing in the Orange County Jewish Community to increase conversation and resources surrounding substance abuse. “When we found that our teen was abusing drugs and alcohol, we turned to professionals for help and we also sought support from our rabbi. Although he was supportive, we found ourselves not feeling very welcome in Jewish environments we had previously enjoyed. This affected us as well as our younger child. Many people simply do not understand that addiction is a disease, and unfortunately, this particular
disease still carries a lot of stigma, shame and fear. People do not reach out to affected families like they do with other illnesses. At the very time a family needs empathy and inclusion from their community, they often have the opposite experience. Many churches are addressing addiction head on, with dedicated recovery support groups and other programs; it’s time for us to focus on this growing problem. Jewish texts, liturgy, and traditions have so much to offer in helping individuals and families in terms of recovery.”
At the very time a family needs empathy and inclusion from their community, they often have the opposite experience. This past June was the first meeting of the OC Jewish Substance Abuse Task Force. Community members and professionals came together and agreed that increasing substance abuse education and resources is a pressing issue in the Jewish Community. Here are a few things that they focused on:
With support from Temple Beth El they are moving forward with having an Al-Anon meeting on Tuesday nights. This will be the first 12-Step meeting held in a Jewish location in Orange County! A true step in the right direction in our community. Al-Anon is a worldwide fellowship that offers a program of recovery for the families and friends of alcoholics, whether or not the alcoholic recognizes the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help. Many people come to Al-Anon to get help in stopping someone else’s drink-
ing. However, Al-Anon, as a program, recognizes that the friends and families of alcoholics are often traumatized themselves, and in need of emotional support and understanding.
In addition to the other programs a community member will be hosting the OC Jewish Book Study Group that will meet starting in October to discuss Rabbi Paul Steinberg’s book, “Recovery, the 12 Steps and Jewish Spirituality.” “Rabbi Steinberg has written the go-to resource for Jews in recovery, and also for those who wish to support them. His honesty about his own addiction and recovery, combined with his insights into Jewish spiritual teachings, make this a very powerful book-comforting and inspiring as well as informative and accessible.” —Louis E. Newman, Professor of Religious Studies, Carleton College. To sign up or get more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Temple Beth El is making progress on planning its “Navigating the Challenges Teens Face” conference for January 2016. This event will be open to all teens, 8th-12th grade, and their parents (countywide). It will tackle various issues including substance abuse prevention and how to navigate recovery if prevention doesn’t work. In summation, I would say there are some people out there doing a lot of good work for the community and putting their heart and soul into helping us move in the right direction, but there is still much to be done! I’m looking forward to seeing the incredible work our community is planning, which will shed light on a subject that is no longer “a shanda” or shame. 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.
| SEPTEMBER 2015 75
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Israel continues to lead the way in many different areas.
Swiping through Israel’s Hottest Startups BY DEVORAH LEWIS
WITH APPS FOR every aspect of life, a push of a button on a mobile device is all it takes for the day to go from mundane to exciting. Quite a few of these apps were made in Israel so it’s no wonder why Israel continues to be known as the “Startup Nation.” A significant number of apps available provide different ways for users to connect with friends. Viber allows users to make calls and message one another internationally. And all of this is free! Viber provides a better solu78 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
tion than other Voice over IP services, like Skype. No need to create a login or password that will inevitably be forgotten or lost. The phone number becomes the account identifier. The app also allows users to contact landlines or non-Viber users at a low rate. Viber also consumes less data than other mobile apps, ultimately saving users money. Similar to staying in contact with friends, there are just as many apps to help users make a love connection and find their bash-
ert. Recently launched in San Francisco, Hashsnap can be considered the dating version of Snapchat. Unlike other dating services where users write and read profiles, Hashsnap users take photos to show off their personalities. Snaps are taken live through the app’s camera. No more profile pics that look nothing like potential partners! Each day users take photos (or even videos) matching a theme, e.g. Lazy Sunday, Best Friends, Upside Down, Fun in the Sun, etc. When two people like each other, a connection is made! Apps also provide solutions to everyday concerns. I have a hard time boarding my pets when I go out of town. Petbnb allows pet owners to search a database and find caretakers for reasonable prices. Everyday a photo of the pet is sent to the pet owners to ease their worries while they are away. There are plans to make the service available in the United States very soon. As residents of Southern California, many of us are no strangers to traffic. Waze has become a popular navigation service for finding the best route. Drivers share traffic and road information to help save each other time and gas money. Another app that helps with outsmarting traffic and also happens to be backed by Waze’s founder is called Moovit. This app helps users navigate public transit and provides live arrival and departure times. Moovit prevents passengers from waiting all day for a ride that may never come. Both apps allow users to connect with friends and earn points, making traveling on the 405 a little more bearable. Apps are all about making connections. Whether it be with friends, potential love interests or just getting from point A to point B—Israel has us covered. A Dvorah Lewis is pursuing her Master’s in Library & Information Science with a specialization in Archival Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Can you hold on a second? I want to post this hug.
AN OLD CURE FOR A NEW PROBLEM The Social Network Paradox BY ADAM CHESTER
“I WISH THIS airplane’s WiFi had a better connection!” Have you ever heard such a statement? The concept of flying 30,000 feet above ground in a 200-ton commercial aircraft engineered to safely transport humans from one continent to another was once an inconceivable feat. Yet, once we look past the phenomenon of masstransit air travel, society searches to find itself unimpressed by something else. Certainly, the majority of air-travelers have also overlooked the marvel of WiFi. Even while flying through the air most don’t give it a second thought. Alternatively, a complaint that the connection lacks desired strength is commonplace. So why do travelers desire WiFi? What drives individuals to stray away from com-
plex issues and instead focus on technology? Perhaps it is a yearning for constant contact to the outside world and not what’s immediately in front of us. Fulfilling the incessant desire for connectivity has led to what some consider the greatest modern day addiction; technological dependency. The addiction to technology is analogous to drug abuse. Any of us are susceptible to addiction, all it takes is a taste. The deeper we delve into our iPhones, the more we attempt to climb out of an abyss of despondency. Ironically, attempting to connect through social networks yet indirectly doing the opposite is an omnipresent paradox. Certainly, a desire for “social connection” is beautiful. Unfortunately, society is losing what genuine human relationships truly entail.
If you spend too much time “connecting,” it’s not an authentic connection. You’re simply acquiring information about somebody, whereas if you’re physically together, or allowing yourself to think about another, that’s a connection. A current issue is Hi-Tech companies’ desire to provide universal WiFi. Though the notion of a city, nation, or universe cloaking themselves with ubiquitous free WiFi and gratuitous data sounds appealing, its potential effects are a lack of human interaction, which may lead to missed opportunities or even withdrawl from reality. Like anything in life, we shouldn’t let technology hijack our ability to function. So how do we discontinue the slippery-slope, or at least temporarily sequester ourselves from it? The answer is simple, and Jews have been doing it for thousands of years; Shabbat. There’s no better way to eradicate dependency issues than alleviating oneself from the burden for an entire day. For some, keeping Shabbat fully isn’t standard practice, and that’s fine! To start, make a conscious effort to disconnect from technology for just an hour. If you experience the peace that can come from this simple action, progress to a greater duration of severance from technology. A true connection to something greater just might emerge! Whether detaching from work related stress, spending time with family and friends, reminiscing or simply living in the moment, Shabbat is undoubtedly a panacea for curing a number of life’s issues. Certainly, technological dependency, though relatively new to the Jewish people, is no different. The need for a break, for a Shabbat, is now more than ever! A Adam Chester graduated from UCSD with a degree in Clinical Psychology and is the NextGen Outreach & Engagement Coordinator at JFFS.
| SEPTEMBER 2015 79
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Israel.
WHO DECIDES WHO IS SAFE? Jewish Law and the Iran Agreement BY RABBI DAVID ELIEZRIE
IT’S THE QUESTION on everyone’s mind. Will the Iran deal push Iran back from the nuclear edge and become a pathway to moderation and the global community? Or, is it a dangerous agreement, a replay of Chamberlain’s tragic deal with Germany that paved the way for war? President Obama says he has Israel’s best interests at heart and hopes that the agreement will nudge Iran towards being a responsible member of the international community. According to Jewish law there is just one vital question, pikuach nefesh-the preservation of life. Will this agreement put Israel and other countries in greater danger or not? Is that danger so acute, that the very existence of the country and the safety of millions are at stake? The essential question is, who makes that assessment? 80 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
According to Jewish law it’s analogous to questions of health. When faced with a major dilemma, whose advice should you follow? Thousands of years of Jewish legal precedent teach that expert medical opinion must be the deciding factor. The doctor, not the rabbi, determines if a patient should eat on Yom Kippur to preserve life. It’s his advice we must follow. So too in issues of security. The views of actual military officers tasked with the difficult challenge of threat assessment and security are the determining factor; those with an intimate understanding of a country’s military capabilities and vulnerabilities. According to Jewish law it’s their evaluation that is critical, we are taught to follow their opinions in issues of life and death.
Who is not qualified to make this evaluation? Politicians who may be motivated by a host of factors, some noble, others not. Or, retired generals or intelligence officials who may not have the up-to-date military knowledge, and today may be politicians or beholden to other interests. Definitely not members of think tanks or media pundits, who may have a multiplicity of agendas. When it comes to Pikuach Nefesh, saving a life, Jewish law takes the conservative approach. We do not put ourselves at risk because of speculation that maybe one day there will be a political transformation that could be game changing. It’s purely a security question, will this agreement put Israel, and for that matter, the United States at greater risk? Is that risk so severe that military experts feel it cannot be mitigated? There are a wide variety of viewpoints in the Jewish community. Some say we should support the president, others the opposite. It’s time to change the conversation. It’s not about politics, but rather the safety and security of eight million Israelis and hundreds of millions of others in the Middle East and beyond. According to Jewish law, the only question is one of pikuach nefesh-saving a life. Only the military experts who are directly responsible for security need to tell us if they feel that this agreement poses a serious danger. It’s clear that Israel’s military leadership believes this agreement is a grave threat. (It would also be enlightening to hear the viewpoints of US military leaders, unfiltered by politicians. It’s clear that Jewish law rules that the agreement should be opposed. A Rabbi Eliezrie is president of the Rabbinical Council of Orange County. His email is email@example.com and author of the upcoming book “The Secret of Chabad”. His website is www.davideliezrie.com.
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Squeezing what the OC has to offer. On June 21, 38 young adults and two JFFS staff departed for this summer’s The OC Way Taglit-Birthright Israel trip. Upon arrival, the group met The OC Way with Gidi Mark, CEO of Birthright
their Israeli tour guide and Cheyne McEwen, Maddy Karp, Sabrina Lochey, Raviv Itzhak, Hadar Alon, Amara Messeret, Jason Schwartz & Guy Assa
six Israeli soldiers who led the group on a 10-day adventure across Israel. The group explored the north, spent Shabbat in Jerusalem, visited JFFS’ partnership city Kiryat Malachi, rode camels in the desert, climbed
Join us for
Allen Kotlyar, Jeremy Sternberg, Keith Binkly, Adam Chester, Blake Joshua & Evan Zepfel Yuval Avni, Nir Arviv, Guy Assa, Leonid Vaisberg, Jason Schwartz, Ron BerShatsky, Lauren Katzen & Sabrina Lockey
Social Hour Sep. 17
relaxed on the beach in Tel Aviv. The OC Way and Hillel of OC both have trips to Israel every summer! If you or someone you
know is 18-26 years old and would like to join a trip in 2016, visit www.JewishOC. org/birthright for more information. The OC Way TaglitBirthright trip is supported by JFFS as part of NextGen programming. For more information about NextGen, visit Noam David & Lauren Katzen
82 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
e o s G l R o e g h
so By fa J e w is h M ille n nial.
The Israel that Doesn’t Make the Media A loud crash erupts on the fourth floor of Dizengoff Center. A display from a bookstore shelf has hit the ground, books everywhere. In the middle of this chaos, it is easy to see the culprit. Two Israelis locked in the warmest embrace I have ever seen. This anecdote, to me, is the perfect example of the Israeli mentality. The focus is on the people, their expression of deep connection and joy for one another. The concept of stopping to pick up the books before giving the embrace due diligence would be out of character. Like the situation with the books, Israelis are surprisingly predictable. I say this with a deeply affectionate tone. For example, I flew here on Turkish Air. I found it to be very comfortable (as best as it can be for that length of a trek). About an hour before the final landing into Tel Aviv, it dawned on me that there would probably be no clapping during the landing. For those of you who may not have flown to Israel, Israelis
clap upon arrival. It always makes me giggle, as if they’re excited the pilot just learned how to execute a proper landing. After all, this plane is a mixed bunch of people from Turkey and all over the world. I was wrong. As the plane touched the ground, the crowd clapped and sang. I never clap, but there is something about the “audience participation” that makes me feel like I have really arrived somewhere far more important than other destinations. I should have known it would happen, even if we came by unicorn. There are some things Israelis do that I always find humorous, Israeli dog walking being at the top of the list. First the dog approaches me. He or she looks semimangy looking, but seems to have a good temperament. I, in all my American social conditioning, get worried for about two
seconds. Why is this dog not on a leash? Why is it relieving itself without its owner? Oh no! Another stray dog appears. Will there be a dogfight? Whew! They passed one another. Then, finally, the “master” comes. The human is wearing the leash across his or her body. Their cell phone fully fixed to their preferred ear and more often than not, a cigarette in the other hand. I am absolutely sure that Israeli dogs have a secret society called “How to train your owner.” The dogs seem to lead with far more authority. Nothing has changed. Israel still has all of its beauty, graffiti and horrible drivers. These things make travelers (me) comfortable; Israel is consistent. However, every time I come here, it makes me learn more about myself. I am now a good judge of shakshuka (you must eat at Benedict in Tel Aviv) and a fan of arak. I have accidently swallowed enough coffee grounds at the bottom of my glass to laugh, spit them out, and make that same mistake the next morning. Israel, once again, has treated me well. A
Israel still has all of its beauty, graffiti and horrible drivers.
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.
| SEPTEMBER 2015 83
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CALENDAR SEPTEMBER 2015
MONDAYS 9:00 AM Gentle Yogalates & Meditation Merage JCC
11:00 AM Various Lecture Topics Ezra AAFC 11:30 AM Drop-in Bridge Merage JCC
10:00 AM News & Views Merage JCC
7:00 PM Drop-in Mah Jongg Merage JCC
10:00 – 11:00 AM What’s Up Bob & Ruth Wilkoff Ezra AAFC 10:00 AM Tai Chi/ Jack Finkelstein Ezra AAFC
WEDNESDAYS 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Learn to Play Mah Jongg 8 Classes Merage JCC
10:30 AM Stretching/ Jerry Steinberg Ezra AAFC
86 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
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 THURSDAYS 9:30 AM Keeping Fit/ Mel Grossman Ezra AAFC 10:30 AM Various Lecture Topics Ezra AAFC FRIDAYS 10:00 AM Men’s Club at the JCC Merage JCC FRIDAY, SEPT. 4 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Nixon Presidential Library and Museum- Bus Trip Merage JCC FRIDAY, SEPT. 9 7:00 – 8:30 PM Our Jewish World Lecture Series Jewish Communities of Mexico W/ Prof. Jacobi Sefami Merage JCC SUNDAY, SEP. 27 10:00 – 11:30 AM Books & Bagels “The Boston Girl” Merage JCC
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 1:30 PM Warren Blatt Presents: What’s New On JewishGen Temple Bat Yahm TUESDAY, SEPT. 30 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM Women’s Connection Lecture Series 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: (949) 423-3746.
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ORANGE COUNTY’S JEWISH HISTORY Isaias Hellman’s Seal Beach Ranch BY DALIA TAFT
BLOGOSPHERE Jlife wants to acknowledge some of the interesting blogs related to the Jewish community. Enjoy!
EIGHT WAYS TO JUMPSTART CHANGE
TOP: Entrance to Hellman Ranch, early 1900s (family unknown). LEFT: Stone marker #3 on Hellman Ranch Trail in Seal Beach.
Fun information to inspire you to make some great changes in your life this New Year. aish.com/h/hh/e/inspiration/
A HIGH HOLIDAY CHALLENGE
ISAIAS WOLF HELLMAN (1842-1920), a leading West Coast Jewish pioneer, is best known as a banker and philanthropist with strong ties to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Less wellknown is the fact that he owned a working ranch in Seal Beach for over 30 years. In 1881, cousins John and Jotham Bixby, along with Hellman, purchased the 26,000-acre Rancho Los Alamitos (now home to Long Beach and Seal Beach). When John died in 1888 and the property was divided among the partners, Hellman received the southern third that is now in Orange County. He built a small ranch house on the land, and he and his family would vacation there during the summer. Known as Hellman Ranch, it was used primarily for cattle ranching and farming. Today a small remnant of the land, known as the Hellman Ranch Wetlands, is preserved in Seal Beach. Located near Gum Grove Park, it contains the Hellman Ranch Trail, a small family-friendly path with stone markers teaching about the history of the area and its indigenous inhabitants. 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 history@ jffs.org or at (949) 435-3484, ext. 167. 88 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
Today Israel faces a relentless assault on its legitimacy as a Jewish and democratic state. But this threat also provides an important opportunity for world Jewry to strengthen its connection with Israel. blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-highholiday-challenge/
WHAT JEW WANNA EAT—THIS AIN’T YOUR BUBBE’S BLOG Meet Amy Kritzer. Her blog is a great source for home-cooked (sometimes) kosher goodness. whatjewwannaeat.com
| SEPTEMBER 2015 89
61 A & B Gefilte Fish 51 AFMDA 15 Albertson’s 85 Allan Silverman 65 Alzheimer’s Family Services Center 33 Amazing Bottle Dancers 25 Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine 81 Benjies 50 Bureau of Jewish Education 59 Blueberry Hill 81 Blue Mountain Realty 36 Bubbe and Zayde’s Place 41 Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP 42 Chai Mission 54 Callahan & Blaine 54 Challah Bake 27 Chapman University (Rodgers Center)
90 SEPTEMBER 2015 |
25 Chapman University (Rodgers Center) 3 Chabad Newport Beach 73 Claytime 23 Congregation Beth Jacob 17 Congregation B’nai Israel 14 Congregation B’nai Tzedek 12 Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot 92 Crews4Kids 84 Don Covel 85 Dr. Blake 85 Dr. Hilary Buff 77 Dr. Ivar Roth 84 Feig Law Firm 33 Four Seasons Resort 54 Friends of Yad Sarah 7 Gelson’s Market 38 Golden Dreidle
81 Gourmet Detective 71 Hadassah 21 Haggens Market 85 Harbor Lawn 9 Heritage Pointe 13 Heritage Pointe 2 Holocaust Museum 47 Israel Bonds 84 Jason Novak Realtor 28 Jewish Community Center 29 Jewish Community Center 4 Jewish Community Foundation 5 Jewish Community Foundation 35 Jewish Federation and Family Services 62 Jewish Federation and Family Services 63 Jewish Federation and Family Services 73 Kaufman, Steinberg LLP
43 Klein Financial 40 L’Dor V’Dor 73 La Mirada Performing Arts 70 Master Construction 42 Outcome Genii 39 Mortensen & Reinheimer PC 40 Nixon Library 11 Ralph’s 55 Renaissance Club Sports 42 Russian School of Mathematics 13 Von’s 19 Segerstrom Center of the Arts 76 Diller Teen 81 Ron Sieger 55 Sherri Primes 42 Soul Mates Unlimited 84 South Coast Repatory Theater
89 Stater Bros. 42 Storybook Mini Gardens 55 Stoddard Group 22 Surf City 65 Swan Pools 67 24 Carrots 6 Temple Bat Yahm 43 Temple Beth David 33 Temple Beth El 10 Temple Beth Emet 10 Temple Beth Tikvah 14 Temple Judea 42 Torah with Liora 91 Tustin Ranch 47 University Synagogue 43 VITAS 15 Wallis Annenberg Center 37 Young Israel 87 Zounds Audio
| SEPTEMBER 2015 91
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ORANGE COUNTY’S JEWISH YOUTH & PARENTS
The High Holidays Are Here
Celebrate This Time With Fun Family Activities
TESHUVA Taking Time for Reflection KOSHER DOG The OC’s Cutest Canines
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 email@example.com 3900 Michelson Drive · Irvine, CA 92612
Call for a tour! (949) 786-5230
a peek inside september 2015
MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO
THE REGGIO EMILIA PHILOSOPHY
Providing role models for children can seem daunting. Leading an authentic life is the first step.
Turn ordinary settings into learning zones. Many of the tools you will need are right under your nose.
also inside! Editor’s Note 06 Super Shabbos 07 High Holiday Quiz 13 Kosher Dog 15 For September Calendar Events please visit: www.ocjewishlife.com
HIGH HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES
This is a great way to get the whole family in on the action and make these High Holidays ones to remember.
During this time of reflection it’s important that we don’t beat ourselves up for making mistakes.
Psychotherapist for Children, Teens, Parents & Families
Inspiring your family to live a happy and healthy life!
Hilary Buff, Psy.D 858.705.1450
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
ell the High Holidays are upon us! What
DIANE BENAROYA (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE)
an exciting time of year. While many in
the U.S. wait until the first of the year to
(SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE)
make their resolutions, we as a Jewish
community get to have the jump on this self-improvement. And it doesn’t just end with us. As the High Holidays are a time for self-refection, many of us also turn our attention to our relationships with our families. How are we doing? Are our family ties as strong as they could be and if not, what can we do to strengthen these bonds? Are we appropriating what little free time we have to our families in the best ways? Well one thing is for certain… we definitely need to. It is our relationships with our family and friends that actually will
EDITORIAL (949) 230-0581
TARMSTRONG24@GMAIL.COM ADVERTISING (949) 812-1891
keep us warm at night. Maybe not physically, but definitely
ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE AND
emotionally and spiritually. After all, what are we without our
KIDDISH IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY
families? So this year, instead of beating yourself up about what you haven’t done, why not focus on what could be done.
ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE, LLC 1 FEDERATION WAY, IRVINE, CA 92603
The opportunities are endless really. Take some time this year to love and appreciate your family in a new way. Pick a new family activity that will help bring you together or even better resurrect an old pastime that may have fallen by the wayside. It’s a new year and a new opportunity to make your family even stronger. What a wonderful time of year and great opportunity to reconnect.
— 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.
Check your answers at: www.thefamousabba.com/JLIFE
• The son of Avraham and Sarah. Father of Yaacov, grandfather of Reuven.
• The son of Avraham and Hagar. Adbeel and Neviot are among my 12 sons.
Can you name the following people?
Share 3 things you are proud of that you did in 5775.
year IN REVIEW
1. ( פרים1:24) 2. ( סגר1:5) 5. ( עיר1:3) 7. ( בכי1:7) DOWN 2. ( נער1:22) 3. ( נדר1:11) 4. ( יין1:14) 6. ( התפלל1:12)
Complete the crossword by translating each Hebrew word into English. Use the reference from the Haftorah of the first day of Rosh Hashanah (I Shmuel 1:1-2:10) for help. ACROSS 6
When you hear the Shofar, remember it is a call to “wake up” and do mitzvahs better.
Zeal. This year, try to pick a few things you can do better. Set a goal and work hard!
GOOD TRAIT OF THE year
T E R S E E R
E Y F A M O U
F R D W O T E
M A E N L U H
O A L L S R R
O S M O O G A
© 2015 The Famous Abba
Brought to you by:
A D E G E W H
R I D H D E R
Find the bold italic words on this sheet. The unused letters spell a hidden message!
HaShem remembered Sarah and she had a son with Avraham just as HaShem promised. Avraham named their son Yitzchak. On the 8th day, Avraham circumcised Yitzchak. Avraham was 100 years old when Yitzchak was born. Yishmael was acting inappropriately, so Sarah told Avraham to have Hagar leave their house with her son, Yishmael. Avraham was upset as Yishmael was also his son, but HaShem told him to listen to Sarah. Hagar left with Yishmael to the desert of Ba’er Sheva. When they ran out of water, Hagar put her son under one of the trees and left him and she started to cry. An angel came and said not to worry, HaShem has heard the cry of the boy. HaShem opened up Hagar’s eyes and a well of water was there. The boy grew up to become an archer. Avraham made a pact of peace with Avimelech and Fichol, his captain, and took an oath at Ba’er Sheva.
כו - טז
ד xק ת
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
One of the sounds we make with the Shofar?
(Hint: The Binding of Yitzchak)
Which one is different? (Hint: Rosh Hashanah)
spot the difference
I was married to Elkanah and am mentioned in a famous story in the book of Shmuel. Many Jewish laws are followed today based on my story at the Mishkan while I davened for a child.
who AM I?
• A cell phone was ringing during Rosh Hashan dinner. • Someone was sitting in your seat in shul.
Can you judge these situations favorably?
YOU BE THE JUDGE
super rosh hashanah sheet 1 TISHREI 5776 ROSH HASHANAH
Monkey See, Monkey Do Providing role models for our children. BY TAMMY KECES, M.A.
on’t raise your
voice...Speak to me
children speaking to you in this way? Our 21st century children are
emotionally perceptive and acutely aware
texting...That’s a mean
that the very same life skills we claim to
face...You are always on your computer
teach our children may be profoundly
when I’m trying to talk to you”.
lacking in the adults in their lives. At this
We hear ourselves as parents
time of self-reflection, we must glance in
speaking these words, but stop and ask
the mirror at how we are functioning as
yourself: how often have you heard your
role models for our children and recognize that the way we act sets the foundation for a lifetime of positive connections, including their relationships with us. Mirror neurons are fascinating brain cells that are activated when one observes another’s behavior as well as when one is enacting the behavior, a physiological basis for “monkey see-monkey do.” When we witness a three-year old perfectly mimic our “schtick,” we quickly realize that the budding comedian either has a future in stand-up or has already started to pick up on our subtle (or not so subtle)
Kids do what they see their parents doing.
idiosyncrasies and mannerisms. Can we really criticize our children for throwing a tantrum when they are tired, frustrated or
Use seemingly mundane tasks to bond with your children.
hungry, when we adults (with our fully-
teenage daughter when I was shocked to
formed prefrontal cortexes) act the same
learn that she had been recording a video
way? As these mirror neurons fire away,
of me that would later be shared with her
we must remember what behaviors we
friends on “snapchat.” Fortunately my
want our children to embody and who is
spirited monologue about surface tension
responsible for modeling them.
on the oil-slicked road and its impact on
Asking thoughtful questions helps us
frictional force was nothing to be ashamed
engage in rich dialogue, exhibit empathy
of, but it did highlight the reality that we are
and problem solve life’s challenges with
constantly being “recorded,” and the files
increased grace and encouragement. Take a moment and ask: • What healthy coping skills do I have? • Do I persevere when faced with obstacles? • Do I have a sense of humor when I make a mistake? • Is technology use interfering with my family relationships? • How can Jewish tradition and celebration positively impact our sense
are not readily deleted after uploading. “Mistakes are opportunities to learn” is our mantra at Irvine Hebrew Day School, and we apply this same principle here, letting this wake-up call propel us to become our best selves. In the 4th chapter of Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Fathers, an honorable person is defined as “someone who shows honor and respect to other people.” In this time of self-reflection and personal improvement we set the stage to grow our souls and our relationships with
of belonging, significance and family
our children to new levels of love, honor
and respect. ✿
Recently, I was driving in my car during a brief moment of rain, seemingly having a normal conversation with my
Tammy Keces M.A. is the principal of Irvine Hebrew Day School and a lead Certified Positive Discipline Trainer.
WE MUST GLANCE IN THE MIRROR AT HOW WE ARE FUNCTIONING AS ROLE MODELS FOR OUR CHILDREN.
The Reggio Emilia Philosophy Turning ordinary settings into extraordinary learning zones. BY LISA MONETTE
A laundry basket and cardboard box can easily become the Spanish Armada.
and curiosities. Train tables topped with acrylic mirrors add fascination. Light tables encourage your child to look at items through different lenses. Canopies can be a pirate ship one day and a cloud the next. Chalkboards and frames on the wall highlight interests and excitement. Bring materials of all kinds into your playroom, not just toys. Elements of nature like rocks and driftwood, tools from various careers such as
a real stethoscope, sensory buckets
he Reggio Emilia teaching
place—and every place—can be a
filled with different materials like
philosophy is the belief that
learning environment. What could
shells and pasta all provide hours
children are highly capable
one look like in your home? It
of imaginative fun. Play scarves and
learners with extraordinary
should be inviting, light-filled, and
silks in the dress-up box may serve as
inborn abilities, potential, strength,
organized, and include materials for
super hero capes today and as hot fire
and creativity. We, as teachers, focus
tinkering and creating things. Learning
pits tomorrow. Rocks could be piled
on the process of learning by leaving
environments are not static, but
into towers or become obstacles on
worksheets behind and surrounding
open-ended, allowing for movement
a road. A tree branch representing a
our kids with opportunities to
of furniture and objects, and
rain forest one day could be used as a
incorporating your child’s interests.
balance beam on another day. Boring,
hypotheses, and analyses. Reggio philosophy views the
When you notice your child is
set-aside materials do little on their
interested in a certain subject, create
own but they can be ANYTHING in
learning environment as the “third
an entire space dedicated to that
the hands of a three-year-old. ✿
teacher,” as it inspires children to
interest. It can be left up for days,
discover and communicate with
weeks and even months. This allows
their surroundings. Of course, any
children to delve deeper into their play
Lisa Monette is the director of the Merage JCC Early Childhood Learning Center and a contributing writer to Kiddish.
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High Holiday Activities Get the whole family in on the action.
CREATE ROSH HASHANAH
your hands to make cards for
CARDS for families and friends.
people in hospitals. You can
You can include the words
use your arms to give someone
have said or done something
a hug. You can use your mouth
that might have hurt one
them a “good year.”
to share ideas with each other
another’s feelings. Make some
about helping the world.
time to talk to your children
MAKE SUGAR COOKIES in the shape of people (use a gingerbread man cutter). Decorate the cookies with
HAVE A FAMILY MEETING and discuss times when you may
in private; say you are sorry,
MAKE A LIST of Rosh Hashanah
tell them you will try to do a
resolutions. You could make a
better job and ask them for their
poster and decorate it–to check
frosting and candy. As you do,
how you are doing throughout
forgiveness. Then give them a
discuss how you can be a good
person using different body parts. For example: You can use your head to think before you
GET THE WHOLE FAMILY TOGETHER to build a sukkah in
DANCE WITH YOUR CHILDREN at a Simchat Torah celebration.
act. You can use your feet to
your backyard. They can make
Many congregations unroll the
walk through the neighborhood
fruit-shaped decorations, paper
entire Torah, and your kids
and pick up trash. You can use
might even get to touch it. ✿
High Holiday Quiz for Kids How well are you prepared?
1. What is the Day of Judgement? A. Rosh Chodesh B. Yom Kippur C. Rosh Hashanah
2. One of the main ideas of Rosh Hashanah is that: A. G-d is our king B. G-d took us through the Red Sea C. G-d performed miracles
3. We eat honey on Rosh Hashanah because:
A. We want to give business to the bee-keepers B. We hope G-d will grant us a sweet new year C. It’s health
A. 10 Days of Prayer B. 10 Days of Charity C. 10 Days of Repentance
10. Grown-ups fast on Yom Kippur because:
A. They have to diet at least once a year B. It is a Biblical commandment C. There aren’t any good recipe books for Yom Kippur
A. Tekia, Truah, Shevarim B. Tefilah, Torah, Sefarim C. Tequilla, Brew-a, Collada
8. The ceremony of symbolically throwing our sins into a body of water is called:
A. We hope G-d will keep us ahead of other nations B. Jews like to go fishing C. It tastes better than the tail
7. A 8. C
9. C 10. B
A. Rosh Hashanah B. Passover C. Tisha B’av
7. What are the names of the sounds the shofar makes?
4. On Rosh Hashanah we eat the head of a fish because:
A. Bedikat Chametz B. Neilah C. Tashlich
6. Bitter herbs are eaten on:
5. C 6. B
3. B 4. A
A. Kislev B. Tishrei C. Elul
9. The 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called:
1. C 2. A
5. During which month do we blow the shofar just about every day?
Teshuva Learning from our mistakes. BY SUE PENN, M. ED.
It’s what we learn from our mistakes that really gives us character.
to acknowledge our sins, to repent and to forgive. This powerful act allows us to move forward with our lives and is an empowering concept to teach and model to our children. Rabbi David Blumenthal, a Professor of Judaic Studies at Emory University speaks of five elements when making teshuva: the recognition of your sins; the remorse you feel for committing them; the desisting from sin; making restitution for your sins; and confessing
s we grow through life, we
them. Unfortunately, we often get stuck
What a liberating gift to give our
continue to learn from our
having behaved badly, encountering the
children! We can teach and model
experiences, our interactions
consequences of our actions, internalizing
moving beyond bad behavior and
with others, our teachers
the guilt and punishing ourselves. This is
mistakes, learning from the past. We can
and our families. None of us know all
a self destructive pattern that can hold
empower them to know that it is possible
we need to, we all make mistakes, do the
us back. In fact, it can lead to further
to do better in the future and to leave
wrong thing, follow the wrong path or
bad behavior or less-than-rational
the past behind them. Each year is brand
make a ‘not so good decision’ at some
decision making, resulting in even worse
new, filled with possibility and hope……….
point of our lives. The wonderful thing is
consequences and sometimes becoming
wishing you all a Shana Tovah and a very
that we are allowed to, we can face the
a downward spiral.
happy and healthy 5776. ✿
consequences, brush ourselves off and
As adults we know that in order to
commit to making better decisions the
learn from an experience, we need to
next time and move forward. That results
admit and acknowledge our less-than-
in learning, growing from experience and
perfect behavior. This is the time of year
becoming a more rounded person.
that we are required to make teshuva—
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.
kosher dog MEET SEPTEMBER’S WINNER, OUR TOP DAWG!
his is Charlie Chan an 8-year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi. He is our beloved “Kosher Dog.” However, when he is dressed up in costumes, he can be a real “Ham!” Charlie has won top awards in costume contests held at numerous Corgi meetups throughout Southern California. Wherever we go, Charlie always attracts attention & makes everyone smile! He also enjoys walking along the Upper Back Bay trails in Newport Beach near our house. Charlie is the love of our lives! Please visit his website at corgiwalk. blogspot.com. Shalom!
— JoLyn & Max Yamada
Be our next winner! Our pets are definitely part of our families, and here at Kiddish magazine we want to know what your four-legged friends are up to. Please send a picture of your pooch to email@example.com and tell us what they love to do in our wonderful Orange County neighborhood (a picture at the location is even better). Pictures of kitties are welcome too! We’ll pick a winner each month and put their picture in the magazine.
We would look great on your coffee table.
Februar y 2015 Shevat/A dar 577 5
Tzedak ah Not Cha rity From Law to a Cul tura Characteri l stic Changing World Onethe Page at a JFFS’ Rea Time ding Partners Program
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