November 2015 Cheshvan/Kislev 5775
Dennis Ross Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.窶的srael Relationship from Truman to Obama
In Our Own Back Yard Fighting Domestic Violence With Tanya Brown Jews of Many Colors An Amalgam of Cultures T KIDS? GO
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JLIFE | Cheshvan/Kislev 5775 | NOVEMBER 2015
Israel Scene Loud & Clear
Building the Multicultural Jewish Future
Israel’s Jews Come From Over 70 Countries
Hearing & Listening
On The Lighter Side
What Does A Jew Look Like?
A History You May Not Know
Coaching for Peace
Fresh Orange Jews
O.C.’s Fresh Faces
An Amalgam of Cultures
Orange County’s Jewish History & The Blogosphere
Jews of Many Colors
A Conversation with Rabbi Artson
IN EVERY ISSUE
The Man Who Moved a Movement
What’s in A Name?
In Our Own Back Yard Fighting Domestic Violence With Tanya Brown
First & Foremost
Letters/Who Knew Words From Our Readers
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
News & Jews
O.C. Jewish Scene
And Give the Gift of Love
OC Jewish Arts Festival
Fitness, Education & More
The Best of the Best: Jewish Films
Look inside for Kiddish, our insert publication, right after page 32.
With Judy Bart Kancigor
Out & About
A Guide to OC Fun
Crossword Heaven Bound
The Mizrahi Jews of Iraq Thousands of Years of History in Our Own Backyard Page 48
28 On the Cover Dennis Ross Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama
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Mussar Class JEWISH SELF-IMPROVEMENT Mussar - “Jewish spiritual ethics” has been practiced for centuries by people who sought to cultivate and strengthen the qualities of their inner mensch. Learn what Jewish tradition teaches about the traits of humility, gratitude, equanimity, patience, order and honor, among others - and discover how you can improve these qualities in your own life. The course starts with an orientation session on November 14, 2015 at noon and then will meet once a month.
OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY RSVP to Temple Beth Tikvah (714) 871-3535 or email@example.com by November 7 to assure materials are available. Students should purchase “Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar” by Alan Morinis. Temple Beth Tikvah 1600 N. Acacia Avenue Fullerton, CA 92831 www.tbtoc.org
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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 CONTRIBUTING EDITOR | TANYA SCHWIED CONTRIBUTING EDITOR | PERRY FEIN FOOD EDITOR | JUDY BART KANCIGOR EDITORIAL INTERN | HANNAH SCHOENBAUM CREATIVE DIRECTOR | RACHEL BELLINSKY PHOTOGRAPHER | CHARLES WEINBERG CONTRIBUTING WRITERS MARTIN BROWER, MERAV CEREN, ADAM CHESTER, FLORENCE L DANN, ROBIN DAVIS, PH. D., RABBI DAVID ELIEZRIE, HARRIETTE ELLIS, JUDY FLORMAN, STEFANEE FREEDMAN, LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D., EVE GUMPEL, CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, DVORAH LEWIS, CARINE NADEL, PAMELA PRICE, NAOMI RAGEN, MAYRAV SAAR, RACHEL SCHIFF, TANYA SCHWIED, ANDREA SIMANTOV, DALIA TAFT, TEDDY WEINBERGER COPYEDITOR JOSH NAMM CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS/ARTISTS RACHEL BELLINSKY, ALLEN BEREZOVSKY, PEPE FAINBERG, JANET LAWRENCE ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES DIANE BENAROYA (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) MARTIN STEIN (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) EDITORIAL (949) 230-0581 (TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY) OR (949) 734-5074 EDITORJLIFE@GMAIL.COM ADVERTISING (949) 812-1891, MODY.GORSKY@GMAIL.COM CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS MODY.GORSKY@GMAIL.COM, (949) 734-5074 ART ART@OCJEWISHLIFE.COM JLIFE IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE, LLC 1 FEDERATION WAY, IRVINE, CA 92603
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12 NOVEMBER 2015 |
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FIRST & FOREMOST
DENOMINATIONS! What’s in a Name? BY FLORENCE L. DANN
THIS MONTH’S ISSUE addresses cultural diversity—a term we have all become very familiar with in this era of social awareness. But what about Jewish diversity, and how tolerant are we of that? Several years ago, I was representing a Reconstructionist congregation at the Israeli Fair, when someone approached me and said, “Oh, you’re the ones who don’t believe in G-d.” This was not a question; it was an assumption. He further declared that Orthodoxy was the only true and valid Judaism. (I must add here, that not everyone who considers him/herself halachically observant expresses that sentiment. Point of fact, Dr. Tamar Frankiel, a traditionally observant Jew is the first woman President of the trans-denominational seminary I attend.) Traditionally, though, Orthodox Judaism has held that both Conservative and Reform Judaism have made major and unjustifiable breaks with historic Judaism. While it does not recognize Reform and Conservative as valid expressions of Judaism, it does recognize Jews affiliated with these movements as full-fledged Jews–well, aside from those whose Judaism is of patrilineal descent and/or were converted under Conservative or Reform auspices. However, that is changing even within some areas of the Orthodoxy. According to Dr. Steven M. Cohen, Research Professor of Jewish Social Policy at Hebrew Union College in New York, a large number of Jews prefer to identify themselves as “post-denominational” or non-denominational. They are tired of being boxed into these categories. The overwhelming majority of people don’t even know what they mean. Instead, they are yearning for a real connection that has real life application. Rabbi Mendel Teldon, who received smicha from Chabad, is from Long Island, New York, and who would be considered “Orthodox” 16 NOVEMBER 2015 |
“The most important thing about us all is that we share one and the same Torah,” — Rabbi Teldon
wrote in the Jewish Week the following: “I am not Orthodox since there is no such thing as an Orthodox Jew just as there is no such thing as a Reform Jew or Conservative Jew.” He asserts that there are levels of halachic (Jewish Law) observance, and that “…these terms are artificial lines dividing Jews into classes and sub-classes. The most important thing about us all,” he adds, “is that we share one and the same Torah….” But we share a cultural and historical heritage as well. Some might accept these labels for a number of reasons: social, financial, communal, political or even emotional. But they are all just labels. They don’t define us as a people, and they won’t help us plan for our future. Most significantly, they don’t explain what it is that has kept us alive and strong for three and
Model synagogue Model synagogue Tzedakah boxes. Tzedakah boxes. The Sarajevo haggadah
half millennia. “These labels are more about tearing us apart than furthering Judaism.” In his book, “A Jewish Code of Ethics,” Rabbi Joseph Telushkin claims in the very first line: “This book has a simple thesis: G-d’s central demand of human beings is to act ethically.” If that is, as I believe, one of the essential pillars of our tradition, then it certainly suggests we treat and view our fellow Jews with the same respect we seek from others; whatever synagogue we do or don’t pray at; wherever we were born; whatever our lineage; and however halachic our practice might be. We are all Jews! A
Florence L. Dann, a fifth year rabbinical student at the Academy for Jewish Religion in LA has been a contributing writer to Jlife since 2004.
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BULLETS & BAGELS? Dear Jlife, In a recent issue, your News & Jews page features Temple Beth Shalom’s Return & Renewal, A Musical Evening at Laguna Woods and news from Mandel House’s Kitchen. Above Taglit-Birthright information is Bullets & Bagels. You’ve got to be kidding. How wrong can this be? Very. This Corona gun club’s news does not belong in your magazine. It’s a shanda to mix guns with admirable Jewish activities. Plus, this club is not in Orange County. Please tell me that this was a mistake and not a well thought out decision. Yours, Rhea Dorn, Costa Mesa, CA
Dear Rhea, Thanks for contacting us in reference to the Bullets & Bagels item. We receive numerous items every month for News and Jews. This club happens to be formed of Jewish people (more than 75%) and many are from the O.C.. You and I might be for gun control, or might have different views on their activities. Nevertheless, they are not participating in any criminal activities and we, as a magazine, cannot and will not, disregard news items just because we happen to disagree with their content. Just as an example, we had many emails accusing us of being too right wing in our coverage. Others complained we are too liberal. What are we? Neither. We’re just placing relevant news and activities out there for the whole community to pick and choose from. Since Bullets & Bagels is a Jewish club, we considered it a relevant activity, regardless of what our views may be. Please feel free to contact us at any time to discuss further. We hope you continue enjoying Jlife magazine. — Ed.
We welcome your letters! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback. 18 NOVEMBER 2015 |
PHOTO BY ZACH DALIN
Kvetch & Kvell
Who Knew? Actor James Franco celebrated his bar mitzvah at the age of 37. The Oct. 3 ceremony included the actor wearing a tallit, or prayer shawl, and chanting from the Torah. Franco, whose mother is Jewish, posted a photo on Instagram with a message: “I am now a MAN! Got Bar Mitzvahed tonight!!! Finally!” Franco’s message included an invitation to the Hilarity for Charity variety show at the Hollywood Palladium on Oct. 17 to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s disease. The show is being sponsored by actor Seth Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller Rogen. The couple set up the foundation in 2012 after watching Lauren’s mother deteriorate over the years after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at age 55. Seth Rogen announced Franco’s bar mitzvah for the charity event in July, but Rogen told the culture website Vulture, “The rabbi wouldn’t do it on the actual event, so he did it last night at our friend’s house and we filmed it and we’ll show it at our fundraiser.” Mazel Tov James!
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| NOVEMBER 2015 19
Israel Scene | BY ANDREA SIMANTOV
Loud & Clear
AS A MOTHER OF SIX CHILDREN MYSELF, I’VE ALWAYS PLACED GREAT STOCK IN THE VALUE OF QUIET TIME. 20 NOVEMBER 2015 |
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I worked as an executive administrator in a facility that provided therapies and respite for children with special needs and their families. Because my areas of expertise are in development and public relations, interaction with both therapists and their charges remained primarily on a “need to know’’ basis. Early in my tenure, I escorted a tour group through the building and, as was typical preference, we spent extra time in the toddler nursery. It was a beautifully colored, well-appointed play space; topof-the-line. Several visitors knelt on the colored mats to play with the babies, most of whom had Down syndrome. Large video screens played the best of educational children’s television and on the CD players were toddler tunes in Hebrew and English. I made a note-to-self to alert the upstairs office that it was too damn NOISY downstairs! As a mother of six children myself, I’ve always placed great stock in the value of quiet time and the need for children to have an opportunity to think and consider the unfolding events of their lives. After presenting my concern, I was invited to meet with the therapy staff who shared with me some of the prevalent characteristics of Down syndrome toddlers including easygoing countenances. Most of the children, it was explained, were later-born siblings in large families that frequently boasted seven or more children. And in a bustling household, a quiet, undemanding baby can seem like a dream-come-true for an often-harried mom. “Noise and activities are powerful teaching tools, Andrea,” explained the Director of Occupational Therapy. “They stimulate learning. At home they appear content and mommy isn’t always running over to pick them up or keep them entertained. It is our job to trigger brain and social development. Don’t let the noise get to you; every moment is a learning opportunity.” Enlightened and chastised now, I’ve been thinking a lot about both the quiet and noise of Jerusalem as juxtaposed to the quiet and noise of Johannesburg, where three of my daughters live. I just returned from a month there. Jlife
DRAWING BY PEPE FAINBERG
Every moment is a learning opportunity.
Israelis are loud, both in good spirits and bad and often seem to be fighting. The streets of Jerusalem blare with the sounds of shouting shuk vendors, schoolchildren, street musicians and car horns that wage competitive noise battles with military helicopters, ambulance sirens and alarms of varying urgency. If noise is an educational tool than Jerusalemites must be unrivaled geniuses. There is an eerie daytime silence in the streets of my daughters’ Johannesburg neighborhoods. Parents speak quietly, using reason and personal example to guide their well-behaved children on their respective paths toward adulthood. Neighbors are separated from neighbors with foot-thick walls and electric fences: barriers that also divide potential playmates who are, instead, ceremoniously brought together for supervised play-dates or swimming lessons. The silence of the night is occasionally punctuated with the tripping of a house alarm or barking watchdogs. When I visit, however, I don’t really notice the breaks in the calm. Johannesburg noise is child’s play when compared to the cacophony called “Jerusalem.” 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Lighter Side | BY MAYRAV SAAR
Hearing & Listening The joys of multi-tasking.
SO DESPITE MY AVERSION TO TAKING KIDS TO SYNAGOGUE, I GATHERED MY STRENGTH AND A WHOLE LOTTA SNACKS.
FOR ALL MY talk of teaching my kids the importance of their faith, and for all the stress I place upon them to understand the significance of each of the (oh, my Lord, how many!) holidays, I actually don’t like taking my kids to shul. They’re noisy. They’re messy. They have no idea that pews aren’t trampolines, and there is something about the sanctuary that inflicts upon them a selective deafness to my (oh, my Lord, how many!) pleas to sit down and play quietly with the WikiStix and Model Magic and snacks and other diversions. Please. Seriously. Sit. Down. There is no kavanah when you take a child to pray with you. There is no prayer. There is just your incompetence as a parent on public display in the form of a 2-year-old trying to remove her clothing in the aisles. I spend most of any service I attend in the synagogue’s playroom. Away from the prayer, and away from the whole point of my having gotten out of the house in the first place. But on a recent Saturday, I was determined not take them to the playroom. On a recent Saturday, while hubby coached Zev’s soccer game, I took our youngest ones to hear the name of my father being read for his yarhzeit. Reading of names of people on the anniversary of their death is not meaningful to some, but to me, it is unbelievably sacred. In reciting the names of people who died, we protect them against the thing we fear most— to be forgotten. Twenty years have passed since my father’s death. I have not forgotten. So despite my aversion to taking kids to synagogue, I gathered my strength and a whole lotta snacks and took my rambunctious lot to hear the name of their grandfather. To remember him, even though they’ll never meet him. Things went horribly. My kids rushed the bimah, played incessantly with the clanging retractable seats and protested, loudly, about the choice of snacks I had provided. By the time my dad’s name was read, I had banished them to the
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playroom with another adult. My kids never heard his name. I felt terrible. Why can’t I redirect my kids with calm? Why do the best of my intentions always seem to fail? They returned later to the service and I vowed to be more present. The 4-year-old seemed to sense the change. He opened a Siddur and in an act of parroting the adults around him, stood and pretended to pray. He looks so much like my father, it pains me sometimes. Today the resemblance couldn’t have been more of a gift. I leaned to kiss him and saw the siddur was randomly opened to the Mourner’s Kaddish. I took it as a sign (maybe from my father?) that though my son hadn’t heard my dad’s name, he understood the importance of the day. He hadn’t heard, but he had listened. A Mayrav Saar is a writer based in Los Angeles.
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Israeli Guy | BY TEDDY WEINBERGER
Coaching for Peace The universal playing field.
MY DAUGHTER REBECCA (26) is a professional basketball player in Israel and is also a much sought-after coach. She is in her second year coaching for PeacePlayers International; below are her reflections on the experience.
WHEN I SEE MY YOUNG ARAB PLAYERS GET ALONG SO WELL WITH MY JEWISH PLAYERS, IT GIVES ME HOPE AND FILLS MY HEART WITH HAPPINESS. 26 NOVEMBER 2015 |
In August 2014, I moved back to Jerusalem to play on the city’s professional women’s team. My basketball career has always included coaching as well as playing so I accepted a position to coach the 9th-10th grade girls team that is part of the same club as my professional team. I had heard that the girls team had Arabs on it, but that fact didn’t really register with me until my first practices with the team (when I heard the Arab girls speaking Arabic with each other). From practice to practice, and without even noticing it, I found myself thinking a lot about my Arab players because they are simply great girls. They are girls who just want to play ball and have a fair shot at success in life, and yet who were born in a very complicated place that doesn’t see them as human beings and doesn’t give them a real chance to succeed. The integrity of our team was tested on November 18 when, early in the morning, four people were killed in a terror attack at a synagogue that was about an 8-minute drive from the gym where we practice. As a religious Jew I was shocked and hurt when I first heard about the attack, but when I showed up to practice later that day, everything was normal. By then everyone knew all of the details of what had happened, but I didn’t mention the attack—I decided to leave all of the politics off the court. The girls practiced normally; they smiled and enjoyed as usual. After that practice I understood that even though we live in “war,” we can still make a difference through the small things. Peace is a very big word, but I believe that until we have peace, we need to learn how to live together and get along. When I see my young Arab players get along so well with my Jewish players, it gives me hope and fills my heart with happiness. Almost every kid loves sports, and sports are an amazing way to bring all the different peoples, cultures and religions together. A decade ago I would never have imagined myself Jlife
studying Arabic, and yet that is what I am now doing. The author of my Arabic textbook (a 90-year-old French monk named Yohanan Elihai who has lived in Israel since 1956), writes that “language is the key to the heart.” My heart was opened by my Arab players and so it feels natural for me to want to learn how to communicate with them in Arabic. I guess when you come from love, and basketball is my love, anything is possible. Play ball. Ela’ab eltaba. A Teddy Weinberger, Ph.D., is Director of Development for a consulting company called Meaningful. He made aliyah with his family in 1997 from Miami, where he was an assistant professor of religious studies. Teddy and his wife, Sarah Jane Ross, have five children.
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Dennis Ross Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel relationship from Truman to Obama BY TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY
life magazine was honored to have the opportunity to interview Ambassador Dennis Ross before his upcoming appearance at Merage JCC on November 22. Ambassador Ross is an American diplomat and author. Throughout his distinguished career he has served as the Director of Policy Planning in the State Department under President George H. W. Bush, the special Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton, and was a special advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia (which includes Iran) to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He is the author of several books on American Foreign Policy in the Middle East and is currently lecturing on his most recent book “Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama.”
CONCEPT BY TARA BERGER · PHOTO BY RACHEL BELLINSKY
What was your childhood like (in regards to your upbringing with a Jewish mother and Catholic stepfather)? I was raised in a completely nonreligious household. I was aware of a Jewish affinity, but not in any real deep sense if you will.
I’ve read that you were inspired to study Judaism after the Six Day War. What was it specifically about that war that inspired you? I wouldn’t say that the war inspired me to study Judaism. However, after the Six Day War I became much more interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict than I had been. My own sense of Jewish identity became stronger later on. It became stronger first when I married my wife (we married young). She came from
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a family that was much more observant and conservative and she was much more steeped in Judaism than I was. That built a level of interest on my part and obviously when we had kids we joined a shul. My rabbi, Rabbi Jonathan Maltzman, always gave such good, thought-provoking D’var Torah that I actually began to become a regular shul-goer on Saturday mornings. That had a profound effect on me. You’ve written many books about America and its relationship with the Middle East. Can you tell us about your new book “Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.– Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama?” Well, it’s a book that tells a story of the U.S-Israeli relationship in a way that has never really been told before. I look at every administration from Truman to Obama and outline not only the Presidents’ mindsets, but also what the key issues and debates were during that time. What were the key assumptions that drove policy? I offer an insight into lessons that should have been learned, lessons that should still guide us today and haven’t always guided us in our foreign policy towards Israel and the Middle East. In regard to the 2000 Camp David Summit, do you have any opinion on why the talks broke down and no agreement was able to be made at that time? Well, I do and I’ve written and spoken about it. I don’t believe that Yasser Arafat was capable of ending the conflict. In
the end, the essence of what we were trying to do was to end the conflict. For him, to end the conflict meant the end of his identity because he himself became so consumed with the struggle. The struggle began to define him. He was willing to do limited agreements. He was willing to do interim agreements, but in the end the conflict meant he had to end his claims. He had to, in effect, make it clear the struggle was over and that was simply something that he couldn’t do. How do you feel about the conflict today and what do you think of a two-state solution? Well, I think the two-state solution is necessary simply because demographics at some point would turn Israel into a bi-national state. The essence of Zionism was to build a Jewish democratic state so I think you need a two-state outcome to produce that. The problem is… I don’t think Palestinians—at this point—are capable of negotiating such an outcome. I think you need to find a way to preserve it for Israel’s interests. I think you need to find a way to create a potential for separation. And I think you need to figure out a way to ensure that Israel doesn’t lose is Jewish and democratic character. How do you feel about the Obama
Administration’s approach to foreign relations in the Middle East? Well, I think at this point there are a lot of questions about it. It’s not clear what the essence of his strategy is. On the one hand, I think he wants to find ways to reduce the level of conflict in the region, but he doesn’t have a clear approach to ISIS... particularly in Syria. If you’re really going to be able to defeat ISIS you have to be able to gain Sunni support because we can’t discredit ISIS only Sunnis can. If we’re lobbying ISIS on the one hand, but we’re not prepared to ever act against the Assad regime particularly at a time now when Russia is doing more to try and cement the Assad regime…the problem is that basically most of the opposition to it is that we would want to fight ISIS and their priority is to fight Assad. If you’re not prepared to really have a strategy against Assad then in a sense you risk the danger that ISIS will be seen as the protector of the Sunnis. If they’re able to be seen as the protector of the Sunnis then you won’t have the Sunni tribes join with you. You have the Sunni states that feel particularly threatened by ISIS; they are going to be reluctant to focus and to do a lot to support your efforts. And so I think unless you have a strategy against ISIS that is also designed to have a credible strategy against Assad, which we don’t have today… you’re going to find that it’s very difficult to succeed against ISIS. (In regard to the Iran Nuclear Deal) Having done the nuclear deal with the Iranians doesn’t mean that you’re a partner with the Iranians, but you have to be prepared to compete more with the Iranians and the rest of the region. Otherwise, again, the Sunnis and your traditional friends in the region will be highly suspicious of you. In my book, one of the key things that comes through is that the Arab states are far less concerned with our relationship with Israel and are far more concerned with the question of “Are we reliable when it comes to the threats that matter to them?” Now, I think today… they don’t perceive us as being reliable when it comes to the threats that pertain to them. Do you feel there will be changes to foreign policy, specifically in the Middle East, with the impending change of administrations? Well, I do think there will be a change with the
next administration. I think that the new administration (whoever it is) will want to signal early on that its relationship with our more traditional friends in the region—even if some of those friends have their own sets of problems—I think there will be a desire to sort of demonstrate that the relationships that we’re going to want to strengthen reflect the traditional ties that we’ve had: at least with some of the key Arab states. I think there will be a stronger desire to also show that there are no real gaps between us and the Israelis (at least in terms of strategic orientation in the region). So I do think that whoever is elected will be doing
more to create a perception that the United States is standing by its friends. Whether it’s fair or not, the Obama administration would certainly say that it stands by its friends, but that is not the perception in the region. I think any new administration will probably want to demonstrate that it is reliable when it comes to supporting its friends in the region and signal at least some difference even if it’s more psychological than real. How do you feel about the Iran Nuclear Deal? Well, I was very public about being “undecided.” I was undecided not because I didn’t think there were good elements in it. It bought 15 years for real, because for 15 years it blocks the pathway towards an
enriched bomb based on uranium enrichment. It blocks the pathway towards a plutonium separation bomb; it blocks a pathway towards a covert path to a bomb because of the supply chain. The supply chain is key to being able to divert materials for a covert program. The whole supply chain meaning the mining of uranium, the milling of uranium into yellowcake, the conversion of yellowcake into UF6 gas—which is then fed into the centrifuges and purified—each of those steps in that supply chain are monitored on a 24/7 basis. So you can have a high level of confidence that for 15 years you won’t have a nuclear bomb. The problem is, is that after 15 years there are no limitations on Iran. Iran can build as large of a nuclear infrastructure as it wants. It will be able to dramatically increase its output of enriched material because five new models of centrifuges will start being installed in year 10 of this agreement. The output is still limited to less than one bomb’s worth of material for 15 years. So it’s 15 years that you really are blocking the pathway, but after 15 years the Iranians are in a position where the gap between where they are and what it would take to produce a weapon is very small. So I was very uneasy about that and I felt the administration needed to do more to establish credible deterrents. They needed to do much more to convince the Iranians that if they even thought about moving towards a weapon… at that point it wouldn’t be sanctions that would be imposed. It would be the use of force. So I was undecided because I didn’t feel enough was done—at least on that side of the agreement—to bolster deterrence and to make it clear that after 15 years the price to the Iranians of moving towards a weapon would be the use of force. That’s why I was “undecided.” Hilary Clinton is scheduled (at time of press) to testify before Congress about Benghazi in October. Do you have any predictions on how that will affect her campaign? You know… I don’t think that Benghazi is an issue that is being looked at the right way. The issue of Benghazi has more to do with, “Can you have a diplomatic outpost where you don’t have a reliable authority that provides you security?” We have a Marine presence in embassies—that isn’t the key to security in those embassies. The key to the security in our Jlife
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embassies has much more to do with, “Does ended up having a very close relationship with the local government provide security or not?” him. I was very close to George H. W. Bush And I think the issue of Benghazi was, “Can in his administration just given the characit be a diplomatic outpost given the fact that ter of the position that I held. Those were presidents that looked you really didn’t have at how you approached an authority that was national security quescapable of providing “I think you need tions and they looked security?” I mean, that’s at you through a profesthe question that needs to figure out a sional lens, not through to be looked at for the way to ensure a political lens. I hope future… the discussion that Israel doesn’t that, that kind of realthat the administration lose its Jewish ity can reemerge. I was somehow asleep is often joke that having just, I’m afraid… it’s and democratic held high-level posithe wrong question character.” tions in Republican and that’s being looked at. Democratic administraI would like to see the tions… I feel like today right question looked at and I don’t see it as having much of an effect I would be an extinct species. I think we need to return to a time when your own political on her campaign. identity is less important than what you can What do you think of the race for bring to the table as someone who knows the Republican nod? I think it’s wide foreign-policy issues and can work on them. open. I think it’s very hard at this point to determine what’s going to happen. You have Well as part of that question, you a very large number of candidates and, I have have a very accomplished career a hard time believing that in the end someone and have been involved in quite a like Trump (who really doesn’t have a policy few world events… do you have a and doesn’t spell out any policy) is ultimately particular moment that you’re most going to succeed unless he becomes a whole proud of? There’s no particular moment lot clearer on what he would actually do as our that stands out for me as the one that I’m president. Somehow I suspect that will change. most proud of. More than anything else, I I think we’ll see a different front runner, but I feel privileged that I was in a position where think it’s very unclear at this point what’s going I could work on a lot of different issues that matter to me. Obviously Arab-Israeli issues to happen. matter to me… I have a passion for that, but You are a Democrat that has there are other issues that I view, like attending held important positions both the ceremony at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. in Democratic and Republican I think that was a very moving moment. Also, I went into Kuwait one week after the Administrations. What challenges did you face in both instances? Well, war ended in 1991 and that was an extraordiin the past I think that the climate in the nary moment. We flew in over all the fires that administrations was different. The focus was Saddam had set as he was leaving Kuwait. So much more on your expertise and who you you know I’ve had moments that were extraorwere in terms of what you could do on nation- dinary. Those are the things that stand out to al security issues then your political affiliation. me more than anything else. I’ve had high So obviously when I was asked to stay on in moments and I’ve had and low moments. The the Clinton administration after having held worst moment of my career was the assassinasuch a high level position in the George H. tion of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. W. Bush administration… in the early period there were often times when I would walk into What are the top three milestones rooms and there was kind of a whispering of, of your life to date? I think they’re much more personal than they are professional. My “Look who just walked in?” You Know? But… you prove yourself over time and, marriage, my first kids, my first grandkids… in the end, I felt very comfortable. I was Bill those are the things that stand out to me. Clinton’s negotiator on the Middle East and I 30 NOVEMBER 2015 |
You currently serve on the advisory board for the DC-based non-profit America Abroad Media. Can you tell me more about that? It’s a very interesting organization. At a time when the perception of the United States internationally obviously is not what one would like it to be… this is a chance to basically introduce different forms of American media into places in the Middle East. Places that are hearing differently about America. Now with the work of this organization they are hearing stories that are more credible. We are introducing fact-based reporting on issues as opposed to sensationalized reporting. That is, in fact, what the organization does and I think it’s an important thing to do. Jlife: What is your favorite thing to do in Orange County? Well, it used to be Disneyland. I don’t know what my favorite thing to do in Orange County would be now. It was Disneyland because I used to take my kids. It will probably be again one day though, my grandkids, who are just under two and four, they are getting to that point! A Tracey Armstrong Gorsky is a contributing writer to Jlife magazine.
AMBASSADOR DENNIS ROSS LECTURE November 22, 2015 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Merage JCC One Federation Way Irvine, CA Ambassador Dennis Ross will discuss his latest book “Doomed to Succeed: The US–Israeli Relationship from Truman to Obama.” Books will be available for purchase and for autographing. Cost is $32. For more info please contact Aliza Sable at (949) 435-3400 or email@example.com.
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JEWS OF MANY COLORS An Amalgam of Cultures BY FLORENCE L. DANN
WHEN MOST AMERICAN Jews think of their traditional Jewish culture, they think of Passover Seders and matzah ball soup, hamentashen and black-hatted, pale-skinned Hasidic men, and Yiddish-speaking bubbes (grandmothers) and zeydes (grandfathers). But, that is only one Jewish ethnic group of many. In the early 1990’s, a representative from Operation Solomon spoke at our synagogue. Operation Solomon was a covert Israeli military operation to airlift Ethiopian Jews to Israel in 1991. Non-stop flights of 35 Israeli aircraft transported 14,325 Ethiopian Jews to Israel in 36 hours. The representative spoke of the first time he entered the synagogue of one of these villages and how amazed he was. They were reading the same Torah parsha that was being read by Jews all over the world. For probably two thousand years, they maintained the traditions of their forefathers. It was perhaps the dream of Ethiopian Jewry to return to the Land of Israel that sustained them throughout the years. Their dream began to be realized in 1975 when the Chief Rabbinate of Israel recognized them as Jews, and two years later when the Israeli government decided to bring them to Israel in what was named Operation Moses. It was a clandestine operation organized to bring as many Ethiopian Jews as possible to Israel. Later, when the Ethiopian government banned Ethiopian Jews from leaving the country, Operation Solomon was organized. A long, in many respects hidden, group of Jews had now joined the international Jewish community. While the Jewish community is united 32 NOVEMBER 2015 |
because of shared history, rituals, and laws, as Rabbi Rachel M. Solomin points out, “the divergent histories of Jewish communities and their contacts with other cultural influences distinguish Jewish ethnic groups from one another, giving each a unique way of being Jewish. Worldwide, Jews from distinct geographic regions vary greatly in their diet, language, dress, and folk customs.” She further states that “most pre-modern Diaspora communities are categorized into three major ethnic groups: Ashkenazim, the Jews of Germany and Northern France (in Hebrew, Ashkenaz); Sephardim, the Jews of Iberia (in Hebrew, Sephardi) and the Spanish diaspora; and· Mizrahim, or Oriental Jews.” But those categories are general at best. From our very beginnings, we Jews were a blend of different groups. Ephraim Isaac,
Ph.D., the Ethiopian-born director of the Institute of Semitic Studies in Princeton, New Jersey, explains: “Over two thousand years ago, the Jews were an ethnic group, but even then not a “perfect” one. Since then, Jews have intermingled with many nations and absorbed many proselytes. The ancient Israelites were not a racial unit, but a sacral association… bound together by a common language, and common territory, a shared historical experience, and common consciousness…. It is the centrality of concern for the Torah revealed on Mount Sinai and the great values of our heritage that bind us together as Jews.” The World Jewish Congress survey of the Jewish Diaspora points out that by the 1500’s, Jewish communities could be found not just in Europe, but as far away as Jamaica, Brazil, Continued on page 33 after Kiddish.
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Continued from page 32 before Kiddish.
Opposite page: Percentage of Judaism by country around the world in the 21st century. Left: A young Jewish man of African descent prays at the Western Wall.
Yemen, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Uganda, India, and China. Even today, the World Jewish Congress identifies 120 countries with a Jewish community. And, Israel is now one of the most racially, ethnically, and nationally diverse countries in the world, with immigrants from over 70 countries. Throughout history, Jews married local people, and, as a result, they came to resemble the people around them. And while they retained their Jewish identities and religious observances, “they did so with a local accent and flavor.”
Many people who fall into the “non-Sephardic or European” category often feel marginalized when those in the mainstream may see diverse Jews as being “other.” Whatever their origins and culture, whatever their skin tone, whatever their path to Judaism, they are essential members of the greater global Jewish community. Many Jews work to protect their ethnic identity in a variety of ways. “Religious Jews will follow the minhagim (customs) of their ancestors in both their homes and synagogues. Others consciously study their traditional Jewish language, whether Yiddish, Ladino, or Farsi and join social clubs based on their ethnic heritage. All this is fine, as long as its purpose is not to distance themselves from other groups of Jews. In From our very North America, where secbeginnings, ular schools often celebrate we Jews were a multiculturalism, Jewish Even the majority of Jews blend of different supplemental and day in the United States who schools have now begun groups. are Ashkenazi, and mainto include Jewish ethnic ly from Eastern Europe, diversity in their curricula could trace their ancestry as well. Indeed Jewish ethto a greater variety of European cultures than they think. And just as Ashkenazi Jews are a nicities have become a way to trace the course mix of many peoples and cultures encountered of Jewish history. And, aren’t we blessed with a during the centuries of wandering throughout rich, and colorful, cultural heritage? A the Diaspora, other Jews also have different backgrounds that range from geography to Florence L. Dann, a fifth year rabbinical student at the Academy for Jewish Religion socioeconomic class, from culture to language, in LA has been a contributing writer to Jlife from skin tone to paths to Judaism, and so on. since 2004. Jlife
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A CONVERSATION WITH RABBI ARTSON The Man who Moved a Movement BY PERRY FEIN
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson holds the position of Vice-President and Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University. I had the privilege of growing up at Congregation Eilat in Mission Viejo where he served as Rabbi for ten years. More recently, I had the opportunity to speak with him about the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s stance on LGBT participation in community life and the ordination of gay and lesbian rabbis. You are credited with pushing the Conservative movement to examine and reform its ageold stance on the issue of LGBT participation and equality. How did you encourage leaders to approach this issue years, and even decades, before most wanted to address it? I was a student—at a time when there was only one Rabbinical school and that was in New York—at the Jewish Theological Seminary. I started there in 1983 and my sister came out that same year, so I had a personal agenda. I needed to figure out, “How could I believe what I believed about Judaism and Jewish law, and still know that my sister is a wonderful human being and that whatever relationship she would get into would be a source of blessing?” So I was taking a class on Jewish law and they offered me the opportunity to 34 NOVEMBER 2015 |
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
write a legal paper instead of taking a final. I ended up writing a 45-page t’shuva–a legal finding—arguing for gay marriage and for gay ordination. And that took on a life of its own: It became, I was told, the hottest unpublished item both at the JTS (Jewish Theological Seminary) and HUC (Hebrew Union College) libraries. They had to keep extra copies on reserve as people kept coming in to get their hands on it. It was really
odd because for the first several years (after writing the paper), total strangers would come up to me and ask, “are you Brad Artson?” and then scream at me. I remember one time in particular, in the cafeteria, this guy walked up next to me as I was eating my soup and asked if I was Brad Artson. I said, “yes” and he started yelling about how I was gonna “destroy Western civilization and blah, blah, blah.” Then the law committee heard my paper, and my primary Halakha (Jewish law) teacher Joel Roth felt the need to write a paper arguing against my paper, because I used his method, but he didn’t agree with my conclusion. But he was such a gentlemen that when he taught an annual class in the rabbinical school on the “Jewish Legal Method,” he always closed by having them read my paper and saying, “this paper is completely halakhik (lawful, kosher etc.), but I just think it’s wrong.” I expected it to take 40 years to move the world and the movement. And truthfully, it wasn’t anyone in the movement—I mean there were lots of us in the movement pushing—but it was the larger world. As the world started to discuss the issue of sexual orientation differently, the burden was on the people against gay marriage, not those of us who were in favor of it. That’s what created the room for people to give the issue a new hearing. By then I was the dean of the Rabbinical School—and I’m one of the heads of the two academic centers of the
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“I expected it to take 40 years to move the world and the movement,” Rabbi Artson.
movement—and that gave me an opportunity to really advance it with my students who were entirely sympathetic: it’s not like I received any resistance. What official decisions have been made about the participation of LGBT Jews in Conservative synagogues, seminaries and other community institutions? For all of our commitment to Jewish law—maybe even because of it—we don’t have that many policy statements, because our policies are really Jewish law. So the only decision that had to be made was, “is it permissible to have a partner who is the same gender as you?” And once that’s true then in a way the other issues get covered. Bisexuality, for example, is not a significant issue because
I read that the Reconstructionist and Reform movements both tackled this issue in the late 1980s and early 1990s. What caused the Conservative movement to lag behind? In the Reform and Reconstructionist movements, Jewish law isn’t binding. That makes it a lot easier. If you can say, “I don’t agree with this and therefore we’re going This guy walked up to change it,” then you’re next to me as I was done. And I’m not sayeating my soup and ing that as a criticism of those movements, that’s a asked if I was Brad legitimate posture to take. you still have to pick a Artson. I said, “yes” So for the Conservative partner and once you movement, we had to do and he started pick a partner we expect it in a way that leaves the yelling about you to be monogamous. structure of Torah intact. So whether you have a how I was gonna And that just takes a lot broader range of people “destroy western longer. It would be like to date, that’s your busicivilization.” saying, “you changed ness, but once you settle your mind on immigrain on someone then we tion policy way before the expect you to settle in. U.S. Congress did.” That’s because the Once the law committee decreed that it was Congress has to pass it into law, and passing permissible to marry gay and lesbian couples it into law means making it compatible with and ordain gay and lesbian rabbis, the two other existing laws. seminaries moved very quickly. We—at the Ziegler School—moved first and then the JTS followed relatively quickly thereafter. So within a year of that decision we had both ordained gay and lesbian individuals.
To read the full interview with Rabbi Brad Artson please visit: www.jlifeoc.com. A Perry Fein is a contributing writer to Jlife magazine.
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IN OUR OWN BACK YARD Fighting Domestic Violence With Tanya Brown BY LISA GRAJEWSKI, PSY.D.
More than 4.5 million women now living in California have experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives.
36 NOVEMBER 2015 |
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TWENTY YEARS AFTER the gavel heard around the world acquit- of weapon. ting O.J. Simpson of murdering his former wife, Nicole Brown Domestic violence takes place in all communities, including the Simpson, Jewish Federation & Family Services and Nicole’s youngest Jewish community. The rate in the Jewish community is about the sister Tanya Brown are giving a voice to women who are victims of same as the greater community—15 to 20 percent. That means in domestic violence. a community of approximately 100,000 Jews (the estimate count of The judgment may have declared Simpson innocent and free, but it Orange County’s Jewish community), as many as 20,000 will experibegan a litany of conversations on how to best approach the issue of ence domestic violence. Some may think Jewish domestic violence. According to Brown, “October values or observance may mitigate violence; however, was the 20th anniversary of the acquittal… it gives us it does not start and stop with observance or lack of the chance to leverage the media hype and speak out observance. Abuse takes place in all socioeconomic against domestic violence.” levels, it affects all genders, all ages, all denominaThat is what Brown has made her life about. tions, and those who do not have any affiliation. “No one ever thought Nicole was going to be In a As Brown said, no one talks about domestic killed. When you get in a fight and it gets heated, community of violence in our back yard, and we especially do not you slap each other, but no one thinks your going to approximately want to admit that something so terrible takes place kill anyone… But now we know differently. It is a in our own Jewish community. But the numbers are 100,000 Jews, trajectory,” says Brown. there, domestic violence does not discriminate and This is the first time for Brown to reach out in her as many as it is here, in Orange County, in our Jewish commuown back yard. She usually finds herself speaking to 20,000 will nity. That being said, The Jewish Coalition Against communities outside of California. “It is time for me experience to reach out in my own community, because there Domestic Abuse reminds us there are cultural implidomestic is a lot happening here—and no one talks about it.” cations to consider: According to a recent National Intimate Partner violence. • Shalom Bayit: Peace in the home, a central tenet of and Sexual Violence Survey, 32.9% of women Judaism often makes it hard for a wife or husband to living in California have, at some point in their report abuse. Many victims of abuse begin to believe lives, been the victim of violence, sexual violence, that peace must be kept at all costs: to avoid looking like an insufor stalking by an intimate partner. More than 4.5 million women ficient parent or partner or sometimes to avoid backlash. now living in California have experienced domestic violence at some • Denial: “this cannot be happening to me.” Men and women often point in their lives. deny they can be victims of abuse. This is especially true when abuse Bringing the statistics closer to home, in 2014, there were 7,928 leaves no physical mark. Financial, emotional, mental, and verbal total calls made regarding domestic violence in Orange County (these statistics include women and men), of those, 1,136 involved some kind
Continued on page 39
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F E AT U R E S Continued from page 37
abuse are serious components of domestic violence and part of a trajectory that can lead to physical violence and sometimes death. • Religious observance can make it difficult for someone to leave a situation due to issues of kashruth and Shabbat observance when it is necessary to stay at a shelter or a safe place. • Shame and secretiveness emanate from the idea that domestic violence cannot possibly happen in the Jewish community. Many victims of domestic violence are fearful and embarrassed to tell friends and loved ones they are experiencing abuse. There is also hesitation in telling clergy or community members for fear of not being believed. • Socioeconomic issues come into play when a victim is financially and emotionally dependent on the abuser. Many victims of abuse cannot support his or her family’s standard of living on their own. They may have limited knowledge of finances and limited access to bank, investment and credit card accounts. There may be a threat of parental rights being severed as well, creating a situation that makes it very difficult for an abused parent to leave with children who may be vulnerable to abuse if left in the home. Domestic violence is a topic that may be difficult to discuss, but it is necessary to discuss. Brown spoke to attendees at an intimate evening about the 20-year journey that was the platform for her second book. “People were not getting it [domestic violence]…” Hence she created characters in the book based on clients she had worked with in her domestic violence advocacy. The book, Seven Characters of Abuse: Domestic Violence, Where It Starts And Where It Can End, provides ques-
tions and scenarios for the different faces of abuse. According to Brown, “The book compares what is healthy with what is unhealthy.” In addition to scenarios, the book provides resources and referrals to help those who need to reach out. Brown also discussed her journey through depression and suicide, which she details in the book, “Finding Peace Amid the Chaos: My Escape from Depression and Suicide.” Why domestic violence? Why now? Why the Jewish community? According to Allison Johnson, MFT and Director, Client Services of JFFS, “Domestic violence is one of those things people just don’t want to talk about, that they don’t want to admit exists. However, it is still a serious issue in our society. It can be anything from physical, emotional, verbal, financial abuse and more. Our event on October 14th helped raise awareness on this issue in Orange County, and educate the community on the resources available.” In addition to speaking about her books, and advocating for victims of domestic violence, Brown is launching “Big Hugs Not Hits” to educate sports programs on domestic violence. Additionally, a scholarship in Nicole Brown Simpson’s name was announced at the October 14 event, and will provide funding for Brown’s speaking engagements. To find out more about what Tanya Brown is doing to end domestic violence go to www.tanyabrown.net. A Lisa Grajewski, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist, with JFFS and has a private practice in Irvine. She is also an adjunct Assistant Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has been a contributing writer for Jlife magazine since 2004.
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the key to making a harmonious lifelong match—core values, daily lifestyle, long-term goals, etc. These need to be in alignment in addition to the physical attraction and chemistry components. Below are just a few ways that Judith’s personal touch is better than anything you’ll find online and distinguishes her from other matchmaking companies:
STOP SWIPING And give the gift of love! BY TANYA SCHWEID
IT’S INTERESTING…people hire personal trainers to get in shape, realtors to find a house and headhunters to find a job—but what’s more important than love? Why wouldn’t we hire a matchmaker to find love? “Finding the right person to marry may be the single most important thing you do and the most crucial decision you make in your life, with lifelong lasting impact,” says Judith Gottesman, MSW, a Matchmaker and Dating Coach, for Jewish singles of all ages, on the West Coast and beyond, at Soul Mates Unlimited®. What started just as doing a mitzvah 40 NOVEMBER 2015 |
more than 20 years ago, in 2009, turned into a full-time business to help many more people find love and happiness. “Online dating may provide the endless opportunity to meet numerous people, but many of my clients get burnt out by the task and also because they aren’t forging those deep relationships or finding true love. I provide the human component because when it comes to matters of the heart, people want a personal touch, and you can’t get more personal than love,” says Gottesman. Sometimes people in the dating world aren’t focusing on the foundation, which is
• She does all matchmaking, new client interviews, and date-coaching herself, for the ultimate in personalized attention! • She uses her psychology background, distinctive interview techniques and natural intuition to make lasting soul mate matches. • She has exclusively Jewish clientele and is the premiere matchmaker for the entire West Coast Jewish community. • She only matches clients with clients (i.e., no random people off the street). • Due to the high-profile nature of her clientele, Judith provides absolute discretion and confidentiality. • She is results-oriented—charging only one-third of her fee up front and the remainder after successfully matching her clients. Judith believes finding love should be about what’s in your heart, not what’s in your bank account! • Soul Mates Unlimited® has earned an A+ BBB rating and award for Best Business in the Matchmaker category for 2015. For more information please go to Judith’s website, www.SoulMatesUnlimited.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.
MOVIE REVIEW “Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front”
OC JEWISH ARTS FESTIVAL The Best of the Best: Jewish Films
BY DANA SUSSON
EACH YEAR A dedicated committee of culture-savvy-enthusiasts comb through many stories of Jewish culture to showcase in the annual OC Jewish Arts Festival. Seeking to enthrall and inspire audiences, we review over a hundred movies and select four to screen. Below is a sneak preview of the best of the best.
young adults, their backgrounds are as varied as the Israeli terrain, and their stories are compelling. This film will fill you with pride and hope for the future of Israel. I cannot say enough about how important this movie is for American Jews to see. Great for all ages…
“Above and Beyond”
The author of the book, who is the writer, director and producer of the film as well, Steven Pressman, joins us for the screening and a discussion. This will be a real treat. The story of redemption is set in the background of the Holocaust. The real life actions of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus are nothing short of amazing and a story that needs to be told! We selected this movie because of its important message to mankind, Jews and non-Jews. The Kraus’, an American couple safely tucked away in Philadelphia, risked their lives to save helpless children in Europe. Would you be so brave? The film is good enough to see on its own, but with the book available for autographing and the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of the man who researched and wrote about this true story, well… it is something you shouldn’t miss.
Choosing this movie was, as they say, a “nobrainer.” Set in 1948 when Israel declared independence, this true story is spellbinding. Whether you are learning more about the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) or brushing up on Israeli history, this is an important film for you. And we are thrilled that the film’s executive producer, Nancy Spielberg, sister to “the” Steven Spielberg and a star in her own right, will join the audience for the viewing and a Q&A. “Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front” This film is a must see! You will smile, laugh, and cry as you get to know five young Israeli soldiers training to become part of an elite unit of paratroopers. They are amazing
“50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus”
SCHEDULE “Above and Beyond” Thursday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m. Documentary/history, 90 minutes. Film followed by Q&A with producer Nancy Spielberg. “Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front” Monday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m. Documentary, 80 minutes. English, Hebrew with subtitles. “50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus” Wednesday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m. Documentary, 62 minutes. Narrated by Alan Alda. Film followed by Q&A with director and writer Steven Pressman. “Life and Hummus” Thursday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m. Documentary, 40 minutes. Film followed by Q&A with producer Rick Matros.
“Life and Hummus” Who knew that hummus is the “glue” that holds the Middle East together? This movie showcases a local OC’er, Alex Matros, and it is really, really great. You will learn the history of hummus and its origin… or origins…or... Who has the best hummus in Israel and the West Bank? Come and find out for yourself! We will have a hummus-tasting along with this documentary and discussion with film producer Rick Matros. For the schedule and tickets, visit the 2015 OC Jewish Arts Festival at www.JCCOC.org. A Jlife
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PHOTO FROM AROMAS OF ALEPPO BY QUENTIN BACON
42 NOVEMBER 2015 |
Rice with Brown Lentils and Frizzled Caramelized Onions (Mujedrah)
PHOTO FROM AROMAS OF ALEPPO BY QUENTIN BACON
Our cuisine was known as the pearl of the Arab world.
Pistachio Filla Wedges in Rose Water syrup (Baklawa)
LEGENDARY CUISINE The Syrian-Jewish community holds strong. BY JUDY BART KANCIGOR
WHEN SARINE AND Murad Kattan left Aleppo, Syria, in 1947 for their honeymoon in Italy, their thoughts were of love and their future in their beloved homeland, where their family and the larger Jewish community had lived and flourished for centuries. Back in Aleppo the announcement of the United Nations partition of Palestine fueled the already smoldering atmosphere of antiSemitism, setting off pogroms that virtually extinguished all Jewish life, erasing centuries of this rich, thriving culture. Those Jews that survived fled by the thousands, and the honeymooners were forced to remain in Italy, never to see Aleppo again. By all accounts, the culture and cuisine of the Jews of Aleppo should have perished. They did not. The Syrian-Jewish community, extremely tight-knit despite its scattering
across many continents, continues to thrive. Sarine and Murad’s daughter, Poopa Dweck, has documented the rich culinary legacy of her parents’ homeland in “Aromas of Aleppo: The Legendary Cuisine of Syrian Jews” (Ecco/Harper Collins, $50). Illustrated with magnificent photos, “Aromas of Aleppo” documents the sumptuous cuisine and unique customs of this vibrant culture. Aleppian-Jewish cuisine is a combination of Mediterranean and Levantine cooking. “Compared to other Arab cuisines, it is elaborate, very opulent, because Aleppo itself was a flourishing commercial center, and the ingredients came from all over the world and were of the best quality,” Dweck explained by phone from her home in Deal, New Jersey. “Through Turkish, Persian and Spanish influences that came to Aleppo, it
was brought up to a high level. Our cuisine was known as the pearl of the Arab world.” One factor that distinguishes Aleppian cooking is the use of tamarind. “Whereas the rest of the Arab world uses pomegranate concentrate, we use tamarind,” she said. Her book tour took her to Beijing, where fresh tamarind grows in pods in the countryside. “I taught the Jewish community there how to make tamarind concentrate. It’s so plentiful there.” And through Persian influence, Aleppian cooking makes much use of dried fruit, especially apricots, in everything from meat dishes to desserts. Another common ingredient is Aleppo pepper. “These red peppers are grown on the border between Turkey and Aleppo,” Dweck noted. “It is half as hot as fresh red pepper flakes and twice as expensive, but very refined, giving the dish a more sophisticated, subtle flavor.” “Aromas of Aleppo” is so much more than a collection of recipes, however. It is the documentation of a once flourishing community with its unique customs and traditions. “When the Jews left Aleppo, they dispersed throughout the world to Mexico, South America, Israel, Panama, Colombia and Switzerland,” noted Dweck. “The largest Syrian Jewish community is in Brooklyn. We stay connected—the community is like one. At weddings and bar mitzvahs, we all know each other.” Alienated by the Eastern European Jews when they arrived in America, the Aleppian community has defied assimilation. “When we came to Brooklyn, to the Lower East Side of New York, other Jews didn’t even think we were Jewish. We were dark skinned. We looked different. We didn’t eat matzo ball soup and challah. We made our own Syrian flat bread. “The reason we’re so closely knit, I think, is that we have paid strict adherence to our customs and religious observances. We didn’t go to meatloaf. Through its food, holidays and life cycle events we’ve kept it intact.” Today despite the destruction of their homeland, the Syrian-Jewish community is
| NOVEMBER 2015 43
I want my great grandchildren to have this beautiful legacy, and my dream is coming true.
stronger than ever, said Dweck. “Without a homeland to define who we are, now more than ever do we understand that a community is organic. It is not established necessarily by demographics or geography. We feel an even stronger pressure not to lose our identity now that our country isn’t standing, to strengthen our history through our culture, our food, our traditions, our religion and to remember to stay strong and not give up who we are because our country is destroyed. “I want my great grandchildren to have this beautiful legacy, and my dream is coming true. I’m seeing it coming to be now with the holidays being celebrated with more fervor, everything adhered to with great excitement. I’ve received emails, even from non-Jews, telling me they are inspired, they know the value of family and are revisiting their roots and their religious backgrounds because of my book.”
Rice with Brown Lentils and Frizzled Caramelized Onions (Mujedrah) Mujedrah is still a Thursday night staple for Aleppian Jewish families, just as it was back in Aleppo, served with laban (yogurt), mint and chopped cucumber.
2 Meanwhile, in large skillet, sauté onions in oil over medium heat 30 minutes, or until thoroughly caramelized.
3 When lentils are al dente, drain liquid into measuring cup and add enough water to bring total liquid to 1 1/2 cups. Return to saucepan; add rice, salt and a third of the onions. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes.
4 Add butter to rice; simmer 10 more minutes. Before serving, top with remaining fried onions and their cooking oil.
Pistachio Filla Wedges in Rose Water syrup (Baklawa)
1 cup long-grain rice 3 tablespoons butter
1 Combine lentils with 1 cup water in large
saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes, or until lentils are al dente, or slightly firm.
44 NOVEMBER 2015 |
Shira (Fragrant Aleppian Dessert Syrup) Yield: 2 cups 3 cups sugar 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Combine sugar, lemon juice, orange blos-
1 1/2 pounds pistachios, shelled, blanched, peeled and finely chopped 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar 1 1/4 pounds (5 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, melted 24 sheets filla (about 1 pound)
1 Combine pistachios, sugar, and 1/4 cup 2 Working with half the filla, brush each
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Remove from oven; pour cold shira over it. Let cool.
Yield: 30 wedges
of the melted butter in medium mixing bowl.
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 Bake 1 hour or until puffy and golden.
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water or rose water
3/4 cup brown lentils 2 cups thinly sliced onions (3 to 4 onions)
3 for remaining filla, covering nut layer and brushing top sheet with butter generously. Refrigerate, covered, 20 minutes. Cut pastry into diamond, square or rectangular pieces.
The sheen on the surface of baklawa comes from the shira (Fragrant Aleppian Dessert Syrup)
1 cup cod shira (Fragrant Aleppian Dessert Syrup, recipe follows)
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
3 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 4 Spread nut mixture over filla. Repeat step
sheet, one at a time, using slightly less than half the remaining melted butter. Stack them evenly, one on top of the other. (Keep untended sheets covered with wax paper and towel to prevent drying out.) Fit buttered filla sheets into 14-inch round or 10x12-inch baking pan, folding sides over to create a round or straight edge.
som water and 1 cup water in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly with wooden spoon until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes, or until syrup slides slowly down back of spoon.
2 Allow syrup to cool. Use immediately or
pour into glass jar and refrigerate. It will keep up to two months.
Source: “Aromas of Aleppo” by Poopa Dweck 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.
Preparing Today Eases Tomorrow WILLS 路 TRUSTS 路 PROBATE CONSERVATORSHIPS EDUCATION LAW SCOTT FEIG ATTORNEY AT LAW
949-689-9715 FeigLawFirm@gmail.com 路 780 Roosevelt, Suite 210 路 Irvine, CA 92620
| NOVEMBER 2015 45
out&about 42ND STREET Broadway Musical 42nd Street will be at Segerstrom Hall Nov. 14 through 22. This smash musical hit is the song and dance fable of Broadway with an American Dream story and includes some of the greatest songs ever written, such as “We’re in The Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off To Buffalo,” “Dames,” “I Only Have Eyes For You” and of course “42nd Street.” Based on a novel by Bradford Ropes and the Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie.
DAVID SEDARIS With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, comedian David Sedaris will be performing at UCI’s Barclay Theatre for two nights on Nov. 23 and 24. Sedaris has become known as one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. Slicing through cultural euphemisms and political correctness, Sedaris proves that he is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.
AN EVENING WITH MATISYAHU
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of his breakthrough album, Live at Stubb’s, Matisyahu will play an intimate performance at the Coach House on Nov. 13. Matisyahu takes a new look at the music that first made his reputation in this tour entitled, Live at Stubb’s III: A 10-Year Journey. Matisyahu performed new arrangements of his early reggae hits from the original album, along with a selection of later favorites.
The Psychedelic Furs will be taking the House of Blues Anaheim stage on Nov. 14, playing new songs and noted 80s hits. They came together in England’s emerging punk scene in 1977, initially consisting of Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass guitar), Paul Wilson (drums), Duncan Kilburn (saxophone), and Roger Morris (guitars). By 1979, this line up had expanded to a sextet.
Lightwire Theater’s “A Very Electric Christmas” is coming to City National Grove of Anaheim on Sat, Nov. 28. Known for their signature brand of dazzling visuals, poignant storytelling and music designed to evoke imagery, the company debuted their first holiday show “A Very Electric Christmas” in their hometown of New Orleans in December of 2013.
ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE | November 2015
Jewish-Canadian standup comedian, of Second City, Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and SCTV productions fame, will be performing a humorous two-night, one-man show at the Laguna Playhouse Nov. 20 and 21. Touting his hometown of Winnipeg as, “one of the coldest places on Earth,” David Steinberg drew from these beginnings and his studies of theology at yeshiva to create a now almost half-century long
comedic career. Between 2005-2007, Steinberg was executive producer, creator and host of Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg, a one-on-one interview series shot live in front of an audience at UCLA. Stars include Larry David, Mike Myers, Martin Short, George Lopez, Bob Newhart, Jon Lovitz, Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Ray Romano, Roseanne Barr and Garry Shandling to name a few on the show’s guestlist. Steinberg and Steve Carell started a new
project as executive producer and host of Showtime’s Inside Comedy, a documentary series that chronicled the evolution of comedy over the past five decades. Premiering January 26, 2012, this series showcased veteran comedians like Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Don Rickles and Jonathan Winters, being interviewed by Steinberg. To follow Steinberg or for more information on his upcoming events and broadcasts, find him on Twitter at @ david_steinberg or
go to his website at thedavidsteinberg.com. The recent podcast launch of “The David Steinberg Podcast” via Sideshow Network is available on iTunes. NOVEMBER: one night with Billy Crystal during the NY Comedy Fest (Nov. 12 at The Town Hall) nycomedyfestival.com/ event/conversation-billycrystal-david-steinberg/ NOVEMBER: one-man show in Laguna at the Playhouse.
CROSSWORD BY: YONI GLATT } DIFFICULTY LEVEL: MEDIUM
HINT: 51 ACROSS
ACROSS 1 Auror who helped Radcliffe’s Potter 6 “Israel ___”, 2009 film 9 Makes likes Israel across the Sinai 14 Rabbi Isaac of Kabbalah renown 15 Cry when understanding E=mc2 16 Bar Mitzvah fund, e.g. 17 Actor Zach whose middle name is Israel
12 Bully who might eat at Krusty Burger
53 Composer Boulanger who taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School
13 Spots for incoming Prime Ministers
55 Former Knicks teammate of Carmelo
21 Letters before Kirk’s ship
59 Fey who sat Shiva in a 2014 film
22 It might cause a rip in a talit
60 Samson’s hair covered it
24 A Friend
62 Make a shabbat table 65 It’s a miracle
36 “Under Siege” star
68 Go under the chuppah again
38 This clue about Eshkol has it
69 Tamid preceder
39 One might be filled before Shabbat
70 Brandeis classmates
25 Major export from singer Ben Lee’s homeland
71 Paskesz item
40 Ariyot abode
26 Star level of Harrison Ford
72 He’Brew makes it
44 Closet fixture that might be rotated before a simcha
73 Eppes follower
29 Home of Tempio Maggiore di Roma
46 Country Ahasuerus’s empire extended into 47 Amt., when making Hamantaschen
DOWN 1 Selig’s org.
31 Prison chanted by Pacino in a Lumet film 36 What one might do at Maravi Beach 37 See-4 Down
3 Moshav southwest of Jerusalem
41 Possible time for Purim in March
54 With Ram, a notable Jew
42 Nudge and then some
24 Arch of Titus locale
4 With 37-Down, What was created at 7-Down
56 Make a yutz out of
27 ___ Paulo, home of Brazil’s largest Jewish population
5 It’s west of Petach Tikva
57 Lashon ___
45 Prominent Spock features
6 Actress Prepon
47 Fonzie wear
28 Builder of 7-Down
58 You need it to get up Masada quickly
7 Ancient biblical structure
30 Gershwin wrote some
61 Convenient ways of storing Torah
32 “___ hath G-d...”
48 ___ of Worlds, Marvel character who has interacted with Ben Grimm
63 The Holy Land’s BBC
34 Need for Nachman? 35 Actor who played (Danny) Tanner
64 Five-time Olympic gold winner Kolati
48 NOVEMBER 2015 |
50 Joe’s jolt, briefly
19 Tree for Canada, not Israel
51 Lender’s output
20 Last Seder round
52 Where 7-Down was built
23 Singer Loeb
8 Small amount for Susie Fishbein 9 Simon of “The Simpsons” fame 10 Work by the Sons of Korah 11 Make like Absalom
67 Aaron Copland’s was 551-20-4475: Abbr.
33 A Levi washes one
2 ___ Lady of Perpetual Exemption, fictional church co-headed by Rachel Dratch
18 NYC neighborhood of Cong Kehilat Jeshurun
66 “...the lion’s shadow ___ himself...”: “The Merchant of Venice”
49 Hoffman in “Hook”, e.g. 51 The Fat Jew’s might be above 25: Abbr.
The exhibition details the dramatic recovery of historic materials relating to the Jewish community in Iraq.
THE MIZRAHI JEWS OF IRAQ Thousands of years of history in our own backyard. BY PERRY FEIN
AS A STUDENT of history and Judaism, the Diaspora has always intrigued me. I have always found it fascinating that a tribe of nomads from the Levant could spread so far across the globe. Most Jews are familiar with the two largest Jewish ethnic divisions: Ashkenazim are Jews who lived in Central and Eastern Europe, spoke Yiddish and, overwhelmingly, were victims of the Holocaust. Sephardim are Jews originating in Spain or Portugal who fled the Middle East and North Africa in the wake of the expulsions of the fifteenth century. Legend has it that Beyazid II of the Ottoman Empire, hearing of the Jews’ penchant for banking and finance, invited
these newly homeless refugees to settle in Muslim lands. It is said that the Sultan scoffed at the Spanish ruler’s shortsightedness and proclaimed, “Ye call Ferdinand a wise king; he who makes his land poor and ours rich!” When these exiled Iberian Jews reached North Africa and the Middle East, they found already thriving communities of Jews whose practices and cuisine differed greatly from their own. In fact, it is said, some of these indigenous Jews were hardly distinguishable from their Muslim and Christian-Arab neighbors. Many of these scattered “tribes of Israel” retained their ancient Jewish traditions while adapting the local aesthetic. They
wore customary business attire, spoke Turkish or Arabic, and lived in mixed communities with Christians and Muslims. These were the Mizrahim, some of the oldest communities of Jews in the world. One of these communities resided in what is now modern Iraq. The legacy of Jews in Iraq dates back more than two and a half thousand years to ancient Babylon. It was here the exiled Israelites wrote the Talmud and ushered in the age of Rabbinic Judaism after the destruction of the Temple. In 2003, United States forces stormed the basement of Saddam Hussein’s military intelligence headquarters in search of nuclear weapons. Little did they know that they would unearth a Jewish literary treasure trove to rival the Cairo geniza excavation. “In the basement, in four feet of water, they found thousands of books and documents relating to the Jewish community of Iraq–materials that belonged to organizations and synagogues in Baghdad.” The U.S. Government and the National Archives worked together to preserve these precious artifacts and manuscripts in order to shed light on a bygone age. Recently, I had the privilege of attending an exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum where some of these documents and artifacts were being showcased. A Perry Fein is a contributing writer to Jlife magazine.
THE EXHIBIT: “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage” runs from Sept. 4th to Nov. 15, 2015. For more information please visit: www.nixonlibrary.gov/ themuseum/exhibits/2015/ DiscoveryRecovery.php. Jlife
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News&Jews OC JEWISH SCENE | NOVEMBER 2015
PHOTO BY CHARLES WEINBERG.
Ron Wolfson, who practically invented the field of Jewish family education, the broadest form of “big tent” Judaism, gave his audience a hint as to how his personal warmth came about. At a Community Scholar Program held in September, he recounted how his grandfather told all his grandsons that they were “the Best boy in the United States of America,” (the girls too). As part of his presentation Wolfson read chapters of his book that will become part of his audio book. His audience loved it.
ADL Orange County/ Long Beach Make A Difference Brunch
Host Benny Mor and the children.
Larger Than Life– OC Community Gathering The Mor and Vrobel families graciously hosted 40 terminally ill Israeli children who were visiting Orange County under the auspices of Larger than Life, (גדול )מהחייםThe group is an Israeli non-profit that seeks to improve quality of life for children with cancer and their families, regardless of religion, race or gender. For more information please visit their website, www.gdolim.org.il.
Melissa Carr, Dr. Arthur (Archie) Kreitenberg and Dr. Marilyn Harran, Director of the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education, Chapman University will be recognized by the AntiDefamation League on December 6th at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach. Carr and Kreitenberg are particularly proud to be acknowledged together with their friend Dr. Marilyn Harran who, says Carr, “is basically, she’s a rock star in her field.” Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. Brunch and Program at 11:00 a.m. Individual tickets are $100 before November 20th/$125 after. For more info please visit: www.cvent.com/events/adl-orangecounty-long-beach-make-a-differencebrunch/event-summary-357c0756f7f640a8 9403d1157ddded61.aspx.
PHOTO BY CHARLES WEINBERG. 52 NOVEMBER 2015 |
Archie Kreitenberg & Melissa Carr
Keep ‘Em in Stitches! The Mitzvah Mavens Knitting Circle meets every Thursday at JFFS. Your $18 materials fee gets you expert instruction by volunteers Laura Rosenbaum and Lori Schwartz, a pink knitting bag filled with yarn and needles, and a lot of fun and creativity! Come make baby blankets for Binky Patrol and preemie cap-and-blanket sets for Children’s Hospital Orange County. Jlife
Chronic consumption could be an artery buster, but would be so worth it.
BUILDING THE MULTICULTURAL JEWISH FUTURE Israel’s Jews come from over 70 countries. BY MERAV CEREN
IT WAS A dry, dusty day a few Augusts ago when I found myself discussing Andrew Lloyd Weber’s contributions to musical theater with Father Giovanni, David, and Faraz. We’d just finished ulpan for the week and were all on the number 17 bus to the center of town in Jerusalem, on our way to my favorite sabich vendor. The sandwich, named after the acronym for the ingredients which constitute it, was brought over to Israel by the Iraqi Jews who ate it exclusively for breakfast (sabah is Arabic for “morning”). For those of us without well-meaning grandmothers worried about our arteries, sabich can be eaten at any time. The name is said
to come from the salads (salatim in Hebrew), hard-boiled eggs (beitzim), and fried eggplant (chatzilim) stuffed into the pita. With tahini and pickles, it is glory. The experience encapsulated the kaleidoscope of cultures and experiences available in Jerusalem. Here I was, an Israeli-born, California-raised twenty-something, discussing performance art with an Italian Catholic, a French Jew, and a Christian Israeli, on our way to meet a Jewish Slovenian Ladino scholar and a Polish Muslim to have a food brought by Iraqi Jews fleeing persecution in their home country in the early 1950s. Those Iraqis were part of a wave of Aliyah
shortly after statehood was declared. In those years after World War II, Israel absorbed over 680,000 Jews, over doubling the fledgling nation’s population. Between independence in 1948 and 1953, close to 340,000 European Jews, mostly from concentration or displaced persons camps, were absorbed. At the same time, an influx of immigrants from Arab and Muslim countries began. Israel launched airlifts to evacuate Jewish populations experiencing discrimination throughout the region. Operation On Wings of Eagles brought 47,000 Jews from Yemen. Operation Ezra and Nehemia airlifted more than 120,000 Iraqis to Israel’s soil. Almost the entirety of Libya’s Jewish community, over 32,000 people, also arrived. Similar numbers came from Turkey, Iran, Tunisia, and Morocco, to name a few. Today, Israel’s population boasts citizens who’ve come from six continents and over 70 countries. At the beginning of October, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood in front of the UN General Assembly and said to the delegates, “The establishment of Israel… has enabled [the Jewish people] to embrace Jews who’ve come from the four corners of the earth to find refuge from persecution. They came from war-torn Europe, from Yemen, Iraq, Morocco, from Ethiopia and the Soviet Union, from a hundred other lands. And today, as a rising tide of anti-Semitism once again sweeps across Europe and elsewhere, many Jews come to Israel to join us in building the Jewish future.” It is that embracing welcome that made my sabich trip possible. A Merav Ceren grew up in Southern California, where she attended UCI and led the re-establishment of Anteaters for Israel.
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Israeli soldiers training during military service.
WHAT DOES A JEW LOOK LIKE? A History You May Not Know BY ADAM CHESTER
LET’S PLAY, “Guess That Ancestry!” Round One: These people wore kippot and were called Zionists. Keepers of Sabbath and kashrut. Victims of incessant persecution with a history of forced familial separation and displacement. Their norm became enslavement and hate-imposed exile. Familiar with this group of people? Perhaps your ancestors? Picture what they looked like. Beards and black coats? A sheitel and long skirt? Round Two: These people were guided by Torah and comforted by ancient memories of the heights of Jerusalem. Carrying strong Jewish identities, they’re from a country on the horn of Africa, and have curly hair and black skin. Now, “Guess That Ancestry.” Answer: Ethiopian Jews. Did your guess differ between Rounds? Perhaps preconceived notions of how a Jew looks colored your conclusion. 54 NOVEMBER 2015 |
Jews were (until Israel) a nomadic people (typically not by choice) dispersed throughout the world. We look, dress, speak, pray and follow customs differently. Pay heed to the lesser discussed, but equally difficult struggle of the Ethiopian Jews’ quest for freedom: “Beta Israel”—the house of Israel—as the Ethiopian Jews called themselves, had enjoyed relative independence until the Middle Ages. Skip over a thousand years of Ethiopian Jewry being conquered, waves of violent acts throughout their country, and captured Jews sold as salves and forced to be baptized. Finally, precipitated by rebel army attacks in 1991, the Ethiopian’s situation became top priority in Israel. Israeli government authorized special permits to Israeli airline El Al to fly on Shabbat, initiating Operation Solomon. Beginning Friday, May 24, 1991, 34 jumbo jets and Hercules C-130s—stripped of their cabin seats to accommodate the maximum
amount of Ethiopians—flew nonstop for 36 hours, rescuing 14,324 Ethiopian Jews who resettled in Israel, launching a journey towards freedom. Today, Israel is home to the largest Beta Israel community in the world with roughly 140,000 Ethiopian Jewish citizens. They contribute to every part of mainstream Israeli society, including religious life, education, the military and politics. Yet, similar to the common rifts between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews in Israel, tension exists between Jews of Ethiopian descent to their fellow Israelis. Ethiopian Jews have the same rights and responsibilities as any other Jew in Israel, but face aspects of racism nonetheless. Treating fellow Jews differently based on appearance is antithetical to Jewish values. Notably, the hardships of our forebears, regardless of their appearance, were engendered by strikingly similar oppressors. Another Jew’s appearance may not mirror yours, but the underlying root of their ancestors’ oppression does. It’s human nature to judge others. We utilize distinct physical indicators when we assess others. The High Holidays recently offered a formal opportunity to identify ways to improve our behavior. Certainly, an obtainable goal is working to better ourselves before judging others. The Zionist and Jewish imperative of safely bringing our Ethiopian brethren to Israel is laudable. No individual, or society, is perfect. However, with a majority of Ethiopian Jews now living in Israel, we are that much closer to understanding the incredible diversity of our ancestry, and must continue to acknowledge that the color of one’s skin does not define the power of one’s Judaism. A Adam Chester graduated from UCSD with a degree in Psychology and is the NextGen Outreach & Engagement Coordinator at JFFS.
| NOVEMBER 2015 55
NextGen & JewGlue
Ashlyn Katz, Nicky Samuels, and Jessica Samson
Kara Janssen, Melissa Goodman, Lauren Simon, Fabiola Sperling and Allison Dotan Jaclyn Lazarus and Mayan Rothstein
Summertime is a great time to build connections with NextGen and our Jewish community. Shalom Family brought the very popular “Mommy’s Night Out” program to North County and attracted 20 moms to Cedar Creek Inn on Tuesday, August 25. On September 3, over Katerina Hencova and Jacques Zell 70 young adults schmoozed at the hottest JewGlue happy hour of the year. On September 6, NextGen Cares volunteers shared apples, honey, music and stories with members of Café Europa, a JFFS social program for Holocaust survivors. Macher’s Join us for Mark once again provided NextGen’s young business The OC Event professionals Sunday, with a November 15 comfortable and fun networking platform at the September 17 Social Hour at Andrei’s in Irvine.
Lisa Grier and Horst Cahn
56 NOVEMBER 2015 |
Shalom Family and JewGlue are programs of NextGen, the young adult department of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS). For more information about NextGen and to learn about upcoming events, contact us at NextGen@jffs.org, or visit JewishOC.org/NextGen.
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CALENDAR NOVEMBER 2015
MONDAYS 10:00 AM News & Views Merage JCC 10:00 – 11:00 AM What’s Up Bob & Ruth Wilkoff Ezra AAFC 10:00 AM Tai Chi/ Jack Finkelstein Ezra AAFC 10:30 AM Stretching/ Jerry Steinberg Ezra AAFC
7:00 PM Drop-in Mah Jongg Merage JCC
58 NOVEMBER 2015 |
MONDAYS, OCT. 12 – NOV. 30 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM Learn to Play Mah Jongg- 8 classes Merage JCC
SUNDAY, NOV. 16 7:00 PM Documentary Film“Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front” Merage JCC
TUESDAYS, OCT. 13 – NOV. 17 9:45 – 11:45 AM Intermediate Bridge6 classes Merage JCC WEDNESDAYS, OCT. 14, 21, 28 & NOV. 4 (4 CLASSES) 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM iPhone Tips & Secrets Beyond Essentials Merage JCC MONDAYS, NOV. 23 – DEC. 28 (6 CLASSES) 9:00 – 10:15 AM Gentle Yogalates Merage JCC SUNDAY, NOV. 1 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Poker League Merage JCC
WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS 8:45 AM & 10:00 AM Gentle Yoga Merage JCC
SUNDAY, NOV. 8 4:00 – 5:30 PM Great Jewish Americans 101 Jewish American Architects and Their Creations Worldwide Merage JCC
THURSDAYS 9:30 AM Keeping Fit/ Mel Grossman Ezra AAFC
FRIDAYS 10:00 AM Men’s Club at the JCC Merage JCC
11:30 AM Drop-in Bridge Merage JCC
TUESDAY, NOV. 17 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM Books & Bagels “The Betrayers” by David Bezmozgis Merage JCC
TUESDAYS 10:30 AM The View for Women of All Ages Merage JCC
10:30 AM Various Lecture Topics Ezra AAFC
11:00 AM Various Lecture Topics Ezra AAFC
WEDNESDAYS SEPT. 30 – NOV. 18 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Learn to Play Mah-Jongg (8 classes) Merage JCC
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 11 Writing for Reminiscences Marilyn Silverstein Temple Bat Yahm SATURDAY, NOV. 14 7:00 PM An Evening with Lainie Kazan Merage JCC
SUNDAY, NOV. 22 1:30 PM Linda Serna Presents: Foreign Research (Germany and Poland) Temple Bat Yahm SUNDAY, NOV. 22 4:00 PM Dennis Ross “Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama” Merage JCC THURSDAY, DEC. 3 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Register by Nov. 30) “The Path to Mah Jongg Wisdom” Speaker/Author Karen Gooen Luncheon and Play Mah Jongg Merage JCC The Merage Jewish Community Center is located at 1 Federation Way Suite 200, Irvine, (949) 435-3400 x 303. For reservations please contact Geri Dorman, Prime Time Adult Director at: gerid@ jccoc.org. 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 Mrs. Jack Finkelstein BY DALIA TAFT
BLOGOSPHERE Jlife wants to acknowledge some of the interesting blogs related to the Jewish community. Enjoy! TOP: Cover of Beth Emet Directory, 1965 RIGHT: Elaine Finkelstein, 1965
THE BEAUTY OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY Passion to discover cultures… theculturaldiversity. blogspot.com
ORANGE COUNTY’S FIRST Conservative congregation, Temple Beth Emet of Anaheim, was founded in 1956 and was the second synagogue in the growing Jewish community. Long-time members Jack and Elaine Finkelstein have served in many capacities over the years, including Jack as president of the shul and Elaine as a Sunday school teacher. In Beth Emet’s 1965 directory, Elaine, then president of the nursery school, wrote that “Our purpose is to guide the children’s growth towards self-understanding; to learn about others; to become more aware of the world around them; and to introduce the children to Jewish culture.” Judging from the active involvement of many of its members, past and present, in Jewish life in Orange County, Beth Emet succeeded greatly. 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. 60 NOVEMBER 2015 |
BE’CHOL LASHON IN EVERY TONGUE The history of Jewish diversity. bechollashon.org/about/ jewish_diversity.php
DIVERSITY BEST PRACTICES Tracking the latest developments on issues relevant to women; the gay, lesbian, and transgender community; people with disabilities; and others. www.diversitybestpractices. com/content/diversity-blogs
CONCIERGE PODIATRY NEWPORT BEACH: Proudly announces the acquisition of the newest laser technology for treating nail fungus.
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Fungus lives under the nail surface, which makes getting rid of it very difficult. Earlier medical lasers require manual operation to destroy fungus. These often miss areas of infection and can burn sensitive skin.
TRACING THE TRIBE A blog about Jewish genealogy - All the developments, tools and resources you’ll need to peer more closely into your family tree. tracingthetribe.blogspot.com
AMERICAN JEWISH WORLD SERVICE What Does “Jewish Philanthropy” Mean for the Next Generation of Jewish Leaders? ajws.org/blog/jewishphilanthropy-next-generation
Mention this ad for a free tube of Foot Rejuvenation Gel with your first visit. A $50.00 value.
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59 Allan Silverman 57 Blue Mountain Realty 2 Bowers Museum 15 Bradley S. Erodsi Esq 59 Bubbe and Zayde’s Place 39 Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP 55 Callahan & Blaine 14 Camp Hess Cramer 5 Chapman University 3 Coach House 3 Congregation Beth Jacob 17 Congregation B’nai Israel 7 Congregation B’nai Tzedek 64 Crews4Kids 45 Door Dash
62 NOVEMBER 2015 |
57 Dr. Blake 61 Dr. Ivar Roth 45 Feig Law Firm 11 Four Seasons Resort 27 Friends of Yad Sarah 59 Harbor Lawn 9 Heritage Pointe 13 Heritage Pointe 22 Jewish Community Foundation 23 Jewish Community Foundation 3 Jewish Community Foundation 21 Jewish Federation and Family Services 50 Jewish Federation and Family Services 51 Jewish Federation and Family Services
27 Jewish National Fund 31 Klein Financial 38 Krispy Kreme 14 Laguna Playhouse 4 La Jolla Playhouse 45 Odyssey Theater 19 Outcome Genii 37 Mortensen & Reinheimer PC 57 Naples Vacuum Elevators 7 Renaissance Club Sports 15 Segerstrom Center of the Arts 19 Segerstrom Center of the Arts 25 Diller Teen 7 Sherri Primes
19 Soul Mates Unlimited 55 South Coast Repatory Theater 31 Stoddard Group 10 24 Carrots 13 Temple Bat Yahm 11 Temple Beth Tikvah 27 Temple Beth El 12 Temple Beth El 19 Torah with Liora 63 Tustin Ranch 38 Tarbut V’Torah 11 VITAS 55 “What our Father Did” Movie 6 Zounds Audio
| NOVEMBER 2015 63
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ORANGE COUNTY’S JEWISH YOUTH & PARENTS
The December Dilemma What’s an Interfaith Family to do?
Building Connection Make Your Family Meetings Matter The Science of Happiness Start Your Day With a Smile
Now Enrolling Kindergarten & 1st Grade
PLANTING JEWISH ROOTS
CULTIVATING HERITAGE GROWING FUTURE LEADERS
a peek inside november 2015
THE DECEMBER DILEMMA
BUILDING FAMILY CONNECTION
THE SCIENCE OF HAPPINESS
The nuances of celebrating the holidays as an interfaith family.
Make family “meetings” exciting by incorporating fun activities.
Start your day with a bowl of gratitude and the rest is a breeze.
also inside! Editor’s Note 06 Super Shabbos 07 Kosher Dog 15
For November Calendar Events please visit: www.ocjewishlife.com
NOT YOUR TYPICAL CLUB
The Bureau of Jewish Education is inspiring Jewish teens across Orange County.
When you give back you give to yourselves. Everyone wins!
Make your world more beautiful. GIFTS CANVAS PILLOWS ART PRINTS GREETING CARDS IPHONE CASES LAPTOP SKINS
Have a birthday party at your home! Kids create their own special clay projects and get to glaze them too! There’s a party plan for every budget.
❤ Lots of ideas ❤ Lots of experience ❤ Lots of fun!
Call Aviva at (949)415-4333
Aviva has been teaching clay classes in the IUSD for almost ten years!
PUBLISHER ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE EDITOR IN CHIEF TRACEY ARMSTRONG GORSKY, MBA CREATIVE DIRECTOR RACHEL BELLINSKY COPYEDITOR JOSH NAMM CONTRIBUTING WRITERS TAMMY KECES,, M.A., AUDRA MARTIN, LISA MONETTE, SUE PENN, M. ED., HANNAH SCHOENBAUM
ere it comes… the holiday season. The “season” you say? Well, that has come and gone, don’t you know? We’ve celebrated Rosh Hashanah, atoned on Yom Kippur and showed off our design
ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES DIANE BENAROYA (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE) MARTIN STEIN (SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE)
skills with our fabulous sukkahs. The High Holiday “season” is actually a wonderful memory at this point. However, if you live in Orange County, the holiday “season” is just warming up. From now until the end of the year, we will be inundated with “Merry This, Happy That and Good Tidings to All.” And while
EDITORIAL (949) 230-0581
the majority of kids around the states are ticking off their wish
lists for Santa, your children may be wondering where they fit
in. If your family doesn’t partake in “visions of sugar plums” your kids may even feel as if they’re getting “slighted.” So what is a family to do? Well, there are many ways you can go. You
can merge our Jewish traditions with the more mainstream
ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE AND
Christmas ones “Hello Christma-kah.” You can preserve our
KIDDISH ARE PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY
traditions with zero amount of co-mingling. You can head to Hawaii and forget the whole thing… oh wait “Mele Kalikimaka”
ORANGE COUNTY JEWISH LIFE, LLC 1 FEDERATION WAY, IRVINE, CA 92603
is playing as soon as you land. Ok, so avoidance may not be an option, but communication sure is. Whatever approach you take, now is actually a perfect time to speak to your children. Talk to them about our Jewish heritage and what makes Hanukkah so “cool.” Make them feel included and explain how being different is actually a great thing to embrace. Not just during the holidays, but all year long.
— Tracey Armstrong Gorsky, Editor in Chief
Editor Tracey Armstrong Gorsky is the managing editor for Jlife and former editor and writer for Making Waves, Pet Product News, Veterinary Practice News and Surfing Magazine. She brings over ten years of writing and editing experience to Kiddish magazine and holds a Masters in Business Administration.
OCJL is published monthly by Orange County Jewish Life, LLC. Subscription rate is $24 for one year (12 issues). Send subscription requests to OCJL, 5665 Oberlin Dr., Ste. 204, San Diego, CA 92121. Orange County Jewish Life is a free and open forum for the expression of opinions. The opinions expressed herein are solely the opinion of the author and in no way reflect the opinions of the publishers, staff or advertisers. Orange County Jewish Life is not responsible for the accuracy of any and all information within advertisements. Orange County Jewish Life reserves the right to edit all submitted materials, including press releases, letters, articles and calendar listings for brevity and clarity. OCJL is not legally responsible for the accuracy of calendar or directory listings, nor is it responsible for possible postponements, cancellations or changes in venue. Manuscripts, letters, documents and photographs sent to OCJL become the physical property of the publication, which is not responsible for the return of such material. Orange County Jewish Life is a member of the American Jewish Press Association and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. All contents © 2014 Orange County Jewish Life.
ACROSS 2. Old (24:1) 4. Seed (24:7) 5. Master (24:39) 6. Field (23:9)
DOWN 1. Grave (23:9) 3. Spring (24:30) 5. Man (24:58) 7. Today (24:42)
Check your answers at: www.thefamousabba.com/Sarah
Find the food with the different blessing before eating in each group. • Apple, pear, papaya, plum • Cucmber, starfruit, banana, bean
• Granddaughter of Milchah, mother-in-law of Machalot, and grandmother of Yosef. • Son of Terach, brother of Avraham, grandfather of Rivka.
Complete the crossword by translating each English word into Hebrew. Use the parsha reference for help.
• Eliezer davening to HaShem for help to find a wife for Yitzchak. (24:11) • Yitzchak meeting Rivka. (24:62)
Act out these scenes with friends and family:
PARSHA SKIT ideas
Welcoming Guests: Prepare special food (and desserts) for them!
good trait OF THE MONTH
Y E H T N W R A I
T E N G A M E W L
S A P P L E U V F I
E O V A L A N I S F
A E S S
O B R A
© 2015 The Famous Abba
Brought to you by:
G A T Y Y F L A S E
S F A T H E R E D
Find the bold italic words on this sheet. The unused letters spell a secret message!
Sarah died at the age of 127 and Avraham bought the Cave of Machpelah from Ephron and eulogized and buried Sarah there. Avraham told Eliezer to look for a wife for his son, Yitzchak. The wife should not be from the people of Canaan and Eliezer took an oath to follow Avraham’s instructions. On his search, Eliezer and his 10 camels stopped at a well. When Rivka gave water to Eliezer and his camels, Eliezer was convinced she was the perfect wife for Yitzchak. Rivka brought Eliezer to her house and her brother, Laban, and father, Bethuel, listened to Eliezer and agreed to let Rivka marry Yitzchak. Rivka and her nurse went with Eliezer to meet Yitzchak, her future husband. Rivka and Yitzchak were married and Avraham married Keturah and had more children. Avraham died at 175 years old and was buried in the cave of Machpelah, by Yitzchak and Yishmael.
ל – כט
weekly chinuch podcast - almost 100 posted! CHINUCH + Parsha < 5 minutes www.thefamousabba.com/podcasts
400 300 200 100 90
א א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר ש ת
יז + יג
Who was Avraham’s 3rd oldest grandson from Yishmael? (See Parshat Chaya Sarah - Ch. 25)
• Your Famous Abba car magnet fell off your car. • A teacher told you that the capital of New York State is New York City.
Can you judge these situations favorably?
you be the judge
spot the difference
Which one is different? (Hint: Cave of Machpelah)
___ Yitzchak blesses Esav ___ Yaakov and Esav reunite ___ Esav marries Machalot ___ Yitzchak blesses Yaakov a 2nd time
Number these events in the order they occurred:
(Hint: King David)
SUPER SHABBat SHEET 25 MARCHESHVAN 5776 PARASHAT CHAYA SARAH
The December Dilemma Celebrating the holidays as an interfaith family. BY KIDDISH
We can take this opportunity to share the story of our people with our children.
red are drowning out all our lovely hues of blue and silver. So what is a parent to do? Well, we can take this opportunity to tell our children the story of our people. We can dazzle them with tales of a lamp that burns for eight days, a war that was won against incredible odds and our ancestors that refused to be stifled. We can teach them about the strength and
character that is formed by fighting for our beliefs.
ere it is, coming around the
way to separate Christmas from church
bend. That magical—yet
and state. It melts into our collective
subconscious as soon as the “After
time to illustrate the nuances of diversity.
of year we affectionately
Thanksgiving Sales” commence.
Being different isn’t “bad” or “less than”
call Christma-kkah. It can be tough.
However, we are Jewish, we are
Most importantly, we can take this
anything. It is just different… and that is a
The American holiday season has
proud and we want our families to
good thing. Hanukkah can be a wonderful
evolved—for better or worse—into a
celebrate our heritage. Sure Christmas
opportunity to teach your children
is an important “birthday” to many… but
about tolerance and acceptance. It is an
present-fest. Kids run around barely
Hanukkah… well we won a war to inspire
opportunity to teach them to be proud
able to contain their excitement. Public
this holiday! Take that Santa.
of who they are and where they come
schools are rehearsing their holiday
All kidding aside though, kids are
from. And if all else fails… compliment
talent shows. And while they strive to
kids and presents are presents. It can be
these teaching opportunities with “Eight
call them “Holiday Celebrations” and not
very hard to instill a sense of pride in our
Days and Seven Nights” of presents. It’s a
“Christmas Extravaganzas” there is no real
heritage when the colors of green and
sneaky trick, but it works. ✿
Building Family Connection Making family “meetings” exciting. BY TAMMY KECES
Family time can be an important opportunity with monumental benefits.
impact on all members of the family and lend themselves to teaching important life skills including active listening, empathy and cooperation. Family meetings can also be exciting when they involve planning family adventures. A recent study by Cornell University confirmed that family dinners taking place three or more times
reating a peaceful, supportive
midst of our busy lives we all are looking
and loving home can be
for the best ROI (Return On Investment)
a challenge. We routinely
when it comes to how we spend our time
come home after long days
and family time can be an important
only to tackle endless “to do’s” that includes homework, laundry, cooking and
opportunity with monumental benefits. Family meeting time is defined
schlepping to activities. It’s no wonder
here simply as coming together for a
that families find it hard to connect. As
scheduled event such as playing a board
difficult as it sounds to add one more
game, going to the park, planning a
item to the list, what if you were told that
weekend outing, cuddling up to watch a
coming together for a “family meeting”
family movie, or even a Shabbat meal. For
(sans electronics) could create deep,
families who practice Positive Discipline,
emotional connections, build confidence
a family meeting may start with a round
in your teen, allow your child’s voice to
of Compliments and Appreciations,
be heard and solve pressing problems?
followed by addressing problems on the
What if it would boost your child’s grades
Family Meeting Agenda. These meetings
or spare them from depression? In the
are proven to make a positive emotional
a week make a significant impact on the quality of relationships in a family as well as the academic and emotional outcomes of children. A leading scholar of the last generation, Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz, reminds us that “Making time for your child entails truly being present both in mind and body, and providing the undivided attention that children need to develop.” Although getting everyone together may seem like a monumental task, making family time a priority can be the critical difference in keeping your family genuinely connected, happy and strong. ✿ Tammy Keces M.A. is the principle of Irvine Hebrew Day School and a lead Certified Positive Discipline Trainer.
The Science of Happiness Starting your day with a bowl of gratitude. BY SUE PENN
Beginning our day by acknowledging a blessing sets us up to perceive happy tidings.
A truly happy person finds it easier to express gratitude. We are thankful for all the blessings that fill our day. We start our day with the “Modeh Ani” thanking G-d for another day. Beginning our day by acknowledging a blessing sets us up to perceive happy tidings as we move through the trials and tribulations that come our way. Expressing our gratitude for the good things we encounter or trying to place a positive spin on most situations, models
gratitude for our children. This makes
appiness is firmly
through loss according to accepted
ingrained in Jewish
rituals. The science of happiness shows
tradition. In fact, when
us that strong family relationships and
we evaluate the newest
supporting one another through loss,
scientific research on happiness, we
helps us to adopt a happier outlook
can correlate much of its findings
toward life. Our Jewish traditions and
with the Jewish way of life. Judaism
way of life have been passed down
encourages community participation
through the generations, while the
filled with food and tradition while
science of happiness is a fairly new
research shows us that those involved
endeavor. How wonderful that they
in community are happier people.
correlate, that living a life steeped in
Judaism prescribes family values,
Jewish culture and tradition helps us
relationships, celebrations and working
it easier for them to find happiness as they grow through good and difficult situations. We all desire that our children grow into happy adults. Let’s take a page from the science of happiness and one from our Jewish tradition and culture, let’s acknowledge our blessings, model gratitude and live a happier life! ✿ 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.
ADHD and Neurofeedback by Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari
ADHD (ADD) is an abbreviation for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. There is some confusion with the initials and names used for this disorder. ADHD actually means Attention Deficit, with or without Hyperactivity, Disorder. There are actually three sub-types of this disorder; Primarily Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive (either or both), and the Combined Type (all three sets of symptoms). There are four recognized forms of treatment that parents try for ADHD, counseling, tutoring, medication and neurofeedback (EEG-Biofeedback). Of the four options, neurofeedback is the only method that corrects the underlying cause of the disorder in a one-time treatment, rather than merely managing the symptoms or teaching the child how best to live with it (counselingtherapy); filling in the gaps in learning caused by the disorder without actually correcting the ongoing disorder (tutoring); or merely suppressing the symptoms Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari through a lifelong, often sideeffect laden administration of pharmaceuticals (medication). Neurofeedback is an effective; drug and side effect-free, painless procedure in which the individual learns to retrain the attention and/ or impulse control mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition. Once training is completed, no further treatment is necessary. In conclusion, neurological testing of the underlying chemical (brain) imbalance is the only objective method to determine if the symptoms are actually caused by ADHD (this is the type of testing done in neurofeedback). Furthermore, neurofeedback is the best option for treating the disorder, as it actually corrects the problem in a onetime treatment, rather than trying to feel comfortable with a correctable problem, constantly playing catch-up, trying to fill in gaps that continue to occur, or life-long medication with the possibility of significant side-effects. Neurofeedback also successfully treats hi-functioning autism, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders. To learn more about treating these disorders, Neurofeedback, or to see a demonstration of the technique, visit our website at OC.Biofeedback.com or call Dr. Ferrari at 714-990-6536. 11
Not Your Typical High School Club Inspiring Jewish teens across Orange County. BY KIDDISH
There are wonderful Jewish opportunities available in our community.
all the wonderful Jewish opportunities they have within our community and beyond. By motivating teens to be leaders in their schools, bringing in Jewish professionals to present further opportunities, creating bonds of friendship, and of course, food, BJE is excited to be reaching more Jewish teens than ever before. This year, BJE will be in the following schools: OCSA, Northwood, Irvine, Fountain Valley
and Corona del Mar. If your teen is
any teens have been
States, high school Jewish clubs
interested in starting a club at their
a part of the Bureau
have created an incredible sense
school, please contact them!
of Jewish Education’s
of community, participation and
(BJE) community since
excitement amongst teens. In just eight
to thrive as we serve 8th-12th
childhood… for some it may be their
years, over 5,000 Jewish teens have
graders in our community. Retreats,
first experience with the organization.
found their identity through their
Young Philanthropy, leadership
Either way, BJE wants everyone to
school clubs and are becoming leaders,
opportunities and Shabbat
know just how welcome they are.
inspiring their friends, and discovering
experiences will be plentiful this year.
the variety of experiences they can
We hope to see you there!
It is with great enthusiasm and anticipation that BJE announces some
have as Jewish youth. This year, in
TALIT Nation will continue
Please feel free to stop by and
upcoming changes to its program
partnership with Jewish Student
visit us any time—our doors are
Connection (JSC) and local Jewish
always open. ✿
There is no better way to reach
students, BJE has established five
Jewish teens than to go to where they
Jewish clubs in local high schools. It’s
are—in school. Across the United
important to make our teens aware of
Email us at email@example.com or visit www.bjeoc.org. For more information on JSC, visit www.myjsc.org.
Teaching Gratefulness When you give back you give to yourself. BY LISA MONETTE
Try making a creative corkboard full of symbols and words of gratitude.
a blessing,” suggests Jamie Evans, who volunteers with her husband and two sons, “Not just for the organization and people we are supporting, but for us as a family. Children watch everything you do. By giving back to the community, you show them firsthand how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help other people and enact change.”
Discussing Political Issues “I help my son be aware of what’s good in his life by discussing political issues with him,” says Julie, mom to an
eaching gratefulness is not a new concept. References to gratefulness abound in Pirke Avot. “Who is rich? Those who
rejoice in their own portion” – Pirke
Avot 4:1. In this day and age of material treats, gratitude is more important than ever. A field of research demonstrates benefits to kids who literally count their blessings.
Making a Grateful Board “Part of our Thanksgiving tradition
is to fill our grateful board,” says Kim,
11-year-old. He’s helped me decide who
mother of three. “Each November, we
to vote for in two presidential elections,
bring out a corkboard, covered in rustic
even drawing pro’s and cons. He’s really
burlap with ribbons and such, and each
had to weigh what is important.
day all of us cut out a shape (I like hearts)
Don’t forget to share your own
and write one thing we are grateful for.
gratefulness. Like all lessons for our kids,
Some are big items, others small. By the
modeling makes the strongest mark. By
end of the month we have a truly festive
making gratefulness a part of your daily
and meaningful decoration. It is fun to
life, it becomes a part of your kids’ daily
read previous years writings as well.”
Lisa Monette, firstname.lastname@example.org, has worked with children for over 15 years, she is the Director of the Sheila and Eric Samson Family Early Childhood Center at the Merage JCC.
Few experiences mean more than volunteering as a family. “It’s been such
kosher dog MEET NOVEMBER’S WINNER, OUR TOP DAWG!
eddy Bassman was “knighted and crowned” the summer of 2013 when his family hosted three teenagers from Great Britain for the JCC Maccabi Games and Artsfest. Teddy is a Coton De Tulear and in the 17th century his ancestors, from Madagascar, were called upon to be companions for royalty. We are so happy that “Sir Tedward” has finally gotten back to his roots and calling. After in-depth research, we have discovered that Teddy is the first Jewish dog to be knighted. Sir Tedward loves to go on long Balboa Island walks, paddle board, bark at big dogs, sing and boss his family around. Sir Tedward and his family have remained very close to his British friends and their families and thank the OC Maccabi games for these very special relationships!
— The Bassman Family
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.
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