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April 2014 Nisan 5774


A Jolt of Jenergy Moishe House’s Jennifer Saar Exclusive Online Stories See Page 7 For Details

“Drinking to That” Has Ancient Roots










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JLIFE | NISAN 5774 | APRIL 2014




Out of the Ashes Congregation Optimistic



Israel Scene Body Talk On the Lighter Side From the Source


Israeli Guy Not Knowing How To Ask


Varying Degrees News from the Jewish College Scene Fresh Orange Jews O.C.’s Fresh Faces




Jews and Booze “Drinking to That”

Gen Y World with Rachel Schiff



From Athletes to Legends Rising to the Challenge

Seniors Calendar Fitness, Education & More



Society Roundup Out and About in O.C.


News & Jews O.C. Jewish Scene


Releasing the Light Mussar



Letters A Word from the Publisher and Candle Lighting Times


Choice Words A Letter from the Editor



Kvetch and Kvell/Who Knew? Words from Our Readers and Jewish Celebrities


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

PASSOVER Long and Short of It New Ideas


Concert Calendar Courtesy of the Orange County Concert Guide



Cooking Jewish with Judy Bart Kancigor PROFILES


A Jolt of Jenergy Jennifer Saar Jlife


Advertising Index


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Look inside for Kiddish, our new insert publication, right after page 44.

28 On the Cover

Alcohol is a part of many Jewish celebrations. How do we keep it under control?

Online Exclusives


E-Words Peace Process News Up-to-the-Minute, from Around the World Why Is This Night Different? Passover Activities Connections Finding a Place in the Community Rock the Seder Bronfman Haggadah

From the Bronfman Haggadah


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Jlife is published monthly by Orange County Jewish Life, LLC. Subscription rate is $24 for one year (12 issues). Send subscription requests to 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.


From the Publisher


his month we celebrate Passover. It is, among other things, a celebration of springtime, renewal and rebirth.

Our Orange County Jewish Life magazine will also be evolving in the coming months. As a first step, we will be rebranding the magazine, which from now on will be called Jlife. In addition, we will be adding more editorial content related specifically to Generation Y. These people are the future leaders of

our Jewish community, and we believe it is important to follow and cover their numerous activities and interests. Let us know your thoughts throughout this year – what we are doing right and what we can enhance. Most importantly, be involved – an involved community is a rich community! Happy holidays, Mody Gorsky Publisher

CANDLE LIGHTING TIMES, TORAH PORTIONS AND HOLIDAYS Nisan 5774 Friday, April 4 Light candles at 6:56 p.m. Saturday, April 5 Torah Portion: Metzora (Leviticus 14:1-15:33) Friday, April 11 Light candles at 7:01 p.m. Saturday, April 12 Torah Portion: Ahare Mot (Leviticus 16:1-18:30) Monday, April 14 Erev Pesach/First Seder Light candles at 7:03 p.m. Tuesday, April 15 Pesach/Second Seder Light candles after 8 p.m. Friday, April 18 Light candles at 7:06 p.m. Saturday, April 19 Torah Portion: Hol Hamoed Pesach Friday, April 25 Light candles at 7:11 p.m. Saturday, April 26 Torah Portion: Kedoshim (Leviticus 19:1-20:27)

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From the Editor

BEYOND THE SPIRITUAL Israel holds allure. FROM THE SPARKLING stone walls of Jerusalem to the dramatic rock formations of the Negev, Israel never ceases to satiate my desire for adventures in my other homeland. The passion to be there exerts a force on me like nothing else. Although I was 7,200 miles from my “permanent address,” I was home. In the midst of the most multicultural country in the world, I experienced incomparable serenity. Saying “Slicha?” (Excuse me?), “Anglit?” (Do you speak English?), “Ayfo sherutim?” (Where is the bathroom?) and a few other choice words got me pretty far. In Jerusalem I visited Hadassah Hospital, prayed at the Western Wall, walked through the Cardo and shopped on Ben Yehuda Street and in the Mahane Yehuda. I navigated by bus and train, one time with the help of an Arabic woman. I only knew that because I tried to communicate with her sons in Hebrew. I even went into the uncharted areas of East Jerusalem and beyond the Green Line and witnessed real Israelis in areas where other people live – without incident. I got rejuvenated at the Dead Sea (thanks to writer Andrea 16 APRIL 2014 |


Simantov, who truly made her home in Jerusalem my home) and walked the beautiful beaches of Tel Aviv. I also connected with several Israel residents who work with this magazine – Pepe Fainberg, Teddy Weinberger and Susie Lubell. On this Israel trip, my third, I got to feed my intellectual hunger as well as my spiritual hunger. Thanks to American Associates of Ben Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev, I learned why and how the dream of David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, to make the expansive desert a viable population center, is being realized. According to Alon Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., of the Zlotowski Center for Neuroscience at BGU, “We’re a small group in the middle of nowhere and have to compete, but there is no dispute about this part of the land of Israel, and there is a lot to develop. It took 60 years to understand Ben Gurion’s vision that this was the place to develop. The southern part of Israel has lots of space and less than 1 million inhabitants, and there is a role for the university to cultivate it. BGU is not an

ivory tower, but it has a role in developing the area.” Relating that most people in the 21st century will die of brain disorders, Dr. Friedman said that 30 percent of the population will suffer from some type of brain disorder – stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other such problems – at a huge cost to themselves and society. For five days, we learned about the bench-to-bedside approach of Ben Gurion University and Soroka Hospital on campus while discovering the nature and character of the region. Where some of the world’s media see apartheid and oppression, I saw people living side by side and making it work. In both Hadassah Hospital and Soroka Hospital, there are Jews served and serving alongside other populations. While I heard about great advances in medicine and watched every driver navigating with a Waze®, I knew there were pockets of poverty. I was convinced that the Israelis are working on that. After all, as the Israeli national anthem says, there is hope.

Ilene Schneider

The passion to be there exerts a force on me like nothing else.


Kvetch & Kvell Minister is correct when he states “When people say they are going to annihilate you, take them seriously.”

Stu Kaiden



I read with great interest your excellent and informative piece “Cloaked in Cowardice: Anti-Semitism Takes on a New Life” in the March issue. And while I found it spot on, I would only add that, as I read it, it leaves out one key factor: that of anti-Semitism from “within our ranks” if you would. In my own experience as an educator, journalist and author, I have found some of the most virulent forms of anti-Semitism to be borne among us Jews ourselves. This is especially true of Jews in academia and in the media, in which Jewish reporters assist in painting the negative picture of Israel your piece refers to.

BUT TELL US HOW YOU REALLY FEEL No doubt you will get a plethora of response to your article on the subject of Anti-Semitism and the self-hating Jews that wish they were not Jews and find themselves picked on by the KKK and the other haters. Unless you have grown up with and experienced anti-Semitism first hand, it is hard to describe the feelings you will come away with from that experience. I have and I know many of my friends have had that experience. A lot of them are subtle and below the surface, such as

being denied a hotel room if you are black or a “Non-Christian” and the hotel “policy” is displayed on a placard on the counter – or if you have a co-worker consistently calling co-workers “Jew-boy.” Then there is the case of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being dismissed by Obama and exiting the White House by the garbage. If that is not enough of a tip off about how this administration feels regarding the existence of Israel, look at how it consistently dismisses the rocket attacks on Israel. Would it permit a foreign government or terrorist group to get away with that on the USA? I believe the Prime

Two examples come immediately to mind: Professor/author Noam Chomsky, who makes no secret of his anti-Israel sentiment in his writings. He is but one of myriad Jewish academics who populate eastern establishment and Ivy League colleges, such as Columbia University, who, seemingly en masse, harbor such hatred for their own. Another example is closer to home for me personally. Two years ago, I retired from the Los Angeles Unified School District after a 36-year career during which I had no choice other than to be a member of the teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles. At one point, the union decided to sponsor two Palestinian spokespersons to rant to us teachers about Israel. That was until the Jewish rank and file rose up, I among them, and refused to allow it. Yet, the president of UTLA at the time, a Jew by the name of A. J. Duffy, went on record as saying that he was president of a Continued on page 20

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LETTERS Continued from page 18

democratic union and, as long as he was the president, the union had the right to invite to speak anyone it wished. In letters to the editors of the L.A. Times, the L.A. Daily News and the Jewish Journal, the latter two of which published my letters, I castigated Mr. Duffy and asked him, if the union is so democratic, when can we expect to have the spokesperson for the IDF come speak? Of course, Mr. Duffy, and UTLA, never had any such plans. So much for a democratic teachers’ union. Some would cloak – to use your word –these actions in statements such as, “It is possible to be anti-Israel and not anti-Semitic.” That may or may not have been the case many years ago, but as your piece so well points out, not today with anti-Semitism on the rise all over the globe. I find the words and actions of people like Chomsky and Duffy to be nothing more that a guise for anti-Semitism coming from a core of people who, for whatever reason, are ashamed to be what they were born. It is extremely angering and sad that this hateful sentiment has to come from within our own people.

Marc Yablonka, Adjunct Instructor, Pasadena City College Community Education Center, Burbank, CA

TO THE POINT 1. What does AMCHA do? 2. What does JCPA do? 3. What group can an ordinary Jewish Orange County citizen join so that he might make a difference?

According to its website, “The AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America.” Its objectives are: to investigate and document the problem of campus anti-Semitism in its database and investigative reports; to organize and carry out campaigns to address campus anti-Semitism, to educate the Jewish community and the general public about about the problem of anti-Semitism on college and university campuses and to foster grassroots activism to act locally and nationally to combat campus antiSemitism across the country. Contact the group at The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) describes itself as “the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community,” which “serves as the national coordinating and advisory body for the 14 national and 125 local agencies comprising the field of Jewish community relations.” Further the organization says it is the united voice of the organized Jewish community. For more than sixty years, the JCPA has identified issues, formulated policy, developed strategies and programs, and given expression to a strongly united Jewish communal voice. It held at plenum in Atlanta in March. The organization can be reached at (202) 212-6031. “Making a difference” is a broad topic. See if these organizations are going in the direction you want to go. Feel free to contact us again too. We are always happy to help people in the community to participate in Jewish life. – Ed.

Steve Masler

We welcome your letters! Email with your feedback.

20 APRIL 2014 |


Who Knew? Canada’s rising Broadway star, Caissie Levy, was born and raised in southern Ontario in an artistic family. Her brothers, Robi and Josh, are film directors, writers and producers known as “The Levy Brothers.” Originally planning on pursuing her love for theatre through a Canadian Shakespearean program, she auditioned on a whim for New York’s world-renowned American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) and got in! Immediately after graduating – literally a week later – Levy landed the lead role of Maureen in the U.S national tour of Rent 12 years ago. Since then, she has appeared in Hairspray as Penny Pingleton, Wicked as Elphaba, Hair as Sheila, and Ghost: The Musical as Molly Jensen. Levy, who is married to David Reisner, is appearing at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre as Fantine in the revival of Les Miserables. (Source: Shalom Life, March 3, 2014)


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Chazak Chazak V’Nitchazek Be strong, be strong and we will be strengthened!


n Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m., February 15, 2014, a fire broke out in the kitchen at Temple Beth Sholom. Unfortunately, this fire not only consumed our kitchen, but the entire Sanctuary, Social Hall and Offices, including the Rabbi’s study have been damaged by smoke and soot. Temple Beth Sholom will be out of our building for up to one year. We are grateful to the OC Jewish community and community at

large, for opening their arms, hearts and homes. We have been blessed to share Shabbat with other congregations and are grateful for the outpouring of love. Rebuilding takes a community and we know we cannot do it alone. We are grateful for any and all support we have and will receive. A building is only bricks and mortar – a community and congregation have a heart and soul. Each of you in our Jewish community help breathe life back into our soul and we thank you.

Please follow our progress and be a part of helping Temple Beth Sholom, the oldest congregation in Orange County, rebuild once again. Visit for updates and see how you can make a donation toward our Fire Recovery Fund. Bivracha – with blessings from a grateful congregation, Rabbi Heidi M. Cohen and the Temple Beth Sholom Family

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Body Talk Scare has its benefits.



THE NOVELIST CATHERINE Aird is probably less noted for her novels than for her pithy barbs, one of which stated, “If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” Oh, how I yuk-yukked at that one, cutting it out of the paper and hanging it on the door of one particularly recalcitrant and generally uncooperative male child. I was reminded of this recently when, after a few months of feeling generally low-energy and listless, I was finally convinced by my savvy husband to get a blood test. This isn’t to say that my regular physician,

Quasimodo Birnbaum, wasn’t frequently ordering tests for me as a matter of sound medical practice; I’m a crummy patient and kept losing the prescriptions, forgetting my appointments, postponing and wishing away any routine health care. Also, just the phrase “stool sample” makes me turn green, and I’ve had some bad experiences with storing little jars of yellow liquid in the fridge alongside the Tabasco sauce and anchovies. When I could barely comb my hair last week and only put lipstick on the right side of my mouth, my


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WE ARE MOVING AROUND THE CORNER husband pushed me into the car and drove me to the blood lab. He’d already made an appointment for me with my doctor for the next evening to discuss the results. Well, lo and behold, a full day before the dreaded post-bloodletting appointment, Dr. Quasimodo B. called my office and asked me how I was feeling. When I said, “Fine, thank you,” he responded, “Like hell you are. Get over to the hospital. I haven’t gotten back all of the results, but you have a hemoglobin count of 6.7 and need an immediate blood transfusion.” He may have said some other “crappola” but the phrase “blood transfusion” did the trick; I called my much-better half to pick me up from the office, bolted out the door and prayed that my underwear was adequately clean for the probable battery of tests that lay ahead. The words “I told you so” were unnecessary; upon entering the ER, my blood pressure was 86/44 and between the blood tests, electrocardiogram, repetitive questionnaires and beeping machines that guarantee sleepless nights for any Jew in a four mile radius, I felt duly chastised. My husband’s mood became greatly uplifted, however, when he observed me dive under an examination table before a prophylactic rectal exam. Oh, the mirth! The gaiety! The lighthearted fun! Only 24 hours after arriving in the emergency room, I was moved to the wards. In the interim I received several liters of life-saving blood, listened to curses in several indigenous Middle Eastern languages and enjoyed an upper endoscopy under superior sedation. Twenty-four hours later came the requisite colonoscopy. Gosh darn it, no malformations and no sign, yet, of the indicated slow-bleed that was sapping my energy and responsible for this acute anemia. In fact, each invasive exam and blood test indicated that the initial reports were correct; a healthy 58-yearold woman with no sign of blood disease who has, obviously, a shoddy gasket somewhere in her lithe and stunning body. (I made up the lithe and stunning part.) With only a minor breakdown or two, prayers to my late father and a few targeted supplications to our God in Heaven, my spirits remained high. My two sons spent Shabbos with me and I relished watching them make kiddush over wine, eat eggand-honey challah and dine on roast chicken and kugel while I ingested a sumptuous meal of clear Jell-O®, chicken broth and weak tea.

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Our traditional Melave Malke, celebrating the departure of the Sabbath, had me readying for a CT scan. It was only at the last moment I decided that pearls were, perhaps, a tad formal. And when, again, they found nothing, it was decided that I could continue treatment as an outpatient, monitor my hemoglobin and blood pressure, take it easy at work and see a gastroenterologist pronto. There is talk about capsule endoscopy – the infamous “Pill Cam,” which merrily circumnavigates the innards in yet another endeavor at finding this sucker. While I’m not exactly jubilant these days, my numbers are gently elevated, and I’m both alive and loved. I feel confident and protected by the excellent treatment I’ve received from my doctor and the entire Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center. Odd as this may sound, it has been a gift to experience what real lovingkindness is all about from the “patient side” of the hospital experience. Young men with guitars dancing in and out of the rooms during the pre-Shabbos lulls while singing lively Shlomo Carlbach zmirot. Adorable women volunteers, both young and old, distributed cakes, reading materials and, when needed, Shabbos hugs completely free of charge. And a Bozo-the-Clown look-alike, replete with red nose and glued-on pink Hasidic earlocks (payes), made me a balloon sculpture and plastered my unflattering hospital PJs with glow-in-the-dark stickers. Shaarei Tzedek is a massive operation, a twenty-four-hour life-saving machine that mirrors the best of Israel and is staffed by – and serves – at least as many Arabs as Jews. Israel as an apartheid state? My sides hurt when I laugh. On an additional bright note, I’ve discovered that anemia, enemas and Jell-O fasts provide a helpful boost to the Weight Watchers Quick Start Program. The results are impressive. I’ve already promised the doctor, the husband, the children and the new boss that I’ll keep my appointments, take the meds, rest when tired and stop trying to personally cure all of the world’s ills. And what am I looking forward to more than anything? Getting on the scale at the next Weight Watchers meeting!

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 26 APRIL 2014 |



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On the Lighter Side | BY MAYRAV SAAR


From the Source

How will this raunchy pumping ritual affect the child?



IT IS SAID that the ancient poets “wrote in the language they imbibed with their mother’s milk.” If that is the case, my daughter is going to write some dirty, filthy stuff one day. For the past five months, I have been pumping during the workday to keep my daughter supplied with what is affectionately referred to in my house as “booby juice.” To pass the time while I pump – and to take my mind off the fact that I am sitting in a supply closet (the only room in the office with an opaque door that locks) – I listen to standup comedians. Not, like, Seinfeld and Cosby standup comedians. I listen to Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt and Louis C.K. – comedians with brilliant cadences, demented outlooks on life and a very real, very pronounced affection for four-letter words. My dirty comic pumping habit began five months ago, when I went back to work. Because I dreaded the whole idea of pumping, I decided to “reward” myself by making a little “Patton Oswalt” station on the Internetbased personalized radio service Pandora. I figured it would help me get through the awfulness. And, indeed, it did. But it also did something else: It increased my milk supply. At first I figured it was a fluke. But soon there was no denying it: Something about a Greg Giraldo joke got my mammary glands going, and whenever I pumped to anything other than standup, my output was much lower. This was true whether I was listening to nothing, watching TV, listening to music or talking on the phone. Apparently nothing beats the milk-producing power of broken people sharing their skewed outlook on our unjust world. I found the formula so flawless that I even proposed it to a friend who said she was having trouble pumping. She looked at me like I was crazy. Milk thistle, she was expecting. Dark beer, even. But how is a five-minute Amy Schumer set about sexual misadventures supposed to help? This is not in any of the parenting books. I am not sure what effect, if any, this will have on my girl. The food a woman consumes supposedly

affects the taste of her milk, but what about the media she consumes? Will my daughter have a mouth like Eddie Murphy? I kind of hope so. A lot of the comedians I listen to have children of their own and talk more honestly than they should about how lousy they are as parents or how horrible toddlers can be. I wish I could print any of it here, but the fact that I can’t tells you just how raw and funny they are. I know it is silly, but I have to imagine that as Sivan guzzles her bottle, she gulps this stuff down, too. I hope that the smile she wears when she’s finished eating means more than that she’s just milk drunk. I hope it means she feels sated and tired and happy – the way we all feel after a really good laugh. After a 10-year career as a newspaper reporter for the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register, Mayrav Saar left to try her hand at child rearing and freelance writing.

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Why does he not know how to ask? Silence may not be golden.



NOTHING TOPS A child who does not know how to ask, according to my teacher, Rabbi Lior Engelman. This is the easiest kid in the world: he sticks to the tried and true, he does not question or challenge, he does not cause trouble and he is not chutzpadik. A child made to order. He is far from the wicked son who scornfully asks “what is this worship of yours?” Unlike the simple son, he does not even ask “what is this?” He is just a shy, good boy blessed with good manners. Not for nothing is he beloved of parents and teachers. How pleasant to raise a child like this; how easy it is to bask in the illusion that his lack of questions means that there are no problems. How tempting to become a parent who does not know how to ask, who does not stir up trouble by wondering why the child does not ask any questions. It can be frightening to ask! A child might think: “Maybe if I do get up the courage to ask questions that are really bothering me, it will become apparent that there are no answers, and I will be condemned to live with doubts all my life.” Fear of the absence of an answer can silence the need to ask. We are not speaking of one who does not ask because his path is clear to him. On the contrary: this is a child who has no true belief that he will receive a proper answer to his questions. He has no faith in answers that the Torah might provide, he does not trust his parents or teachers and he does not believe in himself. He chooses to float in calm, question-less waters — not because he does not have what to ask, but because he does not have hope for answers. Not infrequently a child who does not know how to ask is the product of surroundings that do not really provide a place to question. Any time the child asked, he was put off or silenced, or his teachers frantically hurried to come up with an immediate, shallow answer. The child learned that there are questions that one does not ask and there are thoughts that one does not think. Eventually, he silenced his questions -- for what good

can be found in raising questions in a world without answers? There is a different type of child who does not ask. This one does not fear the absence of answers; rather, he is bothered by the consequences. He knows that the courage to ask will yield answers that will make demands upon him. He is threatened by the significance of these answers, and thus he chooses to hide behind the mask of “everything is fine.” This child is not necessarily one who finds it difficult to ask questions of others. We are speaking about someone who does not know how to ask questions about himself, about his life, about his path. He has questions and is certain that there are answers, but he feels that they are liable to shake him to his core. The fear of the meaning of the answers causes him to neglect the questions. It is easier for him to assume a calm expression and simply not to know how to ask. It is pleasant to raise a child who accepts everything as given, who does not force us to struggle with questions that we ourselves did not dare to ask. Pleasant but not right. How wonderful to live within a family that does question, that believes in a child’s ability not to fall to pieces in light of his questions. Such a family believes in the power of a question to open up new vistas and to be rewarded with grand answers. “And the one who does not know how to ask -- open for him.” Open for him an opening for belief in his ability to ask big questions and to discover worlds. This child, the one who does not know how to ask could be my son, my daughter, my brother or my student, and sometimes, this child could simply be me.

Teddy Weinberger, Ph.D., is a tennis coach who made aliyah with his family in 1997 from Miami, where he was an assistant professor of religious studies. He and his wife, Sarah Jane Ross, have five children.



“Drinking to that” Has Ancient Roots by Eve Gumpel

THE CHOSEN PEOPLE IN THE ERA OF PROHIBITION Throughout most of American history, alcohol has been as American as apple pie, according to Don Schwartz, emeritus professor of history at California State University, Long Beach. The Mayflower’s hold was filled with beer. George Washington, who owned a whiskey distillery, made sure his troops were supplied with a beverage he considered “essential.” Even Paul Revere stopped for a drink on his famous midnight ride, Schwartz explained in a March 3 talk at the Merage Jewish Community Center. “Jews & Booze: The Chosen People in the Era of Prohibition” was the third in a series of three talks Schwartz gave in a series called “The Jewish Experience.” 34 APRIL 2014 |


Schwartz said that Colonial Americans drank on all occasions – sealing a business deal, raising a barn, holding an agricultural fair. During trials, a bottle was often passed around the courtroom, he said. For Jews, alcohol has been a constant at family gatherings, rituals and meals – and Jews have traded in alcohol since at least the sixth century, when they settled in Babylon after the destruction of the Temple. In the more modern era, Jews in the Russian Pale – limited in the professions they could ply – dominated the alcohol industry. An 1870 census revealed that 89 percent of all distillers and 74 percent of all brewers were Jews. Continued on page 38



| APRIL 2014 35

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| APRIL 2014 37

COVER STORY Continued from page 35

Alcohol has been prevalent in American history, and Jews have played a major part in supplying it.

That changed in the 1890s, when the Russian government declared a monopoly on the liquor business, one of the reasons for Russian Jews’ mass migration to the United States. Since it was a trade they were familiar with, they brought it to the United States. By the 1900s, for example, Jews were selling 24 percent of the whiskey in Cincinnati and 25 percent of the whiskey in Louisiana. Meanwhile, in America, the average American was drinking 88 gallons of whiskey a year. At the same time, alcohol was beginning to get a bad reputation. Drinking had disruptive social consequences, and Americans were taking note, Schwartz said. They began to associate drinking with crime. Temperance became a cause cèlébre. As the number of saloons and liquor dealers grew exponentially, alcohol began to be seen as a problem imposed by immigrants – even though Americans had always been heavy drinkers. The

Jews have traded in alcohol since at least the sixth century, when they settled in Babylon after the destruction of the Temple. 38 APRIL 2014 |


Anti-Saloon League was established in 1893 and eventually turned its moral crusade into the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which ushered in Prohibition. In general, saloon patrons included pickpockets, pimps and gamblers. By contrast, many Jewish saloons featured coffee, tea and cake, and women and men patronized such saloons. On January 16, 1920, the 18th Amendment made prohibition a national law, enforced through the Volstead Act. The amendment declared the production, transport and sale of alcohol illegal. “Drinking was not illegal, nor was making wine for your own consumption,” Schwartz said. Alcohol was also allowed for medicinal purposes and religious rituals. Jewish households were allowed a certain amount of alcohol per year, with permission from their rabbi. Temptation overcame caution, and many impoverished immigrant rabbis began dispensing alcohol to more than just their parishioners. There was also a sudden explosion of “rabbis,” some with names like Kelly and O’Shanahan. Prohibition initiated a crime wave as speakeasies sprouted, bootlegging became commonplace, and Jewish gangsters such as Waxy Gorden and Dutch Shultz were born. “Jewish gangsters were often allied with Italians, in a marriage of moxie (the Jews), muscle (the Italians) and money (both),” Schwartz said. Prohibition also coincided with a growing anti-Semitism that had been dormant much of the 19th century. Most American Jews opposed Prohibition, and prohibitionists insisted their

efforts were on the side of God. But Jews were not alone in opposing Prohibition. “Flouting prohibition was a national pastime,” Schwartz says. But the fact that Jews were among those failing to obey the law gave anti-Semites reason to say that Jews would never become true Americans. Jews’ flouting of Prohibition didn’t sit well with some of their brethren. Supreme Court Justices Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter opposed Prohibition but insisted that Jews adhere to the law of the land. Moses Alexander, governor of the state of Idaho, signed a 1916 law prohibiting alcohol in his state. And Simon Banberger, Utah’s first non-Mormon mayor, also championed prohibition. In another fissure between Jews, Zionists believed that only wines from Palestine should be allowed for ritual use. Eventually, public opinion turned against Prohibition. The 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment, was adopted on December 5, 1933. That offered special relief to Jews: Alcohol could no longer be used as a weapon of anti-Semitism. Jews re-entered the alcohol trade. Rheingold beer was re-launched, and the number of kosher vintners increased. Still, the era of Jews in the alcohol trade was drawing to an end. After World War II, professions previously closed to Jews – among them medicine, law and education – were no longer prohibited. And Jews entered many other endeavors, and their inclusion in the alcohol industry waned. Continued on page 40

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| APRIL 2014 39

COVER STORY Jews were given special dispensation to use wine for ritual practices, such as the observance of Shabbat and holidays.

Continued from page 38

Jews & Booze: Tradition & Temptation Wine is an important beverage in Jewish tradition. “It’s a symbol of joy, and we celebrate simchas (happy events) with wine,” says Rabbi Arnie Rachlis of University Synagogue in Irvine. “One of the central customs of the Shabbat table is wine.” Another, of course, is bread. Rachlis explained that wine and bread strike a balance: Wine is meant to elevate us, and bread to ground us. Rabbi Drew Kaplan, rabbi and director for Southern California Jewish Student Services and rabbi for Long Beach Hillel, can quote plenty of Biblical and Talmudic texts relating to alcohol. That includes texts that speak to moderation. He points to a story in the Babylonian Talmud about Rabbah, who killed Rabbi Zeira after they got drunk at a Purim banquet. Rabbah was able to revive Rabbi Zeira, but when he suggested to Rabbi Zeira the following year that they enjoy another Purim drinking party, Rabbi Zeira wisely declined. Kaplan, who hosts events for young adults 40 APRIL 2014 |


in their 20s to 30s, often combines Torah study and alcohol in what he calls “Texts & Tastings” events. “We learn about the spirits, and pair it with a text,” he says. He is planning a “Bourbons and Boundaries” event on Sunday, April 27. However, he adds, “I don’t always have alcohol in my programming. I held a couple of events last year with ice cream in the summer and am planning to do some with tea.” Even at the events with alcohol, it is simply a component. “The alcohol is there, but it’s not the focus. The real focus is on the discussion.” Kaplan also notes that young adult events comprise mostly single people, and alcohol “easily functions as a social lubricant, helping people to overcome their fears and anxieties with approaching or speaking with people they may be interested in developing an intimate relationship with.” In general, says Rachlis, Jews have tried to rein in excess consumption of liquor. At University Synagogue, any event that includes kids does not include wine. “When we have a Shabbat dinner, we serve grape juice to everyone,” he says. Wine is reserved for adult events.

Rachlis believes that drinking wine on Shabbat each week helped Jews in earlier times avoid abuse of alcohol the rest of the week. But in the late 20th century, he says, with American Jews becoming more assimilated, Jewish alcohol consumption climbed. “Parents of teenagers will tell you that one of the problems they’re most worried about is excess drinking. I worried, and I had talks with my kids when they entered high school,” he says. Rabbis in the Orthodox community are beginning to address a growing teenage drinking problem, especially during Purim, when our sages tell us to drink until we can’t tell the difference between “Cursed is Haman” and “Blessed is Mordechai.” “The Jewish definition of consuming alcohol comes in stages: tipsy, drunk and as drunk as Lot,” says Rabbi David N. Young of Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Fountain Valley. Lot got so drunk while he and his family were in hiding that his daughters raped him, because they feared they would never have children. Young went on to say that it is OK to get tipsy on Shabbat and holidays. On Purim, even getting drunk is OK. But wine in ancient days was an alcohol syrup to which water was added. So how strong the drink was depended on how much it was watered down. That’s why the guidelines on drinking are geared to how the body feels. Young also pointed out another difference between ancient times and today, using the Passover Seder’s call for four ritual cups of wine (and another at dinner) as an example. “The problem with using that as a guidepost today,” says Young, is that [our forefathers] were all walking home.” Today, most of us drive to and from a Seder. And, says Young, “We have to consider the value of life over everything else.” Young says the tradition in his family was to take four sips of wine, rather than drink four cups. “It’s OK to fill the cup and then replace the sip,” he says. “It’s also OK to use grape juice for Kiddush. It’s a completely halachic substitute.” A

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FROM ATHLETES TO LEGENDS Bernstein, Levin and Simon achieve recognition for rising to the challenge. BY HANNAH SCHOENBAUM

42 APRIL 2014 |



THEY WORK TIRELESSLY to reach their optimal performance, day-in and day-out. They never back down from a challenge, never cease to impress and always go the extra mile. They inspire us to be the best athletes we can be. Champion drag racer Kenny Bernstein, US Women’s soccer player Cami Levin and US and Israeli basketball star Jerry Simon are the best in their sport, and that is why they were chosen as the 2014 inductees for the Orange County Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. On the evening of Saturday, March 1, at the Merage Jewish Community Center, these three stellar athletes were honored at the Dinner of Champions, along with the winners of the Maccabi Legacy Award, Irv Chase, Barry Kahn and Janine Segal, and the nineteen high school nominees for the Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete Award. This award was presented to the one girl and boy who were the most highly accomplished in the areas of academics, sports and community service. The night kicked off with an auction of various sports-themed items, some of which were donated by the Hall of Fame inductees themselves. Kenny Bernstein even donated one of his coveted “Bud King” racing helmets for the auction. The guests strolled in and met the new inductees, who were both friendly and easily approachable. They were open to having conversations with all the guests, which made it difficult to get everyone’s attention for the unveiling of the new additions to the Hall of Fame. Once everyone had been gathered around the Hall of Fame wall, the inductees were formally introduced. The first was Kenny Bernstein.

The new and improved Orange County Jewish Sports Hall of Fame wall.

Nicknamed “The King of Speed” and “The Bud King,” Bernstein was a champion drag racer and the first driver to break 300 miles per hour in the standing-start quarter mile. He won 69 NHRA national events, four consecutive Budweiser King Funny Car championships, hence the name “The Bud King,” and two Top Fuel championships during his driving career. Bernstein is also a former NASCAR and IndyCar race team owner. The next inductee to be introduced was US Women’s soccer player Cami Levin. In 2008 Levin was the recipient of the Scholar Athlete Continued on page 44



Tamsen R. Reinheimer, Esq

(714) 573-7149 8 Corporate Park, Suite 300 Irvine, CA 92606


| APRIL 2014 43

F E AT U R E S Continued from page 43

Kenny Bernstein, Cami Levin, Jerry Simon and Irv Chase pose with their new pictures on the Hall of Fame wall.

Winners of the Scholar Athlete Award, Evan Bozanic and Larisa Bokota pose with their awards.

Award as a student of Tarbut V’Torah. She showed that with hard work and dedication to her sport, she could go from winning a small high school sports award to being inducted into the Hall of Fame for the best Jewish professional athletes in all of Orange County. Levin later became the captain of Stanford’s Division 1 National Championship women’s soccer team. She is the current captain of the U23 US national team. Levin played overseas for teams in Australia and Sweden, but recently signed with Sky Blue FC in New Jersey for the upcoming NWSL season. “Cami is a great role model to all young soccer players in Orange County. It is so inspiring that a Jewish soccer player like me can go from practicing on the little soccer fields behind the JCC to the professional stadiums around the world. She makes me proud to be

a Jewish soccer player from Orange County, and from now on when I see her picture on the Hall of Fame wall, it will serve as a reminder that nothing’s impossible,” said freshman and Maccabi soccer player Jenna Borovinsky. The third Hall of Fame inductee was basketball star Jerry Simon. Simon represented Team USA in the 1989 World Maccabiah Games. After playing four seasons of varsity basketball and graduating from University of Pennsylvania in 1990, he went on to play professional basketball in Israel. There were only a limited number of positions for Americans on the Israeli team, so Simon showed his dedication to the sport and to Israel by serving in the Israeli Army for one year, and then rejoining the basketball team as an Israeli citizen. This act of bravery and dedication to Israel made Simon a ·

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a peek inside april 2014







A recipe for hummus that is healthy, allergen-free and easy to make.

Celebrate Passover this year by creating new memories, but don't forget to honor family Seders of the past.

Think outside of the box to create a fun family fitness plan that you can practice just about anywhere.

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How a short midrash passage could be telling more of the story than meets the eye.

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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.




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ello! And welcome to the latest issue of Kiddish

magazine. In this issue, we are so pleased to be focusing not just on family life, but specifically on the health, fitness and well being of your

family. One of the best ways to maintain good health and strengthen family bonds is to get outside and be active together. Luckily, here in beautiful Orange County we have a virtual smorgasbord of outdoor activities to choose from. You can literally go from the surf and sand to the snowy peaks in the span of just a few hours. Our welcoming weather makes playtime a possibility just about any day of the year. Take advantage of all that our "backyard" has to offer and turn fitness into some family "fun-ness." Grab a bike, a board, some skates, a kite (even a pair of sneakers will do) and get outside and play. And here's an idea, why not take your family's holiday observance outdoors. Pack a "Passover Picnic" and celebrate our heritage under the warm Southern California sun. Enjoy!

— Tracey & Lisa

Co-Editor Tracey Armstrong Gorsky is a contributing editor for Orange County Jewish Life 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. Dr. Lisa Grajewski has been a contributing writer for Orange County Jewish Life since 2004. She is a former professional in the Orange County Jewish community, with over 10 years of experience as a volunteer and professional. Dr. Grajewski recently graduated with a doctoral degree in Clinical Forensic Psychology and is currently working toward licensure with a private practice in Tustin.




Hummus among us! This easy, tahini-free recipe makes a healthy dip that's great with chips, crackers, pita or vegetables. BY HEIDI KAHN


What to do:




1 can of garbanzo beans drained (also called chick peas) 1 lemon for squeezing 1 tablespoon canola oil Pinch salt

Place all the ingredients in a food processor.

Dash onion powder


Place garbanzo beans in a zip lock bag and seal. Pound with hands or a block until beans are mushy.

2 Blend until smooth.

Heidi Kahn is a contributing writer to Kiddish magazine and the Pre-School Director at University Synagogue. She is an award-winning teacher who has over 30 years of experience in the field of Jewish Early Childhood Education.


Open zip lock and add lemon juice, oil, salt and onion powder.

3 Enjoy on crackers, vegetable sticks or pita.

Seal bag and squeeze until well mixed. Try it on cucumbers!





A Modern Seder Fighting for freedom from today’s slavery. BY SUSAN PENN, M.ED.


It is vitally important to share the traditions of Judaism.

s we sit down to the Seder

of Judaism, the family connections and

this year, let us remember

the personal histories that preceded us

to talk about the Passover

in order to ensure the continuation of

Seders we have had before.

these in years to come. Each family does

Let us share stories of our grandparents,

something different. Share the uniqueness

great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and

of your celebration with your children

friends and let us pay tribute to those

and guests, taking care to explain where

who brought us to this place, but are no

it began. This nurtures a love for family

longer with us to share in the Seder. It is

tradition, sharing our heritage and culture,

vitally important to share the traditions

and encourages our children to continue




Teach your children not to walk away from injustice.

them in their future lives. As you tell the story of the exodus

discuss issues like bullying, racial, ethnic or other differences. It is the time to

from Egypt, stop to consider those who

speak to your families about values,

are enslaved today. In this millennium,

about focusing on the all-important

we still hear horrendous stories of people

relationships rather than the golden calf;

enslaved in one way or another. How can

and about taking a stand for what you

we bring attention to their plight? Is there

know is wrong. If we proactively address

anything we can do to help free them?

these issues with our children, they are

Take this a step further and explain that

better galvanized to face them when they

not everyone is blessed with the same

are confronted with them and not to just

opportunities, learning styles and family

walk away from injustice. âœż

values and traditions. Do we stand by and watch them be bullied for being different; or do we take a stand as our tradition tells us to? Passover is the perfect time to

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




Fun Family Fitness Games With a few simple props you can turn your backyard into an open-air gym.

Push-ups, curlups, skipping and jogging are all part of the fun!





Not only is hula hooping silly fun, it's a great way to get moving.

What you need:

of that particular activity. Fitness cards

Musical Hoops

can include jumping jacks, crunches,

Materials CD player

mountain climbers, sit-ups, push-ups, running in place, skipping in place and free choice.

Music Index cards with exercises on them and a pair of dice

What you need:

SKIP CARD = skip one lap around the yard REVERSE CARD = jog/walk one lap backward around yard DRAW TWO CARDS = draw two cards from the regular UNO deck and perform the activities corresponds

UNO Cards

to the card color and



Scatter hoops around the yard with index

Each child receives an UNO

fitness cards inside the hoops. Kids move

card. They are to perform an

freely from one hoop to another and

activity based on the card.

kid rolls the dice. The addition of the

WILD DRAW 4 CARD = draw four cards from the UNO deck and do all four activities

when the music stops, each child goes to a hoop and reads the fitness card. One

number of the card

RED CARDS = push ups

So get out of the house and away from

YELLOW CARDS = mountain climbers

the T.V. By focusing more on fitness you

BLUE CARDS = curl ups

are introducing many new ways to get

activity listed on the fitness card. Two

GREEN CARDS = bell jumps/

in shape and add fun and laughs to your

sixes indicate you must perform twelve

lateral jumps

family’s life. âœż

two numbers from the dice indicates how many times you must perform the




Imagining Interesting Gossip To be a fly on the wall. BY ELLIOT FEIN

The Rabbis were holding a Seder in Bnei Brak and spoke about the Exodus from Egypt all night long.


ouldn’t you want to be fly on the wall when that

conversation took place?” It can be fun listing situations when this sentiment is felt. One situation that stimulates my curiosity occurs in the Passover

Haggadah. It involves a short midrash passage that seems insignificant. However, there is probably significance to the insignificance. "Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Joshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Tarphon were holding a Seder in

Bnei Brak and spoke about the Exodus from Egypt all night long, until their students came in from outside and said, “Masters! The time has come for the recitation of the Morning Shema!” These rabbis all lived in the same




Wouldn't you want to be a fly on the wall when that conversation took place?

generation, but resided in different

secretly making reference to a rebellion that

locations. A few things do not make

was taking place or had recently occurred.

sense. Why are these rabbis together on

The five rabbis in the midrash lived

Seder night? Why are they not at home

during the latter Jewish war (around

with their families celebrating Passover?

132 CE). We know from other Talmudic

And, why are the students not taking

references Rabbi Akiva was active in the

advantage of an incredible opportunity?

rebellion. The other rabbis may have

If five great teachers gathered around one table, would their students

been involved as well. A Pesach Seder, therefore, was not

not want to sit in the same room and

taking place. The rabbis gathered to plot

soak in the wisdom? What are they doing

the rebellion. When their students came

outside when they could be learning so

into their room, they were indicating it is

much inside the room?

not time for morning prayers, but to stop

History may answer these questions. In the year 70 and again in 132 CE, Jews in Israel rebelled against the Romans.

their activity, Romans soldiers may be around the corner. We will never know if this

Roman occupation grew too oppressive

interpretation is correct. But, is it not

and our ancestors felt the need to fight

interesting to imagine what would have

for freedom. On both occasions, they lost

been said if it were? âœż

the war with disastrous results. When Rabbis chose to include this paragraph in the Haggadah, they were

Elliot Fein is married to Eve Melman Fein and is the father of two sons Arey and Perry. He is the Education Director at Temple Beth David in Westmister, Calif.





Haskel and Gittel lived in a small house in the woods with their parents.

Haskel & Gittel A delicious take on the symbols of Passover. BY LAURA MILHANDER





assover! Pesach! Every spring we celebrate with loved ones

that we can find our way home.” Haskel and Gittel set forth to collect

as we recall the Exodus from

the berries. Birds had beaten them to it,

Egypt during our Seder, the

however, as the bushes were bare. The

festive meal of the first and second nights

children walked deeper into the woods

of Passover. This was just what one family

to find enough berries to fill their pails.

had done, once upon a time.

Haskel dropped pieces of matzah farfel

Haskel and Gittel and their parents lived in a small house on the edge of the Black Forest. On the third day of

as they walked. Time passed, and the children grew tired, hungry, and thirsty. “Haskel, let us return home,” Gittel

Passover, Haskel and Gittel’s mother sent

suggested, even though their pails

them into the woods, pails in hand, to

were not full. Looking down, they were

collect berries. Haskel grabbed the shank

stunned to find that the hungry birds had

bone as well. He pushed the dry bone

eaten their trail of matzah farfel. Haskel

into his pocket, planning to throw it away

and Gittel were lost.

now that the Seders were over. So as not

The children continued walking,

to lose their way, Haskel scooped up a

hoping they would find their way out of

handful of matzah farfel as they left the

the woods. Birds chirped overhead as


Haskel and Gittel continued to wander,

“We’ll use these to mark our trail through the woods,” he assured Gittel, “so


when a new sound, the sound of water spilling and tumbling over stones,

Hungry birds had eaten the berries before they arrived.




They were shocked and delighted to find a house made of candy!

encouraged them. “Gittel, there is a brook ahead!”


the sugar-glass windows, and the walls were dotted with jelly beans. Out of place

Haskel and Gittel ran in the direction

and in the shadows on the other side of

of the brook, relieved to have a drink

the room was a dismally drab fireplace

and rest. As they approached it, a

with a hearth of stone. The biggest wood-

most unexpected surprise caught their

burning oven that Haskel and Gittel

attention: They saw before them a house

had ever seen was ready for baking and

made out of gingerbread! There were

warmed the cottage uncomfortably.

cookie shingles on the roof, sugar-glass

Appetizing scents filled their noses and

window panes, and wafer shutters.

excited their stomachs, and Haskel and

Candy clay flower pots on either side of

Gittel spotted before them a table set for

a peppermint porch held colorful gum

two! Steaming bowls of barley soup were

drop flowers.

on the table, as were platters full of their

The children reached the door and saw it was a graham cracker, taller than them! They gently pushed it open and

favorite wheat and rye breads, spelt flour waffles and syrup and oatmeal cookies. The children stood with jaws

entered the house. Inside was as magical

dropped. Hungry as they were, they

as outside! The sunlight shone through

couldn’t eat anything, not a bite. None of




this was kosher for Passover. Just then a

the witch snapped her fingers and the

shank bone from his pocket and placed

voice behind them made them jump.

pantry door slammed shut! There was

it in her hand. The witch cried, “You are

no doorknob, only a hole where the

nothing but a bone! You will not make a

doorknob should be.

good meal!”

“Welcome to my cottage, children,” spoke a grim woman with a false smile. “Please eat. I’ve made all of your favorites.

Gittel screamed, “Let my brother go!”

Then the witch considered Gittel.

After you have eaten and rested, you can

but the witch stiffened and shrieked “No!”

“Open the oven and see if it is hot

return home,” offered the woman.

She pointed to the cottage door, and with

enough!” the witch ordered, advancing

a second snap of her fingers, that door

towards the girl with a plan to cook her

slammed shut, too.


Haskel and Gittel did not know it, but the woman had put a spell on the food, one that would turn Haskel tasty

Haskel, through the hole in the

“I cannot open it! It is too heavy!” pretended Gittel.

and Gittel into her slave forever the

pantry door, shouted, “Let my sister go!”

instant they took a bite. This woman was

but the stubborn witch shrieked, “No!”

a witch.

With a third snap of her fingers, the witch

opened it herself. At that moment, Gittel

turned the cottage back into the dark and

shoved the witch into the oven and shut

to the table and sat down. There was not

dirty shack it really was. The only things

the oven door with a smash! Instantly,

one thing they could eat, because all of

which remained were the oven and the

the witch’s spells were broken, and the

it was chametz (food that is forbidden

hearth of stone. The gingerbread house

shack disappeared. Haskel and Gittel

during Passover). The witch carried a

was gone. The witch commanded Gittel to

stood in an empty clearing in the woods,

pitcher of water to the table and let it

begin cleaning.

free! At that moment, they heard their

Haskel and Gittel cautiously went

fall with a crash, spilling water all over

“I will cook you,” the witch told

The witch reached the oven and

parents’ desperate voices, calling their

Haskel, “as a meal for myself.” She

names. Without delay, Haskel and Gittel

shuffled to the pantry door, put her hand

grabbed each other by the hand and ran

me some towels,” she urged Haskel,

through the hole, and tried to grab hold

towards their parents, crossing through

pointing to the pantry door. He did so,

of Haskel’s arm. She wanted to feel how

the brook to safety on the other side. ✿

but as soon as he was in the pantry,

delicious he would be. Haskel took the

the floor. “Boy, go to the pantry and bring

Gittel outsmarted the witch and shoved her into the oven, whereupon the spell was broken.




The Black Forest in Germany is best known for its association with the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales.

ABOUT THIS STORY Who are Haskel and Gittel? Haskel and Gittel are none other than Hansel and Gretel, the brother and sister who had not

eating “chametz” during Passover.

Brothers’ fairy tales, including, and

Chametz describes leavened

perhaps especially, “Hansel and

food, and the Talmud identifies

Gretel” (due to their particularly

the grains which can become

German-sounding names).

chametz: Wheat, rye, oat, barley, and spelt. Leavening can result

The Jewish Population of Germany in the 21st Century

from these grains becoming wet

Present-day Germany in the

and not immediately baked, or

decades since the Holocaust

from the use of yeast, baking

has seen a growth in Jewish

soda and baking powder (among

population and immigration

others). Different communities of

and in Jewish culture. Germany

Are witches common in Jewish folklore?

Jews have various regulations as

currently has the third largest

to what else is and is not kosher

The subject of witches has

and fastest growing number of

for Passover.

Jewish people in Europe (following

The witch’s gingerbread house

France and the United Kingdom).

and the meal she prepares are all

In the Black Forest region of

chametz. Haskel and Gittel do not

Germany, too, there is a Jewish

eat any of the food because they

community. The towns of Freiburg

are observing the dietary rules

and Emmendingen have a Jewish

of Passover. Their observance of

museum and sister cities in both

Passover keeps them safe from the

the United States and Israel. ✿

only a witch to fear, but their own parents as well. Our Haskel and Gittel differ in that they are not purposely put in harm’s way by their parents.

interested people since ancient times. It is no surprise, then, that there is discussion of witches and witchcraft in the Bible and the Talmud, among other Jewish texts through the ages. Belief in witches, however, has not been as prominent in Jewish religion and culture as it has been in other religions and cultures.

witch’s spell! Where is the Black Forest?

What are the dietary rules of Passover?

The Black Forest is in

The Torah forbids Jews from

is associated with the Grimm

southwestern Germany and

Laura Ann Milhander has a background in Jewish Studies and both Jewish and secular education. She and her husband, Rabbi Kenneth Milhander are the parents of four children and live in Orange County.

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Cami Levin is excited to spend time with her former coach, Ziad Khoury of Slammers FC.

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true Jewish role model in the world of sports. In 1992-93, Simon won the Israeli Championship at Gaili Elyon, then played for various Israeli basketball clubs for ten years. He later moved back to the United States where he started a family in Orange County. Before heading in for the banquet dinner, the three inductees and Irv Chase, winner of the Maccabi Legacy Award, unveiled the new and improved Orange County Jewish Sports Hall of Fame wall. “This is so exciting! It’s my first Hall of Fame!” said Levin when she first laid eyes on her picture. During the banquet, awards were presented to the newest Hall of Fame inductees, and they each gave a quick speech. Then the nineteen high school nominees for the Scholar Athlete Award were

introduced – first the girls, then the boys. Every student nominated was a well-rounded student and star athlete who provided great service to the community. In the end, only one boy and one girl could win the award. The winner for the girls was Larisa Bokota, star water polo player and competitive swimmer from Northwood High School. The winner for the boys was Evan Bozanic, soccer player and world recordholding scuba diver from Tarbut V’Torah. Bozanic was the youngest person to ever dive off all seven continents. He is currently in the process of publishing a book about his experiences. Bernstein, Levin and Simon hope their pictures on the Hall of Fame wall forever be a symbol of inspiration to all the young athletes of Orange County. A




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Can We Kvell Now? Dr. Laura Roth, upper school principal at Tarbut V’Torah (TVT), reports that the freshman results are in for the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA+ Critical Thinking test). For the test, students must master a broad range of 21st century skills. Beyond just accumulating facts, they must be able to access, structure and use information. TVT has a significant number of students who scored in the 95th percentile and up. “I am very pleased that our school falls within the mean of all of the top schools across the country who have taken this test,” she says. “I am so proud of our students.”

Can We Kvell Later? Hadassah Southern California will celebrate the remarkable lives of Katherine Merage and her family on Sunday, April 27, at 5:30 PM at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The $500-per-person black tie event, which includes live entertainment by David M, will honor Merage for her great vision and contributions to the Jewish people. Through the Andre and Katherine Merage Foundation, the family has launched several significant initiatives to support the future of Israel and enhance Jewish life in the United States. The family’s impact can be felt by organizations including the Jewish Community Center, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, University of California, Irvine, the AntiDefamation League and AIPAC, among others. For more information on the event or to make a reservation, call Hadassah Southern California at (310) 276-0036. Continued on page 48 46 APRIL 2014 |



| APRIL 2014 47




Continued from page 46 Chabad of West Orange County Kosher Mezuzah Campaign

Stemming from the Biblical command in the Book of Deuteronomy to “write these words on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,” the Mezuzah attests to God’s protection over the house and His watchful eye over all that is in it. The case may be artistically made, or it may be ornamental; but what specifies a kosher Mezuzah is the inside parchment text, properly handwritten by a reliable scribe, the scroll properly placed in the case, and the correct positioning of the Mezuzah on the doorpost. Throughout the ages Jews have adhered to this commandment, which turns the home into a Godly sanctuary and elicits Heavenly guardianship. So much so, a Mezuzah finds a place not only at the entrance, but on every doorway in the home, ensuring the protection of the residents in whichever room they may be. “Individual homes and offices that are protected with Mezuzot lend to the protection of the community at large,” said Rabbi Aron David Berkowitz, senior rabbi of Chabad of West Orange County in Huntington Beach. “One may place a new Mezuzah on his/her door, or replace a Mezuzah that is not kosher, and the benefits have a ripple effect for the entire community.

Got a Mezuzah? Scout a neighborhood and you may find noticeable outdoor signs posted, making passersby aware of home protection by one of many company alarm systems. Step closer to the front door and a small, oblong, modest case attached to the right doorpost may be visible, signifying a far greater and more valuable protection for the home and all who dwell within it. This sign of protection on a Jewish home is the Mezuzah, a scroll of specially prepared parchment, handwritten with the words of “Shema” – Hear O Israel – declaring the unity of God.

48 APRIL 2014 |


“We have found no better way to secure the protection of our residents and bolster our defenses against negative occurrences than to go all out on a campaign with the message, ‘A kosher Mezuzah for every door in every Jewish home.’ Unfortunately, many times we have found that the scroll in the case is improperly written or simply printed on paper,” he adds. Rabbi Berkowitz emphasizes that even if one has an authentic Mezuzah on the door, it is important to have it checked at least twice in seven years, as the letters may, with time, become faded or obliterated. Chabad of West Orange County and Chabad of South Huntington Beach has embarked on an ambitious goal of 650 new Mezuzot to be placed on area homes and Jewish offices/businesses by July 1 and checking affixed Mezuzot for authenticity. The Mezuzah campaign has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of Steven and Nadine Hanan, in loving memory of Victoria M. Hanan, and in honor of Ralph Hanan. To participate in the program, please call (714) 846-2285 or e-mail A

Jewish law dictates that a funeral must take place as soon after a death as possible, so the stress of planning after a person’s passing can be overwhelming for those left behind. For this reason, making your own pre-arrangements is a kindness for your loved ones. It is a mitzvah – a good deed to offer family and friends, relieving them of a heavy emotional burden. We have been serving the Jewish community for over 50 years. We provide a free personal planning guide, so you can make arrangements while relieving your loved ones of the burden of planning while they grieve. The Dignity Memorial network: America’s leading funeral homes and cemeteries, united to bring you the services you need when it matters most.


| APRIL 2014 49

News & Jews OC JEWISH SCENE | APRIL 2014

Super Artist

Super Scholars

Twenty-seven schools submitted their top visual art student for the Orange County Register Artist of the Year competition. Hannah Reinhard represented Tarbut V’Torah (TVT) and made it to the top ten. Hannah submitted her two best paintings and a resume, along with a recommendation from art teacher Pam Martinez. At round two on April 11, she will present her five best works of art to a panel of arts professionals and college professors.

During winter quarter, Jewish students welcomed the Sinai Scholars program at The Rohr Chabad at UCI. Sinai Scholars, offered on more than 60 campuses across North America through the Jewish Learning Initiative (JLI), is an eightweek course exploring practical life issues with classic text and contemporary Jewish thinkers. Students completing the course are eligible for a free threeweek educational trip to Israel. For more information, see www.

Super Event Merage JCC’s Young Adult program, JYA, held a rousing 1st anniversary party in Newport Beach. There were 150 Jews schmoozing and kicking up fun to music, food and raffles. Guests were excited to see both new faces and old friends. On April 22 JYA will host a “Passover’s Over Bread Bash” at Buca di Beppo Irvine. All 21-to 35-year-olds are invited. Elana Simon (pictured) is in charge. Register at

Super Group Members of the Jewish Campus Leadership Initiative (JCLI) recently enjoyed a private meeting with Henry Samueli, Co-Founder and Chairman of Broadcom Corp. and Gerald Solomon, Executive Director of the Samueli Foundation. Developed by the Rose Project of Jewish Federation & Family Services, the JCLI is an innovative leadership development program designed to help Jewish students at OC colleges become leaders in their campus communities. 50 APRIL 2014 |


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RELEASING THE LIGHT Mussar is traditional tool for personal growth. BY FLORENCE DANN

“IF LIFE IS like balancing on a surfboard,” writes Alan Morinis, founder of the Mussar Institute, “what is it that throws us off balance and causes us to fall off?” The answer lies within each of us, and the beauty of Mussar is that it teaches us to develop practices to help go within and discover what we need. In the final third of the 20th century, the tremendous growth in self-help publishing... in self-improvement culture really took off. Books and gurus offered more-or-less prepackaged solutions to instruct people seeking their own individual betterment. By 2013, these pursuits had become an eleven billion dollar industry. But the Jewish community did not really need to go there; Mussar, a thousandyear-old mechanism for personal and spiritual growth, had always been part of our heritage. There is no comprehensive ideal in the Bible that parallels the modern concept of ethics. We are just instructed to be a holy

The Mussar movement has evolved and changed over time.

52 APRIL 2014 |


people. But what does that mean? The first rabbinic listing of Jewish virtues is found in Pirke Avot 6.6 where we are taught that the Torah is acquired through forty-eight virtues. The most notable virtues on the list are gratitude, humility, patience, trust, compassion, honor, generosity and truth. These middot (or character traits) are at the core of Mussar. From its origins in the 10th century, Mussar was a practice of the solitary seeker. During the medieval period the Hebrew term “Mussar” gradually acquired the connotation of moral principles and virtues that tend to improve the relationship between one person and another. However, in the 19th century the Mussar movement arose among the non-Hasidic Orthodox Lithuanian Jews as a response to the social changes brought about by the Enlightenment and the corresponding Haskalah movement among many European Jews. In this period of history, anti-Semitism, the assimilation of


Alan Morinis, founder of the Mussar Institute.

many Jews into Christianity and the poverty and poor living conditions of many Jews in the Pale of Settlement caused severe tension and disappointment. Many of the institutions of Lithuanian Jewry were beginning to break up. Religious Jews feared that their way of life was slipping away from them, observance of traditional Jewish law and custom was on the decline and even those who remained loyal to the tradition were losing their emotional connection to its inner meaning and ethical core. The movement’s founding is attributed to Rabbi Yisrael Lipkin Salanter (1810–1883), although the roots of the movements drew on ideas previously expressed in classical Mussar literature. Until recently, Mussar existed only in the Orthodox community, which explains why members of other denominations have not been exposed to its teachings and practices. However, at the start of the 21st century, a significant revival of interest in the Mussar movement has occurred in North America in various sectors of the Jewish world – surprisingly among non-Orthodox Jews. The Mussar Institute, founded by Alan

Morinis, seeks to spread the practice of Mussar in a non-Orthodox framework. His book, Everyday Holiness (2007), has been among the popular books which have sparked contemporary interest in the “emerging and growing phenomenon” that is Mussar. Every year the Institute holds a retreat in late fall in the Chicago area. However this year, the Institute is conducting a different kind of retreat. “While the yearly kallah (gathering) of those practicing Mussar is basically meant to bring people together in community, this retreat is focusing on Mussar practice,” said Jeff Agron, director of administration. “Reaching for Holiness, A Mussar Practice Retreat” will be held on the Brandeis-Bardin Campus of American Jewish University near Los Angeles, California, from May 4 to 7, 2014. Morinis explains Mussar this way: “All human qualities exist on a spectrum. Some of us behave by facing problems, others by running away. One person sweats the small stuff; another is easygoing. The gamut runs from kindness to selfishness, greediness to generosity, alacrity to laziness and so on. When too

Mussar, a thousandyear-old mechanism for personal and spiritual growth, had always been part of our heritage. Jlife

| APRIL 2014 53


Mussar helps us to reach the light of consciousness.

The goal of Mussar practice is to “release the light of holiness that lives within the soul.” 54 APRIL 2014 |


extreme, a character trait, or middah, tends to cause pain and creates problems. He points out that essentially we are all born with our own unique “curriculum,” and it is up to us to “work it.” Mussar exercises are designed to restore our character traits to the proper balance, enabling us to live more whole, peaceful lives. The goal of Mussar practice is to “release the light of holiness that lives within the soul.” The roots of all of our thoughts and actions can be traced to the depths of the soul, beyond the reach of the light of consciousness, and so the methods Mussar provides include meditations, guided contemplations, exercises and chants that are all intended to penetrate down to the darkness of the subconscious, to bring about change right at the root of our nature. The May retreat cycles back to tradition in offering a rural setting for individual soul searching and will emphasize deeper transformative Mussar techniques. Participants who will bring their own personal curriculum, will determine which practices they want to focus on like: journaling or chanting and meditation. Work will occur in small groups, providing greater personalization and attention.

Registration has been limited, so the group will be intimate and there will ample opportunity for one-on-one guidance. There will also be more time for individual meditation and self-reflection, along with group practices. As the practice of Mussar grows within the non-Orthodox community, more and more congregations are including it within their educational programming. Two seminaries, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia and the Academy for Jewish Religion in Los Angeles, have already made it part of their curriculum. This retreat is a wonderful opportunity for all those who have begun the practice of Mussar to expand their abilities and gain greater insight into this 1000-year old tradition. The cost, which includes room, all kosher meals and retreat program, is $695 for a double and $795 for a single room. Registration is suggested as soon as possible as space is limited. For more information and to register, visit html;; phone: (305) 610-7260. A

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LONG & SHORT OF IT Try these new ideas for Passover.

Passover is coming, and there are many new twists on enjoying the holiday.

58 APRIL 2014 |



The Passover table gets a makeover.

A History Lesson? In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) and just in time for Passover, Manischewitz® is releasing limited run packaging on each of its five matzo boxes inside 5-pound packages featuring information about notable Jewish American inventors, comedians, historical figures and more. These fun facts are sure to entertain and enlighten over breakfast or at the Seder table. Some of the Jewish American figures featured include Ann Landers, Estee Lauder, Sandy Koufax, Irving Berlin and the inventors of the Barbie doll, Superman and Reddi-wip. Each of the 5 boxes offers a different story to tell. Matzo boxes also feature Passover in America: Historical Perspectives, a full-color compilation of 18 documents, letters, recipes, newspaper articles and photographs from the rich collections of the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives. The booklet will be available for a contribution of $18 and is designed to enhance and augment Passover Seders. The booklet includes Manischewitz coupons as well. Proceeds ben-

efit JAHM, a month-long celebration in May that strives to raise the national consciousness on contributions Jewish Americans have made to America’s heritage and history. “We think people will find the facts and stories surprising and interesting. We are thrilled that our founding corporate sponsor, Manischewitz, has chosen to partner with us to enlighten and educate consumers about the contributions of Jewish Americans,” says Abby Schwartz, national coordinator of JAHM. To learn more about JAHM and this year’s theme, American Jews and Tikkun Olam: Healing the World, log onto, an interactive clearinghouse for programs and activities across the country. Visitors to the site have the opportunity to enter events in their own communities, learn about national programming, download educational materials and garner ideas for local celebrations. Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) is a national month of recognition of the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture, celebrated in May. JAHM acknowledges the achievements of

Manischewitz® is releasing limited run packaging on each of its five matzo boxes featuring information about notable Jewish figures. Jlife

| APRIL 2014 59


Cass and Nellie Foster have created a fastpaced Seder.

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Cass Foster created this A Seder in Sixty Minutes? condensed version of Modern Jewish families who shy away from the traditional Haggadah participating in the annual Passover Seder of its typical two- to five-hour cereused during Seder because mony, will cheer Cass and Nellie Foster’sSixtyat the urging of his Minute Seder: Preserving the Essence of the Haggadah. Shakespeare series fans, Passover “We are indebted to Cass and Nellie Foster friends and family. for taking the bold step of creating a revo60 APRIL 2014 |


lutionary Haggadah that offers a path to creating a superb alternative to the traditional Haggadah by offering us choices and helping us with planning,” says Rabbi Jerome M. Epstein, CEO/executive vice president emeritus, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. “For those who seek a modified Seder that will stimulate discussion, inspire interest and educate Jews within a range of backgrounds, you will find the Sixty-Minute Seder to be a perfect script for the Pesach drama.” Cass Foster, author of the Sixty-Minute Shakespeare series, created this condensed version of the traditional Haggadah used during Seder at the urging of his Shakespeare series fans, friends and family. They were certain he was the ideal candidate to trim the service to one hour while still maintaining the integrity, meaning and beauty of the holy event. “To Seder or not to Seder should not be the question,” says Foster. “In this fast-paced world, many Jewish families were choosing not to participate in Seder because it was just so long. I even reached the point where I was Continued on page 62


An exciting and incredibly memorable seder experience for yourself and your family. Passover Across America Sedarim are co-sponsored by NJOP

Conducted with clever wit, tasteful elegance, and Jewish substance with deep personal relevance to your life by one of America’s most charismatic and dynamic Modern-Orthodox rabbis, Rabbi Dov Fischer of Irvine’s Young Israel of Orange County. Come for one or both Seder Nights: Monday · April 14 · 8:00 pm Tuesday · April 15 · 8:00 pm

Enjoy Kosher-catered gourmet meals in the beautiful setting of Irvine’s Back Bay Conference Center. This Passover we will laugh and learn, and eat and drink, a great deal more than we ever have before at our Community Seders, experiencing two nights we warmly will remember for years to come! Maybe that is why so many keep coming back to join with us year after year. Rabbi Dov Fischer of Irvine is a nationally prominent leader in the Modern Orthodox Rabbinate and has been conducting Public Community Sedarim (“Seders”) at 5-Star Hotels for 20 Years. Now, in Irvine at a fraction of the cost of a 5-Star Hotel Seder experience, you can enjoy Rabbi Dov Fischer’s unique wit & wisdom at a Seder Experience you never will forget.

PRICE: $54 for Individuals $75 for Couples or other Pairings of Friends $36 for Teens or College Students $25 for Kids ages 5-13

of Orange County

For More Information call 949.300.8899 or e-mail Rabbi Fischer at: Jlife

| APRIL 2014 61

PASSOVER Continued from page 60

Get people of all ages involved in Passover this year with these new options.

putting myself to sleep during my own Seders. This new Haggadah gives families a better choice – how long to observe Seder.” While Foster developed the text, he credits his wife, Nellie, with providing suggestions for the Seder meal and the remaining Passover days including recipes families can create together. “Cass and Nellie Foster have done an amazing job of sifting the essence of the Passover ritual from the embellishments of time. Each section is explained clearly, with the appropriate blessings in Hebrew and transliteration,” says Rabbi Judith HaLevy of the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue. “Best of all, Nellie’s family recipes make it possible for anyone to create a Splendid Seder Meal.” For more information about the book, visit

What’s Cooking, Kids?

Kids will also discover how to cook delicious food on their own, so no longer will they complain, “There’s nothing to eat around here!” 62 APRIL 2014 |


Let My Children Cook! The Passover Cookbook for Kids makes it easy for kids to share in the fun of cooking at a time of year when parents can really use the help. Kids will also discover how to cook delicious food on their own, so no longer will they complain, “There’s nothing to eat around here!” Filled with recipes every kid (and adult) is sure to love, such as Matzah Marshmallow Melts, Crunchy Chicken Crisps and Matzah

Soup Squares, to Rocky Road Brownies and Mock Oatmeal Cookies, the entire family will enjoy this delightful cookbook. Let My Children Cook! includes cooking and safety guidelines and explains general dietary laws and those specific to Passover – all especially catered to new, young chefs. Colorful and humorous illustrations appear throughout the book’s pages, many of which teach lessons, such as washing hands before cooking and cleaning up when finished. Let My Children Cook! is geared for kids aged 8 to 15 and features: more than 80 delicious, easy recipes with step by step instructions; essential cooking and kitchen safety tips specifically for kids; loads of kid-oriented creative menu and presentation ideas; fun and uncomplicated craft projects for Passover; and entertaining illustrations. Tamar Ansh is a busy mom who loves to write, cook, bake, read and chat with her kids. Since her kids have recently taken over the kitchen, she decided to share what they do with her readers. In her spare time Tamar is a bestselling cookbook author with hits such as A Taste of Challah, Pesach - Anything’s Possible, A Taste of Tradition and others. She has published children’s books and adult books, is a food columnist and gives live cooking and challah shows around the world. Mrs. Ansh lives in Jerusalem, Israel, together with her family and their pet rabbit Fluffy. A



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concert highlights MARC COHN Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter Marc Cohn will be performing at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on April 27. Cohn is the creative talent behind such classic songs as “Walking In Memphis,” “Silver Thunderbird,” and the lovely “True Companion,” from his critically acclaimed, self-titled debut disc released in the early 1990s.


SMOOTH JAZZ MAN TERRY WOLLMAN Guitarist and producer Terry Wollman will be displaying his combined talents, desires and passions to create mesmerizing music at Spaghettini April 2. On Wollman’s third album, Buddha’s Ear (2011), he return to smooth jazz and beyond. As a multi-instrumentalist, Wallman plays the guitar, mandolin, keyboards and an eclectic assortment of other objects that he uses to create sound with. He loves the adventure of learning and recording new instruments.


SIMONE PORTER At 17, violinist Simone Porter has been recognized by national and international critics as an emerging artist of impassioned energy, musical integrity and vibrant sound. Porter will be performing on Sunday April 27 as the featured artist for the final part of the Pacific Symphony’s series of three afternoons under the direction of conductor Carl St.Clair dedicated to the musical mastery of Beethoven.

Indie group Haim, hailing from the San Fernando Valley, will be performing at the Coachella Valley Muisc Festival on April 11 and April 18. The band consists of sisters Este Arielle, Danielle Sari and Alana Mychal Haim along with drummer Dash Hutton. The three sisters grew up listening to the 1970s classic rock and Americana records of their parents. While they were still at school, their parents formed a family band called Rockinhaim to play cover versions at local charity fairs, with Israeli-born father Mordechai (“Moti”) on drums and mother Donna on guitar.



Saturday, April 12 Hieroglyphics

33157 Camino Capistrano San Juan Capistrano, 92675 949.496.8930 Friday, April 4 Rome Saturday, April 5 The Dan Band Wednesday, April 9 Johnny Winter Friday, April 11 Bruce Cockburn Saturday, April 12 Tyrone Wells Sunday, April 13 Joe Ely Duo Thursday, April 17 Mike Peters (The Alarm) Friday, April 18 Badfinger Saturday, April 19 Common Sense Sunday, April 27 Marc Cohn


HOUSE OF BLUES ANAHEIM 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, CA 92802 714.778.BLUE (2583) Thursday, April 3 Blackberry Smoke

2200 East Katella Avenue, Anaheim CA 92806 714.712.2700 Thursday, April 3 Mint Condition Saturday, April 5 The Fab Four Sunday, April 6 Volbeat Friday, April 18 Rodney Carrington

Tuesday, April 15 Cage The Elephant

Wednesday, April 2 Terry Wollman

Wednesday, April 16 Slick Rick

Thursday, April 3 DW3

Thursday, April 17 Crosses

Friday, April 4 Magdalena Chovancova

Friday, April 18 Pante贸n Rococ贸

Saturday, April 5 Michael Paulo

Saturday, April 19 Kottonmouth Kings

Sunday, April 6 Darryl Williams

Wednesday, April 23 Moving Units

Wednesday, April 9 Morgan James Thursday, April 10 DW3 Friday, April 11 Darryl Walker

Saturday, April 12 All Time Low

Friday, April 25 The Fixx

Tuesday, April 29 The Wanted


3005 Old Ranch Pkwy. Seal Beach, CA 90740 562.596.2199

Friday, April 11 Craig Morgan

Saturday, April 26 Elefante


Monday, April 14 Bear Hands

Tuesday, April 8 Detour Live

Wednesday, April 16 The Green

THE OBSERVATORY 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, CA. 714.957.0600

Saturday, April 12 Michael Lington APRIL 15, 2014 CAGE THE ELEPHANT

Saturday, April 26 The Dickies Sunday,April 27 Sleeper Agent

Thursday, April 3 Madlib x Freddie Gibbs

Tuesday, April 29 Tokyo Police Club

Friday, April 4 El Tri


Saturday, April 5 Reece Purcell

615 Town Center Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Friday, April 11 The Virus

Wednesday, April 16 Dean Grech

Friday, April 25 The Eyes of the World Tour

Monday, April 28 Ghost

Thursday, April 10 Bad Suns

Sunday, April 13 Rusty Johnson

Thursday, April 24 The Aggrolites

Wednesday, April 2 Lovelife

Wednesday, April 9 RAC


Friday, April 4 Cameron Carpenter

APRIL 26, 2014 BRIAN HUGHES Saturday, April 19 Incendio Wednesday, April 23 Gene-O Cole Thursday, April 26 Brian Hughes Sunday, April 27 Poncho Sanchez

Saturday, April 10 Sarah Chang Plays Sibelius Sunday, April 27 Simone Porter


66 APRIL 2014 |



An exciting and incredibly memorable seder experience for yourself and your family. Passover Across America Sedarim are co-sponsored by NJOP

Conducted with clever wit, tasteful elegance, and Jewish substance with deep personal relevance to your life by one of America’s most charismatic and dynamic Modern-Orthodox rabbis, Rabbi Dov Fischer of Irvine’s Young Israel of Orange County. Come for one or both Seder Nights: Monday · April 14 · 8:00 pm Tuesday · April 15 · 8:00 pm

Enjoy Kosher-catered gourmet meals in the beautiful setting of Irvine’s Back Bay Conference Center. This Passover we will laugh and learn, and eat and drink, a great deal more than we ever have before at our Community Seders, experiencing two nights we warmly will remember for years to come! Maybe that is why so many keep coming back to join with us year after year. Rabbi Dov Fischer of Irvine is a nationally prominent leader in the Modern Orthodox Rabbinate and has been conducting Public Community Sedarim (“Seders”) at 5-Star Hotels for 20 Years. Now, in Irvine at a fraction of the cost of a 5-Star Hotel Seder experience, you can enjoy Rabbi Dov Fischer’s unique wit & wisdom at a Seder Experience you never will forget.

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For More Information call 949.300.8899 or e-mail Rabbi Fischer at: Jlife

| APRIL 2014 67



Fruit Pie Bars 68 APRIL 2014 |


A&E Mexican Chocolate Cookies

Any lingering thoughts on the restrictions of Passover are quickly dispelled by dessert.


duced, adding flavor and variety to desserts, several ingredients are problematic for the observant: Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract, made from grain alcohol, is not considered kosher for Passover. Here you have several choices: Kosher-for-Passover vanilla, which is not an extract, but rather artificial vanilla flavoring. •

Vanilla sugar, a common ingredient in Europe but not as well known here, which comes in little packets and is sugar that has been superinfused with the vanilla bean. Substitute 1 packet for each 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract; the small amount of sugar in it will not change your recipe. You can find it in kosher markets, and I’ve even seen it in the Jewish food section in some supermarkets. •

Vanilla sugar you make yourself: About 2 weeks before Passover, split 1 vanilla bean in half lengthwise and crosswise and bury the pieces in 2 cups sugar. Seal tightly and store it in a cool, dark place. Shake it occasionally. Replace the sugar as you use it. It will keep until next Pesach. •

A kosher-for Passover liqueur, such as Amaretto.


New cookbook offers creative (and delicious) solutions to Passover baking. BY JUDY BART KANCIGOR

OH, TO DEVISE spectacular sweets without flour or leavening! No problem! Any lingering thoughts on the restrictions of Passover are quickly dispelled by dessert. Ask most Jewish children, “What’s your favorite holiday?” and you’d think “Chanukah” would be the quick response. For me all the blue and gold beribboned boxes in the world can’t hold a shammos to Passover. To my mind, you just can’t beat the cuisine. Personally, I never did understand how eating those special holiday delicacies helps us remember the suffering of our ancestors. Challenge breeds creativity, and at no time of year is the challenge greater than at Passover, when for eight days (seven

in Israel), Jews, forbidden to eat bread or other leaven, eat matzo to commemorate our ancestors’ hasty departure from Egypt. And if Passover is a challenge, then creating Passover desserts is the decathlon. Oh, to devise spectacular sweets without flour or leavening! No problem! (Well, I can think of one problem – if you’re allergic to eggs. And if you’re allergic to eggs and nuts…you’re in for a long week!) The display following the Passover Seder is as elaborate as any you see all year – at least in my family. Cousins will try to outdo each other with their sponge cakes, tortes, pies and bars, bringing a sweet ending to our sweet celebration. While every year more and more kosher-for-Passover products are intro-

Confectioners’ sugar: While kosher-forPassover confectioners’ sugar is available, it is expensive and easy enough to create yourself: To make your own, combine ½ cup minus 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar and 1½ teaspoons potato starch in a blender or mini food processor. Pulse until a fine powder is formed. Many recipes can be converted for Passover use if you know the rules. According to Paula Shoyer, author of The Holiday Kosher Baker (Sterling, $35), substitute ¾ cup potato starch plus ¼ cup matzo cake meal for 1 cup flour. Her Passover chapter contains other useful substitutions for pesky ingredients like corn syrup and cornstarch. And finally the last word on baking powder. “Baking powder


| APRIL 2014 69


Many recipes can be converted for Passover use if you know the rules. for Passover surprises people who believe that anything that causes leavening is prohibited. In fact, only yeast-based leaveners, which depend on fermentation, are prohibited,” she writes. But what you really want are the recipes, and here Shoyer shines: Chocolate Chip Sponge Bundt, Flourless Chocolate Amaretti Cake, Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Mousse Macarons, Lemon Tart with Basil Nut Crust, 41 recipes in all, including Passover snacks like Rosemary Nut Brittle, Mexican Chocolate Cookies, Fruit Pie Bars and Carrot Cake, many accompanied by luscious full-color photos…and that’s just the Passover chapter. “The time of Passover baking slavery is past. Your baking exodus has arrived,” announces Shoyer.

Mexican Chocolate Cookies These are soft, chewy chocolate cookies dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Makes 2½ to 3 dozen.

ball. Roll each ball in confectioners’ sugar and place on cookie sheet 1½ inches apart.

3 If you have rolled 3 dozen or more cook-

ies, bake 12 to 14 minutes (14 to 15 minutes for 2½ to 3 dozen cookies) until cookies are still partially soft. (Press down gently on top of cookie; if your finger goes down a little into cookie, it is done and will be chewy. If you can press all the way down to the cookie sheet, the cookies need another two minutes or more to bake.) Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days, or freeze up to 3 months. Note: Passover potato starch often comes clumped up in the package. Whisk to break up clumps, or sift before measuring.

Fruit Pie Bars Shoyer uses 1/3 cup sugar, because she prefers tart fruit desserts. Use ½ cup if you like them sweeter. Serves 15. DOUGH 1½ cups potato starch 1 cup matzo cake meal

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup sugar 2 large eggs

1 cup (2 sticks) margarine, cut into tablespoons, plus one tablespoon for greasing pan

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 large egg yolk

1 cup potato starch, sifted (see note)

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons ice water

½ cup unsweetened cocoa

½ teaspoon cinnamon 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 In medium bowl, mix together oil, sugar, cocoa, eggs and vanilla. Add potato starch, salt and cinnamon, and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 2 Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Put confectioners’ sugar into shallow bowl. Scoop up walnut-size piece of dough and roll into a

70 APRIL 2014 |


FILLING 6 cups (24 ounces) total mixed fruit such as berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) and chopped plums (cut into ½-inch pieces) 1/3 cup potato starch 1/3-1/2 cup sugar, to taste 1 teaspoon cinnamon to sprinkle on top

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9 x 13-inch pan and press in sheet of parchment paper large enough to cover bottom and sides of pan. Grease top of parchment and sides. Set aside. 2 Crust: Mix potato starch, cake meal and

confectioner’s sugar in food processor fitted with metal blade, 10 seconds. Add margarine pieces and mix another 10 seconds until mixture looks like sand. Add egg yolk, vanilla, and water, and mix just until dough comes together.

3 Turn dough crumbles onto large piece of plastic wrap; divide dough into two pieces, using 2/3 and 1/3 of dough. Wrap smaller piece in plastic, flatten it, and freeze. Break larger piece of dough into pieces and scatter over prepared pan. With your hands, press dough evenly into bottom of pan. Bake crust 20 minutes or until edges just start to brown. Let cool 15 minutes.

4 Place fruit in large bowl. In smaller bowl,

use your fingers to combine potato starch and sugar; then sprinkle mixture over fruit. Toss fruit until potato starch dissolves. Spread fruit evenly on top of crust. Grate frozen dough with large holes of box grater on top of fruit to cover as much fruit as possible. Sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake 50 minutes or until outside edges start to color; top of crumbles will remain white. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into squares or scooped out with spoon. Refrigerate up to 3 days. Bars may be rewarmed. Source: The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer

OCJL 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



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| APRIL 2014 71


A JOLT OF JENERGY Jennifer Saar adds zest to the Moishe House. BY ILENE SCHNEIDER

Moishe House resident Jennifer Saar is also a Zumba instructor. 72 APRIL 2014 |



What motivated you to want to live at Moishe House? It all started after I had dated a non-Jew for about 5 years, and I realized that fundamentally I need to marry a Jew in order to feel compatible with a mate. I didn’t have any Jewish friends growing up, and I had always felt a “disconnect” between my religion/tradition and my social life. I decided that I will only date Jewish people from now on. My mom’s friend had told me about how her daughter went to this “Moishe House” and how it’s a fun, cool place for Jews to meet and mingle with other Jews. I decided to give this “Moishe House” a shot. I was very skeptical, but I am so happy I decided to try it out. My first event was a Poker Night – not a super Jewish event. In fact, that’s why I initially loved the Moishe House OC. Not only are there events geared towards the more religious people, but there are many other types such as social, cultural and Tikkun Olam (Fixing the World/Social Service). I started about 2½ years ago, and I never looked back. Luckily, I was in the “right place at the right time,” and they needed a new replacement roommate, and I could not wait to fulfill the task. I loved having a bunch of new awesome friends that I love and cherish to this day. I love meeting new people and building new connections. I love that the Moishe House is a fun, safe environment where everyone has a place. My life has changed in so many wonderful ways since I moved into the Moishe House, and I am so glad I got to be a part of this great and lifechanging experience. What kind of background did you have in Jewish programming for young adults before you assumed that role? I had no background in Jewish programming before I assumed this role. That is the best part. No prior experience needed, but you are able to learn and grow so much as an individual while living and working at the Moishe House. What percentage of your time overall do you spend on Moishe House activities, and how does that time break down? Moishe House has become somewhat of my “baby.” I want to see it suc-

ceed and therefore I dedicate a large portion of my time to planning, setting up, preparing for events, brainstorming for upcoming events and much more. I don’t see it as “work” at the Moishe House, although it IS a lot of work, because I absolutely love every moment of it. Being a leader in this community has taught me a lot; I feel like I have matured as an individual, and I am growing a little more every day. There are certain planning meetings that we must have to make sure all events are up in a timely manner, but there is a large amount of behind-the-scenes work. We have to make sure we have enough food and beverages for events, and we have to make sure we have time to get things done. It is really about time management and prioritizing. Moishe House is a huge part of my life, so it’s easy to prioritize and make it one of my number one priorities throughout the week.

I loved having a bunch of new awesome friends that I love and cherish to this day.

How much guidance did you get from Parker Weinthal and other Moishe House residents who lived there before you did? Parker has been a huge influence on me and has taught me everything I know to date. He has trained me and shaped me to be his replacement for the Moishe House OC, and I am honored to have had the pleasure of working so closely with him. He is not only my mentor and friend, but he is one of the most awesome people I have ever met. Moishe House would not have been the same without him, and it will be totally different when he’s gone. I loved living with all my roommates. Currently it’s Parker Weinthal, Ron Benporat and Dany Medhitash. I have also lived with Jeremy Guzik, as well as Nicole Jaievsky, and I loved seeing the different views and ideas each individual would bring to the table. The Moishe House has created this fun environment where a bunch of different people with different ideas and experiences can all come together and create events, new experiences and make this Jewish community a more interesting and fun one. How much guidance did you get from Moishe House International? While I was in Israel, I was able to get in Jlife

| APRIL 2014 73


Jennifer Saar energizes the Moishe House.

touch with the Tel-Aviv Moishe House, which was a great experience. To be able to travel thousands of miles and still have a familiar place to go is an absolutely amazing feeling. I do not have much experience with Moishe House International, but I have internationally experienced the Moishe House.

cartographer by night. I work for a private environmental consulting agency, and I am responsible for making all the maps, figures and tables for projects/reports. I do analysis with the GIS software as well as database management. I love all three of my jobs: Zumba, Cartography and being a leader at the Moishe House. I could not be happier in my life right now.

How do you think your personal and professional background helped you to be an effective leader at Moishe House? Considering that I am a Zumba instructor, you can tell I am definitely not a shy person. I have the nickname “Jenergy,” and it’s because I just have so much energy to share with everyone all the time. I was also so eager to be a part of a Jewish community that when I was offered this position at the Moishe House OC, I was more than ecstatic to begin sharing my ideas and creating my own sense of community within our Jewish community.

Where did you grow up and go to school? I was born and raised in sunny Huntington Beach, California. After I graduated from Huntington Beach High School, I got my Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State University, Long Beach. I lived for a year in Israel (studied abroad and learned Hebrew), and I flew helicopters for 2 years. I am a licensed private, instrument, commercial and certified flight instructor pilot, and I am ready for my next adventure.

Besides teaching Zumba, what do you do professionally? Besides Zumba, I am also a Graphic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst. Zumba instructor by day,

How has Moishe House enhanced your personal growth? Moishe House has not only given me my independence, but it has also allowed me to mature as a young

74 APRIL 2014 |


Jewish adult. Being in the community spotlight really pushes you to lead by example and try and be the best person you can be for your community. I have met some of the most amazing people in the 2 years I have lived at the Moishe House. This is also the only time in my life that I have had so many Jewish friends. The Moishe House has made me more responsible, patient, experienced, confident, strong and creative than ever before. Hosting seven to nine events a month has taught me the importance of prior proper planning and I would love to continue in this field some day. What issues are of most concern to people your age today? People my age, especially the women, are most concerned with finding a Jewish mate and starting a family. But for the most part I haven’t heard many complaints. A majority of the members just come to hang out and have a place to go. The Moishe House is a place for people to go to have fun and get away from their daily stresses. That is why the Moishe House is so successful, because everyone needs a place to go. A


| APRIL 2014 75


OUT OF THE ASHES Congregation is optimistic about its future. BY ILENE SCHNEIDER

IT COULD HAVE been worse. Everything can be rebuilt or replaced. Thankfully, no lives were lost, and nobody was hurt. That message is reflected over and over again in the reassuring eyes and words of Rabbi Heidi Cohen of Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana. When a fire in a two-year-old freezer ravaged that congregation’s kitchen on Saturday, February 15, at 6:30 a.m., nobody was in the building. The fire appeared to be contained to the kitchen, and the rabbi and her husband, Matt, quickly removed the Torah scrolls from the building. Later, when the extent of smoke damage was revealed, it became apparent that the congregation – Orange County’s first Jewish one, founded in 1943 – would have

Workers clear the fire damage at Temple Beth Sholom’s sanctuary building, which will have to undergo extensive repair. 76 APRIL 2014 |


to undergo extensive rebuilding. The Torah scrolls, cherished by so many Orange County residents over the years, had not escaped the fire’s wrath. Rabbi Moshe Druin of Sofer Online inspected all six scrolls and determined that most of them needed repair or replacement. “When the temperature gets too high, whole words pop off the scroll or seams pop open,” explained Susie Amster, the congregation’s executive director. “The hardest thing was going in the sanctuary and walking up to the Ark,” Rabbi Cohen said. “The first time I saw that the Torah scrolls weren’t in there and the doors were sticky, I sat there and cried.” Because Torah scrolls are hand written


Several of Temple Beth Sholom’s Torah scrolls will have to be repaired or replaced.

using specialized procedures, the process will be time-consuming and expensive. The newest one, written in 2005 in honor of Rabbi Emeritus Shelton Donnell, survived, is kashered and is available for use. Another one, a Czech scroll that is 250 years old, needs work but can be salvaged, Rabbi Cohen said. While the rabbi was relieved about that and about retrieving such items as puppets she uses in services for young children, there are many things that could not be saved – records, Shabbat prayerbooks and High Holy Day prayerbooks, to name a few. Meanwhile, many of the day-to-day operations of the congregation are in the school building, where the religious school, preschool and FrenchAmerican school also hold regular classes. One congregant built a makeshift Ark for the children to use in the library of the school building, and another congregant painted it. While reconstruction continues, most Shabbat and Holy Day services will be held at the LDS Community Center, 674 S. Yorba Street, Orange. Shabbat services have been held at Congregation B’nai Tzedek, Congregation Shir Ha-Ma’alot and Chapman University, and congregants are hosting events

in their homes. “The congregants, the Jewish community and others in Orange County have been amazing,” Rabbi Cohen said. “People have been opening their doors to us.” “The spirit of community shines through this disaster,” agreed Monica Engel, a congregant. “Mitzvah Meals,” a weekly program in which congregants cook and serve meals to homeless people “didn’t skip a beat,” according to Engel, who came up with the idea about five years ago. She added, “We scrambled to find food and managed to prepare our usual ‘gourmet’ meals for the needy at Parties by Panache on schedule. We continue to serve about 300 people per week.” Amster added that, “A temple is much more than a building. We’re getting a good number of people at services, and there’s a palpable spirit.” Rabbi Cohen concluded, “The building doesn’t necessarily have a soul by itself, but we breathe soul into it. That can be resuscitated, and we will breathe life back into the sanctuary. From this experience, hopefully we will come out stronger.” A

YOU CAN HELP Temple Beth Sholom has established an emergency fire fund, and donations may be made through the congregation’s website at or by calling the temple office at (714) 628-4600. Jlife

| APRIL 2014 77


FOOD FOR THOUGHT Young professionals attended a February 22 gourmet cooking class coordinated by NextGen OC, torching crème brulees, creating entrées and tasting exceptional wines. Also last month, Sonya Rasminsky, M.D., facilitated a discussion about the transition from couple to family during a Mommies Night Out at Pelican Hill sponsored by Shalom Family. NextGen and Shalom Family connect young adults and families with young children to each other and to the OC Jewish community. For more info, contact Adam Chester at or Stephanie Epstein at ShalomFamily@jffs. org or call (949) 435-3484. TOP LEFT: Robin Wish Shulman, Heather Ignatin and Tehila Dahan-Hatheway TOP RIGHT: Rochelle Rahavi-Taban MIDDLE LEFT: Mauri and Natalie Paz MIDDLE RIGHT: Shannon Cross and Susan Hodes BOTTOM RIGHT: Jacob Saphir, Heather Pepper and Bryan Liem

80 APRIL 2014 |



Orange Jews



Students in the program learn how to become leaders, how to develop relationships with other faith communities and how to find common ground with other groups on campus. They have a chance to engage with mentors. Then, the Rose Project, Hillel and the students themselves made the trip to Washington possible. JFFS has taken a delegation of students to the AIPAC conference every year since 2008. Students who get selected to make the trip consider it a big honor and take it very seriously. There were 2300 students at the AIPAC conference this year. The local students were “very positive and energized to see a huge network of students,” said Lisa Armony, director of the Rose Project. “They made friends and discussed issues Students from three on each other’s campuses. Going to the conference is the local universities went to Washington highlight of the year for them. We plan to keep doing this.” for the AIPAC policy The conference offered a variety of speakers, including conference in March. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a literal “who’s who” of American leaders. The students attended sessions on Iran, issues on campus, Israeli entrepreneurship and high hen 14 students from three Orange County camtechnology and more during the three-day conference. puses – the University of California, Irvine (UCI), AIPAC’s mission is to strengthen, protect and promote the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of Chapman University – boarded a plane for Israel and the United States. AIPAC urges all members Washington, DC, they knew what they wanted to do. of Congress to support Israel through foreign aid, When they got to the annual policy conference government partnerships, joint anti-terrorism efforts of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Students and the promotion of a negotiated two-state solu(AIPAC), they hit the ground running. tion—a Jewish state of Israel and a demilitarized came home The students, who are participants in the Palestinian state. The organization empowers even more Jewish Campus Leadership Initiative launched by pro-Israel activists across all ages, religions and motivated the Rose Project of Jewish Federation & Family races to be politically engaged and build relationthan before. Services in fall 2013, received training in Israel ships with members of Congress from both sides advocacy, interfaith relations and bridge building of the aisle to promote the U.S.-Israel relationship. as soon as they hit the campus. Led by Judith Flacks, Students came home even more motivated than who completed her tenure as head of the Union of Jewish before, according to Armony. “The conference was really Students in the United Kingdom, the two-year program motivating in terms of programs and speakers,” she said. includes interactive workshops, immersion experiences and “The students already have a wish list of people they want to bring to their campuses.” A seminars with key people engaged in Israel advocacy.



| APRIL 2014 81


G e n Y Wo rl d

LABELING COPOUT What does “just Jewish” mean? BY RACHEL SCHIFF

SURVEYS HAVE ALWAYS been a major indicator of what is trending on a categorical and sociological level. They reflect on a historical place in time, as well as a cultural norm that has been presented to a larger body. Millennials are the first to really use the term “just Jewish” as a way to describe their Judaism. This vague, inarticulate term is usually accepted, but I implore the community to examine what it means. Internally, I struggle. Does this provide value and a sense of growth to our community, or is it a copout for having to explain and define one’s Judaism? I see merit in both arguments. For many American Jews, “just Jewish” is a description of the following: My mother is Jewish, so by halachah (Jewish law), I am Jewish; I came from a Jewish home; I’m Jewish, but I don’t even know what that means to me, let alone you; If I wanted to tell you more about what I thought, I’d do it in the comments section of your survey (please notice it’s blank because that takes too much time to do). The polarizing effects of using denominations to describe Judaism separates the NextGen demographic in ways I don’t think we associate with anymore. Although many of our families raised us in synagogues, many of us do not have a membership as individual adults. Subsequently, if you asked Jews in the 21- to 40-year-old age demographic about the different sects of Judaism, few could pro82 APRIL 2014 |


vide deep, meaningful factors that help differentiate one movement from another. Are we answering “just Jewish” out of ignorance or ease? Yes, there are clear differences from one side of the spectrum to the other, but the movements have been formed for very radically different reasons of which many in our demographic are unaware. Some rabbis have gone as far as to claim this label is to differentiate the secular Jews from those religiously affiliated, but I argue that is not the case. As grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, there is an understanding that we are the last generation to hear victims’ stories in person. The reality is that the definition of a Jew in Nazi Germany united many Jews. These Jews had deeply assimilated into the German culture with their religious counterparts. This blend of people, once stripped of all they had, was “just Jewish.” Does this have anything to do with homogenizing Jewish terms, labeling us as a bound people, together despite any differences? There is power in labels, and the idea of a unifying front can be a tool of solidarity, not just ambiguity and weakness. Is “just Jewish” a way to finally unite the Jewish people, despite religious affiliation as well as connection with Israel? Millennials, are we making a political statement? I think this argument is unlikely, but Ben Shapiro, a local talk show host on 870 [AM] in the

morning, brought up an amazing point when he spoke at UCLA at a hearing regarding the school’s vote for divestment. He said (as I paraphrase), that the outlash from the world community was inherently anti-Semitic, not anti-Israel. Does saying one is “just Jewish” allow the average American Jew to avoid the conversation about Israel and one’s political alignment, whether for or against policies set by Israel”? It is easy to point a clear finger at someone who attacks us for our religion, but being faced with a politically charged conversation seems much more difficult. Even within the Jewish community, “just Jewish” does not indicate how strong of a connection, if any, a Jew has with Israel. You can be a member of AIPAC or JStreet or even be estranged from Israel. The term clearly defuses any political connection and even arguably divests in our political passion. Finally, will this new trend attract people or remove them further from the community and push assimilation into an all-time historical high for American Jews or bring them closer together, under one umbrella? For many, “just Jewish” is a term used freely in dialogue to describe their cultural and religious practices. However, this paradigm shift has become common vernacular; it is sure to have an effect on our community over time. A

There is power in labels, and the idea of a unifying front can be a tool of solidarity, not just ambiguity and weakness.


is an English teacher who graduated from Cal State Fullerton. She was president of Hillel, a representative of the World Union of Jewish Students and a YLD intern. Currently, she is a master’s degree student in American Studies, with emphasis on Jews in America.



KNOWN AS “KING of the Anaheim Winemakers,” Benjamin Dreyfus was the first Jewish resident of what would later become Orange County, as well as its first Jewish mayor (he served from 1881-1882). When this ad was placed in the San Francisco newspaper The Hebrew in February of 1863, Anaheim officially became the location of the first large scale production of kosher-for Passover wine in the country. The small town was founded in 1857 by two Jewish German immigrants, John Frohling and Charles Kohler, as a wine venture. 50 German Americans, of whom close to a third

were Jewish, bought plots on which to grow grapes and produce wine. They were a huge success until the the late 1880s, when a fungus called Pierce’s Disease destroyed the entire industry. Only then did the large scale production of oranges and other citrus begin. But until that point, observant Jews throughout the country could get their kosher for Passover wine, brandy and vinegars from the vineyards and wineries of Anaheim. Seen below: Ad for Kosher for Passover wine in The Hebrew, February 15, 1863

Blogosphere Orange County Jewish Life wants to acknowledge some of the interesting blogs related to the Jewish community. Enjoy!

“As one of the rabbis who have participated in theRabbis Without Borders fellowship, I was initially saddened when I read Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu’s “A Time for Bold Action: Redefining the Metrics of Jewish Life” which appeared the other day on eJewishPhilanthropy, in which she wrote that there will not be a new cohort of Rabbis Without Borders (RWB) fellows next year.” “I now have Purim under control. Which is also ridiculous since it’s a holiday when you are commanded to completely lose control, get drunk, party until you’re sideways and wrestle a tiny bit with the dark and scary recesses of your existence.”

Dalia Taft, archivist of the Orange County Jewish Historical Society - a Connect 2 People Initiative of Jewish Federation & Family Services - highlights images from the archives every month. For more information, please visit You can also contact Dalia at or at (949) 435-3484, ext. 167.

“For all its ubiquity, there is no constructive discussion taking place about anti-Semitism. We accuse and they deny.”


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THURSDAY, APRIL 3 9:30 AM Keeping Fit 10:30 AM Healthy Balance for Youthful Seniors Ezra AACA



MONDAYS 10 AM News & Views 11:30 AM Drop-in Bridge 7 PM Drop-in Mah Jongg Merage JCC TUESDAYS 10:30 AM The View for Women of All Ages Merage JCC WEDNESDAYS 10:30 AM Learn to Play Mah Jongg Merage JCC WEDNESDAYS & FRIDAYS 8:45 AM Gentle Yoga Merage JCC

84 APRIL 2014 |


THURSDAYS 9:30 AM Supervised Drop-in Mah Jongg Merage JCC 10:30 AM Beyond the Canvas April 3: Wassily Kandisky: April 10: Frank Kupka; April 17: Robert Delaunay; April 24: Joan Miro Merage JCC FRIDAYS 10 AM Men’s Club at the J Merage JCC 10:30 AM Mah Jongg Strategies Merage JCC

SATURDAY, APRIL 5 8 PM Still Jewish After All These Years A Meshugene Life in the Theatre starring Avi Hoffman Merage JCC SUNDAY, APRIL 6 4 PM Great Jewish Americans 101 Jews & Jazz: A Musical Event Yale Strom and his allstar band, Hot Pstromi, guest trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos and vocalist Elizabeth Schwartz Merage JCC MONDAY, APRIL 7 10 AM Tai Chi 10:30 AM Stretching 11 AM What’s Up? Ezra AACA WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9 10:30 AM Women’s Connection Women of Passover with Rabbi Leah Lewis Merage JCC WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9 11 AM Writing for Reminiscences Ezra AACF No Ezra Center meeting from the April 10- April 23 –Passover

TUESDAY, APRIL 22 10 AM Books & Bagels Merage JCC SUNDAY, APRIL 27 1:30 PM O.C. Jewish Genealogical Society Jean Hibben Presents: “Hints for a Successful Research Trip to Salt Lake City” Temple Bat Yahm 1011 Camelback Street Newport Beach MONDAY, APRIL 28 10 AM Tai Chi 10:15 AM Stretching 11 AM Meet the Press WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30 10:30 AM Get Your Book Published Merage JCC

All events are at the Merage JCC, 1 Federation Way, Irvine, (949) 435-3400 x 303;; the Ezra Center at Temple Beth Emet, 1770 W. Cerritos, Anaheim, (714) 776-1103; or the Ezra Center at Temple Beth Tikvah, 1600 N. Acacia, Fullerton, (714) 871-3535 unless otherwise indicated.

We provide experienced In-Home Caregivers, CNAs & HHAs that are able to provide companionship, hospital sitting and assistance with activities of daily living. Hourly or live-in basis, depending on your individual and medical needs. PHCSI PROVIDES:



Contact us for all your in-home care needs! (888) 534-8082 (714) 554-0878


| APRIL 2014 85

Advertising Index 51 A&B Gefilte Fish

33 Chapman University

56 Advocates for Senior Choices

75 Collings Foundation

5 Jewish Community Foundation

55 Nancy Aynehchi Realtor

26 Stars N Stripes Scooters

85 Comfort Keepers

17 Jewish Federation and Family Services

75 Naples Vacuum Elevators

3 Stater Brothers Market

15 Congregation Bnai Israel

11 Jewish Federation and Family Services

31 New Life Framing

14 Congregation Bnai Tzedek

29 Law offices of John Milikowsky

31 Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine

7 Congregation Shir Ha’amalot

37 Klein Financial

41 Barak Laurie, Attorney

85 Energymizer

36 American Friends of Hebrew University 27 Albertson’s 85 Allan Silverman

63 Benjie’s

31 Dishon & Block (Family Attorneys)

71 Blueberry Hill 51 Boulevard of Travel 41 Bowlmor Lanes 85 Bubbe and Zayde’s Place

57 Dr. Ivar Roth 49 Eden Memorial Park

47 Laura Dolan Realtor

4 Gelson’s Market

56 Lucy’s Cleaning Service

63 Callahan & Blaine

39 Gorilla Grass

47 Camp Mt. Chai

37 Heating & Air

10 Camp Silvergan

9 Heritage Pointe

36 Cart Mart

14 Interim Healthcare

56 Catalina Treasure Wharehouse

39 Israel Bonds 13 Jewish Community Center

27 Chai Missions

86 APRIL 2014 |

14 Jewish Community Center


21 Laguna Playhouse 36 Law offices of Laurence Kutinsky

44 Golden Dreidle

47 Chabad of Irvine

15 Laguna Hills Dental Arts

75 Luggie Scooters 56 Cemetery plot for sale 39 Master Construction 29 Merrill Gardens 43 Mortensen & Reinheimer PC 45 Mortensen & Reinheimer PC 51 My Dog Bowl

55 Newport Children’s Medical Group 25 Lahmani Law 29 Pacific Club 2 Phil Roy Productions 8 Planned Parenthood 85 Professional Healthcare Services 19 Ralph’s 23 Safeway Von’s 56 Schneider the Writer 88 Scholar Share 87 Sheraton Anaheim Hotel 21 Silhouette Plastic Surgery 25 Solomon’s Bakery 25 Soul Mates Unlimited 55 South Coast Repatory Theater

15 Stegmeier, Gelbart, Schwartz & Benavente, Llp 56 Stephen Danz & Associates 66 24 Carrots 29 Tarbut V’Torah 56 Seeking Traveling Companion 13 Temple Bat Yahm 28 Temple Beth David 27 Temple Beth El 22 Temple Beth Sholom 56 Torah with Liora 63 University Synagogue 61 Young Israel 67 Young Israel

88 APRIL 2014 |


Orange County Jewish Life & Kiddish Supplemental April 2014  

The Orange County Jewish Life is the sister publication of the San Diego Jewish Journal. The Jewish Life is the only Jewish lifestyles magaz...

Orange County Jewish Life & Kiddish Supplemental April 2014  

The Orange County Jewish Life is the sister publication of the San Diego Jewish Journal. The Jewish Life is the only Jewish lifestyles magaz...