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MAY 2014 l IYAR•SIVAN 5774

San Diego

SENIORS

Celebrate life in the golden years

PLUS: Jewish Arts Fest


2 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014


CONTENTS

May 2014

Iyar/Sivan 5774

38

COVER: San Diego seniors celebrate life by staying active well into their golden years

50

SENIORS: Seacrest at Home provides care for seniors in the most comfortable of all places: their own homes

64

THEATER: The Lipinsky Family Jewish Arts Fest comes of age in its 21st year entertaining San Diego audiences

68

FEATURE: The Shoah Foundation 20 years after the making of “Schindler’s List,” the iconic film that started it all

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DIVORCE-FAMILY LAW Compassionate Yet aggresive FamilY law experts

• Divorce • Child Custody • Mediation Spousal Support • Child “Hire Them Support • Colla Before •Your SpousePartnership Does” tive Practice Domestic •D solution • Divorce • Child Custody • M • Divorce • Child Custody • diation • Mediation Spousal Support • Child Suppo • Spousal Support • Child Support • Collaborative Practice • Collaborative Practice • Domestic Partne Domestic Partnership • Dissolution • Dissolution • Divorce • Child Custody Mediation • Spousal Support • Child Su

74 IN THIS ISSUE: 30 FEATURE:

An interview with Pamela Geller

32 YOM HA’ATZMAUT:

San Diego celebrates Israel at annual event

34 FEATURE:

Koren Publishing in Jerusalem shows why the “type” of our prayer books matters

38 SENIORS:

Manny Rotenberg’s latest “dance”

42 SENIORS:

Yoga for seniors

44 SENIORS:

Myron Uhlberg, Brandeis and a new book

54 SENIORS:

Dating during the golden years

58 FEATURE:

Eat. Drink. Read. A Tasty Fundraiser for Literacy

62 FEATURE:

Good Eats 74 Food

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2755 Jefferson Street, Suite 200 Carlsbad, CA 92008 www.frfamilylaw.com Myra Fleischer

Around Town 10 Mailbag 12 Our Town 14 Event Recap 72 What’s Goin’ On 80 Calendar In Every Issue 8 Welcome 18 Parenting 20 Israeli Lifestyle 22 Dating 24 Guest Column 26 Spirituality 28 Israel 76 News 85 Desert Life

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www.sdjewishjournal.com May 2014 • Iyar/Sivan 5774 PUBLISHER • Dr. Mark S. Moss CO-PUBLISHER • Mark Edelstein EDITOR-IN-CHIEF • Alanna Berman ART DIRECTOR • Laurie Miller

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ASSISTANT EDITOR • Natalie Jacobs ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR • Eileen Sondak ADVERTISING DIRECTOR • Mark Edelstein CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tori Avey, Betsy Baranov, Linda Bennett, Tinamarie Bernard, David Ebenbach, Judith Fein (Senior Travel Correspondent), Michael Fox, Jennifer Garstang, Rabbi Philip Graubart, Natalie Holtz, Miki Lamm, Pat Launer, Curt Leviant, David Ogul, Pamela Price, Sharon Rosen Leib, Nikki Salvo, Andrea Simantov CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS/ARTISTS Vincent Andrunas, Ediz Benaroya, Leigh Castelli, Leetal Elmaleh, Pepe Fainberg, Steve Greenberg, Pat Krause, Laurie Miller, Paul Ross (Senior Travel Photographer), Angela Sissa, Daisy Varley ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Diane Benaroya (Senior Account Executive), Alan Moss (Palm Springs), Ronnie Weisberg SAN DIEGO JEWISH JOURNAL (858) 638-9818 • fax: (858) 638-9801 5665 Oberlin Drive, Suite 204 • San Diego, CA 92121 EDITORIAL: editor@sdjewishjournal.com ADVERTISING: sales@sdjewishjournal.com CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS: publisher@sdjewishjournal.com ART DEPARTMENT: art@sdjewishjournal.com LISTINGS & CALENDAR: calendar@sdjewishjournal.com SDJJ is published monthly by San Diego Jewish Journal, LLC. Subscription rate is $24 for one year (12 issues). Send subscription requests to SDJJ, 5665 Oberlin Drive, Suite 204, San Diego, CA 92121. The San Diego Jewish Journal 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. The San Diego Jewish Journal is not responsible for the accuracy of any and all information within advertisements. The San Diego Jewish Journal reserves the right to edit all submitted materials, including press releases, letters to the editor, articles and calendar listings for brevity and clarity. The Journal 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 the Journal become the physical property of the publication, which is not responsible for the return or loss of such material. All contents ©2014 by San Diego Jewish Journal. The San Diego Jewish Journal is a member of the American Jewish Press Association and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 7


Welcome by Alanna Berman Editor of the San Diego Jewish Journal editor@sdjewishjournal.com

Food for Thought

L

ately, I’ve been thinking a lot about food. As I write this, Passover is in full-swing, and I have been dreaming of a yeast-induced food coma for the past three days. In our April issue, I wrote about celebrating my birthday during Passover, and received quite a few recipes for great chametz-free desserts (thank you, dear readers!). And now, with the month of Yom Ha’atzmaut upon us, I can think of nothing but the great culinary delights of the Holy Land. As a vegetarian for the past 15 years, I have become well-versed in the fine foods that call Israel home: falafel, hummus, baba ganoush, tahini and pita bread are de rigueur at my house, as are many inventive treats that (I’m told) are not normal fare for an adult. (Sometimes you just need a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, people!) For me, as I am sure is true for most of you, food is tied to different memories – the cookies my mother and her sisters bake every December; the meatballs and rice served every Tuesday at my elementary school cafeteria; my grandmother’s banana bread – all these items are, quite literally, my favorite, and with each bite they have the ability to transport me to another time and place. (Of course, the meatballs are now meatless, but the memory still stands.) And the ability to share those recipes with loved ones makes their healing power multiply. It’s amazing to think that the recipes I share with friends now might someday be the food their children crave, the way I crave the homemade treats I was raised on. As the “May Gray” rolls in this month, I plan to try my hand at a few new recipes and re-dedicate myself to learning those tried-and-true family treats that I can never get just right, even though I follow the recipe exactly as it was written. Maybe it’s true that there’s an unnamed ingredient in some of those recipes, and for one reason or another, I don’t have

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“I have become well-versed in the fine foods that call Israel home: falafel, hummus, baba ganoush, tahini and pita bread are de rigueur at my house.” it. A grandmother’s love is definitely baked into each loaf of banana bread that my “Grammy” makes, and the feeling of joy surrounding the winter months is embodied in the different shapes and sprinkles on my mother’s cookies. But as a 20-something with no children who lives a little more than 2,000 miles from the rest of her family, how can I compete with that? What I’ve done is tried to make new classics, ones I can enjoy with my San Diego family, and which I hope they will continue to enjoy for years to come. Kitchens are for experimenting, and at the grocery store each week I get to pick new products and try different ways to mix them together. I’ve found new tricks and shortcuts this way, and saved myself some time since first learning how to cook for myself. One dish I know I am particularly good at making – and have been told many times that I am “the best” at – is matzah ball soup. It’s simple enough, I think, but apparently there are lots of ways you can mess up this Jewish staple, and our people are very vocal about their matzah balls. While I can’t give away all my secrets, I will give just one little tip. It may be superstition or simply an old wives’ tale, but I have never lifted the lid of a pot of boiling matzah balls while they are cooking, and they always turn out just right. A

This Month:

Savor the flavors of the Holy Land at SD’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration, May 18. See page 32 for more.


Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 9


>> mailbag

We’re Listening! Let us know what you’re thinking.

APRIL 2014 l NISAN 5774

PASSOVER 2014

PLUS: Planned Giving

New Trends for the Exodus Holiday

Butterflies... Dear Editor: Thank you for bringing attention to the beautiful exhibit at the JCC commemorating the children who perished in the Holocaust. The exhibit is the hard work of Cheryl Rattner Price but recognition needs to go to Jan Landau, who created the Butterfly Project. Thank you, Sonia Fox-Ohlbaum San Diego

Your turn to “speak up” Dear Editor: Are you kidding with the article called “Speak Up!: The Kerry Initiative on Trial” (April, 2014)? Since when is a fair trial held with only the defense and no prosecution? Apart from one refreshing Israeli voice (that of Dani Dayan), you included no comment by an American Jew or Gentile to unmask the hypocrisy of the support of the Kerry plan by J Street and by the politicians represented in the article, and included two useless refusals to

express an opinion. In a fair sample of responses, readers would be informed that while the Israelis released a hundred murderous terrorist prisoners as a “concession” to Kerry’s talks, the Palestinian leadership conceded nothing. Those who speak for J Street are at best wishful thinkers; probably they are worse. And the Democrats Feinstein, Boxer, Davis, Peters, and Vargas are in lock-step supporting their inept president’s foolish foreign policies. You couldn’t find one nonDemocrat to even up the knee-jerk defense of Kerry’s “initiative” with a fact-based indictment? “Speak up” only if you agree with the morally and politically bankrupt policies of the last two decades? Get real. Gideon Rappaport San Diego

WE ARE HIRING!

Are you connected? Do you like to schmooze? Would you like to write about it? If so, we want to talk to you! The SDJJ is looking for contributors. Email editor@ sdjewishjournal.com for more information.

follow us

* correctionS * In the April issue’s “The Consonance of Music and Dance,” Kate Hatmaker was incorrectly identified in a photo as Amy Hatmaker. The SDJJ regerets the error.

/sanDiegoJewishJournal

10 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

@sDJewishJournal

Send us your comments: editor@sdjewishjournal.com • 5665 Oberlin Dr., Ste 204 • San Diego, CA 92121


our

TOWN JCC Patron Party

In March, the annual JCC Patron Party Gala was held at Neiman Marcus in the Fashion Valley Mall. This year’s theme was “Your Luxury Adventure Awaits You!” and all proceeds for the evening went to support the programs and services of the JCC. Each year, more than 250 of San Diego’s most prominent and influential community leaders attend the fundraiser. Highlights from this year’s gala included cocktails and cuisine catered by the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, a fabulous red carpet couture fashion show by Neiman Marcus, and a fantastic auction and gifts. This spectacular evening was co-chaired by Jerri-Ann and Gary Jacobs with Honorary Chairs Joan and Irwin Jacobs.

bY LInDa bennett & betSY baranoV l betSY1945@cox.net pHotoS bY jaIme murraY pHotograpHY

Anniversaries...

Happy 80th anniversary to Sam and Blanche Weiss! Happy 50th anniversary to Sandy and Don Jackel!

Birthdays...

Happy 79th birthday to Andrew Viterbi!

Engagements...

Ed and Wita Gardiner happily announce the marriage of their daughter Jacqueline to Michael Rasmussen on March 3.

Births...

Mazel Tov to Shelby Weiss Hirsch and Adam Baron Hirsch, son of Kathy and Greg Hirsch, who welcomed their first grandson, Baron Eli, born at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles on February 6. Baron is also the great grandson of Larry Hirsch and Dorothy Taylor. Charles and Phyllis Kopp are happy to announce the birth of their 2nd grandson, Greyton Drew, born on his brother Bronson’s birthday March 18 to parents Lawrence and Elyse Kopp! 12 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

Top: Melissa Garfield-Bartell and Michael Bartell. Clockwise from middle right: Francine Ginsburg, Judy Feldman and Phillip Ginsburg; Adam Jacobs, Joan and Irwin Jacobs, and Jerri-Ann and Gary Jacobs; Sharon and David Wax.


Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 13


the SCENE bY eILeen SonDak l nSonDak@gmaIL.com pHotoS bY eDIZ benaroYa

Cygnet Gala They called it “Spring Soiree,” and it certainly lived up to expectations. The event was a fundraiser for the Cygnet Theatre in Old Town, and it all began with a cocktail reception and dinner at the nearby courtyard of the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. After dinner, the crowd moved on to the Old Town Theatre for a Champagne Reception and live auction before being entertained by Cygnet artists. The musical revue was a preview of the upcoming season. The evening ended with coffee and cupcakes, sending supporters home on a very happy note. Leonard Hirsh was the event sponsor, and Ralph Johnson sponsored the entertainment portion of the event. The large guest list included a huge honorary committee. Among them were Barbara Burrill and Dennis Cooper, Cecilia Carrick and Stan Nadel, Ron and Susan Heller, Reinette and Marvin Levine, Herschell Price and Pam Slater-Price, Molli and Arthur Wagner, and Barbara Zell and Bill McHarg.

Top: Lynne Thompson and Jan Bart. Clockwise from top left: Cygnet Executive Director Bill Schmidt, San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts and Cygnet Artistic Director Sean Murray; Robin Lipman, Joseph Fisch and Joyce Axelrod; Betty Halvin, Dianna Biegner and Judy Peacock.

Art Alive at the San Diego Museum of Art

Art is eternal, but once a year, art is also ephemeral. The San Diego Museum of Art held its annual “Art Alive” show recently, featuring flora and fauna designed by leading floral artists to complement the permanent art on display. As usual, the colorful extravaganza was spectacular. The rotunda design was inspired by the Alcazar Gardens of Spain, and the lush array had supporters ooing and aahing before they even entered the galleries. The opening event, dubbed “Bloom Bash,” brought out the museum’s loyal supporters for an evening that included culinary delights in addition to the visual banquet served up throughout the museum. Among the many staunch supporters enjoying the opening night festivities were Valerie and Harry Cooper, Phyllis and Dan Epstein, Lisa and Gary Levine, Anne Otterson, Joyce Gattas, Lois and Larry Lewis, Emma and Leo Zuckerman, and Myron and Doreen Schonbrun. 14 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014


Income Generation in Retirement Our conversation on retirement income can help you move from “Can I retire?” to “How can I make the most of my retirement?” While most people understand the importance of saving for retirement, the concept of retirement income planning may be less familiar. Retirement income planning is a holistic process to help address key retirement decisions, effectively manage risks, and efficiently provide ongoing income to meet both the clients’ current and long-term retirement needs. We can support you by providing the guidance needed to make better, more informed choices to help provide a retirement as flexible as you are. As experienced advisors, we take the time to understand your unique goals to help create a plan tailored for you – one that will modify and change over time.

Happy Homeowners

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Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 15


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Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 17


parenting

musIngs From mama by Sharon Rosen Leib srleib@roadrunner.com

The Importance of Having a Final Plan

T

he dreaded call came from my sister last month. Our 92-year-old great uncle, a childless bachelor who lives high up in the Hollywood Hills, had another stroke, plus pneumonia and was in the critical care unit at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. I’d spoken to him the day before. He sounded weak and confused and had a terrible wet cough. Ever blunt and direct, he told me, “I’m ready for this whole f-ing thing to be over.” My uncle suffered his first stroke in November, 2010. This event left him wheelchair bound and reliant on 24-hour in-home care. But he still had his mordant wit and passion for current events. He also had an active social life – including a girlfriend he visited almost daily and many friends from his days in the entertainment biz. Yet I worried about what he didn’t have – a formalized end-of-life plan. His physician had signed a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order and kept it in his medical file. But a DNR only specifies a patient doesn’t want CPR if breathing stops or the heart ceases beating. It doesn’t address any other medical interventions, e.g., feeding tubes or life-prolonging medications. My uncle needed an advance directive and power of attorney for healthcare so we’d know what to do if he had another medical emergency. So I steered him to an excellent elder law attorney. This specialization requires practitioners to be experienced in and sensitive to legal issues impacting elder clients. The attorney treated my uncle with kindness and respect. She helped him prepare a very specific advance directive for healthcare. He designated me as his primary healthcare decision maker, and the document’s parameters made me feel more comfortable about handling the hefty

18 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

responsibility of making life or death judgment calls. The recent stroke rendered him unable to speak. He tried to tell us what he wanted. We struggled to understand. Frustrated, he kept pointing at his stomach and banging on his bedside tray. He was hungry. We couldn’t give him any food or drink because he failed a swallow test and his doctor feared he’d choke to death. His advance directive stated that he did not want a feeding tube inserted to prolong his life. A saline drip kept him hydrated. On his fourth day in the hospital, he pointed at his stomach and held up four fingers. He knew that he hadn’t eaten in four days. The next day he held up five fingers. My uncle also made it clear he wanted to go home. The doctor told us if we took him home and put him in hospice care we could try feeding him. We got him out of the hospital ASAP. Once my uncle got home, he drank some green tea and ate a little soup. What a relief! While he was in the hospital, the internist put him on a round of antibiotics to treat the pneumonia. My sister, cousin and I debated whether to keep him on the antibiotics or let the pneumonia run its course. I felt uncomfortable stopping the antibiotics so he stayed on them. After we brought him home, I finally had a chance to sit down and carefully read his advance directive. It stated he didn’t want to be treated with antibiotics to prolong life – so, decision made – no more antibiotics. Advance healthcare directives give loved ones crucial guidance during the toughest of times. Please don’t grow old without one. A

For more info: visit the national elder Law Foundation’s website at nelf.org.


Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 19


israeli lifestyle

lIVIng on THe FronT Page by Andrea Simantov

andreasimantov@gmail.com

on Family

A

fter a lot of back and forth, a truck load of documentation scanned and several high-pitched conversations with my medical practitioner of the hour, I procured travelers insurance for myself (rife with exceptions and caveats) despite a recent, not-quite-resolved illness. Praise the Lord, with medication and my overnight bag packed, the spouse and I boarded a plane for a five-day, four-night jaunt to England to celebrate his granddaughter’s bat mitzvah. Aside from the tourist attractions and neverending rides on the Underground, the only thing that truly counted for me was the time spent with family. Shabbos dinner was a beautiful get-together in a heated backyard tent, attended by 40 relatives of my stepson’s wife. (She’s the Brit.) Our side of the family was represented by only nine, including the five grandchildren we brought. Talk and laughter, oodles of Jewish geography, speeches, public accolades and 20 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

expressions of gratitude were the order of the celebration; and it could not have been more refreshing. As we left, we promised – as always – to visit more often. Two weeks later, after the same insurance company tussle, the husband and I boarded a flight for South Africa, via Addis Ababa. We’d made the 11th hour decision to visit three of my daughters who live in Johannesburg and allow me to hold, cuddle, and bestow some kisses into the bellies of the two newborn grandsons I’d not yet met. Passover seemed the perfect time with nowhere to go except from home to home and playground to playground. I also desperately wanted my daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren to get to know my husband Ronney on a deeper level. They’d only met at the wedding three years earlier and it was time to “cement” that family-thing. Ronney was more excited than anyone

because he’s the South African! My American born children live there as a result of marriage and continuing education; but he couldn’t wait to see his childhood home, visit the cemetery where his parents are buried, see some distant cousins, and locate some old drinking buddies. Most important, there were some foods that were waiting to be eaten. While I remained at my daughter’s cottage to recover from the long flight, apparently he and my daughter hit every food shop in the Kosher district, conjuring up culinary memories from a distant childhood. When he finally returned to the house carrying four bags of dried meats, sausages and biscuits he announced, “In 40 minutes I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner.” Every night he played squash with Talia’s husband, Antonino as I worked out in the gym. I read books to children and sang songs with nineyear-old Shmuel Dovid from the new Schwecky CD I’d brought. I gave haircuts. We made both houses Kosher-for-Passover and I cooked some of my kids’ favorite childhood foods in order that the grandchildren should know “Grandma’s cooking.” We visited with the in-laws and stayed up several late nights playing board games with the married couples and a few of the older grandchildren. The business of my life leaves little time for reflection and I’ve come to believe that this is a good thing. Because the peace, love and sense of closure that comes from being with my children, my husband’s children, and all of our grandchildren bear witness to the investments of our previous labors. It wasn’t always easy and good memories are peppered with pain, shame and unresolved issues. But nothing beats the rapturous joy of taking a nap with a four-year-old girl who, stroking my cheek, says “I love you, Grandma. Can you stay here forever?” A


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Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 21


dating

PlayIng WITH maTcHes by Jennifer Garstrang jenscy@gmail.com

The Difference Between self-love and narcissism There is an old Jewish folktale about a young man named Natanel. He was a very good looking groysemakher (man of influence) – at least in his own opinion. One day, while out for a walk in the woods, he came across a crystal-clear pool. He looked down into the water, and saw the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes upon looking back at him. Natanel sat himself down by that pool and stared into the waters, so entranced by what he saw that he forgot to eat or sleep. Finally, he died, never realizing that what he saw in the water was not a woman, but his own reflection. Okay, okay, you caught me! It’s not actually a Jewish folktale about a man named Natanel. It’s a Greek myth about a man named Narcissus. But the idea behind this story is one that affects everyone – Jew and Gentile alike – especially when it comes to dating. See, most of us frown upon narcissism. It is not an attractive quality. When you say, “He’s so in love with himself,” the odds are good that you aren’t being complimentary. “Okay,” you reply, “so I won’t be narcissistic. Seems easy enough. After all, I’m fabulous! I’m the most humble person in the world. I’m the best at not being narcissistic.” Oops. But here’s where it gets tricky: In order to be successful at dating, relationships, and life in general, you have to both avoid being narcissistic, and, at the same time, love yourself wholeheartedly. Say what now? No, I’m not speaking in paradox. It is very possible to love yourself without being a narcissist. But first you have to recognize one very important fact: self-love and narcissism are two completely different things. I would bet that you have, at some point, mixed up those two concepts without even noticing. 22 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

For instance, if you’ve ever said “I don’t like to talk about myself,” or deflected a compliment by saying, “Oh, no, I wasn’t that great/I’m not that pretty/I just threw this on,” you’re mixing them up. So why is this such a big deal? The stigma against narcissism is so great that we overcompensate by denying ourselves pleasure in our own accomplishments. In other words, we go so far to avoid narcissism that we also avoid loving ourselves. And when you don’t love yourself, you tend to have a much harder time believing that others can love you. Let me tell you, nothing cramps your dating style like a deep-seated existential doubt about your own lovability and general worth as a human being. It’s like getting lettuce stuck in your teeth times a thousand. The difference is often subtle, but it is profound. For instance, someone who has healthy self-love is open to sharing their interests and passions. Someone who is narcissistic will share those interests and passions without also letting their date share. Notice how neither of those examples involve completely not talking about yourself. Great relationships happen when two interesting individuals are interested in each other. To make that happen, you must both share and be open to others sharing with you. So, as you go forth into the dating world, keep this in mind: You can live with humility without talking yourself down; you can be proud of yourself and your accomplishments without being vain; and you can love yourself without being a narcissist! And no matter how hot your date is, don’t forget to eat and sleep. Remember what happened to Natanel... er... Narcissus! A

Did you know?

a cosmopolitan reader poll found that the number one reason for breakups was that partners just “fell out of love.” the number two reason was because one partner cheated.


Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 23


guest column

goD TalK

by Rabbi Philip Graubart rabbi@cbe.org

Holocaust Then Israel

I

s there a causal connection between the Holocaust and the birth of the State of Israel? That’s a question I often ask this time of year, when Yom HaShoah – Holocaust memorial day – precedes Yom Ha’atzmaut by one day, a calendar phenomena that mirrors the historical reality; Israel came into being only three years after the end of the Holocaust. When I was growing up at an Orthodox day school, I assumed that the events were intimately linked, that God compensated the Jewish people for the Holocaust by giving us Israel. Later, one of my teachers, a Holocaust survivor, told me he was offended by that idea. Nothing, he told me, could compensate for his suffering or the loss of his wife and children. In college, I gave up the notion of theological cause and effect, but the two awesome events still seemed connected, one creating the other. My simple theory was that the world felt sorry for the Jews after the Holocaust, so the United Nations voted to establish a Jewish state. If there hadn’t been a Holocaust, the non-Jewish world would not have acted so generously. Once again, a teacher – also a Holocaust survivor – disabused me of this idea. The professor was Yehuda Bauer, the great Holocaust historian with whom I had the privilege of studying at Hebrew University. He taught me that Zionism was on its way to establishing a viable state before Germany invaded Poland. The Holocaust may have quickened the process, but Jewish independence in Palestine was going to happen regardless. Ultimately, according to Bauer, the Holocaust played a hugely destructive role in early Israeli history by robbing us of a large creative population, and forcing the Zionist movement to push for a state before it was really ready. And that’s pretty much what I think nowadays. But the Pesach season forces me to reconsider 24 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

Jewish ideas of history and where we locate God’s role in the continuing story of our people. In preparing for Pesach this year, I studied some of the comments of the Sephat Emet – the 19th century Gerrer Rebbe, one of our most profound Hasidic sages. He wrote that we call our evening Pesach ritual Seder, meaning “order” not just because the Torah commands us to conduct the ceremony in a rigid, specific order, but because Jewish history follows a similarly rigid, specific order. And in that sense, Egyptian slavery was every bit a part of the order as the Exodus. In fact, the Sephat Emet emphasizes several times that we’re commanded to thank God for the slavery just as we praise God for the liberation, because slavery was a necessary, ordered step on the dialectical path to redemption. For the Sephat Emet, a serious thinker, God didn’t compensate the Israelites for 400 years of slavery by freeing them and leading them to Israel. Rather, slavery was a necessary step along the road of history – a road that for him, a man of faith, always leads to redemption. Interestingly, Rabbi Kalonymus Shapira, the Warsaw Ghetto rabbi known as the Esh Kodesh – also an extremely deep and profound thinker – echoed the Sephat Emet in his Warsaw Ghetto sermons. Our suffering has a purpose, he assured his starving, ailing congregants. It’s leading to something. It’s helpful to believe that even in my suffering, I’m exactly where I should be, and that ultimately my story is part of a larger, redemptive story – an arc, bending toward salvation. I don’t think I’ll ever fully unravel the riddle of the connection between the radical tragedy of the Holocaust and the glorious miracle of the birth of Israel. What I do know is that this time of year allows us ritually to mark both occasions, to cry and laugh, mourn and dance, one day after another. A

Learn more!

the teachings of rabbi kalonymus from the Warsaw ghetto are compiled in a book called “the Holy Fire,” published in 1999 and available on Amazon.com.


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spirituality

THe arTIsT’s ToraH by David Ebenbach ebenbach@netzero.com

From the Peaks to the Plains

T

his month we finish the Book of Leviticus much the way we began it: with a focus on perfection and on the most elevated people, situations, and occasions. In chapter 21 we learn that priests offering sacrifices – who are already a pretty small group, since they must be male and from the lineage of Aaron – must be narrowed down further to those who are free of all “blemish.” This means that a priest can be disqualified from service because of a range of birth defects, injuries and diseases. (Presumably this would have ruled out a lot of candidates in the pre-medical society of the Israelites.) Thus Leviticus, the Priestly code, is heavily focused on the select of the select. That’s true of sacrificial animals, too, which were similarly required to be “perfect” (22:21). These portions also discuss the requirements associated with our major festivals and holy days (e.g., Passover, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot) – days that are themselves the select times of the select times. But what about the rest of the year? What about the rest of us ordinary people? Leviticus certainly offers us an important vision of striving for peaks of sacred purpose and service – of what we might be and do when we’re at our best. On the other hand, the Book of Numbers (which we start this month) offers us a complementary vision of the everyday. Numbers is called B’midbar in Hebrew, which means “in the wilderness.” Both the English and Hebrew names remind us that the world of the Israelites (not to mention our own) is a world of, in part, concrete and earthly concerns. The Israelites are indeed wandering around in a wilderness, trying to get through one day after the next, dealing with a number of problems that are at least as practical as they are spiritual. These early portions take a census of the Israelites (hence “Numbers”); they lay out a plan for how

26 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

this massive group of people will decamp and march forward when it’s time to do so; and they even assign jobs as far as which people are going to carry which parts of the disassembled Mishkan (sanctuary). In Yiddish this is called tachles: nuts and bolts. Yet this doesn’t mean that we’ve left behind all spiritual concerns. The focus on the handling of the Mishkan, for example, once again reminds us of the importance of that structure and its function as a way to connect to God. What Numbers teaches us is that we all have a role to play in that connection. The final parashat of the month (Naso) illustrates this vividly. As I’ve observed elsewhere (in my book, “The Artist’s Torah”), something weird happens when each tribe comes forward to donate wealth to the construction of the Mishkan: each one donates a lengthy list of objects (e.g., bowl, basin, ladle) and coins, with exact amounts specified, but – even though each tribe donates the exact same things, in the exact same amounts – the whole long list gets repeated, word for word, each time. This repetition doesn’t ever bring any new information, but it does help us to see that the Torah values each contribution equally. As should we. There is a temptation to hand over our sacred responsibilities to select authorities – in our time this would be rabbis – and to save our sacred intentions for select occasions. And certainly there are people who are going to take a more central role in the Jewish community, and we will find ourselves more thoroughly engaged at some times than at others. That’s what much of the Book of Leviticus is for: to help us navigate those heights. But Numbers? That’s for the normal person on the normal day, the person who has ordinary things to do and ordinary places to go, but who doesn’t want to leave the sacred behind. A

 This

month’s Torah portions May 3: Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23) May 10: Behar (Leviticus 25:1-26:2) May 17: Bechukotai (Leviticus 26:3-27:34) May 24: Bamidbar (numbers 1:1-4:20) May 31: Naso (numbers 4:21-7:89)


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I

For its 66th birthday, Israel fetes the year of the woman By deBorah FIneBlum/jns.org

PHOTO By MICHAL fATTAL/fLASH90

israel

The era of women

H

ow is the Jewish state’s 66th birthday celebration different from all other years’ celebrations? Special plans are afoot to recognize the achievements of Israeli women. On May 5, the theme of the ceremony, kicking off the back-to-back Israeli Memorial Day and Independence Day events on Mount Herzl, is “The Era of Women – Achievements and Challenges.” Independence Day torches, featured annually at the official state ceremony, will be lit exclusively by women at this year’s event. Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat introduced the government’s yearlong focus on the achievements and challenges of today’s Israeli woman, in recognition of those women who have made significant contributions to both the State and to Israeli society as a whole in the arenas of science, culture, economy, defense, women’s rights, education, business, hitech, the environment, and social activism. “The time has come that the State and society will put women at the center and give them the national stage,” Livnat said in a statement. Though all Israeli women are included in

28 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

Israeli soldiers display the shape of the Star of David during Israel’s Memorial Day/Independence Day torch lighting ceremony at Mount Herzl in 2007. for this year’s state ceremony, Independence Day torches will be lit exclusively by women. the government’s Independence Day salute, 14 notable women have been singled out for special recognition as ceremonial torchbearers. They are: Maj. Gen. Orna Barbivai, who, as head of the Israel Defense Forces Manpower Directorate, is the Israeli army’s highest-ranking woman; Adina Bar-Shalom, who was recently tapped for the Israel Prize for her “pioneering work to bridge societal rifts and socioeconomic gaps and to promote an ultra-Orthodox lifestyle that includes social openness and higher education;” actress Miriam Zohar, who received the Israel Prize in 1986; Kira Radinsky, for her pioneering work in the field of web dynamics at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology; Belaynesh Zevadia, the Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia; Carmela Menashe, military affairs reporter for Army Radio; Hindia Suleiman, who founded an initiative to empower the women of Bu’eina-Nujeidat, an Israeli Arab village; Tali Peretz-Cohen, whose rape crisis center comes to the aid of victims of sexual assault in the Galilee and the Golan; Maxine Fassberg, CEO of Intel Israel and a leader of Israel’s burgeoning hi-tech industry; Miriam Peretz, whose two

sons were Israeli army officers killed in the line of duty; Shahar Pe’er, a teenaged Israeli tennis star currently ranked 11th in the world (she will light a torch with Paralympics handcyclist Pascale Noa Bercovitch); and Geula Cohen, a former member of the Knesset (she will light a torch with Gal Yoseph, chairwoman of Israel’s National Students Council). The 14 torchbearers were selected by the members of a special committee charged to select women of great accomplishment from across Israel’s diverse population, what Livnat referred to as representing “a unique mosaic of Israeli society.” Gabie Sykora of Ra’anana believes that every wife and mother of every soldier should be nominated. She currently has a son and a daughter in the Israel Defense Forces. “Behind nearly every holy chayal/chayelet (male and female soldier),” she said, “there’s a mom or wife doing their horrendously smelling laundry, getting food ready to stuff them with or send back with them, and trying her darndest not to worry and to keep smiling.” A


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FEAtuRE StoRy

RADicAL iSLAm: WhAt to knoW noW A conversation with Pamela Geller

PHOTOS COURTESy PAMELA GELLER

By mikE hAyutin, mhAyutin@GmAiL.com

P

amela Geller, a First Amendment, human rights and pro-Israel advocate, hit the ground running during a March trip to San Diego. Her dedication to the rights of women, minorities, gays and people of all faiths under the assault of radical Islam has given her a growing national constituency. Her whirlwind tour of our town included a private gathering in Solana Beach with a curious group of activists; a speech before a packed house in Ramona and a donor dinner with prominent San Diegans; and a presentation to a pro-Israel, Israeli flag-waving, hevenu shalom aleichem-singing, Spanish-speaking church in Oceanside. Needless to say the final event was a profoundly moving experience for all the Jews in attendance. We spoke to Geller at her first March speaking engagement about her thoughts, views and projections for the future of a world plagued by radical Islam. San Diego Jewish Journal: How do you go from being a mother of four and associate publisher at the New York Observer to a full time human rights and First Amendment activist? Pamela Geller: Before 9/11, I assumed my freedom. I took my freedom for granted. But 30 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

after 9/11, I realized I could no longer do so. Freedom is not free and it must be protected. After 9/11, it was clear that every American had to defend freedom, or we would lose it. I found the media unwilling to cover the subject matter and so increasingly I found myself on the Internet. I began my blog in 2004 and have been writing and engaging in activism ever since. SDJJ: We have come face to face with political, supremacist and jihadist Islam all over the world, most prominently for Americans on 9/11. How do we distinguish the jihadist from among 1.4 billion Muslims? PG: This is one of the big problems we face. Muslim groups worldwide have not stated, as they should have, that anyone who believed in Islam the way Osama bin Laden did would be put out of the mosque and declared non-Muslim. It is the responsibility of the Muslim community to distinguish peaceful Muslims from jihadists. They have not done so. SDJJ: We are often told about passages in the Quran that speak in a positive way about “people of the book” (Christians and Jews) and that there is no “compulsion” in religion. How does this

square with the intolerant and hateful passages that motivate the terrorists? Does the Sunni “doctrine of abrogation” deal with these internal contradictions? PG: Yes, it does. The Quran says that Jews and Christians are under Allah’s curse (9:30) and should be warred against (9:29). By the doctrine of abrogation, those and other violent passages supersede earlier ones that are relatively more tolerant. SDJJ: How are Jews, Christians, women, girls, Buddhists, Hindus, secular people, gay people and converts from Islam treated in nations where Shariah (Islamic religious law) is enforced? Are honor killings, female genital mutilation, the general degradation of women and the imprisonment and execution of gay people cultural phenomena? PG: They are denied basic rights and severely discriminated against. Those are not cultural phenomena. They are all grounded in Islamic law. SDJJ: Does any of this have any relevance concerning external or internal threats to Jews in San Diego?


FEAtuRE StoRy

The author speaks to Geller in March.

PG: Eighty percent of mosques in the U.S. are controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is dedicated in its own words, according to a captured internal document, to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” Islamic Jew-hatred is a religious imperative in the Quran. The war in Israel is a jihad against the Jews. The vicious anti-Semitism spreading across Europe is forcing Jews to flee the continent (again). How does that not concern Jews in San Diego? SDJJ: Tell us a bit about your First Amendment and human rights successes, and the things you have accomplished that give you satisfaction. PG: In New York, we challenged the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s refusal of our pro-Israel ad that read, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel, defeat jihad.” We won on First Amendment grounds. We also won a case against Detroit’s SMART Transit to run our ads offering help for those threatened with death for leaving Islam, although SMART continues to appeal. We won a settlement with Tampa Transit when they initially refused to run our ads offering help for women threatened with honor killing. We moved forward with legal action against Chicago Transit and they backed down as well. I have just created a new pro-Israel campaign

to rebut a vicious anti-Semitic campaign that the American Muslims for Palestine are running on Washington D.C. buses. Had we not sued and won in D.C., it is unlikely that our message (or anyone else’s that might violate Shariah law or the laws of political correctness) would be allowed to run. SDJJ: Do we have anything to fear from the building of Mosques? If so, how does this square with religious freedom? PG: If 80 percent of Mosques are Muslim Brotherhood-controlled, this is a matter for concern. Muslims should be perfectly free to practice their religion, but not to plot the subversion of the state. SDJJ: What was the Holy Land Foundation litigation all about? How does that relate to the formation of Islamic organizations here in San Diego? PG: The HLF was once the largest Islamic charity in the U.S. It was shut down for funneling charitable contributions to Hamas. Islamic organizations in San Diego may be involved with the same groups that were aiding HLF and pursuing the same activities. Hundreds of Islamic groups were named Muslim Brotherhood proxies and unindicted co-conspirators. According to an internal captured document entered into evidence in the Holy Land trial, “their work in

America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands ... so that ... God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions.” SDJJ: Why do you feel that many Jewish groups try to hinder your message? PG: They hinder my message out of fear of offending Muslims, political correctness and naïveté. We will always be labeled Islamophobes if we resist jihad terror. Islamic supremacist groups have discovered this to be an effective tactic in silencing all critics of jihad. The key to winning this war of ideas is standing up against this intimidation and speaking the truth no matter what. The key to winning the war is the ability to speak – freedom to speak. But many Jewish groups shut down my talks at the behest of Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas-linked groups. SDJJ: Finally, if there was one thing you wanted the Jewish community in San Diego to take away from this interview, what would that be? PG: Stand for the truth. Truth is the new hate speech. Don’t let the enemies of the Jews dictate the agenda, allegiances, and associations of the Jewish people. A To learn more, visit Pamela’s blog at pamelageller. com. Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 31


YOM HA’ATZMAUT

Creating Connections to Israel “San Diego celebrates israel” returns to the nobel Athletic Fields

PHOTO COURTESy THE fRIENDSHIP CIRCLE

By nAtALiE JAcoBS

L-R: Alexa freedman, Sarah Shulman, Meghan Gross and Marcia Jaffe walk with the friendship Circle to kick off the 2013 San Diego Celebrates Israel festival.

I

n the thick of continued peace talks between Israel and Palestine and with Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movements heating up on college campuses throughout the United States, San Diego and many other cities around the country will take a day to celebrate Israel’s independence and accomplishments this month. In Israel, on May 5, Yom Ha’atzmaut will be celebrated on Mount Herzl with speeches, musical performances and the lighting of 12 torches to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Here in San Diego, Federation will host its annual San Diego Celebrates Israel festival on Saturday, May 18 at the Nobel Athletic Fields in conjunction with more than 80 community groups. As in previous years, the goal is to help the San Diego community feel more connected to Israel. “[The event aims to] have people connect with Israel in an informal setting,” Debbie Kornberg, director of the Israel and Overseas Center at Federation, says, “to learn about Israel’s technology, innovations and culture. All the different organizations bring different elements and share different elements about Israel at the

32 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

festival. It’s an opportunity to learn about Israel in lots of different ways.” A handful of Israeli merchants will be attending this year’s festival, including fan favorite The Spice Way, returning with their colorful crates of bulk spices and tea mixtures reminiscent of Israel’s outdoor markets. New this year is Kibbutz Dorot and their frozen spices and seasonings. Run out of their land in Sha’ar Hanegev (San Diego’s sister city in Israel), their brand, simply called Dorot, is sold in Trader Joe’s supermarkets as well as at Costco, Vons and Ralphs. “This Kibbutz is in Sha’ar Hanegev and nobody knows it,” Kornberg explains. “It’s like the best kept secret that you can support Sha’ar Hanegev by going to Trader Joe’s and buying these products.” Kornberg says Dorot will bring 10,000 coupons and five coolers full of their garlic, basil, ginger and sautéed onions to be given away as prizes throughout the day. To further stoke the Dorot fire, there will be a garlic-eating contest for brave souls or those with no one to kiss for at least a week following the festival. Participants

can sign up on the day of the event and the winner gets a cooler full of Dorot products. A hummus cook-off, live music and Israeli dancing, as well as judging for a youth art contest will round out the day’s events. Kornberg is also working on a live display of some “Israeli innovations,” so come ready for surprises. As in the past three years, The Friendship Circle will kick off the festival with their annual fundraising walk. Cost to sign up for the walk is $20 prior to the event and $30 the day of. The group has a goal of raising $100,000 to support their free programming that pairs special needs kids and adults with “typical” teens in fun and active settings. A San Diego Celebrates Israel is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 at the Nobel Athletic Fields in La Jolla. More information is available at sandiegocelebratesisrael.com. Learn more about The Friendship Circle and sign up for the walk at friendshipwalksd.com.


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Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 33


FEATURE STORY TYPES

PHOTOS COURTESy kOREN PUBLISHERS JERUSALEM

OF PRAYER

34 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014


FEAtuRE StoRy

How the typography of our prayer books changes the way we pray BY ALANNA BERMAN Prayer books, or Siddurim, are interesting things. We hold them in synagogue, read from their pages and rarely, if ever, think about what those words on the page mean. Many American Jews probably have one in their home that has almost never been opened. The text itself is largely boring, or hard to read, or both. Over the years, commentaries were added, layouts were changed, and new directions were taken to encourage the reader to think about the prayers as they recite them, but it wasn’t until Koren Publishers Jerusalem wiped the page clean; focusing only on the poetic language of prayer that people started to pay attention to their Siddurim. “If you look at bibles throughout history, in a way they are like time capsules,” Eliav Stollman, an expert on the Koren Bible, says. “You can learn a lot about the time and place where these bibles were printed ... it tells you something about the time, the people and place and history and their vision.” In the case of the Koren Bible, that time and place was representative of a moment in time that changed everything for Jews: the founding of the State of Israel. Published in 1962, it took founder Eliyahu Koren nearly 20 years to perfect the text. A master typographer, Koren set out to create a bible that would be entirely produced – designed, edited, proofread and bound – by Jewish people in the Jewish homeland. It was a major undertaking, especially since the texts in use were full of errors. “Before this, there had been no bible that was printed, edited and bound by a Jew in more than 500 years,” Stollman says. “All the previous bibles were written by Christians or by converts, so there were a lot of mistakes; thousands or even hundreds of thousands of mistakes. It took a long time, with Jewish scholars sitting and staring at ancient texts to reveal the accurate text. In many ways, throughout history there was always a debate about [these] texts. The moment that the words came down from Sinai there were questions about the text, but throughout history, [it] really became a mess.” Koren worked closely with members at Hebrew University to cross reference ancient manuscripts and source materials to find the most accurate translations, then he set out to print his bible. He was meticulous in his efforts, creating a unique font for the ancient text to maximize its legitimacy as the new word in Hebrew literature and to increase the clarity of the text. The Koren font is based on medieval Sephardi script, with a modern touch. Letters are strong, with hard edges that evoke a sense of authority. Stollman calls it “grounding.” “There is a very Israeli feel about it,” he says. “The Koren font was all about innovation and the new Jew – the Israeli.” Previously used fonts were rounded and reminiscent of the past; a past that many wanted to leave behind in the European cities they fled for Israel. Koren believed his bible would bring the Jewish people into the future. “The new font represented the revival of the Jewish people, and I think Eliyahu Koren was aspiring to create a new, innovative, strong, accurate bible that would be the pride of the Jewish people in Israel,” Yehudit Singer, manager for book marketing and public relations for Koren Publishers, says.

LEfT: Eliyahu koren works meticulously on the koren typeface, which he wanted to “reflect Israel and the Jewish people.” RIGHT: koren finalizes the type for the koren Bible. When the Koren Bible was finally published, the Koren Tanakh Font was praised for its textual accuracy, pioneering design and superior quality. Since its first printing, presidents of Israel have all been sworn into office with a copy of the Koren Bible, the pride of Israel. “Koren was all about getting the correct text, the most accurate text available, and maintaining a reputable look that would enhance the text,” Stollman says. “It’s not about just making a prayer book that looks pretty, but getting the meaning out there, and making it more clear so that the reader is engaged, and understands what the text is all about.” In the 1970s, Koren began to work on his Siddur, creating a new, specialized font for the sacred text with a new page layout that would differentiate Torah verses from Rabbinic writings and keep the reader engaged. The Koren Siddur Font was designed to be different from the Koren Tanakh Font, which Koren felt was too sacred to be used except for biblical quotations. “As is the case with all the books that Koren has published, the font, the layout and the design have been consciously crafted so that they bring out the meaning behind the prayers,” Singer says. “Mr. Koren spoke a lot about this. He wanted to present the prayers and

Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 35


FEAtuRE StoRy

LEfT: Mr. koren. RIGHT: The letter Aleph, in the koren Bible font.

“mr. koren ... wanted to present the prayers and the text in the bible in a way that people would slow down, and as you are reading it, you do become more mindful and conscious about what you are reading.” the text in the Bible in a way that people would slow down, and as you are reading it, you do become more mindful and conscious about what you are reading.” Unlike virtually every other Hebrew-English Siddur, the Koren version is printed with the Hebrew on the left side pages and the English printed on the right. During his lifetime, Koren called the design practical, because no matter which language you are reading, you start from the middle and work your way outward. The position of the pages and the sentence breaks are also significant, meant to draw meaning out of the ancient text. Of course, the choice of the font used for the English text, Arno Pro, was also a carefully thought out decision. Today, the special fonts have been digitized thanks to Koren’s publisher Matthew Miller, opening the door to new projects and special editions of Hebrew text. “Before [Matthew] took the brand into the 21st century, Koren was a very Israeli brand, and now its going all around the world,” Stollman says. “There was this huge vision, and now we see it firsthand – we are changing minds I think. We really feel it, and see the results and how people have been reacting to the Talmud and the Siddur is amazing.” The special Koren fonts are still in use today, in new projects at Koren. A groundbreaking work, the Koren-Sacks Siddur (published in 2009), was the first Hebrew/English version of the renowned Hebrew Koren Siddur, created with Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, widely known as one of the most articulate Jewish thinkers today. A text for everyday, the Koren-Sacks 36 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

Siddur has been praised for prayer “in a style that does not spur habit and hurry, but rather encourages the worshiper to engross his mind and heart in prayer,” as Mr. Koren intended. A new edition of the Talmud, the Koren Talmud Bavli is a groundbreaking edition of the Talmud for students and novices alike, featuring a traditional Aramaic page cut into smaller passages alongside translation, commentary and notes by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz, whose life mission, according to Singer, was to bring Talmudic text to a wider audience. “It’s very exciting to publish traditional Jewish texts, that are now reaching out to such a wide range of people,” Singer says. While each arm of Judaism has its own preferred Siddur, the Koren version seems to reach across the denominational spectrum. “Every person I meet tells me how much our books are influencing their lives, and I think there are very few Jewish publishing companies or organizations that can say that – especially considering that this is a traditional text,” Singer says. Today, Koren has partnerships across the globe, with endorsements from Yeshiva University in the U.S. and the Orthodox Union, working with top scholars at each institution on new commentary and the publishing house’s latest works. “It’s really wonderful to take this heritage – and the Koren legacy – that has been so grounded in its heritage in Israel, and now bring it to the U.S.,” Singer says. “It makes us very proud.” A


Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 37


SAN DIEGO JEWISH JOURNAL

Presents

San Diego Seniors

Keeping Busy During Retirement Manuel Rotenberg's photos evoke a youthful energy BY natalie jacoBs Rotenberg's photos capture the swift movements of dancers in the 2013 performance of Malashock RAW. INSET: Manny Rotenberg

B

efore he retired more than 10 years ago, Manuel Rotenberg – or Manny, as everyone calls him – was a professor and department chair at UC San Diego in the physics and electrical engineering department. He started there in 1961 after holding positions at the University of Chicago and Princeton. Prior to his long career in the university system, Rotenberg, an MIT graduate, worked as a scientist for Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Now he’s a photographer who specializes in dance. 38 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

When he picked the old hobby back up in 2002, he started with a technique called street shooting, a form of photography where the photographer surreptitiously snaps pictures of strangers and scenes while wandering around a place. Rotenberg was street shooting around UC San Diego one day when he ran into a former colleague. Arthur Wagner, founding chairman of the Department of Theater and Dance, asked him what he was up to with all his newfound free time. Pointing to his camera, Rotenberg explained that he was delving back into

photography, something he had given up after becoming a professor. Wagner immediately asked him to come shoot a rehearsal of the department���s latest play. “Word got around to Margaret Marshall,” Rotenberg says in his home studio in La Jolla, “she was the head of the Dance part of Theater and Dance. She was teaching ballet at the time and she said ‘why don’t you come in and photograph some classes?’ “So I did that and then I graduated to shows. On the faculty then was Jean Isaacs who then left


the SENIOR issue

“There are famous photographers who shoot for Vogue, the New York Times, National Geographic, Playboy,” Rotenberg says. “Those are all great photographers. Just by looking at their photographs, you see what they’ve done. I’m always looking at things. Especially lighting.”

the university and set up her own dance group. I ended up photographing for her.” And it kept snowballing from there. Jean Isaacs, of Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater, has about 12 shows per year, all of which Rotenberg photographs. “There are a lot of professors who, when they retire, become photographers,” Isaacs explains over the phone between dance rehearsals. “But Manny’s the one who kind of hung in there and learned about dance and theater and really made himself incredibly invaluable in the community.” Part of what makes Rotenberg so indispensible at this point is that he does all of his photography and post-production work for free. “These are all shoestring operations,” he says, “they couldn’t afford to pay for the time.” And it’s quite true, according to Isaacs. “It would cost thousands of dollars, tens of thousands if they’re really a pro like Manny. But I don’t even really know anymore because we’ve been relying on him for so long,” she says. In addition to working with Isaacs and UCSD, Rotenberg photographs all of the Malashock Dance shows, San Diego Ballet, programs at the Coronado School of the Arts and San Diego City College, as well as the occasional portrait shoot in his home studio. “These shows are all in the evening because, except for San Diego Ballet, most of the dancers are part-time. So usually, with some exceptions,

rehearsals are at night. I spend two to three hours just shooting, then it takes me three or four days to edit. So it turns out it’s a full time job,” Rotenberg concludes with a chuckle after doing some light math in his head. But he seems invigorated by and deeply committed to the work. His photographs are hung prominently throughout his house, next to pieces by famous artists and books on quantum computer science. He prints all the photographs himself, on an industrial-sized machine that sits on its own desk in his studio, which comes complete with backdrops and huge flashbulb lights. He even intentionally schedules his travel during the fall when companies are just beginning the rehearsal process so he can be back by the time they’re ready for him. And he isn’t particularly bothered by the occasional allnighter. Like any good scholar, he’s always learning. “The more he’s been shooting, the more he understands the art form,” Isaacs says. Dancing can be incredibly difficult to photograph, because the stages are often sparsely lit and the dancers are constantly moving which can easily blur a photo. “The challenging thing is getting the dancers right at the peak of the movement. You have to kind of keep clicking until you get a good one,” Isaacs continues. “There are famous photographers who shoot

for Vogue, the New York Times, National Geographic, Playboy,” Rotenberg says. “Those are all great photographers. Just by looking at their photographs, you see what they’ve done. I’m always looking at things. Especially lighting.” And while photography is mostly a clean break from physics, Rotenberg has found that his professional lifelong association with computers made it easier for him to learn Photoshop and the other digital requirements of this job. “The department I was with last was electrical and computer engineering. I’d always been associated with computers since MIT, and especially at Los Alamos. So I knew a lot about computers and technical stuff, so cameras and things like Photoshop didn’t phase me very much. It is clear Rotenberg takes immense pride in his work and that he has earned the respect of the San Diego dance community that he serves so tirelessly. You will see his work in all promotional materials for the companies he shoots, as well as in rotating exhibits at the Dance Place in Liberty Station and at the Mandell Weiss Theatre on UCSD’s campus. His pictures are also available for viewing on his website, rotepix.com. A

Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 39


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Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 41


SAN DIEGO JEWISH JOURNAL

Presents

San Diego Seniors

Stretching for Health

The benefits of (Kosher) yoga and mindfulness movement for seniors BY tinamarie Bernard

A

growing cadre of yoga teachers now teaches that the practice of yoga can lead to a deeper understanding of our Jewishness. Where Torah study enlivens the mind, movement helps bring what we learn into the body. But if you’re wondering: “How can this be, given that yoga is part of another religious tradition?” you are not alone. “Many people mistakenly believe that yoga is religious,” explains Lee Fowler Schwimmer, founder of Jewish Soul Yoga in San Diego. Schwimmer brings levity and Jewish wisdom 42 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

to her yoga classes throughout San Diego. She trained with Diane Bloomfield, author of “Torah Yoga,” and Rabbi Myriam Klotz, Director of Yoga and Embodied Practices at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Schwimmer teaches at retreats and synagogues throughout Southern California and is a popular facilitator at the Women’s Retreat at Camp Mountain Chai. Currently, she’s leading a weekly yoga class at The Ranch in Encinitas. Yoga is an ancient philosophical system, aimed at quieting the mind, she explains. “The postures

that are well known to Westerners are but a small part of a large system, within which tenets of social and personal responsibility, physical healing, meditation and concentration lead to a quiet place in the mind,” says Schwimmer. These postures allow us to become more still and quiet and in this quietude, “each of us has the opportunity to connect to the still, small voice within.” Seniors benefit in unique ways through yoga in part because yoga helps alleviate symptoms of illnesses we associate with aging. Yoga reduces


the SENIOR issue

high blood pressure, eases chronic pain and improves quality of sleep. It increases mobility, balance and flexibility and reduces fatigue. San Diego seniors, Jewish and not, are truly advantaged: our county is home to Silver Age Yoga, a nonprofit organization that offers “health enhancing, life-enriching” yoga programs in San Diego. Schwimmer explained that Silver Age Yoga in Solana Beach is the preeminent leader of yoga for seniors. Since 2003, they have served more than 3,000 seniors across multiple venues throughout the county. Classes are either free or low cost and designed to support seniors in safe yoga practices for the beginner through more advanced levels. Silver Age addresses the senior community at large. Fortunately, our Jewish organizations offer yoga and related classes geared specifically to the older Jewish participant. Melanie Rubin of the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center explains that while the JCC’s senior center programming doesn’t include yoga specifically for seniors at this time, there are related classes for older adults. These include stretching classes to improve flexibility and Tai Chi/ Qi Gong. Tai Chi/Qi Gong is a form of simple meditative movement that helps to increase energy, strengthen the immune system, reduce stress and discover joy through movement. Classes for participants of all ages include a restorative yoga class described as, “excellent for seniors and for people suffering from chronic illnesses or injury.” Seacrest Village Retirement Communities is home to the state-ofthe-art Esther & Bud Fischer Aquatics and Fitness Center in Encinitas. Residents can take classes in Tai Chi, agility, strength and coordination, mindbody awareness and yoga. Schwimmer’s class at The Ranch is open to Jews of all

What makes Judaism and yoga so compatible is that both are steeped in reflective moments.

ages, and she says seniors are certainly welcome to inquire about participating. The course is part of the programming of Waters of Eden and runs through June. It’s described as a place where “yoga poses and Jewish wisdom are braided together like the strands of a Havdalah candle.” The kavannah, or intention, is, “to move from constriction to expansiveness, both physically and mentally,” using yoga as the vehicle for a deeper Jewish experience. “Yoga is a wonderful opportunity to practice disconnecting the busy-ness of our lives and tapping in to the wisdom and God connection found in the sounds of silence,” says Schwimmer. She points to familiar stories and messages of the Torah to explain. “Moses ascended Mt. Sinai and spent 40 days in calm isolation and received Torah, she says. People afflicted with skin diseases were separated from the community and offered opportunities to experience stillness as a path to healing. Women healed from childbirth with protected, quiet time.” There is something mystical and spiritual for Jews of all ages when we practice being quiet and just listening, Schwimmer says. If in doubt or still just curious, it comes down to this: What makes Judaism and yoga so compatible is that both are steeped in reflective moments. What makes yoga so good for seniors is that it can help ease the discomforts of aging. A

5

bENEfItS Of yOGA pRActIcE fOR SENIORS

Why seniors should start their yoga practice now: 1. MoveMent without the strain Yoga is a low-impact way to keep regular exercise in your life. 2. increased flexibility With continued practice, a little goes a long way in helping develop greater flexibility to ensure good range of motion. 3. yoga can relieve Menopausal discoMfort Certain yoga postures, such as The Bridge, Seated Forward Bed and Plow are known to relieve uncomfortable symptoms of menopause and menstrual cramps. Ask your instructor to incorporate these in your practice. 4. proMotes good bone health Even though it is low-impact, yoga is noted to help slow and prevent bone density loss. It is also safe and beneficial for those with osteoporosis. 5. yoga keeps the Mind sharp The meditative aspects of yoga are a great opportunity to relieve stress and reconnect your body and mind. Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 43


SAN DIEGO JEWISH JOURNAL

Presents

San Diego Seniors

Interpreter, Writer, Football Player, Brandeis Alum Myron Uhlberg's journey from silence to sound

LEFT: Uhlberg sits with his memoir "Hands Of My Father" before a speaking event at La Jolla Country Day School. RIGHT: Uhlberg's literary credits include several children's books.

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nce upon a time, in Brooklyn, there was a little boy born to deaf parents. Though he was hearing, his first language was sign. He grew up to attend Brandeis University, and many years later, decided to write a children’s book that mirrored his life. He went on to pen seven children’s books and two for adults, one of which is in the works as a feature film. This is the story of Myron Uhlberg.

44 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

The Early Years He was born at “the absolute bottom of the Great Depression,” or, 1933, “also a memorable year worldwide,” he adds, referring to Hitler’s advance in Europe. His mother, from a shtetl in Eastern Russia, had no education. His father was “Hungarian, a philanderer.” Both were born into very large families, with their hearing intact, but early

pHOTOS by DANIELLA DEVARNEy

BY pat launer

illnesses left them deaf. For his mother, it was scarlet fever; for his father, spinal meningitis. They met on the beach in Coney Island, N.Y., where Bay 6 had been “taken over by the deaf,” with hundreds of deaf people from all over New York convening every weekend, forming a large circle of beach chairs, with the (mostly hearing) children playing in the center. Myron was one of those children.


the SENIOR issue

"I became my parents’ interpreter. ... I had to do all the talking for my parents – at the butcher shop, the poultry store, the fish place, the green grocer.”

“My mother didn’t like my father at first,” Myron says. “She was very beautiful, and very popular. He was handsome, but maybe eight or nine years older, and very serious, not fun-loving like my mother. But he convinced her that he’d make a good husband. It was 1932, and he had a highly skilled trade, and was a member of a union. He was a compositor, setting type for the New York Daily News. Many in the deaf community worked in the printing trade – mainly because it was such a noisy business.” Both of his parents had attended residential schools for the deaf. Neither their parents, nor any of their siblings, ever learned sign language. “But they were very resourceful; they had to be. There were no social services for the deaf. They did well. I was always the best-dressed kid in my neighborhood.”

A Lifelong Interpreter One very vivid memory is the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. “I was almost six, and there’s a picture of me as the glummest, saddest-looking kid you ever saw,” Myron says. “The people in my neighborhood couldn’t afford the Fair. I was so excited about going – until I got there. My father kept asking, ‘What’s he saying? What’s going on?’ I got a headache trying to keep up with all his questions. “That’s when I became my parents’ interpreter. We never had a phone or car or TV. By then,

the movies were talkies, and that was the end of movies for the deaf. I had to do all the talking for my parents – at the butcher shop, the poultry store, the fish place, the green grocer.” It didn’t seem that out-of-the-ordinary to him. “At the time, I thought I had a good childhood. I loved Brooklyn and I loved sports. I was very athletic, and we played all kinds of games with a 10-cent Spalding: stoopball, stickball, punchball, Chinese handball. “In our third-floor apartment, I lived in a different world. The deaf are not silent, you know. They make a great deal of noise. For one thing, my parents stamped on the floor to get each other’s attention. The downstairs neighbor would bang a broom on the ceiling to quiet them. When I went into her apartment, I saw all these pockmarks on the ceiling. “But from age 6 to 18, I had a case of arrested development. I had no social skills in the hearing world. I was extremely shy. Sports was my escape.” He first played on the streets, then on his high school football team. It was football that got him into Brandeis. But that was later. “I had a solid streak of embarrassment about my deaf parents,” Myron confesses. “It wasn’t uncommon for children of immigrants to be the translator for their parents. But unlike immigrants, the deaf can never learn to communicate. In deaf families, the first-born

hearing child became the interpreter. The other children became indifferent. “Deaf parents prayed to have a first-born girl, because they not only accepted but loved being the interpreter. For a boy, it was an obligation. Girls were proud and happy to do it. I had to be compelled; it was a burden. As a CODA [Child of Deaf Adults], I know a lot of people like me. All the boys resented it.” And then there were other people’s responses. “In a crowded subway, someone called it ‘monkey language.’ People often said, ‘Look at the dummy!’”

Judaism and the Uhlbergs “My father had zero use for religion,” Myron says bluntly. “He was bar mitzvahed, even though he knew not a word of the language. All he knew was, he was dressed up in a rented suit, they put this thing around his neck and another one on his head and he just stood there. That was his bar mitzvah! They said ‘he’s deaf and dumb,’ he can’t give a ‘Today I am a man’ speech. He made no sense of it. “But then, when I was 13, he insisted that I have a bar mitzvah. He wanted ‘to show those hearing people that my son isn’t suffering.’ I had one year of Hebrew School, and hated every minute of it. I never set foot in a temple again, until my wedding. “Things are so different now; the deaf can Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 45


the SENIOR issue

photos from Uhlberg's personal archive show a very actie young man during his football years at brandeis. access religion. There are congregations with a Rabbi who signs. “My father never complained about being deaf, but he always commented on how unfairly he was treated. He was a very proud person. He didn’t expect a break, but some consideration or acknowledgment, and equal dignity – including in his own family. He made more money than all his siblings, but they still thought of him as ‘the poor deaf kid.’ Till the day he died, he was conscious of being a part of a huge minority in an uncaring, unfeeling, often hostile world. Without language, you live in a separate country. Sharing a language is what makes cultures and societies.” All these experiences feature in his first book, “Hands of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love,” published in 2009. It was an Amazon recommended book of the month. The Wall Street Journal called it “fascinating” and “vividly evocative.” Publishers Weekly dubbed it “a well-crafted, heartwarming tale of family love and understanding. ...[Uhlberg] effortlessly weaves his way through a childhood of trying to interpret the speaking world for his parents while trying to learn the lessons of life from the richly executed ‘technicolor language’ of his father’s hands.”

46 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

Now, the family of Ken Burns is interested in turning it into a feature film.

The Road to Brandeis: Football During his adolescence, Myron’s “escape from the deaf world” was football. When he graduated from high school in 1951, he was offered two football scholarships – to NYU and a new school in Waltham, Mass. – Brandeis. This chapter of his life became his next book: “The Road to Brandeis: From Silence to Sound,” which is due out soon. Though his father cried when he left him at Grand Central Station, “knowing that our relationship would never be the same,” it was “an electrifying time” for Myron. Brandeis had just been founded in 1948. The total student body was 450, of which 225 were boys. Of those, 3040 were gentiles, and most of them were on the football team. “We traveled all over the country, showing that ‘This is the face of this new school; it’s not a ‘Jew-school.’ Abraham Sachar, the brilliant first President of Brandeis; Benny Friedman, the athletic director; and the football players – one Irish, one black, one Italian and one Polish. ‘And oh yes, we do have Jewish students, too!’” There were 150 in Myron’s Brandeis graduating

class of 1955. The next year, “in a typical Jewish ceremony,” he married his college sweetheart. They had three children and “divorced amicably.” Then, he had his shiksa moment, marrying a sixfoot blonde Protestant. He’s been married to his current wife, Karen, for 40 years. His major at Brandeis was American Civilization (though sometimes, he says it was “cheerleaders”). “I was not a distinguished scholar,” he confesses. But he’s part of a community of “about 45,000 graduates of Brandeis who maintain a lifelong love of the University.” He intends to use the book as a funding/promotional tool for the school. At age 60, Myron enrolled in law school at night, while still running his successful clothing design and manufacturing business by day. It was his successful writing in law school that kickstarted his writing career. “At 66, I finally became an overnight sensation,” he quips. “Now, at the age of 80, I have the audacity of looking long-range.” With a new children’s book, another adult book and a movie in process, this charismatic, energetic guy has a lot to look forward to. A


Sivan • Iyar 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 47


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Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 49


SAN DIEGO JEWISH JOURNAL

Presents

San Diego Seniors

Seacrest at Home

Seacrest at Home provides seniors with care and support in the most comfortable of places BY alanna Berman

pHOTOS by DAISy VARLEy

bertha Zeloner with her caregiver Susan Martin in Seacrest Village's library.

A

year ago, when Seacrest At Home, a 501(c)(3) affiliate of Seacrest Village Retirement Communities, was founded, collaborators couldn’t imagine the impact the program would have on the lives of so many. The program offers professional and reliable caregiving to seniors in their own homes. To date, Seacrest at Home has serviced more than 140 clients and provided more than 40,000 hours of service. Like many who have employed the services of Seacrest at Home, Bertha Zeloner became 50 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

acquainted with the organization through its affiliate, Seacrest Village, where she has lived for the past 11 years. At 102 years old, Zeloner still lives in the retirement community’s independent living facility. She has always been independent, and enjoys almost daily walks around the gardens and Koi ponds of her home with only the help of her walker. Though recently, she needed help with a lot more. That’s when Seacrest at Home stepped in, providing services after a fall in her apartment, overall weakness, and pain from her Spinal

Stenosis. Seacrest at Home placed Susan Martin, a Home Care Associate and CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) with Zeloner while she recovered. For three weeks, Martin was with Zeloner 24/7 to help with everything from getting out of bed, bathing and preparing meals, to strength exercises and pushing a wheelchair into the dining hall for meals toward the end of the recovery process. “In the beginning, I had to have help with everything,” Zeloner says. “I wasn’t able to do anything without the help of [Sue]; but she just


the SENIOR issue

HOW tO: AGE INDEpENDENtLy DID yOU kNOW?

70 percent of people older than 65 will need an average of three years of long term care. So, with that in mind... What’s your plan for Aging? With a plethora of senior care options, it is critical that people have open conversations with their family and friends about personal preferences. did her job so beautifully that it was a pleasure [to get better], and she helped me know what I was supposed to do to get better.” When a Home Care Associate begins working with a Seacrest at Home client, both parties know they will be spending a lot of time together; mostly in the older adult’s home and personal space, which is why matching the right Home Care Associate with a client is such an important job. In Zeloner and Martin’s case, the match couldn’t have been more perfect: they became good friends after their professional relationship was over, and still spend time together. “The day that I found out that I wasn’t going to be with her, I cried,” Martin says of the close relationship she was able to foster with Zeloner during their brief time as caretaker and client. Martin Perez is the Home Care Coordinator for Seacrest at Home, and says he knew that Zeloner and Martin would be a good match right away. “I have known Bertha for a while through my work at Seacrest Village,” Perez says. “I had seen her quite a few times [walking the grounds], and I always saw her with her hat and her gloves, and I always said ‘Hi’ to her. When we got the opportunity to work together, I knew that she was very particular in the type of

people that she liked working with. … I knew that Sue would be a great match.” Though Zeloner is back to living independently, Martin takes an hour of her personal time each week to stop by and spend time with her new friend. They talk, play checkers and take a walk around the Koi pond – Zeloner’s favorite activity. She remains active outside of her time with Martin, and works with trainers at home for strength conditioning and stretching exercises. “At 102 years old, when you enter into skilled nursing, it’s very rare to go back into independent living so soon, if ever,” Jon Schwartz, community liaison for Seacrest at Home, says. “But, with the help of [Sue] and with [Bertha’s] determination and strength I think she has gotten to that point [largely because of Seacrest at Home].” Zeloner says after her surgery, she couldn’t do anything for herself, but now, she does it all. In March, her daughter was married in San Diego and she walked with her family during the processional. She will be 103 this month. “[Bertha] is very strong and she is a fighter, so she willed her way better, along with our help and she got herself back,” Martin says. A To learn more, visit seacrestathome.org.

Is your doctor up to date? Tracking medications is vital. Work with your doctor to prevent overdoses, unnecessary treatment or a dangerous drug interaction. Make your home comfortable and safe. Take a walk through each room and make a list of potential risks, including rugs, stairs and high reaching kitchen appliances. By modifying one’s home to make it more safe the more that individual is increasing their chance of remaining happy and healthy at home. Where do you find help with everyday tasks? There is a vast array of senior care options in San Diego County. Seacrest at Home is one resource center; or call the San Diego County Aging and Independence Services department at (800) 510-2020. Staying active makes a big difference. No matter one’s age; it is critical to remain physically, socially and emotionally active. Who’s on your team? Doctors, family, friends, caregivers, social workers and neighbors all constitute a team. Have their contact information readily available if there is a need. Knowing when to ask for help is key. It is never easy to ask for help, however, people who age well often ask for help with transportation, bathing or meal preparation. Taken from Dr. Bruce Chernof, President and CEO of the SCAN Foundation

Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 51


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SAN DIEGO JEWISH JOURNAL

Presents

San Diego Seniors

Seeking Your B'Shert? Matchmaker Judith Gottesman helps clients of all ages find the one BY nikki salvo

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ooking for love in all the wrong places? Then look no further than Judith Gottesman, professional matchmaker and dating coach. Whether you’re a 20-something trying to find “The One,” or you’re a widower in your 80s seeking companionship, Gottesman can help you find your soul mate. She’s at the top of her game in the business of successful match-ups for like-minded Jewish men and women seeking their b’shert (predestined soul mate). Gottesman, who started informally matching more than 20 years ago, is now celebrating the

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five year anniversary of her business, Soul Mates Unlimited® Personalized Jewish Matchmaking, headquartered in San Diego. She fancies herself the premier matchmaker in the West Coast Jewish community, and believes “love is the essential ingredient to make everything better in your life.” She says it can be difficult for Jews to find one another, and for the sake of Jewish continuity and religious harmony in the home, she encourages people to marry within their faith. She strives to create happy, lasting marriages which also keep

Jewish tradition alive. Gottesman advocates a multi-pronged approach to finding love, and her personalized services are one avenue on the path to romance. She recommends using the date coaching services she provides to help put one’s best self forward. Her expertise and experience are valuable pieces to the dating puzzle; a former geriatric social worker, Gottesman holds a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley, and a Master’s in Social Work from Yeshiva University in Manhattan, with an emphasis on Jewish Communal Service


the SENIOR issue

Judith Gottesman

and Geriatric Social Work. Through her work and studies, she decided that the best and most effective kind of social work she could do is to help people find love. These attributes, along with her keen intuition and knack for remembering details, guide this love guru to the heart of what makes two people a perfect match. Another important influence on her career came from her father, Rabbi Aaron Gottesman, a San Diego resident who, before his death in 2005, was married to her mother, Elaine, for 36 years and who counseled and performed weddings for couples. Gottesman points to him for inspiration and guidance, and recalls how, as a young girl, she expressed a curiosity in his work and began observing and asking questions about what makes a marriage good. Though Gottesman’s company has expanded tremendously over the years, to keep the personalized service, she still does all the matching herself. And, she charges what she believes to be extremely reasonable rates. Her registration fee is $3,600, which is valid for up to three years, and clients don’t pay again until they are matched; a “success fee” of $7,200. She says “love is priceless” and, starting out, she matched couples “for the mitzvah.” Soul Mates Unlimited® has grown to the point where she was forced to increase her service

fees, but she insists her company is not an elite, exclusive club. She continues to see her work as mitzvah, and her business reflects her desire to help people. She wishes she could help even more people find love, and has thought about setting up a community fund for those who can’t afford her fees. Her series of videos, “Dating Tips and Horror Stories,” which can be found on her website, are insightful, two-minute subject talks, and she urges seniors to view them, as some of them deal directly with partnering issues of that age group. Her best advice for Jewish individuals looking for love? Most importantly, “Stay hopeful. Believe there is someone out there for you. People who don’t give up, believe they’ll find love, and stay open increase their chances for a relationship." “Being open (to height, age, having kids, being divorced, long distance, etc.) to the person...in a different package than you pictured, is really the most important thing for success in finding love,” she says. “Having hope is the primary ingredient to get people to take action and be proactive about finding it.” And she suggests taking advantage of the date coaching services included in her matchmaking fee. This may prove especially important for seniors, as there are new rules to dating now, she explains, and a good coach can help navigate

“Stay hopeful. Believe there is someone out there for you. People who don’t give up, believe they’ll find love, and stay open increase their chances for a relationship.”

that potentially intimidating new world. She encourages clients to be direct with each other on dates, but can step in and handle certain uncomfortable situations as matchmaker and dating coach, like when someone has gone on a first date and isn’t interested in a second. Also pertinent to the senior population is the advantage of the “great financial perk to marrying or cohabiting,” says Gottesman. “And that is simply [because] everything is less expensive shared by two. Whether it’s splitting the rent, the mortgage, or the grocery bill, people have more disposable income to enjoy their golden years when they are [part of ] a couple.” Any of her clients that may consider themselves difficult to match should rest assured Gottesman has got them covered when it comes to the perfect union. “While I have many very attractive, successful, highly educated male and female clients of all ages,” she says, “I always tell the ones that are concerned that whatever their perceived disadvantage or disability might be, when I have their match, it won’t be an issue. And it truly won’t. True love, the soul mate kind, doesn’t care about your bank account, your need to use a cane when you walk, or that you dropped out of graduate school. When you find your b’shert, love is all that matters and the rest of the little details will be worked out.” A Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 55


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pHOTOS COURTESy SD COUNCIL ON LITERACy

FEATURE STORY

At last year's fundraiser, the Red Door Restaurant's short rib tamales were inspired by the book "The Mayan prophecy."

Reading neveR TasTed so good

San Diego Council on Literacy gets crafty with their annual fundraiser l BY NATALIE JACOBS

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magine not being able to read. In today’s information age, it’s not just a matter of not being able to curl up on the couch with a good book, it’s a matter of not being able to absorb crucial details like instructions from a doctor, a note from a child’s teacher or news on the Internet. “Eighty years ago, you were considered literate if you could sign your name,” Jose Cruz, CEO of the San Diego Council on Literacy, says. Not so anymore. “This is no longer the age of industry and agriculture. We expect greater literacy from the

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citizenry,” he continues. The problem is, 20 percent of the U.S. population – approximately 40 million adults nationally – fall at the lowest level of literacy (zero to fourth grade reading level). Cruz says that San Diego County’s literacy rates are in line with this national figure, equating to about 444,000 San Diego adults who read at or below a fourth grade level. The San Diego Council on Literacy is an umbrella organization that provides advocacy and promotes awareness of literacy issues to the general public and elected officials. The Council has 26 affiliate partners who run programs for

adult and child populations who struggle with reading throughout the county. In 2008, falling victim to the recession just like everyone else, the Council lost about 35 percent of its funding and began looking at new ways to “take control of our own destiny but also to engage a new audience in our cause,” Cruz explains. To do this, they called in the local advertising, branding and public relations firm i.d.e.a. and got creative. The result is Eat. Drink. Read., a unique annual fundraiser that gives the San Diego community an opportunity to support literacy


FEATURE STORY

Eat. Drink. Read. is a unique annual fundraiser that gives the San Diego community an opportunity to support literacy in a fresh and delicious way. For the fundraising event each year, local chefs are invited to choose a favorite book and create a tasting menu based on that book.

Leroy's Kitchen + Lounge took inspiration from "James and the Giant peach" in a fresh and delicious way. For the fundraising event each year, local chefs are invited to choose a favorite book and create a tasting menu based on that book. This year, on May 14 at 5:30 p.m., 14 chefs from well-known local restaurants such as Urban Solace, Waypoint Public, the Marine Room and Amaya at The Grand Del Mar, will participate. “I try to pick something that has real meaning,” Matt Gordon, chef and owner of Urban Solace in North Park, Solace and the Moonlight Lounge in Encinitas, and Sea and Smoke in Del Mar, says of his book selections. Gordon has been a

participating chef in all five of the events thus far. “Last year I read a book about a salmon fisherman who worked in this area of Alaska that I used to work in when I was younger … And then one year I read a book about a person who wanted to open up a restaurant that was only based on foods that were native to the U.S. before the European immigration. Nothing that we eat today except corn and blueberries and turkey are really things you would have seen here [then].” At press time, Gordon was only 99 percent sure that his menu this year would be inspired by King Alobar from Tom Robbins’ “Jitterbug Perfume.”

This king thinks he has found the secret to eternal life in beets and circular breathing. “I don’t think the circular breathing part is real,” Gordon says, “but the beets are.” Gordon opened Urban Solace, the first in his trio of restaurants, in 2007 after moving back-and-forth from San Francisco. The whole point of moving here was to open up the kind of neighborhood restaurant he and his wife had grown accustomed to throughout San Francisco’s diverse city sub-divisions. Big name chefs were opening up their own small shops, using interesting ingredients and managing to create unique menus for reasonable prices, but Gordon had a young family and living in the Bay Area didn’t seem feasible. After browsing around the then up-and-coming North Park area and getting flashbacks of San Francisco’s Mission District, Gordon settled on the space on 30th Street just off University Avenue. Through the success of Urban Solace, Gordon has found ways to give back to the San Diego community that has welcomed him and his family so completely. Some San Diego Jewish residents might be familiar with Urban Solace for its annual Passover Seder which also began five years ago. Although Gordon grew up Jewish and has since stepped away from strict religious practice, he has strong memories of his childhood Seders and it is there that his love of food may have begun. The Urban Solace Passover Seder started when Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 59


FEATURE STORY

Eclipse Chocolate took the challenge quite literally, basing their creations on another Roald Dahl classic, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Steve Silverman, a public planner and food writer for San Diego Home & Garden, wrote his own Haggaddah. Although they weren’t able to host it this year, Gordon says they’ll be back next year with the full four-hour ceremony. Gordon is one of a few participants that have been involved in Eat. Drink. Read. since the beginning, and others have come back 60 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

for multiple years. New to the list this year are Cravory Cookies, Dessert First, Mistral, UnderBelly, URBN Coal Fired Pizza and Waypoint Public. Amanda Baumgarten, chef and partner at Waypoint Public (a craft-brew bistro that took over where The Linkery left off in North Park), has created a menu fashioned after visions of a

1960s cocktail party based on J.D. Salinger’s “Franny and Zooey.” She will serve beef Carpaccio with capers, cornichons, asparagus and Parmesan. The Marine Room’s executive chef Bernard Guillas has chosen “The Adventures of Tintin,” a mysterious and fantastical character in Guillas’ own adventurous image. The chef will be making red quinoa and blue crab salad with hearts of palm, agri-dolce peppers and avocado oil. As Jacqueline Silverman, food and beverage cochair for the event, says, “Eat and Read wouldn’t be as much fun as Eat. Drink. Read.” so the team invited local breweries to get in on the action this year. They aren’t making special batches based on books, but some are paired with the local chefs to round out the tasting menus. There will also be a beer garden with a “Brews and News” trivia pub operated by the nonprofit online news source Voice of San Diego, with trivia games happening throughout the evening to test the beer and news knowledge of event attendees. And there will be prizes for winners. “One of the things we’re going to work really hard to show at this year’s event is that [thinking about] literacy [problems] isn’t just picturing someone who can’t read,” Silverman says. “It affects functionality in so many things – being able to read a menu, a recipe, understand your prescription … being able to read a book to your child.” “We’ve been [advocating for literacy programs] since 1986,” Cruz says of the Council. “Back then, we had about five programs serving somewhere near 13,000 people a year. Today, we have a network of 26 programs serving 170,000 people. … It’s not the secret that it used to be. We feel like we’re holding the ground, that without the work that we are doing, that this thing would be so blown out of proportion.” At the event, KPBS will announce this year’s selection for the community reading program One Book, One San Diego. Guests can also expect chocolate and wine pairings and freshbaked bread. A Eat. Drink. Read. is on Wednesday, May 14 from 5:30-8 p.m. at NTC Promenade McMillin Center (Building 177). Tickets are $60 with all food, drinks and desserts included. Learn more and register at eatdrinkread.com.


Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 61


feature story

Temple emanu-el KicKs off 50 wiTh spring gala Musician and member of founding family to perform BY ALANNA BERMAN caption

photos courtesy geist family

geist today and at his bar mitzvah at the original temple emanu-el.

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hings will come full circle this month for Temple Emanu-El, as the reform synagogue in Del Cerro begins the celebration of its 50th year in existence. A spring gala, dubbed “A Night of Shining Stars” will kick off the yearlong festivities this month. Performer and special guest of honor David Geist will perform a unique blend of cabaret favorites and his own compositions for guests of the evening. The San Diego native whose family was one of the founding members of the temple community now lives in Santa Fe, N.M., though he fondly remembers time spent at Emanu-El. “Temple Emanu-El was the synagogue that I grew up with, and what I heard was that at my baby naming ceremony, [the decision was made 62 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

to form] the synagogue,” Geist says. “My earliest memories were of Rabbi and Sally Cohen and they were very close to my family.” Geist left San Diego to attend Berklee College of Music, where he studied classical and jazz piano. Later, he moved to New York to pursue a career on Broadway. He started by sitting in on auditions and shows, working his way up to performing in off-Broadway shows before landing his big break: playing piano for a national tour of “Cats,” where he met Andrew Lloyd Webber. He went on to tour with productions of “Les Miserables,” “Miss Saigon,” “Passion,” “The Lion King,” “Wicked,” and “The Producers,” among others. “People think of Broadway as a bunch of

people sitting around singing show tunes but it is as serious of an art form as anything else, and people give their lives over to it,” Geist says of his life’s work. “There is a lot of pressure to drive the drama in the story [on stage] and to tell the story, and great theater music will imply what the drama and the emotion is. ... To do it very well you have to be very well versed in many different musical styles.” During Emanu-El’s Gala, Geist will not only play music from those well-loved musicals he has worked on, but he will also share “tales from the road, and from my time working with these people that I consider geniuses.” He will showcase the work of the Jewish musicians that inspired him, too. “I am proud to be a Jewish musician,very much so,” he says. “Bernstein, Sondheim, Gershwin, Irving Berlin, there is a huge lineage and I feel like music has helped me understand my own Jewish heritage. “Judaism has shaped me and it has shaped my art, although I didn’t realize how much until I looked back on my life and saw that I was drawn to New York and these Jewish composers; until I really understood the immigrant story and felt it in the same place where these [great composers] walked the streets and seeing what shaped them.” Geist’s mother and sister, Nancy Geist and Mary Epsten, will also be honored at the Gala for their longtime involvement with the temple, as Emanu-El celebrates the strength of their community at this very important milestone. A “A Night of Shining Stars” begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17 with a cocktail hour and silent auction. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m., followed by a musical performance by David Geist. Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased by May 9. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, visit teesd.org or call (619) 286-2555.


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THEATER

COMING OF AGE The 21st Annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Fest BY pAt lAuNEr

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t’s a smorgasbord of tasty treats – musical, comical and dramatic. Fill your plate, your head, your heart and your soul with something succulent from the 21st Annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival. “I was always interested in presenting Jewish work for a broad audience,” says Todd Salovey, associate artistic director of the San Diego Repertory Theatre, which hosts the event. Salovey has been the Festival’s artistic director from the start. “But I never dreamed it would be the wide-ranging success it’s become. “Every year, people beam with pride; their Jewish heart has been touched. They feel that this is part of what it means to be Jewish. I’m a little addicted to that response; I live to make that happen.” At first, Salovey thought a festival was just about building a program by booking Jewish artists. But over the years, he’s gone way beyond that early conception. “Almost all of the shows we do are unique to the Festival,” Salovey boasts. “There are world premiere plays, first-time pairings of musicians. It’s a merging of my Jewish sensibility and the REP’s populist sensibility. “The big picture is about having a conversation with different core audiences. People don’t recognize how adventurous and curious San Diego audiences are. I’m attracted to work that is Jewish-themed, but appeals to a broader audience because it’s excellent art. That’s what Jewish life is: what we share with the world.” Klezmer and Beyond “I know people love klezmer,” Salovey says. “But for the 13th year of the Klezmer Summit, I wanted to try something new. What I’ve learned is that, if a song or theme or character resonates with the audience’s Jewish identity, then they’re willing to trust you to go in very different directions.” So this year, there are two Klezmer summits. One is imaginatively titled “My Yiddishe Mambo,” and teams, for the first time, a Latino jazz superstar, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, with a Klezmer luminary, Yale Strom, joined by an all-star band including Afro-Cuban percussionist Gene Perry. This distinctive event is co-sponsored by NCSY, the National Conference of Synagogue Youth. (Tuesday, 5/27, Lyceum Stage; $10-15.) Then, continuing the Festival’s northward expansion, there’s the Klezmer North County Summit, a special evening of song with a singular Yiddish vocalist, Anthony Mordechai Tzvi

Russell, who has been featured as chief soloist in operas around the country. “Russell is an African American who became interested in Jewish music and practices,” explains Salovey. “He brings together spirituals from the shtetl and davening from the Delta. Where else would you see a program like that?” Also on the Klezmer North County bill is renaissance man Yale Strom with his favorite vocalist, Elizabeth Schwartz (his wife), and his Hot Pstromi band. Hershey and Irving Salovey is particularly excited about this year’s world premieres. Perhaps the highest profile new work is “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin.” Felder is well known for his “Composer Sonata,” performed repeatedly at the Old Globe. “This fall,” says Salovey, “Hershey is directing the biographical work he adapted, ‘The Pianist of Willesden Lane,’ at the REP. I asked him if he’d do something for the Festival. With this piece, he’s really honoring the spirit of the Festival. How does a person born in Russia, a survivor of pogroms, an immigrant so poor he’s sleeping on stoops in New York, come to write songs embraced so strongly across cultures that they actually become synonymous with ‘American music?’” “It’s a Great American Story,” says the affable, multi-hyphenate Felder, acclaimed and beloved Canadian pianist-actor-playwright-composerproducer-director. “He contributed to American culture like no other artist. “After I met Berlin’s three daughters – all still living – I realized how fabulous he was,” adds Felder. “It’s an unbelievably Jewish story. Nobody but an immigrant could have written ‘God Bless America.’ But when Kate Smith sang it on the radio in 1938, she got hate mail for promoting the song of a Jew. “Because of his celebrity, and his marriage to a famous New York socialite whose father disowned her because she married a Jew,” Felder continues, “Berlin was also the first victim of paparazzi; they chased him around. He was the most successful songwriter in history, who wrote iconic Christian songs like White Christmas and Easter Parade. “Yet he never went beyond third grade. He never studied piano. In fact, he only played on the black keys! He lived to 101 and influenced every facet of American life. He was an American genius. “At the Festival,” Felder says, “I’ll do snippets

gilbert castellanos and yale strom of the show, a sneak peek. It’s a great story, with great songs.” The Dybbuk Haunts Again “‘The Dybbuk’ is my all-time favorite play,” Salovey says of the first professional show he directed after his 1990 graduation from UC San Diego, where he teaches. “That was a formative experience for me. It brought together everything I was training in theater to do. When he wrote the play in 1914, S. Ansky felt that the European shtetl and its folklore would soon disappear. He was preserving a world he feared would cease to exist. “I love that it captures the danger and mystery of Jewish mysticism. A love story about a bride possessed by the wandering spirit of her predestined groom. It’s a romantic, mystical play about dark and light. At its core, it’s a moral story: what happens when you break a vow.” Searching for a different way of telling the story, Salovey called his new adaptation “The Dybbuk (for Hannah and Sam’s Wedding).” “You know that crazy uncle at a Jewish wedding, who gets up and talks to the bride and Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 65


TheaTer

l-r: Jewish arts fest performers Dave crossland, gustavo Bulgach, hershey felder, moshav Band, ron campbell and Victor stanislavsky. groom about the power of the vow they make to each other? He says that bad things happen when you don’t keep that vow. “What would happen if the crazy, drunk uncle told the story of ‘The Dybbuk?’ It’s based on my own uncle, who did this kind of thing at my brother’s wedding.” Salovey created the piece for “one transformational actor creating 20-25 remarkable characters.” The right man for the job was versatile, mega-talented, San Francisco-based actor Ron Campbell, who’s performed many times in San Diego, to rapturous reviews. “Ron is one of the country’s most extraordinary multi-character actors,” exclaims Salovey. “I think he’s done more of that kind of work than anyone. What we’ll have is poetic, mystical text interlaced, improvisationally, with live klezmer music, played in a jazz style” (by Yale Strom, natch). “Some of the characters will be done with masks, which Ron studied internationally and multi-culturally for five years, as part of a national grant. He also spent three years traveling the world as a clown for Cirque du Soleil.” Campbell will bring his prodigious talents to this new one-act, which Salovey hopes will find its way into a full production in a San Diego REP season, as has happened with several Festival world premieres in the past.

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Woman-Power Another of Salovey’s pet projects is the 5th annual “Women of Valor,” which he created, and updates, every year, along with Leah Salovey (his daughter), Ali Viterbi, Rebecca Myers and Sarah Price Keating; Salovey mentors these young girls as writers. The title (Eshet Chayil in Hebrew) comes from a poetic hymn from Proverbs (31:10-31): “A Woman of Valor, who shall find? She is more precious than jewels.” “The heart of our ‘Women of Valor,’” Salovey explains, “is paying tribute to exceptional San Diego Jewish women who do incredible things for the community. We interview them and then, in a staged reading format, the cream of San Diego actors perform parts of their life stories, presenting monologues woven together with music and song. It’s very inspiring. Every year, different questions are asked of the honored women. This time, it was: ‘What makes you happy? What brings you satisfaction?’” Among this year’s honorees are: Deborah Salzer, long-time educator and supporter of literacy and writing for young people, founder of the Playwrights Project; Congresswoman Susan Davis; Devorah Shore, creator of Chesed Home, a home for mentally ill adults; and Bella Freifeld, “a radiant, positive spirit from Mexico City,”

“Every year, people beam with pride; their Jewish heart has been touched. They feel that this is part of what it means to be Jewish. I’m a little addicted to that response; I live to make that happen.” says Salovey, “where she creates arts programs for youth and for the aged.” Proceeds from this popular event will benefit local Jewish high schools: SCY High, Torah High and the Jewish Academy. Musical Highlights Moshav is one of Todd Salovey’s favorite bands. Their music was featured in his production of “Brooklyn Boy” at the REP. Their most recent music video, “World on Fire,” recorded with Matisyahu, snagged more than a half-million hits on YouTube. “They combine Israeli music with rock and reggae. It’s an extraordinary sound, capturing a strong Middle Eastern and mystical feeling, with a driving, rock ‘n’ roll vibe.” The band members met at Moshav Mevo Modi’im, founded in 1976 by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach; they moved from Israel to L.A. in


2000. The father of two of the members, says Salovey, “invented the genre of Jewish rock ‘n’ roll in the late ‘70s. Now, they’ve taken it to the next generation.” “Yom Yerushalayim with Moshav” is cosponsored by NCSY San Diego. Classical Elegance One of the through-lines of the Festival is spotlighting the artists of tomorrow. This year marks the beginning of a partnership with the American Israel Cultural Foundation, a 75 yearold nonprofit that believes that “culture is the key to promoting understanding.” Every year, AICF holds the Aviv competition (established by the late violin virtuoso, Isaac Stern), and awards scholarships to young Israeli prodigies, to help nurture Israel’s culture as a positive international tool. July Galper, a Peruvian-born La Jollan, is an active volunteer with the organization, who relishes bringing young talent to San Diego. Galper, a conservatory pianist in her youth, had her career cut short by a mother “who didn’t believe in music as a profession.” For the past eight years, she’s combined her two greatest passions – classical music and Israel – to introduce prize-winning Israeli musicians to local audiences. For the Festival, she’s bringing together two

dazzling wunderkinds: Violinist Asi Matathias and Pianist Victor Stanislavsky. They’ve played together many times in Israel, though Matathias now lives in New York. “They’re like my children,” says Galper, who raised three of her own, all students of violin. She has a particularly strong relationship with Stanislavsky, whom she accompanied to the prestigious Van Cliburn competition in 2010. She’s brought him to San Diego five times. “He’s extraordinary,” she asserts, “a pianist who really explores the mood of the composer. He’s a small guy, but he grows when he plays piano.” Born in Ukraine, Stanislavsky immigrated to Israel in 1990, and served three years in the Israeli Defense Forces. A recipient of AICF scholarships since 2000, he has developed an extensive international career, playing with major orchestras worldwide. Matathias, still in his 20s, is already one of the most celebrated talents of his generation, having performed as soloist with orchestras around the globe. Currently studying with Pinchas Zuckerman at the Manhattan School of Music, Matathias made his debut at age 14, playing with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Zubin Mehta. He’s been supported by AICF since he was 17. Galper thinks he may bring his Guarneri del Gesu violin, built in 1749 by the renowned Guarneri family, and worth, she

thinks, about $4 million. The duo will play works by Saint-Saens, Sarasate and Bloch. Ticket proceeds will benefit AICF. A Final Word on the Festival This is just a smattering of Festival offerings. There are also a number of free performances, including “The Divas of Klezmer” and Alexander Gourevitch and Freilachs. And we can’t forget the bilingual, bi-cultural “Una Nocha Yidishe” at the Oceanside Museum of Art. “It amazes me, after 21 years,” says Salovey, “what an exciting experience this continues to be. I think this is our most artistically accomplished and strongest crossover Festival.” A The 21st Annual Lipinsky Family Jewish Arts Festival runs May 20-June 18, at various locations in North County and downtown. Some events are free, and there are discounts for attending multiple events. Information and tickets can be found at (619) 544-1000 or at sdrep.org.

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feature story

photo courtesy the usc shoah founDation

holocaust survivor poldek pfefferberg shares his photo album and his memories with steven spielberg and other members of the "schindler's list" cast and crew during filming.

tWo DeCaDes stroNG

the shoah foundation and "schindler's List" Celebrate their 20th Birthdays By NataLie JaCoBs

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wenty years ago, director Steven Spielberg released “Schindler’s List,” and the Holocaust victim testimonial archive, The Shoah Foundation, was born. This year, the organization now known as The USC Shoah Foundation since it’s move onto the Southern California campus in 2006, is celebrating this two-decade milestone with a coffee table book that chronicles the making of “Schindler’s List” and the gathering of more than 52,000 witness accounts of the Holocaust. “Testimony: The Legacy of Schindler’s List and the USC Shoah Foundation – a 20th Anniversary Commemoration,” is out now. But let’s start at the beginning. “Making ‘Schindler’s List’ was an experience

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that truly changed my life,” Spielberg says in a video on the Shoah Foundation’s website. “Filming just outside the gates of AuschwitzBirkenau, I realized that had I been standing on that exact spot at a different point in time, I more than likely would have been killed too.” During production on location in Poland, Spielberg and the crew arranged to have Holocaust survivors meet with them on the set to talk about their experiences. As he was immortalizing one fictional character’s experience, Spielberg quickly realized there were true stories that needed to be told and preserved for future generations. It was not as if everyone who came to the set expected Spielberg to make a movie about them, but they wanted to have a voice, Spielberg explains

in “Testimony’s” introduction. In an effort to provide a platform and opportunity to document these individual stories, Spielberg established the Shoah Foundation in 1994 to record video histories of the people who directly experienced this most horrible time in Jewish history. “On winning the Oscar [for Best Director] for ‘Schindler’s List’ in March, 1994,” Steven Smith, executive director of the Shoah Foundation, says, “[Spielberg] made a very strong plea that the lessons of the Holocaust be taught. That was where he began the Shoah Foundation.” “It was my wanting to continue ‘Schindler’s List,’” Spielberg explains in the Shoah Foundation website video. The now iconic historical drama that follows


feature story

“Making ‘Schindler’s List’ was an experience that truly changed my life,” Spielberg says in a video on the Shoah Foundation’s website. “Filming just outside the gates of Auschwitz-Birkenau, I realized that had I been standing on that exact spot at a different point in time, I more than likely would have been killed too.” usc shoah foundation founding executive Director June Beallor watches survivor testimony, c. 1995. German businessman Oskar Schindler on his quest to save thousands of Jewish refugees during World War II won seven Oscars (out of 12 nominations), including Best Picture and Best Director that year, and it seems only to have gotten more renowned with time. Based on the novel of the same name and starring Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley, “Schindler’s List” is ranked ninth in the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Movies. In 2004, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Students watch it in history classes around the nation and when it premiered on television, it received the highest Nielsen rating out of any feature film since “Jurassic Park.” Since 1993 and even before, there have been many movies that cover the subject of the Holocaust, but none seem to have held the attention of so many people for so long. “I think so many of the survivors of the Holocaust have said that no film captured the intensity and the emotional and visual experience of the Holocaust more than ‘Schindler’s List’ did for them,” Smith says. “I think those scenes particularly in the Krakow Ghetto were very vivid for Holocaust survivors and Steven Spielberg did a particularly good job of trying to get to the heart of what their experience was like.” Even with all the accolades when it first came out, and through the continued legacy of the film, for Spielberg, making “Schindler’s List” just marked the beginning of what he notes as the “greatest work of my life.” And with that, growth of the Shoah Foundation

has closely followed the popularity of “Schindler’s List.” In the first 10 years of the organization’s existence, nearly 52,000 testimonies were recorded from 56 countries in 32 languages. These include Jewish survivors but also liberators and rescuers, gathered by a small team through a relentless process. Since 2006, the archive has been housed at the University of Southern California where much of it is accessible through a website that features very sophisticated search capabilities, hyperlinked down to the minute for each video – so videos can be searched by any keyword you can think of. To gain access to the full archive, you have to visit one of 48 institutions spread across 12 countries but more than 1,200 videos are available to everyone online with registration. “Spielberg understood that if [the archive] remained on the back lot of Universal Studios that it would not be able to fulfill a larger educational mission,” Smith says of the decision to move the archive and partner with the famed institution. “USC provided not only the platform on its campus to be able to reach the 35,000 students that are here but to use the digital infrastructure to reach the other campuses and into the secondary education environment. “We have 50 universities linked to us and we have schools and secondary institutions in all 50 states using the content. And around the world there are 16 educational programs.” Although the Foundation stopped actively collecting Holocaust testimonials in 2000, it has continued to fulfill its mission to educate the public about genocide in a variety of ways. They

recently began including testimonials from victims and witnesses of other genocides, including Rwanda, Armenia, Cambodia and Nan Jing, China. The result is something like a digital museum where each floor, or in this case video, houses a thorough examination of a particular moment in history, through the words of the people who lived it. It may seem like a lot has changed in the 20 years since the archive project began, but genocides are still happening so there is still more work to be done. This year seemed like a good time to look back at how far the Shoah Foundation has come, and to finally take the time to fully appreciate the movie that started it all. “There was never a coffee table book made about the making of Schindler’s List,” Smith says. “Normally, there’s a film and then a book about the making of the film. But at the time, Spielberg didn’t want to do that because he felt that memorabilia around the Holocaust was not what he was trying to create. But it seemed appropriate that around the 20th anniversary it was something he wanted to do.” The book recounts Spielberg’s meetings with those first Holocaust survivors on the set in Poland in 1993. It includes 140 pages of photos from the set, script excerpts, and notes from the cast and crew (including Spielberg and Neeson). The pages of “Testimony” cover the difficulty of bringing Schindler to life with details on adapting the script, casting, and shooting on such an emotionally-charged location in Poland. These pages give the all-too-familiar film another dimension. With black-and-white Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 69


feature story

stephen smith, executive director of the usc shoah foundation speaks to an audience at the iWitness Video challenge in february, 2013.

images and narratives about the small details of the production process, the book shows and tells how the cast and crew journeyed through the dramatic retelling of a very real thing. “We invited many survivors to visit us at each of our locations during filming,” Spielberg says in the book’s introduction, “and I particularly remember one who visited us in Krakow, a woman named Niusia. She asked me for a tape recorder. … she said, ‘please, tell my story after you tell Oskar Schindler’s.’ It was then I understood: they were not looking for me to make a movie about their lives – they were looking for a voice.” Like the Shoah Foundation itself, the second half of “Testimony” picks up where “Schindler’s List” leaves off, covering the Shoah Foundation’s race to provide that voice, collecting oral and

70 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

visual histories before it was too late. The sense of urgency felt by the team is palpable throughout this section which also includes excerpts from testimonies included in the digital archive. Here they touch on everything from the recruitment of survivors to database management and the result is an overwhelming understanding of the enormity of this undertaking. After taking a moment to honor where they’ve been, the Shoah Foundation is continuing to expand into new territories. They are hard at work on a new project called “New Dimensions in Testimony” where they are re-interviewing a few Holocaust survivors, but this time in 3D. Fifty cameras and 5,000 LEDs circle the subject and when the film is projected in a museum or classroom setting, it creates the illusion that the

survivor is actually in the room. Not only does the person look real, he can actually answer questions. The Foundation is also working to make sure the archive is mobile friendly so that as classrooms transition to a one-to-one model with iPads and smartboards, the testimonials can go with them. A “Testimony: The Legacy of Schindler’s List and the USC Shoah Foundation – a 20th Anniversary Commemoration” is available on Amazon. To learn more about the Shoah Foundation and to explore some of the digital archive, visit sfi.usc. edu.


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Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 71


D

WHAT’S

GOIN’

ON?

The Merry Month of May

by eileen sondak • nsondak@gmail.com

T

he merry month of May brings a cornucopia of events our way. The La Jolla Playhouse unveils a new musical from the creators of “Memphis.” The Old Globe brings Tony Award-winner “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” to San Diego – straight from a Broadway triumph – and launches a world premiere musical as well. Broadway/San Diego is importing the musical milestone “The Book of Mormon” for its muchanticipated local premiere. North Coast Repertory rolls out another new work directed by David Ellenstein. The Lipinsky Family Jewish Arts Festival makes its annual appearance, and both City Ballet and California Ballet perform classic ballets. Get ready for a banner month of entertainment!

The theater community has been buzzing for months about the arrival of “The Book of Mormon.” The ninetime Tony winner has been hailed as the best and funniest musical of the century. You can judge for yourself when it bursts on the scene compliments of Broadway/San Diego May 27-June 8. This satirical romp should keep audiences at the Civic Theatre in stitches, but be prepared for the show’s politically-incorrect brand of humor and explicit language. The La Jolla Playhouse has taken “Chasing the Song,” a new musical from the winning team behind “Memphis,” from Page to Stage. Directed by the Playhouse’s own Christopher Ashley, this new musical is centered around an aspiring songwriter, who happens to be a woman in

Broadway/San Diego is importing the musical milestone “The Book of Mormon” for its muchanticipated local premiere this month.

l-r: rick faugno, Brett ryback, Jonny Wexler, charlie reuter, Jordan firstman in la Jolla playhouse’s 2012 Dna new Works series’ concert reading of “chasing the song,” at the potiker theatre may 13-June 15.

72 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

photo By sanDy huffaker

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photo By Daren scott

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the man-dominated world of 1960s rock and roll. As Ashley noted, the show “explores social issues, the power of the relationship between mothers and daughters, and delves into the iconic and energetic music of the ‘60s.” The show will be ensconced at the Potiker Theatre May 13-June 15. This could turn into another blockbuster! The Old Globe snared “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” – a smash Broadway hit – about three siblings (named after characters from Chekhov). Masha has been traveling around the world and starring in B-movies, but she’s returning to the fold with her boytoy Spike. Now she’s intent on selling the family home. If the story has a familiar ring, it’s not surprising. However, what follows in “Vanya...” is pure farce, and critically-acclaimed playwright Christopher Durang is at the top of his game in the riotous comedy. Jessica Stone directs this little gem – which comes with a l-r: Bryan feldman, rhona gold and g. Bartell star in “old Jews telling Jokes” at the lyceum warning for strong language. The play will leave theatre through may 25 ‘em laughing May 17-June 22. Winding down its run on the Globe’s Main Pianist Krill Gerstein will perform play. May 16-18 is reserved for the 14th Annual Stage is “Time and the Conways,” a powerful Rachmaninoff ’s “Third Piano Concerto” May 16- Student “One Act Festival” at NCR. family drama slated to close on May 4. Barry 18. Also on the program, conducted by Maestro The Lyceum Theatre is playing host to “Old Edelstein will offer an encore performance Ling, are works by Stravinsky and Arensky. Jews Telling Jokes,” a New York hit comedy. That of his “Thinking Shakespeare,” a 90-minute Bravura violinist Vadim Repin will return to laugh-fest is ensconced at the downtown venue exploration of the language of Shakespeare on the Symphony May 23-25 for a program that through May 25. May 3 at 11 a.m. Cygnet Theatre is bringing the R-rated On May 28, the Globe will unwrap “Dog and includes works by Brahms and Weber, as well as the “Violin Concerto No. 2” by Prokofiev. Repin Broadway hit, “The Motherf-er with the Hat” to Pony,” a brand new musical from the awardwill perform Bartok’s “Piano Quintet in C Major, its Old Town Theatre May 15 for a month-long winning talents behind “Jersey Boys” and other hits. The story revolves around a screenwriting Op. 14” as part of the Chamber Music Series on run. This “unromantically romantic comedy” is an amusing examination of acceptance, loyalty, team with an enviable record of smash shows May 20. Dance aficionados can look forward to City and love that promises to send you home to their credit. The question is: “Will romance Ballet’s production of “Swan Lake,” which pondering. Obviously, the play is aimed at ruin their perfect relationship?” “Dog and Pony” – with its witty insights and feet-tapping score inhabits the Spreckels Theatre May 9-11. mature audiences. The Lamb’s will take on Shakespeare’s comic – will reside at the Globe through June 29. The classic white ballet will be danced to a live orchestra. Also on this program is a world delight, “Twelfth Night” May 23-June 29. In Considering its pedigree, “Dog and Pony” might premiere by Elizabeth Wistrich. A champagne honor of the Lamb’s 20th year in Coronado, even trot off to Broadway. on-stage reception will follow the Saturday the troupe will move the action in the Bard’s Continuing on the adjacent White stage masterpiece to the 1930s and set it at the Hotel is “Water By the Spoonful,” a 2012 Pulitzer evening performance. California Ballet will bring “Sleeping Beauty” del Coronado. Sounds like fun. The troupe Prize-winning drama about a wounded soldier to the San Diego Civic Theatre May 17-18. is trying to make history by bringing 100 returning from Iraq and his inability to judge consecutive hours of play and musical reading to the boundaries between the real and the virtual Maxine Mahon staged the full-length ballet. North Coast Repertory Theatre will complete Coronado May 8-12. world. That timely and heartwarming play The Welk will feature Rex Smith in (recommended for mature audiences) will stay on its run of “Mandate Memories,” a brand new work by Lionel Goldstein, on May 4. The play “Confessions of a Teen Idol: A Musical through May 11. The Globe Guilders will hold its annual celebration of couture with Neiman deals with topics as diverse as love affairs, dreams, Autobiography” Wednesday evenings through and the founding of Israel. Coming to the Solana the end of June. The piece abounds with stories Marcus at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel on May 9. The San Diego Symphony will play its last Beach venue on May 28 is “Faded Glory,” and anecdotes as well as rock ‘n’ roll music. Mainly Mozart will celebrate its 26th season few indoor concerts this month before going another world premiere directed by NCR’s own David Ellenstein. May 9 through June 21 with musical events alfresco for Summer Pops. The music plays “Faded Glory” (which tells the tale of a 19th presented in various venues around the county. May 2-4, when Jahja Ling conducts, and the symphony’s own violin virtuoso Jeff Thayer century Congressman and the officer who almost The programs will feature classical and jazz takes the spotlight as guest artist for a program cost the Union a victory in the most pivotal music. J*Company is ready to give “Disney’s Tarzan” titled, “Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony.” Thayer battle of the Civil War) is based on a real figure will perform Bartok’s “Violin Concerto No. 2.” from American history. It sounds fascinating, its San Diego premiere. “Tarzan” – a rock musical Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” and Ellenstein is convinced it will be “a highlight for all ages – will be ensconced at the JCC in La of our season.” You have until June 22 to see the Jolla May 9-18. Joey Landwehr is directing. A will complete the three-piece program.

Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 73


in the kitchen WITH

TORI AVEY

ItalIan Vegetable QuInoa bowls

tori Avey is an awardwinning food writer, recipe developer and creator of two cooking websites: The Shiksa in the Kitchen theshiksa.com and The History Kitchen thehistorykitchen.com She writes about food history for Parade.com and PBS Food. Follow Tori on Facebook by searching “Tori Avey" and on Twitter @theshiksa.

I only write about recipes that I love, but I’m never totally sure which dishes will resonate most with my readers. One of the most popular recipes on my website is a Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowl. I suppose the fact that it’s fast, easy, vegetarian, gluten free and healthy have something to do with its popularity. Knowing how much readers like my burrito bowls, I decided to come up with another simple and healthy quinoa bowl inspired by a different region of the world – Italy. I adore Italian food; Mediterranean herbs and vegetables are a joy to cook with. The aroma and flavors of fresh basil, oregano, and vine-ripened tomatoes make my heart happy. I based this quinoa bowl on a summery Italian dish called Ciambotta (pronounced “chambot”). Ciambotta is a classic vegetable stew that originated in Southern Italy. It became a popular dish with Italian American immigrants because it could be made quickly and affordably. The word ciambotta is also Italian slang for “a big mess.” I’m guessing this is because the stew is a mish-mosh of ingredients; it’s one of those “clean out your produce drawer” kinds of dishes. Most ciambotta recipes include a base of eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes. Different Italian regions add their own unique touches. The Sicilians add greens, Puglians add fish, and Neopolitans add boiled beef and chili pepper. For my Italian Vegetable Quinoa Bowl I’ve kept the ciambotta mixture vegetarian, adding beans to the mix (like a minestrone) for added protein and a hearty texture. I also added a touch of cayenne for heat, since many variations of ciambotta include hot chili peppers. You could alternatively use red pepper flakes for the same effect. The great thing about ciambotta is how adaptable it is. Once you’ve mastered the basic technique, there are endless spices and ingredients you can add to make it your own. Add olives or capers for saltiness, bell peppers for sweetness, green beans or summer squash if you’ve got an excess of garden veggies to use up. I really love the aromatic flavor of fresh basil and a touch of oregano, but you could certainly take liberties with the spicing to create your own unique flavors. Ciambotta is very forgiving.

74 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

Using fresh, ripe vegetables is key to this recipe. While the ingredients may seem simple, using fresh garlic, ripe summer tomatoes, zucchini, and fresh basil really makes the flavors pop. This dish is gluten free, low fat and heart healthy. It’s vegan without the cheese, vegetarian with (if you’re eating meat-free and using parmesan make sure it’s made with a vegetarian rennet). Next time your neighbor offers you their extra garden zucchini, tomatoes, or eggplant, say “yes, thank you” and give this recipe a try. Your heart and taste buds will thank you.

ItAlIAN VEGEtABlE QuINOA BOwls Ingredients ½ lb. eggplant, cubed, skin on 1 lb. tomatoes, or 1 can (14-15 oz) whole, diced or crushed tomatoes 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup quinoa ½ lb. zucchini, sliced into rounds 1 can cannellini or navy beans, drained ½ tsp oregano Pinch of cayenne pepper (adds spice) ½ cup fresh chopped basil, divided 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice Salt and pepper Chopped basil or flat leaf parsley for garnish (optional) Grated parmesan or mozzarella cheese for garnish (optional) You will also need: Blender or food processor, skillet or sauté pan with lid, mesh strainer or sieve, saucepan Total Time: 1 hour Servings: 4 Kosher Key: Pareve or Dairy


photos By tori aVey

Place the cubed eggplant in a colander and sprinkle all of the pieces with salt. Let the eggplant sit for about 20 minutes until beads of water form on the surface of the eggplant. While waiting for the eggplant, it’s a good time to chop and prep your other ingredients. When beads of water have risen on the eggplant, rinse the eggplant thoroughly and drain to get rid of the excess salt. Core the fresh tomatoes and place them in a blender or food processor. Pulse them until they are crushed (liquid but not completely smooth). If you are using canned whole or diced tomatoes, pour the whole can in and pulse them in the same way. Crushed canned tomatoes do not need to be processed. Heat olive oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium. Pour diced onion into the hot oil and sauté for a few minutes until it softens. Add the minced garlic to the pot and let it sauté for 1-2 minutes longer until aromatic. Add the cubed eggplant, crushed tomatoes, and ¼ cup of water to the skillet. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover the skillet with a lid and reduce heat to a low simmer. Let the eggplant cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a mesh strainer or sieve, drain. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Pour the quinoa into the boiling water, bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Let the quinoa simmer for about 20 minutes until it becomes tender and all the

liquid has been absorbed. Keep a close eye to make sure the quinoa doesn’t dry out or burn. After the eggplant has cooked for 15 minutes, uncover the skillet and add the sliced zucchini, beans, oregano, cayenne pepper, and 3 tbsp of fresh chopped basil (the cayenne is very spicy, add with care). Stir, bring back to a low simmer, then re-cover the skillet. Let the mixture cook for about 15 minutes longer until the zucchini is tender. When the quinoa is done cooking, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in remaining 2 tbsp of fresh chopped basil and the fresh lemon juice. Season with salt to taste. Cover to keep warm and set aside. When the vegetable mixture is done cooking, remove from heat. Depending on how juicy your tomatoes are, there may be a lot of liquid in the pan. The vegetable mixture should be saucy but not overly liquid. If it seems watery, simmer it for a few minutes on medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce reduces a bit. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the quinoa between four bowls. Top each portion of quinoa with the vegetable mixture. Top the vegetables with grated parmesan or mozzarella cheese, if desired. Garnish with fresh basil or flat leaf parsley. Serve warm. A

IKwtA

Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 75


N news

Beth Israel Gala Honors Jeff Silberman

Jta – fox recently purchased the rights to Boom!, an israeli game show which debuted in april. under the format, four contestants race against the clock to diffuse a bomb by cutting colored wires that hold the answers to trivia questions. Viewers can also play using a smartphone app. the show, from Keshet international, was first sold to a french network at the MiPtV conference in Cannes. Check your local listings for Boom! runtimes.

photo courtesy leichtag founDation

on saturday, May 17, Congregation Beth israel will honor Jeff silberman with their esenoff award and Gala. established in 1987, this award is intended to celebrate individuals who have devoted their lives to service of the congregation, the san Diego community and the people of israel. silberman is a past president of CBi and current co-chair of the congregation’s $20 million endowment campaign. for more information, visit cbisd. org.

Fox Picks Up Another IsraeliDeveloped TV Show Format

the Leichtag foundation recently announced that Daron “farmer D” Joffee will be the ranch Development Director in charge of the ranch’s strategic planning, community engagement and operations. Joffee will also launch the Jewish community farm and all other farming projects on the encinitas property. “i could not have dreamed up a more perfect position if i tried,” Joffee said. “it is rare when one’s passions, goals, and life experiences all come together in one place. this is truly a unique opportunity to foster a more just and vibrant community by combining sustainable agriculture, social justice, education and entrepreneurship.” Joffee is the author of “Citizen farmers: the Biodynamic Way to Grow Healthy food, Build thriving Communities, and Give Back to the earth.” He is also the founder of farmer D organics and farmer D Consulting which designs and builds biodynamic farms and gardens across the country. He has been consulting with Leichtag and the ranch for the past 18 months. to learn more about Leichtag and the ranch, visit leichtag.org.

photo courtesy Jcc

JCC Now Offering Violin Lessons

photo courtesy keshet international

photo courtesy cBi

Leichtag Hires Ranch Development Director

the youth and Camp Department at the Lawrence family JCC recently announced the addition of private, one-onone violin lessons to its afterschool program. the classes will be taught by local musician and member of the La Jolla symphony, amy Darnell. the JCC will also host a two-week strings camp on July 28-aug. 8 as part of their Camp Jaycee program. the strings camp is intended for campers grades 4-9 and will cover various genres, music theory, technique and ear training. the camp will conclude with two concerts, one of which is open to the public. for available days and times for private lessons, call (858) 362-1132. for more information on Camp Jaycee, visit campjaycee.com.

76 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014


N news

JDC Hosts Trip to St. Petersburg

on May 21 from 6:30-8 p.m., the Men’s Club and Caring Committee of Beth israel will host a dinner forum featuring Kelli Denton, rN, Director of seacrest at Home, and Jon schwartz, Community Liaison for seacrest at Home. the dinner will celebrate the new home care program available through seacrest Village. the event, $14 with r.s.V.P or $17 without, is open to the community. reserve your seat at bit.ly/1gwOipJ or by contacting Judi schwartz at (858) 900-2598.

photo courtesy israeli consulate

entwine, a division of the american Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, will host “inside Jewish st. Petersburg 2014,” July 20-27 for college students and young professionals. the trip, $3,500, will explore the renaissance of Jewish life in the post-communist society of the region. Leadership grants are available for select participants to cover the costs. the application deadline is april 23. for more information and to register, visit jdcentwine.org/trips/inside-jewish-stpetersburg-2014.

Dinner Forum Supports Seacrest at Home

kelli Denton, rn

the Consulate General of israel in Los angeles is partnering with the uC san Diego rady school of Management, the san Diego County office of education and the anti-Defamation League for a social entrepreneurship Program called “repairing the World.” Between april 13 and June 1, 17 11th- and 12th-grade students of Latino and/or Jewish background are attending a series of five lectures (held every other sunday). the students are working in small groups to create social entrepreneurship initiatives in their communities based on the lessons they learn in the workshops, with the help of MBa-student mentors from the rady school. this program is intended to inspire youth with the vision of social improvement and to equip youth with the tools for social innovations. in June, a concluding event will be held and a $1,000 cash prize awarded to the top initiative.

photo courtesy seacrest at home

photo courtesy JDc

Consulate Hosts Entrepreneurship Program with UCSD

Birthright Israel to Train Educators as Taglit Fellows

Jta – taglit-Birthright israel will train Jewish educators from across the united states as israel trip leaders. the program will train 200 trip leaders each year through a partnership with the iCenter, a North american organization dedicated to israel education. “this initiative provides us with a terrific opportunity to simultaneously improve the educational quality of the trips as well as dramatically increasing our capacity for effective follow-up,” said Maimonides fund President Mark Charendoff. “it is strong evidence that Birthright is committed not just to increasing numbers but to constantly rethinking how to best engage the young people who participate on both sides of the ocean.” the application deadline for this year is May 15. Learn more at taglitfellows.com.

Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 77


N news

Geometric Abstraction at Gotthelf Gallery

Rex Smith at the Welk

every song has a story. Like a rock 'n' roll Mark twain, rex smith takes you on a wild and fascinating, sometimes dramatic, yet very hilarious, musical story-telling journey starting this month at the Welk resort. from the crazy antics of rock 'n' roll, the excitement and pressures behind a six-album deal as a number one platinum recording artist with Columbia records and his two years opening for ted Nugent. from his last concert with Lynard skynard before their plane crash (and what really happened), what led to rex smith becoming an overnight sensation as teen idol? His sudden rise to Broadway includes antics with Kevin Kline and Linda ronstadt during "the Pirates of Penzance" and he received the coveted theatre World award, leading to Broadway shows with "Grease," "Grand Hotel," "annie Get your Gun," "the scarlet Pimpernel," "Kiss Me Kate," and "sunset Boulevard." Join smith for a musical evening full of rock and Broadway songs, and if you haven’t heard the stories behind the stories from a celebrity dishing on other celebrities, then this is your show. stories and anecdotes of Michael Jackson, Jacqueline Kennedy, andy Gibb, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, andy Warhol, to elizabeth taylor, Glenn Close, al Pacino, Paul Newman, Michael Caine, and that is only the beginning. "rex smith: Confessions of a teen idol" runs every Wednesday at 7 p.m., May 7-June 25 at the Welk resort. tickets are $30, available by calling the box office at (888) 802-7469.

Jewish federation of san Diego County recently announced that Don schlesinger is the new senior Director of Community Partnerships. in this role, schlesinger will lead israel and overseas initiatives, NextGen youth/adult outreach, Jewish camping, the community chaplaincy programs and the Jewish Community relations Council. Prior to joining federation, schlesinger was Director of Community and Government affairs for Jfs Colorado. Prior to that, he was a lawyer and elected official in Las Vegas. for more information, visit jewishfederationsandiego.org.

Hollywood and Hitler with Thomas Doherty

as part of their Distinguished speaker series, the Center for Jewish Culture will present “Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939” on Monday, May 19 at 7 p.m. at temple solel. Cultural historian and Brandeis professor thomas Doherty will consider the claims that were made in a recent book about Hollywood movie studios and their alleged collusion with Nazis to keep the German market open for their movies. Doherty will also discuss representations of the Nazis and the full meaning of Nazism as it was portrayed by Hollywood at the time. tickets are $12 for JCC members and $15 for nonmembers. Purchase at tickets.lfjcc.org or by calling (858) 362-1348. for more background on the book, look back at sharon rosen Leib’s column in our March, 2014, issue. 78 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

photo courtesy feDeration

the Gotthelf art Gallery is presenting its first “pop-up” gallery featuring the work of abstract impressionist Jorge albertella. the exhibition, on display in the upper level of the Lawrence family JCC, will be up through June. all artwork is for sale and purchases can be made by contacting Paul Parietti at (858) 362-1344 or gallery@lfjcc. com. Purchases made before May 16 will receive 10 percent off and a free book.

Federation Welcomes New Director


Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 79


TAKE NOTE May 1-31

by natalie jacobs

NOTEWORTHY Mark your calendar.

This month has somewhat of a food theme, which seems fitting as some of the best fruits and veggies are currently at the peak of their season – how delicious do the strawberries in your local grocery store smell right about now? And the thick bushels of asparagus? Forget about it. Start the month off by working up an appetite while listening to “100 Hours of Stories” at the Lamb’s Players Theatre. Ok, you don’t actually have to listen to all 100 hours, but the event, running May 8-12, is sure to make history. With the help of more than 70 local actors and community members, the Lamb’s will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for Longest Marathon Theatrical Performance. Something like a telethon, this colossal effort will help the institution raise $100,000. Read more about it at lambsplayers. org. Now head out to the House of Israel in Balboa Park and get your eat on at this year’s Ethnic Food Fair on May 25. Arrive anytime from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and load up on shwarma and other Israeli delicacies in the cottage. If you have any room left, check out one of the other 32 international houses that will have their doors open and their kitchens stocked with delicious treats representative of the cultures they are made to showcase. There will also be arts, crafts and entertainment. The event is free but each house will have a small charge for the dishes they serve. Remember, parking is a pain in Balboa Park these days, so plan extra time for walking or taking the shuttle. Find more details at balboapark.org. The following week, make plans to spend the morning of Friday, May 30 with Tarbuton at the Ranch in Encinitas for their oncemonthly cooking class, this time featuring Israeli Cheesecakes. This social gathering is an open forum where everyone shares tips and cooks together. Bring your age-old cooking tips and take home some new ones to experiment with. The event is free but a $5 donation is appreciated. R.S.V.P. to info@tarbuton.com. Finally, be sure to save the date – Monday, June 2 – for Jewish Family Service’s Ruby Schulman Memorial Golf Tournament where you’ll be treated to lunch, a round of golf, on-course contests, dinner, an awards ceremony and a silent auction. Funds raised at the event will support JFS’s more than 50 programs active around San Diego. Come for the golf and the good cause, stay for the two delicious meals served in a beautiful, forest setting. Register at jfssd. org/golf. A

80 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

100 HOuRs Of sTORiEs May 8-12 Lamb's Players theatre 1142 orange avenue Coronado, Ca 92118 ETHNic fOOd fAiR sunday, May 25 10 a.m.-6 p.m. international Cottages Balboa Park 2191 Pan american road san Diego, Ca 92101

isRAEli cHEEsEcAKEs WiTH TARbuTON friday, May 30 10:30 a.m.-1p.m. the ranch 441 saxony road encinitas, Ca 92024

RubY scHulmAN mEmORiAl gOlf TOuRNEY fOR jfs Maderas_SDJJ_final.indd 1 Monday, June 2 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Maderas Golf Club 17750 old Coach road Poway, Ca 92064


SAN DIEGO JEWISH

sENiOR EVENTs May 1-31

Lawrence Family JCC 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla Contact Melanie Rubin for details or to R.S.V.P. (858) 362-1141. Snacks with the Stars tuesday, May 13, 2:30 p.m. Listen to never-before-heard conversations with Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy stewart, Barbara stanwyck, Jack Lemmon and Myrna Loy. Hear stories about them from their longtime friend alan Greenberg. Cost is $5 for members, $8 for nonmembers to cover snacks and refreshments. r.s.V.P. by May 6. Old Jews Telling Jokes Wednesday, May 21, bus leaves at 5:45 p.m. see five actors in a revue that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present. think you’ve heard them before? Not this way. Cost is $46 for members, $56 for nonmembers. r.s.V.P. asaP Consumers Beware! friday, May 30, 10:15 a.m. Learn about the latest scams and get helpful consumer info about contractors, savings on utilities, phone scams, insurance fraud, auto repair scams and more. sponsored by state senator Marty Block. r.s.V.P. by May 23. Oceanside Senior Center 455 Country Club Lane, Oceanside Call Josephine at (760) 2952564 North County Jewish Seniors Club third thursday of each month, 12:30 p.m. Join us to hear speakers and/ or entertainment at our monthly meetings. Light refreshments served. Visitors welcome. Joslyn Senior Center 210 Park Ave./Broadway, Escondido Call (760) 436-4005 Jewish War Veterans meetings second sunday of each month,

11 a.m. Preceded by a bagel/lox breakfast at 10:45 a.m. san Diego North County Post 385. JFS University City Older Adult Center 9001 Towne Centre Drive, La Jolla Call Aviva Saad for details or to R.S.V.P. (858) 550-5998. Yom Ha’atzmaut tuesday, May 6, 10 a.m. entertainment by raymond at 1 p.m. Lunch available at noon with reservation. Mother’s Day Celebration thursday, May 8, 10 a.m. entertainment at 1 p.m. by Jasmine. Lunch available at noon with reservation. Memorial Day Program tuesday, May 27, 10 a.m. entertainment at 1 p.m. by Joan Kurland. Lunch available at noon with reservation. On the Go excursions A program of Jewish Family Service, On the Go provides transportation to events throughout the county for homebound seniors. For information on any of these excursions, please call (858) 637-7320. Disney’s Tarzan sunday, May 18, bus leaves at 12:15 p.m. Cost is $33, due by May 13. Nine to Five – The Musical sunday, May 25, bus leaves at 12:30 p.m. Cost is $49, due by May 12. San Diego County Fair thursday, June 12, bus leaves at 10:15 a.m. Cost is $38, due by June 6. JFS No. County Inland Center 15905 Pomerado Road, Poway Call Melinda Wynar at (858) 674-1123 for details. R.S.V.P. for lunch by Monday at 12:30 p.m. My City/Your City

LAWRENCE FAMILY JCC

4126 exeCutiVe DriVe, La JoLLa Contact Melanie rubin for info/r.s.V.P. (858)362-1141 Transformations: The Butterfly Project and Beyond Tuesday, May 27, 1:30 p.m. • Local artists display their “transformations” along with a selection of ceramic butterflies that were created by san Diego Jewish academy students in memory of the child victims of the Holocaust.

Monday, May 5, 11 a.m. explore san Diego as seen through young photographers’ eyes with Kevin Linde of the san Diego Museum of Photographic ars. Mother’s Day Celebration Wednesday, May 7, 11 a.m. featuring the Mind to Mind show of David Winston. Cost for lunch is $7. r.s.V.P. by May 5 Men About Women and Women About Men in Opera and Broadway Monday, May 19, 11 a.m. With conductor/musicologist David amos. JFS Coastal Club at Temple Solel 3575 Manchester Ave., Cardiff by the Sea Call Melinda Wynar at (858) 674-1123 for details. R.S.V.P. for lunch by Monday at 12:30 p.m. Mother’s Day Celebration tuesday, May 6, 11 a.m. featuring the essence of tea with Dharlene Marie fahl. Cost for lunch is $7. r.s.V.P. by May 1. The Music of Debussy and Pouleuc with flutist Joyce Hayutin and pianist Irina Bessonova tuesday, May 20, 11 a.m.

JFS College Avenue Center 4855 College Ave., San Diego Call (858) 637-3270 for details or to R.S.V.P. Job Search for the Seasoned Worker tuesday, May 13, 1 p.m. Part 1 of 3: Join us for a time of discovery that will help you develop a plan and the skills to get your job search moving. Cost is $10. Creative Writing 101 Wednesday, May 14, 10 a.m. instructor Lisa Balderston will help students gain experience with a variety of genres and identify the types of writing that appeals to each individual student. Health Fair by UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy Students Wednesday, May 21, 12:30 p.m. they will be providing information about medical conditions. Congregation Beth El 8660 Gilman Drive, La Jolla Call (858) 452-1734 for details or to R.S.V.P. Rabbi Graubart Series: “My Quarrel with Hersh Rasseyner” by Chaim Grade tuesday, May 13, 11:30 a.m.

Want More Calendar? The full version of San Diego’s most complete Jewish events calendar is now online at sdjewishjournal.com.

Send submissions to calendar@sdjewishjournal.com. Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 81


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82 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

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Iyar•Sivan 5774 l www.SDJewishJournal.com 83


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SAN DIEGO JEWISH COMMUNITY OBITUARIES

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dianeb@sdjewishjournal.com • www.sdjewishjournal.com 84 www.SDJewishJournal.com l May 2014

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desert life

Palm SPringS by Pamela Price

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From Budapest to the Coachella Valley: photo courtesy steVe geiger, mensch founDation

a "Mensch" Connects Holocaust remembrance

M

ention the Mensch Foundation in the desert and Steve Geiger’s name pops up. While mantaining homes in Budapest and in Palm Springs, Steve (now 67 years old) speaks with genuine concern about the Holocaust’s impact in Hungary. Time did not dull his memory of its impact on his family and in the larger sense, European Jewry. His father survived Mauthausen concentration camp but Steve, born in Budapest in 1948, arrived just in time to have to deal with another political upheaval: the Hungarian Revolution. His family remained in Budapest then, and he returns to Budapest every year to continue his work. This decision has proven successful in gaining recognition for the Mensch Society by organizing public events on two continents. His commitment to honoring the Holocaust is unwaivering. His energy is boundless, and has an impact on the desert community in surprising ways. He is zealous in his pursuit of keeping the history of the Holocaust alive, yet dismayed that it is not addressed by our educational system to the degree it deserves. “There has to be more second generation survivors such as myself to keep the lessons of the Holocaust alive,” he says. “Teaching tolerance is the most effective way to make that happen. “I will be in Budapest on June 5 and 6 for an event commemorating D-Day at Freedom Square where there is a commemorative statue of President Ronald Reagan. We will honor the Hungarian Jews that perished. “We had an event in Palm Desert in January to honor the Holocaust, attended by 250 people. The Consul General of Germany was one of our speakers.” Another successful event Steve choreographed was “The Stolen Art of Europe,” a lecture and film held on Feb. 11 at the University of California

at a mensch foundation international award ceremony in hungary during september, 2013, the front row was filled with holocast survivors over the age of 70.

Palm Desert campus auditorium; every seat was taken in the 320-seat theatre. Geiger publicized the event with a simple one-page announcement, simply stating “It is said a picture is worth 1,000 words. To learn much more come and hear two of the foremost U.S. experts on Nazi looted Art.” The speakers were Dr. Jonathan Petropolos, Professor of European History and former Research Director for the the Presidential Commission on Holocaust Assets. Sharing the stage was E. Randol Schoenberg, the U.S. Attorney known for his involvement with legal cases related to the recovery of looted and stolen works of art mainly from the Nazi regime. Despite his age, Geiger is an agent of change. His name is well known in the desert whether he is a guest on a local radio talk show or speaks out about the current status of Hungarian Jews at the Tolerance Education Center (TEC) in Rancho Mirage. Phyllis Mintz Eisenberg of Chicago and Palm Desert is an ardent Mensch Foundation supporter. “There are now between 82,000 and 100,000 Jews residing in Hungary,” she says. “Spending six months [in the desert] gives Steve a unique perspective on how the Holocaust is remembered. ... Steve is a senior citizen on one hand and an activist on the other. While maintaining ongoing educational programs covering the plight of Hungary’s Jewish community or delving into unsolved problems generated by the Nazi regime, his pragmatic approach has earned the interest and respect of the desert community.” A Mensch International Foundation programs resume in November. For more information, email geigersa@gmail.com or call (760) 416-3685.

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San Diego Jewish Journal - May 2014