FEBRUARY 2017 SHEVAT â€¢ ADAR 5777
Jewish life on the silver screen
Plus: Big milestones for Jewish camps around California
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FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 19 By Tony Kushner Directed by David Ellenstein Legendary playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America) displays his brilliance in this wildly inventive tour de force, which celebrates the magic and illusory nature of theatre. Using crackling, contemporary language and sheer artistry, Kushner creates his most joyfully theatrical play: a wildly entertaining tale of passion, regret, love and magic. THE ILLUSION transports you on a wondrous journey filled with laughter and a few tears along the way.
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Shevat • Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 3
Revolutionary Immunotherapeutics Revolutionary RevolutionaryImmunotherapeutics Immunotherapeutics Breakthroughs | Blocking Breakthroughs | Breakthroughs |Blocking Blocking
DOVER QUARTET & AVI AVITAL
The human body has evolved to exhibit a highly sophisticated The human body distinguishes has evolved to exhibit normal a highly sophisticated immune cells and foreign The system human that body has evolvedbetween to exhibit a highly sophisticated immune that distinguishes between normal cells and foreign invaderssystem (viruses, bacteria, parasites, and cancer). It consists two immune system that distinguishes between normal cells andofforeign invaders bacteria, parasites, and cancer). It consists of two specific (viruses, attackers, killer cells and antibodies. invaders (viruses, bacteria, parasites, and cancer). It consists of two specific attackers, killer cells andcells antibodies. While spontaneous cancer are usually destroyed, often the specific attackers, killer cells and antibodies. Whilecells spontaneous cancer cells aresurface usuallytodestroyed, often the cancer use brakes on their cell prevent their killing. While spontaneous cancer cells are usually destroyed, often the cancer cellsweuse brakes on their cell surface to prevent their killing. Recently, have experienced the FDA approvals of at least three cancer cells use brakes on their cell surface to prevent their killing. Recently, weantibodies have experienced the FDA approvals of atinleast three anti-brake for certain cancers that resulted significant Recently, we have experienced the FDA approvals of at least three anti-brake for certain cancers that resulted in significant eliminationantibodies of the cancer and a long remission. However, not all anti-brake antibodies for certain cancers that resulted in significant elimination of responding the cancer and a long remission. However, notand, all cancers are to these new immunotherapeutics elimination of the cancer a new long immunotherapeutics remission. However, and, not all cancers arethe responding to and these therefore, need to discover other brakes. Here is what Dr. Gal cancers the are need responding to these immunotherapeutics and, therefore, to discover other new brakes. Markel (an ICRF-funded scientist) and hisHere is what Dr. Gal therefore, the need to discover other brakes. Markel (an from ICRF-funded scientist) and his Here is what Dr. Gal colleagues Sheba have developed. Markel (an ICRF-funded scientist) and his colleagues from Sheba have developed. Dr. Gal Markel, MD, PhD, is an Associate colleagues from Sheba have developed. Dr. Gal Markel, MD, Faculty PhD, is an Professor at Sackler of Associate Medicine, Dr. Gal PhD, an Associate Professor at Markel, SacklerMD, Faculty of Scientist Medicine, Tel Aviv University, and Chiefis of Professor at Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, and Chief Scientist of the Ella Lemelbaum Institute of Melanoma Tel Ella AvivLemelbaum University, and Chief Scientist the ofHeMelanoma at Sheba Medical Institute Center. and hisof theSheba Ella Lemelbaum InstituteHe Melanoma atassociates Medical Center. and his have discovered a ofnew brake Dr. Gal Markel at Shebaoverexpressed Medical Center. and his associates have discovered a He new brake molecule in cancer cells, and Gal Markel associates have bydiscovered aanti-brake new and brake molecule overexpressed in cancer cells, its neutralization a specific antibody drugDr.restored Dr. Gal Markel molecule overexpressed in cancer cells, and its a cancer specificcells anti-brake antibodyside drug restored theneutralization destruction ofbythe with negligible effects. This its destruction neutralization by cancer a specific anti-brake antibody drug restored the withof negligible side effects. This new drug can of be the applied to cells a variety unresponsive cancers and the drug destruction the cells with negligible side effects. This new can alone be of applied a variety of with unresponsive cancers and can be used andcancer intocombination conventional therapies. new can betrials applied to a variety of unresponsive cancers and can bedrug used alone and in with conventional therapies. Currently, clinical arecombination being conducted to validate its effect on can be used alone combination with therapies. Currently, clinical trialsand areinbeing conducted to conventional validate its effect on unresponsive primary and metastatic cancers. Currently, trials are being to validate its effect unresponsive primary andvery metastatic cancers. We atclinical ICRF are proudconducted of Dr. Markel’s research andon unresponsive primary andfield metastatic We at ICRF are very proud of cancers. Dr. Markel’s research and accomplishments in the of anti-cancer Immunotherapy. We We all at ofICRF are proud of Dr. Markel’s research and accomplishments the field of Markel’s anti-cancer Immunotherapy. We welcome youinto joinvery Doctor research and to contribute accomplishments the field of anti-cancer Immunotherapy. welcome of you join Doctor Markel’s research and funds to all extend histoin excellent achievements. Thank you.to contributeWe welcome all of his youexcellent to join Doctor Markel’s Thank research and to contribute funds to extend achievements. you. funds to extend his excellent — Benjamin Bonavida, PhD achievements. Thank you. — Benjamin ProfessorBonavida, at UCLA,PhD Chairman of ICRFLA UCLA, Chairman of ICRFLA —Professor BenjaminatBonavida, PhD Professor at UCLA, Chairman of ICRFLA
Dover Quartet returns to ArtPower with mandolinist Avi Avital, one of the world’s most exciting and adventurous musicians.
Cancer-MediatedBrakes Brakes Cancer-Mediated Cancer-Mediated Brakes
Discoveries Discoveries Discoveries
Preventions Preventions Preventions
Early Diagnoses Early Diagnoses Early Diagnoses
New Treatments New Treatments New Treatments
February 17 at 8 pm Conrad Prebys Concert Hall, UC San Diego Tickets: $45–59
WHEN YOU NEED A RABBI Congregation B'nai Tikvah, Carlsbad
CALL RABBI BEN LEINOW
Ben Leinow Rabbi, PhD
“A RABBI WHO CARES”
Counseling & Ceremonies for:
Weddings (for all couples) Baby's Naming and Funerals CELL: 619.992.2367 760.727.5333 email: email@example.com MFT Lic #11820
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To make an impactful donation, make an impactful donation, visitTowww.icrfla.org or call 818.986.2100. visit www.icrfla.org or call 818.986.2100. To make an impactful donation, visit www.icrfla.org or call 818.986.2100. 15840 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 306, Encino, CA 91436 15840 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 306, Encino, CA 91436 15840 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 306, Encino, CA 91436
Call for details. Lisa represents Buyers and Sellers throughout San Diego County!
2012® Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Owned & Operated By NRT LLC. CaBRE Lic#01333258
4 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
“Negotiating on behalf of my clients is incredibly rewarding and is originally what drew me to the practice of law. Helping individuals and families grapple with the worst possible ordeals has given me an understanding of the importance of this type of work.” — Adam B. Levine
www.caseygerry.com Dedicated to the Pursuit of Justice since 1947. SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY, MARITIME, AVIATION, PRODUCT LIABILITY, CLASS ACTION, MASS TORTS AND PHARMACEUTICAL LITIGATION
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Larry M. Katz Certified Public Accountant
• Income Tax Preparation • IRS and State Audit Representation • Litigation Support Services • Forensic Accounting Services • Business Consulting Services Since 1983
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Shevat • Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 5
HAZON SAN DIEGO RIDE APRIL 2, 2017 The People of the Bike are coming to San Diego! Join Hazon for our first ever, fully-supported San Diego Ride. Cycle 20, 36, or 60 miles past gorgeous beaches, through country roads, and over rolling hills. The ride will launch from Coastal Roots Farm in Encinitas. Proceeds from the San Diego Ride fund Hazonâ€™s environmental activism and educational programs in the Jewish community of San Diego and the world.
Register now at hazon.org/sdride
JEWISH INSPIRATION. SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES.
6 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
JCC PATRON PARTY SAVE THE DATE May 20, 2017 Direct from Chicago
will join us to
wine & dine roast, toast, and boast
Mike Cohen Executive Director of the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS retiring after 45+ years of extraordinary service to our community
For more information call or email Paige Pick, (858) 362-1355 or email@example.com
Shevat â€¢ Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 7
1/24/17 11:57 AM
We're back with our annual reviews of what's on deck at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival. Start here for help narrowing down the packed lineup.
Camp Gilboa officially owns their site in Big Bear. Read about how it happened for the little camp that could.
Pat Launer takes a look at Christopher Ashley's 10 years at La Jolla Playhouse, before the company celebrates his tenure with a tribute from the cast of "Come From Away."
Tori Avey helps us honor Black History Month with Rosa Parks' pancakes, and a reminder about the accidental revolutionary's harrowing story.
OUR EMOTIONAL FOOTPRINT:
This month we're introducing a new column called "Our Emotional Footprint" by local psychiatrist and professor emeritus at UC San Diego, Saul Levine.
8 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
MONTHLY COLUMNS 12 The Starting Line 22 Parenting 24 Israeli Lifestyle 26 Aging 68 Advice AROUND TOWN 18 Our Town 20 The Scene 60 What's Goin' On 65 Synagogue Life IN EVERY ISSUE 14 Mailbag 16 What’s Up Online 62 News 64 Diversions ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: 30 OP-ED:
38 FILM FEST:
Review of "The Women's Balcony"
38 FILM FEST:
Review of "NOT the Last Butterfly"
40 FILM FEST:
Israeli actress Dana Ivgy is underway with a residency in San Diego where she'll teach at SDSU, host a Q&A after a screening of her film "Zero Motivation," and serve as a judge for the Joyce Shorts. Get to know her in our feature story.
42 FILM FEST:
Full screening schedule.
44 OFF-FEST FILM:
Read how one non-Jewish illustrator became obsessed with one particular Holocaust story.
Dating in San Diego is hard. But is it you or them?
The Union for Reform Judaism opens its 18th camp in North America.
34 FILM FEST:
Review of "Eva Hesse"
35 FILM FEST:
Review of "The Settlers"
36 FILM FEST:
Review of "On the Map"
37 FILM FEST:
Review of "The Last Laugh"
Camp Ramah California is undergoing renovations.
Jewish preschool learns the value of a penny.
Bastyr University is a school and a functional clinic ideal for those interested in alternative health. Shevat • Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 9
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• Life/Disability Insurance Changing jobs can be difficult but we are with you every step of the way. PUBLISHERS • Mark Edelstein and Dr. Mark Moss • Investment Strategies Retirement Plans EDITOR-IN-CHIEF • Natalie Jacobs Life/Disability Insurance CREATIVE DIRECTOR • Derek Berghaus Investment Strategies
ASSISTANT EDITOR • Brie Stimson ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR • Eileen Sondak OFFICE MANAGER • Ronnie Weisberg
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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 ©2017 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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Shevat • Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 11
THE STARTING LINE by Natalie Jacobs
EDITOR’S LETTER firstname.lastname@example.org
n interesting thing has been happening here at the San Diego Jewish Journal. It’s something that public radio innovator Jad Abumrad would call incompatible truths existing at the same time. He used that term – incompatible truths – when I interviewed him for a web story before an event he was doing at the Balboa Theatre at the end of January. He was talking about the new direction of his show Radiolab. After about 15 years, they’ve expanded beyond science to explore the inner workings of America. He said, “I’m really interested in stories about people struggling to try and hold incompatible truths … trying to marry two truths that really don’t want to go together but which both seem true.” The more I got to thinking about it, the more I realized that term, and the idea of two things existing at once even though they seem completely against each other, could be applied to us here. I realized it when opposite things kept happening. Like this: A few months ago, we got a letter from a longtime reader who said something we published pushed her to unsubscribe. An hour later, two new subscribers signed up through our PayPal account. It happened again a couple weeks ago, when we received the letter that you’ll find on page 14 of this magazine. The reader was confused about the Women’s March, and didn’t think it was attracting attention to the right problem. A few hours after I received that letter, our office phone rang. It was a woman in Atlanta who was going to be in town for a Bar Mitzvah the weekend that the March was being held – Jan. 21. She wanted to know if there were any local Jewish groups sending a delegation. She wanted to go, but not alone – she wanted to link arms with Jewish San Diegans who would help her feel at home here and at the March.
12 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
One article is offensive and inspiring, encouraging and disheartening, unifying and dividing, all at the same time. The next day, I got a call from a resident at Seacrest Village saying she also read our coverage of the Women’s March in the January issue and was inspired to organize a solidarity march for her fellow residents who have concerns about what this new administration may do to all of the rights she, age 88, had fought so hard to earn in her lifetime. I wrote about that solidarity March on our website on Friday, Jan. 20. The next day, our local NBC affiliate sent a reporter to photograph the event and the story made national news. There were about 50 people who attended the Seacrest solidarity march. More and more it seems like this Journal is a place where competing truths stack like magnets. One article can be both offensive and inspiring, encouraging and disheartening, unifying and dividing, all at the same time. If our truths really are like magnets, then it’s when they’re the same that they repel in a constant battle of wills. And it’s when the poles of truth are opposite that they stick together, multiplying their power, becoming exponentially stronger. As truth becomes more complicated, we will continue to hold a mirror to the competing realities that live within ourselves and those that live within this community. A
The Jewish Community Foundation has announced its new President and CEO. Beth Sirull will take over the helm of the financial nonprofit on March 13. She comes to JCF from her post as President and CEO of Pacific Community Ventures in San Francisco.
Friends of the Israel Defense Forces welcomes Jenna Griffin as its new Western Region Executive Director. Replacing Miri Nash who is retiring, Jenna Griffin has worked for FIDF L.A. since 2012.
SDJJ’s own Derek Berghaus is celebrating his appointment as Vice President of the South African Jewish American Community Association (SAJAC). He will be volunteering alongside Brian Marks, who was reelected as President, and the rest of the five-person board.
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we’re listening let us know what’s on your mind have been blessed with three wonderful children. I have always strived to be a little better and always tell them how much I love them. Thanks to Marta for writing such a fine article and I wish you peace in the memories that you have of your parents. Charles Hoffman Vista
LETTER OF CONCERN
Send us your comments: firstname.lastname@example.org 5665 Oberlin Dr., Ste 204, San Diego, CA 92121
POWERFUL MESSAGE Dear Editor: Marta Fuchs’ personal essay [“Mourning Mom and Inherited Scars,” January, 2017] about her mother was heartbreaking, raw, beautiful, and empowering. I’m so glad I read it and will share it with others, especially children and grandchildren of survivors. Joanna Gallai New York City
STRIVING FOR BETTER Dear Editor: I was very moved by the article that Marta Fuchs wrote about mourning mom [“Mourning Mom and Inherited Scars,” January, 2017]. The honesty must have been difficult to express. For that generation to survive and then thrive is a miracle in itself. Obviously, Marta was the focal point of much of her mother’s anger. I am so happy that she stayed in her life and continued to love her. It was also comforting to hear that Marta’s relationship with her own children is much different than what she had with her mom. I have been married for 41 years and we
14 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
Dear Editor: Our new president is a self-centered, narcissistic man who values winning above all – regardless of who gets hurt in the process. His campaign revealed him to be emotionally immature, disrespectful to others, a liar and a womanizer. This portrait is most contradictory to the leadership of our great country. Given his example, decent people will not aspire to leadership. His expertise in the business world may indeed help to create economic gains, but at what price? These gains will backfire in the future due to his tactics of threats and intimidations. His attitude towards Russia has the same tone, devoid of humanistic considerations. Russia was ruled for 500 years by the same family that held all wealth and privilege. Since their revolution, they have shown no interest in democracy. They are a country that operates without conscience. Their recent alliance with the monster called Bashar Assad gives further evidence that they will murder and destroy in search of power. The implication for Jews and for Israel is that Mr. Trump has no real loyalties, and will horse-trade all issues. The winners will be the high bidders. I have witnessed the tremendous growth of the San Diego Jewish community from small beginnings. Let us not grow too soft and comfortable. We have opponents and enemies that seek to diminish us. Sorry for the grim assessment. Perhaps President Trump will be contained by his peers. Maybe not. James Kahn San Diego
MARCHING FOR WHAT? Dear Editor: After reading the feature on “How, and Why, to Plan a March,” [January, 2017] I was left deeply disturbed. While I applaud the right of women to protest, I’m so confused about what exactly they are trying to shield their daughters from and for what specific cause they aim to champion. One parent “felt nervous about what the future might look like for her two-year-old daughter,” “she didn’t let those feelings get comfortable.” If these women are so concerned about safekeeping their children’s innocence from vulgarity and misogyny, why have we not seen protests against Hollywood and the constant bombardment of movies and television shows that degrade women? Why have we not seen protests over the music industry’s chronic themes of misogyny, vulgarity, abuse and exploitation of women? Why have we not seen women marching arm in arm protesting the genital mutilation, child brides and chattel status of women in the Middle East and yes, in some enclaves in this country? I am bewildered at the hypocrisy of these women who are not addressing the REAL horrors their daughters face each and every day. Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing yet our freedom is being decimated by the group of people who think they know what’s best for the rest of the country. I’m not sure where these women were when Bill Clinton educated our children on what was and wasn’t “sex” and then destroyed the woman he “didn’t” have sex with. It’s strange how it is now convenient to lash out. As a proud American who deeply loves this country, I am confident that wisdom will prevail and all Americans will be hoping and praying for the success of the 45th president of the United States of America. Felicia Gipsman Poway
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whatâ€™s up on sdjewishjournal.com
ONE LAST THING ABOUT OBAMA
RADIOLAB, SCIENCE, THE INNER-WORKINGS OF AMERICA, BATTLING DOUBT... Oh, and being a genius. It's all in a day's work for Jad Abumrad. SDJJ Editor-in-Chief spoke with the innovative public radio show creator and co-host before his event "Gut Churn" took place at the Balboa Theatre. But the story is still interesting even for those who missed the show.
The Obama years have ended, but for some, it may still be relevant to read analysis of his impact on "liberal Zionism." Andrew Silow-Carroll, of JTA, followed the 44th President since his election in 2008 and has some interesting perspective on a controversial legacy.
ENOUGH THEATER TO GO AROUND AND AROUND There's a new theater company in town and this aspirational arts magazine couldn't be happier about it. Phil Johhson, whose oneman show "A Jewish Joke" premiered at the SDCJC's short play festival a few years back and recently had its theatrical run at North Coast Rep, has created the group along with fellow thespians Ruff Yeager and Will Cooper. Read about The Roustabouts' first production, due in April.
16 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
T.E.A.M.ING UP TO COMBAT ANTI-SEMITISM AT COLLEGE The recently reignited Israel education advocacy group T.E.A.M hosted a big event in January with the AMCHA Initiative founder, professor Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, speaking about the state of anti-Semitism on college campuses. For those who couldn't make it to the Carlsbad Library, we've published excerpts from the talk on our website. Just search "AMCHA" in the search bar on the upper right side of any page at sdjewishjournal.com.
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Shevat • Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 17
our TOWN BY LINDA BENNETT AND BETSY BARANOV, PHOTOS COURTESY SAN DIEGO CENTER FOR JEWISH CULTURE
Tapestry Triumphs On Jan. 7 at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, we participated in Tapestry – A Community Celebration of Jewish Learning Under One Roof. Dr. Ilana De Laney was the brainchild behind this informative event, which this year took the place of Yom Limmud. Jose Aroeste and Silvana Christy chaired. Following Havdalah, guests had their choice of two learning sessions. The evening ended with a dessert and wine reception. About 500 people attended the sold-out affair, including Orli Moses, Susan Freed, Sharon and Raulf Polichar, Tomer Eilam, Nadine Finkle, Susan and Ed Cherlin, Ira and Renee Zeichner, Jay Bartell, Elsa Kalal, Laura Preisman, Lois and Dennis Shive, Ricky and Allen Jay, Ed and Susan Thomas, Judi Gottschalk, Karen Rund, Chelsea Natan, and RafaeTl Natan, Susan Chortek Weisman and Eric Weisman, Jackie Gmach, Sonya Fox Ohlbaum, Jan Landau, Paula Park and Lauren Kemp.
Happy 96th birthday to Genevieve Simons! Happy 91st birthday to Gussie Zaks! Happy 90th birthday to Gene Siegel! Happy 91st birthday to Doug Selik! Mazel tov to Jared and Samantha Luchans on the birth of their daughter Keira! Elyse Danielle was born to parents Neil and Stephanie Hamovitch!
Congrats to Harvey and Arden Winokur on their 65 years of marriage! Mazel tov to Nancy and Alan Spector who are celebrating 50 years of marriage!
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Ruthi Warburg, Sonia Israel, Andrew Israel, Claire Ellman • Raulf and Sharon Polichar • Bob Rubenstein and Marie Raftery.
18 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 2017 • 6:00PM HYATT REGENCY LA JOLLA
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Candlelight Ball Illuminates Del Mar Scripps Health raised more than $275,000 for Scripps Memorial Hospital at its 87th annual Candlelight Ball in late 2016. Held at the Fairmont Grand in Del Mar, the evening featured entertainment by The Mighty Untouchables and a seared miso diver scallop entree with melted leek and parmesan risotto. Doctors, surgeons and Scripps executives joined noted San Diego philanthropists at the sparkling event.
20 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
CLOCKWISE FROM MIDDLE RIGHT: Bernie and Sharon Zeichner, Loraine and Isaac Levy, Kathy and Alan Glick • Jackalyn Wilson and Paul Teirstein, M.D. • Gail and Marty Levin • Bruce and Julie Breslau • Santiago and Cecelia Aguerre.
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Shevat • Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 21
MUSINGS FROM MAMA
by Sharon Rosen Leib
One People with One Voice
know you’re a doctor and I’m worried about my baby girl being so far away from home,” I said, protectively wrapping an arm around 22-year-old Oldest Daughter’s shoulders. I was about to leave her in Sofia, Bulgaria for a 10-month stint as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. What would happen if she got sick? When I made this entreaty to Dr. Alexander Oscar, the 38-year-old secular head of Bulgaria’s Jewish community, I blew my journalistic cover. Dr. Oscar, whom I’d been interviewing for an SDJJ story, dropped his guarded professional demeanor. His dark eyes instantly brightened and he grinned at my maternal outburst, “She’s your daughter? I thought you were both journalists,” he said. “Please, don’t worry. Of course we’ll take care of her!” I departed the following day with greater peace of mind. Oldest Daughter was in good hands. Bulgaria’s Jewish community would watch over her. In my darkest nightmare, I never could’ve imagined why we’d need the community’s support so soon. One weeknight in early December, Oldest Daughter stepped outside the front door of her apartment building to wait for a cab. A heavyset man in his 30s made brief eye contact with her. Then he grabbed her, covered her nose and mouth and shoved her face down onto the sidewalk. She tried to scream as he reached for her skirt. Fortunately, her heavy winter clothing proved a formidable barrier. Unable to disrobe her, he mounted her back, humped her and ejaculated on her coat. When he saw the cab’s headlights, he fled. The entire incident lasted only a few minutes. Oldest Daughter was traumatized but relieved she hadn’t been raped or suffocated to death. Instead of panicking and jumping on a flight to Sofia (which would’ve taken at least 48 hours), I emailed Dr. Oscar for urgent help. I had two very specific requests: number one -- to find a good English-speak22 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
ing therapist to assist my daughter process her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); number two – to have a security camera installed outside her building that would alert her via an iPhone app to anyone lurking outside her door. Dr. Oscar emailed me back within hours saying, “Shalom, the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria will do anything necessary to help.” He’d already contacted Eric Rubin, the United States Ambassador to Bulgaria, who also happens to be Jewish. Ambassador Rubin told Dr. Oscar he’d take immediate action and forwarded the name of an English-speaking Jewish therapist. Both Ambassador Rubin and his wife Nicole emailed me directly expressing their concern and ensuring me that Oldest Daughter would get whatever support she needed. Julia Dandalova, head of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s office in Bulgaria, also contacted me. She let me know she’d be speaking to the Sofia Jewish community’s head of security about having a camera installed outside Oldest Daughter’s apartment building. Within days, Dr. Oscar, Ms. Dandalova and Ivan Panchev, the head of security, met with Oldest Daughter to discuss the type of security cameras to be installed. They took care of all the details and installed the cameras. The U.S. Embassy connected her with an outstanding therapist who has been helping her process the attack and her feelings in the aftermath. In short, Bulgaria’s Jewish community stepped up and took care of my daughter in her time of crisis. My husband and I are tremendously comforted knowing that Sofia’s Jewish community continues to have our daughter’s back. I wrote Dr. Oscar and Ms. Dandalova that their incredible support made me realize more than ever that we Jews are one people. Dr. Oscar responded, “One people with one heart (am echad b’lev echad).” A
New Releases “Holocaust Postal History” Including the words “postal history” into your book title is not exactly the shortcut to a bestseller, but when it comes to chronicling the Holocaust, exploring letters is a really interesting way to go about it. With this book, postal historian – and yes, there is such a thing – Justin Gordon explores actual correspondence written by Holocaust victims, offering incredibly intimate access into the minds of the people experiencing the most brutal tragedy of our time.
“The Weapon Wizards” The Jerusalem Post’s editor-in-chief is out with a new book that explores “how Israel became a high-tech military superpower.” The book promises to be an “amazing story” that delves into the people who have invented, developed and manufactured some of Israel’s most advanced military weapons. Any story coming out of Israel has an against-allodds component – the country is small and always threatened – and this one is no different. It’s always nice to have something to cheer about.
“Fress” No, that’s not a typo. Fress is Yiddish for “to eat copiously and without restraint.” It is a wonder there is no English equivalent for this word. Straight from UK MasterChef finalist Emma Spitzer, this beautiful book, to be released in the U.S. on April 4, offers “unfussy and uncomplicated” recipes that “extract the maximum flavor from the humblest ingredients.” Keep your eyes peeled for this one.
San Diego Jewish Academy
Accepting Applications Preschool-High School 2017-2018 Academic Year Priority Application Consideration Friday
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Apply online at sdja.com Questions? Call 858-704-3717 firstname.lastname@example.org
Challenge Minds. Inspire Purpose. Explore Possibilities. Shevat â€¢ Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 23
LIVING ON THE FRONT PAGE by Andrea Simantov
ISRAELI LIFESTYLE email@example.com
Punditry. Or Not.
ecause I’m Israeli-by-choice, some credit me with an insider’s view of events in this corner of the world. I have no such credentials. Still, my opinion was frequently sought during the American pre-election period and after the results were in, I was queried relentlessly about then President-elect Trump’s ambassadorial and ministerial choices. I read three to four newspapers every day online and skimmed an almost equal number of newsletters, many of which assumed they were preaching to a receptive and like-minded choir. The need to “be informed” was, at times, all consuming. I’m going to go out on a limb here are remind everyone – including/especially myself – that I am a religious person. Either with savvy or naivete, I believe that our G-d in Heaven runs the world and the best we can do is play our roles with aplomb. The G-d-thing is, for me, not open to debate but I’ll never pick a fight with or try to convince others who think differently. Not my kids and certainly not strangers. Politi-
24 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
cally, I have strong opinions but am modest enough to know that they don’t amount to more than a drop in history’s ocean and severing relationships over things that are out of our control denotes arrogance. For what my Cosmo-Girl-On-the-Go opinion is worth, it seems that the conservative side of the Israeli-aisle is satisfied with the appointment of David Friedman as Ambassador from the U.S. “Thrilled” isn’t a word we use loosely here because we’ve been thrown under the diplomatic bus too often not to feel a tad wary. Nevertheless, he’s a Torah-observant guy whose history indicates that he senses an on-the-ground reality that many conveniently ignore. Satisfaction with this appointment doesn’t really amount to much in the public sector because we understand that the ambassador remains an extension of the president and does America’s bidding. I had the opportunity to meet President Obama’s designate, Dan Shapiro, a few times during his eight-year term and I can confidently state that he is a nice man. So
nice, in fact that he often appeared embarrassed in his role of Court Jew, defending his employer when the Israeli public felt that they were, again – and again – being held to standards reserved just for us. He was so nice, in fact, that typically brash Israelis held back from ripping into his frequently vapid justifications for this decision or that. On a devilish personal note, I would have loved to learn that he’s “gone native” and is standing on line for his Israel Identity Card at this very moment. Keeping my public mouth shut about this past American election was a difficult exercise but I’d been bullied/warned by American friends on the left to mind my own political business. I cherish those friendships and did not wish to enter fruitless debates that traditionally leave everyone bloodied, angry and forever suspicious of one another. This isn’t to say that I don’t have extremely strong thoughts about the before, during and after players. But only those who are related to me by blood or second marriage are privy to these passionate views. A
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OLDER, WISER, BETTER by Jon Schwartz AGING
ne of my favorite books is Viktor Frankl’s well know piece, “Man’s Search for Meaning” in which Frankl tells of his trying experience in Auschwitz. He writes passionately about a significant predictor of a prisoner’s longevity in a concentration camp: the ability to identify a purpose in life, even in the face of this extreme suffering. Frankl found meaning in Auschwitz by imagining himself as a free man, lecturing to students about the atrocities he witnessed. He woke up each day with the intent to motivate other prisoners to imagine carrying out their purpose once liberated. Through his story, he has inspired many, including me, to find meaning in all circumstances, even during difficult times. Once the war ended, Frankl began practicing therapy and developed the theory of logotherapy. Logotherapy was founded upon the belief that finding meaning in one’s life is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans. “Man’s Search for Meaning” not only grabbed my attention through its heroic story, but also gave me an awareness of the importance of possessing a defining purpose in our day-today lives. Logotherapy teaches us that the need for purpose holds true at every stage in life. When we are young, we place meaning on our education. The sequence often follows with finding meaning through career, marriage, raising children and grandchildren. However, once a person has passed these milestones, where does she find her purpose? Carl Jung describes this sentiment beautifully when he says, “The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different.” The big question remains, what is the difference? The famous psychologist Erik Erikson is perhaps most well known for his eight stages of psychosocial development. In the
26 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
final two stages of life development, Erikson places emphasis on words such as generativity (pursuing efforts that will improve life for future generations), wisdom and integrity. To contrast these more positive themes, Erikson also includes some negative words such as stagnation and despair. At any age, we possess both these positive and negative attributes. However, I have noticed that those aged 65 and older seem to possess a greater imperative to be generative, share their wisdom and carry out integrity than those who are younger. Generally speaking, it is also this same elder age group that I have noticed experience greater stagnation and feelings of despair. Often, I hear the question, “With all the loss, aches, illness and being retired, what is the purpose of older age?” From 2015-2050 the United States’ 65 and up population is expected to double. This may be our only growing natural resource. Studies associate volunteerism with lower rates of mortality and depression, increased strength and energy and lower rates of physical disability. Scientists have also shown that purposeful activity can not only slow cognitive decline but also may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and buffer its effects on the brain. The potential health and economic benefits of increasing purpose and meaning in older persons are likely huge. By setting new norms, to demand purpose and meaning in older age, we are defining a course that can lead to improved physical and mental well-being. You are never too old to make a difference in the life of someone else. By helping a child learn to read, mentoring young professionals or providing counsel to one who has lost a spouse are just a few examples of ways to give back that will help generations to come. Do not give up, find your meaning and purpose, as our community needs your talent. A
Meetings and Events Jewish War Veterans of San Diego, Post-185 Contact Jerome Klein at (858) 521-8694 Feb. 12, 10 a.m. North County Jewish Seniors Club at the Oceanside Senior Center Contact Josephine at (760) 295-2564 Feb. 16, 12:30 p.m. Veterans Association of North County, Post-385 Contact Marc Poland (858) 232-1645 Jewish War Veterans meetings Feb. 12, noon Lawrence Family JCC Contact Melanie Rubin (858) 362-1141 Feb. 12, 1:30 p.m. “NOT the Last Butterfly” screening and butterfly painting. JFS Balboa Ave. Older Adult Center Contact Aviva Saad (858) 550-5998 Feb. 14, noon, Celebrate friendship with lunch and live music. Cost is $10. On the Go Excursions Contact Jo Kessler (858) 637-7320 Feb. 19, 1 p.m., “Collage 2017 – Joy!” Civic Dance Co. at Balboa Park. Reserve by Feb., 10. JFS No. County Inland Center at Adat Shalom Contact (858) 674-1123 Feb. 27, 11 a.m. Magic show with Magic Matt with hot kosher lunch. JFS Coastal Club at Temple Solel Contact (858) 674-1123 Feb. 28, 11 a.m. Magic show with Magic Matt with hot kosher lunch. JFS College Avenue Center at Temple Emanu-El Contact Sara Diaz (858) 637-3270 Feb. 13, 1 p.m. “To Catch a Thief” film screening with Ralph De Lauro
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OUR EMOTIONAL FOOTPRINT by Saul Levine
EXAMINED LIFE firstname.lastname@example.org
Origins and Definitions
y late father Mike (Mich’l) grew up in a dangerous and depraved world. He was a “Litvak,” a Lithuania-born Jew in the small shtetl Kamai (like the mythical Anatevka in “Fiddler On The Roof ”) early in the last century. He lived there with his impoverished parents and nine brothers and sisters in a single-room, clapboard-walled house. There was a grassthatched roof, an earthen floor, and a potbellied stove for heat. (I still sometimes find myself in embarrassed awe that I live in such contrasting comfort.) Mike’s early life was marked by abject suffering, with bitter poverty, persecution and pogroms. Worse still, the Nazis and other haters of Jews killed many of his family members. Yet, in spite of this challenging upbringing, he grew up to be a benevolent, generative and resilient adult. He was the major inspiration for my book “Our Emotional Footprint: Ordinary People and Their Extra-Ordinary Lives.” My father came to Montreal (in ship’s steerage) as a bewildered 18 year old, with no resources, education or money. At first, he toiled on menial jobs (bricklayer, carpenter), and soon saw as an apprentice that he had natural skills in a variety of manual trades. He lived in a downtrodden area populated by recent immigrants, where Yiddish was the dominant language. (My own mammeh-losh’n, my first language, was thus Yiddish, which I speak and write today). He taught himself to speak and read English and French. Mike fell in love with his comely and intellectual next door neighbor, Bessie, a daughter of parents from Latvia, who was a social activist, a suffragette and a “flaming
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socialist.” They married and had three children, of whom I am the oldest. Throughout the course of his long life (my father died at age 91), he had his share of pleasurable and heart-warming experiences (family, friends, culture, upholstery business), and heart-wrenching setbacks (illnesses, losses, an autistic child, romantic convolutions and business failure). Given his early challenges, Mike could easily have become an embittered man, resentful of life’s unfairness. But he was just the opposite. He was always appreciative of the positives in his life, and was kind, caring and optimistic. Simply put, he made people smile. He invariably affected (or “infected,” as in the sociology term, “social contagion”) those around him with his ready warmth, interest and compassion. It is through this ability that this wonderful and unassuming “ordinary man” led an extra-ordinary life, filled with grace, appreciation and immense gratitude for his good fortune. He left virtually no material acquisitions or wealth when he died, but he left what I call a Positive Emotional Footprint – a remarkable legacy of warm memories of a deeply caring, loving and lovable human being. Perhaps you know such people. If so, you are fortunate. Perhaps you yourself are such a person. If so, I congratulate you. “Our Emotional Footprint” is what we contribute psychologically and socially to each other and to our communities while we are here, and to our legacies after we are gone. It affects all of our relationships and yet, we rarely think about it during our lifetimes. It is my belief that this emotional footprint is as crucial (and indisputably man-made) as the carbon one. This foot-
It is my belief that this emotional footprint is as crucial (and indisputably man-made) as the carbon one. print can be positive, imbued with civility, kindness and caring, or it can be negative, exemplified by rudeness, aggression and rancor. The more people whose emotional footprints tend toward the negative, the more our society experiences raised levels of anxiety, anger, fear and depression. Holding different opinions is as human as breathing, and differing views should be appreciated. But when they’re delivered with invective and derision, we enter an unproductive, and possibly destructive social arena. We can continue on paths of antagonism and conflict, or we can choose to act with more tolerance, respect and kindness. A positive emotional footprint is what all humans should be striving for. A Editor’s note: Dr. Saul Levine is professor emeritus in psychiatry at UC San Diego. He has published multiple books and blogs for Psychology Today. He and “Our Emotional Footprint” will now appear monthly in the San Diego Jewish Journal. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Levine to our pages.
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I Examining the Jewish San Diego Single this
Also known as “Dating in San Diego is impossible!” BY RABBI JACOB RUPP
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recently had the pleasure of attending an event with a plethora of Jewish singles. I was surprised to learn that so many of them were not single by choice. Instead, they felt the San Diego dating scene was extremely prohibitive. In a room full of nearly 100 Jewish singles, most of whom were put together, financially stable, Jewishly involved, and looking to date, people were complaining there are not enough options in this fine city! Because I am a relationships coach, I wanted to do research. What are the problems? An unscientific poll boiled them down to three: 1.) The other gender had too high or unrealistic expectations. 2.) They (the other gender) didn’t want to commit. 3.) San Diego is too small of a social circle, therefore everyone knows everyone already. The real culprit, though, is the urge to lump everyone together. Making generalizations allows us to escape rather than cope, do the work, and overcome problems. At that Jewish singles event, it was almost comical how the same people who felt that the other gender was so selective and judgemental felt that they were totally open-minded and willing to compromise. So how did they, everyone, get to that point? In our very user friendly, customer centric world, meaningful and committed relationships are especially vulnerable. Deep, meaningful connections require us to step outside of ourselves, away from the personas we carefully curate, and into the unedited truth of who we really are. Judaism teaches that the relationships we have should be intentional; we should figure out what we want and go out and get it. Most people today have a passive approach; see what happens, who comes along, and how things go before making any kind of commitments. Getting clarity in terms of who we want to be with means prioritizing and being selective even at the outset. Don’t date people you wouldn’t want to marry. Don’t start relationships or close friendships with potential partners that you wouldn’t be ok with blossoming into something more. Figure out what you want, and once you know somewhat what you are looking for, you have to go after it like a saleperson pursu-
ing a deal. As Steven Covey so brilliantly said in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” begin with the end in mind. For all of my insanity, the first time I had a real conversation with my future wife, I told my college roommate, “I found the woman I’m going to marry.” It did take four years, but I had the vision from day one. To try a new way of going about the single life (if your goal is to stop being single), apply a sales process to your social life. 1.) Know your product 2.) Know your customer 3.) Get your product in front of the right customer and see if they want to buy. The first step, know your product, means know yourself. This is the most challenging part of the process because self knowledge is difficult. Build up your strong points (perhaps you are a natural people person -- work on getting better at that, learning how to listen better, etc). Put effort into your weaker points (learn how to dance, lose weight, do work you enjoy, etc). Next, you have to find qualified prospects. Like in sales, figure out where your buyers are and go there. The bar in Ensenada, or the office xmas party, while certainly places where people meet, aren’t the ideal places to find your future husband or wife. Pursue your potential clients. Create opportunities for them to really see who you are (not how hot you are, or how nice your car is, but who you really are). And then let them say yes or no. The central shift in thinking is to make the process purposeful. Rarely do we achieve things of value without effort. Tinder and company has completely warped our worldview; people do not parade in front of us waiting for a head nod and there’s no customer service department. When we make rash generalizations, we stop working and start blaming. Rather, we have to do the work, and make the continual effort until success is achieved. The good news is that once we get into the mindset of being intentional, the relationships we do have are infinitely better because we recognize that we are the agents of change, the responsible party for our own happiness, who have the power to change outcomes. A
10th Anniversary of Marshall Blair Anniversary Yahrzeit of Marshall BlairYahrzeit Z’’L Jewish Community and Civic Leader Jewish Community and Civic Leader
Marshall was president of Temple Judea, Tarzana, CA, 1964-67, president of the North American Federation of Temple Brotherhood, president of the San Fernando Valley Mental Health Center, Vice President of the Jewish Chautauqua Society, president of Build Rehabilitation Industries (training and work skills for developmentally challenged adults), president of the Jewish Men’s Club of North County, president of the Burbank Rotary Club, president of PTA, board member of the Hebrew Union College, board member of Tri-City Hospital and board member of Burbank YMCA.
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1921 to Harry and Kate Blair, Marshall was a self-made businessman who moved his family to Northridge, CA in 1957. He started Acme Bearing esident of Temple Judea, Tarzana, CA, 1964-67, president of the San Fernando in Burbank, CA and moved to Oceanside, CA, inskills 1995. Health Center, president of Build Rehabilitation Industries (training and work for Marshall attributed his success to his positive outlook on life his motto being “go, go, go”Federation and to the support and encouragement of his wife, Shirley. Marshall was an ethical y challenged adults),–president of the North American of Temple Brotherbusinessman whopresident helped employees through the trials and tribulations of life. ident of the Jewish Chautauqua Society, of the Jewishand Men’strangers s Club of North
nt of the Burbank Rotary Club, president of PTA, board member the for Hebrew His greatest achievement however, and ofthat which he was proudest, was raising four wonderful and successful board member of Tri-City Hospital and board member of Burbank YMCA.
children – two MDs, one Doctor of Psychology and one JD, all of whom were active growing up in the temple youth group. o, Illinois in 1921 to Harry and Kate Blair, Marshall was a self-made businessman
family to Northridge, CA in 1957. He started Acme Bearing Burbank, CA85. andHe is survived by Shirley, his loving wife of 58 years; Marshall passed away on January 24,in2007 at age nside, CA, in 1995. Marshall his success to hisand positive outlook on life – his grandchildren Molly, Sarah, Kaitlin and Emma; and great childrenattributed Steven, Joyce, Nancy Gary; brother Sidney; , go, go” and to the support and encouragement of hisVivienne. wife, Shirley.HeMarshall wasmissed an grandchildren Sam, Isla and is dearly by all who knew him. man who helped employees and strangers through the trials and tribulations of life.
The Marshall Blair Leadership Fund at Temple Judea, Tarzana, CA was established in his honor.
ievement however, and that for which he was proudest, was raising four wonderful hildren – two MDs, one Doctor of Psychology and one JD, all of whom were active he temple youth group.
d away on January 24, 2007 at age 85. He is survived by Shirley, his loving wife of en Steven, Joyce, Nancy and Gary; brother Sidney; grandchildren Molly, Sarah, ma; and great grandchildren Sam, Isla and Vivienne. He is dearly missed by all .
Bringing Firefighting Into The 21st Century SM
ll Blair Leadership Fund at Temple Judea, Tarzana, CA was established in his honor.
NEW BREAKTHROUGH IN FIRE EXTINGUISHER TECHNOLOGY MAKES HOMES MANY TIMES SAFER
In the residential consumer channel, innovation of portable hand-held extinguisher has not taken place. The industry continues to provide low cost, unreliable, corrosive, environmentally unfriendly and hazardous portable fire extinguishers that are un-effective to “Kitchen” born fires, which according to the NFPA’s November 2016 report, 1,345,500 home fires were reported during 2015 of which 501,500 were structure fires. Almost half (46%) of reported home structure fires were caused by cooking related incidents: • Cooking equipment was involved in an annual average of: • 480 civilian fire deaths, or one of every six (19%) home fire deaths,
• 5,540 civilian fire injuries, or more than two of every five (44%) reported home fire injuries, and • $1.1 billion in direct property damage, or 17% of total direct damage in home structure fires. • Ranges or cooktops, with or without ovens, accounted for the majority (62%) of home cooking fire incidents and even larger shares of civilian deaths (88%). • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires and fire deaths. • More than half (55%) of reported non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occurred when the victims tried to fight the fire themselves.
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Important Things To Think About Brought to you by:
Now that 2016 has come to an end, we look forward to a prosperous 2017. The beginning of the new year also means it’s soon time for tax day again! Here are some things to avoid and smart tasks to consider during this time. Plan Ahead: • File a tax return or extension on time • Pay any taxes owed via direct bank transfer or check/money order • Filed an extension by Tax Day? Use the extra 6 months wisely to prepare before the deadline • Take your time and make sure you have entered everything correctly and completely • Review and adjust your withholding and W-4 if you currently owe taxes • Keep all of your tax documents, tax return copies and receipts for at least 5 years • Maximize retirement plan contributions • Protect your identity by using an Identity Protection PIN provided by the IRS • Create a system for saving receipts and documentation needed for next years filing • Get what’s yours! Research and take advantage of any IRS credits you may qualify for Smart Tasks to Consider: > Open or contribute to a Donor Advised Fund with cash, stocks, real estate or other assets for Charitable Giving and receive immediate tax benefits > Give to Charity - declutter and reap a tax break by donating all of those things you no longer need or want to charitable organizations > Consult with your professional advisor regarding tax, financial and trust planning Things to Avoid: • Not filing a tax return or extension because you don’t have the money to pay your taxes • Reporting false information on a tax return • Paying your tax bill with a high-interest credit card • Claiming a dependent without a social security number • Not checking your entries before filing your tax return The Jewish Community Foundation offers donor support • Waiting until the last minute to file your tax return and services with the utmost confidentiality. • Spending your refund as fast as possible For questions or more information, call (858) 279-2740 • Taking out a refund anticipation loan or email email@example.com. • Ignoring letters from the IRS Jewish Community Foundation San Diego • 858.279.2740 • www.jcfsandiego.org
32 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
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Shevat • Adar 5777 l SDJewishJournal.com 33
Reading Between Brightly-Colored Lines “Eva Hesse” is thorough and diligent but it leaves some questions BY MICHAEL FOX
va Hesse’s childhood was a roller coaster of displacement, reunion, destabilization and trauma. In the journals she kept as a teenager and adult, the German-born, New York-based artist recognized the source of her chronic insecurity. Yet paradoxically, and remarkably, her work evinces no anguish or suffering, and no need to expose or extinguish demons from the past. From Hesse’s early, brightly colored drawings and paintings through the textured, abstract sculptures and installations that made her reputation, her art comprises a series of experiments in forward-looking forms of expression. A palpable labor of love, Marcie Begleiter’s densely detailed documentary, “Eva Hesse,” is a soup-to-nuts portrait that encompasses the artist’s personal life and times – New York in the ’60s – along with her professional development and impact. Begleiter’s diligence notwithstanding, “Eva Hesse” never delivers the “aha” moment where the person and her work snap together, and we understand exactly how Hesse’s defining childhood experiences informed her work. I’ll venture, though, that Holocaust survivors and children of survivors will identify with Hesse’s internalized struggles, and read
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between the lines of her journals and the recollections of her older sister Helen. In 1962, the art-school grad fell in love with and married a hard-partying Irish-American sculptor named Tom Doyle. Because her father insisted that she marry a Jew, Doyle willingly converted to Judaism. Doyle, who was the more advanced and accomplished artist, was offered a residency in Germany a couple years later and the two ended up living there for over a year. Their relationship fractured abroad, in part because of his drinking and flirting, but Hesse made a major leap in her art practice from painting to sculpture. The film generally unfolds chronologically, uses this period of her adulthood in Germany to flash back to Eva’s chaotic childhood. Born in Hamburg in 1936, Eva and Helen were sent on a kindertransport to the Netherlands in 1938. When their parents left Germany several months later, the family reunited and fled Europe for England and, in short order, New York. They were the only members of the family to escape the horror of the Holocaust. When Eva’s mother, who suffered from depression and mental illness, learned in 1946 that her parents had died in the camps, she jumped from a roof to her death. (Eva’s father had separated and remarried by this time.)
While “Eva Hesse” is continually interested in its subject’s mental state, neither the filmmaker nor Eva’s devoted artist friends are especially keen to psychoanalyze her. Perhaps Hesse was scarred by the abandonment of her parents as a toddler, though one could also understand her self-doubts given the establishment of male gallery owners, museum curators and critics. Which brings us to another fundamental paradox of Hesse, namely that the insecurities she voiced in her journals, and in letters to artist, mentor and close friend Sol LeWitt, were matched by an unwavering drive to be an artist, an adherence to her muse (wherever it took her), and the awareness that she was pretty darn good. In fact, Hesse was an extrovert and a lot of fun, by most accounts. From the outset, “Eva Hesse” is plainly not a study of a tortured artist. Nor was she unrecognized and unappreciated in her own lifetime, for she had a major solo show and made the cover of Artforum before she died of a brain tumor in 1970. She was 34 years old. A “Eva Hesse” plays on Feb. 15 at 11 a.m. in Clairemont and again on Feb. 16, also at the Clairemont Reading.
All Complex, No Compromise “The Settlers” traces rocky road to Israel’s present-day dilemma BY MICHAEL FOX
ver the course of nearly two hours, “The Settlers” provokes anger, pride, dismay, frustration and sadness. The only emotion it doesn’t engender is hope. An historical overview of the settlement movement, Shimon Dotan’s thoughtful and mostly even-handed documentary focuses on the half-century since Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza in the Six-Day War on 1967. In essence, the film is a catalog of the numerous occasions when certain rabbis and their impassioned followers, catalyzed by conservative interpretations of the Bible and
Although “The Settlers” primarily views the settlements as a divisive flashpoint among Israelis, the documentary also cites them as a catalyst for the first intifada and an impediment to past and future peace talks with the Palestinians. In a calm, measured voice, Dotan interviews settlers of various backgrounds and orientations, from knowledgeable, strategic leaders of the 1970s Messianic group Gush Emunim to contemporary young settlers whose Zionism is matched by their racism. Dotan uncovers acres of archival footage
ancient events, outmaneuvered the shortsighted, opportunistic or cowardly gambits of a succession of prime ministers. “The Settlers,” in Hebrew an Arabic with English subtitles, is an important work – regardless of where the viewer resides on the religious and political spectrums – in that it provides a short course on a force in Israeli society that presently numbers some 400,000 people in 225 settlements. The settlers’ influence on the Israeli economy is even greater when you tote up the shekels and resources expended over the decades on construction, infrastructure and security. For example, the film points out that 600 settlers live in Hebron surrounded by 200,000 Palestinians.
that evokes the pivotal period after the SixDay War when Israel was compelled to consider anew what kind of country it wanted to be. Yet the defining visual motif of “The Settlers,” repeated dozens of times from as many locations, is a view of the landscape in which a hilltop settlement appears jarringly out of place. While some viewers will feel a sense of accomplishment at the aerial shots of snaking chains of lookalike houses with modern red roofs, it’s more likely that the filmmaker wants us to see the settlements (as well as the separation barrier, which makes a few appearances) as unnatural impositions on the land upon which they’re settled. Although I recommend “The Settlers” as
essential viewing for anyone interested in Israel and with the fortitude for a hard-truths conversation afterward, I don’t envision the film having much influence or impact on debate or policy at home. Religious beliefs, which the film suggests have inspired far more settlers to inhabit the West Bank than political goals or idealistic philosophies, generate their own justification and momentum, and are impervious to reason. The documentary’s brief passages on Baruch Goldstein, Meir Kahane’s friend and follower who killed 29 Muslims worshipping at Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994, and Yigal Amir, the extremist who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, are acutely depressing because they remind us that fanatics will not compromise or negotiate. While documentaries these days strive to leave the viewer in a state of cautious optimism, inspired by visionary activists or leaders committed to possible solutions, “The Settlers” barely makes a feint in that direction. Dotan appears to agree with the left-ofcenter academics who view the settlements as a fait accompli, as well as an existential threat to Israel’s identity and security. Perhaps the best point of reference for “The Settlers” is “The Gatekeepers,” Dror Moreh’s sobering 2012 doc in which a parade of former Shin Bet chiefs recounted, with 20-20 hindsight, the numerous mistakes and miscalculations they and elected leaders made vis a vis the Palestinians. Both films leave us with the unhappy realization that history cannot be undone. But if you subscribe to the impulse – or illusion – that human beings can learn from the past, they provide fleeting solace. A Dov Waxman, Professor of Israel Studies at Northeastern University, who was in San Diego a few months ago to promote his book “Trouble in the Tribe,” will return as a guest speaker for the two showings of “The Settlers” on both Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. and Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. Shevat • Adar 5777 l SDJewishJournal.com 35
A Closer Look at Israel’s Hoop Dreams “On the Map” is unabashedly optimistic, and there couldn’t be a better time for it than now BY MICHAEL FOX
mericans of a certain age fervidly recall the “miracle on ice” at the 1980 Olympics. Three years earlier, Israelis celebrated their own iconic sports moment, also involving the Soviet Union. Los Angeles-based filmmaker Dani Menkin grew up in Tel Aviv, so he was naturally a fan of the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team. In 1977, as the undersized squad defeated one historically strong team in the European league after another, every Israeli became a Maccabi supporter. “When Maccabi Tel Aviv was facing the Russians, who didn’t want to play against Israel, we understood this was bigger than basketball,” Menkin recalls. “If we beat the Russians, and back then the Russians symbolized everything that was against our country, it united us. It crossed politics. It crossed sports rivals. Even Hapoel’s fans were fans of that team because it represented Israel.” The director of the feel-good documentaries “39 Pounds of Love” and “Dolphin Boy,” Menkin was approached by an Israeli tv station to research a potential film about Maccabi Tel Aviv’s remarkable 1977 run. (I’m being vague so as to avoid spoilers.) Menkin was amazed that no one had already told the story, and gratified that he would be the one to do so. “I can almost say that I worked on it for 40 years, because this really was part of my life,” he says.
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Entitled “77-78,” the film debuted on Israeli tv in the fall of 2015. Meanwhile, as Menkin traveled around the U.S. with his fiction film, “Is That You?,” he discovered that hardly any Americans knew about the Maccabi team – or its immense impact on Israeli national pride in the lingering aftermath of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics and the extensive casualties in the Yom Kippur War. So Menkin paired up with L.A. producers Roberta Grossman and Nancy Spielberg on a version of the film for American audiences. He had seen their documentary “Above and Beyond,” about the American Jewish pilots who joined the fight for the new Jewish state’s survival before and during the war of 1948 (“Above and Beyond” played at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival in 2015 to great fanfare). Like the Israeli Independent Army, the legendary Maccabi Tel Aviv team had also benefitted from an infusion from the U.S: It boasted six American players. “On the Map” is a delicious compilation of archival footage, much of it from personal collections and never seen before, interwoven with new interviews with retired player, commentator and San Diego sweetheart Bill Walton and former NBA commissioner David Stern. (A little Walton goes a long way with this writer, while Stern retains his longstand-
ing dedication to innocuous platitudes.) Far more insightful and pleasurable are Menkin’s interviews with the American players, who weren’t good enough to play major minutes in the NBA but achieved stardom, if not immortality, in Israel. The film takes its title and spirit from Maccabi Tel Aviv star Tal Brody’s exuberant pro-Israel declaration, “We are on the map,” following an emblematic victory. One is tempted to conclude that Menkin, an effusively enthusiastic man whose positivity is reflected in his films, internalized the optimism of 1977. “I call our company Hey Jude Productions,” he says, “not only because I’m a big fan of the Beatles, and Paul McCartney specifically, but because of the line, ‘Take a sad song and make it better.’ If you want hard stories, if you want to be depressed, you just have to [turn on] the news. What I’m trying to do is bring more optimistic stories, that have some darker layers but at the end of the day – and this is my philosophy not about filmmaking but about life – we are here to make it better.” A “On the Map” will launch the Jewish Film Fest on Thursday, Feb. 9 from the Clairemont Reading Theater at 7 p.m. This is the only showing scheduled for this film, so catch it while you can. Details at sdcjc.org/sdjff.
Should Comedy Draw a Line at the Holocaust? “The Last Laugh” asks famous Jewish comedians to consider the question
oody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” marked the first time that many people heard the philosophical proposition, expressed by Alan Alda’s character, that “comedy is tragedy plus time.” I’ve always cited the Woodman as the source of the insight, probably because it’s consistent with a Jewish worldview. In fact, another Allen, the late, great comedian, composer and tv host Steve Allen, described the phenomenon in a 1957 magazine interview. Maybe he picked it up from somebody else; in any event, this is what he had to say: “When I explained to a friend recently that the subject matter of most comedy is tragic (drunkenness, overweight, financial problems, accidents, etc.), he said, ‘Do you mean to tell me that the dreadful events of the day are a fit subject for humorous comment?’ The answer is ‘No, but they will be pretty soon.’” Ferne Pearlstein’s wonderfully entertaining and provocative documentary, “The Last Laugh,” asks a gaggle of comedians as well as the viewer if there might be one subject that defies Allen’s thesis. Seventy years on, is the Holocaust still off limits for purveyors of punch lines? Are there subjects that cannot and should not be the subject of jokes? Or are some of the functions of humor -- healing, confronting uncomfortable truths from oblique angles, challenging stereotypes -- applicable even in the case of targeted genocide? Finally, as the great wit Hillel famously
BY MICHAEL FOX asked his students at a late-night yeshiva improv set, “If not now, when?” Pearlstein puts the question to Jewish humorists, interspersing their incisive comments with a parade of clips from films and tv shows that comprise a kind of Rorschach test for the viewer. The expert witnesses include Rob Reiner, Harry Shearer, Gilbert Gottfried and Larry Charles, who grapple with the topic with both hilarious and discomfiting results. As you’d imagine, given their ethnic backgrounds and line of work, they’ve given the matter considerable thought over the years. Mel Brooks, who displayed unimaginable chutzpah and courage in conceiving and producing “The Producers” 50 years ago, cites Charlie Chaplin’s brilliant “The Great Dictator” to illustrate the power of mockery and ridicule to cut the Nazis down to size. Another interviewee provides a reminder that humor played an important role in the camps, providing a brief escape from bleak reality and a way of maintaining one’s humanity and dignity. But it’s another matter altogether to mine the camps or victims for laughs. (Here’s where the late Joan Rivers makes an appearance with a jaw-dropping one-liner from some archived late-night show.) Of course, one of the jobs of comedians is to step over the line, in order to impel us to consider where the line is. (Come on down, Sarah Silverman.) And given the prominence
of the Holocaust in shaping the identity of at least two generations of American Jews, it is a taboo that needs to be examined. Too soon (to use the catchphrase du jour)? About time, I’d say. Pearlstein implicitly acknowledges two important caveats, however. The reality of the Holocaust can’t be ignored or subsumed in a theoretical discussion of contemporary attitudes, and those who endured the camps should be allowed to comment on what’s funny. Stalwart survivor Renee Firestone acts as a thread and guidepost throughout “The Last Laugh,” reminding us of the deadly toll of the Holocaust as well as the determination and, yes, good humor required to create a satisfying life after the darkness of Europe. Firestone inspires us to consider the highest and best use of memory, and in the context of the film to see humor as a constructive way of remembering and revisiting tragedy that instills strength. Over and over, “The Last Laugh” eschews glib analysis in pursuit of deeper truths. And those are always the best punchlines. A “The Last Laugh” screens twice at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival – first on Feb. 11 in Clairemont at 6:30 p.m. and again on Feb. 12 in Carlsbad at 7:30 p.m. For details on those screenings, visit sdcjc.org/sdjff. And if you miss the show in San Diego, mark your calendars for the PBS premiere on April 24 at 10 p.m. Shevat • Adar 5777 l SDJewishJournal.com 37
Fighting for a Woman’s P lace in Shul “The Women’s Balcony” is a crowdpleasing fable BY MICHAEL FOX
et among a congregation of observant Jews in a quiet neighborhood in the Old City, “The Women’s Balcony” begins with a Bar Mitzvah and ends with a wedding. But there’s plenty of tsurris between the celebrations, triggered by a structural collapse just before the haftorah that shutters the shul and threatens the foundation of the affable community. An opportunistic ultra-Orthodox rabbi offers hope and a plan for rebuilding the synagogue,
but his teachings and strategy provoke the women into opposition. Emil Ben Shimon’s thoroughly enjoyable film, from Shlomit Nechama’s warm, wise screenplay, pays delicious homage to the autonomy and power of women in traditional religious patriarchies. A crowd-pleasing fable with a humanistic worldview and a political undercurrent, “The Women’s Balcony” also has the backbone to critique an adherence to scripture that overrules fundamental values of com-
passion and understanding. A “The Women’s Balcony” screens On Feb. 17 at 10:30 a.m. at the JCC Garfield Theatre and on Feb. 19 at 4 p.m. at the Carlsbad Village Theatre. The director Emil Ben-Shimon will offer a Q&A after the screening on Feb. 17, along with Temple Emanu-El’s Rabbi Devorah Marcus. Rabbi Lenore Bohm will lead a discussion after the screening on Feb. 19. Tickets and information at sdcjc.org/sdjff.
Hope is Eternal and Butterflies Continue to Soar Documentary film extends the reach of the Butterfly Project BY BRIE STIMSON
he last – the very last – so richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow, that butterfly was the last one. Butterflies don’t live in here in the ghetto.” The poem, written by Pavel Friedman, a prisoner at the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, was the inspiration for the ongoing Butterfly Project, and the catalyst for the documentary “NOT The Last Butterfly,” which will show at the San Diego Jewish Film Festival this month. The documentary begins with a series of stunning ceramic butterflies shown being painted by happy, smiling children. These images are interrupted by black and white photos of people in concentration camps and Hitler screaming. A young-sounding female voice reminds the viewer of the eerie reality that although Hitler said he wanted to kill all the Jews in Europe, not many peo38 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
ple believed he actually would – so nobody stopped him. The film is the story of the Butterfly Project, created to memorialize the 1.5 million children killed in the Holocaust. It takes the viewer through the project’s humble beginnings at the San Diego Jewish Academy to a Holocaust survivor’s journey back to her little room at the Terezin concentration camp. The story focuses on the children at the Terezin ghetto camp, which was a camp unlike many others in that it had a cluster of Jews who once had vibrant lives the arts, sciences and universities together with an abundance of children. Although it was forbidden, the scholars would teach the children when the Nazi guards weren’t watching. When the guards did come around, someone would give a warning whistle and the children would
PHOTOS BY DAISY VARLEY FOR SAN DIEGO JIEWHS JOURNAL
The sad fact relayed at the end of the film is that of the 15,000 children, only 100 survived. break into song and dance to mask their lessons. In 1943, an artist from the Bauhaus named Friedl Dicker Brandeis arrived at the camp with mostly art supplies in her suitcase. Brandeis became the symbol of hope for many of the children in Terezin who learned to paint and draw as a therapeutic outlet for their circumstances. Several of the survivors of Terezin interviewed for “NOT the Last Butterfly” thought of Brandeis as a motherly figure who made them feel a tiny bit of normalcy in an otherwise horrific situation. Brandeis not only taught the children to express themselves artistically, but she saved the paintings in her suitcases and hid them. Miraculously, the Nazis didn’t find them. They weren’t discovered until after the war. Some of the drawings and paintings can be found in a book called “I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” which contains Friedman’s poem, and inspired San Diego Jewish Academy teacher and co-founder of the Butterfly Project Jan Landau to come up with the idea. She says she wanted to find a new way to teach children about the Holocaust. Landau was also inspired by the documentary “Paperclips,” about a school in Tennessee that, in the face of Holocaust deniers, began to collect paperclips to represent the victims. After reading the poem and thinking about the beauty and hope that butterflies
represent, Landau knew her project had to be about the beautiful insects, and the butterfly project was born. Landau brought in local San Diego artist Cheryl Rattner Price who came up with the butterfly design. Price, who became the co-founder of the project, also produced and directed the film. “NOT the Last Butterfly” takes the viewer through the inception of the project to its international outreach. Celebrities like John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Marvin Hamlisch have all painted butterflies. Both Landau and Rattner Price make it clear in the film that the Butterfly Project, to them, was partially a way to connect children today with the Holocaust, without scaring them. Both said the tragedy of the Holocaust had been taught to them in an abrupt way that they feel is hard for a child to absorb and understand. “I didn’t want it to be something that was sad for them,” Landau, who calls the project “a huge responsibility,” remembers, “something that was going to make them scared or cry.” She came up with the name “Zikaron V’Tikvah,” which means “Remembrance and Hope” in Hebrew. “You remember a terrible thing in your history,” she says, “but you have to have hope.” Each ceramic butterfly in the Butterfly Project symbolizes one child killed in the
Holocaust. The children who paint the butterflies are often given a card with a child’s photo and story so they can understand that their butterfly is not just a work of art, but a work of remembrance and love. The sad fact relayed at the end of the film is that of the 15,000 children held at Terezin, only 100 survived – a reality that continues to be unimaginable to me. Although the Butterfly Project began in San Diego, the movement and the documentary are international and should resonate with anyone who loves children, no matter who they are or where they are. “NOT The Last Butterfly” reminds us that hope is eternal as long as there is love and compassion, and that if we never forget we can make sure it never happens again. A “NOT The Last Butterfly” will have two screenings at the Jewish Film Fest, Sunday, Feb. 12. The first is at 10:30 a.m. at the San Marcos Regal 18 and the second is at 1:30 p.m. at the JCC in La Jolla. Landau and Rattner Price will be available for Q&A at each screening, and butterfly painting is scheduled to take place afterward. These screenings are free to teachers and students, but they must register through the JCC box office. Prior to this San Diego showing, “NOT the Last Butterfly” toured to three cities in Latvia and showed at the JCC Manhattan. From here, the film continues to Jewish Film Festivals in Palm Beach and Atlanta. Shevat • Adar 5777 l SDJewishJournal.com 39
To Be Special, Be Yourself Israeli actress Da na Ivgy begins Sa n Diego residency appears twice at , Jewish Film Fest ival BY NATALIE JACOBS
nlike the character she portrays in “Zero Motivation,” Israeli actress Dana Ivgy has plenty of reasons to wake up in the morning. And for the next three months, she’ll be doing that waking up in San Diego where she’s stationed as a visiting professor and artist at the San Diego State School of Theatre, Television and Film.
work a lot and talk less.” Dana Ivgy, 34, starred most recently in “Zero Motivation,” a critically acclaimed comedy that follows Zohar (Ivgy’s character) and a handful of her fellow female IDF soldiers through their mind-numbing administrative jobs deep in the Israeli desert. The film is a feature-length extension of director Talya
years ago, when she played the defiant soldier character who had a slightly different name in the student film. “[Talya said she] thought I was a rebellious personality and she couldn’t believe that I would be a commander.” Ivgy plays Zohar with such convincing apathy that if “Zero Motivation” is the only film
Stills from “Zero Motivation” in which Dana Ivgy stars as a disinterested IDF Soldier. The film screens Feb. 19 at the Jewish Film Festival.
According to Ivgy, the Schusterman Family Foundation, which runs the two-year-old visiting Israeli artist program, pursued her for a while. “Americans are so well planned,” she says over the phone from Israel, “anything that we were talking about was like a year ahead.” In Israel, between movie gigs, Ivgy teaches acting with an independent theater group she started in collaboration with fellow Israeli actors, writers and directors. She says they’ve developed something of a method which she’ll be using in her acting courses at SDSU – “acting to the camera” and another on “collaborative creation.” “I’m planning just to work a lot with the students. I’m hoping that we can even get to create their own materials ... I really like to 40 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
Levie’s short student film “The Substitute” which Ivgy acted in 10 years before “Zero Motivation.” When Levie finished writing the full-length version, she contacted Ivgy with the idea that she, having aged 10 years, would play the role of the battalion’s commander, Rama. In “Zero Motivation,” the staunch Rama character tries urgently to get a handle on her unruly group of girls in order to work her way into the ranks of more prestigious officer posts. Rama is unsuccessful in this effort, thanks in large part to Zohar. “We both thought that I grew up. It turns out that I didn’t,” Ivgy says with a laugh. When they tested Ivgy as the Rama character, she says they quickly realized that Ivgy looked pretty much the same as she did 10
you watch Ivgy in, it’s almost hard to imagine she herself has managed a successful career. Not so for the young star. She was awarded a Best Actress prize from the Israel Film Academy for that role and the film won Best Narrative Feature and the Nora Ephron Prize at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. She won her first Best Actress award in 2004 for her role as the teen daughter of a prostitute in “Or (My Treasure).” Ivgy’s parents Moshe Ivgy and Irit Sheleg, now divorced, are also actors. Dana and her father have so far appeared in one film together, “Haiu Leilot (There Were Nights).” During her time in San Diego, Ivgy will also serve as one of three jurors for the Joyce Forum short film competition at the 27th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival. A favor-
PROGRAM #1 BUZZ AT BREAKFAST Monday, Feb. 13, 10 a.m. “The Picture on the Fridge” (pictured above) is a fantastical look inside a photograph.
PROGRAM #1 BUZZ AT BREAKFAST Monday, Feb. 13, 10 a.m. “The Lost Tribe” (pictured above) introduces one woman in China who tries to preserve her Jewish heritage.
PROGRAM #3 HAPPY HOUR & A HALF Monday, Feb. 13, 5 p.m. “The Little Dictator” (pictured above) is a brief look into a terrible shaving mistake.
PROGRAM #3 HAPPY HOUR & A HALF Monday, Feb. 13, 5 p.m. “The Postman in Underwear” (pictured above) follows a postman through the perils of love.
“My acting teacher would always say ‘If you want to be special you should be yourself because everyone’s trying to be special. If you’re going to try to be special you’re going to end up like everyone else.’”
PROGRAM #2 LENSES AFTER LUNCH Monday, Feb. 13, 2 p.m. “Mr. Bernstein” (pictured above) explores a father’s connection with Leonard Bernstein.
PROGRAM #4 DISCOVERY AFTER DINNER Monday, Feb. 13, 8 p.m. “Spring Chicken” (pictured above) follows Holocaust survivor Anny Juneck on Purim.
ite among festival-goers, the Joyce Forum consists of 23 films, each 30 minutes or less, shown across a day-long program. Ivgy and her fellow judges – filmmaker Irina Isaeva and SDSU professor emeritus Lawrence Baron – will decide on winners in five categories: Best Short Film; Best Short Documentary; Special Jury Award; Best Director; and Best Short Narrative. Ivgy says she’ll be looking for work that showcases the filmmaker’s unique point of view. “The more individual and personal it is, the more interesting it is for me. ... My acting teacher would always say ‘If you want to be special you should be yourself because everyone’s trying to be special. If you’re going to try to be special you’re going to end up like everyone else.’
“The more I watch films and art [the more I realize] it’s a very simple kind of thing that he said but it’s very true. I get very excited when I see something that someone’s really saying – it could be from their heart, their brain, their dreams, but the more individual it is, the more interesting it is.” The film “Zero Motivation” is also playing at this year’s Jewish Film Festival and Ivgy will be there to answer questions after the showing on Feb. 19. A The Joyce Forum Film Shorts will show on Feb. 13 at the ArcLight Theatres in UTC mall from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. “Zero Motivation” plays on Feb. 19 at Clairemont Reading Cinemas at 4:15 p.m. Visit sdcjc.org/sdjff to purchase tickets. Shevat • Adar 5777 l SDJewishJournal.com 41
SAN DIEGO JEWISH FILM F E S T I VA L SCHEDULE 2017
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 8 7 p.m.; JCC Garfield Theatre “Rosenwald”
THURSDAY, FEB. 9 7 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “On the Map”
FRIDAY, FEB. 10
4p.m.; Carlsbad Village Theatre “Germans and Jews” 4:30 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Amor”
10:30 a.m.; JCC Garfield Theatre “Hollow Dog”
4:30 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “Murder in Polná, part 1”
1:30 p.m.; JCC Garfield Theatre “Essential Link: The Story of Wilfrid Israel”
5 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “The Settlers”
SATURDAY, FEB. 11 6 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “The Settlers” 6:30 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “The Last Laugh” 7:30 p.m.; Carlsbad Village Theatre “Essential Link: The Story of Wilfrid Israel” 9 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Dirty Wolves”
SUNDAY, FEB. 12 10:30 a.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Hollow Dog” 10:30 a.m.; Edwards San Marcos “NOT The Last Butterfly” 11 a.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Cloudy Sunday” 1:30 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Fanny’s Journey” (Marla Bennett Tribute) 1:30 p.m.; JCC Garfield Theatre “NOT The Last Butterfly” 1:30 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger” 2 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Thank You for Calling” 2 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “Operation Wedding” 42 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
4 p.m.; JCC Garfield Theatre “Mr. Predictable” Flix Mix young adults event, film begins at 5 p.m.
5 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Forever Pure” 6:15 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “Murder in Polná, part 2” 7:30 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Morgenthau” 7:30 p.m.; Carlsbad Village Theatre “The Last Laugh” 8 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “Dirty Wolves” 8 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Lamb”
MONDAY, FEB. 13 10 a.m.; ArcLight La Jolla “Buzz at Breakfast” Joyce Shorts Program 2 p.m.; ArcLight La Jolla “Lenses After Lunch” Joyce Shorts Program 5 p.m.; ArcLight La Jolla “Happy Hour and a Half” Joyce Shorts Program 7 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “Forever Pure” 8 p.m.; ArcLight La Jolla “Discovery After Dinner” Joyce Shorts Program
FILM FESTIVAL TUESDAY, FEB. 14 11 a.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Fanny’s Journey” (Marla Bennett Tribute) 1:30 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “The Mezuzah” 2 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Morgenthau” 4 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now” 5 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “The Origin of Violence”
7:30 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Cloudy Sunday”
7:30 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “Moos” (Flix Mix North County)
8 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “The People vs. Fritz Bauer”
7:30 p.m.; Carlsbad Village Theatre “Mr. Predictable”
8 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “Kapo in Jerusalem”
9 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Kapo in Jerusalem”
THURSDAY, FEB. 16
SUNDAY, FEB. 19
11 a.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “The Mezuzah” 1:30 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Eva Hesse”
10:15 a.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Keep Quiet!” 10:45 a.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “The People vs. Fritz Bauer” 1 p.m.; JCC Garfield Theatre “Murder in Polná, part 1”
5 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “Lamb”
2 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Mr. Predictable”
6 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Operation Wedding” Teens screening with pizza, film begins at 7 p.m.
4:30 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now”
1:15 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “The Incomparable Rose Hartman”
5 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Moos”
1:45 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “1945”
5 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “The People vs. Fritz Bauer”
2:45 p.m.; JCC Garfield Theatre “Murder in Polná, part 2”
8 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Fever at Dawn”
7:30 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Dirty Wolves”
4 p.m.; Carlsbad Village Theatre “The Women’s Balcony”
8 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “Rabin in His Own Words”
8 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Keep Quiet”
4:15 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Zero Motivation”
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 15
8 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “Wounded Land”
4:45 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “The Origin of Violence”
FRIDAY, FEB. 17
7:30 p.m.; Carlsbad Village Theatre “Fever at Dawn”
7 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Operation Wedding” public screening
11 a.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Eva Hesse” 1:30 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Lamb”
10:30 a.m.; JCC “The Women’s Balcony”
2 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Amor”
1:30 p.m.; JCC “Germans and Jews”
4:30 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “The Incomparable Rose Hartman”
SATURDAY, FEB. 18
5 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “Fanny’s Journey” (Marla Bennett Tribute) 5 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Rabin in His Own Words”
7:45 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Body and Soul: An American Bridge”
6 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Wounded Land” 6;30 p.m.; Clairemont Reading 14 “Thank You for Calling” 7:00 p.m.; Edwards San Marcos “1945” Shevat • Adar 5777 l SDJewishJournal.com 43
Randall Christopher and the San Diego illustrator nears completion on animated short about Adolf Eichmann and Zvi Aharoni in Argentina
hen Randall Christopher read a front-page article about Adolf Eichmann in the New York Times last year, the San Diego-based artist had only a preliminary understanding of the Holocaust. He was aware that it happened and that it was terrible, but that was about the extent of it. Randall, who is not Jewish, grew up in Florida and says before last year, he wouldn’t have recognized the name Adolf Eichmann as one associated with the Holocaust. The article he read in the Times was a small piece about the letter that Eichmann hand-wrote to Israeli president Yitzhak BenZvi. It was 1962 and Eichmann was pleading for pardon after being convicted and sentenced to death for the war crimes he perpetrated against millions of Jews during the Holocaust. In the letter, NYT’s Isabel Kershner reports, Eichmann begged for the Israel Supreme Court to “draw a line between the leaders responsible and the people like me forced to serve as mere instruments in the hands of the leaders.” The article was published when the Israel State Archives released the Eichmann letter to the public. Reading the article, Randall realized how little he actually knew about 44 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
the Holocaust and was inspired to work backward from the Eichmann trial into the annals of history. “As I started watching some documentaries and reading some books, my head was spinning,” he says one brisk evening at Holsem Coffee in North Park. “I was asking my-
“As I started watching some documentaries and reading some books, my head was spinning. I was asking myself these questions like how did this happen? self these questions like how did this happen? “It’s a weird situation where you have Western values, ostensibly even a Christian nation, that this happened in. It’s not some barbaric war. It’s a systematic, calculated murder. How did a country get to that point? The whole country was on board? That’s crazy to me.” After about a month of attempting to understand the hows and whys of the Third Reich and the Holocaust, Randall decided to
BY NATALIE JACOBS
make an animated short film. He focused on the unsung hero of the Eichmann retrieval operation, Zvi Aharoni, the Mossad agent who discovered Eichmann living and working in Argentina. “I Watched Ricardo Klement Get Off the Bus” is a first person narration that imagines Aharoni telling the story of how he discovered Adolf Eichmann, who was using the pseudonym Ricardo Klement, on public transportation “at the end of the earth,” as Randall puts it. The film briefly mentions Aharoni’s own experiences living through the Holocaust, and touches on the brutal “murder factory” at Treblinka. But mostly, the short is about the James Bond aspects of the stakeout and capture of this notorious war criminal, 15 years after the demise of Eichmann’s Nazi co-conspirators. Randall Christopher is an artist, illustrator and animator who has published comic books and animated short films. He also coruns the popular San Diego drawing meetup Sketch Party and paints with acrylic, mostly on wood panels. “It’s all funny,” Randall says of his animation work prior to “Ricardo Klement.” “Nothing like this. I wasn’t looking for something like this, but the story found me.”
Spy Who Enthralled Him
Although his work is usually light hearted – a pigeon named Bear playing chess with a snake named Fox; skater bros trying to get their board back from a hound dog who resembles a Vietnam vet; cat tessellations – Randall says he thinks about deeper stuff like politics and culture all the time. Since beginning the film, he’s talked with friends and acquaintances about the things he’s learned about the Holocaust and the Third Reich and has been dismayed to realize that many people don’t know much about the history. “I do think people need to hear about this,” he says. “We hear that all the time and it’s a cliché at this point, but that doesn’t change anything. It’s still something that I really feel like people need to know about. Because it could happen again.” He sees similarities between Hitler’s rise to power and the current populist movement skyrocketing forward with the election of Donald Trump. “I have a much more thorough knowledge of what led to the Third Reich and how Hitler was democratically elected. I don’t know if two years ago I could have said that. “He came to power saying literally I’m going to get jobs back and I’m going to make Germany great again – everything that we’re
hearing now. If I hadn’t done this project, I would have problems with what Trump’s saying but now it’s like, dude, he’s saying the exact same stuff Hitler was saying. For sure. It’s not even debatable.” There are approximately 100 drawings in the 14-minute short film. Randall drew them all. When it came time to draw Hitler, he says he was having trouble finding a photo he liked. “I decided to just do a freeze frame from one of his speeches,” Randall explains. “I was in Influx café in Golden Hill watching Hitler speeches. There was a real moment for me where I’m watching it and it really sunk in. It seems like ancient history. It’s abstract. But, I’m watching video of this guy. This wasn’t a movie. This really happened. That guy was real. Millions of people died because of that one person. It really registered.” What started out as a “fun spy film” turned into a project that connected Randall Christopher to a history that isn’t really so far away. “I’m hoping this film does that for other people,” he says. In addition to doing all the drawings and animation, Randall wrote the script. A close friend and collaborator is creating music
for the original score, an expert touch that makes the film seem more full, urgent and exciting. The actor Mark Pinter provides the voice-over of Zvi Aharoni with an enthralling German-Hebrew hybrid accent. Randall is still working on the finishing touches of the film, but he produced a live version last summer at Verbatim Books in North Park. Mark Pinter performed, alongside a violinist and scenes from the film. Afterward, Randall gave a lecture and local Holocaust survivor Rose Schindler spoke and answered questions from the full house. Randall says he would ultimately like to do more presentations like this with the film, but first he’s aiming for a world premiere at a major film festival. Ideally for Randall, this would happen sooner rather than later. “When you’re sitting in front of Rose Schindler and she has a short sleeve shirt on and you can see the tattoo, something registers. It helps people cross that threshold and you realize it’s really important for people to know about this.” Once the film receives its festival debut, Randall would like to release it online for free. A
Shevat • Adar 5777 l SDJewishJournal.com 45
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46 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
1/24/17 11:54 AM
URJ Opens Sci-Tech Camp Celebrates 18th summer camp, to open in 2018 BY NATALIE JACOBS
lmost exactly a year after they opened their Southern California sports camp, the Union for Reform Judaism is announcing that it will open its 18th North American summer camp. The 6 Points SciTech Academy, for campers grades 5-11, is the organization’s second science and technology specialty camp (the first is in Boston). “Our ambitious goals of opening a camp a year are being realized as a result of the URJ’s effective Campaign for Youth Engagement, which has grown annually for nine consecutive years,” said URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs in a press release. The new science camp is supported by a grant from the Foundation for Jewish Camp and the Jim Joseph and AVI CHAI Foundations. Jordanna Flores has been tapped to serve as Sci-Tech Academy West Director, from her most recent post as Assistant Director of
HUC-JIR’s School of Education on the Los Angeles campus. URJ leadership notes that they are opening this second science camp location to respond to the “growing interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).” Organizers say that Jewish values and scientific rigor complement each other in the camp environment. URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy focuses on skills “such as critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, flexiblity and perseverance.” The West Coast academy will open in the summer of 2018 and is expecting “several hundred campers” in a to-be-determined Southern California location. Find more details on the existing science camp and what can be expected for the Southern California location at 6pointsscitech.org. A
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Shevat • Adar 5777 l SDJewishJournal.com 47
Camp Gilboa Celebrates Successful Purchase of Camp Site After five years and lots of community support, a loan for the Big Bear site has been paid in full BY DALIT SHLAPOBERSKY OF CAMP GILBOA
eflecting back on the past five and a half years, everyone involved with Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa is filled with joy and gratitude to the community. Since the 1990s, Camp Gilboa grew steadily in rented campsites, and developed a dynamic, thoughtful, youth-led program. But rented campsites limited the number of campers Gilboa could serve, and restricted the ability to fully implement a Habonim Dror program. In early spring 2011, Camp Gilboa was struggling to secure a location for the summer. In what seemed like a real shidduch, Gilboa encountered the Wildlands Conservancy, a nature conservation organization that was looking to sell a lake-side property in Big Bear, CA. This historic campsite, where the original “Parent Trap” was filmed during the 1970s, was purchased and extensively renovated by the Wildlands Conservancy five years earlier. It was fully equipped and ready to be run that summer, and seemed 48 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
wonderfully suited to become the new home for Camp Gilboa. What’s more (did we mention shidduch?) the Wildlands Conservancy, an organization committed to the preservation of open space and to the promotion of environmental conservation, felt that the values shared by the two organizations made Gilboa the most suitable new owner of the site, and they extended to Gilboa a five-year-no-interest payment plan on the $2.5 million price tag on the site. With an outpouring of support from the community (and one foundational gift from a long time Habonim family), and more than five years, the funds to complete the purchase have now been raised. During these years, with the support of the Jewish Federation and the Foundation for Jewish Camp, Gilboa grew to serve many more campers (almost 60 percent more than in that first summer in the new camp). Two new facilities, a pool and a basketball court, were built at camp with grants from the Real Estate Principals organi-
zation of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation, and an archery program was put in place. The new Camp Gilboa home has allowed campers and young staff to blossom in the creative, inclusive, Jewish and Israel-centered programming and environment. As part of the Habonim Dror youth movement, the Camp Gilboa program is uniquely designed to be sharing with campers responsibilities beyond those offered in a typical summer camp experience. In this environment, Gilboa campers mature and thrive as conscientious and involved young Jews. They explore the Jewish values of social justice and equality in a supportive camp setting, and are offered a unique opportunity to become young adult leaders. The new Gilboa, now fully paid for and secured for the future, will be home for new generations of young Jews committed to their community, to grow and thrive in. A To learn more about Camp Gilboa, visit campgilboa.org.
Shevat â€¢ Adar 5777 l SDJewishJournal.com 49
Camp Ramah Begins California Expansion Conservative camp adds 174 acres to Southern California facilities BY NATALIE JACOBS
n mid December, Camp Ramah in California announced it closed escrow on property next to its existing Ojai, Calif., facility and campgrounds. The new land, situated just north of the existing grounds, will extend the camp north and west by 174 more acres. This brings the total size of the Southern California camp to 445 contiguous acres. In their 2011 “Camp Works” report the Foundation for Jewish Camp found that 70,000 Jewish kids attended Jewish camp in the summer of 2010. Through their population study of 26 communities across the
country, the report found that as adults, campers are 21 percent more likely than their Jewish, non-camp-attending peers to feel that being Jewish is very important. Similarly, campers were found to be 45 percent more likely to attend synagogue at least once a month as adults, and 37 percent more likely to light candles regularly for Shabbat. Camp Ramah sees their California expansion as a way to increase those numbers for future generations of Jewish kids and adults. “We are thrilled to announce this additional acreage in Ojai,” said Rabbi Joe Me-
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nashe, executive director of Camp Ramah in California, in a statement. “This will enhance our site’s experiential education and ensure long-term preservation of this pristine landscape for generations to come. This addition will mean we are better positioned to offer the gift of a Jewish summer camp experience, which studies continue to show fosters life-long Jewish engagement and cements and enriches Jewish identities throughout lifetimes.” A For more information and to follow their progress, visit ramah.org.
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loving mother, wife, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away on September 30, 2016. She was predeceased by her husband of sixty four years, Gerald (Gerry) Rosenbaum. She leaves her daughters: Joan Asarnow (Robert) of Pacific Palisades, CA and Nancy Rosenbaum of Glastonbury, CT; her sister Pearl Levine of Massapequa Park, New York; her grandchildren, David Asarnow, Lauren Asarnow Seider, Lindsay Reik, Emily Reik (deceased), and great grandchildren, Max, Caleb, and Leo. Born on April 1, 1925 in Brooklyn, NY to Henry Spiro and Dora Lofsky, Ruth received a BA from Brooklyn College in 1945. She lived for 38 years in the Detroit area where she served as Michigan Regional Director of the American Jewish Congress. After she and Gerry moved to Rancho Santa Fe in 1989, Ruth was active in Hadassah, the Jewish Federation and the Brandeis Women’s Club. She was honored with a National Leadership Award from Hadassah in 2004.
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Shevat • Adar 5777 l SDJewishJournal.com 51
||| EDUCATION |||
Pre-K Class Culminates Tzedaka Project with Trip to Humane Society SUBMITTED BY SOILLE HEBREW DAY
he Hummingbird Pre-Kindergarten class of Paula Tannen Preschool was abuzz with excitement. Since school began at the end of August, the Hummingbirds have put a penny in a tzedaka box of their choice daily during tefilla. Each child has the opportunity to select one of three areas to give his or her shiny penny. One box is collected for people who are poor, one tzedaka box goes to Israeli soldiers, and the third is for animals. In what may be the youngest philanthropy training program, these 4-5-year-olds watch as their pennies stack up. Remarkably, children think long and hard before they settle on which worthy cause will earn their nearly 1,800 coins.
In an effort to show students the impact of those pennies, the Hummingbird morot took the group on a field trip to the Humane Society in January to meet the animals who will be benefiting from their donations. This will be the second time the preschoolers are donating a full jar of pennies. Before winter break, the Hummingbirds offered their jar of pennies for the poor to One Family Fund, a combined charitable effort called “Penny Wars” that combined a united goal of giving with friendly competition between the preschool and each grade (K-8) of Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School. That combined effort generated $1,300 in donated funds for the nonprofit. A
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Helping Alternative Medicine Go Mainstream Bastyr University California teaches students and patients how to take better control of their own health BY BRIE STIMSON
astyr University, a school and clinic specializing in naturopathic medicine, is focused not only on alternative remedies, but also on the personal relationship between doctors and patients. Their philosophy, rather than to just treat the problem, is to care for the whole person. “It’s hard to get to know somebody and really get to the root of what’s the problem if you’re only spending a few minutes with them,” assistant professor Dr. Ryan McNally, says. Dr. McNally, who mainly does cardiology, endocrinology and minor surgery, and most recently worked in internal medicine at a private practice in Texas, says he knows how impersonal and hurried a doctor visit can be. “People when they leave say ‘I’ve never had a doctor spend so much time with me,’” he explains. The school, which graduated its first class last year, also puts a lot of emphasis on what it calls lifestyle coaching. “If you think about a typical visit to a primary care office, 15 minutes is not a long time for lifestyle [consulting],” he says. Visits at the university’s clinic usually last 30 minutes to an hour. The school’s flagship degree is in naturopathic medicine and Dr. McNally says, more and more, patients are looking for integrat-
ed medicine, a combination of conventional and alternative medicine. “I think the pendulum is swinging. It’s been swinging for a while,” he says. “There’s so much more research being done in integrated medicine these days that it’s getting a lot of background and understanding in what these things are doing … As that continues to move forward it is helping to drive [the push toward naturopathic medicine.]” At the small clinic across the parking lot from the school, doctors perform eye exams, heart exams, minor surgery and an array of other services. Dr. McNally says in many cases, the clinic gives patients more options than other clinics. For example, Bastyr is able to treat patients conventionally, but can also provide a more natural alternative if it is safe and healthy for the patient. “If you have an infection, we’ll treat it with an antibiotic just like going to your primary care provider, but if you have something like diabetes we’re going to spend a lot of time on lifestyle, your sleep, what you’re eating, how you’re exercising, your stress levels etcetera,” he says. Students in the university’s naturopathic program get the same science-based training as any other medical student, studying anatomy, biology and physiology, and Dr. McNally says they often get more hands-on
time with cadavers than other programs. McNally says most hospitals now have integrated centers – a trend that is being driven mainly by patients. “If you’re the only hospital in the area that doesn’t have an integrated center, then you’re kind of at a disadvantage,” McNally says. The clinic does physical medicine (the kind offered by chiropractors), herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, pharmacology and homeopathy (minute doses of natural substances). Cancer patients also come to the clinic for intravenous therapies. Bastyr also uses mind-body medicine to treat anxiety and depression, two of the most common ailments patients come in with, Dr. McNally says. Although they don’t have a therapist on staff, they teach patients mindfulness, meditation biofeedback and guided imagery. At the clinic, they believe the doctor is a teacher. “We do a lot of patient education,” he says. “It’s nice to teach them some skills that they can bring with them and practice at home because you can only do so much with the medication,” McNally says.A Bastyr University California is located at 4106 Sorrento Valley Blvd. Learn more about their courses and clinic at bastyr.edu/california.
Shevat • Adar 5777 l SDJewishJournal.com 53
||| THEATER |||
A Decade of Theatrical Delights La Jolla Playhouse celebrates Artistic Director Chris Ashley’s years with “Come From Away” concert and gala BY PAT LAUNER
o mark his 10-year anniversary as artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse, Christopher Ashley was cheerfully ready to break out all his Yiddish words and expressions for this interview. “Yiddish is deeply embedded in the vocabulary of people who make theater,” the affable Ashley said. “There are words for feelings and things – like kvelling and schmatte – that have no English equivalent.” When he was directing “His Girl Friday” at the Playhouse in 2013, his leading man was Douglas Sills, a Jewish actor who insisted that current performers don’t know any Yiddish. He bet Chris $100 that the average person in the cast wouldn’t be able to translate more than a couple of Yiddish words. They compiled a list of 100 words and expressions, “starting from common ones like meeskite and mensch,” Chris recalls. The average familiarity score was 37 out of 100. 54 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
“So I won the bet,” says Chris. “You make theater, you know Yiddish.” Mensch that he is, Ashley didn’t make Sills pay up – but he did allow the actor to take his director out to dinner. Being a director, specializing in musicals, it’s hard to avoid a Jewish sensibility, because so many of the creators of musical theater were/are Jewish: from Irving Berlin to Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin to Kurt Weill, Stephen Sondheim to Stephen Schwartz. As Sir Robin sings to King Arthur in the spoofy “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” “In any great adventure, if you don’t want to lose… you won’t succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews.” Mary Rodgers, daughter of the great composer Richard Rodgers (of Rodgers and Hammerstein – both Jewish), was Chris Ashley’s “spirit guide” when he moved to New York. “My first job in New York was as director
of a new musical of “Freaky Friday,” with music and lyrics by Mary Rodgers, set to tour to schools. I was 30 years old. And I thought Mary was the coolest person, with her Central Park West apartment, housing the piano where Richard Rodgers wrote ‘South Pacific,’ among others.” What’s really freaky is that Ashley has just directed another new musical version of “Freaky Friday,” this one geared for adults (running at the La Jolla Playhouse through 3/12). Mary Rodgers, it turns out, wrote the novel “Freaky Friday” (and three sequels) “to work out her relationship with her mother Dorothy,” says Chris. “She was trying to explore what it would take for them to really understand each other.” In the comedic children’s book, published in 1972, a willful teenage girl awakens one Friday morning to find herself in the body of her mother, with whom she had argued
the previous night. The mother is distressed to find herself assuming her daughter’s body and life. “The story has been in my life since I got out of college,” says Chris. “It’s the original body-swap story, which we saw later in ‘Big’ and other shows. There’s something really potent about the notion of ‘I love you, but I want you to be what I want you to be.’ By being in each other’s skin, they both come to see the other’s perspective and realize that the other one is actually doing the best they can. This leads to a more compassionate version of love. “There’s something about what a musical can do, to get inside someone’s head and express their emotions. This show makes it kind of literal: What if you were in someone else’s head?” The world premiere Disney musical “Freaky Friday” was created by Bridget Carpenter (book), with music by Tom Kitt and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, who created, among other works, the Tony and Pulitzer-winning musical “Next to Normal.” “What’s great,” says Chris, “is that Bridget and Tom are the parents of kids in the 9-14 year range. They have an incredibly emotional attachment to the material. The show has a real emotional core, but it’s also incredibly funny. Bridget was a show-runner on ‘Parenthood’ and ‘Friday Night Lights,’ so she’s spent a lot of time with parent and kid issues.” The team has been working on the musical for the past seven or eight years, and Mary Rodgers was involved with the workshop productions and choosing the composers for the project. Unfortunately, she didn’t live to see the piece come to fruition; she died in 2014. Disney, which had produced the two films based on the “Freaky Friday” book (1976, 2003), gave Ashley & Company permission to use the novel and the movies as source material. “They gave us a lot of latitude,” says Chris. “We used the original novel the most; there’s something pure of heart about it.” During Ashley’s decade at the Playhouse, some 15 shows have gone on to Broadway, including “Memphis,” which won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical (Chris was nominated as Best Director), and the soonto- open “Come From Away,” which Chris also directed. Before that heart-warming musical sashays onto The Great White Way, the incredibly moving play will take one more turn in San
Diego, when a concert version of the complete show is performed as the centerpiece of the Playhouse’s 2017 gala (its major annual fundraiser), celebrating the theater and Ashley’s tenure at the helm. After “Come From Away” became a hit in San Diego in 2015, it went on to break box office records in Seattle, Washington D.C. and Toronto. It opens on Broadway on March 12 (previews begin Feb. 18). On its journey, the musical made a brief stop in Gander, Newfoundland, to present the show where the action takes place. The play chronicles actual events that occurred just after the 9/11 attacks, when 38 planes were forced to land in tiny Gander, effectively doubling the population of the town. Locals embraced those “from away,” and graciously housed, fed and cared for the
“Yiddish is deeply embedded in the vocabulary of people who make theater,” the affable Ashley said. thousands of stranded passengers. Many of the characters in the musical are based on, and named for, real-life Gander residents or stranded passengers. “The Gander concert was so incredible,” says Chris. “It was in the 2,500-seat hockey rink they had turned into a refrigerator after 9/11. It was like a rock concert, family gathering and religious experience rolled into one. They stood and screamed for the last 18 minutes of the show.” It’s a story, says Chris, “about people going out of their way to be generous and giving, about how kindness can bring us together.” “Come From Away” was the brainchild of two Canadian Jews, the married couple David Hein and Irene Sankoff (their first musical, which they wrote, produced and starred in, was “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding,” based on David’s life experience). Their latest musical, “Mitzvah” tells the story of a family whose son has been diagnosed with autism, and a mother who fights to give him a Bar Mitzvah. In between those two pieces, the couple
ventured out of their Jewish comfort zone and into Gander, for “Come From Away.” Every aspect of the show is remarkable, not least the fact that the entire cast has remained intact since its inception. “It so rare that this happens,” Chris says. “There are usually changes for the Broadway production. But these 12 people are so deeply committed to making each other’s performances better. I’ve never seen a cast this bonded.” Another heartfelt, and very Jewish production to come out of the Playhouse in Chris Ashley’s tenure was the gut-wrenching world premiere, “Indecent,” a stunning playwith-music co-created by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel and acclaimed director Rebecca Taichman. The historical drama concerns the true events surrounding the controversial 1922 Broadway debut of “G-d of Vengeance,” Sholom Asch’s incendiary play, considered by some to be a seminal work of Jewish culture, and by others, a libelous, traitorous piece of work that deserved to be shut down as soon as it opened (it was). The commitment of the actors, the ambivalence of the playwright and the perilous journey of the play, and of the Jews, are brilliantly conveyed. The show launched at the Playhouse in 2015, was presented Off Broadway last year, and come April, it opens on Broadway. “It has a very Jewish storyline,” says Ashley, “which some people felt was airing dirty laundry.” The play does show some of the seamier sides of life in a shtetl: namely, a Jewish brothel, a hypocritical Rabbi and lesbian love. Ashley loved the piece, as did most of his audience.
Points of pride In his 10 years at the helm of the Playhouse, where he has been an inspiring force, the humble Ashley is most proud of three things: 1. The new work at the theater. “We’ve given birth to plays and musicals from major artists who are saying something important for today, works that have an impact on the larger culture. I’m proud of our daring, inquisitive audience, which loves to see the first steps of a project. In the developmental process of DNA readings and Pageto- Stage performances, they are crucial in the accumulation of comments that provide a guide for writers going forward.”2. The 2. WoW Program (WithOut Walls) that he initiated, the biennial three-day festival featuring unique and experimental indoor and Shevat • Adar 5777 l SDJewishJournal.com 55
outdoor site-specific work. “It’s an exciting, immersive experience,” he explains. “It appeals to a younger and not necessarily theatergoing demographic that’s racially diverse. I’m proud that we’ve taken productions out of the theater, into Hillcrest and Southeast San Diego, to Little Italy and Encinitas. That’s really outreach.” 3. Those who make it all happen. “I’m proud of the work our staff and artists do here. They have an extraordinary commitment to making a better world through telling stories.” He’s proud of all his personal directorial creations: the musicals “Memphis” and “Xanadu,” the dramas “Restoration” and “Glengarry Glen Ross,” the drama-with- music, “Come From Away” and the Shakespeare comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” (He’d like to direct more Shakespeare in the future). Before coming to San Diego, Chris had never lived on the West coast – though he lived in 17 different places, including Portugal, before he went off to college. But he always had an affinity for the La Jolla Play-
house. When he was in his 20s, he boldly applied for the artistic director position the first time Des McAnuff left the Playhouse. “I always loved the mission,” he says. He still does. The mission statement, which has never been rewritten, pinpoints, he says, “offering a safe harbor for unsafe work; looking for what’s next in the American theater; and providing a platform for social, political and cultural conversation and understanding.” He didn’t know if he’d like being an artistic director. But, being “a really social person” who loves “talking about the art,” he’s taken to the position with ease. He loves the rehearsal process. And he finds it “really satisfying to have a relationship with the audience that lasts more than two hours.” In his decade at the Playhouse, he’s overseen the production of some 75-100 theater works. He has some dream projects in mind, among which is creating an American version of the Bridge Project that director Sam Mendes implemented in London some years back, presenting 1-2 plays a year, and taking them to seminal cities around the world.
“I’d like to start with a limited run in New York, and then hit London, Paris and Beijing, showcasing great American plays with great American actors. To show the world what’s extraordinary about the American stage. I’d like to resurrect that idea. It’s only the seed of an idea now.” He has a little time to grow that seed; his contract runs through 2018. In the meantime, he’ll direct the new Jimmy Buffett musical, “Escape to Margaritaville,” at the Playhouse in May. “I love my job,” he says, “and if asked to stay longer, I have every belief that I would.” That would be a mechaye for the San Diego arts community. A The La Jolla Playhouse gala, celebrating Chris Ashley and featuring the concert version of “Come From Away,” takes place on February 4, at the Marriott Marquis Marina downtown. The (pricey) tickets are available at (858) 2283089.
PHOTOS COURTESY LA JOLLA PLAYHOUSE
The Broadway-bound cast of La Jolla Playhouse’s world-premiere musical COME FROM AWAY, pictured here in a concert performance of the show in Gander, Newfoundland this past October. The same cast will come together again to perform this special one-night-only concert version of the award-winning musical before they head to New York at the Playhouse’s annual Gala on Saturday, Feb. 4.
56 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
You deserve a factual look at . . .
U.S. Funds Palestinian Terrorism
Tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are spent annually to pay salaries to Palestinian terrorists who murder innocent civilians in Israel. To prop up the virtually bankrupt Palestinian Authority (P.A.), the U.S. sends Palestinians more than $400 million a year in aid. The P.A., however, spends some $140 million annually to reward jihadists and their families for murderous acts that kill innocent Americans and Israelis.
What are the facts? criticism of such hypocrisy from Western nations, however, In June 2016, 13-year-old Hallal Yaffa Ariel was stabbed the P.A. concocted a deceitful shell game, seeking to to death in her bed by a Palestinian terrorist who broke into hide its support of terror by changing what used to be her family’s home. In March of this year, 28-year-old Taylor termed “salaries” to “assistance” and shifting distribution Force, a West Point graduate and two-tour U.S. army veteran duties from the P.A. to the Palestinian Liberation from Texas, was killed as he strolled with his wife in Jaffa Organization, which does not by a knife-wielding Palestinian. directly receive foreign funding. Hailed as heroic jihadist martyrs by the Palestinian Authority, “You can’t be a partner in peace So far, this sham seems to satisfied some of the both terrorists and their families when you are paying people to have gullible nations that support the now receive monthly stipends commit terrorist acts.” Palestinian Authority. from the P.A. Time to End U.S. Funding For more than 20 years, the Senator Lindsey Graham of Terror. At last, members Palestinian government has openly of Congress are introducing used aid donations from the U.S. and legislation to prevent U.S. aid from supporting this culture other countries to motivate and reward terrorists. Depending of jihadist terror. Senators Dan Coats, Roy Blunt and Lindsey on the number of people murdered in a terrorist attack, Graham, for example, have introduced legislation to end salaries range from $364 to $3,100 per month. Terrorists with financial aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops families and who die in the act or are captured and sentenced incentivizing terrorism. Senator Graham has noted that “You to 30 years or more receive the highest allowances. These can’t be a partner in peace when you are paying people to expenditures—a hefty $140 million per year—make up an commit terrorist acts.” estimated 10% of the Palestinian Authority’s total budget. However, both the U.S. and Israel fear that cutting In addition to financial incentives for terror, jihadists funding to the Palestinian Authority could destabilize the also receive abundant moral support from the Palestinian Palestinian government, preferring a duplicitous P.A. to government. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has Hamas or Islamic State. Lamentably, those familiar with said, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. the corrupt P.A. know that expectations of reforming it This is pure blood, clean blood . . . With the help of Allah, anytime soon are fantasy. every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get But surely funding a Palestinian terror program that kills his reward.” Americans and Israelis cannot serve the long-term interests U.S. Payments to the Palestinian Authority. According to of the United States or Israel. Cutting off aid to the P.A. is a Congressional Research Service report, the U.S. since the a move in the right direction, but it is inadequate, since it mid-1990s has contributed more than $5 billion in security doesn’t address the Palestinian culture of Jew hatred and assistance and bilateral economic aid to the P.A., and American denial of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, both of taxpayers’ current annual commitment is now some $400 which beliefs make any notion of peace impossible. million. In fact, Palestinians are the world’s largest per-capita Unfortunately, the Palestinian government perpetuates recipients of international aid. in its media, mosques and schools the myths that Jews While a 2014 State Department report praised the Palestinian have no rights to sovereignty in the Holy Land and that all Authority for making “terrorism financing a criminal offense,” non-Muslims, even innocent civilians, are laudable targets the P.A. still has laws on its books mandating payments for terrorist attacks. to terrorists and their families. In the face of mounting
In order to achieve a secure and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, convicted terrorists or who those die while committing terrorism must not compensated by the Palestinian government for these crimes. It is a travesty that American taxpayer dollars subsidize this hateful practice, and Congress should move urgently to stop it. This message has been published and paid for by
Facts and Logic About the Middle East P.O. Box 3460 Berkeley, CA 94703
FLAME is a tax-exempt, non-profit educational 501 (c)(3) organization. Its purpose is the research and publication of the facts regarding developments in the Middle East and exposing false propaganda that might harm the interests of the United States and its allies in that area of the world. Your tax-deductible contributions are welcome. They enable us to pursue these goals and to publish these messages in national newspapers and magazines. We have virtually no overhead. Almost all of our revenue pays for our educational work, for these clarifying messages, and for related direct mail.
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||| FOOD |||
Tori Avey is an award-winning food writer, recipe developer, and the creator of the popular cooking website toriavey.com. She writes about food history for PBS Food and Parade.com. Follow Tori on Facebook by searching for “Tori Avey” and on Twitter: @toriavey.
in the kitchen WITH
ebruary is Black History Month and with that, I want to celebrate the memory of a woman who courageously helped to change our nation and make it a better, more equal place – Rosa Parks. On Dec. 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus. Her refusal was the spark that lit a firestorm of change. It resulted in the Mont58 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
PHOTO BY TORI AVEY
ROSA PARKS’ PEANUT BUTTER PANCAKES
gomery bus boycott, a controversial protest which lasted a year and ended when segregation on buses was deemed unconstitutional. The civil rights movement rapidly became a subject of national attention, and Rosa became a central figure in the struggle for equality in America. From Rosa’s autobiography, “Rosa Parks – My Story:” “People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was
Rosa Parks, in front of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1955.
by her high school studies at the time; she had been learning about Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and other important black leaders who had made strides for equality. When faced with the choice of giving up her seat, Claudette’s conscience simply wouldn’t let her do it. She was arrested for her peaceful act of protest. The NAACP took note of Claudette’s act. Black civic leaders had been looking for a way to protest the Montgomery bus situation for years, and they were impressed by Claudette’s act of rebellion. However, they felt that Claudette might be too young and unreliable to be the face of this protest. As secretary of the NAACP, Rosa Parks was chosen to be the figurehead of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her act was directly inspired by Claudette’s act, which happened nine months prior. A few years ago, a cache of personal papers, photographs and memorabilia was
discovered in the Detroit house where Rosa Parks spent the last years of her life. A New York auction house called Guernsey’s was selected to represent the archive and find it a permanent home. Here is a description of some of the items they found: “The Rosa Parks Archive consists of thousands of items of virtually every description. Her countless awards range from the most significant to the most charming, the latter presented to Mrs. Parks by many of our nation’s school children. One section of her library contains volumes inscribed to her by such noteworthy figures as Dr. Martin Luther King and President Clinton while another section contains somewhat worn text books with Rosa Parks’ own name written in pencil from her childhood days at the Industrial School for Girls in Montgomery. The archive reflects Mrs. Park’s day-to-day life with personal items ranging from her wardrobe, her eyeglasses, her driver’s license, her address book and her Bible. The archive contains a well-traveled suitcase filled with assorted fabrics from Rosa’s days in Montgomery as a seamstress. Among her personal papers a recipe was found, scribbled on the back of an envelope, for “Featherlite Pancakes.” While we can’t be 100 percent sure that Rosa used this recipe, it seems quite probable that she did, given that it was found within her personal items and written in her own handwriting.” The recipe is fairly self explanatory as written; I have provided a few detailed cooking instructions for clarity below. I made the assumption that smooth peanut butter should be used, because of the fact that Rosa called these pancakes “featherlite” – I’m guessing a pancake that is “light as a feather” isn’t supposed to crunch. They are truly light and delightful, with a wonderful texture and a mouth-watering peanut butter flavor. In fact, my stepdaughter has decided that this is now her favorite pancake recipe – and she’s a picky eater! They are really tasty. One quick reminder – if serving guests that you don’t know very well, make sure you let them know in advance that these pancakes contain peanut butter. Some people have peanut allergies (which can be lethal), so hidden peanut butter can be dangerous. Cook with care! February 4 is Rosa Parks’ birthday. Cook these pancakes as a way to honor Rosa’s memory…and Claudette’s! May their courage be an inspiration to us all.
1 cup flour 2 tbsp baking powder ½ tsp salt 2 tbsp sugar 1 egg 1 ¼ cup milk 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter 1 tbsp vegetable oil or melted vegetable shortening to grease pan (or more if needed)
YOU WILL ALSO NEED:
Griddle, skillet, or electric griddle Yield: about 12 pancakes Total Time: 20 minutes Kosher Key: Dairy
PHOTO BY TORI AVEY
PHOTO FROM WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” Many people don’t realize that Rosa was not the first one to take a stand by keeping her seat. Before Rosa, there was 15 year-old Claudette Colvin. Also in Montgomery, on March 2, 1955, Claudette refused to give up her seat for a white woman. She was inspired
Sift together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Mix together wet ingredients (minus the oil) with a fork till smooth: egg, milk, peanut butter. Add dry ingredients to wet, mixing lightly – do not overmix, or pancakes will turn out heavy and dense. A few lumps are okay. Grease your skillet or griddle with oil or shortening (I use peanut oil). Heat skillet over medium (or heat electric griddle to 275 degrees F). Test heat by flinging a droplet of water onto the surface of the skillet – it should sizzle and evaporate, but not pop or crackle. Pour the batter by scant ¼ cupfuls to form pancakes on the hot skillet. Let the pancakes cook for 1-2 minutes till bubbles rise to the surface of the batter and burst. When the pancakes turn golden brown on the bottom, flip them. Let the pancakes continue to cook for 1-2 minutes longer till golden brown on both sides and cooked all the way through. Re-grease the skillet periodically between batches, if needed. Serve pancakes immediately. To keep the pancakes warm while you’re cooking, place them on a plate covered by a towel in a 175 degree oven. Use an oven mitt when removing the plate from the oven, it will be hot! Serve warm with butter and maple syrup. A Shevat • Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 59
? GOIN '?ON ?? WHAT'S BY EILEEN SONDAK
The Old Globe
The Old Globe will launch its 2017 season on Feb. 4 with “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” a clever new comedy penned by Steve Martin and directed by Barry Edelstein. This is the legendary superstar’s third creative relationship with the Globe, and it sounds like another winner. The story revolves around a hang-out for struggling artists, circa 1904. Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein hold court there with other interesting characters. You can catch this fascinating new work on the Main Stage through March 12. The Globe’s White Theatre will feature a world premiere Feb. 23 through March 26. Titled “The Blameless,” this outgrowth of the Globe’s 2016 New Voices Festival, is a compassionate and moving examination of the power of familial bonds in the most extraordinary circumstances.
San Diego Repertory Theatre
San Diego Repertory Theatre has another gift from local favorite, Hershey Felder. “Our Great Tchaikovsky” – which will be ensconced at the Rep’s downtown home through Feb. 12 – uses Felder’s brilliant storytelling and musical stylings to offer insights into the composer’s genius. Don’t miss this one!
North Coast Repertory Theatre
North Coast Repertory Theatre is delivering the San Diego premiere of “Marjorie Prime.” This Pulitzer Prize-finalist is set in the near future, when artificial intelligence has come of age and life-like robots provide companionship for the lonely. This thought-provoking new play is closing on Feb. 5. Next on tap at NCR is Tony Kushner’s “The Illusion,” which begins on Feb. 22. This contemporary work, directed by North Coast Rep’s David Ellenstein, is an inventive tour de force illustrating the magical nature of theater. You can fall into its spell through March 19.
PHOTO BY JOHN HOWARD
PHOTO BY JOAN MARCUS
Erika Beth Philips and Ross Hellwig star in “Beau Jest” until Feb. 12.
“Matilda” plays at the Civic Theatre until Feb. 5.
Broadway-San Diego’s “Matilda the Musical,” winner of four Tony Awards, is winding down its stay at the Civic Theatre on Feb. 5, so take the kids and enjoy!
Lamb’s Players Theatre
Cygnet Theatre is offering “Bad Jews,” a savage comedy about family, faith and legacy, written by Joshua Harmon. This San Diego premiere involves a verbal battle over an heirloom, after the death of the family patriarch. Despite its serious theme, it has been lauded as the funniest play of the year – and it should be a must-see. The show will dominate the Old Town Theatre through Feb. 12.
The Lamb’s Players continues its revival of “Beau Jest,” the sly comedy by James Sherman. The play will run through Feb. 12 at the Lamb’s Coronado home. On Feb. 24, the Lamb’s will showcase two of its brightest stars – Robert Smyth and Deborah Gilmour Smyth – in “Shadowlands.” The play recounts the story of C.S. Lewis and the Jewish woman who stole his heart. “Shadowlands” will stay on through April 9.
La Jolla Playhouse
La Jolla Playhouse has a new musical on the boards at the Weiss Theatre. “Freaky Friday” is a comedy about an overworked mother and her teenage daughter, who magically swap bodies. This contemporary update of an American classic promises a lot of laughs – and you have until March 5 to check it out. 60 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
Moxie Theatre is staging “Blue Door” at its El Cajon Blvd. home through Feb. 26. The show – a Pulitzer Prize-nominated play – revolves around a couple living with (and trying to escape from) the past.
The San Diego Opera is ready to bring Verdi’s take on the iconic Shakespeare character, “Falstaff,” to the Civic Theatre. This production (from Lyric Opera of Chicago) will be ensconced at the Civic Theatre Feb. 18-26, starring Roberto de Candia in the title role.
San Diego Symphony
The San Diego Symphony is featuring Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4” on Feb. 3, with Maestro Jahja Ling conducting. Celebrate Super Bowl Sunday with “A Lang Lang Super Sunday” on Feb. 5. The program highlights Rachmaninoff ’s Piano Concerto No. 1. “The Classical Style,” conducted by Lahav Shani, is slated for Feb. 10-11, with works by Prokofiev, Haydn and Bartok. “America, America!” is the Family Concert planned for Feb. 19. This one includes pre-concert activities for the small-fry set. The Chieftains, dubbed Ireland’s premier musical ambassador, will perform a night of Irish songs on Feb. 25.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla will be closed for renovation and expansion, but there’s a lot going on in the downtown facility. It is showing off Jennifer Steinkamp: Madame Curie” – a digital video animation inspired by the artist’s research into atomic energy – through Aug. 27. “Dimensions of Black: A Collaboration with the San Diego African American Museum of Art” is on view downtown through next January, and “Tristano di Robilant,” sculptures balancing geometric forms with delicate light and color, will stay on through April 30. PHOTO FROM THE PRINT COLLECTION AT USD
San Diego Opera
La Jolla Music Society
La Jolla Music Society will present the Branford Marsalis Quartet, with special guest Kurt Elling, on Feb. 10 at the Balboa Theatre. The Bamberg Symphony, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach will perform Feb. 18 at Symphony Hall. The program includes Bruch’s “Violin Concerto No. 1” with Ray Chen on violin. On Feb. 25, SeongJin Cho will handle the keyboard at TSRI for a three-piece program featuring works by Chopin, Schubert, and Berg.
San Diego Musical Theatre
San Diego Musical Theatre is kicking off its 2017 season with the sassy “9 to 5.” The show will take over the Spreckels Theatre Feb. 10-26.
San Diego Ballet
San Diego Ballet is performing “Ritmos Latinos” Feb. 17-19 at the Lyceum Theatre. The choreography takes its cues from the samba, rhumba and cha-cha- cha, and will feature local Latin jazz musicians as well as dancers.
San Diego Museum of Art
The San Diego Museum of Art’s newest acquisition is on display – a significant Spanish masterpiece, Saint James the Lesser. This 17th century work by Baroque master Ribera is a life-sized painting the museum can show off with pride. This month’s exhibitions include works of German Expressionism, Art of the 20th century, and Venetian Views – among others.
Francisco de Goya, “One Can’t Look” (Plate 26 from The Disasters of War), ca. 1810, etching, burnished lavis, drypoint, and burin.
Timken Museum of Art
The Timken Museum is featuring “Witness to War,” an exhibition showcasing the works of Goya, Bellows, and Callot. This new show, on view through May 28, puts the spotlight on the battlefield – from the 17th through the 20th century.
The Fleet Science Center
The Fleet Science Center opens its interactive murder-mystery exhibition “Sherlock Homes and the Clocktower Mystery” in its upstairs gallery space on Feb. 11. Museum guests are invited to figure out “whodunnit” through a series of eight chapters of mysteries to solve in various spaces throughout the museum. The fun continues through June 4. The Fleet also has a growing number of special events this month. Starting it off, on Feb. 6 will be Steve Murray on NASA’s X-Plane programs, part of the Center’s Sharp Minds Lecture Series. The lecture is free with the purchase of a theater ticket. Continuing on Feb. 8 is a discussion of ethics in the study of rare diseases. This event is free but registration is requested, through ethicscenter.net.
Shevat • Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 61
news San Diego-Israel Initiative Brings Israeli Wineries to SDSU
Old Globe Announces StarStudded Cast for Third Consecutive Steve Martin Play
Following the success of their December lecture with Yonatan Winetraub, the co-founder of SpaceIL, at UC San Diego, the Murray Galinson San Diego-Israel Initiative is hosting Israeli winemakers at SDSU. The workshop, “More than Meets the Palate: The Role of the Tasting Room in the Modern Winery” features representatives from three Israeli wineries – Tabor, Yatir and Yarden-Golan Heights – on Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. The event is free but reservation is required, at neverstoplearning.net/wine.
StandWithUs Israeli Soldiers Tour Returns to San Diego Campuses The StandWithUs pro-Israel advocacy group will once again bring two Israeli soldiers to San Diego community centers, high schools and college campuses to share their experiences in the Israeli Defense Forces. This year, the group is featuring two IDF soldiers who are not native to Israel. Carlos, from Colombia, and Elie, from France, will be in town on Feb. 12-14. They will make stops at El Poderoso de Israel in Escondido, Templo Betesda in San Diego, Restoration Church in Chula Vista, San Diego Jewish Academy in Carmel Valley, Southern California Yeshiva in Kearny Mesa and UCSD in La Jolla. For more information and specific times for each event, visit standwithus.com.
The cast has been announced for Steve Martin’s third play at the Old Globe in as many seasons. The revival of his comedy “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” which had its initial opening in Chicago in 1993, is filled with a cast from tv and film. Justin Long (“He’s Just Not That into You,” “Dodge Ball,” “New Girl”) stars as Albert Einstein, and Philippe Bowgen as Pablo Picasso. Donald Faison of “Scrubs” fame, Lisa Lapira (“Dollhouse,” “Dexter”), Hal Linden (“Barney Miller” Old Globe’s “Twenty Seventh Man”), Ron Orbach (“Clueless”), Luna Velez (“How to Get Away With Murder,” “Dexter”) and Marcel Spears round out the cast. The play takes place in Paris in 1904 where Picasso and Einstein happen to meet at a bar in Montmartre called the Lapin Agile. This production, which follows Martin’s first two plays produced at the Old Globe, “Bright Star” and “Meteor Shower,” will run from Feb. 4 to March 7. Tickets start at $29.
T.E.A.M Reunites With Rita Heller at Helm T.E.A.M. (Training and Education About the Middle East) has reunited after the retirement of co-founder J.J. Surbeck. Rita Heller, who co-founded the nonprofit education and advocacy group with Surbeck, is now leading the group whose mission is to education the general public about the “true story of Israel and to fight against lies and propaganda.” T.E.A.M. will present a free screening of the prize-winning documentary “The Forgotten Refugees” Feb. 26, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the Lawrence Famliy JCC. Immediately following the screening, Mr. Daniel Mahni will address the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab lands and answer questions. Mr. Mahni, who was born and raised in Baghdad, was imprisoned twice simply for being Jewish. His mother’s family can be traced back to the Babylonian exile. While the event is free, reservation is requested to rsvp to email@example.com.
Barons Market North Park Marks Second New Location for Local Grocer in One Year Barons Market, owned by a local Iranian Jewish family, opened its seventh location just before the New Year. The North Park store opened just months after one in Murietta, marking the first time the business has opened more than one location in a year. North Park is the grocery’s first urban store, and Barons collaborated with five local artists to beautify the market with three custom murals. “We love this community,” says Rachel Shemirani, vice president of marketing. The Barons location took the place of a Fresh ‘N Easy but was completely remodeled, on University just west of the 805. 62 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
New Online Torah Classes for Women are Flexible CyberSem, an online Jewish learning service for women, is offering classes in the Torah, including Shabbas Kitchen, Women in Nach and Jewish History. Dr. Chavi Goldberg founded the program last October. “I decided that we would build CyberSem as a platform for practical and applicable Jewish laws,” Dr. Goldberg said. “By providing online classes, our students could learn and study when it was convenient for them.” Goldberg realized raising a family, working and going to synagogue made it hard for her to find time for Jewish learning. CyberSem aims to “make Torah learning accessible for women everywhere ... no matter where they are located or what their schedule is.” Explore the platform at cybersem.com/course. Barbara and Mathew Loonin
Louis Vener and Ed Carnot
JFS Announces Gala Honorees In preparation for its annual Heart & Soul Gala, Jewish Family Service of San Diego has announced its 2017 Mitzvah Honorees. Edward Carnot and Louis Vener, Barbara and Mathew Loonin and the National Charity League – San Dieguito Chapter will be honored at the ball on April 1 for their commitment to “giving back to the community in such impactful ways,” said JFS CEO Michael Hopkins in a statement. As in past years, the Gala will be held at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine. Tickets are availale at jfssd.org/gala.
Museum Seeks Student Submissions for Holocaust Remembrance Contest Students are invited to submit for the Amud Aish Memorial Museum’s third annual Visual Arts and Literacy Contest. “Born to Live: Remembering the Children of the Holocaust,” is held by the museum’s Kleiman Holocaust Education Center, and is open to grades six to twelve. Last year, San Diego Torah High School student Lillian Liebman won first place in the national competition in the 11th and 12th grade category, out of 866 total submissions. Another San Diegan, Eduardo Garza from St. Augustine, won third place in the 9th and 10th grade category.
Study Finds Some New French and RussianSpeaking Immigrants to Israel Struggling A new study of French and Russian-speaking olim who have immigrated to Israel in the past two years finds more than two-thirds are suffering financially. The survey was conducted by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which brings thousands of olim to Israel each year. Although 55 percent of those surveyed said they weren’t happy with the employment they found in Israel, 90 percent said they would not change their decision to make aliyah citing religion and anti-Semitism in Europe as reasons for their move.
The contest focuses on items children took with them when they escaped or were sent to a ghetto. Students can write a poem or letter to one of the children or create a work of art representing the child and the item. The year’s submission deadline is March 15. Find details at amudaish.org. Shevat • Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 63
DIVERSIONS gious people in Israel, with all of its challenges and pressures. It broaches a breadth of topics, from losing faith to divorce to feminism and even homosexuality.
Mekimi (Amazon Prime)
“Fauda” means “chaos” in Arabic, and this show is just that, in a good way.
Since we’re focusing so heavily on films elsewhere in this magazine, here is something different for Diversions this month – a rundown of the best Israeli television that you can watch from the comfort of your own San Diego homestead. By Lior Zaltzman, writing for JTA, we present you: Six Israeli tv shows to binge-watch now:
Fauda (Netflix) “Fauda” means “chaos” in Arabic – and that’s precisely what the series depicts. The show is partly based on the Israeli army experiences of creator and star Lior Raz serving in the Duvdevan Unit, which is famous for its undercover operations. The show’s main character rejoins his old unit in an effort to capture a notorious terrorist. As he goes deep undercover and the operation progresses, reality gets muddier and it becomes hard to differentiate the hero and the villain.
Hostages (Netflix) “Hostages,” or “Bnei Aruba” in Hebrew, generated a great deal of buzz before it even came out. In fact, an American adaptation of the show came out three weeks before the original Israeli show premiered. Despite its all-star cast (Toni Colette, Dylan McDermott and Tate Donovan), CBS canceled “Hostages” after one season. The original Israeli series – an international success –stars Ayelet Zurer as
64 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
a successful surgeon, wife and mother of two who is about to get the gig of a lifetime: She is scheduled to operate on the Israeli prime minister. However, the night before the procedure, masked men break into her home and take her family hostage. The only thing they want is to make sure the prime minister does not survive his operation. This is a melodramatic nail-biter, with stunning performances from the entire cast.
Mossad 101 (Netflix) “Mossad 101,” or “Ha’Midrasha,” is also about an intelligence unit – but it’s not what you’d expect. I suppose it is meant to be an action drama, but there’s something delightfully ridiculous about it. The series features some of the handsomest Israeli actors plus one of Israel’s best comedians. The show is about an unorthodox (and fictional) training course for Mossad agents. The course starts with 13 trainees, including one with MS and some immigrants from countries like Iran and Brazil, along with the wife of an assassinated Mossad agent.
Srugim (Amazon Prime) Considered by some an Orthodox version of “Friends,” this series revolves around the lives of a group of single religious men and women living in Jerusalem. “Srugim” is a frank, moving and sometimes hilarious look into the dating lives of young reli-
“Mekimi” is a fascinating show based on an autobiographical story of the same title written by Noa Yaron-Dayan, a former tv and radio personality who joined the Breslov Hasidic sect. In the series, Alma is a young radio and tv star who feels disconnected from her wildly successful life surrounded by artists and creatives. She meets Ben (played by the Israeli singer Muki) when he moves into her shared apartment and falls for him. Ben, a film student and surfer, seems lost. On a trip to the Sinai with their friend Brener, a fellow wild surfer who is turning religious, Brener gives Ben a book by Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. So begins Ben’s love affair with religion, which at first tears him and Alma apart, then brings them back together. This short series is incredibly moving and unique – give it your undivided attention.
Prisoner of War (Hulu) How can one write about Israeli tv shows without bringing up this one? “Prisoner of War” (“Hatufim,” in Hebrew) is the original Israeli tv series that Showtime’s wildly successful “Homeland” is based on. The series follows the life of two captured Israeli soldiers who are returned to Israel after 17 years in captivity in Lebanon along with the remains of a third soldier who was captured with them. “Prisoner of War” chronicles their attempts to readjust and reintegrate into Israeli society and deal with the trauma of captivity. But after a military psychiatrist finds discrepancies in the two soldier’s stories, an investigation is launched — and that’s when things get really interesting. In many ways, the series is quite different from its American counterpart. There is no strong female protagonist a la Claire Danes; instead, the show deals with a sort of broken macho pride that comes with being captured and having to reintegrate. A
SYNAGOGUE LIFE SPECIAL EVENTS Jewish Film Festival Preview Night at Beth El Feb. 2, 6:30p.m. 8660 Gilman Dr. La Jolla CA 92037 Watch trailers for the SDJFF films, with chances to win movie tickets and to sign up for early admission and discounted tickets. Cbe.org. Musical Shabbat at B’nai Shalom Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m. 201 E. Broadway, Downtown Vista Services will be led by Kathy Robbins with a delicious Oneg will follow. Family Retreat Weekend with Congregation Beth Am Feb. 10- 12 Camp Ramah, 385 Fairview Rd.,Ojai, Calif. 93023 Enjoy three days of Judaism, Shabbat and music. Email rabbie@betham. com to register. Family Tu B’Shvat Shabbat Dinner at Chabad Jewish Center of Rancho Santa Fe Feb. 10, 6 p.m. 5690 Cancha De Golf, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92091 Tu B’shvat-inspired Shabbat dinner made by the RSF Hebrew School. Call (858) 756-7571 for more information. Kabbalat Shabbat Lev Hadash Feb. 24, 7 p.m. 11860 Carmel Creek Rd, San Diego, CA 92130, at the Library Join Rabbi Yael and song leader Marshall Voit for a special contemplative and musical celebration of Shabbat. Call (858) 268-3674 ext. 101. *Interested in having your event featured?
CLASSES Cooking Class with Temple Solel held at Chef Lerut Moyal’s home in Carlsbad Feb. 6, 10 a.m. – noon Chef Moyal specializes in freshly prepared Moroccan and Israeli cuisine. The menu includes Lerut famous green salad, sweet and spicy meatballs, white rice with vegetables, strawberry white cake with whipped cream. Visit templesolel.net for details. Explore the Process of Creating Your Own Ethical Will with Shir HaYam Feb. 17, 10-11:30 a.m. and 7-8:30 p.m. Lawrence Family JCC, 4126 Executive Drive, San Diego, CA 92037 Join Shir HaYam Jewish Renewal to begin creating an important tool of spiritual deepening and honoring Jewish values. Call 858-362-1154 for more information or to register by phone. Israeli Dance at Tifereth Israel Feb. 12, 7 p.m. 6660 Cowles Mountain Blvd, San Diego, CA 92119 More than just a circle dance, Israeli dance has the rhythm and moves of Latin salsas and even today’s hip-hop. No experience necessary to take this class. Sign up at tiferethisrael.com/events/israelidance.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions are due by 15th of the month for the next issue.
Shevat • Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 65
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by Marnie Macauley
Personal Resolutions for Living We Jews are “resolving” year-round, so I think readers will find it helpful to return to some favorite “life lessons” that I’ve amassed over my (many) years. “Life is a messy affair – if you’re doing it right.” No, this doesn’t involve turning the living room into a dumpster in downtown Calcutta. It means putting yourself “out there,” despite the curve balls. A life devoid of risks and foul-ups means you’re either living in an emotional bunker or you’re an android. RESOLUTION: To live life full out, take fair risks and expect bumps and lumps, despite the best-laid plans. “I’ve yet to see a perfect meatloaf, never mind a perfect person.” Quit expecting perfection. It doesn’t exist. It’s a falsehood, hyped by flawed humans who write books title “The 10 Ways to Stay in Love Forever” – and have been married five time (which is certainly one strategy.) As failure’s inevitable, your confidence will nosedive as you pitifully grasp yet another flavorof-the-month self-help book to “fix” you. RESOLUTION: To try to be the very best I can be and feel satisfied in the trying. “Mistakes and failures are our best teachers.” Without learning from failure, we’d all still be crawling to the potty chair. Children are constantly falling, then picking themselves up to take yet another step. But we adults, psychobabblers and media have turned failure into a shanda, a shameful disaster. If we beat ourselves with nettle stalks we’ll get nowhere. But if we choose to see our failures as opportunities to learn, we can go places we never dreamed of. RESOLUTION: To see failure as a natural learning experience that will make me stronger and more successful – inside, and in life. 68 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
“Nothing dooms the creative impulse fas ter than an inattentive spirit.” A life without the right stuff to follow our passion is like hoping to make a matzo ball without the matzo. “I want” isn’t enough. The chin must say, “I will.” And that means finding not only the desire but the determined ambition to move from wishing to doing. RESOLUTION: To identify my passion and make specific plans so my days are marked with grand anticipation and effective action. “One of the biggest errors humans make is assuming others see the world as they do.” They don’t. Yet I hear it all the time: “I can’t believe she wants to spend half of our savings on a huge house!” “Why should he suggest I get a part-time job when I have two children?” “How dare she expect me to spend two weeks with her mother! I don’t even talk to mine!” Each is sure he or she is playing life by the only “right rules.” Judging others by what we would do and how we feel will cause our spleen to bile up as we assign all sorts of incorrect motives to those who think differently. RESOLUTION: To accept the fact that people don’t always see things my way. Before jumping to conclusions, I’ll get more information and try to negotiate important differences. “If it sounds like a nut, if it cracks like a nut, it’s a nut.” Believe fact. Believe action. Believe the simplest explanation, in the absence of other compelling evidence. If he’s promised a ring – for the last seven years – and you’re still
opening his Cracker Jacks hoping for the prize, my friend, the only thing you may get is a nasty kernel under your gums. RESOLUTION: To believe what is, and what is truly possible, rather than believe what I wish life to be. “People aren’t pantyhose. They don’t come in one-size-fits-all. We’re a custom job.” While of course there are areas of common courtesy and understanding, we each see the world through our own lens, in the “gray” matters of feelings and behavior, we are, each of us, as unique as snowflakes. There’s no one right answer for all of us in the cosmos, just a useful one that suits our needs and our beliefs. RESOLUTION: To be OK with myself, indeed celebrate my differences – warts and all – and to extend the same respect to others. “Kindness demands we care more about keeping up with people, than keeping up appearances. Manners, true manners is more important that etiquette – that is, the exquisite art of making others comfortable in your presence.” I know a hostess who can set a table that would have the queen checking her Emily Post. All’s swell. Except...should a poor invitee drop a fish fork, she turns into the mad hatter. Needless to say, her guests leave like Dr. Katz’s patients, gyrating and insane. In a culture that places a high price on “appearances,” it’s too easy to lose the importance of the very people we’re trying to wow. RESOLUTION: To make the people in my life my priority over impressions. A
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Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Beloved Friend Max Schindler, born June 18, 1929 in Cottbus, Germany, passed away peacefully at his home in San Diego on January 14.
A Holocaust survivor who endured six work & concentration camps, Max left Europe for England and finally America where he worked for 30 years as a software engineer. He was the 2016 KPBS Jewish Heritage Month Local Heroes Award co-recipient. Thousands have heard his story of tragedy, resilience and renewal. Max is survived by his wife of 66 years, Rose Schindler, his four children, Roxanne Schindler Katz, Benjamin, Steven and Jeffrey, and nine grandchildren, Scott, Leigh, Nicki, Shannah, Ariana, Alexander, Moriah, Joseph and Jonathan.
SAN DIEGO JEWISH COMMUNITY OBITUARIES ALL SERVICES ALREADY HELD
Ruth Goorevitch Cardiff by the Sea, CA 04/22/1929 - 10/31/2016 Survivors: Daughters - Charlotte Goldstein, Carol Wadlinger & Barbara Cook & 4 Grandchildren
Theresa Forman-El Cajon, CA 10/05/1924-11/04/2016 Survivors: Daughter - Beverley Turchin, Son- David Klein, 3 Grandchildren & 4 GreatGrandchildren
Golda Schwartz-Charlotte, NC 05/05/1919-11/04/2016 Survivors: Daughter- Eileen Schwartz
Evelyn Grossman-La Mesa, CA 08/07/1931- 11/06/2016 Survivors: Daughters - Judie Lincer & Keren Sackville, Son -Marc Grossman, 10 Grandchildren & 4 Greatgrandchildren
Newton Sacks-San Diego , CA 03/27/1918- 11/04/2016Survivors: Daughters - Susan Schiffer & Sharon Sacks, Son - Edward Sacks, 2Grandchildren & 1 Great-Grandchild
Arrangements by Am Israel Mortuary
Daniel Salomon-San Diego, CA
Leonard Cohen-Carlsbad, CA
Stephen Cohen-Del Mar, CA
01/27/1953-11/10/2016 Survivors: Wife- Lauren Salomon, & Daughter - Rennie Alexander
01/18/1925- 11/14/2016 Survivors: Daughter - Edith Lazowick, Sons - Mitchell & Bob Cohen & 3 Grandchildren
11/30/1948- 11/19/2016 Survivors: Mother - Rosalin Cohen, Wife - Adele Cohen & DaughterNicole Cohen
Claudia Sanders-San Diego, CA
Ida Levine-Encinitas , CA
04/19/1948-11/15/2016 Survivors: Son - Kevin Sanders
04/13/1914- 11/19/2016 Survivors: Sons - Martin & Leon Granowitz, 4 Grandchildren & 2Great-Grandchildren
Sylvia Roseman-San Diego, CA 02/15/1925-11/10/2016 Survivors: Son- Mark Roseman
Henry Braunstein- CA 09/07/1925-11/12/2016 Survivors: Daughter - Florence Harper, Son - Gary Braunstein, 2 Grandchildren & 2- GreatGrandchildren
Harry Friedlander-Del Mar, CA 05/24/1921- 11/12/2016 Survivors: Son - Martin Friedlander
Abraham Horstein-San Diego, CA 03/10/1918 - 11/12/2016 Survivors: Daughters - Harriet Wolpoff & Alma Geiger, 4- Grandchildren & 5Great-Grandchildren
Audree Karp-Poway, CA 12/01/1924- 11/13/2016 Survivors: Daughter - Sharyl Ciancio
Doris Green-San Diego, CA 03/18/1930- 11/16/2016 Survivors: Husband - Joseph Green, Daughters - Jaren & Ericka Green, Sons - Adam & Mathew Green & 2 Grandchildren
Samuel Rothstein-San Diego, CA 01/11/1929- 11/17/2016 Survivors: Wife - Laura Rothstein & Daughter - Rebecca Rothstein
Kenneth Breman-La Mesa , CA 11/30/1933 - 11/16/2016 Survivors: Daughter- Michelle Olson & Sons - David & Phil Breman
Theodore Cashuk-San Diego , CA
Betsy Gerber Keller-San Diego, CA 01/29/1948 - 11/19/2016 Survivors: Daughter - Tamara Keller
Tillett Rita Weiner-San Diego, CA 03/29/1915 - 11/20/2016 Survivors: Son- Dr. Michael Weiner
David Cohen-San Diego, CA 04/26/1949-11/20/2016 Survivors: Son - Jack Cohen
Irwin Newberg-Solana Beach, CA 05/04/1919- 11/20/2016 Survivors: Wife - Edna Newberg & Daughters- Sheila Grieco & Pamela
10/19/1935- 11/18/2016 Survivors: Wife - Ella Cashuk , Daughter - Jill Palhegyi , & SonsRichard Prager, Ronald & Joe Cashuk
Shevat • Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 69
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST MALANDAIN BALLET BIARRITZ Malandain Ballet Biarritz returns to San Diego with a new and original full-length ballet, Beauty and the Beast, choreographed by the company’s founder Thierry Malandain. Set to music by Tchaikovsky, the coming-of-age story is reimagined as an exploration to resolve the duality of humanity with “Beauty” representing the soul and the “Beast” its life force and instincts.
Saturday, March 18, 2017 · 8 PM Civic Theatre
Tickets start at $20 · 858.459.3728 · WWW.LJMS.ORG
WINTERFEST GALA 2017 For information about WinterFest Gala tickets, which include dinner in the Versailles Ballroom at The Westgate Hotel, the performance and access to the exclusive After-Party, please contact Rewa Colette Soltan at 858.459.3724, ext. 206 or RSoltan@LJMS.org.
70 SDJewishJournal.com l February 2017
Shevat â€¢ Adar 5777 | SDJewishJournal.com 71
The Hilarious Comedy by Steve Martin
February 4 – March 12 By Steve Martin Directed by Barry Edelstein
Philippe Bowgen Donald Faison (Macbeth at Hartford Stage)
(TV’s “Barney Miller”)
(Live Free or Die Hard)
(TV’s “How to Get Away with Murder”)
By Nick Gandiello Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch February 23 – March 26
(619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623) www.TheOldGlobe.org
Published on Jan 30, 2017
Published on Jan 30, 2017
Jewish life on the silver screen, plus big milestones for Jewish camps in California, a new monthly column and Rosa Parks' pancakes in honor...