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Featuring Italian Singer Rabbi Yossi Rodal for a Purim Pick-Up Party (PPP)! Goodies Galore! Covid Safe! Happiness for One & All! Making 5 stops all around S. Diego. THURSDAY, FEB 25- 1) CHABAD OF DOW NTOW N AT 6:30PM. FRIDAY, FEB 262) CHABAD HEBREW ACADEMY AT 8AM ON FRIDAY MORNING. 3) CHABAD AT LA COSTA AT 10AM 4) CHABAD OF CARMEL VALLEY AT 12PM 5) CHABAD OF UNIVERSITY CITY AT 2PM. 4 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
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February 28, 2021 | 11am Celebrate the resilience, strength, and hope of women who build and support Jewish community today, tomorrow, and for generations to come. Chairs: Stacie Bresler-Reinstein | Judi Gottschalk | Carla Modiano We are looking for Virtual Table Captains to join our recruitment effort and to help build a vibrant virtual community. For more information, contact Molly Okun: 858-737-7121 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Register: jewishinsandiego.org/options An $18 minimum donation is requested to attend this event.
jewishinsandiego.org Shevat – Adar 5781 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 5
Contents FEBRUARY 2021 | SHEVAT • ADAR 5781 | FILM FESTIVAL ISSUE
Mark Edelstein and Dr. Mark Moss EDITOR-IN- CHIEF
Jacqueline Bull ASSISTANT EDITOR
Nathalie Feingold ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
FE AT U R ES
Eileen Sondak CREATIVE DIRECTOR
33 Op-Ed: Crossing Turtles
37 Dating During COVID
Ronnie Weisberg CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Film Festival 23 31st Annual San Diego International Jewish Film Festival 25 Film Review: “My Dearest Enemy” 27 Film Review: “Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack”
Emily Bartell, Linda Bennett, Leorah Gavidor, Emily Gould, Judith Fein (Senior Travel Correspondent), Paul Ross (Senior Travel Photographer), Patricia Goldblatt, Pat Launer, Sharon Rosen Leib, Andrea Simantov, Marnie Macauley, Rabbi Jacob Rupp, Saul Levine, Rachael Eden, Sybil Kaplan. ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES
28 Film Schedule
Jonathan Ableson | Senior Account Executive Alan Moss | Palm Springs
30 Film Review: “The Red Orchestra”
31 Film Review: “Till Kingdom Come”
email@example.com CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS
C O L U M NS
10 From the Editor |
14 Personal Development and Judaism 16 Israeli
18 Examined Life
LISTINGS & CALENDAR
The Seeds We Sow
| To Truly Live
Keep On Keeping On
| Kudos and Critics: The Pleasure and
Pain of Writing
20 Religion | 42 Advice |
The Three Pillars of Getting Unstuck
Abraham Lincoln and the Jews
I N E V ERY I S S U E 12 What’s Up Online
43 Synagogue Life
38 Online Offerings
COVER “THOU SHALL NOT HATE”
6 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
SDJJ is published monthly by San Diego Jewish Journal, LLC. Subscription rate is $24 for one year (12 issues). Send subscription requests to SDJJ, 7742 Herschel Ave., Suite H, La Jolla, CA 92037. 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 ©2021 by San Diego Jewish Journal. The San Diego Jewish Journal is a member of the American Jewish Press Association and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
San Diego Jewish Journal (858) 638-9818 | fax: (858) 263-4310 7742 Herschel Ave., Suite H, La Jolla, CA 92037 #SDJewishJournal
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Do you need help? We’re here for you. COVID-19 has impacted us all—whether through loss of income, social isolation, or increased stress. Many in our community are also experiencing job loss, housing insecurity, or struggling to put food on the table. Every day, new individuals and families are seeking assistance to navigate these challenging times.
You are not alone. JFS can help. We provide supportive services, such as no-touch drive-thru food distributions, even diapers for your little ones. We know asking for help can feel uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be. We will meet you where you are to provide the critical care that works best for you and your family.
If you need assistance, please call (858) 637-3210 or visit www.jfssd.org If you are able to help, please make a gift to the COVID-19 Relief Fund at www.jfssd.org/covidrelief
From Response to Recovery, together we will make it through this. Shevat – Adar 5781 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 9
From the Editor JACQUELINE BULL
The Seeds We Sow I never saw myself as a political person. Sure, I enjoyed a spirited discussion about education or the environment at gatherings around dinner. But mostly, my most passionate arguments are about the virtue of whipped cream over (inedible, shameful) CoolWhip. I have lamented many times the many failings of women’s fashion (thinner materials, more expensive, cheaply made, unnecessary garish details) over practical men’s fashion. Without a hint of exaggeration, I believe walking speed compatibility is essential for romantic partners. I hold many strong beliefs about the arts: hip hop from Atlanta artists is the funkiest, chat shows could never work in the U.S. like they do in England because our celebrities are more actor than comedian and oil paintings have a lively quality that acrylic cannot match. I’m passionate about magazines. I have subscriptions to the New Yorker and Vanity Fair and have about a dozen others that I check in with regularly online. Lines from articles and essays get stuck in my head like movie quotes. I feel strongly about many things and never expected to be a person that would spend hours reading the news or biting my nails over Senate majorities. I never anticipated my column being the monthly COVID report. (If you’re 65 or older, check with your primary doctor about getting your vaccine, you’re next in line to receive the shot.) I’ve always had a slightly detached or long-historical anthropological view of politics. This is maybe because I have Canadian parents and always felt a slight distance from the U.S. But my goodness what a mess. Maybe, hopefully, there will come a day when “politics” won’t be dominating the consciousness of the everyday, but that day is not here yet. What happened at the Capitol made me think I don’t understand America. But I never did. I have felt anger brewing for more than a decade, like a churning deep under the soil. I witnessed a Tea Party rally in Michigan back in the aughts. Sitting in my mom and step dad’s insurance agency, I’ve listened to many customers come
10 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
in and bare naked the disappointment in their lives and how lost they feel in modern society. I saw the 2008 crash, first-hand in Michigan, how many people lost their jobs and the neighborhood that I grew up in with a for sale sign on every other home. I was in Flint mere months before the water was switched and the city’s pipes spread lead. The town where the men that conspired to kidnap Governor Whitner was the town I went to high school in. People in that town have seen their wages stagnate, their cost of living increase and the economy either precariously sway or tank and had to watch their kids move away for better jobs. You can’t build or sustain any kind of community if all your best and brightest leave. This creates a sense of confusion and loss and ultimately despair at being unable to move the needle with these big societal problems. Some people find an enemy in bureaucracy or demonize intellectualism. There is deep, deep hurt in this country. With the unprecedented advancement of technology in the last 30-40 years, society has had a huge shift. Daily life is so different now than it was in the 90’s or 80’s. The whole world is different. Generations who just happened to witness these changes as adults have no way of relating to the younger generations who grew up in it and so we’re a world that can’t talk to each other. It is what I imagine the older generation felt like watching their kids move to the city during the Industrial Revolution. How could they possibly relate to and understand each other? I don’t know how we, as a nation, can come to grips. Sure it is possible to arrest all the people of the insurrection mob, but what about all the lawmakers that tried to disenfranchise voters? I only hope we don’t forget that all of it could happen again. A
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What’s Up Online
Israel will have new election in March after parliament officially dissolves Israel’s Knesset, or parliament, dissolved after failing to pass the 2020 budget, triggering an election that will take place on Mar. 23. The exact date could change through a government vote. The election will be Israel’s fourth in two years. A coalition formed earlier this year by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the centrist Blue and White leader Benny Gantz had been shaky from the start, as Netanyahu balked at the stipulation that Gantz become prime minister after 18 months. The two also fought publicly about a range of issues.
‘There was something holy about this space’: Meet a rabbi who’s been stationed at the US Capitol As Jordan Hersh watched on TV as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building Jan. 6, he had a thought unique to most American rabbis: It might be time to head to his second job. Hersh is a chaplain in the Maryland Army National Guard, the only rabbi in the state’s military clergy ranks. By that evening, Hersh was in uniform and at the Capitol. The next morning, he sent a note to his congregants at Beth Sholom Congregation, the Conservative synagogue in Frederick, Maryland, he has led since 2014. “My grandfather, Joseph Goldstein z”l, who fled a world where the rule of law often gave way to mobs, and whose yarzheit is this coming week, fought for this country because he believed deeply in what America stands for. He told me it was always the greatest honor of his life,” Hersh wrote. “Like so many before me, my grandfather and I both swore to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic,” he added. “I did not fully understand the later part of this oath until yesterday. And I, along with my Army National Guard Unit, have now been tasked with doing just that.” Continue reading at sdjewishjournal.com
How Pixar’s ‘Soul’ borrows from an ancient Jewish idea For a movie about the nature and destiny of the soul, “Soul” is wisely spare when it comes to explicit religious content. Quite simply, there isn’t any. The abstract beings (all named Jerry or, in one case, Terry) that guide souls in the hereafter and in the Great Before are somewhat godlike, but they certainly don’t seem to be gods. And the subject at hand 12 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
isn’t why things work as they do, or, really, what the capital-M Meaning of it all is. Instead, the story of Jamie Foxx’s poor Joe Gardner is focused squarely on questions surrounding the nature of his soul’s “spark” (and the spark of one other lost soul, voiced by Tina Fey) and what that has to do with his body and his path through life. “Soul” offers a variety of sweetly packaged, life-affirming answers to these big questions, answers that have resonances in a variety of world religious
traditions. Certainly, in the Jewish mystical tradition, there is much ado about soul sparks. There are also cognate visions of the Great Before, my personal favorite being the Kabbalistic image of the tree of souls, hung richly with the fruit of future lives, which, when ripe, are blown down to earth by a light wind. This particular image doesn’t appear in Pixar’s version of things, but it is certainly of a piece with the gentle realm where new souls are nurtured before birth. Continue reading at sdjewishjournal.com
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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT AND JUDAISM
THIS WAY TO EDEN by Rachel Eden | email@example.com
To Truly Live My one desire above all others is to truly live. Most of us know what barely living feels like, but how many of us can define true living? Here, I present to you the incredible lessons of living full-out, as exemplified historically in Egypt, as recommended to ward off dementia and by Jerry Rice, the best NFL wide receiver ever to have truly lived. Many say he was the best football player of all time and in any position. While Rice is certainly talented, his distinguishing feature was the way he practiced. Jerry Rice was unwaveringly consistent during off-season workouts, running steep uphill five-mile trails and weight training strenuously. Some curious teammate would occasionally join him on one of his daily workouts only to find himself doubled over, vomiting from the arduous exercise. It’s natural for those who reach a certain level of success to fall into a routine. Rice wanted to be the best — not just unusually successful — so routine was an indulgence he never allowed. During practices, while his teammates casually warmed up and threw around the football, Rice would sprint to the end zone and back enough times to cover roughly ten miles. Once, someone asked him why he insisted on sprinting when everyone else trotted during team workouts and his answer was powerful, “When these hands [pointing to his own] touch a football, this body gets to the end zone.” Rice focused on mastering precision, endurance and strength to a degree that was simply not done by anyone in the industry. He didn’t attend much to his 14 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
weakness (speed) but rather developed his strengths. If we truly want to live, we must equally commit to our individual quests with unprecedented dedication and strategy. 3,334 years ago (Adar 1, 1313 BCE) was the plague of darkness. The 9th plague struck the Egyptians six weeks before the Exodus. Thick darkness blanketed the land and “no man saw his fellow, and no man could move from his place” (Exodus 10:23). This plague fell out on the first day of the Jewish month of Adar. Adar holds with it a special commandment to increase joy. What’s the connection between the joyous month of Adar and the plague? The plague of darkness was said to have lasted for six days. In the first phase (three days long), the Egyptians felt a deep longing. The phrase “could not see their brother” refers to that longing for connection/intimacy (to G-d). During the last three days, the darkness intensified to the point that it immobilized the Egyptians. They no longer pined away for something and therefore they “could not rise from their place” (spiritually or physically). They were content in darkness. The antidote for these two types of darknesses is revealed by what the Jews were busy doing during these six days. On the first three days, while the Egyptians “could not see their brother”, the Jews suddenly saw their brethren much more clearly. During these three days, Jews saw their brethren die because many didn’t want to leave Egypt and G-d decreed that they would die there. During the second three days when the Egyptians
were immobilized, the Jews went out to determine the location of the valuables that were stolen from them. This is the recipe for breaking out of darkness. We have to peer into the concealed places (painful places inside of ourselves) and discover treasures (i.e. connection to G-d). If we want to be joyous in the month of Adar, we must understand how to step into light when it’s dark. This means, first, to see clearly. If we are alive, we are here for an important reason. Second, we must actively seek what we value most– connection–as the Jews did in the last three days of the plague. Finally, I recently watched an interview with Sanjay Gupta discussing ways to fight off dementia. The six concrete suggestions he gave all shared one underlying agenda: to signal to the body and mind that we very much want to live. His suggestions included getting our blood pumping through our hearts and brains, practicing kindness and empathy and doing something everyday that is new (like eating dinner with the left hand if you are right-handed). This is our task always and especially this month of joy. We must send a clear message to our minds that we want to truly live. We have to be determined, break our routines, actively seek our inner darkness (and the world’s) for valuables, connect to one another and commit to our purpose everyday with unrelenting consistency. A
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LIVING ON THE FRONT PAGE by Andrea Simantov | firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep on Keeping On Although my husband and I share similar ethical values, political opinions and life goals, we aren’t clones. Raised differently on different continents, we have different food habits and discordant cultural experiences. When I sink into myself on a sad afternoon, I burn incense, don earpods and listen to moody American folk songs from the 60’s and 70’s. And I clean. Sadness makes me ache for order and sanitizing. When feeling down or unnerved, my husband pulls into himself. He won’t ‘talk about it’; instead he spends hours watching mindless macho-man movies that he cannot remember the titles of nor recall the respective story lines. Self‑medicating films feature Steven Seagal, Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Vin Diesel. Our house is small and I insist he wears a headset. The blare of car crashes, gun fights and hand‑to-hand combat is distracting. In summation, I do “mood”. He does “brood.” We try to time-cap these awkward life-chapters and, unless a real crisis looms, recovery is assured. Other standard coping mechanisms have recently shifted. As per mutual agreement, our historically reliable binge foods are no longer on hand. Does Ronney mourn the disappearance of biltong/beef jerky, pints of ice-cream, oatmeal-raisin cookies, bags of crisps? Probably. Reduced to foraging for microwave popcorn and a forlorn ricecake, he might delay his snacking until after he rides his spinning 16 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
bike for an hour along with anonymous YouTube buddies. Frankly, I used to gorge in tandem, matching pizza-slice for pizza-slice and educating him on the fine art of deli-sandwich construction. Many a Saturday evening included pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream arranged according
to texture on the kitchen table, only to discover that we needed a fast trip to the all-night market for requisite whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Almost a year into Corona, all of our coping patterns have changed, primarily because I dictate and he appreciates staying alive. In fact, while others have gained weight, I’ve deliberately and painstakingly lost 19 pounds! Ronney’s elevated and dangerous numbers have plummeted and we are both healthier and fitter than before we heard of Wuhan. Why is this? Maybe because with no reliable government or karmic authorities able to accurately predict the paralyzing length of time this pandemic is expected to last, sinking into despair and living in a state of uncertainty is not acceptable for us. Along with everyone else, we have experienced
a spreading numbness and can’t really remember what life felt like before the constant bidudim/quarantines and segerim/ national lock-downs. Did I really get my nails done and meet friends for breakfast? What will happen with my gym and museum memberships? I haven’t seen my mother in almost a year, overseas children and grandchildren in longer than that. What would happen if all of us gave into the despair of this altered reality and allowed uncertainty to become our individual narratives? At the time of this writing, Israel is in the midst of another national lock-down. Upcoming elections (the fourth in less than two years) have been announced. Protesters block major arteries. Both the husband and I have received our first inoculations. Talk of “when life goes back to normal” has ceased because most people do not believe that the world will be the same on the other side of this scourge. What we/it will look like remains to be seen. Until such day as we reengage or regroup and relegate COVID to the backburners of Heinous Moments in Human History, I’ll attempt to complete decades of photo-organizing I’ve promised to get to, write a novel and, perhaps, paint the bathroom either purple or slate-gray. I’ve stopped trying to figure it all out or project what lies ahead. It’s time–yes, time!–to lace up our dancing shoes, turn up the volume and gyrate to the pulsing beats of the tomorrows we want for ourselves and those we care for. A
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OUR EMOTIONAL FOOTPRINT by Saul Levine, M.D., Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry at UCSD | email@example.com
Kudos and Critics: The Pleasure and Pain of Writing Writing has been a rewarding avocation of mine for most of my life (by ‘rewarding’ I refer to emotional fulfillment, rather than financial). It has never been my primary profession and I don’t pretend to be a supremely gifted writer, but writing has always beckoned me as a kind of “calling.” I’ve always enjoyed the rituals of expressing my thoughts by putting pen to paper, writing cursive words on a blank page, or more recently, typing on a computer device. My muse has always been ‘life’ in all its complexities, wonders and woes. I’ve written regular newspaper and magazine columns, op-ed pieces and articles, academic papers and chapters, poems (doggerel!) and books, all of which brought me stimulation and pleasure. I leave it to others to evaluate the quality of my writing, but I’ve received sufficient encouragement to continue and not enough criticism to stop. Aside from kudos or criticisms however, I have my own inner urge to continue expressing myself with the written word. When I am deeply involved in the process of writing, I often enter a quasitrance state of inner tranquility and flowing thoughts. External noises and even minor havoc are seemingly walled off from my hearing and consciousness (sometimes to the chagrin of my family). 18 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
Creative writing has also been “therapeutic” for me in that when troubled, I’ve written (for my eyes only) about my problems in order to work things through, which I’ve found very helpful. There were times, of course, when my pleasure was diminished by the pressures of looming deadlines, or challenging topics, insufficient preparation, or by “writer’s block,” an occupational hazard. But none of these deterred me for long, and my joy in writing continued. Over the years I received compliments from some readers, as well as critiques from others about some perspectives I had written. While I naturally preferred compliments (surprise!), I also welcomed negative feedback, especially when interesting discussion or debate followed. In my early years of writing, critical feedback was polite and respectful, even when taking me to task. (Sometimes, the critics were right on!) And then along came the internet, the explosion of social media and things changed: Polite discourse was displaced by disdain and derision. There were still kudos, but criticism became more plentiful and personally antagonistic. I was not an exception: Critiques of many other (and better) writers and pundits came with an added veneer of nastiness. The respectful and civil disagreements of earlier years were
supplanted by insulting and accusatory words and even threats to the writers. There is now such a remarkable amount of anger in these “verbal assaults’ that I can imagine fulminating aggressive snarls emanating from fuming contorted faces. As you know, these unpleasant angry remarks in the blogosphere are referred to as ‘trolling,’ and those who do this are called ‘trolls.’ It strikes me that they so frequently seem “outraged!” They are irate about serious issues like politics or the pandemic, but everything is now fair game. They are also outraged about benign, superficial issues: Physical appearances, performances or behaviors, fashion or sports, can provoke equally furious comments. Angry trolls feel free to spew hateful comments because they’re protected by the anonymity afforded by the internet. They take advantage of this to inflict intimidation, emotional hurt and even incite physical harm. Social media platforms have enabled cranks and conspiracy theorists to say anything without fear of being identified, confronted or punished. We shouldn’t be surprised: Over the past few years we have witnessed increasing displays of incivility and rudeness in everyday life in shops and the streets, in offices and restaurants, in meetings and
even in families. Some of our public “models” of behavior, whom adults emulate and youngsters copy, are loud and belligerent politicians, talk-radio hosts or other authoritarian figures. Their bluster and rancor is “negative social noise” which provokes unsettling moods, angst and anger. Thankfully, writers throughout the world are not silenced by verbal nastiness. If anything, writing and other creative pursuits are flourishing beyond any previous era of humanity. Criticism and debate are vital to the Democratic process and we cherish our First Amendment right to Free Speech. We are fortunate that we can express unpopular opinions without fear of official reprisals. But that ability to speak freely cannot justify incendiary language. Assaultive verbal attacks demean and threaten and can actually hurt or harm individuals. I worry about a social atmosphere which enables and encourages rudeness and incivility. When disrespect and aggression become acceptable norms of behaviors, they spread (virally!) via “social contagion.” When benevolence is diminished and rudeness commonplace, we are in deep trouble as a society. My own writings have occasionally provoked a few readers who vehemently disagreed and felt compelled to include nasty and demeaning insults in their critiques. I have not received threats to my personal or my family’s well-being, but I must say that a few vicious missives have unnerved me. I no longer personally respond to nasty criticisms for fear of opening up communications with furious people with selfrighteous entrenched beliefs. This has unfortunately limited my direct contact with readers since I can no longer engage in the interesting discussions I once enjoyed. There are recent signs that giant internet monopolies will finally be better monitored and regulated by governments, so that malevolent and destructive words may soon be diminished, or even extinguished. Even without these developments, I will continue to write my own perspectives and readers will continue to be entertained, edified or enraged and can ignore, enjoy or disagree with my contributions. I just beg of you: Feel free to express your criticisms (and of course your compliments!) to writers, but please, tone down your disgust and hate, your fire and fury. It’s not good for your health, and certainly not ours. A
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POST-POLITICAL by Rabbi Jacob Rupp | email@example.com
The Three Pillars to Getting Unstuck Do you find yourself consistently hitting the same challenges and frustrations, despite years of trying to change? Whether in marriage, our personal lives, or our careers, we often find ourselves encountering stumbling blocks we just can’t surpass. In marriage, oftentimes you’ll have a period of time where things are good, or at least not terrible, but then boom all of a sudden you’re back to the depressions, the fighting and the disconnection. In our personal lives, we’ll find ourselves relapsing into fear about the future by reflecting on our insecurities, our inabilities and our old habits — and we end up sabotaging our progress. Look, it sucks to spend a lot of time trying to change your life and feel like you’re not getting anywhere. Bruce Springsteen said it best; when it comes to the death of your dreams — either you act like you don’t remember or you act like you don’t care. It doesn’t have to be like this. You don’t have to let your dreams die. The statement “we just can’t keep doing this” after you’ve spent years working on your marriage is a lie. And so is the idea that “it’s time to throw in the towel” if you’re not moving forward in your business despite all of your hard work. The truth is that the self-development world is a multi-trillion dollar industry selling you crap solutions that are designed to keep you stuck. So you keep spinning your 20 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
wheels and they keep raking in the dough. Honestly, it takes three ideas to consistently progress in life and relationships and all of them are free. The first recognition is that the walls that you keep running into are of your own making. No joke — we just project all of our inner crap on the outside world. Everything we see, we distort with our energy — either positively or negatively. For the risk-wary, everything in life is scary. Deep childhood wounding creates lack of trust. When we lack self esteem, everyone is passing us over or judging us. We created this. We build the walls that are holding us back. But that’s a good thing! Because if we built them, we have the ability to overcome them. The second pillar is that the walls that hold us back aren’t really walls at all, they just look that way. We don’t approach things that hold us back because we think they are actual walls — real barriers — and we can’t walk through walls. Things like asking for the sale, asking for what you want in the bedroom, asking someone to forgive you, requesting help or mentorship. Whatever we don’t have but want feels like it’s “locked away” somewhere. But the reality is that you just haven’t found the right way to approach it. Just understanding that your outcome is
achievable allows you to stretch, take action and achieve. Third, it’s the ability to see where you are now. This is the most difficult. It means being emotionally and situationally aware, taking complete responsibility for where you are and understanding what you need. We spend so much of our life blaming and not being willing to be vulnerable to ask that we create a ton of our own “stuckness.” These three concepts, or pillars, allow you to consistently move past your previous limitations and embrace the life you actually want. They allow you to have the kinds of relationships that are meaningful and build the type of career and life that truly speaks to you. Of course, it’s not always easy to see where we are now, or to find the right approach to overcome the walls we’ve built up, or even to realize that they’re of our own making. That’s when having someone like me (a coach) is helpful in getting unstuck. Recognizing that I was in a box of my own making was one of the pivotal moments of my life. When we realize we’re in charge of extricating ourselves and have that ability if only we apply ourselves, we create our own freedom. What’s stopping you? A
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2021 F I L M S CHEDU L E AND REV I EWS Shevat – Adar 5781 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 23
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F I L M REV I EW
Friendship Between Israeli and Palestinian Mothers Frames “Enemy” BY MICHAEL FOX
The Israeli drama “My Dearest Enemy” has the feel of a missive that got lost in the mail in the 1990s and just turned up. Constructed on a foundation of innocence and idealism, it evokes a time when prospects for personal relationships between Israelis and Palestinians were fading, but not extinguished. That’s not altogether good news, you see, because writer-director Tzipi Trope didn’t set out to make a nostalgia piece. The question on her mind was, “Is it possible to have a true friendship between people who refuse to accept each other?” A timely — and universal — topic, to be sure, but “My Dearest Enemy” lacks immediacy and intensity. The friendship at the center of the film goes back some 20 years, when gregarious Maya and shy Alice strike up a conversation after their Jerusalem ballet class. The young teenagers develop a bond through a love of poetry, and it makes no difference that Maya is Jewish and Alice is an Israeli Arab. Their aged fathers’ failing health prompts their reconnection in the present day, but it’s the future (represented by their teenage children) and not the past that gradually emerges as the plot’s catalyst. Maya’s son wants to join the special forces unit of the IDF, while Alice’s increasingly radicalized son is gravitating to those who use violence to combat the Occupation. Trope cuts back and forth between past and present, following one conversation with another, and another, and another. Nearly all the exposition — married Alice has a PhD. from the Sorbonne, single Maya sells her photo collages to hotels — is conveyed through dialogue. That’s one of the constraints of a small budget. Another is an inability to craft expressive, complicated shots that require
extensive rehearsals and multiple takes. Put ‘em together, add a perfunctory score and you get a film that doesn’t have much style, or sparkle. So “My Dearest Enemy” is ultimately an actor’s showcase rather than an auteur film. Fortunately, the two pairs of actresses — Romi Nadborny and Yarin Bargita (as young Maya and Alice) and Adi Gilat and Hanan Hillo (as the adult Maya and Alice) — generate remarkable naturalness, warmth and yes, relationship. And yet at several points in the narrative it’s quite conceivable that Alice and Maya, for all their mutual affection, won’t achieve a rapprochement. Neither character comes right out and says it — except when Maya thoughtlessly photographs the Palestinian women they’re visiting in the West Bank, precipitating a fiery blowup with Alice — but their respective obligations, opportunities and experiences are so different that they can never fully identify with the other. As an Israeli Jew, Maya has complete freedom to go wherever she wants, see whoever she wants and do whatever she wants. As a teenager, she doesn’t think twice about jumping in the unattended pool at a stranger’s house. We could (accurately) call it white privilege, but I don’t mean to be glib: Fearlessly living in a state of uncensored self-expression is unimaginable to those, like Alice, who cannot. Alice may be an educated, intelligent and independent woman, but her marriage
was arranged (by her father), and she can’t leave or even publicly disagree with her husband without losing every relationship and status in the community. How can Maya understand that, let alone offer advice? To its credit, “My Dearest Enemy” grapples with this dilemma without taking the easy route of manufacturing villains. The film leaves us with the possibility that
“people who refuse to accept each other,” as Trope framed it, don’t have to be enemies. Whether they can be true friends, well, at least there’s an opening. These days, that seems like a big frigging deal. Or perhaps I’m the one who’s optimistic. As Trope wrote in a director’s statement, “Did I get an answer [to my question]? Partly, but it didn’t give me much hope. Sure, Maya and Alice will stay friends forever, but will their children follow them and fight for peace? Will the “war that never ends” in my homeland and around the world, ever stop?” A Shevat – Adar 5781 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 25
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F I L M REV I EW
A Character Sketch of an Artist in “Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack” BY JACQUELINE BULL
Artists make great subjects for documentaries. They often speak in very matterof-fact deliberate sentences or in lofty metaphors–sometimes both. They are entertaining to watch just going about making their art. And they often have a quirkiness to them that makes them mysterious and engaging. Audrey Flack delivers as a subject. She has verve, she has perspective, she has opinions and she has a career spanning back to the 1950’s. “Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack” is centered on the artist in the present day working on a new piece on a massive white canvas and hops around in time to tell stories of her abstract expressionist days with Pollock and De Kooning, finding her passion as a child, her struggles with her marriage and raising an autistic daughter and her resistance to the prescriptions of what was fashionable in art. With a career as long and proud as hers, she has dabbled in multiple genres and mediums and the film spends time with each. What she is most known for is being
one of the pioneers of photorealism in the 70’s and this section is one of the meatiest. Her photorealist paintings are full right up to the brim with cherry-red lipsticks, frosted cakes, gleaming gold clocks, dripping candles and glossy nail polish–all with a gelatin sheen. Her male contemporaries showcase the reflective surface of car fenders, phone booths and urban architecture. This contrast had many critics label her kitsch, but she says her inspiration is the heavy symbol-laden Baroque still life. It is clear that she finds the art world a little stuffy and elitist. “It’s for people!” she exclaims. “Who else is it for?” A very funny and telling scene has present-day Flack walk through an exhibit of all square paintings and she stops at one with a deep navy and grey. “This is so depressing,” she said, slumping with exasperation. The film covers a lot of ground on her life, popping around to different times and topics, but is held in the center by present-day Flack. The score helps bolden the emotional current and additional
interviews and lots of footage of art gives it richness. One of the film’s strengths is using historical context and Flack as a teacher for the different art movements discussed. Documentaries about a single-subject like this are usually one of two things. One, look at how much they suffered and overcame in life and the resilience of the human spirit. Or two, telling the arc of their experience and living in nostalgia and the melancholy of someone past their prime. This is neither and lacks an overt argument of what it wants you to think about Flack. The film dabbles in many different angles (feminist, Jewish) but doesn’t assert one over any other. You are left with a mosaic or patchwork of a life and a career and you decide what you think about her. The most enduring image for me is Flack in her late 80’s, mid-way through her painting on the massive canvas that sat blank for 36 years, in her pink sneakers, dancing and plotting her next move. A
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FILM SCHEDULE Limited-Time Screenings Thursday, Feb. 11
Tuesday, Feb. 16
“Shared Legacies” / Opening Film
“Asia” (DRAMA, ISRAELI, WOMEN’S ISSUES) “Syndrome K” “Tomorrow, When the Apricots Bloom”
(DOCUMENTARY | CURRENT ISSUES | HISTORY)
Friday, Feb. 12
(DOCUMENTARY | THE ARTS | SAN DIEGO CONNECTION)
“Shared Legacies” “The Keeper” (DRAMA, BIOGRAPHY | HISTORY | SPORTS) Saturday, Feb. 13
“On Broadway” “The Keeper” Sunday, Feb. 14
“The Crossing” (DRAMA, FAMILY, HISTORY) “Thou Shalt Not Hate” (DRAMA, CURRENT ISSUES) “Perfect” (DOCUMENTARY, ISRAELI) (11 a.m. — Film + live virtual discussion with Director and Editor Yaniv Segalovich)
Monday, Feb. 15
“Syndrome K” (DOCUMENTARY, HISTORY) “Tomorrow, When the Apricots Bloom”
(DOCUMENTARY, THE ARTS, BIOGRAPHY, HISTORY)
“The Crossing” “Thou Shalt Not Hate”
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Wednesday, Feb. 17
“Asia” Thursday, Feb. 18
“Hope in the Holy Land”
(DOCUMENTARY, ISRAELI-PALESTINE RELATIONS)
(7 p.m. — Film + live virtual discussion with filmmakers Todd Morehead and Justin Kron)
Friday, Feb. 19
“Here We Are” (DRAMA, ISRAELI) Saturday, Feb. 20
“Here We Are”
SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL https: // watch.eventive.org / sdijff2021
Screening On-Demand Thursday, Feb. 11– Sunday, Feb. 21
“Adventures of a Mathematician”
(DRAMA, BIOGRAPHY, HISTORY)
(DOCUMENTARY, HISTORY, ISRAELI)
“Determined: The Story of Holocaust Survivor Avraham Perlmutter”
(DOCUMENTARY, BIOGRAPHY, HISTORY)
“Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack”
(DOCUMENTARY, THE ARTS, BIOGRAPHY)
“Searching for Mr. Rugoff”
(DOCUMENTARY, THE ARTS, BIOGRAPHY)
“Sky Raiders” (ADVENTURE, FAMILY, ISRAELI) “Stranger in Zion”
(DOCUMENTARY, ISRAELI, ISRAEL-PALESTINE RELATIONS)
“Stranger/Sister” (DOCUMENTARY, ISRAEL-PALESTINE RELATIONS, WOMEN’S ISSUES)
(DOCUMENTARY, THE ARTS, HISTORY)
“Holy Silence” (DOCUMENTARY, HISTORY)
“Tango Shalom” (DRAMA, COMEDY)
“Into The Darkness” (DRAMA, HISTORY)
“The Prophet” (DOCUMENTARY, BIOGRAPHY, HISTORY, ISRAELI)
“Liberation Heroes: The Last Eyewitnesses”
“The Day We Died” (DRAMA, CURRENT ISSUES, HISTORY)
“Ma’abarot” (DOCUMENTARY, HISTORY, ISRAELI) “Menachem Begin: Peace and War” (DOCUMENTARY, BIOGRAPHY, HISTORY, ISRAELI) “My Dearest Enemy” (DRAMA, ISRAELI, ISRAEL-PALESTINE RELATIONS, WOMEN’S ISSUES)
“Mystery of the Black Book”
“The End of Love” (DRAMA) “The Forgotten Ones” (DOCUMENTARY, HISTORY) “The Red Orchestra” (DOCUMENTARY, THE ARTS, HISTORY) “‘Till Kingdom Come” (DOCUMENTARY, CURRENT ISSUES) “Van Goghs” (DRAMA, CURRENT ISSUES) “Walter Winchell: The Power of Gossip”
(DOCUMENTARY, THE ARTS, BIOGRAPHY, HISTORY)
Shevat – Adar 5781 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 29
F I L M REV I EW
“The Red Orchestra” reprises anti-Nazi resistance groups’ hits BY MICHAEL FOX
Historians and documentary filmmakers are quick to point out–and rightly so–the dramatic license that narrative filmmakers routinely take with real-life sagas. Most moviegoers, though, subscribe to the attitude, “Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.”
So audiences are generally content to take films at face value, from benchmark World War II dramas like “Schindler’s List” to selective portraits like “Darkest Hour” to outright fictions like “Inglorious Bastards.” This is hardly a new phenomenon, as anyone whose childhood included “Sands of Iwo Jima” on TV and “The Dirty Dozen” on the big screen can attest. One goal of historical documentaries is to correct the myths, inaccuracies and omissions of commercial films (even wellintentioned ones). What’s unusual about the solid German-Belgian documentary “The Red Orchestra,” which recounts in extensive detail the curious, colorful saga of a loose confederation of spy operations in wartime Europe, is its wholesale 30 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
adoption of scenes from narrative films to illustrate the story. The films in question are a couple of skillfully made, well-acted, early-1970s thrillers (one produced in East Germany, the other in the West). Consequently, the many, many scenes and sequences chosen by Carl-Ludwig Rettinger, a prolific nonfiction producer and the director of “The Red Orchestra,” are far more entertaining than the standard sit-down interviews with scholars would be. But when those ‘70s films portray the Orchestra leaders as German traitors or Russian infiltrators, Rettinger brings in one of their descendants to right the record. And where the films stopped short of giving the whole picture–by sparing their viewers the brutality of Nazi torture, for example–narrator Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates of “Downton Abbey”) lets us know. You have to pay very close attention, though, because there are several characters to keep straight while the story bounces from Brussels to Berlin to Paris, with occasional trips to Moscow. But for those who can never get enough of World War II intrigue, “The Red Orchestra” offers a dive into distant, largely forgotten history. After a series of assignments in Western Europe, Soviet Jewish intelligence agent Leopold Trepper landed in Brussels in 1938. His front was a raincoat-exporting company run by Leon Grossvogel, whom he’d met in Palestine a decade earlier when
Trepper was a communist labor-organizer (until the British forced him to leave the country). The following year, another experienced Soviet Jewish spy, Anatoly Gurevitch, arrived in Brussels to work with Trepper. In Berlin, meanwhile, Haro SchulzeBoysen, an Aviation Ministry officer and fervent anti-Nazi, started smuggling documents and information to the East with an ad hoc, ever-expanding circle of covertly anti-Nazi friends. Although these were separate operations, the Nazis charged with investigations and arrests put them under the Red Orchestra umbrella because of their common mission: funneling information to Moscow. “The Red Orchestra” is a largely unemotional affair, despite the promise of the first words uttered in the film: “There used to be the Gestapo headquarters. They interrogated my parents there.” Ultimately, the narrative, which weaves in the history of World War II in Europe and the Soviet Union–albeit with only a brief segment on the Holocaust–follows the spy leaders to their various fates. The lucky ones, in a manner of speaking, were rewarded upon their return to Moscow with sentences to the gulag. As former allies became Cold War enemies in the rapidly shifting winds of the post-war period, former Nazis were given papers and jobs while anti-Nazi spies were slandered and punished. More than three decades later, new regimes revised and rescued the spies’ reputations and legacies. “The Red Orchestra” extends that effort into our own time. A
F I L M REV I EW
Apocalyptic Motivations in “Till Kingdom Come” BY NATHALIE FEINGOLD
“Shakespeare said there’s a tide in the affairs of men. And that tide is gone,” said Pastor Boyd Bingham IV in a thick southern accent as he fires an assault rifle at a metal target. This is how viewers are introduced to Boyd, a small town Kentucky evangelical pastor and one of the leading characters in Maya Zinshtein’s powerful documentary “‘Till Kingdom Come.” Boyd is a devout evangelical and he is guided by prophecy. So in his eyes, the “tide” Shakespeare refers to is G-d’s will– something that he feels many of his fellow Americans have forgotten. Boyd and his father, William Boyd Bingham III, are co-pastors at Binghamtown Baptist Church. The camera brings the viewer inside their church through a wide shot where, right behind the altar, a Star of David hangs over a giant Christian cross. Boyd and his father preach to their parishioners that the bible says, “I will bless those that bless Israel and I will curse those that curse Israel.” A theology that Boyd says they “indoctrinate” into the children of the church, encouraging them to bring in all of their loose change and lunch money to donate it to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. This is not an isolated phenomenon– evangelical Christians donate a total of $129 million to the Fellowship annually. To understand the motives behind evangelical’s support of Israel, one must first understand that many evangelicals are guided almost entirely by a doomsday prophecy. They believe that Jesus will eventually return to Israel after a period of great tribulation. “They’re going to have wars, natural disasters, disease and Jerusalem will be
trodden down until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. As Christians, we’re going to be preserved... And that’s the wonderful hope that we have,” explained Pastor William with an unsettling passion. He then went on to say that they are currently watching for “end times signs,” which will culminate in the final battle of humanity known as Armageddon. One Kentucky radio host went as far as saying, “As I listen to news reports from Israel, I hear about the bombings and they were bombings even near children. When we see all of these things happening to the nation of Israel, it should give us all hope that when we hear of these wars, we can look up and see that our redemption will be coming.” Under Donald Trump, evangelicals rose to unprecedented power in politics–with Trump even appointing an evangelical advisory board–threatening the nation’s separation of church and state. “We are the people that brought Donald Trump to power, and he pushes our agenda,” Pastor Boyd said plainly. Israeli Diplomatic Correspondent Barak Ravid believes that “when the U.S.
gets into an issue like Jerusalem, it takes on a dimension of a religious war...This is political Christianity, in which politics is a continuation of a prophetic vision.” Lara Friedman, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, draws clear parallels between the Israeli settler movement and the evangelical movement. “You have two ideologically motivated crowds pushing an agenda that is handed to them by G-d.” Lara continued, “It used to be that you would have support for Israel on a bipartisan basis, but now Israel has written off progressive American Jews like me completely.” Correspondent Barak Ravid also drew parallels during Trump’s announcement of Israeli sovereignty over part of the West Bank in early 2020, a move viewed to the delight of many evangelicals as another clear “sign of the end times.” “We have two groups that have been pushed to the sidelines as far as their political influence, but in the past three years have been extremely influential. One is the evangelical lobby, and the other is the Israeli Settler lobby. The settler lobby continued on next page Shevat – Adar 5781 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 31
has a lot of influence on Netanyahu — that’s his political base. Trump has his evangelical base. These two groups are acting as a vice, applying pressure, both from Israel and the U.S., to achieve their common goals.” The viewer is shown footage of powerful evangelical, CUFI and Settler lobbyists at Capitol Hill influencing life-altering decisions with a gleeful detachment from the millions of lives that will undoubtedly be changed. Maya Zinshtein artfully criticizes this detachment by juxtaposing the footage with imagery of children and families in the West Bank–the place where these decisions will be most felt, nearly 6,000 miles away. Zinshtein weaves bombshell interviews with compelling footage to analyze the hypocrisy behind the friendship between American evangelicals and Israeli Settlers. The documentary culminates with Maya Zinshtein asking Pastor William directly if he views the cooperation between Jews and evangelicals as hypocritical. Pastor William laughed, saying, “You blind, stupid, Jewish people, can’t you see this set forth before you? The historical, biblical evidence is here.” His eyes getting wide as his visible excitement grew, “How could you be so blind because you’re just a little bit arrogant. Now you’re going to go through tribulations and get your tail busted and get humbled.” On that note, the documentary fades to black, end scene. A
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I would like to get back to the good old days when Jews held on to three opinions at the same time. The opinions used to be right, wrong and maybe and we shared thoughts about each of those approaches with facts.
Crossing Turtles BY RABBI BEN LEINOW
In the late 1980’s I moved to Drumright, Oklahoma for a few years. Land was not expensive, so we bought a lovely home on a 52 acre property. We had around 30 head of cattle, 3 horses, a large garden and a 2 ½ acre pond. I served two synagogues, one near the Arkansas border and the other in North Huston, Texas. I taught in the high school and practiced psychology when needed. One warm Sunday on my return from Texas, I had a most unusual experience. As I turned onto the small two-way road to our home, I saw round moving objects all over the road. The objects were turtles in migration moving to and from our pond. I stopped for a few hours to watch the movement of these ‘pond slider turtles.’ After a while I noticed a group following one fairly large turtle. The largest turtle would move in a safe direction, but many of the turtles that followed the leader were crushed by the cars passing by. Most of the turtles that went off on their own seemed to survive. The current national political circumstances is challenging our Jewish values. My experience nowadays is that many of us start out with the belief that we are correct and anyone expressing a different opinion is wrong. Rather than listening to each other and learning from one another, different opinions now signal that the person expressing a different thought must not be part of us. There is a sense of me being right and you must be wrong.
The Jewish joke I loved was that when you got three Jews together, you usually had at least four opinions on a subject. We laughed at ourselves about not agreeing with one another. You might remember hearing the joke “If two Jews were shipwrecked on a deserted island they would have to construct three synagogues. For peace on the island, there would be one synagogue for each of them to attend and one synagogue that neither of them would attend. This joke expressed our wonderful capacity to disagree agreeably. We happily listened to each other supported one another and marveled at hearing and learning the differences. We shared a new thought with one another at every encounter. I have heard reports of angry laypeople in synagogues cursing the Rabbi when he or she would pray for both past and current U.S. Presidents at the same event. We Jews need to pray for love and understanding of one and another’s personal opinion. We need to support diversity and pray for wisdom. If we acknowledge that G-d is on both sides of a thought, then we will be open to thinking and supporting all Jewish and non-Jewish men, women and youngsters. The truth we must support is the love of thought and growth of opinion. The gift that we give and receive is friendship, love of oneself and the right and responsibility of loving life and human growth. A Shevat – Adar 5781 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 33
Seacrest Foundation is excited to present the Women’s Auxiliary 43rd Annual Gala on Sunday, February 21, 2021. 5:00 PM Live VIP Zoom Cocktail Reception | 5:30 PM Livestream Gala The past year has been like no other, and because of that, this year’s gala is like no other. This is the first Women’s Auxiliary VIRTUAL gala, and we are humbled by the opportunity to honor our Seacrest Heroes, who have been working tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of the Seacrest Village residents with love and compassion during these challenging times. Every one of our Seacrest Heroes has a Heart of Gold; we hope you will join us in celebrating them! We invite everyone in our community to our complimentary livestream event: The Hearts of Gold Virtual Gala, Preserving Hope During the Pandemic. Gala Co-Chairs, Cindy Bloch and Jean Gaylis, and Women’s Auxiliary President, Mary Epsten, along with the Hearts of Gold Gala Steering Committee, are a dedicated group of women committed to Seacrest Foundation and safeguarding Seacrest Village residents in need. The gala committee members, meeting regularly on Zoom, have planned an online gala that will be meaningful and joyful in the celebration of Seacrest’s Heroes while raising funds for the Seacrest Village Resident Assistance Fund and the COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
Joan Rines, Seacrest Village Resident, sends love to the Seacrest Heroes
Nancy Strassner, Director of Nursing, shows her support of the COVID-19 vaccine
Seacrest Rabbi Leah Herz was happy to be vaccinated against COVID-19
The Hearts of Gold Gala promises to be a lively production and will include our Seacrest Village Heroes, residents, and special guests, as well as a Silent and Live Auction and Fund-A-Need. In keeping with the Women’s Auxiliary’s unique sophisticated style, the Hearts of Gold Gala includes opportunities to receive catering and wine delivered to your home for your private Watch Party and a VIP cocktail reception on Zoom with an exclusive mixologist. You can choose to dress up or dress down while you tune-in and enjoy the show with your meal and libations! All Hearts of Gold Gala contributors who support Seacrest Foundation with a gift of $10,000 and above will be recognized as patrons with Hearts of Gold. These supporters will have their name(s) and dedication inscribed on a gorgeous Hearts of Gold central recognition display being created expressly for Seacrest Village. This permanent work of public art will be installed in Annette’s Village Square, the “heart” of Seacrest Village. It will serve as a reminder of the love and compassion that are getting us through this pandemic and will lead us into the future with hope.
One of many Steering Committee Zoom meetings, planning the Hearts of Gold Gala.
The Hearts of Gold Gala has an ambitious fundraising goal, with the charge led by Fundraising Chair Anne Nagorner and Sponsorship & Underwriting Co-Chairs Jessica Chodorow and Esther Fischer. We must continue to provide assistance for those whose savings have been depleted due to illness, injury, or for any reason, and for those who may have no one to turn to for help. Additionally, we must provide tremendous additional support for the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Seacrest’s needs are growing and changing, and funds are required to keep the Seacrest community safe and healthy.
With these critical needs in mind, longtime supporters of Seacrest Sharon and David Wax have committed a beautiful matching gift of $500,000 to the Hearts of Gold Gala. Sharon and David shared, “We are delighted to give this gift in honor and recognition of our dear friends and gala leadership, Cindy & Larry Bloch, Jean & Franklin Gaylis, Mary & Jon Epsten, and Esther Fischer, for their support and dedication to Seacrest.” They continued by saying, “Seacrest Village residents are among the most vulnerable in our community, and it’s imperative that we provide as much support as possible to ensure their care and safety.”
We hope you will join us online for our complimentary Hearts of Gold Virtual Gala, Preserving Hope During the Pandemic. For more information or philanthropic opportunities and to RSVP, please visit seacrestfoundation.org or call 760-516-2015.
BY MICAH SIVA
Everything Bagel Hamantaschen Makes: 16-18 Purim is just around the corner and I’m celebrating with my all-time favorite Jewish cookie, the hamantaschen. These triangular cookies are meant to represent the three-cornered hat of Haman. This isn’t your Bubbe’s traditional prune or poppy filled treat, instead, I’m having cookies for breakfast with this savory hamantaschen full of bagel flavor. DOUGH
• 1 cup all-purpose flour • 1 cup whole wheat flour • 1 tsp. baking powder • 2 tbsp. everything bagel spice seasoning • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cubed • 1 large egg, whisked • 4-5 tbsp. water, ice cold
1. In a food processor, combine flours, baking powder and bagel spice. 2. Cut in butter until it resembles a coarse meal. 3. Stream in the egg and add water 1 tbsp at a time until a dough forms. 4. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 1 hour. 5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F. Line 2 trays with parchment paper. 6. In a medium bowl, combine chives and cream cheese. 7. On a floured surface, roll dough to ¼ inch thickness. Cut 3-inch circles and transfer to the lined baking trays. Portion ½ tbsp in the center of each circle. Brush the outer edges with egg wash. 8. Fold or pinch into a triangle shape. 9. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with everything bagel spice. 10. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Let cool on the tray.
• 2 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped • 3/4 cup cream cheese TO ASSEMBLE
• ¼ cup everything bagel spice seasoning • 1 egg yolk, whisked • 1 tbsp water
36 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
Dating D URIN G COV I D BY JUDITH GOTTESMAN When COVID-19 started, there were clever “Love in the Time of the months dragged on, though, most people have found a way to Corona” references, a take off from “Love in the Time of Cholera” adapt. I’ve had to adapt my dating advice, as well. by Gabriel García Márquez. News covered socially-distant weddings My advice before COVID was to encourage my clients to meet and sweet stories of couples in international relationships meeting as soon as possible and not spend much time or emotional energy for dates along Europe’s country borders, since they were closed emailing, texting, or talking on the phone, so as not develop attachto travelers. ments before an actual date. If you don’t have in-person chemistry, There were also stories of couples getting divorced or breaking it can all be over in a few minutes. For my matchmaking clients, up after being cooped up with a partner in a relationship that wasn’t I usually encourage it to be a blind date unless it’s a long-distance working. On the other end of the spectrum, some singles stayed with match and people will be traveling hours to meet. people just for company, or jumped into relationships with those I also usually recommend a brief first date like in a coffee shop or they otherwise might not, maybe even after just a walk in a park or beach, in case there’s no chema date or two, to avoid sheltering in place alone. istry in person. That way no one invests too much While the stakes Some couples, where one works in a high-risk time or money in the first date as they would if are higher and dating job, are temporarily living separately or staying in having a costly, lengthy meal together. separate parts of their home. If couples are dating I’ve spoken to several doctors to see what they is more dangerous than and don’t live together, many are only seeing each think is safest. My recommendations now are to it used to be, the overall other outside at a distance and wearing masks. talk on the phone several times, exchange photos idea is still the same; Three seasons have passed and despite the to see if there’s an attraction before meeting and where there’s a will, start of vaccinations, there is no end in sight. go on a socially-distant walk, wearing masks, as With people as isolated and lonely as ever, as a a first date. there’s a way! matchmaker and dating coach, I still get a lot After several socially-distant dates, if you like of questions as to how to find, or maintain love each other, you can essentially isolate for 14 days amidst a pandemic. Many want to know if it is even possible to (while still talking on the phone and at that point, maybe adding date during COVID. video calls to get to know each other better). I suggest not doing While the stakes are higher and dating is more dangerous than video calls at first since people tend to look bad on them. Moreover, it used to be, the overall idea is still the same; where there’s a will, conversation usually flows better on the phone, when not distracted there’s a way! by visuals and being worried how you look on the screen. As a dating coach and matchmaker, I always advise to take things If all goes well after the two weeks and you still like each other, slowly and to be safe. But people will make their own decisions and then have dates without masks a few times to determine if you want use their judgment to do what they feel is best for them, as with to become each other’s “pod” and turn it into a relationship. As it anything else in life. Those who are generally cautious and careful was before, after a few weeks or months, it’ll become clear if this has will be so with dating during the pandemic. Those who have never the potential to turn into something serious. If the two of you can been concerned with safer sex, aren’t likely to worry about catching successfully navigate a relationship during COVID-19, you probably COVID-19, either. have a pretty good chance of making it long-term. Many people had put off trying to meet someone new in order Good luck, stay healthy out there, and I wish you love! A to stay safe and since it became seemingly complicated to date. As Shevat – Adar 5781 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 37
BY JACQUELINE BULL
San Diego Symphony All content is available on sandiegosymphony.org.
Feb. 26, 7 p.m.: Elegy & Serenades
This concert features two serenades: Mozart’s Serenade No. 12 and Tchaikovsky’s serenade for the strings and Carlos Simon’s Elegy: A Cry from the Grave which is dedicated to Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Tuesdays: Lunch & Listen
Q&As with CEO Martha Gilmer and San Diego Symphony musicians. Wednesday Evenings: LISTEN // HEAR
Ongoing: Symphony Stream
Listen to past audio broadcasts, podcasts discussing classical works and videos with interviews and performances.
Wynton Marsalis at La Jolla Music Society.
Music Director Rafael Payare and colleagues discuss all things symphony on YouTube and Facebook live streams and are later archived.
La Jolla Music Society All content is available on ljms.org.
Feb. 20-22: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet with Wynton Marsalis
This drive-in concert at the Del Mar Fairgrounds features composer, artistic director and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.
San Diego Repertory Theatre All content is available on sdrep.org.
Feb. 4 & 18, 5:30 p.m.: We are Listening
SD REP’s Development Coordinator hosts conversations with black artists discussing their careers in theater. Feb. 4 features Chris Ashley, Barry Edelstein and Samy Woodhouse. Feb. 18 features Dajahn Blevins. Feb. 7 at 5 p.m.: Hershey Felder in Before Fiddler
▲ “Rhapsody in Blue” at City Ballet.
Before “Fiddler on the Roof,” there was Sholem Aleichem and Klezmer. Hershey Felder plays as storyteller and performer to inhabit the old world.
All content is available on cityballet.org
All content is available on cygnettheatre.com.
Mar. 5-Mar. 21: Rhapsody in Blue
Feb. 15, 7 p.m.: The Love Show
This world premiere is choreographed by Geoff Gonzalez with iconic music of George Gershwin.
38 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
This cabaret features Cygnet artists performing their favorite songs about love.
San Diego Natural History Museum All content is on sdnhm.org.
Ongoing: At-Home Activities
Check out diy crafts, nature bingo, scavenger hunts and printable coloring pages for family-friendly activities. ▲ North Coast Rep Theatre Conversations with Artistic Director David Ellenstein and actress Sharon Reitkerk.
North Coast Repertory Theatre All content is available on northcoastrep.org.
Ongoing: Theatre Conversations
Watch conversations with artists and friends of North Coast Rep discuss many of the behind-the-scenes stories of working in live theater.
La Jolla Playhouse
▲ “The Sky Tonight” at Reuben Fleet Science Center.
All content is available on lajollaplayhouse.org Ongoing: Towards Belonging
This project, a dance film with original spoken-word poetry and music, was filmed at and celebrates the Arts Park in Chollas Creek.
The Reuben Fleet Science Center All content is on rhfleet.org. Events marked with a (*) require registration.
Feb. 3, 1 p.m.: Live Longer, Live Stronger*
San Diego Museum of Art All content is available on sdmart.org
Feb. 19, 7 p.m.: Virtual SDMA+ Art of Elan: Abstraction and Allegory
This performance puts in conversation the photographic arts in “Masters of Photography from the Garner Collection” with “Advice from a Caterpillar” for bass clarinet.
This discussion is about Alzheimer’s disease and its risk factors. Feb. 3, 7 p.m.: The Sky Tonight*
At the center of the Milky Way Galaxy lies a supermassive black hole; learn all about it. Feb. 8, 7 p.m. Suds & Science*
This edition of “spirited” discussion is all about Autism Spectrum Disorders and genetics.
Feb. 20, 10 a.m.: In Service to Krishna: The Artists of the Temple Town of Nathdwara, Rajasthan
This discussion illuminates the art of the Vaishnava Pushtimarg sect and the living artists today who carry on the tradition. Kamalan ki Pichvai (Lotus Pichvai). Shevat – Adar 5781 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 39
Mayor Todd Gloria Gives His First State of the City Address Mayor Todd Gloria officially addressed the citizens of San Diego from an empty San Ysidro Library. “This library, and what it means to this community, is a symbol of who we should be as a City. It is a beautiful reminder of the importance of investing in traditionally underserved neighborhoods and proof of community perseverance during the pandemic,” Mayor Gloria explained. Two key points of his strategy are his first executive order to protect the San Diego hospital system by stronger enforcement of health orders. And the city’s response to the homelessness crisis. He announced the extension of Operation Shelter to Home, which
converted the convention center to a temporary homeless shelter. “Since it opened in April, we’ve been able to connect nearly 1,200 individuals and families with long-term housing,” Gloria emphasized that this is only a short-term solution. He then addressed those experiencing homelessness directly and said that the City will no longer expect police officers to serve as the first point of contact for unsheltered people and instead have mental health clinicians be the first points of contact. He also pledged a renewed focus on “housing-first solutions” and announced that he moved homeless services into the Mayor’s Office to make it a top priority.
“Let me be clear, we must change the status quo on homelessness,” Gloria explained. Additionally his plan for tackling the housing crisis includes incentivizing and creating more middle-and-lowincome housing developments so that “San Diegans have a pathway to put down roots and build generational wealth.” Gloria also announced the new Office of Race and Equity at City Hall, an office that will be prioritizing equity and environmental justice in urban neighborhoods. Part of the plan centers around establishing a Climate Equity fund to “pay for sustainability projects in historically underserved communities.” The address also discussed the City’s Climate Action Plan with the mission of reducing greenhouse gas emissions city-wide, ramping up construction on the Pure Water project, extending the eviction moratorium during the pandemic and supporting San Diego small business. Mayor Gloria concluded his address with this promise: “Over the next four years, I look forward to working with people from every corner of our City to improve neighborhoods and tackle our biggest challenges. It won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Our city has big things on the horizon. Let’s have hope. Let’s rise above being fine and dare to be great. Let’s build a San Diego for all of us.”
Birch Aquarium Offering Scholarships to SoCal Schools The Birch Aquarium is offering 600 free virtual programs to local classrooms all over San Diego. The now fully virtual programs are designed to be both exploratory and engaging, with time for students to ask questions and interact virtually with ocean creatures. “With the support of these scholarships, over 12,000 students and their teachers will be able to receive free virtual programming this academic year. In addition, virtual programs are an exciting way for students to not only get excited about ocean animals and conservation but also provides an opportunity for students to see themselves in STEM learning,” said Director of Education Megan Malaska Medley. Scholarships for the free programs are available for underserved San Diego schools through an online application process. Registration is currently open for “Virtual School Group Programs” for the 2020/2021 school year. 40 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
San Diego Leaders Announce Funding from COVID-19 Community Response Fund The San Diego Foundation, along with three partner organizations, are on schedule to announce the latest round of funding from the San Diego COVID‑19 Community Response Fund. They hosted a virtual press conference on Jan. 3 announcing funding to help Black, Latinx and Asian-owned small businesses affected by the pandemic. The funds will primarily be distributed to support small businesses with rent, utilities, payroll and other operational costs. The announcement will also detail the goals of the new round of grantmaking, the latest updates with the fund and information on how it intends to benefit the community. The additional funding is seen as critically necessary due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases in S.D. County.
According to their recent media alert, “the San Diego Foundation’s COVID‑19 Response Fund helps nonprofit organizations support communities at the greatest risk of being impacted by the coronavirus. Targeting low-income
workers, families and communities, the fund rapidly deploys resources on a rolling basis to provide valuable resources to communities across San Diego.”
“As my ancestors planted for me, so do I plant for those who will come after me”. - Talmud
Chai Legacy Society Thank you to the individuals and families who have made a commitment to leave an estate gift to the Chai Legacy Society of Camp Mountain Chai. These community members believe that an overnight camp experience enhances Jewish identity and makes campers more likely to live a Jewish life. Legacy gifts ensure that Camp Mountain Chai will thrive for generations to come. Be remembered forever with a gift in your will, trust, retirement account or life insurance policy.
What will your
To learn more, visit www.campmountainchai.com/legacy (858) 499-1330 | email@example.com Shevat – Adar 5781 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 41
ASK MARNIE by Marnie Macauley | firstname.lastname@example.org
Abraham Lincoln and the Jews Much like you (without the kidney stones I hope) I sit here screaming. Not about stones but about the unthinkable state of our union; our Capitol Building and legislators nearly destroyed with the mission of shredding our republic, its constitution and the promise it was founded upon. Tragically, we’re no longer talking about muskets and cannons, but bombs, and assault weapons. Throughout the last four years we’ve heard our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln’s name, tossed around for noble comparison often by the most ignoble who occupy that Capitol et al. It’s time for a break. A Jewish one. As we celebrate Presidents’ Day on the 15th of this month, let us truly celebrate President Lincoln, and of course, look for his Jewish roots. What else? Honest Abe loved the Jewish people. But could he have been one of us? On February 12, 1809, a young, poor, woman from Virginia, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, gave birth to a son in a log cabin built along the banks of Nolin Creek (now Hodgenville, Kentucky.) Her son, Abraham, became one of America’s most admired Presidents. Let’s look at how the 16th President stood up for the Jews and was a true “mensch.” My dear San Diegans:
Lincoln’s Jewish Involvement
Lincoln was the first President to make it possible for rabbis to serve as military chaplains by signing the 1862 Act of 42 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
Congress which changed the law that had barred all but Christian clergymen from the role. It all started on Sept. 8, 1861, when a 30-year-old Philadelphia cantor, Michael Mitchell Allen, returned to his encampment with the 65th Regiment of the Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry, known as Cameron’s Dragoons. The regiment of 1,200 men, mostly Jews, elected him their chaplain. Complaints flew up the military ladder. Lincoln then signed the Act and Jewish chaplains have been serving in the American Armed Forces ever since. He was also, happily, called upon to revoke an official act of anti-Semitism by the U.S. government. He canceled General Ulysses S. Grant’s “Order No. 11” expelling all Jews from Tennessee from the district controlled by his armies during the Civil War. (Grant denied personal responsibility for this act, attributing it to his subordinate.) Shortly after delivering the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln met Canadian Christian Zionist, Henry Wentworth Monk, who expressed hope that Jews who were being oppressed in Russia and Turkey be emancipated “by restoring them to their national home in Palestine.” Lincoln replied this was “a noble dream and one shared by many Americans.” Lincoln and Jewish lawyer Abraham Jonas (1801-1864) were intimate confidantes. The friendship began soon after Jonas settled in Quincy, Illinois in 1838. When Lincoln visited Quincy in
1854, he spent most of his time with Jonas, who came from Kentucky where he served in the State Legislature for four terms. From 1849 to 1851, he was postmaster and Lincoln re-appointed him in 1861. More, Jonas was one of the first to suggest Lincoln for the presidency when Horace Greeley, the editor of the “New York Daily Tribune,” went to Quincy in December 1858 to meet with leading Republicans to discuss the election of 1860. Lincoln and Jewish doctor Isachar Zacharie, an English-born chiropodist, met in September 1862 professionally. The President gave him the following testimonial: “Dr. Zacharie has operated on my feet with great success, and considerable addition to my comfort.” Zacharie became both friend and emissary for Lincoln. The “New York World” wrote that the chiropodist “enjoyed Mr. Lincoln’s confidence perhaps more than any other private individual.” Zacharie also actively solicited the Jewish vote for Lincoln. Was “Honest Abe” Really Abe Lin‑Cohen — an MOT?
In his study of American Jewry and the Civil War (Philadelphia, 1951), Bertram W. Korn writes that in the eulogy Rabbi Isaac M. Wise delivered after Lincoln’s assassination, he said: “The lamented Abraham Lincoln believed himself to be bone from our bone and flesh from our flesh. He supposed himself to be a descendant of Hebrew parentage. He said so in my presence.”
Ever since, speculation has been rife. Google “Abraham Lincoln Jewish” and a plethora of articles appear. The “Case for Jewish Lincoln:”
His name was Abraham. His greatgrandfather was named Mordechai. Lincoln was described as having Sephardic features. He was close friends with prominent Jews and advocated pro-Jewish policies. While Lincoln never professed belonging to a specific faith, he would often refer to his beliefs citing the 20th chapter of the Book of Exodus — the Ten Commandments. His ancestors came from the town of Lincoln in eastern England. Established in 1159, it has an interesting Jewish history. During Crusader riots, the Sheriff of Lincoln and the Bishop of London saved the Jews by giving them official protection and taught love of Jews to parishioners. It’s been postulated that when the Jews were ordered out of England, Abraham Lincoln’s ancestors may have been Conversos. When Lincoln was assassinated, Jewish communities sat Shiva. Rabbis around the country eulogized the fallen President. The FACTS?
The answer? At present, the above “proof ” is purely speculation. The facts tell a different story. Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln denied the admission of Hebrew ancestry. Nor is there a shred of credible evidence to substantiate Rabbi Wise’s assertion that Lincoln identified as having a Jewish heritage. Lincoln was not known to have shared similar comments to his close Jewish friends, something he surely would have done as “Honest Abe” wrote them of many other intimate and political details. Yet, no doubt Abraham Lincoln could not have been more supportive, sympathetic, or friendlier to the Jews, if he had indeed been one of us. So now, the sensible, correct way to think is with positivity, courage, faith and the indisputable knowledge that the vast majority of us, regardless of whom we voted for, are decent human beings who will not tolerate hate, violence, or terrorism. Indeed, we deserve to think better of us and watch over our unique gifts: protect and defend them from all terrorists, foreign and tragically domestic. A
Synagogue Life Congregation Beth Israel’s Jews and Jazz! with Yale Strom Feb. 2, 9 and 16 at 7 p.m. on Zoom Jazz lovers are invited to enjoy the music of some of the greatest musicians of the jazz and swing era of the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s. Yale Strom, esteemed scholar on Jewish klezmer music and jazz will share his many insights and prolific research on the topic. There is no fee but interested attendees are encouraged to RSVP for planning purposes. Visit cbisd.org for registration.
Congregation Beth Israel’s DayTimers Speaker Series: Dr. Alan Molk and Dr. Robert Shapiro Feb. 18 at 1:30 p.m. on Zoom Join Dr. Molk and Dr. Shapiro as they discuss their book, “Saving Lives. Saving Dignity: A Unique End-of-Life Perspective from Two Emergency Physicians,” as they share their unique end-of-life perspectives. There is no fee but interested attendees are encouraged to RSVP for planning purposes. For more information contact Program Director Ilene Tatro at email@example.com or visit cbisd.org.
Talking Climate Change with Andre Gunther, Ph.D at Temple Adat Shalom Feb. 7 at 11 a.m. on Zoom “Dr. Andrew Gunther will share the basic physical principles and observations that have led every scientific academy in the world to conclude that human emissions of greenhouse gasses are altering the climate. He will discuss the significant climatic changes that are occurring, what we can expect in the future and the steps we must take to solve this crisis.” For more information and registration visit adatshalom.com.
Solel People of the Book with Temple Solel Feb. 10 at 11:30 a.m. on Zoom This month’s discussion is centered around “Thirst: The Desert Trilogy” by Shulamit Hareven. To borrow the book, email your home address and phone number to Renee Lucas at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange contactless delivery. Visit templesolel.net for more information.
Short Stories with Congregation Beth El Feb. 21 at 10:30 a.m. on Zoom Join in a “lively and interactive” discussion of short stories. Stories are sent to interested participants one week in advance. No registration is required but for more information, contact Linda Kozin at email@example.com, or Joy Wasserman at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cbe.org.
Shevat – Adar 5781 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 43
The Joyous Music of Tradition and Transition. Let the award-winning
Second Avenue Klezmer Ensemble
provide your wedding or Bar/Bat Mitzvah with lively, authentic music. Tradition has never been so much fun!
Cantor Deborah Davis Custom Wedding Ceremonies
Let us work together to create a wedding ceremony that reflects the joy of your special day. As Humanistic Jewish clergy I focus on each couple’s uniqueness and their love for each other. I welcome Jewish, interfaith and same-sex couples. I also perform all life-cycle ceremonies. For further information please contact
For information call Deborah Davis: 619-275-1539
To hear samples, visit our website: secondavenueklezmer.com
Deborah Davis • 619.275.1539 www.deborahjdavis.com
Welcoming babies and families to San Diego’s Jewish Community
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Shalom Baby is an innovative program designed for San Diego families to celebrate the arrival of their Jewish newborns to affiliated, non-affiliated and inter-married families as a welcome to the San Diego Jewish Community.
To receive your Shalom BaBy BaSkeT and for informaTion conTacT: San Diego .............. Judy Nemzer • 858.362.1352 • email@example.com North County......... Vivien Dean • 858.357.7863 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.lfjcc.org/shalombaby • www.facebook.com/shalombabypjlibrarysandiego
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44 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2021 We invite our entire community to our complimentary virtual gala!
5:00 PM Live VIP Zoom Cocktail Reception 5:30 PM Livestream Gala
Please help us honor our Seacrest Heroes, who are ensuring the safety and well-being of the Seacrest Village residents with love and compassion during these challenging times.
“Seacrest is one of the great miracles God gave me in this life!”
Every one of our Seacrest Heroes has a Heart of Gold; we hope you will join us in celebrating them!
Seacrest Foundation is proud to distinguish all gala sponsors and underwriters of $10,000 and above as Hearts of Gold Patrons, who will be recognized on a prominent art installation being created expressly for Seacrest Village. Contact Seacrest Foundation for details. All proceeds benefit the residents of Seacrest Village. Thanks to a generous $500,000 matching gift opportunity from Sharon & David Wax, all gifts will be doubled! Help make an incredible impact on the lives of those in need.
The special bond between Seacrest residents and caregivers is even more meaningful during this challenging time.
SEACREST FOUNDATION AUXILIARY
presents the WOMEN’S
VIRTUAL GALA PRESERVING HOPE DURING THE PANDEMIC
For philanthropic opportunities, information and to RSVP please visit seacrestfoundation.org or call 760.516.2015.
46 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM February 2021
HOME SAFE HOME. At Fairwinds – Ivey Ranch, our safety protocols exceed the CDC’s guidelines. But to us, safety means much more. It means focusing on our residents’ mental and physical health too. And ensuring an active lifestyle in a comfortable, high quality, welcoming environment. Because behind our commitment to safety, there’s nearly 50 years of experience providing peace of mind, and exceptional senior living.
We can’t wait to meet you. Call now.
4490 Mesa Drive • Oceanside, CA • (760) 356-8157 FairwindsIveyRanchSeniorLiving.com It’s More Than Retirement. It’s Five-Star Fun.
Shevat – Adar 5781 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 47
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