May 2024

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MAY 2024 | NISSAN • IYAR 5784
Volunteer  Issue
Celebrating the Golbergs and the many givers among us
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6 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM May 2024 MAY 2024 | NISSAN • IYAR 5784 Contents
San Diego Jewish Journal (858) 638-9818 | fax: (858) 263-4310 #SDJewishJournal SanDiegoJewishJournal 23 26 29 Features 24 Congregation Beth Israel Honors the Goldbergs 26 Love on a Leash 29 Embracing Inclusivity: The Annual Friendship Walk Brings Joy to All 30 Direct Flights From Iran 32 Which Way Do We Go? Columns 11 From the Editor | With Thanks 16 Israeli Lifestyle | The Cost 18 Literature | Gentle Rebel 20 Parenting | Celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month With Kids 42 Advice | Call Me “Platinum” Departments 14 Our Town 23 Spotlight: JFest 2024 36 Local Arts 39 Diversions 40 Food Cover Frank and Lee Golberg. Photo by Melissa Jacobs, courtesy of Beth Israel.

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Learn more about community study:







In 1948, as Israel fought for its independence, the medics of Magen David Adom were there, treating wounded soldiers and civilians alike. Today, as Israel celebrates Yom HaAtzma’ut, MDA is still treating the injured — even under fire. But for MDA to continue being there for Israel, we need to be there for MDA. Make a donation at

In 1948, as Israel fought for its independence, the medics of Magen David Adom were there, treating wounded soldiers and civilians alike. Today, as Israel celebrates Yom HaAtzma’ut, MDA is still treating the injured — even under fire. But for MDA to continue being there for Israel, we need to be there for MDA. Make a donation at

Nissan–Iyar 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 9



l ’chaim to life


The Esenoff Award is presented to outstanding Jewish individuals in recognition of their service to the Jewish and general communities. Recipients maintain a meaningful membership in the congregation and have been active in, supportive of, and demonstrated leadership in the synagogue and the larger San Diego community.

SATURDAY, JUNE 8, 2024, 5:30PM


For more information and tickets, please visit

With Thanks

The month of May includes a few notable days like Mother’s Day and Memorial Day which certainly raise our gratitude levels to new heights. It is the perfect month for our San Diego Jewish Journal to focus on giving as we all owe our moms and our vets, and a few more givers, our unending gratitude.

In our community, we are fortunate to have the Goldbergs, Lee and Frank, who, over the course of decades, have given abundantly to many worthy causes and have enhanced the quality of life in San Diego. They are particularly passionate about the arts and have been devoted to the San Diego Opera and its educational and outreach programs. For years, they have been sharing and spreading their love of opera and have attracted hundreds of new fans to this centuries-old performance art, which uplifts our whole city.

Then there are the volunteers who give their time and effort to many causes and groups throughout our community and our country. They are legion, and so are their causes. They are our heroes. Friendship Circle is one such group that recently held its annual Friendship Walk. This event brought together the friends and families of the members of the Circle, young people with special needs, to participate in and belong to the fun and excitement of a beautiful spring day. Friendship Circle and its special day would not be possible without the scores of volunteers who come together to spread joy and promote diversity and inclusion.

Heart-warming were the stories about the pure, natural and unconditional love that comes from the volunteer teams of visiting dogs and their people and given to those who really need it. Love on a Leash volunteers, both canine and human, give the simplest of things, like the joy of petting a dog. Touch can be so comforting; it’s conducted through our largest organ straight to the heart, and nothing feels better than the weight, warmth and stability of a lovely dog.

And this summer, we’ll welcome Israeli volunteers. According to the Jewish Agency for Israel, about 1500 Israelis, most aged 20 to 23, will volunteer at Jewish summer camps across the U.S. this year. Many of these emissaries will arrive here after experiencing months of war, and their very presence will demonstrate their strength and resilience, their devotion to Israel, and their intention to infuse pride into the hearts and minds of young Jewish Americans.

Here’s to all the givers. A

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for helping us create fun & friendship for over 450 participants at our 2024 Friendship Walk and Fair!
























Nissan–Iyar 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 13

Our Town

The San Diego Center for Jewish Culture presented “Tapestry: A Day of Jewish Community, Learning and Exploration” at the Lawrence Family JCC on Sunday, April 7. This new approach to the traditional “Day of Learning” format was very well received by the crowd. With so many outstanding presentations to choose from, some of those we were particularly fond of were “How Can We Recognize the Awe and Wonder in the Everyday?” by Hanan Harchol, “Last Train to Auschwitz: The French National Railways and the Journey to Accountability” by Sarah Federman, and a lovely music performance by Susan L. Lipson accompanied by Beth Faber Jacobs

Kudos to the extraordinary committee that created such an entertaining program for our educational enjoyment. Led by Committee Chair, Hannah Cohen, the committee, consisting of Kerry Freshman, David Rafsky, Marie Raftery and Randy Savarese, truly outdid themselves. Enjoying the program with us were Elana Levens-Craig, Ron Reff, Eileen Wingard, Seth Krosner, Fran Lobman, Jack Greenspun, Maxine Endy, Rebecca Myers, Marcia Diamond, Rabbi Sheldon Moss, Judith Shufro, Jay Berkowitz, Daniellla Abbott, Al Lefcourt, Daniel Gordon and many more.

A new opportunity to participate and help to combat antisemitism is now available in San Diego. Called Combat Antisemitism Now (CAN), the local Steering Committee for this informative program includes Franklin Gaylis, Pamela Nathan, Lara Woolf Grusd, Rashel Michan and Ivor Weiner. CAN programming features discussions with local and national antisemitism

experts on our San Diego K-12 schools, university campuses in California and nationwide. It also offers information on what actions are being taken to combat antisemitism and what still needs to be done.

Mazel Tov to Lisa and Nate Stein and Carla and Philippe Kopf on the birth of their first grandchild, Lyla Shai Stein. Lyla was born on May 30. Parents Danny Stein and Miriam Kopf are overjoyed!

Yom Huledets Sameach to...

Diana Hahn celebrating her 100th birthday.

Cyla Horn celebrating her 93rd birthday.

Roz Freedman celebrating her 88th birthday.

Bud Kader celebrating his 85th birthday.

Paul Schulman celebrating his 81st birthday.




with infinite love & happiness, Mazel Tov to…

Ina and Irwin Rubenstein, 68 years.

Roz and Marty Freedman, 66 years.

Phyllis and Dan Epsten, 60 years.

Helene and David Schlafman, 60 years.

Joan and Peter Winokur, 59 years.

Linda and Michael Bennett, 55 years.

Joyce and Robert Blumberg, 55 years.

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The Cost

AGoogle search led me to this explanation of Memorial Day in America: Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Many people attend parades, go to the beach or have cookouts with friends and family. But at its heart, Memorial Day is a day when Americans reflect on the sacrifice of those who have given their lives in military service. I found page upon page of Memorial Day barbecue recipes and many teasers for upcoming Memorial Day sales. I was not unfamiliar with these methods of commemoration because I am a child of America.

Growing up, I paid little attention to the unimaginable sacrifices that helped form the fragile roots of a blossoming America. I shopped and beached and met up with like-minded teens or attended family backyard barbecues where my cousins and I rolled our eyes at our embarrassing parents. We awaited the exciting lives that lay ahead because we were secure in our beauty, brilliance and the promise of America. Memorial Day didn’t weigh very much.

Many of these intro-to-summer shindigs happened in the home that my parents contracted for and custombuilt on Long Island in 1969. There had been a mighty disagreement about the placement of the front door, which would determine our address: Would we forever live on the blah-ly named Third Street or a more dramatic Waukena Avenue?

Twenty-six years later, I would build my own Jerusalem home and the street

name was a non-issue. What mattered was the placement of the bomb shelter, window gates, and proximity to security forces. We didn’t worry about our educational and spiritual needs because, by law, every community — secular or Torah observant — boasted two synagogues, a mikveh (ritual bath), along with kindergartens, and public religious and secular schools.

In Israel, I would discover that every family boasted a soldier or few and/ or post-high school teens who were performing national service. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is a constant presence and, when not on the battlefield, the soldiers are home on leave. In uniform, they drive their children to school, sing zmirot at the Sabbath table, shop for working wives and schmooze with old friends over endless cups of black coffee and shesh besh (backgammon) while sitting in the town square, awaiting their military posting. Our army is a people’s army, and it forms the most glorious section of our Israeli tapestry, khaki-green and gorgeous.

Standing in solidarity with the rest of our nation, it is incumbent on us to reflect upon the cost of holding onto our isolated Jewish nation. We’ve attended funerals, including those for the parent or sibling of our child’s classmate. We comfort the mourners at the shiva homes and offer sincere words of comfort. But

can a parent, spouse or child of a dead soldier ever feel comfort? We “soldier on” because we are a nation of righteous warriors.

Those who gave their lives in defense of the only Jewish nation are revered and studied by schoolchildren and the adult populace. Our restaurants and shopping malls are closed on Yom HaZicharon, open only for groceries in the late afternoons for the upcoming Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day), which will joyously erupt immediately after the official closure of the day of national remembrance. We dare not celebrate our establishment and autonomy without paying homage to those who paid the ultimate price.

In Israel, history and faith are intrinsically woven into a vibrant hodgepodge of mirth and mourning. We owe our miraculous existence to God’s divine plan. Together, we can acknowledge the unbridled sacrifices that brought us to this day, united and without hubris. A



After WWII ended, the Nuremberg trials began. Hermann Göring was the highestranking Nazi alive. American Army psychiatrist Dr. Douglas M. Kelley was tasked with interviewing him extensively and keeping him fit for trial. What happened in that fateful room resulted in profound and unexpected consequences for both men. Dramatic gold.


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Gentle Rebel

It is dangerously easy to get caught up in the present moment, as if what is going on right now is how it has always been, and the problems we have are as bad as they have ever been. One of the best cures for this condition is even a brief look at history. There are few things better than discovering how things used to be to give context to the present. One of the best chronicles of her own place and time was the British author Grace Aguilar.

Born into a Jewish Portuguese family in the London district of Hackney in 1816, Aguilar’s father was the lay leader of the only Spanish-speaking synagogue in London. Because illness spared Aguilar the horrors of a Georgian-era public education in which the strap and the paddle were as common educational tools as chalk and the pencil, she was home-schooled. Soon surpassing other children her age in terms of general knowledge base, Aguilar also kept up with other middle-class girls her age by learning the dances of the day, popularized in modern times by Jane Austen adaptations, as well as how to play the piano.

As so often happened in those days, Aguilar’s decision to become a writer was made mostly out of necessity rather than any sense of a calling. As her parents fell ill, their condition only getting worse, it became clear that the family would need another income, so she started to write, which was one of the very few professions available to women at the time. A trail blazed by earlier British

Despite coming out after Aguilar was already gone, much of her work nonetheless reflects the times in which they were written like few others.

authors such as Charlotte Bronte and the first known feminist, Mary Wollstonecraft.

Starting small, she published several poems and short stories in local London magazines, of which there were hundreds at the time, work that culminated with her first book, “Spirit of Judaism,” in 1842. One of the first tracts in terms of the Reform movement in European Judaism, “Spirit of Judaism” was heavily critical of the Orthodox Judaism of the time for its emphasis on ceremony and ancient tradition. Despite this religious criticism, much of her writing was strongly influenced by her religious upbringing; Aguilar managed to remain mostly free of any obvious religious bias. It was also the only of her six novels to be published in her lifetime, Aguilar dying

from complications from a serious case of measles in 1847 at the age of 31. Despite coming out after Aguilar was already gone, much of her work (published by her supportive mother who managed to outlive her) nonetheless reflects the times in which they were written, touching on themes of women’s place in society and the domestic space like few others. The first of these posthumous works was “Woman’s Friendship: A Story of Domestic Life,” which finally saw print in 1850. It was an early allegory of cross-cultural friendship that was considered shocking by London society at the time. Rather than focusing on a racial or religious divide, Aguilar took an even bigger risk by taking on Britain’s notorious class system that seemed to deem the privileged as a slightly higher form of life. Despite being from very different backgrounds, with Rachel being the daughter of a wealthy family while Leah is an orphan from the factory class, they manage to forge a lifelong friendship that sees them through the hardest of times as they come to live together in a loving but platonic relationship.

Later that year, “The Vale of Cedars, or the Martyr: A Story of Spain in the Fifteenth Century” is a work of historical fiction, one of the first, that carries on some of the themes set down by “Ivanhoe” while also adding some then-modern ideas, gently mocking the 300-year-old sensibilities. With one of the longest developments in literary

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Celebrating Jewish American Heritage Month With Kids

As the month of May unfolds, families across the United States have a unique opportunity to honor and celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month. This annual observance celebrates Jewish Americans’ contributions to American culture, society and history, and provides a powerful platform for parents and educators to engage children in exploring Jewish values and life. Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month with kids:

Explore Jewish American History

Start by exploring the history of Jewish immigration to the United States through books like “Molly’s Pilgrimage” by Barbara Cohen. These stories help introduce children to the triumphs and experiences of Jewish immigrants who arrived in America seeking religious freedom and better economic opportunities. Discuss prominent Jewish American figures like Barbara Walters, Albert Einstein, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Spielberg and Jonas Salk, whose contributions have left an indelible mark on fields like entertainment, science and law.

Commemorate Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day

As part of Jewish American Heritage Month, discuss and observe

Encourage children to explore ways in which they can make an impact... the smallest ripples can create big waves.

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) with local commemorations, memorial services and educational learning opportunities. These events honor the memory of the millions of Jews who perished in the Holocaust and serve as a reminder of the importance of combating hatred so that we never forget the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Engage in Cultural Activities

Embrace Jewish culture through hands-on activities that ignite creativity and curiosity. Our favorite way to experience Jewish culture is through

food. Create traditional Jewish recipes and share them with friends who may have never experienced the joy of a warm bowl of matzo ball soup or a challah fresh out of the oven.

Read Jewish-themed Books

Honor Jewish culture and tradition by reading books with Jewish main characters. Explore books that tell stories of Jewish holidays, religion and historical events. Encourage discussions about themes such as identity, diversity and resilience. Melissa Taylor from Imagination Soup has curated an impressive list of meaningful Jewishthemed books with modern themes, including “Challah Day!” written by Charlotte Offsay and “Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen” by Sarah Kapit, about a little girl on the autism spectrum who loves baseball.

Visit Jewish Heritage Sites

Take children on virtual or in-person tours of Jewish heritage sites, museums and synagogues in your community. Explore traveling or permanent exhibits that showcase history, art and music to encourage engagement with Jewish heritage. The Breman Museum, for example, is located in Los Angeles and is dedicated to preserving and showcasing Jewish history, art and culture. Make

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Literature continued

history, Aguilar began work on the book in 1816 and finally finished it in 1835 before it finally saw print in 1850.

There is a lot of disagreement about when “Home Influence: A Tale for Mothers and Daughters” was published, not least because, as was common practice at the time, it was published in two volumes. Dates range from 1847 to 1859. According to the edition on Project Gutenberg, the first American edition was published by Harper Brothers Publishers of New York in 1856. Whatever the exact date, it was definitely after the author’s death, and there is no question as to the primary influence on the contents.

“The Days of Bruce: A Story From Scottish History” was another crack at historical fiction. Only getting one numbered volume, most likely first published in 1871, it follows a version of the life of the Scottish rebel and eventual king, Robert the Bruce. Starting with his boyhood, the narrative was meant to follow the trials he went through, especially while resisting the English, to reach his exalted position.

The final posthumous volume, “Home Scenes and Heart Studies,” takes things back to the beginning with another meditation on the little-acknowledged domestic space long thought to be the domain of women, an area Aguilar was well acquainted with, rarely leaving her family’s circle given her fragile health. What she lacked in experience was more than made up for with scholarship and imagination and a general detachment from the culture of the day that allowed her to see it more clearly and criticize it more deftly than those who were mired in it. A



a day of visiting and consider adding a Jewish deli like Brent’s or Canter’s to your agenda.

Participate in Community Service

Emphasize the importance of tikkun olam (repairing the world) by engaging children in community service projects inspired by Jewish values. Volunteer at local food banks, start a food drive for an animal shelter or explore ageappropriate opportunities with Jewish Family Service or Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center. Encourage children to explore ways in which they can make an impact, remembering that

the smallest ripples have the power to create big waves.

Create New and Inclusive Family Traditions

Create meaningful family traditions that honor Jewish heritage and values. Celebrate Shabbat with friends, family and neighbors, prepare a traditional meal, share stories, and plan activities that keep families engaged in Jewish life throughout the year using May as the launch point.

While we hope you find ways to celebrate Jewish pride throughout the year, let this month serve as a reminder

of the enduring legacy and resilience of Jewish Americans whose rich stories enrich our lives and contribute to a more inclusive and dynamic society.

We would love to hear from you! How is your family celebrating Jewish Heritage Month? Visit us on Facebook to share your ideas and inspiration.  A


JFest 2024

The highly anticipated Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival (JFest) is set to charm audiences once again, fostering a celebration of Jewish heritage and creativity that transcends boundaries. From May 30 to June 30, San Diego will come alive with the vibrant sounds and sights of Jewish music, theatre, dance and performances, marking its 31st year of artistic excellence.

This year’s festival promises a mesmerizing celebration of the rich diversity of Jewish people, history and ideas through virtuoso performances. Festival venues span the county and include Balboa Theatre, The Old Globe, Lawrence Family JCC, the Unitarian Church in Hillcrest, UCSD Hillel, Coastal Roots Farm, and Leichtag Commons.

Festival founding artistic director Todd Salovey remarks, “Last year, we rebirthed JFest and were amazed at the size and passion of our audiences. This year, the festival is growing with one of the most celebrated and beloved Jewish performers, Mandy Patinkin, and nine unique programs meant to heal, bring joy and inspire.”

International hip-hop artist Nissim Black returns to San Diego to kick off JFest on May 30. With a musical style that ranges from rap to pop to world music, Nissim Black’s unique sound has uplifted audiences worldwide. This year’s headline performer is the Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor/singer/ storyteller Mandy Patinkin, presenting his most electrifying role: concert performer in Being Alive at the Balboa Theatre.

The Community Concert Refuah will take place at the JCC, featuring talented performers from across San Diego sharing healing through song, dance, poetry and more. Klezmer Summit this year presents From the Shuk to the Shtetl, a concert that traces how the strains of Middle Eastern folk music heard in the busy shuks influenced the Klezmer musicians who played throughout Eastern Europe. Punto y Coma Theatre takes the stage with the play La Obra, in Spanish, at The Old Globe, and the 15th Women of Valor returns to showcase six inspiring women who have impacted our community.

LA funnyman Avi Liberman will host Comedy for Koby, which has become

Israel’s most popular English standup comedy tour. JFest will host a culinary theatre experience with chef Benedetta Jasmine Guetta of Santa Monica’s Café Lovi, where playwright Ali Viterbi intertwines the historical, personal and fictional dedicated to Italian Jews through the Generations.

An Eco-Performance Fest in its second edition, REGENERATE!, will wrap up JFest showcasing eco-theater, dance and music by some of California’s most exciting, forward-thinking artists.

JFest Producing Director Rebecca Myers reflects, “This year, sharing stories that bring people together feels more important than ever. Seeing communities come together at JFest events is an important reminder of the beauty and joy of being Jewish and how essential it is to support Jewish art.”

Year after year, JFest continues to shine a light on the richness of Jewish culture by welcoming all individuals and cultures, fostering inclusivity, and creating high-quality cultural experiences for the entire community. A

Tickets for each event range from $18 to $140 and are available for purchase at

Nissan–Iyar 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 23
Festival headliner Mandy Patinkin.

Congregation Beth Israel Honors the Goldbergs

Lee And Frank Goldberg Family Religious School at Beth Israel. Photos courtesy of Congregation Beth Israel.


This June, Congregation

Beth Israel will hold its annual fundraising gala, “L’Chaim To Life.” The gala will honor Lee and Frank z”l Goldberg, longtime San Diego residents and philanthropists who have spent many years with the temple. Four generations of the Goldberg family have been a part of Beth Israel.

Lee and Frank z”l will receive the Carl M. Esenoff Memorial Award. According to Beth Israel, recipients of the award “are outstanding individuals who maintain a meaningful membership in the congregation and have been active in, supportive of, and demonstrated leadership in the synagogue and the larger San Diego community.”

“When Rabbi Jason called, I burst into tears,” Lee said. “I never expected this; it’s such a wonderful, prestigious honor.”

Lee moved to San Diego as a child and still lives here today at the age of 91. She has been a member of Beth Israel for over 65 years and had her confirmation there.

“[My] experience was wonderful at the temple,” Lee said. “When we were teens, we had temple afternoon...We would take the bus, and we would dance to records that were playing. So, it was wonderful growing up here and having the congregation there for us.”

In addition to Lee’s own history with Beth Israel, her children have all shared their life milestones at the temple, including schooling, B’nei Mitzvah and weddings.

Lee and Frank z”l always felt that education was the most important thing they could offer children, which

When we were teens, we had Temple afternoon... We would take the bus, and we would dance to records that were playing. So, it was wonderful growing up here and having the congregation there for us.

led to the new temple school. The Lee & Frank Goldberg Family Religious School “teaches core Jewish values and competencies, and nurtures Jewish identity, a sense of belonging to the Jewish people, a connection to Israel, and a commitment to Judaism.”

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful building,” Lee said, “and we’re very proud of the fact that we have the school with our name on it... A wonderful thing was that I got notes in Hebrew, saying, ‘Thank you,’ from all the children.”

Lee and Frank z”l are also being recognized for their work with the greater Jewish San Diego community. They were instrumental in the growth of Seacrest Retirement Village, where Frank z”l served as president for many years. Lee is a former president of Hadassah and lifelong member of the organization. They have also shown

great support for the Jewish Federation, which they believe helps the community here in San Diego as well as Israel. Hillel has also received support from Lee and Frank z”l over the years.

Throughout the decades in San Diego, Lee and Frank z”l have also given back to the city they call home. After both attending San Diego State University, they made a donation to the school to help with student scholarships. The Lee & Frank Goldberg Courtyard now sits just inside the SDSU Student Union. The courtyard is filled with beautiful foliage, fountains and seating for all students to enjoy.

The Moores Cancer Center at the University of California San Diego was also made possible with the help of Lee and Frank z”l. The center was established in 1978, and they both served on the board.

The Goldbergs have also been great proponents and supporters of the arts, notably the San Diego Opera, as well as North Coast Repertory Theatre.

“It’s just a wonderful thing that everyone can love, no matter what language it’s in,” Lee said about the Opera. She served as a board member for many years; it brought both her and Frank z”l great joy.

From the local Jewish community to the greater San Diego area, Lee and Frank z”l Goldberg have been instrumental in the city’s growth and development. It’s easy to see why they are being honored—they have shown time and time again just how much they love San Diego and Congregation Beth Israel.

“I’ve had a wonderful, wonderful life, and this just puts the frosting on the cake, getting this award,” Lee said. A

Nissan–Iyar 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 25

Love on a Leash therapy pets bring comfort to many settings, including hospitals, VA Homes, schools, libraries and jails.


Dogs in the Business of Giving Love

Recently, my friend and her dog, Cindy and Hana, respectively, went to a local university for the purpose of helping students de-stress while studying for finals away from home and missing their own dogs. This is how I learned about Love on a Leash, an organization of teams of dogs and owners whose business it is to go where invited to spread love and give comfort. Who better to do this than dogs?

Love on a Leash was founded in the 1980s in North San Diego County and now comprises 2500 teams in nearly every state in the country. Sue Subkow is the leader of the San Diego Central Chapter, which has 290 teams. Love on a Leash trains and certifies teams whose primary function is to brighten someone’s day or lighten their burden. This is called pet therapy. Love on a Leash dogs (and some cats and a rabbit or two) visit many settings, including hospitals, VA Homes, senior centers, schools, libraries and jails.

Sue has been involved with Love on a Leash for 15 years and, with great warmth and enthusiasm, shared some of her special encounters. Sue honors her veteran father’s memory by frequenting the VA Hospital where the vets are waiting, so appreciative and eager to share their memories of their own dogs.

When Sue visits the Sheriff’s Department Peer Support group

The dogs seem to know who’s really hurting and needs a little extra love.

meetings where 20-30 men and women are seated in a circle, and the dogs walk around, a dog will eventually plop down beside one person and stay there. The dogs seem to seek out and know who’s really hurting and needs a little extra love. That lucky person will invariably say, “How did your dog know?!” They just do, that’s all.

At Together We Grow, a day center for medically fragile young people, one member named Julia, who is blind, deaf and nonverbal, smells the dogs when they arrive and squeals with delight. When Sue visits a hospice, the dogs give a last bit of comfort, warmth and love, and Sue herself takes comfort in the fact that someone did not die alone.

Some of Sue’s favorite spots to visit are jails like the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, Las Colinas Detention Center and the George F. Bailey Detention Center, where she jokes that she has a captive audience. These inmates are incredibly appreciative as they get few, if any, visitors. One inmate told Sue that he hadn’t seen or touched a dog in 22 years. Love on a Leash is part of the prison’s recreational therapy, and inmates sign up for visits twice a month. One prison has a point system where inmates earn points for ordinary things like making their bed or tucking in their shirt, and it takes 5000 points for a Love on a Leash visit. One man told Sue, “I never thought I’d see a dog again.” Another said, “I use all my points on the dogs.” Another inmate who hadn’t seen the dogs since before COVID remembered Sue’s dog’s name and shouted, “Hey! Is that Charlie?!”

Love on a Leash works to increase public awareness of the benefits of pet therapy, and they will visit wherever they are invited. Dogs come in and bring with them pure love: nothing more, nothing less. The people lucky enough to meet these dogs become flooded with warmth, with stories and memories of their youth, their home, how much they loved their own dogs. It’s almost like magic, the wonder of dogs. A

Nissan–Iyar 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 27
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Embracing Inclusivity:

The Annual Friendship Walk Brings Joy to All

Friendship Circle’s Annual Friendship Walk, a cherished event in our community, once again brought together families, friends and volunteers to celebrate the spirit of friendship and inclusivity. Held at Nobel Park in San Diego on Sunday, April 7, this year’s walk was a resounding success, drawing participants of all ages and backgrounds.

Among the many families who attended, the Ceitlin family shared their heartwarming experience of the day. Mrs. Ceitlin expressed, “The kids and I greatly enjoyed the walk. It was so nice, right when we started the walk, to have a volunteer walk around with us and keep pumping my kids up with his enthusiasm.” She continued, “After the walk, the volunteer also took my kids to the obstacle course, which they loved, and the petting zoo. My boys especially loved sitting down in the quiet center

“The kids and I greatly enjoyed the walk. It was so nice to have a volunteer walk with us and pump my kids up with his enthusiasm.”

and playing with the cars and toys. The highlight for them was eating the yummy Kona ice.”

This sentiment echoes the feelings of many participants who found joy in the various activities and interactions

throughout the day. From the carnival and inflatables to the excitement of the walk, obstacle course, and petting zoo, to the food and relaxing quiet centers, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

The Annual Friendship Walk not only provides an opportunity for fun and entertainment but also serves as a platform for fostering connections, promoting understanding within our community and supporting individuals with special needs through future programs and events. Through shared experiences and moments of laughter, participants come together to celebrate diversity and embrace the value of inclusion.

The success of the Friendship Walk would not have been possible without the dedication and support of our fundraisers, volunteers, sponsors and community partners.

Nissan–Iyar 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 29 continues on page 31 >> FEATURE

Direct Flights From Iran

How was Saturday night’s missile attack from Iran different from all other attacks? On all other nights, missile attacks come from the south or the north. On this night, missiles came from the east.

What do you do when hundreds of armed drones and missiles are heading towards your country, your home? You wait.

Not much else to do. Our secure room, mamad, has been ready for over six months — comfort, sustainable food, water and important items (old 8 and Super 8 movies!). We watch news stations, listen to reports and share funny memes and jokes on social media groups. It’s amazing how quickly these get written and sent. “First direct flights from Iran to Israel since 1979.” We laugh and wait with varying degrees of anxiety.

At 1 a.m., I decide I have time to take a shower before the 2 a.m. ETA for Iran’s missiles. If we lose electricity, there’s no hot water.

At 1:55 a.m., the house shakes with loud booms. I admit I am somewhat surprised. We live in the middle of the


do you do when hundreds of armed drones and missiles are heading towards your country, your home?

country, and “routine” missiles from Gaza in the south or Lebanon in the north don’t usually make it to us. My husband and I look at each other, “It’s started.” We did not hear an air raid siren, not even faintly. Our community’s name did not automatically appear on the TV screen. This happens if a community is under the immediate

threat of being hit by missiles, or, more likely, being hit by deadly pieces of shrapnel after our anti-missile missiles intercept them. So no, we do not grab our laptops and run to our mamad.

“We had loud booms. Did you?” ask social media messages from various parts of Israel. We continue to watch TV, and I get a sense of which areas are experiencing the same. Another boom. And another. I text my daughters, who live 50 miles away. It’s 3 a.m. No one is sleeping. They live somewhere on the long border with Jordan and, like us, are low on the list of our enemies’ targets. But this night is different from all other nights. They get a chance to experience shattering explosions from interceptions. 3:30 a.m. A text from one of our granddaughters from her base, checking up on us.

Were we afraid? Not so much. In denial? No. No denial after October 7. Still, by 4 a.m., awake, talking and texting with family and friends in America, we decided to sleep in our mamad. Truth be told, it’s mainly because the bedroom

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is upstairs, and we didn’t want to have to jump out of bed and run down the stairs if we had a Red Alert. We didn’t expect any in our sparsely populated area, but since Israel had purposely created havoc with GPS systems to literally “confuse the enemy,” we weren’t sure where missiles might fall. Even our own GPS devices were affected over the last weeks. No matter your destination, WAZE gave directions to Beirut airport!

We focused our worries on those whose night was shattered by repeated Red Alerts. On those who suffer from anxiety attacks or post trauma, or don’t have a secure room. On our security forces out in the open — always there for  us.

We are filled with concern for friends who were scheduled to fly Sunday to various destinations and for friends waiting for relatives to arrive in Israel for Pesach. Airlines are canceling flights. Yes, there is a war. No, we do not lead normal lives. But we must continue living. The saying here is: Choose life.

Humor survives. A message on one of my social media groups: “Now that we survived another night...where can I get decent corned beef for our seder?” Yes, we must also tend to the mundane. I call my regular fish monger in Ra’anana and order ground carp so I can make my traditional gefilte fish for Pesach — and so I can feel that something is as it should be. We look for a balance.

On Pesach eve, as our extended family sits around our seder table, we will have some balance. Our soldier grandchildren will be home. We’ll have our traditions, including the gefilte fish. Three generations will read the Haggadah with strong, proud voices.

“We survived Pharoah,” the motto goes, and we will survive now, too. A

Friendship Walk continued

Their contributions play a vital role in making this event a memorable and impactful experience for all involved.

As we reflect on another wonderful year of the Friendship Walk, we are filled with gratitude for the opportunity to come together and celebrate the bonds of friendship and inclusivity.

We look forward to continuing this tradition for years to come, spreading joy and making a positive difference in the lives of individuals and families within our community. A

Friendship Circle San Diego is a non-profit that promotes friendships between children, teens and adults with disabilities and their typically developing peers by providing social, recreational, vocational and educational experiences in an inclusive environment. Since 2006, we have been dedicated to providing over eight current programs, four annual events, school, business and private workshops, vocational training through our bakery, Brigitte’s Bakery, and providing resources for families. To learn more about our programs and events, please visit

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Which Way Do We Go?

The Exodus from Egypt is celebrated on Passover, which is arguably the most universally observed of our holidays. This is logical as it represents our birth as a nation, as well as our transformation from oppressed slaves to “A Nation of Priests; a Holy Nation.” The Biblical narrative of the Exodus is not only dramatic but, more importantly, it is full of meaning for us, even these days more than 3,300 years later.

Let’s take a deep dive into the story of the Exodus, or perhaps more accurately, let’s pick up the narrative immediately following the departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt.

The nation, following the inspired leadership of Moses, headed towards the Promised Land, albeit via a circuitous route. A week after leaving, they came upon the Yam Suf and Sea of Reeds. Once there, the Jewish people faced a severe test. In front of them was the Sea. Behind them was the quickly approaching

No one was killed, and 99% of the missiles were successfully defended against. Surely, this is an open miracle.

Egyptian Army (Pharoah had had a change of heart and was pursuing the Jewish people to bring them back as slaves to Egypt). The Jews were hemmed in by mountains on either side.

What should they do?

One group said, “Let’s pray to G-d for some divine intervention.” One group said, “Let’s fight the Egyptians!” One group said, “Let’s beg the Egyptians for mercy and resume our status as slaves.” And one group said, “There is nothing for it. Let’s commit suicide.”

G-d answered Moses by saying, and I paraphrase here, “Now is not the time for prayer (or any other strategizing). Proceed (ahead, through the Sea!), as you were instructed.”

A very courageous man named Nachshon, the son of Aminadav, started marching into the Sea, filled with faith that he was on the path to redemption because he was following the path dictated by the Almighty. Miraculously, when the water was up to his nose, the Sea split and all the Children of Israel followed Nachshon into the Sea, ultimately coming out safely on the far bank. The Egyptians, despite seeing

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Which Way

these open miracles of G-d on behalf of the Jewish people, foolishly pursued them and were swiftly drowned by the walls of water crashing down upon them.

Today, as I sit in my office pondering this ancient story and its relevance in our times, I am struck with a thought.

The Islamic Republic of Iran showered the Holy Land, including densely populated areas, with hundreds of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and suicide drones. No one was killed, and 99% of the missiles were successfully defended against. Surely, this is an open miracle, just like when the Egyptians’ arrows and spears fired at the Jewish people crossing the Sea were repelled, causing damage to the Egyptians and leaving the Israelites unharmed.

But let us examine the debate going on as Israel faces the implacable antisemitic hatred of Iran, its minions and other antisemites around the world. As an aside, is it not telling that many of the pro-ceasefire protesters started cheering wildly when they heard of the Iranian attack? Perhaps they are not propeace after all? Perhaps, and this is just a wild guess, they are antisemites cheering for the demise of the Jewish state, G-d forbid! Don’t take my word for it; they will tell you themselves.

There is certainly a contingent of our people who are praying to G-d for salvation, and who can blame them? They will tell you that everything is in G-d’s hands, and they are right. However, right now, it seems that we humans have a part to play. Never forget: G-d helps those who help themselves.

There is another contingent of people who, as strange as this may sound, are afraid of being free. They are willing even to “return to Egypt.” In this case, that would mean that they are amenable to Jews being subservient to the hostile forces that surround Israel and even to those forces who reside here in the U.S. Skeptical? Check out what is going on in American universities right now, where many Jewish students are taking the side of Israel’s enemies. These people logically reason: how can we possibly

We view peace as the ultimate goal, but it must be true peace, peace built on the truth. No room for false narratives like Palestinian statehood must be reconvened. There has never been a Palestinian state.

religious/political system), who must conceal his place of worship, cannot ride a horse, has no right to true justice when in a legal battle with a Muslim, may not be armed, and must pay the jizya (a special tax reserved for non-Muslims). Never mind me; there are millions of proud Jews around the world, and a massive number in Israel, who will never give up on Jewish independence. “Once you’re free, there is no going back.” The eradication of the Jewish state, G-d forbid, is simply not an option. So, when you hear someone chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” that is a clarion call for the destruction of the Jewish state and the death of any Jew who wants to fight for its existence. It is, by definition, an antisemitic cheer.

And then we have a strong contingent who wants to fight it out, no matter the cost and consequences. They are thinking, “Kill everyone first, ask questions later.” Accuse our allies, since they may be imperfect allies, of duplicity and antisemitism. Take no prisoners! Push the button and annihilate everyone in our way!

win this battle when we are frightfully outnumbered?

There are many who are blaming Israel for the hatred of her enemies. Some are offering every conceivable excuse and argument to the blood-thirsty enemy and do whatever they can to weaken Israel. We have failed them, for somehow, we never were able to teach all our Jewish children Jewish morality. The Talmud says that he who is kind to those who deserve strict judgment will end up being cruel to those who deserve kindness. We are seeing that played out before our eyes, as the woke mob has turned on Israel and the Jewish people in a very big way, and all in the name of kindness.

Well, in response, I would state that I am not willing to be a dhimmi (a second-class citizen in the Islamic

We Jews do not share the vision of an end-of-days, apocalyptic destruction of all humanity with other religions. We view peace as the ultimate goal, but it must be true peace, meaning peace built on the truth. No room for false narratives like the one that claims Israel is a colonialist state and that Palestinian statehood must be reconvened. There has never been a Palestinian state, and furthermore, there has never been a group of people known as Arab Palestinians who are distinct from other Arabs, like Syrians, Jordanians and Egyptians. Israel should offer peace for peace. Nothing more.

Finally, we have those who are ready to pack it in: Let’s commit national suicide. Let us assimilate and lose our unique Jewish identity. Let’s embrace the ideology of this political party or that one. Let us emulate the ways of our nonJewish neighbors. Maybe then the haters will let us live in peace, no?

Nissan–Iyar 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 33
35 >>
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Meeting Israel’s New Trauma Needs

Hebrew University’s unique mental health trauma center was spurred by the singularity of the Oct. 7 attack

How do you deal with the trauma of the deadliest day Jews have experienced since the Holocaust?

This was the question Israeli trauma experts faced in the wake of Oct. 7, 2023, when over 1,200 Israelis were killed and some 250 taken captive in Hamas’s attack on Israel.

The massive attack by terrorists immediately was followed by additional traumas: The displacement of tens of thousands of Israelis from their homes in the conflict zones. The subsequent war has left hundreds more soldiers dead and thousands wounded. Emotional scarring on a national scale.

At the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, some of Israel’s foremost trauma experts set to work to design new clinical approaches and train therapists to deal with these traumas.

“These experiences are beyond anything we have seen,” said Professor Asher Ben-Arieh, dean of the university’s Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare and CEO of the Haruv Institute for the Study of Child Maltreatment, noting that some children were taken hostage and witnessed their parents’ murder or kidnapping. “The tools we have used until now are not sufficient. We need new solutions and new ideas for how to treat these traumas.”

Ben-Arieh estimates that 25% to 50% of those who experienced trauma were likely to develop problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, complex grief, or difficulties in marital, social, or occupational adjustments.

To meet these new needs, Hebrew University’s Israel Center for Addiction and Mental Health set about to launch the Institute for Traumatic Stress and Recovery to create a multidisciplinary, academic-clinical hub to address traumarelated research, training, prevention, treatment, and resilience promotion.

The Institute for Traumatic Stress and Recovery aims to give therapists and trauma survivors evidence-based practices and technologies, accessible via Israel’s public health system, to enhance the healing and recovery of

Israelis grappling with the enormity of these traumas. The institute will conduct research, train therapists in new evidence-based practices, and provide patient-centered, comprehensive, coordinated care.

“This proactive approach will not only enhance the capacity for timely and effective trauma intervention, but also contribute to a more informed and resilient community as a whole,” said Hebrew University psychology professor Jonathan Huppert, who is involved in the project.

“Trauma manifests in many ways and can be different for different people,” Huppert said. “Not everyone has PTSD. Some have stress, grief, difficulty coping with the effects of being evacuated. Since Oct. 7 people are more stressed in general. They may experience more negative thinking, trouble sleeping, more physical aches and pains, muscle tension. Things may set them off more easily.”

Many experts in the field say it long has been clear that Israel needs to improve its overall approach to mental


health. There has been insufficient training of mental health professionals using evidence-based best practices treating trauma, a lack of integration between research and practice, and a lack of awareness among the public at large about the impacts of collective traumatic stress.

The events of Oct. 7 drew attention to those problems while adding the urgent need for new approaches to trauma specific to this historical event.

The new institute, which will offer a rare combination of research with clinical practice, training, and advocacy, has raised 25% of its budget so far and is actively seeking support for the remainder.

“We need enough money to have a stable center to think out of the box,” Ben-Arieh said. “And we need it urgently. We’re not even post trauma. We are not past this. It’s still happening.”

After the shock of the initial Hamas attack, Ben-Arieh and his colleague Ofrit Shapira Berman, a Hebrew University professor who specializes in treating adult survivors of complex childhood trauma, joined an October 7 National Task Force to care for children who were abducted.

Working with Israel’s Ministry of Social Services and other governmental bodies, the task force trained the security services who first greeted the abducted children upon their release in late November 2023 to ensure the children would not be retraumatized in the process of their release. They also worked with their parents.

The task force identified six groups of children at high risk since Oct. 7: child hostages; those who witnessed severe violence and murders; newly orphaned children; children who lost a parent, sibling, or other relatives; children whose friends or peers were killed or kidnapped; and children displaced from their homes.

“There is a deep issue of betrayal in childhood trauma,” said Ben-Arieh. “In these cases, these events often happened in places that their parents said were the safest in the world. Parents could not save their children. Or they had to choose. We have new forms of trauma that we don’t understand.”

He added, “We need to change the field.”

To learn more, please contact Justin Pressman, AFHU Western Region Executive Director at or 310.843.3100.

Which Way continued

This approach clearly will not work due to the robust love of life that so many of us Jews feel. We ain’t goin’ nowhere. Besides, we know from history that the haters will find different reasons to hate us. Maybe it will be because of our “Jewish blood,” or maybe because of our over-achievement in the business world, or disproportionate representation in institutions of higher learning. It matters not; the haters will continue to hate.

The correct approach in modern times is... None of the above.

Now, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an element of truth in some of the above-mentioned approaches. Certainly, we need to remain in close communication with G-d. Of course, we must be prepared to fight gallantly. Yes, we should work diligently to find favor in our neighbors’ eyes.

But we must follow the lead of Nachshon. The way forward is in front of us. There is no turning back. We must find the courage to embrace our independence. We are a unique nation, set apart from the others. We have a specific role to play in the world. Yes, we are going to have to defend ourselves forcefully, continually, or at least until the moment when G-d’s presence is openly revealed for all to see.

Our job is to make steady progress towards the era of universal peace and brotherhood. No kidding, we must strive for peace. Sometimes, one must fight to achieve peace (think of WWII). We must steadfastly remember that the role of the IDF is to protect the citizens of Israel, not feed or provide water and electricity to our sworn enemies, and that is the fact no matter what anyone says. It is both sad and pathetic that our enemies hate us more than they love their own. That is their problem. Antisemitism is about a malignancy in the antisemite. It isn’t about us. The only way we can defeat it is through proudly living as Jews. This, more than anything else, brings the nations to respect the Jewish people. We must stop the pandering.

And every one of us has a sacred obligation to teach these Jewish morals to our children. Our children must be made immune to the moral confusion so prevalent in today’s world. We must always be mindful where our morals come from: they come from the Torah and nowhere else. We must strive like never before to come together and stand together as a community, for our full strength is realized when we work together.

We will win. Since we will each fulfill our mandate, we cannot lose. The best thing is when we win, the whole world wins. A

Nissan–Iyar 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 35

Local Arts


The Old Globe will unveil a world premiere play about family, food and healing on May 4. “Stir,” a Globecommissioned work, is about two siblings who get together to form a surprising connection as they reminisce and reveal secrets of their own. The play will be ensconced at the White Theater through May 26

The Globe’s Shiley Stage is set for “Fat Ham,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning take on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” This fresh and funny comedy uses hilarity and profound insight to explore the conflict between your family obligations and your sense of self. This exciting new play sounds like a must-see for theater buffs. It will entertain audiences May 25 through June 23.

La Jolla Music Society’s Annual Community Arts Open House


The La Jolla Music Society will start the month off on May 4 with Kaki King as part of the Kids Series, followed on May 5 by Junction Trio. There’s a free community arts open house slated for May 11, and Ballets Jazz Montreal performs on May 15. Cellist Pablo Ferrandez is due on May 16, while Charles and Friends is on tap for May 18. Guitarist JUI is next on May 19, and Terry Virts speaks on May 23. Pianist Bruce Liu rounds out the month on May 31


North Coast Repertory Theatre is featuring the world premiere of “Sense of Decency,” a play based on the book, “The Nazi and the Psychiatrist.” This new work, directed by David Ellenstein, promises to be a surprise-laden exploration full of insights and theatrical sparks. If you’re fascinated by this storyline, you can see the show through May 12 North Coast Rep will follow that up with “Camelot,” an enchanting musical that brings the iconic characters King Arthur and Sir Lancelot to life. This Tony Award-winning fairytale musical will play from May 29 through June 23.

Brendan Ford and Frank Corrado in “Sense of Decency” at North Coast Rep. Photo: Aaron Rumley. “Stir” co-playwrights Joel Perez and Melinda Lopez. Photo of Lopez by Adam DeTour.


Cygnet is featuring ‘an electropop opera’ titled, “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.” This bold and wildly original musical — adapted from Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” will be performed at Cygnet’s Old Town Theater through May 26 The show has been described as the most innovative new musical since “Hamilton.”


The Lamb’s Players smash hit, “Respect,” will get a new lease on life at UCSD’s Epstein Family Amphitheater May 15-25.


Coronado Playhouse has taken on a children’s classic this month. “Tuck Everlasting,” a musical based on the novel, will be ensconced at the Playhouse through May 19


La Jolla Playhouse is rolling out the red carpet for the world premiere of “The Ballad of Johnny and June,” a musical based on the lives of country music’s royal couple, Johnny Cash and June Carter. The story, told through the eyes of their son, covers their childhoods, their meeting in 1956 at the Grand Ole Opry, and all the highs and lows of their lives. Their beloved hits will be among the songs and the show will mark the long-awaited return of director Des McAnuff. Sounds like a winner, and you have from May 28 to July 7 to check it out.

“The Ballad of Johnny and June” premieres at La Jolla Playhouse.

Nissan–Iyar 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 37
“Respect” at Lamb’s Players Theatre.

Irwin Gellman – San Diego

Ruth Levinson – San Diego

Anita Diamond – Encinitas

Millicent Ginsberg – Clearwater, FL

Tamara Bennet – San Diego

Jeanne Benguigui – San Diego

Boris Chebruch – San Diego

Benjamin Pollack – Aurora, CO

Paul Dean – San Diego

Moises Chait Ruiz – San Diego

Nina Babakhanova – Santee

Irina Kanevsjy – San Diego

Avi Stern – San Diego

Oren Polak – San Diego

David Diamond – La Jolla

Francis Raikow – San Diego

Richard Moss – Encinitas

Oru Braun – Bonita


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Jewish Teen Choir’s Carnegie Hall Performance Offered a Powerful Musical Statement of Support for Israel

Participants from local California HaZamir chapters joined hundreds of other teen members of HaZamir: The International Jewish Teen Choir from 35 chapters across the U.S. and Israel as they sang in an uplifting concert featuring classical, contemporary and popular music on April 7 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The moving performance

evoked a feeling of hope, resilience and support for Israel and for one another, with the theme of solidarity interwoven through song as well as in heartfelt words from the young people. A rousing revamped “Am Yisrael Chai” was a concert highlight. A

HaZamir, a program of the Zamir Choral Foundation, provides an opportunity for accomplished young singers to perform Jewish music. HaZamir has long served as a training ground for the next generation of singers, conductors and leaders, investing in young people so that they have a deeper understanding of the values and traditions of Judaism through artistic expression. For more information visit

Nissan–Iyar 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 39

Cinnamon Roll Challah

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. This year, Mother’s Day is particularly special, as it marks my first as a mom to my 5-month-old son, Ari. In Mother’s Days past, I dreamed of sunny brunches with overflowing mimosas and days spent doing activities...but with my own little guy, I’m dreaming of sleeping in an hour (past 7...if I’m lucky!), breakfast made by someone other than me, and no dishes for 24 hours (including bottles!). Every birthday and special occasion was marked by a morning cinnamon roll, and this year, I’m hoping that the tradition continues with a sweet, bready Cinnamon Roll Challah, the perfect Saturday or Sunday morning bake!



• 1, 7g package instant yeast

• 1 tbsp. granulated sugar

• 1 � cup lukewarm water

• 1 large egg

• 2 egg yolk, whites reserved for brushing on top

• � cup maple syrup

• � cup vegetable oil

• 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

• 1 tsp. kosher salt

• 4 � – 5 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 tbsp. coarse sanding sugar, to sprinkle before baking


• � cup unsalted butter, softened

• � cup brown sugar

• 2 tbsp. tahini

• 1 tbsp. cinnamon

Egg wash

• Reserved egg whites

• Coarse sugar


1. Combine yeast, sugar, and water in a bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes, or until the yeast starts to foam or “bloom.” If the yeast does not bloom, you may need to get fresher yeast.

2. Add the egg, egg yolks, maple syrup, oil, vanilla extract and salt, mixing on low to combine. Replace the paddle for the dough hook.

3. Add flour, one cup at a time, mix on low using the dough hook. Knead the dough until smooth and no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed. The dough should be smooth and slightly sticky. Transfer to a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with a clean, damp towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, or grease a 9-inch cast iron pan.

5. Punch down dough to remove any air bubbles, and transfer to a floured surface.

6. Cut into 6 even pieces. Roll each piece into a rope, approximately 12 inches long. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, make the filling: combine the butter, sugar, tahini, and cinnamon.

8. Flatten the dough strands with your fingers, place a line of filling in the center, and pinch to seal.

9. Braid the ropes into 2 braids of 3 strands each. Coil into a circle, and pinch together.

10. Make the egg wash: whisk the egg white, and brush on the loaf. Top with coarse sugar.

11. Bake in a cast iron pan or baking tray for 40 minutes, turning the tray halfway through and brushing with additional egg wash.

12. Serve with optional cream cheese frosting.

Nissan–Iyar 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 41


Call Me “Platinum”

My dear San Diegans, Today, we deal with old people like me. I will attempt to be politically correct, although most of us are too old to care. I loathe “senior” and “old person.” So how about levels, like Platinum, as in “I’m a Platinum! You, millennial, you’re an Aluminum.” After Platinum comes “You can eat an entire Sara Lee and lose weight!” Now on to today’s subjects of vital importance: sex and appearance.

Feature: uh-oh naturel — seniors and sexuality.

The other night on one of the cable channels, I heard the moderator ask the panel a question. He wanted to know if all this Viagra might not be anti-nature. I presume he was wondering whether Mother Nature may have had a method to her madness when she doomed some September males to the land of limpi-osis. Put delicately, perhaps the “soft” approach is “Mother’s” way of preventing 75-year-olds from losing a lung (or perhaps a prostate) should they attempt to hoist a baby sling onto their osteoarthritic spines. What a fascinating question! Indeed, I had a friend who was a social worker in a home for the aged. The facility was divided into a housing area and a hospital area. She recommended that a patient who had turned 105 be moved to the hospital for closer attention, given her age. Her request was denied. The official response...? “We don’t want to start a dangerous precedent.” Hey, you let one

Instead of sheep, I dreamt of operations to tighten, lop and plump up the right places.

105-year-old in, and I am telling you, floodgates! Open that creaky door, and three bazillion centenarians will be lobbing Fasteeth at every nursing home in America.

And now we wish to give seniors back their...sexuality? Do you realize what this unnatural act would lead to? A pediatric division of Medicare! Condom distribution at elder hostels! Warning labels on the correct use of Porcelana! Baby intercoms equipped with Clappers! For obviously, such an inane idea would lead to a massive world population explosion caused by the Silver Set leaping and creaking upon one another like juiced-up bullfrogs. Hey, we all know how irresponsible we AARP members are. Why, we’ll be depositing our bounty all over Miami Beach, Scottsdale and San Diego...then hopping

a Harley in case of “accident.” Jumping Geriatrics! Think of all the poor babes that shall be deposited in the Depends bin behind all those Shady Rest homes. (Not deliberately of course, we geezers just forgot where we left them.)

And what about that balance thing? Do you have any idea what would happen to the economy of senior areas if the entire population of Golden Vista suddenly reveled in early bird specials that didn’t involve a 2 p.m. pot roast and lasagna buffet for $3.99? (Although, you could shoot my relatives with enough Viagra to put a permanent crease in their polyester Bermudas, and they wouldn’t miss the salad bar if Miss Senior Nude America were lying in the pickled beets.)

I tell you, we’ve got to nip this stuff in the walker stage. I mean, if we continue to allow science to overtake us, we seniors might actually throw the whole carbon footprint thing out of whack. Horrors! We could live longer through the magic of moving in lustful joy, but is this anti-nature? Oh dear! Now, I’ll be forced to stay up past nine. Along with contemplating world hunger, peace in the Middle East, and a Covid 2024 spritz from terrorists, I must now add what is “natural” to my list of “good excuses for devouring an entire carton of Chunky Monkey at 2 a.m. since the world is going to Hades in a Keto fat burner handbasket anyway.”

Of course, I could...adjust my list. Give Platinums getting it on and causing a world hunger problem due consideration and assign it the priority it



deserves: somewhere between contemplating the extinction of the beefalo and the mystery of white chocolate.

How old do I look? No really, it’s OK! Just tell me. It started when people started sending me truly scary forms like offers for burial insurance and coupons for adult diapers. Worse, the other day, I got an ad for cremation including a special luncheon held (I swear) at a barbecue restaurant. So, I started reading those mags that say look in a mirror and applaud yourself naked. I stopped at the clapping part and ordered an applause machine on eBay. It laughed. I was now unofficially “an old lady.” Or was I? I was a widow. Would my aging looks stop guys from looking? I started asking strangers, “So tell me, you’re a butcher (they know body parts), how old do I look? No, really, it’s OK.” Forget beauty. Let’s say I wasn’t winning any Miss Congeniality awards. “I don’t know, lady. You want the liver from the chicken?” Could I blame him? It’s one of those “Am I getting fatter?” loser questions. Who, including me, doesn’t hate hearing “How old do I look? No really. It’s OK.” Here’s the results:

1. Some people got my right age within a year! No good. I told that cashier at K-Mart, “May you be forever banned from dealing with the public! Afraid I might’ve overreacted, I kindly suggested she visit a retina specialist.

2. Some people pegged me as less than five years younger. I negotiated with the determination of a Middle Eastern potentate. “In the dark, if my hair didn’t resemble fusilli, or I actually used my exercise bike for more than a clothes rack, would I look 10 years younger?” They were so worn down from my heel in their backs that they finally admitted Brooklynn, Prince and I could’ve worn twin Pampers (though they may have meant for different reasons). Now was that so difficult?

3. Some people bored me with the aphorism, “Age is just a number.” I picked up my hand and looked at it and said, “Right. And so is 100.” If they made me feel shallower than I already did, I’d add, “It’s nice that you can make lemonade from lemons because everything happens for a reason and it’s all good.”

4. Some people asked, “Well, how old do you want to look? I’d simply hug the offender and say, “When it comes to aging, it’s nice going through it with you.”

5. Some people said, “You look great for your age!” Whoa! Even if they know my age, that was like saying, “For a fat person, you actually look healthy.” For such a question there’s only one good answer, “Marn, no one at any age ever looked or could look younger than you do.”

But there were still those hands. And then the bags, wrinkles and assorted things hanging from me that I could see even without my 40 pairs of 350 diopter glasses. Instead of sheep, I dreamt of operations to tighten, lop and plump up the right places. Then, I accidentally turned on one of those “reality” shows about billion-dollar housewives. Should you ever become a self-absorbed harpy over a little age, this stuff is the ultimate intervention. By the first commercial, I tossed the mirrors and taped my mouth shut in shame. It wasn’t pretty. With lips the size of melons, surprised eyebrows (“Why am I on the top of her head?”), hair that resembled yellow shredded wheat, and chipmunk cheeks, they looked older. And I’m worried that I might be too old to date? So, too old for eye candy and too young for a respirator, I got out there and joined the Land of the Aging Kicking. And some men even looked.

I’ll never again ask, “How old do I look?” Mama Nature gave us these wrinkles, age spots and veins for a reason. I’ve decided they mean we’ve lived, sometimes despite impossible odds. And those hands? Platinum guys know they show our journey and just how hard we’ve tried. A

Nissan–Iyar 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 43
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Featuring Mandy Patinkin In Concert: Being Alive

June 4th @ 7:30pm Balboa Theatre, San Diego


May 30th – June 30th, 2024

For tickets and event details, please visit or scan this code.

Nissim Black

May 30 @ 7:30 pm

Inspiring American-Israeli Rapper/ Singer whose music spans genres.

Ken Jewish Community Presents La Obra (In Spanish)

June 10 @ 7:30pm & June 13 @ 9pm

An original story showcasing the unique dynamics of a company putting on a show.

15th Annual Women of Valor

June 18 @ 7:30pm & June 23 @ 2pm

Honoring Sara Brown, Debbie Kornberg, Vered Libstein, Rabbi Devorah Marcus, Bev Pamensky, and Dr. Barbara Parker.

Italian Jews Through the Generations

June 20 @ 6:00pm

An evening of food, entertainment, and learning exploring the Italian Jewish experience.

Comedy for Koby

June 24 @ 7:30pm

A hilarious evening of comedy benefiting the Koby Mandell Foundation.

“Refuah” –Music and Performances of Healing

June 25 @ 7:30pm

A community wide musical concert that captures the many aspects of refuah (healing).

25th Annual Klezmer Summit: From Shtetl to Shuk

June 27 @ 7:30pm

The 23rd celebration of Jewish music delves into the intricate tapestry of klezmer music.


An Eco-Performance Fest

June 30 at 5:00pm

A night of original eco-theater, dance, and music by brilliant, forward-thinking artists.

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