San Diego Jewish Journal July 2016

Page 1

JULY 2016 l SIVAN • TAMUZ 5776

N A G E V , W A R D E I F S I & S AT

San Diego wine

and where to buy kosher

Not all genetic tests are created equal


- a tale of two addictions

THE MOTHER OF ALL MUSICALS “Rightly considered one of the greatest musicals of all time.” – HuffPost Entertainment



Music by


Lyrics by


Suggested by the Memoirs of GYPSY ROSE LEE

Directed by


Music Direction by

Choreography by






JULY 14 - SEPT 4



SEPT 29 - NOV 6


JAN 12 - FEB 12


MAY 18 - JUNE 18


2 l July 2016

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Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 3

4 l July 2016

A Chosen Market Whatever you need, Gelson’s is your choice for gorgeous fruits and vegetables, lean meat and fish for the grill. Chilly beverages and lots of ’em. Party snacks. Cheese, glorious cheese! Decadent desserts. Plus, you’ll find kosher products throughout the store. No matter which department you’re in, you’ll be choosing from the best, freshest, and most flavorful foods — including locally sourced and organic offerings — at a fair price that won’t strain your budget. And if you need anything, just ask. That’s what we’re here for. ;)

Gelson’s Pacific Beach 730 Turquoise St. San Diego, CA 92109 858-488-0044 ∙ Open Daily 7am–10pm Gelson’s Del Mar 2707 Via De La Valle Del Mar, CA 92014 858-481-9300 ∙ Open Daily 7am–10pm

Gelson’s La Costa 7660 El Camino Real Carlsbad, CA 92009 760-632-7511 ∙ Open Daily 7am–10pm





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6 l July 2016

Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 7


July 2016 Sivan/Tamuz 5776


For Marina Yanay-Triner, going raw started as an experiment and quickly became a lifestyle. She offers tips and recipes for readers interested in this perhaps not-so extreme diet.

36 HEALTH: A sobering look at two personal stories of addiction and recovery.

52 TZEDAKAH: Teens participate in tzekakah programs from synagogues to local nonprofits.

8 l July 2016


WINE: Eva Beim scours San Diego for unconventional kosher wine options.

43 THEATER: Pat Launer talks with two Jews for whom laughter really is the best medicine.


DIVORCE-FAMILY LAW Compassionate Yet Aggresive Family Law Experts

MONTHLY COLUMNS 12 The Starting Line 22 Parenting 24 Israeli Lifestyle 26 Aging 28 Spirituality 66 Advice AROUND TOWN 18 Our Town 20 The Scene 56 What's Goin' On 64 Synagogue Life IN EVERY ISSUE 14 Mailbag 16 What’s Up Online 59 Diversions 62 News 65 Shabbat Sheet

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



Tori Avey's tomato pesto tart with cauliflower crust.


Meet the young entrepreneur who is pairing wine with yoga and female empowerment.

858.720.1496 or 760.729.0941

2755 Jefferson Street, Suite 200 Carlsbad, CA 92008

Myra Fleischer


Q&A with Premier Catering.


What to look for in a genetic test.


Before Hitler took over Germany, the Second Reich gruesomely colonized parts of Africa.


An excerpt from "Septimania" plus other new releases to watch out for.

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Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 9 July 2016 • Sivan/Tamuz 5776

PUBLISHERS • Mark Edelstein and Dr. Mark Moss

Jeffrey R Liber, CFP® Managing Director-­‐ Investments CA Insurance Lic #0C28496

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Jeffrey R W L iber, CFP® RFP® LLiber, CCFP® Jeffrey RAlissa Jeffrey Liber, Jeffrey iber, FP® addell C R Managing Director-­‐ Investments AVP -­‐irector-­‐ Registered Client Associate Managing DD irector-­‐ IInvestments Managing D I nvestments Managing irector-­‐ nvestments CA i nsurance L ic # 0I18483 Jeffrey Lic iber, CFP® CA IInsurance ##0C28496 CA Lic #RL L0C28496 Insurance CA Insurance L ic # 0C28496 CA nsurance ic 0C28496 Jeffrey R Managing Liber, CFP® Director-­‐ Investments Managing Director-­‐ Investments CA Insurance Lic #0C28496


12531 12531 High High BBluff luff DDrive, rive, SSTE TE B4400 00 Drive, STE 400 Tori Avey, Betsy Baranov, Linda Bennett, Abby Walker, David 12531 High luff San D iego, CCA A 992130 2130 12531 H igh Bluff Drive, STE 400 San Diego, San D iego, CA 92130 Ebenbach, Judith Fein (Senior Travel Correspondent), Michael Fox, 858-532-7904 858-­‐ 5 23-­‐ 7 904 San Diego, CA 92130 858-523-7904

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF • Natalie Jacobs CREATIVE DIRECTOR • Derek Berghaus ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR • Eileen Sondak OFFICE MANAGER • Ronnie Weisberg INTERN • Caline Chitayat CA Insurance Lic #0C28496

San Diego, CA 92130 Don LLincoln, CIMA® IMA® 858-­‐ 5LFP®, 23-­‐ 7904 Don CFP®, Don Lincoln, Cincoln, CCIMA® Gina Grimmer Don incoln, CFP®, CIMA®

Registered APssociate VVice PPresident-­‐ nvestments Senior ice resident-­‐ IInvestments Senior CSenior Vlient ice resident-­‐ Investments Senior Vice President-­‐ Investments CA insurance Lic Insurance #ICnsurance 0178195 Don Lincoln, FP®, CIMA® CA CA Lic #0821851 0821851 CA Insurance LCic #0821851 CA Insurance Lic #0821851 Don Senior Lincoln, CFP®, IMA® Vice President-­‐ Investments Senior ice President-­‐ Investments CA V Insurance Lic #0821851 CA Insurance Lic #0821851

Amanda Kelly, Brie Stimson, Pat Launer, Sharon Rosen Leib, Andrea Simantov, Jon Schwartz, Marnie McCauley ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Katelyn Barr, Alan Moss (Palm Springs) SAN DIEGO JEWISH JOURNAL (858) 638-9818 • fax: (858) 638-9801 5665 Oberlin Drive, Suite 204 • San Diego, CA 92121 and Insurance Products: !NOT FDIC Insured !NO Bank Guarantee !MAY Lose Value Investment Grimmer Gina Gina Grimmer @JeffreyLiberWFA @DonLincolnWFA Gina Grimmer Alissa Waddell Alissa W addell Gina Grimmer Gina Grimmer @DonLincolnWFA Fargo @DonLincolnWFA Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate@JeffreyLiberWFA non-bank@JeffreyLiberWFA affiliate of Wells & EDITORIAL: Registered Client A Registered Cssociate lient Associate Registered Company. Registered Client Associate Client Client Associate AVP -­‐W RC egistered Cssociate lient Associate Grimmer lient AAssociate -­‐ Registered Gina AVP Registered Alissa addell ©2009CA Wells Fargo LLC. rights reserved. 88580 –v1 -0312-2590 (e7460) CA Advisors, insurance LO178195 ic All #O178195 i nsurance L ic # CA i nsurance L ic # 0178195 Registered Client Ai nsurance ssociate ADVERTISING: CA insurance # 0I18483 CA L ic # 0178195 AVP LRic egistered C lient Associate CA i-­‐ nsurance L ic # 0I18483 CA L ic # O178195 insurance Jeffrey L iber Don L incoln Liber Don Lincoln CA ic Jeffrey #0178195 insurance Lic #0I18483 CA insurance Jeffrey Liber Don Lincoln CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS: Investment and Insurance Products: !NOT FDIC Insured !NO Bank Guarantee !MAY Lose Value

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Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Investment and Insurance Products: !NOT FDIC Insured !NO Bank Guarantee !MAY Lose Value Company. ©2009 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.SIPC, All rights 88580 –v1 -0312-2590 (e7460) Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member isreserved. a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & and Investment Insurance Products: !NOT FDIC Insured !NO Bank Guarantee !MAY Lose Value WellsCompany. Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a FDIC registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Investment and Insurance Products: !NOT Insured !NO Bank Guarantee !MAY Lose Value Investment and Insurance Products: !NOT FDIC Insured !NO Bank Guarantee !MAY LoseFargo Value& ©2009 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved. 88580 –v1 -0312-2590 (e7460) Company. Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & affiliate Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All reserved. 88580broker-dealer –v1 (e7460) Company. Wells©2009 Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is arights registered and-0312-2590 a separate of Wells Fargo & Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is abroker-dealer registered andnon-bank a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Company. ©2009 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved. 88580 –v1 -0312-2590 (e7460) SDJJ is published monthly by San Diego Jewish Journal, LLC. Subscription rate is $24 for one year ©2009 Wells FargoWells Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved. 88580 –v1 -0312-2590 (e7460) (e7460) Fargo Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved. 88580 –v1 -0312-2590 ©2009

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(12 issues). Send subscription requests to SDJJ, 5665 Oberlin Drive, Suite 204, San Diego, CA 92121. The San Diego Jewish Journal is a free and open forum for the expression of opinions. The opinions expressed herein are solely the opinion of the author and in no way reflect the opinions of the publishers, staff or advertisers. The San Diego Jewish Journal is not responsible for the accuracy of any and all information within advertisements. The San Diego Jewish Journal reserves the right to edit all submitted materials, including press releases, letters to the editor, articles and calendar listings for brevity and clarity. The Journal is not legally responsible for the accuracy of calendar or directory listings, nor is it responsible for possible postponements, cancellations or changes in venue. Manuscripts, letters, documents and photographs sent to the Journal become the physical property of the publication, which is not responsible for the return or loss of such material. All contents ©2016 by San Diego Jewish Journal. The San Diego Jewish Journal is a member of the American Jewish Press Association and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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THE STARTING LINE by Natalie Jacobs


Not-So-Easy Living


ne gloomy morning in June, I woke up with Janis Joplin’s “Summertime” echoing between my eardrums.“Suuuuuuummaaaa time, time, time...and the living’s eeeeeeasy.” In my head, her throaty blues were crisp and full of an emotion that betrayed her lyrics. There’s nothing easy-going or careless about the way Janis Joplin sings that song, no matter how many times her words offer a hat-tip to the traditional tropes of the season. It’s possible that the song was stuck in my head because I had just watched the documentary “Janis,” about her life and unfortunate accidental death by overdose. Like many who found themselves cradled in California’s years of psychedelic love, fitting into the mainstream was always difficult for Janis. Growing up in Texas, she was pegged an ugly duckling. The documentary shows her struggle to unravel herself from that identity by instead getting wound up in alcohol and drugs and the rock star lifestyle of 1960s San Francisco. It makes sense that her song about summertime is full of pain and lethargy. Sunshine and free love aren’t really the elixir for all ailments. The morning I woke up with “Summertime,” I had gone to sleep thinking about a lawyer named Lisa Smith. She’s an addict too, but she has 12 years of recovery on her calendar. I interviewed her for my story on pg. 43 about addiction. At one point in our interview she hinted at the fact that she felt scared to admit she had a problem with alcohol and cocaine because it went so against the image of the successful over-achiever that she’d worked hard her whole life to create. Our conversation stuck with me because she has this powerfully visual way of speaking. I hope I’ve captured that in my retelling. I suppose it should be said that I have my own

12 l July 2016

perhaps unhealthy fascination with addiction and the stories that stem from it. How surprisingly easy it is for some to fall into the deep end of one thing or another, not realizing it until the surface is too far away to believe it’s possible to swim back. Plus, the deeper you go, the stronger the pressure on your brain and the more physically dangerous it can be to even attempt to return. But people like Lisa Smith, and Scott Silverman who’s also profiled in the article, do. And they succeed, one day at a time. That too is equally fascinating. With addictions on the rise in this country, the article in our health section may not be quintessential summer reading, but it is important and if not now, when? In keeping with the theme of an unconventional summer, July is also our food issue but instead of barbeques and bonfires, we’re taking a look at the raw vegan lifestyle. That section offers recipes and tips for trying out an uncooked meal plan. And Tori Avey offers ideas for using cauliflower in ways you would never have imagined. Is it a pizza? Is it a quiche? Turn to page 34 to find out. Given my focus in the first half of this column, I feel it’s necessary to issue a disclaimer or trigger warning here: We do have two articles that explore wine in this issue, but more from the business side than the drinking side. Eva Beim takes a look at where to buy kosher wine, and Brie Stimson introduces us to a young entrepreneur who is stretching the limits of San Diego’s wine industry. Didn’t know we have one? Apparently, we do. A



United Way of San Diego County announced in June that Laurie Coskey has been selected as president and CEO of the 96-year-old nonprofit.


The Jewish Community Foundation welcomes Claudia Ehrlich as director of philanthropy. Most recently, Ehrlich was senior director of external relations at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.


Aviva Paley was selected to showcase her anti-hunger project Kitchen for Good, which she started in San Diego, at the exclusive ROI Global Summit in Jeruslaem in June.


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Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 13

we’re listening let us know what’s on your mind

Send us your comments: 5665 Oberlin Dr., Ste 204, San Diego, CA 92121 CRAVING CONTEXT Dear Editor: I wanted to thank Natalie Jacobs for the information written in last month’s Jewish Journal about the Jewish Women’s Foundation multi-year grant program [“In Search of More Than a Friendly Hello,” May, 2016]. It is important to note JWF, a fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, was established 14 years ago by Jan Tuttleman z”l, and 17 founding members. JWF is the only example in our community of women coming together to specifically address the needs of Jewish women and girls. They believe women offer a critical and unique perspective on the social and economic challenges, and our voices and solutions must be brought to the forefront for these issues to be tackled in any lasting way. You exemplified this in the article you wrote about the grant that

the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center and Jewish Family Services received from JWF. We are very proud of this initiative and how it has served isolated older Jewish women. This has been a wonderful and successful collaboration between these two organizations. Recently, our members were reminded at our Annual meeting how devastating loneliness can be within this population. Our grantees shared that loneliness can be a life or death situation. They referenced the research that confirms social isolation and loneliness is a significant factor to premature death – similar to the effects of smoking – reminding us how important it is to address this issue. JWF has many exciting activities set for the year ahead. Please feel free to contact me, Sarah Schatz ( at the Jewish Community Foundation for more information. Sarah Schatz Philanthropy Officer, JCF SD STILL MISSING SOMETHING Dear Editor: I am writing regarding the statement written by the Union for Reform Judaism, and your “correction” in the May issue. I was infuriated after reading the Union’s ridiculous statement: “Mr. Trump’s extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric reminds us that our own ancestors’ access to American shores of freedom and promise were once blocked, with deadly consequences . . .” Yes, what happened to our ancestors was most certainly a great tragedy. But this comparison is

absolutely inane! The people that the Union are defending attacked America and Americans! They are illogical suicide bombers! Mr. Trump is trying to protect America from a sect that wants to destroy us and, judging by 9/11 and the catastrophe in San Bernardino, they have been successful in their endeavor more than once. There is no doubt whatsoever that in the future these vicious acts will be attempted again and again. The Union for Reform Judaism better wake up! There is absolutely no comparison between our ancestors and Muslims. [Letter writer wished to be anonymous] San Diego MORE BIKING Dear Editor: As I train intensely through all types of weather, biking up hill and down hill, sweating profusely, praying that my legs will not give out, I am driven to continue riding by the knowledge of what I am training for: The Bike4Friendship Cross Country Tour. This summer I plan to spend six weeks biking from San Diego to NY to raise money for the Friendship Circle, an organization that provides special needs programming and support to families in many communities around the world. In my own community, the Five Towns, we are fortunate enough to have a very active Friendship Circle which provides such incredible programming, including Friends at Home, Sunday Circle, Judaic Circle, Sibs Circle, Teens and Young Adult Division (T-YAD), Moms Night Out, exciting trips, among many

other programs. As one who has been a volunteer in the past, I have seen first hand the positive impact such programming has on special needs children and their families: the smiles on the participant’s faces, the joy that families feel when they see their children bond with a new volunteer who truly relishes and accepts them. And yet, as much as the children benefit, the volunteers gain an invaluable lesson of true giving of themselves and of the importance of including those with special needs in the community. As I push myself harder and harder, with fatigue beginning to seep in, I think of my sister Esther, to whom I dedicate my ride. Esther has benefited tremendously from the extensive programming provided by the Friendship Circle, has bonded incredibly with her weekly volunteer and always comes home with a beautiful smile after attending a T-Yad event. On Bike4Friendship, we will average 100 miles day, six days a week. We will ride through rain, wind, in extreme heat and in some cases, in the early hours of the morning darkness and through steep inclines. All along, I will help spread the message of the Friendship Circle, a message of acceptance, of inclusion and of the importance of giving. Please lend your support towards my goal of reaching $4,500 in support of this incredible organization. We leave July 17 and there is still time to donate to the cause by visiting my page at Yair Sterman New York

CORRECTIONS In the “Movers & Shakers” sidebar in the June 2016 issue it was incorrectly noted that Ilene Tatro replaced Karen Shein as program director at Congregation Beth Israel. Bonnie Graff was the previous program director for 32 years and she will continue to work with the congregation as a consultant. Karen Shein moved on from the temple after being its communications director. Also in the June issue, a photo of Logan Marcus was incorrectly captioned in the News section. The SDJJ regrets these errors. 14 l July 2016



FRIDAY, AUGUST 12 – MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 2016 Together at Camp Mountain Chai you and your grandchildren (ages 5 to 13) can experience specially-planned programs and activities that will lead to a lifetime of memories. We’ll do the work – and you’ll have the fun. Pricing for grandparents weekend: $250/grandparent, $125/grandchild

Join Us For Lively Shabbat Programs, Israeli Dancing, Singing, Hiking, Art, Yoga, Zumba, Zip Lining, Archery, Happy Hour, Inspirational Workshops, And More! $250 Registration Includes Kosher Meals & Transportation 50% Discount For Young Professionals (21-40) Financial Assistance Available

This annual event is one of our campers’ favorites. Why wait until summer? Experience some CMC magic in the winter!

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Friday, Decem

P 2016

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TO REGISTER FOR ANY OF THE THREE RETREATS Email: Call: (858) 499-1330 Or Visit:

what’s up on

ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK? DEPENDS WHO YOU ASK. On June 5, New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order banning the state from doing business with companies that support a boycott of Israeli products. This is just the latest in a slue of anti-BDS action taken by state governments but the progress is not so cut-and-dry. Find the story outlining the order, plus opinions for and against it on our website.

16 l July 2016

SO MUCH DELICIOUSNESS, SO LITTLE GLUTEN Not to beat a gluten-free horse here, but we're back with another gluten-free baking series from the Jewish-owned Blends by Orly. There's chocolate babka (pictured in progress above), chocolate chip challah and everyone's favorite rugelach. Even if you're not specifically gluten free, sometimes it's nice to give your gut a break. U.S. HOLOCAUST MUSEUM RAISES FUNDS FOR A FACE LIFT: Technology has changed everything, and museums are no exception. The U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. recently received $20 million toward its $540 million campaign that seeks to revitalize the museum, starting with technological enhancements.

THE ECHO AND ONLINE HARASSMENT: A lot of hateful things happen online. But when one particularly atrocious web browser extension sought to target Jews, many prominent Jewish thinkers re-approrpriated the central symbol. Others, though, express concern over such tactics.

Hear about all our web exclusives first: Like us on sandiegojewishjournal and follow us on Twitter @sdjewishjournal


A Guided, Personal Approach to Your Philanthropy This workbook is brought to you by the Jewish Community Foundation.

WHY A GIVING GUIDE? While we may feel compelled to be philanthropic, the prospect can be overwhelming. How do we know where to give? How do we know that our gift will make a difference? Are we sure that we can trust the organizations in which we are investing? This guide, based on Jewish values, is intended to help you and your family craft a personalized approach to philanthropy that is meaningful, productive, and fulfilling. It is a series of questions with options for consideration and concludes with a framework for your philanthropy. This workbook is available to all fundholders. For more information, please give us a call at (858) 279-2740 or email



throughout the San Diego Jewish community and beyond. We strive to build a strong culture of service, respect and trust with our multigenerational donors, community, volunteers and staff.


“Whoever practices charity and justice fills the world with loving kindness.” Talmud: Sukkah

TOP L-R: Sonia and Andy Israel • Larry Katz, David Geffen and Fred Schenk.

JCC Patron Party


The JCC Patron Party was held May 21 at Coasterra Bay View Ballroom. The event raised funds for programs and services at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Jacobs Family Campus. After a delicious dinner followed by a wonderful performance of dueling pianos, a live auction was held. Some of the 160 patrons included Susan and Jim Morris, Hanna and Mark Gleiberman, Susan Shmalo and Gene Carswell, Julie and Lowell Potiker, Silvana and Richard Christy, Sylvia Geffen and David Geffen, Phil Ginsburg, Julie and Edgar Berner, Nancy and Matt Browar, Leslie and Shlomo Caspi, Liz Nederlander Coden and Daniel Coden, Deborah and Marcus Gerber, Nancy and Michael Gordon, Adam Jacobs, Sonia and Andy Israel, Julia and Craig Schloss, Shari and Fred Schenk, Rachelle and Charles Jagolinzer, Larry Katz, Seth Krosner, Lynn Payette and Lawrence Branton, Lori and Kenneth Polin, Elyse Sollender and Mark Lohkemper, Sharon and David Wax, Rusti Bartell Weiss and Steven Rosenberg, and of course Myrna and Michael Cohen, and Anna and Jaime Oscar Kozlowski.


Happy 89th birthday to Gene Siegel! Happy 90th birthday to Doug Selik! Happy 92nd birthday to Sheldon Merel! Happy 100th birthday to Vera Alberti! Happy 88th birthday to Nancy Geist! Happy 85th birthday to Werner Dreyfus!

Mazel tovs... Mazel tov to Evan Patockha on his recent Bar Mitzvah at Temple Emanu-El. Proud mom is Malissa Winicki.

18 l July 2016

BOTTOM L-R: Francine and Phil Ginsburg • Sharon and David Wax • Nikki Geffen and Danny Rubin.

Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 19



CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: James McGuirk, Amanda Bonds, Jose Cruz, Lorie Zapf • Lauren Mages, Colleen Mertes,​Stephanie LaMontagne, John Corcoran.

Eat.Drink.Read.Be Healthy San Diego Council on Literacy The San Diego Council on Literacy held its annual fundraiser Eat.Drink.Read. in Libery Station on May 18. The group raised more than $30,000 to support its more than 25 literacy programs. Local chefs and mixologists prepared dishes in honor of their favorite books, and 120 children’s books were donated at the event.

Scripps In May, Scripps Health held its 25th anniversary fundraiser, a 1920s-themed celebration that raised more than $1.2 million from nearly 450 guests in support of “cancer patient support services,” according to a post-event press release. Through the 25 years of the “Spinoff” fundraisers, Scripps has raised more than $16 million for its cancer care and research programs.

20 l July 2016

CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM RIGHT: Jim and Elizabeth Coleman • Marty and Gail Levin • Helene and George Gould • Chris Van Gorder, Rosemary Van Gorder, Lauren Clark, Gordon Clark.

Marriage, Family & Individual Counseling I have been helping couples with conflict resolution for over 24 years. Communication is often the main issue in troubled relationships. I utilize a highly successful technique which redefines how we talk to and hear one another. If you’re struggling in your relationship or need individual help, please give me a call. EXPERIENCE:

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Tel (858) 450-1040 • San Diego • Tel Aviv Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 21


by Sharon Rosen Leib


The Real Threat to Our Daughters


he extensive media coverage and moral outrage regarding federally mandated transgender public school bathrooms qualify as possibly the most absurd culture-war, a non-issue, the distraction of all distractions. Consider the fact that approximately one percent of the United States population under the age of 18 identifies as transgender. Should the infinitesimally remote possibility of our daughters being exposed to a transgender kid’s private parts in a girls’ bathroom keep us up at night? Not even close. As a parent, I worry about a lot of things in the wee hours but transgender bathrooms don’t even register in my fret parade. Where’s the moral outrage about the real threat to our daughters – the national epidemic of sexual assault on high school and collegeaged girls? After reading acclaimed journalist Peggy Orenstein’s well-researched new book “Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape” and watching “The Hunting Ground,” Academy Award-nominee Kirby Dick’s 2014 documentary film about campus rape culture, this underreported problem reached my fret list top 10 in a hurry. Both “Girls & Sex” and “The Hunting Ground” highlight the statistic that (by conservative estimate) one in five young women will be sexually assaulted while in college. The book and film sparked some hair-raising discussions with 22-year-old Oldest Daughter and her college friends. They shared a couple of first-hand accounts: a Pitzer College student was “roofied” (slang for when someone slips the daterape drug Rohypnol into a beverage) by a student from Claremont McKenna College (CMC) at a party during her freshman year, causing her to pass out. Fortunately, two friends found her before the perpetrator did, and dragged her back to the safety of her dorm. Another young woman relayed a story of her sophomore year, when a 22 l July 2016

CMC student forcibly pulled her out of a dorm party and into a computer lab where he tried to rip off her clothes. She screamed and escaped her attacker. Neither female reported these incidents – typical in light of the statistic that only 20 percent of victims report campus sexual assaults because they feel embarrassed, blame themselves and/or fear making a bad situation worse. My daughter, who just graduated from Pitzer, and her friends, also told me about one case this spring where the victim didn’t get away. A Pitzer College freshman was sitting on the outskirts of a party at CMC when a guy she knew from class offered her a drink. Several hours later, she awakened disrobed in his CMC dorm room and realized she had been drugged and raped. She wrote a detailed account of the attack and anonymously submitted it to the editor of Pitzer’s online student newspaper “The Peel.” Her account created an outpouring of support. Local police brought drug-sniffing dogs onto CMC’s campus and arrested the probable perpetrator for narcotics possession. Hopefully, if the anonymous young woman comes forward and files a formal report, he’ll also be held accountable for rape. As much as we’d like to put our parental heads in the sand, we have to educate ourselves about campus sexual assault. We must empower our daughters to report these crimes and advocate for campus accountability to ensure perpetrators will be punished. I’m embarrassed to admit that I used to believe the risk of girls being roofied was exaggerated. How could there be that many bad-apples out there? Now I know upclose and personal that the threat is real. Please stay tuned next month for a discussion of resources dealing with campus sexual assault – just in time for sending your kids off to college! A


The Friendship Circle will host a week-long summer camp for children with special needs. Taking place at Chabad of Poway, campers and volunteers will participate together in a variety of activities from sports to arts and crafts. Camp is Aug. 8-12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $100 but scholarships are available. Details at


Join us to celebrate the completion of community updates at The Patrician! See our updated apartments and community common spaces. Learn about our new, all-inclusive Anytime Dining program and the exciting activities we have planned each month. Summer Savings!


Expires 7/30/2016

Call today to schedule your personal visit and select your apartment! T H E P AT R I C I A N L A J O L L A . C O M

1 . 8 5 8 . 2 1 7. 5 5 7 4

4025 Pulitzer Place, San Diego, CA 92122 Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 23 061616a_Patrician_SD_Jewish_Journal_Whats_New_A.indd 1

6/17/16 2:18 PM





ongtime readers of this column will know that once or twice a year I travel to Johannesburg. With three daughters living there with their families including twelve (soon to be 14; tfu, tfu, tfu!) grandchildren, it is a hop, skip and jump from the Holy Land to the land of biltong and pedicures. Something downright eerie happens to my psyche upon returning from these jaunts. I morph into full babe mode like nobody’s business. Immediately I renew my subscription to Groupon, scouting out affordable day spas, nail salons and lounge-wear. Mornings include leg-lifts and attention to belly-flab. Lip-pencils become my new go-to accessories and salt-andpepper hair no longer seems quirky and whimsical. Returning from the land of self-care and fulltime household help, it doesn’t seem noble to save shekels by eschewing the acts of vanity that Johannesburg women enjoy as rites of passage. 24 l July 2016

Perhaps the most revealing result of these biannual forays is a crazy devotion to housekeeping. After two weeks in homes that are dust-free and smellling of lemon-wax, I attack my shabby abode with unrecognizable energy. Should I be ashamed to declare that I like walking on floors that are so clean that my calloused feet remain as pale on bottom as they do on top? Is it a moral weakness to enjoy pink polish on my little piggies that can be re-lacquered for only a few rands every time they chip? May I confess that I rarely wash my own hair when visiting my daughters because, for pennies, a modern mall-salon will shampoo, condition and blow-out my curly locks for the same price as a container of milk in Jerusalem? Is it a crime to celebrate the stress of selfpampering with an obligatory latte and croissant while, at the same time, debating whether to braai a couple of steaks for dinner or just bring in from the kosher bistro on the corner where

the service is genteel and the customer is king? What does seem criminal is the way I bring home these antithetical values for, at best, a fortnight and think that the high will last. It never does. Without warning I awaken to a life in which I cannot afford cleaning help, where manicures/pedicures cost nearly as much as a small sports-car, and where take-out food is both expensive and accompanied with a hefty dose of aggression. While I chose to live in Israel for myriad lofty-reasons, the return from Johannesburg might improve with a stint in rehab. The hubby always looks forward to my respective homecomings because the gal he picks up at Ben Gurion changes the sheets more frequently than before and decorates his salmon supper with sprigs of parsley. A little dose of narcissism results in shaved-gams and renewed interest in scented body-butter. He too, though, knows it won’t last long. A

Let’s talk about something retirement communities hardly ever mention. Accreditation. Because having the confidence and peace of mind of accreditation is important. So, let’s talk. La Vida Del Mar and La Vida Real are accredited by CARF International. It’s an independent organization that sets exceedingly high standards for care and service. It’s a lot like an accreditation for a hospital or college. Or a five-star rating for a hotel. But like most things in life, you have to see it to believe it. So, let’s talk some more at a complimentary lunch and tour. Please call today to schedule.

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(858) 488-1725 • Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 25

OLDER, WISER, BETTER by Jon Schwartz


Meetings and Events Jewish War Veterans of San Diego, Post-185 Contact Jerome Klein at (858) 521-8694 July 10, 10 a.m.

Turning the Tables


hen I was 6 years old, my parents and a few of my friend’s parents took us all out to McDonald’s after a soccer game. I had just finished my last Chicken McNugget when I thought it was time to play. All of my friends had already run outside and by this point they were absorbed in the jungle gym and ball pit. To my 6-year-old eyes, they were having the time of their lives, and I desperately wanted to join them. As soon as I ran out, I heard my mom say, “Jonathan, you have bad sinuses and cannot play out there with the other boys.” Suffering from chronic sinus infections as a kid, my mom tried to protect me from nearly every germ. No doubt, that ball pit has a few. To this day, I will not forget having to stare out the window at my friends, who were having a blast, while I had to sit on the hard plastic bench with my parents and their friends. Fast forward to today, I see more of this over-protection but it’s going the other direction – it comes from adult children directed at their aging parents. Here’s my attempt at a poetic explanation of this: When the kids are young their safety is key We don’t want them to have much autonomy. When we are old we want to just be. But our kids only care about our safety. Research shows that the majority of relationships between parents and their adult children improve as parents transition to older age. The interdependency created during this stage in life, between adult child and an aging parent, offers both parties tremendous benefits. It is common for the adult child to seek advice, insight, and perspective (even money) from their aging parent. The parents’ needs from their adult child may be more in the form of physical care, transportation, technological help 26 l July 2016

and decisions on where to live and what to buy. However, managing this perfect interdependent relationship, on most days, may seem impossible. Roz Chast, The New Yorker cartoonist and author of the book, “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” Offers a familiar sentiment to many of the families I encounter. In describing the care she provided for her aging parents, Chast writes, “I wasn’t a great caretaker, and they weren’t great at being taken care of.” It may be that an adult child underestimates their aging parent’s independence and the aging parent may overestimate their capability. Finding this middle ground takes communication, communication and communication. Having honest and open conversations before issues arise, around when to give up the car keys, when to give up control of financial affairs, and when to bring in help at home or move to a retirement community can improve quality of life and the relationship for both the adult children and their parents. As adult children, our biggest shortfall would be to remove ourselves completely from our parent’s aging process. Unfortunately, I see this all too often. On the opposite side of the spectrum, adult children can overstep their boundaries. They infringe on decisions about what to eat, which doctor to see, where to sleep, how to pay bills and even what to say to certain people. Ultimately, the adult children come a little too close to becoming parents to their parents. Today, I have no sinus issues at all and I’m able to say, Thank you, mom! As my parent, her decisions revolved around keeping me safe. Whilew our relationship shifts, that will be my focus for her as well. I’ll just have to come up with something other than “You’ll understand when you’re older” to explain my overprotectiveness in the coming years. A

North County Jewish Seniors Club at the Oceanside Senior Center Contact Josephine at (760) 295-2564 July 21, 12:30 p.m.

Veterans Association of North County, Post-385 Contact Marc Poland (858) 232-1645 Jewish War Veterans meetings July 10, noon

Lawrence Family JCC Contact Melanie Rubin (858) 362-1141 Aug. 3, 12:15 p.m., Day at the Races

JFS University City Older Adult Center Contact Aviva Saad (858) 550-5998 July 5, 10 a.m., 4th of July Celebration

On the Go Excursions Contact Jo Kessler (858) 637-7320 July 17, 1 p.m., “MAESTRO: Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein” at SD Rep.

JFS No. County Inland Center at Adat Shalom Contact (858) 674-1123 July 20, 11 a.m., Food, Moods & Energy with Betty Garrity

JFS Coastal Club at Temple Solel Contact (858) 674-1123 July 12, 11 a.m., Creating Happiness with Lindsay Wagner

JFS College Avenue Center at Temple Emanu-El Contact Sara Diaz (858) 637-3270 July 15, 12:45 p.m., Civic Arts Dance Program with Andrea Feier

Every Ride Has a Story. You Can Be Its Hero. Join us at our training session on Wednesday, July 13 and become a Volunteer Driver with On the Go! GLORIA






Older adults who have made the tough decision to “turn in their keys” fear losing their independence. When a person can’t drive, especially in San Diego, simple things such as medical appointments, visiting a loved one, taking a class, or attending a religious service become major life challenges. If you can drive, you can keep an older adult connected to the people and places they love most. Volunteering Is Easy, Flexible, and Meaningful • You choose who, when, and where you drive • Mileage reimbursement and secondary insurance provided by Jewish Family Service

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Register Online: Questions? (858) 637-3050 On the Go is a division of Charitable Adult Rides & Services, Inc.

Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 27


Rabbi Berk, Congregation Beth Israel


Arguing, Jewish Style


bout 1,950 years ago, the Jewish community was not very united. There was infighting and hatred between different groups. Everyone thought they were right and so there was no yielding and no respecting. The result was devastating: according to the rabbis, this inability of the Jews to civilly disagree with one another and the polarization into rigid ideological camps resulted in the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the dispersion of our people to the four corners of the world. Against all odds we survived, but we are attacking each other again, and it is reason to worry. We Jews have a long history of arguing. I once heard Rabbi Donniel Hartman, one of Judaism’s great thinkers, summarize the entire Torah in about two sentences: G-d spoke to the children of Israel and said unto them, you shall do x, y, and z. And the children of Israel answered and said unto G-d, No. Maybe G-d chose the Jews because G-d likes a good argrument. In the Torah portion Korach (Numbers 19:122:1) we get a good taste of Jews arguing with each other. Korach leads a rebellion against the leadership of the Jewish people, Moses and Aaron. His motive is unclear, but his argument makes a lot of sense. He claims that since all the people are holy, why should Moses and Aaron wield all the power and authority in the Jewish community? He attacks Moses and Aaron rather viciously. The Torah and the tradition come down hard on Korach. But it’s important to understand why. Most definitely, it’s not because Korach questioned authority. It was something else. The Jewish art of arguing has been lost. I need only point to the discussion about Israel in the Jewish world. We have forgotten what was learned from the great schools known as the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai. In the Talmud we read about how the disciples of Hillel and Shammai argued vehemently for three years, each asserting that they were correct. But we are also told that despite the heated debates, the disciples of the two schools socialized with each other and were friendly outside the houses of learning. Eventually, a bat kol (a voice from heaven) 28 l July 2016

declared that both sides represented the words of the living G-d. But, the law would go according to the teachings of the House of Hillel. The important thing here is not who won, but why the Talmud deemed the House of Hillel more worthy. Here’s what it says: the disciples of Hillel were kindly and modest, they studied their own rulings and those of the House of Shammai. Moreover, they placed the House of Shammai’s words before their own. And perhaps the most important point: they didn’t accuse the other of loving G-d or Judaism less than they did. The Talmud acknowledged the sincerity of each sides’ arguments by declaring that both represent the word of G-d. Neither side “owned” the truth. The lesson is clear: we can hold our views passionately, but we should remain modest and open to hearing the other side with respect. And our differences should not divide us as a people. We can learn from Hillel and Shammai that while our tradition cares about justice and truth, we want a world in which their light can shine forth. In order for the world to survive, people need to get along and make room for compromise. For the sake of peace we need to climb down from our high sense of believing that truth is on our side. We need to soften the world a bit and open up the possibility for those who disagree with us, or those who have wronged us, to hear our story. For the world to survive we need to be able to settle differences, accept compromises, and see this as bringing justice into the world rather than justice only being a rigid pronouncement of right or wrong. In Judaism I believe that peace is as important, sometimes more important, than justice and truth. The best I can figure, Korach’s problem was not that he had a dispute with the powers that be. It was his motive and attitude. He was arrogant and his dispute was more about ego and power than what was best for the community. So it’s ok to argue and to disagree passionately. But when we do, when we argue with a friend or a loved one, or when we argue with others about politics and Israel, let us do so in the spirit of Hillel – with open minds and I’ll even say love in our hearts. The one with

whom you are arguing, like you, was created in the image of G-d. Try to hear them with an open mind and heart. Try to understand them a little more deeply. Open yourself to the possibility that they are as passionate and decent as you are. That’s how we can all get along. A Rabbi Berk is senior rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel, a Reform temple in La Jolla. The temple can be reached at

 This

month’s Torah portions July 2: Shelach (Numbers 13:1-15:41) July 9: Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32) July 16: Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1) July 23: Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9) July 30: Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1)

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Creative art offerings such as watercolors and papier mâché


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Educational discussions and cultural conversations


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As a member of the Stein Center, you and your loved one are part of the Seacrest Village Family. Call 760.632.0081

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Senior living in the Jewish tradition 304 SEACREST WAY, ENCINITAS, CA 92024 • LICENSE # 374603545

Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 29

||| FOOD |||



The benefits of a raw vegan diet and a few recipes to try BY MARINA YANAY-TRINER

30 | July 2016



handful of years ago, my mom cured herself of a debilitating condition called Interstitial Cysctisis (IC). This autoimmune disease is experienced much like a urinary tract infection with constant and painful urination. My mom was housebound and suffering for eight years while she tried traditional methods of treatment. Eventually, she found information on a water fast, which she did for 28 days. Upon completing the fast, she began a raw food diet and her disease cleared from her system. My partner and I were living in Jerusalem at the time, and we watched my mom’s transformation in awe. We didn’t know anyone who was vegan, let alone raw (this has changed in Israel in the past five years – veganism is an ever-growing food trend now). Our transition to an all raw diet was slow, with hours spent in the kitchen preparing new foods in very specific ways. I had never loved cooking before, but this new form of un-cooking captured my attention immediately. What is raw food? The raw food lifestyle includes fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, sprouts, and seaweeds. All of the food is uncooked, unpasteurized, and with very little processing. “Raw” does not mean cold – you can heat food up in a dehydrator, or in the lowest setting of an oven. In addition, foods like bread or canned chickpeas may seem raw because they are most often served cold, but they are actually cooked or processed, and therefore not raw. The vegan part means no animal products. Consuming food in its raw form keeps the naturally occuring vitamins and minerals intact while eliminating the fats and chemicals that are added in with industrial food processing (artificial flavoring, preservatives, etc.). To some, the raw vegan lifestyle sounds simple. For others, it sounds boring. But it’s just like any form of food preparation, you just need a little inspiration and creativity. Since nothing is cooked and meat is left out, spices are used in bold ways and textures are important to consider. Here I’ve provided four recipes to show you how easy and delicious raw food can be. I’m covering the basics, with an appetizer or snack, two main dish options, and a dessert for a full course of raw vegan ideas to get you started. One of my intentions as a raw food teacher is to encourage my students to make their own recipes, so I often don’t give exact quantities for ingredients. But for the purposes of this article, I have included suggested measurements.




for including raw food in your diet

It’s understandable that going direct from a standard American diet to a raw vegan one can be daunting. Don’t go all in all at once. Instead, here are a few ways that you can incorporate more raw food into your existing diet: • Look for raw foods that seem easy and obvious to you. Think: lettuce in salads, fresh fruits, whole vegetables. Try eating two cups of fruit before every meal. This will help eliminate sweet cravings after meals, which negatively impacts digestion. • Pick a realistic number of meals per week to have raw. Breakfasts are the easiest meal to eat raw – smoothies! But it’s also easy to replace pasta, pizza, sushi and many more standard meals with raw vegan versions. • Pick a few recipes that you will always make raw. A delicious first step is dessert – surprisingly, raw desserts are loved by most people and they’re very easy to make. • Incorporate major raw components into a cooked, vegan, healthy and unprocessed meal. You can start by doing ½ raw and ½ cooked, and increase the raw ratio from there. For example, cook 1 cup of plain quinoa, and add that to a fresh salad, using one of the dressings included here. • Another option is Rawtill4. This involves eating highcarbohydrate raw food (mainly, fruit) until your dinner meal, which would be a vegan high carbohydrate, low fat cooked meal. This is a lifestyle popularized on YouTube by Freelee the Banana Girl.

Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 31

Dressings, Sauces, and Dips Dressings, sauces, and dips are cornerstones of a raw food diet because they make everything taste much better. Oil, though, is a processed food, so I do not include any in my recipes.

GREEN AND LEAN SALAD DRESSING Ingredients: 1 tablespoon raw tahini 1 tablespoon flax seeds (grind after measuring out) 1 small zucchini Juice of 1 large lemon + ½ a lime ¼ teaspoon sea salt 3 tablespoons chives

AUTHENTICALLY RAW VEGAN JERUSALEMITE HUMMUS Ingredients: 1 tablespoon tahini (unroasted) ½ teaspoon onion powder 1 tablespoon chia seeds ½ teaspoon garlic powder Juice of ½ lemon 1 small red pepper ¼ teaspoon sea salt 1 small zucchini 1 teaspoon cumin 1 garlic clove ½ teaspoon smoked paprika ¼ cup water Method: Throw all ingredients in a blender, and blend until extremely smooth. You can add more water if you need to for blending. If you do not have a high speed blender, be sure to mill your chia seeds ahead of time in a coffee grinder.

Dessert With summer here, I encourage you to ditch dairy ice cream, which has a ton of sugar, preservatives, and is very acidic and calcium-depleting, and go for this fruity ice cream instead. This particular recipe requires a bit of work, but it contains four servings of cookie dough, so you’ll have enough to eat this dessert for days.

32 | July 2016

1 handful basil leaves 1 clove of garlic ½ jalapeno pepper (deseed and core for less heat) ½ cup water, or more if you like a thinner dressing Method: Blend all ingredients until smooth

Noodles Veggie noodles are a hearty foundation for any raw vegan meal. To make them, you can use a variety of tools: a regular potato peeler; a Borner Box Grater with the Julienne side to make very thin and long angel-hair pasta noodles; and a spiralizer, to make similar but slightly thicker noodles.



Sauce Ingredients: 1/5 tablespoons tahini Sauce Ingredients: 1 tablespoon chia seeds 1 soft, ripe avocado 1 large clove garlic 1/8 cup lemon juice, or juice of ½ a lemon 1 inch piece of ginger 1 garlic clove 2 tablespoons chickpea miso ¾ cup capers (the kind preserved by salt, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar rather than vinegar) 2 large roma tomatoes 10 basil leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried basil ¼ cup water Black pepper, to taste Noodle Ingredients: Noodle ingredients: 1 english cucumber 2 medium zucchinis Toppings: Toppings: 1 green onion, chopped 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half 1 handful snap peas, thinly sliced ¼ thinly sliced red onion 1 thinly sliced/julienned red, orange, or yellow bell pepper 1 tablespoon hemp seeds Method: Method: Spiralize the zucchini using a spiralizer. Set aside. Spiralize the cucumber using a spiralizer. Set aside. Be sure to refrigerate the Put garlic in the food processor when it’s running to chop. cucumbers to prevent excessive amounts of water from leaking out. Combine all Then add the rest of your ingredients, and process until sauce ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. very smooth and creamy. Top with hemp seeds. Combine cucumbers and sauce only when ready to serve and serve immediately.


Equipment: Blender or food processor

Ingredients: For the Nice Cream: 4 frozen bananas ¼ cup of water For the cookie dough: 20 deglet nour dates ¼ cup dried mulberries (or replace with oats)

Servings: 4 for dessert, 1 for full meal

1 tbsp carob powder (or raw carob powder) 1 drop pure peppermint extract Pinch of cinnamon Pinch of sea salt 1 tbsp cacao nibs 2 tbsp spirulina powder

Preparation: Place dates and mulberries in the food processor and process until they break down. Add the rest of the ingredients, and process until a giant ball forms in your food processor. Take out that ball, and form it into small cookie dough balls, or any shape of your liking. The size really doesn’t matter here. Place on top of nice cream. Marina Yanay-Triner is a health coach who runs a raw vegan Meet-Up group and hosts cooking classes around the county. Find more recipes and an e-book on nice cream on her website,

Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 33

Tori Avey is an award-winning food writer, recipe developer, and the creator of the popular cooking website She writes about food history for PBS Food and Follow Tori on Facebook by searching for “Tori Avey” and on Twitter: @toriavey.

in the kitchen WITH


TOMATO PESTO TART with Cauliflower Crust


uring the Victorian era, cauliflower was more highly regarded than its less expensive cousin, the cabbage plant. Cauliflower reproduces by seed and is harvested at the bud stage, before it has a chance to blossom. The edible florets are actually made from small, tightly packed buds, sometimes referred to as “curds.” Cauliflower belongs to the species Brassica oleracea, along with cabbage, collard greens, kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Unlike its close relatives, cauliflower is not green. This is because the leaves, if left to grow long enough, will cover the entire head, preventing the florets from producing chlorophyll. The resulting white “curds” are a tasty veggie on their own, but they’re also quite adaptable. In recent years, chefs and recipe developers have gotten incredibly creative with cauliflower, playing with the texture and using it as a low-carb alternative to starchy sides like potatoes, rice and couscous. From soups to salads to gratins, roasted or pickled, cauliflower is a wonder. In Jewish cuisine, Sephardim have a love for cauliflower and enjoy it 34 | July 2016

in a variety of ways – as keftes (patties), in stews, in omelets and served with potatoes in cheese sauce. Cauliflower isn’t traditionally counted among Askenazi fare, though recently it has been popping up in latkes and kugels. This recipe was inspired by a delicious Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe I found on my friend Lori’s blog, I spiced up Lori’s crust as a base, then set out to create a summery tomato-basil tart. This recipe is completely grain and gluten free, but it does contain copious amounts of dairy. It’s a cheese-fest, and it’s divine. The cauliflower bakes together with the spices, cheese and egg to create a tasty base for toppings. Though it’s not much like a flour crust – the center is a bit soft, and slices are best eaten with a fork than by hand – it provides a solid enough foundation for a bevy of Italian-inspired toppings. The flavor is out of this world. Yes, the cheese is an indulgence, but for those watching their carbs it is a terrific substitute for a crusty flour-based tart. If you like, you can use the “crust” as a base for your favorite pizza toppings. Enjoy!


TOMATO PESTO TART with Cauliflower Crust 12 oz. clean cauliflower florets 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 1 egg, beaten 1 tsp oregano ¾ tsp minced fresh garlic ¼ tsp turmeric ¼ tsp salt Pinch of cayenne pepper ¼ cup basil pesto ½ cup crumbled goat cheese


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Pulse your cauliflower florets in a food processor until they resemble fine crumbles or couscous (don’t over-process to a paste). Alternatively you can hand grate the cauliflower using the fine holes on your grater. Place the processed cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it on high for 7 minutes. No need to add any liquid, the cauliflower will steam itself. While cauliflower is cooking, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Take the cauliflower out and stir it repeatedly to release steam and cool it down, until it is lukewarm (not hot) to the touch. To the bowl with the cauliflower, add the mozzarella, egg, oregano, minced fresh garlic, turmeric, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir the mixture with a fork until well blended. Place the cauliflower mixture in a pile in the center of the lined baking sheet. Gently press out the mixture to form a 9-10 inch circle of even thickness, making sure to keep the center as thin as the edges. This is the beginning of your cauliflower “crust.” Use your fingers to gently press against the outer edge of the crust to form a small edge around the circle. Lay both hands flat in the center of the circle and gently press to flatten

2 ripe tomatoes A few sprigs of fresh basil ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste (optional) You will also need: Food processor, microwave, baking sheet, parchment paper or silpat Yield: 6 servings Total Time: 1 hours Kosher Key: Dairy

out the middle, ensuring an even thickness throughout the crust. Place the crust into the hot oven and let it bake for about 20 minutes, turning the baking sheet around once halfway through baking, till the crust is golden brown. While the crust is cooking, slice the tomatoes thin and shred or chiffonade the basil. Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Use a spatula to very gently slide the cooked crust off of the parchment paper directly onto a greased baking sheet. Preheat your oven’s broiler. Spread out the pesto onto the center surface of the crust to the outer edges. Sprinkle half of the goat cheese evenly across the top of the pesto. Lay the sliced tomatoes on, then sprinkle the rest of the goat cheese across the top. Sprinkle the surface evenly with crushed red pepper flakes. Place the tomato tart into the oven under the broiler. Broil for 3-4 minutes until hot and bubbly, keeping an eye on the crust to make sure it doesn’t burn (it will get dark brown but shouldn’t blacken). Remove the tart from the oven and sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve sliced warm or at room temperature. Keep in mind that the bottom “crust” of this tart will be slightly soft in the center. Slices are best eaten with a fork and knife. A

Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 35

||| FOOD |||

Good the quest for Kosher Wine A connoisseur’s guide for the uninitiated BY EVA BEIM

36 | July 2016


inding a fine kosher wine in San Diego is not always easy, but equally so, not as difficult as one may think – you just have to know where to look. For the most discriminating of wine drinkers, there are a small handful of places where a particular palate can locate just what the taste buds are searching for. From the obvious spots to the more obscure, this guide should help you find just what you’re looking for. Most who are interested in Kosher wine in San Diego already know the Ralph’s in La Jolla has a somewhat larger variety than other stores around town. Plus, it’s pretty centrally-located for most of us. The store, sometimes called the Jewish Ralph’s, carries some options from off the beaten path, like the Dalton label, Al Fasi, or Pacifica out of the Northwest. It’s best you go in knowing what you want, though, since there isn’t usually a staff person available in that section to answer questions. Generally, other grocery stores carry the most obvious brands, Manischewitz, Herzog and possibly Bartenura’s Moscato. At Trader Joe’s, you’re more likely to find someone who can answer your questions, but the store mostly carries Baron Herzog line (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, and a Red Zinfandel). You can find Terrenal wines there, produced in Argentina and Spain, which are considerably less expensive than Herzog. As with most chain markets, Trader Joe’s carries more kosher options seasonally, depending, of course, on the Jewish holidays. This year, the La Jolla location did say they’ve had more varieites in stock than in previous years. Then there is BevMo, where, again, discrepancies arise by location. You’ll find more kosher wine at their Pt. Loma and La Jolla locations than their Solana Beach store, for example, but the staff is exceptionally helpful in narrowing down selections by taste and price. BevMo carries the Hagafen-Yarden 2013, a nice Pinot Noir from Coombsville in Napa. You’ll also find the Gamla Cabernet and Mt. Hermon Red Wine on their shelves. At BevMo, you’re more likely to find this full selection year-round, too. A little further Northeast, Elise McDow is a wine club ambassador at Holiday Wine Cellars in Escondido. She says a lot of the store’s patrons are in the wine club, where two bottles are shipped to members monthly. “I’ve seen Manischewitz take a back seat to other

kosher wines, which is good, maybe there’s hope,” she says with a laugh. She echoes what other store managers have said, that they would love to have more of a variety of kosher wine on their shelves. “Between reds and whites, we’re always open to trying new things and bringing in what’s popular as well,” she says. Holiday Wine Cellars boast Yarden wines, as do the most self-respecting wine vendors who carry kosher wine. McDow says they do quite well with their Yarden Pinot Noir, a light-bodied Pinot that is very food-friendly. “It doesn’t have a lot of strong tannins, you don’t want too strong a tannin in your wine which will overshadow your food.” She adds that the Yarden Pinot pairs wonderfully with lighter faire. Yarden Pinot and Mt. Hermon’s Chardonnay/ Sauvignon Blanc blend are a few favorites at the Escondido store. “It’s like an unoaked Chardonnay, it’s a wonderful blend,” McDow says of the Mt. Hermon. Although Mt. Hermon is not as hot as the Recanati Chardonnay, McDow says white blends have become more popular lately. Also worth noting, Recanati offers a Cabernet Sauvignon from Israel, but that’s harder to find in San Diego. No matter, current overall wine trends are favoring Pinot Noir over Cabernet Sauvignon. “It’s been all about Pinot, poor Merlot,” McDow says, “and all because of the movie, ‘Sideways.’” While their interest in pleasing customers is admirable – with the wine club and the online store – and their wine knowledge is genuinue, the offerings at Holiday Wine Cellars are still much of the same. So the search for more unique and hidden gems continues. One of the great stories of California wineries is Four Gates, perhaps the smallest kosher winery in the country. It’s tucked away in the Santa Cruz Valley and run by a passionate winemaker, Binyamin Cantz. Cantz lives on 3.5 acres. While attending UC Santa Cruz, he found in their library a little book, a government manual of all the vineyards in the state of California with a record of all the grapes that were grown in the state in the late 1880s. “The property where I live is listed in the book, and they grew on 25 acres,” which Cantz says was hard to believe because back then, everything Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 37

“Herzog is huge, they produce 200,000 cases a year just in Oxnard; the others in California produce just a tiny fraction of that.”

was done by hand, on steep slopes that are now covered by redwoods. Cantz recalls one of his favorite facts from the catalogue. In 1891, there were only two varieties of grapes grown in Napa Valley. Which ones were they? Zinfandel and Riesling. In the Santa Cruz Mountains there were dozens of grapes grown at the time, and yet, Cantz mused, Napa is the one that gets all the wine credit. “The Santa Cruz Mountains have been a great grape-growing area,” he says. But initially, he and others thought only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes could thrive there. As an experiment, Cantz planted four different varieties and found that the Cabernet Franc and the Merlot also do very well on his land. “There were some vines that had been planted previously so I started making wine out of those grapes, just for myself as a home winemaker.” It was the 1980s and he was learning the art of grape tending. His religiosity was growing too. “I was becoming more religious so I began making wine for Friday night Kiddush. And that’s how it began,” he says. In 1991, Cantz developed the winery and settled on the name Four Gates. He realized there were not only four actual gates around the property, but he saw the name as a metaphor for the pillars of life: home, work, agriculture, and spiritual growth. He says he was also inspired by the many groups of four found in Judaism, among them “the fours of Passover, the four gates to the tent where Abraham welcomed guests, the four letters of HaShem’s name.” In addition to the wine being kosher, the grapes are certified organic. He explains on his website, “the winery is likewise a one-man operation. Far from being a modern computer-monitored factory, it’s more like an old fashioned one-room school house with me teaching all the grades; all 38 | July 2016

the various pieces of equipment and barrels sit around the room like children of different ages waiting for their turn.” With such a small operation, Cantz sells his small-batch wine directly to consumers. Details can be found on his website, Some of the best kosher wineries are located in California, Cantz emphatically claims. “Herzog is huge, they produce 200,000 cases a year just in Oxnard; the others in California produce just a tiny fraction of that.” Covenant in Berkeley, Hajdu, by a winemaker of the same name, and the oldest in California is HaGefen. “And [they are] just as expensive as the rest of us!” Cantz exclaims. Covenant wines, which calls itself the only urban kosher winery operating in America since Prohibition, can be the priciest, though. Their Solomon sells for $150 a bottle, but they have a range from $20 per bottle and up. Their kosher wines can also be purchased online or through their wine club. Of course, when the most refined palate is simply not satisfied with what San Diego or California has to offer, there is always the world wide web for huge variety. writes that “often, the problem with finding that perfect bottle is that once it’s done, it’s done.” Some of the best kosher wines are also some of the rarest. At, they claim to solve that problem by bringing their collection of “the best and rarest wines” to you. Some of the wines on their rare list are priced well above $300.00, such as the The Yarden Katzrin 1990, with an $875.00 price tag. That high ticket is partly because the wines are so rare that stock is very limited. Cantz of Four Gates offers a caution to consumers interested in rare wines – just because it is marked rare doesn’t make it good. “It costs a lot of money because it’s rare, but

if it’s over the hill already, it may not be worth the price,” he says. Cantz recommends people interested in rare bottles should call the winery instead of the retailer, as they may be more forthcoming about the wine’s flavor profile. Wine websites these days do offer buyer reviews which can provide answers to questions as well. Consider this review about a 2013 vintage Flam Blanc, submitted to in November, 2015: “Wonderful bottle of white, clean crisp clear with a complex nose of apples and grassy spice, the taste is pure and clean, barely any acid or oak but packed with fruity flavor.” Flam is an Israeli winery that grows its grapes in the Judean Hills. When I asked if Binyamin Cantz has some favorite kosher wines to recommend, his response was expected, “They are like children. You can’t ask which you like better, they all have their different qualities, and [ultimately] the wine you like is the wine you like!” It all depends on an individual’s taste. That’s the dirty little secret of the wine world, Cantz says. “Someone will buy a Robert Parker 90 point wine, but if they don’t have a Robert Parker palate then you are not getting your money’s worth. If you can’t taste it, you may not want to buy it. That’s why it sounds kind of boring to say you should buy what you like, but at least you can take steps towards developing that taste.” Ultimately drinking wine is all about finding that particular taste each individual enjoys. For Jewish kosher wine drinkers, there’s the added layer of the blessings we derive from the rituals in Judaism that accompany the wine. So cheers to good health, and good kosher wine! A

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ENTREPRENEURIAL Spirit A young businesswoman brings people and industries together over wine and yoga BY BRIE STIMSON


ocal businesswoman Lauren Aiello has brought together two of her favorite things – yoga and wine – into an ambitious entrepreneurial venture. The 25-year-old started Women, Wine and Yoga several years ago after hearing about a similar event at a winery near Sonoma. “I kind of took that idea and really wanted to make it my own and kind of really bring out the parallels between yoga and wine,” Aiello says. “It’s unbelievable how much it’s taken off.” Having lived in Sonoma, Aiello was familiar with wine culture. “It’s not a social event necessarily. It’s more of a transformational experience.” Her business motto: explore, expand, inspire. “I love to bring women together and create this safe space for vulnerability and healing and

40 | July 2016

exploration,” she says. Aiello currently offers two series – Yoga in the Vineyard and City Cellar Yoga. The first is a three- to four-hour event that includes a yoga class, vineyard tour, wine tasting and possibly a workshop and a meal. Past Yoga in the Vineyard events have been held at Milagro Farm Vineyards and Winery in Ramona, and Hungry Hawk Vineyards in Escondido. San Diego’s wine industry is not nearly as developed as its beer scene, so finding venues to host this program has proved difficult. As Women, Wine and Yoga continues to host these events, it’s possible that San Diego’s wine scene could grow alongside Aiello’s efforts. Aiello isn’t waiting around for that though. She has plans to take her business to Sonoma within the next year, and she’s hoping to begin franchising and

merchandising within that time frame as well. Aiello’s main event, offered on a more regular basis than Yoga in the Vineyard, is City Cellar Yoga. Wine, of course, is involved, along with food tastings and a live DJ, but the class is slightly shorter and takes place closer to San Diego’s city center. Aiello rotates the location between four different venues and offers this program up to three times per week. “I’m looking to have a presence ... in San Diego in the wine and the yoga community,” she says. As a young entrepreneur, Aiello needed to learn how to delegate tasks in order to successfully expand her business. “Not one single person is good at every single thing that a business involves ... I have gotten very good at asking for help,” she says. “And getting advice from people who have run businesses


before … I’m very grateful for them.” She admits that accounting is not her thing, and seems to understand that being humble and listening to others who have come before her is smart business. “This whole business has blown up. People really are taking to these three concepts: women, wine and yoga,” she tells the Jewish Journal. “I feel there’s a place for what I do – in San Diego especially because the San Diego wine industry is very undiscovered ... there’s definitely a place for me to grow.” She also says her DJ, Dave Kemp of DTO Music, is integral to her events. “The live music aspect is very much a part of what I do.” Aiello’s religious upbringing has had a big influence on her business as well.

“I grew up Reform and my parents have always been very spiritually Jewish,” she says. Aiello attended the San Diego Jewish Academy until high school. “Being Jewish was a part of my life, but spirituality was just as much a part of my life,” she explains. “I started exploring yoga and meditation and I guess through those interests and exploration I kind of found this passion for yoga and wellness.” Aiello’s dad serves on the Temple EmanuEl board, and is an integrative health doctor who owns the San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine. She says he switched from traditional to integrative medicine 15 years ago, and now works with nutritionists, acupuncturists, chiropractors as well as a psychologist and a physical therapist. Her mom also happens to be a therapist.

“Wellness and holistic living have been in my family in general,” she tells the Jewish Journal. “So being raised Jewish – but I think by the parents and the community I grew up in, I think have influenced my passion for what I do now … That is not necessarily Jewish … but there definitely are parallels in this religion as well as the spiritual connection to what I do,” she explains. “My business is an extension of who I am and will always be that way. I’m setting myself up for long-term happiness and long-term success. I’m 25 years old and living this entrepreneurial, struggle life, but it’s going to all be worth it in the end because it’s an extension of myself. I want to wake up in the morning and do what I love and this is what I love to do.” A

Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 41

||| FOOD |||

What Do Banking and Food Have in Common? Terri Ann Miller re-routes her life at Premier...La Jolla


erri Ann Miller has been with catering company Premier…La Jolla for six months. As catering sales manager, she is responsible for the social events at the UC San Diego Faculty Club, as well as selling and servicing off-premise events. Here, Miller discusses how she made the switch from a banking career to the food and catering industries and also provides details on the daily dealings of her company. San Diego Jewish Journal: How long have you been in the food industry? Terri Ann Miller: It has been just over five years now. I come from the hotel industry, so I was at Hilton Garden Inn San Diego/Del Mar, Homewood Suites San Diego/Del Mar and the Lafayette Hotel, swim club and bungalows. SDJJ: What made you decide to go into catering? TAM: I came from a banking career, and banking was a difficult industry. I personally enjoy planning events and this seemed like a nice transition. Being that I am so detailed and social, catering seemed to be the right fit for me. SDJJ: What type of foods do you offer at Premier? TAM: Our chefs are multi-talented, but I would have to call our style coastal California cuisine. Recognizing that many of our guests enjoy clean, local and fresh, healthy food, we excel in Mediterranean-based foods with a bit of Baja or Asian twist. One thing that we do pride ourselves on is that we can customize any menu. So, if our client has a different vision than the menus we offer, we can develop some menus specific to their needs, and our chefs will make it happen. SDJJ: What are some of your most popular dishes? TAM: Good question. Our cedar planked salmons, bruschetta bar, and vegetarian polenta boards are most popular but we also can get really into good old-fashioned pastas, pizzas, sliders and an ice cream bar for families. SDJJ: Do you have your own venue or do you cater at private homes and businesses? TAM: We do have our own venue located inside the 42 | July 2016

Faculty Club at [the UC San Diego campus]. We have [more than] 10,000 square feet of banquet space there. Premier…La Jolla also goes to offpremise locations. We do a lot of catering at our Scripps locations, such as Scripps Seaside Forum, The Darlington House (where we cater a lot of weddings), The Martin Johnson House, as well as Birch Aquarium and San Diego Botanic Gardens. We go into offices and homes and also do a lot of on-campus events that are held in various [UCSD] spaces. We’ll host retirement parties, luncheons and business meetings [at the school]. We do a little of everything, which is exciting because [each event] is unique, but we can still put our spin on it. SDJJ: On average, how many events do you cater per week? TAM: We average 30-50 events each week inside the club...not to mention our 50 annual events off-site. We are most excited when we can show off at our other special locations. Premier...La Jolla [takes] that same care and cuisine directly to our clients’ homes, too. SDJJ: What does a typical day look like for you? TAM: There is no typical day! It’s all about meeting with clients. We may have a breakfast event, a lunch event or an evening event. Right now, we are in the middle of wedding season so I am talking to brides, wedding coordinators and mothers of brides, and planning a lot of those events. [A lot of my day] is about detailing the events and making sure that my team is well-informed of each on-premise or off-premise event, what it entails and what our clients’ needs are. We’re all about servicing the client, so I want to make sure that my entire team (whether it’s the kitchen and his culinary staff or the banquet manager and his team) knows every detail involved, so that [the event] can run smoothly and successfully. SDJJ: Finally, what is your favorite part of the job? TAM: I would say my favorite part of the job is seeing my client actually enjoying the event and letting us handle all of the details. We have a lot of clients who put everything together for us, but it’s nice for them to know that we can make their vision happen so that they can enjoy their event. A



||| HEALTH |||

Something to Talk About Addiction, treament, and the need to change course BY NATALIE JACOBS



here are a lot of things people don’t like to talk about. For Lisa Smith and Scott Silverman – Jewish professionals who lived with severe alcoholism for years – addiction is no longer one of those things they keep to themselves. “Out of drugs is a very bad place for an addict to be,” Smith, a New York City lawyer who has been sober for 12 years, says. She’s recalling the day she decided to quit using. It was a Monday morning after a sleepless weekend spent mixing alcohol and cocaine, her preferred combination. “I had meant to save more [cocaine] but didn’t. So I was out. ... I started thinking about all the things I would need to do [and] started having a real anxiety attack.” Through 10 years of heavy drinking and drug use, Smith had managed to remain employed at her law firm, first as a junior lawyer and then on the business development side. The cocaine had helped to even out the effects of alcohol, which started to cause tremors, night sweats and nausea very early on in her addiction. “That is an exhausting, painful, painful way to live,” she says. “I knew that I was in a horrible place. I was physically very sick, I was throwing up blood. But at the same time, I was terrified of getting sober.” That Monday in Manhattan, Smith says she arrived at her office and through the panic of being drunk and knowing she was out of drugs, she stood paralyzed in the lobby and eventually returned home. She called a friend who lived in her

building, the only person in her life who had firsthand experience with how bad her addiction was. That same day, she signed herself into a psychiatric hospital with a detox unit. Because of the severity of her addiciton, she underwent a five day medical detox to mitigate the risk of heart attack and other physical complications of getting clean. “Around the fourth day they came to talk to me and said ‘Let’s talk about where you go from here. There’s a 28 day place, and this two month place,’” Smith recalls. “I said ‘aboslutley not, that is not part of the deal, I’m not going away.’” Smith hadn’t told her law firm, and didn’t plan to. Scott Silverman is from San Diego but his rock bottom came in New York City, too. Like Smith, Silverman considered himself a functioning addict because at the time he got sober he still had his job, his housing, and his relationships with family and

alcohol and marijuana mainly, but also cocaine, methamphetamine, and Seconal (a prescription sedative). At one point, Silverman sold meth and operated as an unlicensed pharmacist. The only reason he didn’t go to jail, he says, is because he didn’t get caught. During a week of blackouts on a business trip, Silverman attempted suicide. He called his wife whom he had married two years earlier. “‘My rubber band snapped, call [the psychiatrist],’” Michelle recalls Scott saying in that phone call. It was the fall of 1984. “I’ll never forget this,” Michelle says, “I said [to the psychiatrist] ‘is Scott an alcoholic?’ He says ‘Michelle, not only is he an alcholic, he’s an addict too.’” Though she knew Scott “liked to party,” neither considered that he was addicted. “I was always transparent about my substance

The cocaine had helped to even out the effects of alcohol, which started to cause tremors, night sweats and nausea very early on in her addiction. friends were mostly in tact. Silverman tells me he started abusing alcohol and drugs at the age of 14. Although he completed school and maintained a job in the family retail business, he spent the better part of 16 years under some sort of mood altering substance –

abuse because I never thought of it as substance abuse,” Scott says. When the problem became undeniable, he returned to San Diego and checked into Sharp Cabrillo, a psychiatric hospital that closed in 1998. He has been sober for 31 years. Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 43


LAWYERS AND LIQUOR In October of 2015, the Journal of Addiction Medicine published a study on substance use among lawyers conducted by the Hazeldon Betty Ford Foundation in conjunction with the American Bar Association. Of the 12,825 lawyers included in the study, 20.6 percent were found to have “hazardous, harmful and potentially alcohol-dependent drinking.” Lawyers aged 30 and younger and those who have been practicing for 10 years or less were most likely to drink at problematic levels. Lisa Smith wrote about this study and her addiction in an op-ed for the Washington Post. Upon completing her five day detox, Smith returned to work and opted for an intensive outpatient program that she could attend at night so she didn’t have to tell her firm. “It wasn’t even that I had seen people stigmatized or that I had seen terrible things happen if people when to rehab,” she says. There were lawyers who took medical leave for things like foot surgery or pregnancy, but she’d never heard of anyone going to rehab and she says she didn’t want to be the test case. Going to rehab “felt to me that it was against the grain of being that reliable, dependent, hard work[ing] over-achiever with your act together.” It’s not only lawyers who have trouble coming out about addiction and worry about what will happen to their jobs if they go away to an in-patient program for months. When Scott Silverman started his out-patient treatment center Confidential Recovery a couple years ago, he 44 | July 2016

Of the 12,825 lawyers included in the study, 20.6 percent were found to have “hazardous, harmful and potentially alcoholdependent drinking.”

initially imagined it as a place for first responders like fire figthers and police officers to overcome their addictions with privacy and according to their own schedules. “What we discovered [when opening up Confidential Recovery] was that up to 25 percent of first responders have an active addiction issue,” Silverman says. “The rest of the world is about 15 percent. The reason: their type of job, the trauma, the inability to [share details with loved ones].” Confidential Recovery is located on a nondescript industrial plot at the end of a winding street, across the train tracks that run parallel to Miramar Road. Silverman’s program starts with nine hours of individual and group sessions per week, three hours per day, for six weeks. “What we encourage people to do is make a two-year commitment and come in once a week, [then] every other week and then taper it down to once a month over the next two years because it takes that long for the body, mind and soul to really transform. You can’t be under the influence of something mood altering and have a problem with it for a decade and hope to fix it in a couple weeks.”

GOVERNMENT SCRAMBLES Nationally today, there is a lot of talk about the epidemic of heroin and prescription drug abuse. Prescription pain pills like OxyContin, Percocet, Dilaudid, and others are derived from opium, as is heroin, and there is something of a prescription-tostreet-drug pipeline cropping up in communities across the country. In the HBO documentary “Heroin: Cape Cod, USA,” several of the young

Lisa Smith

addicts who were profiled mentioned becoming addicted to pain pills post-surgery for sports injuries or car accidents. After becoming addicted, they transitioned to heroin for a cheaper and faster high. Scott Silverman notes that prescription pain pills can sell for up to $80 per pill on the street, whereas heroin, he says, can go for as low as $10. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January, Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said that her state has experienced sharp rises in deaths related to opioid addiction, with three times as many people dying of drug overdose than traffic accidents (previously the leading cause of death in the state). Chairman of the Committee Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) noted that heroin seizures at the U.S. border have more than doubled since 2010. For her part, California’s retiring Senator Diane Feinstein, who serves on the Judiciary Committee, sponsored the Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of 2015 to target drug cartels that are flooding American drug markets with cheap heroin. The bill was enacted in May. Ahead of the House’s passing of the Drug Trafficking Act, the Obama Administration announced sweeping measures to address the “prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic” in late March. Many of the measures focus on access to care once an addiction is established. The Department of Health and Human Services agreed to expand mental health and substance use services for people on public health insurance plans, and expanded funding ($11 million) was alloted from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for states to purchase the overdose


reversal drug naloxone. Notably absent from the announcement is any expanded funding for the Drug Enforcement Agency to further monitor licensed prescribers, although the agency did reinstate its Drug Take-Back program in an attempt to keep unused prescription pills from entering the black market. With the March 29 announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their first-ever Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Although that agency does not have the power to enforce any of its recommendations, 62 medical schools across the country said that, beginning this fall, they will require medical students to take some form of prescriber education course that outlines the CDC’s guidelines. Concurrently, the Senate and House are resolving differences between their versions of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 to authorize more funding to “combat this epidemic,” as described by a press release from Sen. Grassley’s office.

MORE TALK ABOUT ADDICTION The comedian Marc Maron, of recent mainstream notoriety for interviewing President Obama on his “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast, is himself an addict. Maron has been sober for 16 years, but he told Fresh Air’s Terry Gross that it took him about 26 years to get there. In his television show “Marc,” on the IFC network, he stars as a fictionalized version of himself and this season his character is in rehab for an opioid addiction. He gets a back injury, is prescribed pain pills, becomes addicted, loses his house and lands in an in-patient

treatment center. For Maron, the decision to depict rehab and the 12-step program didn’t come lightly. “It’s a little dicey dealing with the program publicly because there is part of the traditions of the program that say that you shouldn’t deal with it publicly,” he told Terry Gross in May. “But it was my belief that if it was handled with some subtlety and with some respect, that it would not be demeaning to the program and it would actually raise awareness. ... However anyone takes this in — how I captured rehab and that experience — I’ve already gotten a lot of emails from people who are either in the program or need the program that really kind of responded in a positive way to it.” Addiction is an intensely personal matter, but as the problem grows, open dialogue about family history, individual struggles, and risks associated with prescriptions becomes increasingly important. “We talk more about lice in kid’s schools than we do about addiction and treatment,” Scott Silverman says. For his part, Silverman wants his work in recovery to “really make it easy for people to choose [to do] something about it. To create that environment for people to feel free to make the call.” He appears on local media to discuss addiction, most recently surrounding the rise in prescription pain pill addiction in this country. Lisa Smith continues to talk about addiction as well, through speaking engagements with bar associations and in writing. June saw the release of her addiction memoir “Girl Walks Out of a Bar.” A

“You can’t be under the influence of something mood altering and have a problem with it for a decade and hope to fix it in a couple weeks.”

People struggling with addiction in San Diego can contact Scott Silverman through Jewish Family Service of San Diego,, also maintains a Behavioral Health Committee that can direct individuals to addiction and recovery services. For a full list of San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency Alcohol and Other Drug Services, call (888) 724-7240 or visit

Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 45


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To help your children acquire the habit of giving to charity, consider implementing some of these easy strategies. Make Birthdays or Holidays Charitable: Set up birthday parties as a time for giving to others. At your child’s first school-age birthday party, ask guests to bring a gift of a book (new or used) to be donated to a local charity. Talk to your child about the books he or she has and about children who have no books. When you deliver the books with your child, record it on camera and revisit that movie (or those pictures) on future birthdays. Got Pets?: At regular intervals, buy dog or cat food and take it to the humane society. Allow your children to spend some time at the shelter to see their work. Introduce a Tzedakah Box: Create a charity jar (Tzedakah box) to be used by the family routinely. Collect loose change or a contribution from your child’s allowance to share with others through donating to the jar. As the jar fills, decide as a family where to contribute the contents and include a note or drawing from your child when you send the donation. Go on a Site Visit: Pick an organization you want to learn more about and arrange a visit to see their work in action. After the visit, decide as a family if you would like to get more involved with time, treasure or talent. By implementing some of these ideas or others like them, you will be teaching your children that charity is not reserved only for emergencies. You will be helping them appreciate that reaching out to others in need is a way of life, rather than a moment in time when a catastrophic disaster occurs. Remember, while you are giving to others, you are teaching your children important messages including your beliefs concerning the spirit of giving and the mitzvah of Tzedakah. The Jewish Community Foundation offers donor support and services with the utmost confidentiality.

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||| HEALTH |||

Genetic Testing gets a boost

Nonprofit sequences genes for more than 100 diseases to help Jewish parents BY BRIE STIMSON


s science’s understanding of DNA and the human genome continues to expand, genetic testing has become more accessible to the general public. New companies like 23andMe are starting up, and established biotechs like Illumina are adding new sectors to expand further into this field. For Jewish families, there is special interest in this kind of screening and there’s only one organization that’s working specifically on Jewish genetic diseases. “We are the only uniform national screening program in the country for Jewish genetic diseases,” says Hillary Kener, who works on the JScreen project at Emory University in Atlanta. “Our goal really is to make screening easily accessible, convenient and affordable … a lot of people … don’t usually know about screening, so that’s also a part of our job, just to educate the community.” The not-for-profit screening program for Jewish genetic diseases is aimed at would-be parents to provide an overview of any diseases that may be passed onto their children. “The reason to screen young people,” local genetic screening activist Karen Zeiger tells the Jewish Journal, “is to help them have healthy

children.” She says prenatal diagnosis can be done when a woman is only 10 weeks pregnant, but understanding an individual’s genetic makeup before becoming pregnant can add a new layer to choosing a partner. “We’re not talking about diseases that are mild,” she explains. “Right now with most of these diseases, prevention is the only option.” JScreen works with rabbis and Jewish organizations, college campuses, fraternities, sororities and other groups to educate not only young people who should be getting screened, but also parents and grandparents who can spread the word to their family members. “We’ve really tapped into every market,” Emory’s Kener says. “Our job is to make sure people not only know about screening, but can access it.” To that end, JScreen is heavily subsidized to lower the cost of screening kits, and a simple online form makes them easy to get. “It’s just a saliva test so it’s really easy,” Kener explains. “Within a few weeks, our genetic counselors will schedule a counseling session with [the client]. It’s called genetic counseling and this way they’ll just discuss their results and answer any Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 47

||| HEALTH |||

She says prenatal diagnosis can be done when a woman is only 10 weeks pregnant, but understanding an individual’s genetic makeup before becoming pregnant can add a new layer to choosing a partner. questions and really understand that the person knows what they’ve been screened for and understands the implications of their results.” Without a counseling component, which most at-home genetic tests do not include, a consumer is left to parse through pages of initially alarming results alone. That JScreen operates in partnership with Emory University also gives the organization access to the school’s advanced genetics department. JScreen sequences for more than 100 diseases, including 40 of the most common diseases found in people from Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Mizrahi descent. “There are different diseases more common in people with different ethnic backgrounds, so we cover the range of Jewish ones,” Kener explains. “There’s things like Tay-Sachs disease, which a lot of people have heard of, but there’s other diseases that people aren’t as familiar with, but they’re just as devastating, so we want to be able to help people have healthy families by screening for this early on.” One in four people is a carrier for a genetic disease, Zeiger, the genetic screening activist, says. “In the 1970s, Tay-Sachs became the first disease that they were able to identify through an easy blood test. It was an easy test and there was also a way to prevent it with prenatal diagnosis. And when we started doing TaySachs screening we said this is the precursor for the prevention of genetic diseases.” She explains it took another 20 years before the tests became widely available in the way that they are today. Anyone older than 18 can go through the genetic screening process with JScreen. Kener says that each pregnancy is an independent risk, so people who have already had children without the screening can also consider getting one now, before having another child. Kener reports that the program, which is only two and a half years old, has already had “a couple of thousand users.” Results from genetic screenings can be interpreted in a variety of ways. If a person is found to be a carrier of a disease but has a partner who is not a carrier, that couple’s children cannot develop that disease. Those children, however, could also be carriers and then may want to know if their eventual 48 | July 2016

partner is also a carrier. If both parents are carriers of a genetic mutation known for causing a certain disease, that also does not necessarily mean the child will develop the disease. “Even when you’re both carriers, there’s a 75 percent chance of having normal children and only a 25 percent chance of having a child with the disease.” Zeiger says optimistically. “Through education and through proper counseling there’s no reason to be fearful.” During the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, interested parents have two diagnostic options: amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, (CVS) which test whether the fetus has a genetic disease passed by both parents. Zeiger says everyone carries five to seven “lethal genes” but development of a disease depends if those genes are present in the right combination with their significant other. JScreen was started when a Baltimore couple asked their physician specifically to be tested for Jewish genetic diseases. The couple was only tested for five diseases and they went on to have a son who was born with ML4 – a genetic disease characterized by delayed psychomotor development and occular abnormalities which is often misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy. “It turned out they weren’t screened for a full panel of diseases,” Kener says. “So they decided to take their story and make sure this wouldn’t happen to anyone else.” The couple went to Emory University and philanthropists in Atlanta to create the program. “We wanted to make it national because we want to make sure everyone has access to this, whether you’re in Hawaii, Alaska … and we’ve received requests from all 50 states for screening, which is amazing and it shows we’re needed,” Kener says. Knowing that a genetic predisposition for certain diseases exists between partners is only half the battle. Kener says there are many options for parents to have a healthy baby, despite genetics. As genetic research advances, more genes are associated with more diseases, which means that even people who have undergone genetic screening in the past may want to consider an updated test. A For more information, visit

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Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 49

||| HISTORY |||

An exploration of the Second Reich’s deadly colonization effort in Namibia BY EDWIN BLACK

t is settled, everyday history that Nazi Germany aggressed against its neighbors in part because of a twisted concept known as Lebensraum — that is, the self-declared mandate to achieve “living space” for an overcrowded Germany. Lebensraum declared that the Third Reich was inherently entitled to supplant and destroy other nations to advance German notions of biological supremacy. This racist philosophy underpinned Germany’s invasion, subjugation, and rape of much of Eastern Europe. However, students of Lebensraum know it was not a Hitlerian concept. Rather, it was coined in the last gasp of the 19th century by German geographer Friedrich Ratzel, after Germany had suffered years of social upheaval and economic hardship through the mid to late 1800s. In the Second Reich, rapid multimillion-person population loss and the tearfully destitute conditions propelling the outflow were devastating to the German national identity. A concept arose: Volk ohne Raum, that is, “a people without space.” As the father of German geopolitics, Ratzel, with his post-Darwinian notions of racial supremacy, insisted that colonizing land to create extra “living space” was the cure for Germany’s urban overcrowding. In those turn-of-the 20th-century days, a weakened Germany turned its focus from the Balkans and the Slavic realms to Africa. Indeed, Ratzel wrote that Africa was an ideal candidate for the push to achieve Lebensraum. As other parts of white Europe also shifted focus to colonizing Africa, Kaiser Wilhelm began to fear Germany would be left out if it didn’t act fast. In November 1884, the country convened the Berlin Conference of leading European powers to cooperatively carve up the African continent. Out of that international conclave came an agreement, the Berlin Treaty, enacted “in the Name of G-d Almighty,” that would systemize an orderly territorial invasion by European powers, as well as river navigation, land use, and the other needed “rules for the future occupation of the coast of the African Continent.” As part of the treaty, European governments also agreed to interdict and suppress the Arab slave trade — a lofty moralistic ideal with a double edge. Stemming Arab slave exports also kept able-bodied Africans on the land and available to labor in abject, cruel, and slave-like conditions on colonial plantations. Germany invaded four African territories – Togoland, the Cameroons, Tanganyika, and its main coastal presence in Southwest Africa now known

50 | July 2016



Surviving Herero were emaciated after a year of occupation from Germany in the early 1900s in what is today called Namibia.

This early 20th century postcard shows German colonialist soldiers packing up skulls of Herero tribespeople.


“I was sent to Shark Island by the Germans. We remained on the island one year. [Approximately] 3,500 Hottentots [Nama], and Kaffirs were sent to the island and [only] 193 returned — 3,307 died on the Island.”

Lothar von Trotha, who led German troops on colonization efforts in Africa. as Namibia. It is there that German settlers established lucrative plantations by exploiting the labor of local Herero and Nama (also known as Hottentot) indigenous peoples. German banks and industrialists combined to provide needed economic support and investment. Berlin dispatched a small military contingent to protect white settlers as they confronted the lightly armed African natives considered subhuman in Germany’s twisted notion of racial hierarchy. Once entrenched, the German minority established a culture of pure labor enslavement. Tribeswomen were subjected to incessant and often capricious rape – and not infrequently, their men were killed while attempting to defend them. Whites routinely stole the possessions of natives, such as cattle, and found ways to seize ancestral lands over trivialities. Confiscation was often facilitated by predatory European lending practices enforced at gunpoint by the German military. In 1903, on the verge of utter dispossession, Nama warriors revolted against the 2,500-strong white community. Later, Herero fighters joined. Scores of German settlers were massacred in a sequence of surprise attacks. The 700-plus Schutztruppe or “protection force” was overwhelmed. The colonial governor called for reinforcements. In 1904, Berlin dispatched 14,000 soldiers to suppress the uprising. Lieutenant General Lothar von Trotha, Supreme Commander of German Southwest Africa, had learned from other European battles in Africa, such as Britain’s costly Boer War. Trotha was determined to quickly and completely exterminate the African natives, leaving the land free for fulfillment of the dream

of Lebensraum. Armed with modern cannon and Gatling guns, Trotha’s troops surrounded the Africans on three sides. When Trotha wrote on October 2, 1904, “It is my intention to destroy the rebellious tribes with streams of blood and money,” his men used the German word “vernichtung,” which means extermination. “I, the great general of the German soldiers, send this letter to the Hereros,” von Trotha wrote in official proclamation. “The Hereros are German subjects no longer. … The Herero nation must now leave the country. If it refuses, I shall compel it to do so with the ‘long tube’ (cannon). Any Herero found inside the German frontier, with or without a gun or cattle, will be executed. I shall spare neither women nor children. I shall give the order to drive them away and fire on them. Such are my words to the Herero people.” Trotha’s command became known in official circles as a “vernichtungsbefehl,” that is, an “extermination order.” Nearly surrounded, more than 3,000 Hereros were cut down by fusillades. But bullets and cannon were only the beginning. German guide Jan Cloete testified, “I was present when the Herero were defeated in a battle in the vicinity of Waterberg. After the battle, all men, women, and children who fell into German hands, wounded or otherwise, were mercilessly put to death. Then the Germans set off in pursuit of the rest, and all those found by the wayside … were shot down and bayoneted to death. The mass of the Herero men was unarmed and thus unable to offer resistance. They were just trying to get away with their cattle.” Von Trotha instructed his troops to fire over the heads of women, children, and weakened men, driving them east into the scorching dry Omaheke section of the Kalahari Desert. In anticipation of their flight, troops poisoned the wells or surrounded them with deadly forces. Starved of food or water, the desperate and weakened Herero wandered from watering hole to watering hole. Thousands, in family groups, gradually fell dead, their rib cages bulging to the limits of their gaunt and emaciated skins. Many who did not die quickly enough were seized and then stacked by soldiers into human heaps atop makeshift pyres comprised of bush branches and limbs. The people mounds of vanquished Hereros, still barely alive and breathing, were set on fire. For many years, their murdered bodies littered the

desert in nightmarish aggregations. A deadly fate also awaited the Nama tribespeople. Von Trotha sent them a similar message: “The Nama who chooses not to surrender and lets himself be seen in German territory will be shot, until all are exterminated.” With the vast majority of the Africans murdered, Berlin rethought the extermination program. Now there were no local workers to exploit. At some point, the civilian Herero and Nama people and related clans that had initially escaped the fiery execution were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Those who didn’t die on the march were transported to concentration camps to serve in cruel bondage for great German industrial concerns, building roads, berms, and useful holes for the German infrastructure. One of these camps was the notorious Shark Island, considered an “extermination by labor” camp where Nama and Herero civilians, including women and children, were knowingly and methodically worked to death. Investigators estimate the death rate at 90 percent. One surviving family member of a chief later testified to a British commission, “I was sent to Shark Island by the Germans. We remained on the island one year. [Approximately] 3,500 Hottentots [Nama], and Kaffirs were sent to the island and [only] 193 returned — 3,307 died on the Island.” Another member of the German settlement wrote, “During the worst period an average of 30 died daily … it was the way the system worked. General von Trotha publicly gave expression to this system of murder through work in an article he published. … ‘the destruction of all rebellious tribes is the aim of our efforts.’” In 1911, after hostilities had ceased and the extermination policy was challenged in Berlin, an official German census counted an 80 percent reduction of all tribal groups, or about 92,000 dead since the initial extermination proclamation in 1904. While the systemic slaughter of the Hereros, Nama and related African groups by the Germans of the Second Reich was hardly a secret, scholars still commonly say the Armenian genocide of 1914, perpetrated by the Turks, was the first genocide of the 20th century. In fact, history records the first deliberate effort to systemically exterminate an entire group was in Southwest Africa in 1904 through 1908 at the hands of Germans. A Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 51

||| THEATER |||


Comedy Unscripted

Two Jewish performers find different uses for improv BY PAT LAUNER


ake a hefty heap of kvetching, add a dollop of self-deprecation, a grain of gossip and a smattering of smartaleck. Simmer in sarcasm and serve on wry. And there you have it: Jewish humor! “It comes from centuries of oppression,” says Gary Kramer, founder of National Comedy Theatre, by way of explaining why there have always been so many great Jewish comics. “Getting through the tough times through humor. Comedy tends to come from pain. Maybe we’re still cosmically feeling the pain of our ancestors.” Gary himself came from a “beautiful nuclear family. There was no hint of problems in [my parent’s] marriage or in our interactions. The more broken your household, the funnier you are. Because of that,” he continues,” “I think I’m not as funny as I could’ve been. I didn’t have to escape into comedy.” 52 | July 2016

Now there’s Jewish guilt for you. “But,” he adds, “it helps to be a minority. That makes you funnier.” Kramer grew up in Westchester County, New York; Stamford, Connecticut; and the Philadelphia area, where the family joined Temple Shalom, a Reform congregation where Gary had his Bar Mitzvah. In looking for his comic roots, he says his father was “very dry, brilliant, a great storyteller.” His mother, he says, was “funny without intending to be. She’d always miss the joke. She had terrible timing.” Timing, Kramer says, is one of the keys to comedy. “I teach comedy for a living,” he says. “You can take someone’s innate talent and fine-tune it. But in terms of the talent to do comedy – you either have it or you don’t. It’s tough to teach timing. Jews have the timing.”

When they were young, he and his two brothers (one of whom is an actor who does comedy in San Jose), would perform shows for their parents: “parodies of tv shows, and magic shows, live and on tape. It was great training.” Kramer’s formal training began with a BFA in Acting from Emerson College in Boston. Then he moved to L.A. and “ran the race,” as he puts it, appearing on television and radio, in film and commercials. “The theater scene was tough there,” he says. “I just fell into improv. My older brother was doing it, so I started performing with an improv group between gigs. I grew to love it. It had been part of my acting training, but it wasn’t satisfying. I was in the Conservatory, and G-d forbid you were funny in acting class!” Gary set out to improve the improv experience and create his own training. In 1991, he hooked up with ComedySportz, opening a center in Santa

’s “You can take someone une innate talent and fine-t

talent it. But in terms of the er to do comedy – you eith

Photos on previous page, LEFT: Gary Kramer referees a show at National Comedy Theatre; RIGHT: Jordan Liberman provides piano accompaniment at Finest City Improv. Barbara, which he ran for nine years. When he started another center in San Diego, within three months he had tripled the business he had in Santa Barbara. He knew where to focus his energy. In 1999, he opened his own improv company, the National Comedy Theatre, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary. San Diego is the flagship of NCT; Gary has a group in midtown Manhattan and a limited ownership in an improv company in Phoenix. Here in San Diego, he produces 300 shows a year, and still performs every week. And he loves to teach. His company has entertained the troops and created teambuilding programs for Fortune 500 companies. With 4,500 performances since its inception, NCT says it’s “the longest running show in San Diego.” Improv, Kramer says, is “about learning how to think, thinking outside the box, solving problems. What we do is a theatrical production,” he explains. “It’s not a nightclub; it’s not standup comedy. My whole background is theater, and that’s what I aim for. “We teach from almost a Method acting point of view. Students learn to ‘Say yes’ to ideas. They learn character and motivation – what the character wants – and they learn to set up relationships and create an environment. So each scene is about a character, a location and a conflict, which is the basis of all theater. “It’s not just crazy stuff,” he goes on. “It has to be steeped in something the audience can identify with. Or else we’re just making noise. Human drama is funny. We’re trying to find the humanity and the humor in a situation. We’re trying to identify with the audience, and have them identify with us. We’re sharing a common reaction to the absurdity of life. Even with silliness, we try to find a connection.” Performances are similar in style to the tv show “Whose Line is it, Anyway?,” featuring two teams in a series of games and scenes based on audience suggestion. The audience helps call the fouls, and ultimately decides which team is the evening’s winner. It’s humorous, fast-paced and highly

tough have it or you don’t. It’s to teach timing.”

interactive. Trip Advisor calls it “falling-out-ofyour-chair funny.” “There’s something profound about a group of people sharing a moment of laughter,” Kramer says. “If you come out saying, ‘What a fun, clever evening we just had,’ I’m satisfied. I’m not trying to change the world.” People often think that most improv is actually scripted. Kramer is quick to assure you it is not. It takes lot of practice to make it look so easy. NCT establishes some ground rules to keep it spontaneous. For example, “We don’t repeat characters,” Kramer says. On a regular basis, National Comedy Theatre goes into 15 local public and private high schools to teach and coach improv skills. The training culminates in a High School League tournament, with the audience determining the winning team. “It’s amazing to watch teenagers doing comedy with no script,” Kramer says. “Half of them are nerdy, very quiet. But then, you put them onstage and the lights go on inside them. They come up with such clever stuff. The training develops selfreliance, self-direction, leadership. The winners of the High School League go up against our professional team.” NCT has a college team, too, open to students from any local college. There are 35 regulars in the rotating adult teams, ranging in age from 2654. Special shows might focus on a specific genre (Shakespeare, Sci-Fi, Horror). There’s also an allfemale group called LipShtick. Improv workshops are offered for adults and students. And there’s a summer camp for kids. National Comedy Theatre has two two-week Teen Improv Theatre Comedy Camp sessions for teens age 13-17. They get improv training/ practice in the morning and sketch-writing in the afternoon, based on the morning improvisations. “The kids are genuinely funny,” Kramer says. This year, for the first time, NCT will be offering three scholarships for students who can’t afford the $750 tuition. “When students start to study the craft,” Kramer observes, “and then they watch the show

and examine the technique, they say, ‘I know how they do that, and I’m still impressed!’ I love that. As a teacher, watching students get it, seeing the lights go on, that’s exciting.” Four years ago, Gary became active in the San Diego Performing Arts League, which represents 50 local theater, dance, music and opera companies. He’s now executive director and vice president of the expanding organization, which this year launched the first annual San Diego Theatre Week, providing discounts and extra values for theater productions throughout the county. The program was a huge success and the dates are already set for next year (2/27-3/5/17).

MUSICAL IMPROVISATIONS Jordan Liberman is as passionate about improv as Gary Kramer. “Something about it draws nerds in,” says the 37 year-old software engineer. “The key is listening and teamwork. Nerds have always wanted to be part of a team. Most of us grew up as outcasts. In improv, no matter what I say or suggest, everyone says ‘That’s cool!’” When he was in college, Liberman met a participant in the free improv show on campus. “It seemed like a cool thing to try,” he says, “and it’s something you can continue learning for your entire life. I’m okay as an actor,” he confesses. “My skill lies in the music side.” Jordan grew up in the Chicago suburbs, where it became clear rather early that he was a musical prodigy. When he was 3 years old, his mother and his grandfather, a violinist, enrolled him in a music class for toddlers. Jordan took to it immediately. He started piano lessons at age 5, and moved on to viola at age 11; then he learned guitar. He had his Bar Mitzvah at Temple Anshe Sholom, a Reform congregation in Olympia Fields, Ill. He went to Israel with the synagogue youth group, and he served as a Hebrew School aide and music teacher at his Temple. After majoring in computer science at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, he attended grad school at UC San Diego, completing a degree in chemistry. Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 53


team nal Comedy Theatre e of Kramer’s Natio on of ot sh id nd ca A Italy. performing in Little

Hungry for more of that ultra-supportive improv experience, he connected with the nowclosed San Diego TheatreSports, starting as house manager. Then he took some workshops. One night, the musician had to cancel and there was no one available to fill in. As Liberman relays it, “Someone said, ‘Hey! Don’t you play piano?’ And suddenly, I was playing music with an improv troupe!” Now he’s a regular with the five year-old Finest City Improv company, helping to teach a musical improvisation class for actors who want to learn to improvise songs. And at 9 p.m. every Friday night, he plays for their house music team, “Minor Suspension.” He improvises on piano while the actors improvise songs, to create a completely spontaneous 25-minute musical. “It’s an improvisational give-and-take between me and the players,” Liberman explains. “Sometimes I’m underscoring a scene. If the scene seems kind of sultry, or sad or happy, I’ll pick a song that fits that mood. Then I might start to improvise a song, thinking that a ballad, for example, might fit there. I’m still impressed with some of the stuff we come up with. The beauty of it is, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. “I was a classically trained pianist,” Liberman continues. “And I had to throw out half of what I’d learned in order to improvise. I never had any formal jazz training, but that would have helped more, I think.” Finest City Improv shows, Liberman says, are “non-competitive, long format improv. There are a bunch of different house teams and there are guest team spots. The shows are performed in one-hour blocks. You can buy a ticket for one hour, then decide to stay for a different kind of show the next hour. There are also seven-week classes from Level I to V, with electives like music, clowning or sketch comedy. It’s been three years, and I still feel privileged to be a part of this troupe. “It’s awesome,” Liberman continues to marvel. “Some people come to improve their 54 | July 2016

communication skills, or to get ahead in their careers. There are theater students, too; improv makes you a better actor. There are a lot of nerds – which means a lot of Star Wars conversations backstage!” The characteristics that make a skillful improviser, he thinks, are “being a good listener and having an open mind.” For Liberman, the experience has been lifechanging. “At first I just thought of improv as a fun evening or weekend activity. But I’ve realized that all the listening and ‘Yes, and’ skills I’ve learned have greatly improved all other aspects of my life. I’m a better team player at my day job and I find myself happier in my personal life, now that I’ve learned to let life happen, accept it and go with it, rather than sticking to some plan I may have had. Improv teaches you to stay in the moment. It’s like therapy – with more laughs. “And having friends to laugh with and build something together got me through some hard times. I count myself very lucky.” When asked what he’d say to people considering trying out improv, Liberman offers this: “Wouldn’t you like to try doing something that no matter what you say, everyone’s going to applaud and say ‘Awesome!’? There’s no better feeling than that immediate, pure acceptance.” A The National Comedy Theater performs ThursdaySundays (two shows on Saturday nights and some Sundays). Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for students/seniors/military. The address is 3717 India St. Summer camp sessions are July 25-August 4 and August 8-19. Further information at Finest City Improv performs Thursday-Sunday nights in one-hour blocks from “6:30ish to-11:30ish (“Hey! We don’t follow a script”) at 4250 Louisiana St, off El Cajon Blvd. Tickets ($10) are available at 619-306-6047 or

“Having friends

to laugh with and build something

together got me through some hard times. I

count myself very lucky.”

BRANCHING OUT OF THE BOX • Check out local upcoming events on JNF San Diego’s Facebook page at • Mark your calendars for July 26 to hear Adele Raemer speak about her experiences living on the Gaza Strip. • For more information, to drop off a blue box, or to get involved, contact Amy Hart at or 858.824.9178 x988.

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Concerts performed at Embarcadero Marina Park South

AUGUST 5 & 6


Sing Along With Broadway!

A Midsummer Night’s Concert

AUGUST 26 & 27

SEPTEMBER 2, 3 & 4

Bernadette Peters

1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular

Full Lineup: SANDIEGOSYMPHONY.ORG Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 55


San Diego Symphony Musically speaking, summer officially arrives this month, when Summer Pops launches its season, dubbed Bayside Summer Nights. The music starts July 1-2, with the traditional “Star Spangled Pops” concert commemorating Independence Day. You can celebrate America’s birthday with the Symphony as it salutes the military and features an allAmerican program, conducted by Maestro Matthew Garbutt. As usual, each concert will be followed by a fireworks display. On July 15 and 16, travel back in time with “Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles.” This concert commemorates the 50th anniversary of the boys from Liverpool’s final concert. Many of the Beatles’ biggest hits are on the program. Trace Adkins, one of the leading country music stars, comes to Summer Pops on July 29. The audience is promised “a rowdy good time” but no orchestra. On July 30, Pops says “Hooray for Hollywood.” This tribute to Tinsel Town will include film clips on the big screen to complement some of the most famous movie music in history, performed by the San Diego Symphony orchestra.

The Old Globe The Old Globe’s 2016 Shakespeare Festival is under way with the Bard’s tragic masterpiece, “Macbeth” kicking off the summer season. The play – directed by Brian Kulick – will reside on the Globe’s alfresco stage through July 24. “Macbeth” is a chilling tragedy, set in motion by an evil prophecy that fuels blind ambition. The play has all the elements that make Shakespeare’s work so unforgettable, including brilliant poetry and some of the most vivid characters in literature. The Main Stage at the Globe is ready to unwrap “Sense and Sensibility,” a musical based on the classic novel by Jane Austen. The beloved tale centers around three daughters whose prospects for happily-ever-after seem remote after the untimely death of their father. Paul Gordon wrote the book, music, and lyrics for this witty and romantic show. You have until Aug. 14 to check it out. The Globe’s White Theatre will feature “Meteor Shower,” an adult comedy by Steve Martin. This new work is a surprising mix of the offbeat and the absurd, examining modern marriage through the prism of Martin’s unique brand of humor. The show opens on July 30 and runs through Sept. 4. PHOTO BY JIM COX

Balboa Park Concert Series The International Summer Organ Festival kicked off in Balboa Park late last month and free performances run through Aug. 29. This month, the 100-year-old Spreckels Organ will be played on July 4 by David Wickerham for an “All-American Program Celebrating the Spirit of ’76.” Christoph Bull, considered a “rock star organist” will take to the historic instrument on July 11, followed by Daryl Robinson on July 18 and Alison Luedecke on July 25. Performances start at 7:30 p.m. and are free to the public.

Broadway San Diego

Broadway San Diego announced that the huge smash hit and mutli-Tony Award winning hip-hop musical “Hamilton” will be coming to San Diego in Broadway San Diego’s 2017-2018 season. This show has been sold out on Broadway and tickets are upwards of $850 there, so it is safe to say this will be a popular show in San Diego as well. Broadway San Diego in their announcement noted that the best way to guarantee access to tickets is to purchase a subscription for the 2016-2017 season, as season ticket holders will be given preference for the following season’s shows. In the meantime, check back in on the Jewish Journal next month for Pat Launer’s feature on this season’s “Beautiful,” about Carol King.


Speaking of Pat Launer, the Journal’s long-time theater critic, she will return to the other side of the stage this month for a part in MOXIE’s “Ruthless.” She says “It’s a crazy-wild show in which I play a theater critic (I know, Big Stretch!).” She will sing “I Hate Musicals” in this “spoofy musical amalgam of classics like ‘All About Eve,’ ‘The Bad Seed,’ and ‘Gypsy’.” Catch Pat Launer and the full cast in “Ruthless” running July 10-Aug. 7.

56 | July 2016

= Marsha Stephanie Blake stars as Lady Macbeth and Jonathan Cake as the title role at The Old Globe through July 24.

La Jolla Playhouse The La Jolla Playhouse is featuring a world premiere at the Forum Theatre. “The Last Tiger in Haiti” will continue to deliver its gripping dramatic tale of survival and betrayal to Playhouse audiences through July 24. In this contemporary work, the author weaves Haitian lore into a riveting tale that blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction. The Playhouse has another exciting world premiere on the horizon. “Junk: The Golden Age of Debt,” a fast-paced thriller that brings “the deal, the board room, and the takeover” to the fore, will take over the Weiss Theatre July 26 through Aug. 21. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ayad Akhtar penned this play, which takes place in the ’80s and focuses on an upstart genius determined to re-write the rules.

North Coast Repertory Theatre PHOTO COURTESY TIMKEN MUSEUM

North Coast Repertory Theatre will stage the Fats Waller musical show, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” July 13 through Aug. 7. This rafterraisin’ musical tribute to the black musicians of the Golden Age of jazz, thrusts audiences into the midst of Harlem’s glory days at the Cotton Club. The toe-tappin’ music runs the gamut from rowdy and raunchy to hilarious – and adds up to a rip-roarin’ good time.

Cygnet Theatre Cygnet will revive a classic musical on July 14. “Gypsy,” with music by Jule Stune and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, has iconic songs the likes of “Let Me Entertain You” and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.” It follows the tale of Gypsy Rose Lee and her show-biz hungry Mama Rose through Gypsy’s rise to the top of the burlesque world. The effervescent show will stay put at Cygnet’s Old Town Theatre through Sept. 4.

Lamb’s Players Theatre The Lamb’s is celebrating 100 years of great music with “American Rhythm.” The musical journey, conceived by Robert Smyth, has settled into the Lamb’s Coronado home through Aug. 7, and will feature singers, dancers, and a live band. Ensconced in the Lamb’s other venue at the downtown Horton Grand, is Intrepid Theater Company’s production of “American Song.” That musical may be extended through the end of the month.

San Diego Junior Theatre

San Diego Junior Theatre will showcase “Goodnight Moon” July 1-17 at The Casa del Prado. This company premiere is a theatrical version of the beloved children’s classic, and is a great choice for young audiences. Next on the schedule is “Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” the dark musical featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The show (recommended for the 13 and over crowd) will be performed through Aug. 14. It’s not Junior Theater’s typical kids-oriented show, but it’s a wonderful treat for adults and teens.

Timken Museum of Art The Timken Museum of Art launches a new partnership with the University of San Diego with a joint exhibition of more than 200 art works from a private collection. “Collections in Context: American Art from a Pacific Northwest Collection (1860-1915) features giants, such as Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt and Frederic Remington. The show will be ensconced July 1 through Sept. 4.

Museum of Contemporary Art The Museum of Contemporary Art will feature “Holdings from the Museum Collection” at its La Jolla location through Sept. 4. “Damon Davis: All Hands on Deck” – a photographic exhibition – is ensconced at the museum through July 24. The museum will continue to showcase “Do Hu Suh” at its downtown location through July 4. On July 22, “Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper from the Collection of Cheech Marin” will take over. The exhibition is due to stay on through Nov. 27.

Mingei International Museum The Mingei’s “Flags from Ghana” closes this month on July 10. “Mingei of Japan: Treasures New and Old” remains until Oct. 2.

San Diego Museum of Art

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

The newest show at the art museum, “Quilts and Color from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston,” is showcasing classic American quilting patterns. These contemporary designs are a far cry from the ones Grandma used as bed covers. You can experience these stunning designs through Sept. 4. The SDMA’s exhibition titled “Brush and Ink” – a collection of Asian art – will be ensconced at the museum through Sep. 4. “Brueghel to Canaletto” – another excellent exhibition – features an impressive collection of European masterpieces. The exhibition will be on display through Aug. 2.

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center continues with its intergalactic exhibit “Science Fiction, Science Future.” This show explores which sci-fi inventions may actually become reality. Visitors are invited to move objects with their minds, design a cyborg, interact with robots, and more. The show coincides with the sci-fi fantasy fest Comic Con, but the Fleet’s “Science Future” stays until Sept. 5. The Fleet also recently announced that its popular exhibit “Taping Shape” will be extended through Sept. 5 as well. Its new IMAX show, “A Beautiful Planet,” debuted on July 1.

Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 57

||| BOOKS |||



or his first novel since 1992’s critically acclaimed “A Guide for the Perplexed,” Jonathan Levi has created an exhilarating epic that crisscrosses the borders of the world and of the imagination. An English organtuner discovers he is the heir to the Kingdom of Septimania, a historically real territory that was given by Charlemagne to the Jews of eighth-century France. Over a fantastical half-century that stretches through the present into the future, this newly crowned “King of the Jews” will encounter Pope John Paul II, Haroun al Rashid of “Arabian Nights” fame, an elephant that changes color, one of the 9/11 bombers and even a seed from the original Tree of Knowledge (among other things). But first, the novel starts with an excerpt from a journal: 15 August 1666 One garden. One tree. Two backs against the trunk, two bums on the grass, two mouths sharing a pipe after dinner. London is burning. Plague is riding flame and smoke, and the early August sun radiates death north to Cambridge. Henry VIII stands in stony guard over the silent Great Court of Trinity College, students dismissed until further notice. Further north still, in the garden of Mrs. Hannah Newton Smith, one of these students, her strange scholar of a son, sits with a friend. I am that friend, a foreigner—some traits cannot be disguised. But a foreigner who can think of no better way to weather the closing of the university than to share a pipe and a tree with friend Isaac. “I was a posthumous child.” Isaac blows a puff, the smoke mixing like China tea with the granules of sunlight, and passes the pipe to me. “I never knew my father, and the feeling was mutual. I was born Christmas morn, so small, I am told, that I fit in a quart pot, and so weakly that, when two women were sent to Lady Pakenham at North Witham for some herbal strengthener for my struggling spirit, they sat down on a stile by the way, certain there was no occasion for making haste as I would be dead before they could return.” 58 l July 2016

“That would explain your healthy appetite.” I take the pipe from Isaac. “And yet,” Isaac watches the smoke rise towards the fruit in paisleys and curlicues, “I am certain that—my mother’s bitterness notwithstanding—I must, at one time, have had a father.” “And a Holy Spirit?” “Screw the Trinity,” Isaac grabs the pipe from me and puffs again. “The college,” I ask, “or the concept?” “Father, Son, Holy Spirit—for an orphan like me, there is but one Father, one G-d—finitum— and all that we know, all that we are radiates forth from the One like the rays of the Sun. I suppose at heart,” he smiles a smile that at sunset gives me courage, “I must be a Jew.” “It isn’t the heart that interests this Jew.” I smile back with a glance at Isaac’s thighs. “A true Christian, like a true Jew, believes in the single G-d.” “The G-d of Abraham?” “And Isaac.” “That’s two G-ds right there,” I laugh. “Never mind Trinity College and your Trinitarians. You’d be surprised to know how many of my circumcised brethren are Quarternarians.” “Quarternarians?” “They believe, quite openly, in four deities. Some students of the Kabbalah even hypothesize the existence of seven G-ds!” “Heresy!” “Septimaniacs,” I tell him. “Septimaniacs— with a G-d for each of the seven heavens, for each day of the week, for every direction of space, every planet, every Pleiad, every color, every virtue . . .” “And every deadly sin,” adds Isaac. An apple falls and lands between my legs. “Take a bite,” I offer without moving. “After you,” Isaac demurs. “There are plenty of apples.” “Precisely,” I say. “Welcome to Septimania.” A From “SEPTIMANIA.” Used with permission of The Overlook Press. Copyright © 2016 by Jonathan Levi.

New Releases I Don’t Know What to Believe

According to one Amazon reviewer, San Diego's own Rabbi Ben Kamin's new book is “A heartfelt and sure-to-be controversial revelation of spirituality’s power over organized religion.” We wouldn't expect anything less.

The Unofficial Minecraft Lab for Kids

If your kids are Minecraft enthusiasts, here’s your chance to get in on the game. "The Unofficial Minecraft Lab for Kids" includes creative exercises that explore various aspects of the game and offers parents ideas to use those elements to teach fun, educational lessons for players of all ages.

The Backyard Field Guide to Chickens

Get ahead of a growing trend in food sustainability. It's true, chicken coops are not for everyone, but if you're exploring ways to make your diet more self-sufficient, raising chickens is a great way to go. And if that describes you, this new book might be helpful on your journey.


By Natalie Jacobs

“Princess” Growing up is hard to do, especially for 12-year-old Adar who finds herself in a complicated situation with her stepfather and an ethereal boy who helps her to blur the line between reality and fantasy. The film, by Israeli director and writer Tali Shalom Ezer, has won critical acclaim at the Israeli Sundance festival, Jerusalem Film Festival, and the Berlinale Talent Project Market over the past few years. “I would not have been able to go through with this journey if I did not wholeheartedly believe that this is a story worth telling,” says Ezer in her director’s statement. “I wanted to tap into an experience that is abstract and elusive, one that gives rise to feelings that are overwhelming and ambivalent. I tried to somehow capture the space between reality and fantasy, to make what is invisible, seen.” The film premiered in Los Angeles and New York theaters in May but it is now available through Video on Demand and DVD.

“Orange is the New Black” Also on the small screen, “Orange is the New Black” returned to Netflix for season four on June 17. When we left the ladies of Litchfield last year, a handful of them had attempted to convert to Judaism in order to eat delicious kosher meals in the cafeteria. What resulted from that storyline was a scene in which the character Cindy “Black Cindy,” a certified unemotional mean girl, delivered a heartwrenching speech on the power of G-d and religion. For this season, 100 new inmates arrive with their own cultural and ethnic backgrounds to challenge everyone from the administration to Piper and her former partners-in-crime. If the trailer is any indication, the series’ Jewish creator and executive producer Jenji Kohan will not disappoint.


Rachel Bloom, Golden Globe winner, star and creator of the smash sitcom musical “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” will perform a comedy show at the La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas on July 9. Presented by the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture, “An Evening with Rachel Bloom” is $20 for JCC members and $25 for nonmembers. Purchase tix at

Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 59


L-R: Belinda Lanois, In Kind Coordinator, Rady Hospital; with CBI students Julia Weinstein; Emma Voit; Maili Lampe; Gabriel Rodriquez; Daniela Rodriquez; Jonathan Mandel

Teen Philanthropy Far and Wide Local nonprofits help teens bring tzedakah back into their lives BY NATALIE JACOBS


he Jewish Teen Foundation has grown since the Journal reported on its first year in May of 2015. The second program this year brought together 25 teens from 12 different high schools and six different synagogues to learn about philanthropy while determining where to invest real dollars. The mission for this group was to “invest in organizations that secured essential needs for at-risk youth,” explains Darren Schwartz who used to head the program but has since been brought onto the Federation’s staff to lead its new teen philanthropy initiatives. Through their own fundraising efforts, the teens raised $8,000. JCF and individual donors also financially supported the program, which gave the Teen Foundation $33,900 to distribute to the organizations they vetted throughout the year. Grants were given to ELEM/Youth in Distress in Israel, Just in Time for Foster Youth, Jewish Federation of San Diego, Monarch School, North County Lifeline, Reality Changers, Voices for Children and Yemin Orde Youth Village. Notable to this year’s grant-making focus, the JTF program officers decided to fund infrastructure projects rather than programs, which is usually a focus of grant dollars. Funding for 60 l July 2016

infrastructure, the teens thought, helps to support an organization’s longterm sustainability. In addition to running the second year of the Jewish Teen Foundation, the Jewish Community Foundation supported three satellite programs at local synagogue high school classes during this school year. Congregation Beth Israel, Congregation Beth Am and Community Jewish High (which is a collaboration between Ohr Shalom, Tifereth Israel and Temple Emanu-El) each added philanthropy elements to their class curriculum, with support from the Larry Pidgeon Endowment for Young Philanthropists. Here is a quick look at those programs and their results: Congregation Beth Israel Katey Lindley’s 12th grade relationship class at Congregation Beth Israel spent weeks determining where to direct their philanthropic efforts for their inaugural involvement with the Jewish Community Foundation’s teen initiative, and then they found out one of their classmates was diagnosed with cancer. What that, their project became clear and the class of 24


Part of the class, which lasts one semester at CBA, covers ways to navigate when donors are overburdened with fundraising requests. students set out to raise money in support of the Rady Children’s Hospital Teen Lounge. Their initial goal was to raise $360 in order to match the grant amount from JCF. By the end of their school-year-long efforts, the 17- and 18-year-olds found out they had raised $1,686. The check was presented to Belinda Lanois, in-kind coordinator at Rady’s, on May 31.

The core curriculum for Beth Klareich’s 11th and 12th graders at Community Jewish High incorporated the philanthropy element into the entire schoolyear-long class. The 28 students heard from guest speakers and embarked on research projects to understand elements of charitable giving like connecting with mission statements and valuing Jewish philanthropy. Klareich says they “more than doubled” the $360 seed funding from JCF and granted funds to Voices for Children and Make a Wish Foundation. The Jewish high school will incorporate an as yet to-be-determined version of the philanthropy curriculum into its class again next year. Additional notable teen action Jewish Family Service also has its own high school program, Hand Up Teen Leadership, which exposed participants to on-the-ground activism in conjunction with Hunger Action Day this spring. Teens from the group visited Sacramento along with Feeding America San Diego on May 25 where they met with legislators, toured the Capitol and took part in a lunchtime rally to raise awareness about hunger issues. A


Congregation Beth Am Rabbi Matthew Earne has incorporated JCF’s tzedakah program into his synagogue’s 9th grade curricula for the past six years. Each year, the class determines a new organization to grant their $360. Classes also raise their own funds in varying degrees, mostly through placement of tzedakah boxes in other classrooms. Rabbi Earne notes that the students often run into difficulty in raising additional funds, because the synagogue is also involved in its own fundraising efforts. Part of the class, which lasts one semester at CBA, covers ways to navigate when donors are overburdened with fundraising requests. The 23 students in this year’s 9th grade class selected a youth group program for Jewish children with special needs, based in Los Angeles, as the beneficiary of their grant.

Participants from this year's Jewish Teen Foundation, run by Jewish Community Foundation, presenting a check to the nonprofit Just in Time as part of their grant-making efforts for this year.

Participant's in JFS's Teen Action Day from left to right: Caroline Sanborn, Aurora de Tagyos, Megan Tankersley, Monique Grimaldi, Noah Jacobson and Anthony Colarusso. Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 61

news New Initiative Supporting Syrian Refugees Arriving in San Diego Receives Funding from Leichtag Foundation The Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA) in May received a grant of $175,000 across two years from Leichtag Foundation to support its new initiative called the PANA Opportunity Hub. The aim of PANA's program is to create community among Syrians, both established residents and newly resettled refugees, throughout San Diego and to foster new opportunities for housing, employment, and English-language education.

Camp Mountain Chai to Host Grandparent’s Weekend in August Camp Mountain Chai (CMC), with operations headquarted in San Diego and camp taking place in the mountains of San Bernardino National Forest, will host its annual Grandparent’s Weekend from Friday, Aug. 12 through Monday, Aug. 15. As it has for the past several camp seasons, CMC will welcome all grandparents to participate in the retreat weekend, for unique programs and activities to experience with their grandchildren. Throughout the long weekend, grandparents and grandchildren will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities, including crafting, sports and nature walks. Campers will also have access to the pool and ropes course, and each family will be able to relax in their own rustic cabin. A special Shabbat program will take place on Friday evening, with Shabbat services, dinner, singing and dancing. Grandparents and grandchildren will also be able to attend Saturday morning services. This annual experience aims to enhance the bonds between grandparents and grandchildren, while helping campers to deepen their Jewish identity. Find details and register at

62 l July 2016

“We felt inspired by the values of Toni and Lee Leichtag," explains Charlene Seidle, Leichtag's executive vice president. "Lee was the son of Jewish refugees from Hungary. [We were] also inspired by all the imperatives of our Jewish teachings – to welcome the stranger and also the history of our people where we've been refugees and strangers and persecuted for so many generations that we had an obligation to really step up.” Refugee cycles fluctuate greatly in the United States, depending on determinations made by the State Department based on assessments from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR has found that more than 3 million Syrians have fled the country and another 6.5 million are internally displaced. With that, the situation in Syria has been characterized as the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time. In October 2015, the State Department announced that in fiscal year 2016 (Oct. 2015- Sept. 30, 2016), the U.S. “will admit at least 10,000 Syrians.” By the end of April, San Diego County had received 88 Syrians for resettlement since October. The Leichtag Foundation has also provided grants to Jewish Family Service of San Diego for "Syrian refugee resettlement and capacity support" ($163,000), the Multi-Faith Alliance ($75,000), The New Americans Museum and a small Los Angeles-based start-up called Keys for Refugees for their work supporting the successful resettlement of Syrian refugees. With its grant from Leichtag, JFS has hired Iman Bakour-Aziz, a Syrian who emigrated

to the U.S. in 2000, to be the Syrian Project Outreach Coordinator. Bakour-Aziz is working with the three other resettlement agencies in San Diego to establish a network of local Syrians who can support arriving refugees with leads on housing, jobs, education, and other inclusion efforts. “It’s a much smaller Syrian community in San Diego and with [Leichtag’s] support and our support we are hoping to get the refugees a smoother transition,” says Etleva Bejko, director of refugee and immigration services at JFS, which was established as a refugee resettlement agency in 1918. Of the 88 Syrians resettled in San Diego, JFS has so far had 10 individuals from two families come through their program. One family is already moving out of the area. Bakour-Aziz says the Alliance for African Assistance has resettled the most Syrian refugees in San Diego to date. When they arrive, refugees are given a little more than $1,100 and resettlement agencies have 90 days to establish housing and job training programs. The mid-city neighborhood of City Heights and East County’s El Cajon house San Diego’s largest populations of immigrants and refugees but the Leichtag grant is working to find new opportunities in North County neighborhoods like Escondido, San Marcos, Vista and Oceanside, where Syrians have been living for years. Ramla Sahid, who is originally from Somalia, started PANA in 2014 as a public policy research organization and community organizer for immigrants and refugees. Sahid has been selected by Leichtag to lead their Syrian Refugee Initiative as its senior refugee advisor. Bakour-Aziz says JFS is gearing up for the busiest months of the year, July-Sept. when the State Department rushes to meet quotas before the end of the fiscal year. She says the agency typically receives information about the family they are to resettle about two weeks before the arrive.

SCAG Signs Major Partnership Agreement with Israel On June 2, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) signed a major partnership agreement with the Federation of Local Authorities (MASHAM) in Israel. The agreement enhances the connection between the more than 250 local and municipal governments in Israel and the members of SCAG, which includes municipal governments in 191 cities in six counties of Southern California. Serving as the facilitator for the agreement, the Israeli-American Nexus (IAX) helped produce the framework through which the partnership would function.

Hands of Peace to Host Farewell Dinner for Largest Summer Group Ever The interfaith youth program Hands of Peace will conclude its 2016 summer program with a farewell dinner on July 31 at Temple Solel in Cardiff. Representatives from this year’s 42 participants (up from 25 young people in previous years) will speak about their experiences in the 19-day peacebuilding and leadership skills training that started in early July. The youth will also present a video that they made during the program.

“We are excited to partner with [MASHAM], not only to learn and exchange ideas on a more sustainable future, but also because they are an important local voice in Israel – one that also shares the value of collaboration,” Executive Director of SCAG, Hasan Ikhrata, said in a press release. In 2014, two-way trade between California and Israel totaled more than $4.2 billion. The initiative’s goal is to build upon this relationship, in areas from urban development to community diversity to sustainability projects, including water conservation and sourcing alternative energy.

Hands of Peace brings together Israeli, Palestinian and American teenagers and engages them in dialogue about personal and world affairs in hopes of creating peace through understanding. The San Diego Jewish Journal will offer a look at what happens during the program in the forthcoming August issue.

San Diego Scientists Recognized in Israel

The community is invited to the farewell event and the $35 tickets can be purchased at

The Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel, recognized Prof. William Brody, former president of the Salk Institute, and Prof. Eric Topol of the Scripps Translational Institute, with The Rambam Award at the Medical Center’s “State of the Heart” conference in the spring. Brody was recognized for “innovations in the treatment of cardiovascular disease,” and Topol was honored for his work on “digitizing and democratizing medicine,” a press release explained.

Local and National Organizations Help Feed Hungry Kids this Summer For 59 percent of kids who receive free or reduced lunch at school, summertime means hunger. Local organizations mobilize every year to reduce this seasonal food gap. This year, Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank partnered with SDG&E and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation to run a food drive called “School’s Out, Hunger’s Not.” Throughout the month of June, $5 pre-filled bags were available for shoppers to purchase in donation to the program at various Albertsons and Vons locations. The Food Bank also always accepts donations of food and money online at Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture runs a Summer Food Service Program that provides free meals directly to children 18 years and younger. There are more than 200 sites involved in this program throughout San Diego and no paperwork is required to receive a meal. Parents can find the nearest Summer Food Service Program by texting FOOD to 877-877; calling 2-1-1 and asking about the Summer Food Service Program; or searching by zip code in the online map at fns.usda. gov/summerfoodrocks.

“This is the most exciting time in the history of medicine,” Topol remarked at the gala ceremony. “Before, when we saw the patient, we had very little data and only a limited view of each individual. Now, with digitization of the medical essense, physiology sensors, the analytics of the patient’s DNA microbiome and the widespread use of smartphones to diagnose, monitor and analyze his condition, it has all changed.” The Rambam 2016 Summit focused on digital innovations as they apply to matters of the heart. Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 63

SYNAGOGUE LIFE SPECIAL SHABBAT SERVICES American Shabbat with Jewish Collaborative of San Diego July 1, 6 p.m. 5927 Balfour Ct #203, Carlsbad CA 92008; (760) 707-7111 Summer Beach Shabbat Service with Congregation Beth El July 1, 6:15 p.m. Playa Pacifica, Mission Bay Friday Night Live! at Chabad of Pacific Beach Every Friday, 7 p.m. 4150 Mission Blvd Suite 216, San Diego CA 92109

EDUCATION Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Earne at Congregation Beth Am Every Wednesday, 12 p.m. 5050 Del Mar Heights Rd; (858) 481-8454; Shabbat Morning Torah Study at Congregation Beth Israel Every Saturday; 8:30 a.m. 9001 Towne Center Dr, San Diego CA 92122 Call (858) 535-1111, ext. 2520 or email for details. Kids in the Kitchen at Chabad of East County July 17 & 24 and August 7 & 28, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 7624 Rowena St. San Diego CA 92119 Call (858) 254-8254 or visit to register. 64 l July 2016

SPECIAL EVENTS Stand Down for Homelessness with Temple Solel July 24 Call (760) 492-7443 or email to participate. Gift Shop Sale at Temple Beth Shalom July 31, 10 a.m. 208 Madrona St. Chula Vista, CA 91910;

SAVE THE DATE Join Chabad of Downtown’s Group at the 11th Annual National Jewish Retreat Featuring more than 180 workshops and 75 presenters August 16-21 JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa Contact Rabbi Carlebach at (619) 301-7450. Call 1-877-JRETREAT (573-8732) or visit for details. *Interested in having your event featured? Contact Submissions are due by 15th of the month for the next issue.


torah Fun KORACH 5776 Korach led 250 men against Moshe and Aharon as leaders of the Jewish people. Moshe was very upset and said HaShem will prove who the true leaders should be. Korach and his men and Aharon each took an offering to HaShem. HaShem accepted the offering of Aharon and the ground opened up and swallowed Korach, his men, and their families. The fire pans of the offerings of Korach and his men were saved and reshaped to use on the altar. HaShem became angry when the Jewish people complained about what happened to Korach and his men, but He calmed down after Moshe davened. Moshe collected a staff from each tribe and the one from Aharon blossomed overnight to prove that Aharon was chosen as a leader by HaShem. The Torah lists the gifts set aside for the priests and the tithes for the Levi'im.

spot the difference Which one is different? Hint: Moshe’s challenge to Korach, Ch. 16






CROSSWORD Complete the crossword by translating each Hebrew


Can you discover the Secret Message? Find and circle the bold, italicized words from the Torah summary in the Word Find. Write the unused Word Find letters in the spaces below to spell the Secret Message. Have fun!















ACROSS 1. ‫( חלב‬16:13) 4. ‫( תוך‬17:12) 6. ‫( מזבח‬18:5) 8. ‫( אכל‬18:31)


DOWN 2. ‫( רגע‬16:21) 3. ‫( מתנה‬18:7) 5. ‫( שרף‬17:2) 7. ‫( מעשר‬18:21)









































___ _____ _________ ______ ___ ___ ______


Hint: This grew on Aharon’s staff...

‫ס‬ -‫כ‬

word into English. Use the parsha reference for help. 3


‫ז‬ +‫ג‬

‫ה‬ -‫א‬

‫נ‬ x‫ב‬

‫ר‬ +‫ק‬ ‫ש‬

‫א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר ש ת‬ 400 300 200 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10


















Hint: Parsha names in the Book of Bamidbar

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Sivan • Tamuz 5776 | 65


by Marnie Macauley


To Eat or Not to Eat, Fat is the Question. We Jews adore our families, food, education, food, values, food, Israel, food. And did I mention food? Food for four on a Jewish table could typically feed the entire population of Uruguay. But the general population’s “thin” obsession can call tradition into question. NAKED FEAR

DEAR MARNIE: I find myself in an uncomfortable situation. I’m 42, widowed two years ago. I’m starting to pull out of my depression and recently joined an athletic club for Jewish women. My problem is the locker room. Many of my friends are members and most have terrific bodies. Naturally, in the ladies’ locker room, they’re unclothed. Marnie, I’m not in the best of shape and I’m embarrassed to even think of people seeing me in my physical condition. Can you advise a way to cope with this? -Self-Conscious in San Diego MARNIE SAYS: Ah yes. Your letter brought back all those odious gym bloomer moments. Now, a PC advice duenna would tell you to adore every stretch mark, ripple and roll, as they’ve shown you lived. But I loathe political correctness so what you need, my fellow thigh waffler, is an MO for making the whole thing...casual. Option one: Eye contact. Make some. If you’re staring at two eyeballs, you’re not looking elsewhere. Option two: Bring a book or plug in your ear phones while doing the quick-change. You can pretend you’re contemplating Sholem Aleichem or listening to “Yada Yada Seinfeld Moments.” Option three: Face your peers! Without getting ultra-personal, comment admiringly. “Wow Shelly, great muscle tone. How long did it take you? What machines did you use?” Stepping up to the (shower) mat and nonchalantly asking a simple question turns terrified into a terrific “how-to” op. When you’re ready, I’d choose #3. You see, 66 l July 2016

you’re the one freaking yourself out over your perceived failings and assigned them the same fears. You’ve imagined you’re Quasimodo in a field of Esthers (which of course is a big fat lie) and decided the ladies will vote you Queen of Cellulite over their carrot juice. You’ve also assumed that they upon the planet in perfection. Once you open up and invite stories, you’ll be shocked to learn that the gal next to you lost 150 pounds, the one across had a lazy eye and ears that could wave in planes, and the most majestic struggled with bulimia. And most will be eager to help. You see sweetie, there are thousands of stories in “naked” city. Deep breaths now, and repeat in your head: “Remember the gym bloomers!” If you got through that, you can wade through this bevy of Jewish beauties without caring about a ripple or a roll.


DEAR MARNIE: Last year I fell for a very sweet man who lived across from my winter get-away. I watched him every day, wishing to be on his arm. Unfortunately, I was not comfortable with my appearance. I weighed 186 pounds and am 5’ 5”. I also had short black hair and big glasses. I decided to do a make-over. I took almost a year. I’ve dropped 60 pounds, changed my hair, clothes and wear contacts. No one can recognize me now! I want to show my new look off to this man, but I don’t just want him to like me for my looks! How should I approach him? Should I tell him who I really am? -Ex-Zaftig

MARNIE SAYS: My Dear EZ: I just swallowed three Oreos whole in contemplation of the Herculean task (no pun here) you have accomplished. Congratulations! Now go enjoy it! Walk up to him, smile and say, “Hi! Great to see you again.” Should he shriek, “Holy Hershey! What happened to you?!?” simply say you’ve had a glorious year, then move on to topics deeper than Donna Karan size two pantyhose. After all, isn’t that part of why you sweated and shedded in the first place? You made a choice to re-mold your exterior but you can’t have it both ways mamala. True, it’s the interior that is at your luscious core. Indeed, you could be a Rachel Weisz clone, but cheekbones like hockey sticks do not guarantee a second date if the owner lacks the soul to interest a man of noble character. But a little exterior work makes all that wonderful stuff enticing. Much like a fine house, a little refurbishing doesn’t destroy the charm, but encourages others to knock. Clearly, you want this fellow to ring your bell. Whether he’s “the one” or not, you now own the beautiful results which can be used with another. So shed that sad little cherub who sat on the sidelines. You see honey, all that stuff around you was like a Bo Peep bridesmaid dress – a tent hiding the real you. All you’ve done is shed barriers, now your task is to believe it and fit into it with joy! A

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