December 2023

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Arts & Hanukkah Issue PLUS

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First Light Thursday evening December 7 through Monday, December 15! To find out about a party near you, please reach out to your local Chabad Center. Scripps Ranch (Chabad S. Diego HQ), Bonita, Carlsbad North, Carmel Valley, Chula Vista, Coronado, Downtown, East County, Encinitas, Escondido, La Costa, La Jolla, N. County Inland, Oceanside/Vista, Pacific Beach, Penasquitos, Rancho S. Fe, SDSU, UCSD, University City 4 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM December 2023

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Features 26 A Season of Achievements 30 Comprehensive San Diego Jewish Community Study

Poses Challenges and Opportunities

34 A New Musical Born Amongst the Trees 39 Praying for Peace this Hanukkah

Columns 11 From the Editor | “I Am Large, I Contain Multitudes” 16 Israeli Lifestyle | And Then We Soar 18 Personal Development and Judaism | The Flames of our Souls 20 Religion | Find A Little Light 22 Literature | Get It Done 48 Advice | HUAC and the Blacklist

Departments 12 Our Town 14 What’s Up Online 41 The News 42 Local Offerings 44 Food 47 Diversions COVER Nicolas Jelmoni and Soen Geirnaert in “Duel Reality,” which will be playing at The Old Globe. Photo by Jean-Francois Savaria.


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“I Am Large, I Contain Multitudes” In the interview about the Jewish community study, we were talking about the demographic info the data suggests. Our community, not surprisingly, has significant representations of South African Jews and Mexican Jews. This got me thinking: At what point does identity become permanent? By living in San Diego and rightfully participating in the study, they are in the eyes of census data, simply San Diego Jews. I’m often meeting new people and one of the questions I get most often is, “Are you from here?” And I always reply, “No, but I’ve been here a long time.” When I’m in England or Europe and I get the same question, I say San Diego. In those contexts, they are noticing perhaps that I don’t have a prominent English accent and what they want to know is where I live. In those conversations, I’m Californian. They might ask me if I surf or if the weather is as great as it sounds. I do have some stereotypical Californian attributes and I’m proud to live here, so I don’t mind the lack of nuance then. Back on the coast here, I wouldn’t answer the same way. I didn’t do my high school “growing up” years here and that feels important somehow. At what point are you “from” the place you are standing on? Or to connect more explicitly to the discussion earlier, at what point is your current status the more relevant piece to your identity? It’s hard to imagine being late into my nineties, G-d willing, having lived in San Diego the lion’s share of my life and still hesitating to consider myself a San Diegan. Is it a certain number of years that makes that change permanent? Buying property? Voting? Staying in the same neighborhood? Establishing and maintaining a stable social circle/community? Staying with the same company? But maybe it is not just accruing time, but more of a feeling of belonging and the smaller victories. Maybe it is having the perfect beach to match different criteria? Favorite taco spot? Best happy hour? Navigating without GPS? Having the deli remember you and your burrito order? Being a valued member of a theater or gallery? Sitting on a volunteer committee? It’s interesting to think that in the eyes of data, the dilemma has been blithely resolved. This is where the area code of my phone is, the zip code I’m registered to vote, where I pay taxes, the time zone and climate my body is adjusted to. The idea of a stacked or layered identity is something many of us relate to; honoring those pieces and holding them all at the same time is the best way to feel whole. A Headline is a quote from “Song of Myself ” by Walt Whitman.

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Our Town by Linda Bennett and Emily Bartell

San Diego Jewish Federation’s Federation360 Annual Fundraiser was the most powerful and seamless event we’ve attended in a long time! With a sold-out crowd of over 540 supporters in attendance, it was held on Nov. 4 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine. Co‑chairs Glen Brodowsky & Jon Segal and Lisa & Jon Pearl displayed a perfect balance of celebration and solidarity that enveloped the entire evening’s program. Along with the co-chairs, awards were presented by President & CEO, Heidi Gantwerk, and Board Chair, David Bark. Honored with the Anne Ratner Award for Extraordinary Leadership was Theresa Dupuis. The Michael Jeser Outstanding Jewish Professional Award was presented to Kesha Dorsey and the Pauline & Stanley Foster Leadership Award was given to Jordan Daniels & Shoshannah Hart. We were so pleased to see so many at a beautiful affair like Tamar Caspi, Kim Carnot & Traci Carpenter, Howard & Jean Somers, Rabbi Phil Graubart & Rabbi Susan Freeman, Bruce Abrams, Silvana & Richard Christy, Sonia Israel, Rabbi David & Debbie Kornberg, Michelle & Danny Recht, Barbara & Larry Sherman, Seth Krosner, Melissa Brill, Kathi Diamant, Marti Emerald, Chris & Anita Griffith, Sabrina Kerbel and Heather Schauder. Attending Hadassah’s new Miriam Chapter monthly meeting on Oct. 16, we were very impressed with speaker Rob Hicks. Rob Hicks is the Assistant Regional Director for ADL San Diego. He oversees policy and advocacy, community engagement and ADL’s emerging leadership program. Some of those listening on with us were

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Ruth Romanoff, Robin Barron, Heidi Becker, Esther Hogue, Andrea Schneider, Judy Zaguli, Barrett Holman and Dana Vandersip. Hadassah’s new Miriam Chapter had its Chartering Ceremony on Oct. 22 at Anthony’s in La Mesa. Already there are over 90 members of this newest chapter! Some of those enjoying the atmosphere and comradery were Flo Bernstein, Roz Allina, Ann Balmin, Judy Bentovim, Sue Brown, Avrille Copans, Judy Gumbiner, Sheryl Klein, Linda Luttbeg, Jamie Nadel, Irene Samuels, Rhonda Schwartz, Natalie Stolper, Perri Wittgrove, many Hadassah VIPs and Marsha Starr with daughter Melissa and granddaughter Marielle. Jewish Family Services held its signature luncheon, “Human Connection: Transforming the Way We Think, Feel & Live,” on Nov. 2, at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. The featured Speaker (via Zoom), Rabbi Sharon Brous, held an inspiring conversation. Drawing from ancient Jewish wisdom and contemporary social science, she helped the audience gain a greater understanding of human connection, kinship and how to create a more loving and just society. Among those in the packed room were Lisa Garcia, Barbara Rosenthal, Joellyn Zollman, Cindy Marten, Gail Rice, Steven & Alexis Larky, Doreen Schoenbrun, Larry Katz, Eileen Wingard, Jonathan Licht, Carol Arkin, Sue Braun, Marcia Wollner, Laura Jucha, Mara Goverman, Barbara Learner, Margorie & Sheldon Derezin, & Rabbi Lawson, Rabbi Nevarez and Rabbi Ridberg.

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At a Jewish comic book festival, fans and creators take time to celebrate joy by Elizabeth Karpen, JTA News More than 400 comic book lovers flocked to Manhattan’s Center for Jewish History for the first-ever Jewish Comics Experience, a pop culture convention that was billed as the “ultimate comics and pop culture event.” Some 35 comics creators participated in the inaugural JewCE, including “Sin City” creator Frank Miller and underground comics legend Barbara “Willy” Mendes. Others participating were artists who specialize in depicting Torah stories, creators of Jewish superheroes, autobiographical writers who just happen to be Jewish and non-Jewish authors and artists who create Jewish content. “It’s high time that Jewish creators are recognized for their contribution to comic culture, a culture that was for the most part created by Jewish people,” JewCE co-founder Fabrice Sapolsky said.

For Jewish teens in Asia, first BBYO convention in Singapore offers a rare sense of community by Jordyn Haime, JTA News For a few years eight decades ago, Shanghai was home to an outpost of what would become BBYO, the global Jewish youth movement. At the time, the Chinese city was a refuge for Jews fleeing Europe. Fifteen German Jewish teens created an Aleph Zadik Aleph chapter in June 1941, but when they left Asia after the war, the youth movement ended, too. Now, the network of small but significant Jewish communities scattered across Asia has resurrected BBYO’s presence on the continent. About 40 teens attended the group’s conference in Singapore last week. Over four days, they explored the city with their peers while learning how to launch their own BBYO chapters, host events and foster a sustainable community among Jewish teens in their own cities.

Henry Ford’s history with antisemitism to become a movie by Andrew Lapin, JTA News A lawsuit filed by a Jewish labor activist in 1925 took down Henry Ford’s antisemitic newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, in a real-life drama that riveted Americans. A century later, the saga is set to become an on-screen drama, too, as a Jewishinterest production company is developing a film based on an academic study of Ford’s antisemitism and the libel lawsuit that blunted its reach.

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LIVING ON THE FRONT PAGE by Andrea Simantov |

And Then We Soar Being asked, “How are you?” either as a filler to ensuing conversation or upon running into an acquaintance feels terribly weighty these days in Israel. After all, no one is okay. Everyone knows a deployed combat soldier, has been to a handful of numbing funerals or shiva visits, is related to a hostage or personally knows a family that has no work or can’t work, is exhausted from running in and out of bomb shelters, or has yet to begin university studies. Or all of the above. We are shaky and frightened, but unity of vision has imbued our nation with striking recognition of how Jews are perceived in the eyes of the world. Having been hurled in fighting a defensive war, everyone is aware that on the morning after — let it be soon — questions of “How,” “Why” and “Who” will demand answers as we embark on the self-reflective tasks addressing the complete lack of military intelligence that resulted in unprecedented butchery since the creation of the state. But that day is later. A coaching client reappeared this past week and in our catching-up conversation, I couldn’t help but mention that he looked exceptionally fit and strong. He’d been such a scrawny, sickly-looking guy when I last saw him. “Have you been working out?” I asked the young father of three small children. “Yes. I started with simple exercises at home since my place of employment

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was closed and my wife is still on maternity leave,” he replied. “I’ve built up to approximately 40 minutes of both strength and cardio and gained about fifteen pounds since the beginning of the war.” My curiosity was piqued. “Can you identify one thing that triggered the positive change? Why now?” He took a moment and considered his words carefully before speaking. “I saw young fathers cradling their children or injured wives in their arms and running for safety. I thought to myself, ‘Could I carry someone I love any distance and save them?’ I knew that the answer was ‘No’ but I could choose to change.” Choices abound in Israel these days and it is the rare citizen who doesn’t volunteer to pick produce, conduct social activities for evacuees, open their respective homes

for group dinners, prepare meals for the displaced or newly unemployed, wash a few loads of laundry for soldiers, or provide other essential services for complete strangers without financial remuneration. It is just the Israeli way. We thrive in crisis and, unfortunately, have had a lot of practice. Still, we’ve always been our best versions of ourselves when it is us against the world. Reb Yisroel Salanter, who died 140 years ago, was a famous Lithuanian talmudist and religious thinker who founded the Mussar movement. He is quoted as saying, “Like a bird, man can reach undreamed-of heights as long as he works his wings. Should he relax them for but one minute, however, he plummets downward.” We cannot fly if we invite those who do not walk in Israeli moccasins to determine our narrative. Allowing relentless calls for our destruction — no, extermination — to seep into our national psyche only encourages us to lose hope, or worse, lose faith. But when we remember that even though Jewish continuity defies logic, our eternal existence is part and parcel of G-d’s unassailable promise and we rise again as a Heavenly phoenix. The question, “How are you?” might be replaced during these days of sirens and screams with the query, “Who are you?” Transparent, proud and admirable, the glorious answer is, “I’m all that and more. I’m Israeli.” A

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THIS WAY TO EDEN by Rachel Eden |

The Flames of our Souls We were sitting around my Shabbat table, surrounded by good food, family, old friends and new. There was laughter and conversation. There is the muted sound of children playing in the background. The kitchen island was packed with beautifully plated dishes and the house smelled like freshly baked bread. My father cleared his voice and asked to make an announcement. He thanked my husband and me for hosting everyone and shared that he was so pleased we were all enjoying our time together. He then paused for a moment, as though to slow us down and led us to his sobering sentiment as he raised his wine glass: “May the hostages be safely returned to their families by next Shabbat.” For a second, just a second, there was no noise at all. Then, “Amen,” we responded. The mood turned solemn as we took in both a deep appreciation for our experience as well as genuine worry and sadness for those who were robbed of their own beautiful Shabbat tables. I was thankful to my father for slowing us down and will echo his wise reframe: By the time you read these words, may the hostages, our brothers and sisters in Israel, be safely returned to their families. Amen. Hanukkah is one of my favorite holidays. I remember lighting my menorah in 2006. I had just moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn and was seriously dating someone who would become my husband (though I didn’t know that yet). I remember sitting in the

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....we kindle our precious light and experience a spark of hope, a bit of warmth, the sense of possibility.

stairwell and just staring at the lights by the front door. I remember wondering if this guy that I was dating would be “The One” or just another story in my colorful dating history book. Mostly, I remember gazing at those lights, my nervous system at ease, completely embodied in my gaze. I relate deeply to Hanukkah in that it begins with a blanket of darkness in the form of freezing cold mornings, short gray days and nights that start formidably early. Then just as we think all hope is lost, we kindle our precious light and experience a spark of hope, a bit of warmth and the sense of possibility. One of my mentors shared a powerful insight with me once. She said: The most dangerous place to go alone is in your mind. I have worked with hundreds, if not thousands, of people and have learned that no matter how successful

we become, our minds still give voice to a powerful judge and jury of ourselves. Sometimes, more often than we’d believe, it’s a bully. If we aren’t vigilant, our performance becomes hinged on beliefs weighed down by fear, pressure and a need to prove our worth to the world. Hanukkah reminds us with each flame that we are inherently worthy souls and just by our existence, we make this world a bit brighter and a bit warmer. I had a mostly miserable Hanukkah three years ago. Everything looked absolutely perfect. My husband had fried incredible, fresh, homemade traditional Hanukkah donuts, sufganiyot. The children’s menorahs were displayed on our festive table, by our big window facing the neighborhood, adorned with school holiday projects, dreidels and piles of gelt. The house was clean and dinner was cooked. Everyone was wearing new matching holiday pajamas. The scene was picturesque and everything should have been perfect. Except it wasn’t. Far from it! It was as though each one of my children had fully committed to crankiness, conflict and general opposition to having a delightful evening together. My husband and I were somewhere between totally perplexed and frustrated: we had planned special activities as a family and lots of treats. I felt like a failure and the pattern kept repeating, night after night. Finally, toward the continues on page 23 >>


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Kislev – Tevet 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 19


POST-POLITICAL by Rabbi Jacob Rupp |

Find A Little Light Ever wonder why we light eight candles on Hanukkah? We know the story. There was only enough oil for one light, but because of the great miracle, the oil lasted eight nights. But keep in mind, the seven miraculous nights started with one regular night. We live in a world of cause and effect. A causes B causes C. If you want a different outcome, you need a different input. This leads us to always search for a cause or a cure. Things get complicated when we try to trace the origin of the chain reaction. Let’s say a person finds themselves on a less-than-ideal career trajectory. They might find themselves asking ,“What did I do to create this?” Maybe it was because they took a job they didn’t like because they needed the money. Why did they need the money? Maybe because they didn’t major in a field that had great job opportunities. So they’ll fault the decision they made many years ago as to the reason why they are where they are. The challenge with this line of thinking is what do you do if it’s too late to go back and change the past? Additionally, if you live in a world of cause and effect and your current circumstances aren’t adding up to the life you want, you will look to change it — with the same tools or methods that got you into the mess. Let’s say you work a job that doesn’t pay you enough. So you look for another job. You find a job that only pays you a

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little more and it comes with another trade-off like less meaningful work or more hours. Or say you’re in a relationship that isn’t serving you, but the pattern you follow is the same when you go into your next relationship. In short, the world of cause and effect is “natural” and as such we are largely pawns in a bigger picture. This was the world of the Greeks. The Greek worldview was one of “big picture,” “order” and “cause and effect.” The individual and Divine providence don’t fit into the world view. The Jews were destined to lose the war because we were smaller in number. Our ideas wouldn’t last because of our limited influence. From a numerical perspective, we were lost. On a psychological level, we can also feel that the cards are stacked against us. What percentage of businesses or marriages fail? How can we succeed at a time like this? Consider the political, economic, or historical trends manipulating our lives. All the trauma of our past and even our generational past? How can we raise ourselves and our children to be successful? That’s where the light comes in. The secret is that even that first day is a miracle because everything is a miracle. Nature itself is a creation of G-d. So it was never about cause and effect, size, reality, or matter. Say what you want about political events, but an even cursory view of history seems to suggest that a small,

statistically insignificant group of people like the Jews would last for even a few centuries seems improbable. Impossible if you consider a few thousand years. Insane if you consider we’ve outlived all of the great empires in history and have clashed with all of them. We break every trend in the book. Why? Because the same “cause” that oversees history and statistics oversees us. And just like G-d can make oil burn in the first place, He can extend out His miracles as He sees fit.. The focus therefore is to recognize that the entire setup of creation isn’t cause and effect, but rather Divine providence. Yes, we have to work, to create and to put in effort. We can also recognize, hope and rely upon the idea that ultimately we aren’t distant and insignificant pawns in a cold and faceless world, but crucial and unique children of G-d. This is in no way an assurance against hardship or struggle. And it requires us to make the effort to set up those frameworks in our lives for us to create and perceive miracles. And when those times occur, which they will, the veil of creation is lifted and we see the truth that underlies it. We don’t just celebrate that which we didn’t expect to happen, but that which we did as well, as it is all part of the same Infinite Being. A

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Get It Done Jobs in the arts are meant to be a rare thing one is lucky to get, usually through a combination of talent and luck, more or less guaranteed to make one’s name go down in history if only they can just get them. As with most pontifications of the pompous, this is simply not true. There is a living to be made in the arts as well as fame, as shown by creators such as New York-born author Warren Adler. No relation to the Freud debunker Alfred Adler, Warren Adler was not as famous as Joseph Heller and Harlan Ellison of his generation. Adler wrote his way into to both relative comfort and comparative posterity, even though most of his best-known works are more famous than he is, particularly in terms of their film adaptations. (Original authors rarely get the credit, unless they also write the screenplay — Neil Simon is a notable exception to the general rule.) Alder got into the New School, counting “The Godfather” author Mario Puzo and “Sophie’s Choice” author William Styron among his classmates, both of whom shared his fate, along with Heller and Ellison, of having film adaptations that were more famous than their original books. Puzo and Heller managed to snag an adaptation credit. He later received a degree in English Literature from NYU. Out of university, he started work as a journalist, advancing to the role of editor at The Queens Post weekly. That experience eventually got him a position

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Taking his time and sharpening his mind to a razor’s edge, it wasn’t until 1981 that Alder dropped the bomb with the name “The War of the Roses.”

as Washington Correspondent for the Armed Forces Press Service during the Korean War. Like Hemingway before him, this newspaper experience with its frenetic pace and keen detail would work its way into his more literary efforts. Waiting longer than some for his first major crack at a novel, Adler published his debut “Undertow” in 1974 when he was 47 years old. Likely drawing on his experience working in Washington, the thriller involves an accident, a scandal, a senator and a cover-up. Adler would explore political intrique in his three works, “The Henderson Equation” (1976), “Banquet and Before Dawn” (also 1976) and “The Casanova Embrace” (1978), laying the groundwork for the

underrated Fiona FitzGerald series of mystery novels starting in 1981 with “American Quartet” going on to include nine installments by 2016. Adler’s first non-Washington novel “Trans-Siberian Express” looks at Russia-US relations, involving the slightly scandalous notion of an American cancer specialist and a Soviet agent falling in love through the iron curtain of Cold War politics, which were still very much a thing when the book was first published in 1977. Getting back into more straight-ahead thrillers in 1979 with “Natural Enemies,” an echo of the future came later that year with the deadly family drama “Blood Ties.” Taking his time and sharpening his mind to a razor’s edge, it wasn’t until 1981 that Alder dropped the bomb with the name “The War of the Roses,” a pitchblack comedy calling out the facade and greed of the 1980s ‘Me’ culture. It is almost prophetic that the 1989 film adaptation starred Michael ‘Greed Is Good’ Douglas two years after his starmaking turn in “Wall Street.” The next major success was “Random Hearts” (1984) best known now in connection to the 1999 film adaptation. Not quite as iconic as “The War of the Roses,” it kept Adler going for a while, his newsroom work ethic seeing him produce 43 full-length novels including the Fiona FitzGerald series, and eight collections of short stories, most notably “The Sunset continues on next page >>

Personal Development continued end of Hanukkah, I boycotted our well-meaning plans. No homemade goodies, no outing, no guests. We would just have a simple evening and light our candles. What I didn’t count on was the breakthrough I experienced from the simplicity of an undistracted menorah lighting. When I saw all eight lights gleaming brightly, something inside of me switched on and my ego switched off. I turned to my children and stretched out my hands so we could dance and sing together in the company of our precious menorahs. The younger ones hadn’t bathed and their pajamas were old. There was nothing fancy cooking in the oven. There was zero expectation of anything resembling the picturesque holiday I envisioned. All that was left were those lights, happy little faces, stomping feet and our voices in unison. We are not tasked with playing dreidel or gorging ourselves at the latke bar (shocking, I know). The seasonal greeting cards with frozen family smiles and pressure to gift colleagues the perfect white elephant present can distract from the true profound purpose of this holiday. This holiday, Hanukkah, in the dead of (a San Diego) winter, reminds us that inside each one of us lives and breathes a tiny flicker of light. Our little miraculous flame holds gifts like love, conviction, perseverance, desire to serve others, fulfillment, freedom, meaning, joy and delight. Our only job is to spend time watching our lit menorahs as that gaze will stoke the very flames of our souls. A

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Literature continued Gang” (1977), between 1974 and 2018–a year before he died in 2019 at the age of 91. Adler had an overall production rate of roughly two books per year. The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Alder had a strong work ethic and a vague sense of being an outsider, which no doubt assisted in cultivating the attitude that allowed him to criticize the assumed system like he did. His bibliography is rife with crooked, if not outright criminal politicians, like John Grisham 15 years before John Grisham published his first novel, “A Time To Kill” in 1989, and with significantly more bite. Adler’s work, at its best, has an almost absurdist sensibility, recognizing that there is something rotten in the state but not letting it make him cynical in true Camus fashion. This is clearest in terms of “Trans-Siberian Express,” drawing more on his Russian background than anything else, turning a petty political rivalry that could have ended humanity, and nearly did a few times, into an instance of transcendent love. It affirms life rather than damaging or destroying it. A

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Help The Hebrew University Community Serve Israel Through the ‘We Are One’ Fund The October 7th Hamas terrorist attack has threatened the State of Israel’s future like nothing before. Nevertheless, the country, its students, soldiers and citizens have united amidst unimaginable tragedy. While Israel focuses on the immediate battle of protecting its borders and rooting out the Hamas threat, its people face both short and long-term struggles. A massive and far-reaching effort looms in keeping the country moving forward and addressing the myriad of economic, medical and academic needs. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem community — its students, professors, staff, and families — are suffering. Some have lost relatives who were murdered in the attacks. Others continue to endure endless days worried about the status of kidnapped family members and friends. Students and faculty are once again soldiers, having been called up to serve, suspending their academic pursuits, research, and jeopardizing their financial security. Just in the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Law alone, an estimated 40% of students have been called to active military duty. In the face of dire need, Hebrew University has launched the We Are One fundraising campaign to provide aid and support to the 28,000 students, faculty, and staff impacted by the war. “The Hebrew University’s American friends will do everything we can to support our community members during the war and its aftermath, which we hope will bring lasting peace,” says Joshua Rednik, chief executive officer, American Friends of the Hebrew University. “Every dollar raised goes to mitigating significant, critical needs to ensure safety, security, and continued educational excellence on campus once the academic year begins.”

Significant We Are One funding priorities include: • Scholarships and Academic Assistance for Soldiers Called to Duty Thousands of students who have been called to military service will incur academic and financial losses while

24 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM December 2023

Hebrew University students volunteering to prep food.

risking their lives. We Are One will provide scholarships and financial aid for students and staff serving in the military. Once the school year begins, Hebrew University will also continue to provide financial and emotional support, and academic assistance for students, staff, and faculty serving in the reserves. • Relocation and Shelter Hebrew University is assessing how best to help employees and students who have had to evacuate their homes. Many have lost all their possessions while facing the trauma of kidnapped, injured, and/or deceased loved ones. • Campus Security The current conflict brings with it increased security needs on all campuses, including equipping guards with bulletproof vests and helmets, increased first aid supplies, and other security mobilization equipment. • Counseling Services The University is providing counseling for anyone in the community who is coping with severe trauma, grief, and loss. This includes assistance for families of hostages and other missing people.


JOYFUL LIVING. Beyond Fundraising: Volunteering Where Needed Hebrew University volunteers are addressing urgent needs in their surrounding communities as well. Faculty of Medicine students are volunteering in Israeli hospitals struggling with staff shortages due to the war. The University is also working with the Jerusalem Municipality to establish a school and kindergarten for children evacuated from their homes in Sderot in Southern Israel. In addition, some of the half million displaced people from the North and the Gaza border regions are being housed in Hebrew University dormitories. In its role as Israel’s premier university and academic research institution, Hebrew University will continue to address the devastating impact of this terror attack, and its toll on human and financial suffering, just as it has faced adversity throughout Israel’s history. As the war continues to demand time, resources, and attention, Hebrew University, across its six campuses, must also continue doing what it does best: pursuing extraordinary innovation, developing transformational technologies, and delivering educational excellence to solve some of the world’s most urgent challenges. When the immediate crisis subsides, the University will once again provide an academic home for a full cadre of students, researchers, and faculty. In the meantime, the HU community is supporting each other, providing critical medical resources, helping farmers harvest their crops to prevent food shortages, and looking after the families left behind as Israel’s soldiers heed the call for security. “These tragic times remind us of the human cost of war and the true blessings of family and friends,” says Hebrew University President Prof. Asher Cohen. “As we mourn those we have lost and persevere through difficult days ahead, we find comfort in community and strength in solidarity. We hold onto hope — hope for the safe return of hostages and faith in our nation’s resilience. Hebrew University is grateful for the support.”

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A Season of Achievements by Makayla Hoppe


he Old Globe’s 2024 season is bringing variety — from mystery to comedy to adaptations and premieres. Notably, this season marks a special achievement for the theater that has been producing Shakespeare for 90 years. Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein gave us a look into the season and discussed some of the shows that will be produced.

Henry VI For the first time, the Globe will be attempting Shakespeare’s “Henry VI.” Barry has taken the three plays, Parts I, II, and III, and adapted them into two parts. The two productions will be played in repertory from June 30 to Sep. 15. According to Barry, this production of “Henry VI” will make the Globe the 11th theater in the country to have produced all 36 of Shakespeare’s plays. “‘It’s a wonderful story that’s full of all the things that Shakespeare is famous for,” Barry said, “battle scenes,

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great poetry, vivid characters, a lot of comedy and a lot of excitement and real thrills — and these plays just are not very well known. It’s a real voyage of discovery for our audience.” The production coincides with a yearlong community engagement that will explore The War of the Roses. “We wondered if there would be a way to include participation from the communities of San Diego,” Barry said. “The Globe’s arts engagement programming has relationships with over 40 nonprofit community-based organizations. So, there are going to be ways — both onstage and backstage — for San Diegans to participate in the conception of the show, in the making of the show, and then eventually in the performance of the show, and we’re incredibly excited about it.” This community engagement comes with The Globe’s new mission to expand theater “Beyond the Stage.” “Our arts engagement work... serves about 30,000 people for

free with programming out around the community,” Barry said. “It’s professional plays that go on tour, but also classes, workshops, skilled job training programs and things that take place in neighborhoods all over San Diego that impact seniors, veterans, incarcerated populations, at-risk youth, and unhoused populations. So, the globe really has this gigantic platform that is state-of-the-art in the American theater doing community-based work. And that’s theater that lives beyond the stage.”

Murder On the Orient Express Playwright Ken Ludwig (“Lend Me a Tenor”) has adapted Agatha Christie’s “Murder On the Orient Express,” and this production, running Sep. 7-Oct. 6, will mark the West Coast premiere. According to Barry, Ken Ludwig has inserted his wit into the story for this new adaptation. “One thing that’s really worth noting is the stage design of this production is by a genius designer based in New York,


“The stage designer manages to put

“Murder on the Orient Express.”

a train on stage, a full-scale train in different parts as you move along from car to car.” with the wonderful name of Paul Tate dePoo III — just an extraordinary name for an extraordinary artist,” Barry said. “He manages to put a train on stage, a full-scale train in different parts as you move along from car to car. It is a spectacle that is really breathtaking. So, for people who know the story, it is a fresh take on it, and for people who don’t, it’s a wonderful introduction to one of the great murder mysteries that we have in English literature.”

Dracula, a Comedy of Terrors Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen have returned to The Old Globe following “Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show!” and “Crime and Punishment, A Comedy,” to deliver a comedic take on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” The show is currently running off-Broadway in New York and will play Sep. 20-Oct. 13 at The Old Globe. “They have this technique where they have a small company of five actors play multiple roles,” Barry said. “There’s

a lot of incredible high jinks, and it’s fun watching these five actors play 30 parts and quickly change and use puppets and wigs. And it’s just an outlandish, comic, vaudevillian, Borscht Belt sensibility that tells the story with tongue-in-cheek. It’s just uproariously funny and we’re going to run it during Halloween, which I think will be a lot of fun — so a very special show and we’re going to have a great time with it.” When asked if he believed there would be a breakout production this season, Barry was unable to answer. “Are you asking me to pick my favorite child?” Barry asked with a laugh. “I can’t really do that. All the shows offer slightly different things.” “‘Fat Ham’ (May 25-June 23) is really super smart and very, very funny, and an outlandish take on Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet.’ I think it is very interested in LGBTQ themes.” “We have a musical called ‘Ride’ (Mar. 30-Apr. 28) [from] London making its American premiere. That’s about

the first woman to ride her bicycle around the world in the 19th century. It’s just a wonderful adventure and an inspiring story about a woman who does something daring and takes her faith in her hands in a way that, at the time, women weren’t being given permission to do so. That’s a really inspiring and beautiful story.” “‘Age of Innocence’ (Feb. 8-Mar. 10) opens our season at The Old Globe. It’s a lush, beautiful adaptation of one of the great American novels about class and the American obsession with social position and how difficult that can be, but at the same time, it is a really stunning romance.” “So, I think each one of these plays [this season] is going to deliver really exciting experiences to our audiences and I hope that it will be an opportunity for people who’ve never come to The Globe before to try something out and find something that works for them.” A

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As the proud printer of the San Diego Jewish Journal We wish you a


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Team from Signature Sculpture applying paint to Tony Rosenthal’s Odyssey III, at the Museum’s main entrance.

James Copper, Sculpture Conservator at the Henry Moore Foundation in the UK with Henry Moore’s bronze Reclining Figure: Arch Leg, before treatment.

The San Diego Museum of Art Conserves Outdoor Sculptures In the grounds of The San Diego Museum of Art’s May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden—as well as around the perimeter of the Plaza de Panama— visitors will find a vibrant collection of 20th-century sculptures, many of which have been on display since the 2016 exhibition “Art of the Open Air.” On first glance, these rich, astonishing, and varied works appear permanent. But art—like anything else—is finite. Over time, paint fades, patinas wear down, and their surfaces appear discolored. While keeping these sculptures outdoors makes them more accessible, it also has the unfortunate effect of accelerating deterioration. In spring of 2023, with valuable support from Bank of America’s 2023 Art Conservation Project grant, the Museum carried out conservation treatment on six of these outdoor sculptures: Figure for Landscape (1960) by Barbara Hepworth; Reclining

Figure: Arch Leg (1969) by Henry Moore; Spinal Column (1968) by Alexander Calder; Odyssey III (1973) by Tony Rosenthal; Big Open Skull (1966–73) by Jack Zajac; and Solar Bird (1966) by Joan Miró. Conservation experts conducted restoration treatment in situ—focusing in particular on the sculptures’ surfaces, an intricate process involving a combination of cleaning, waxing, repatinating, and repainting. Over the last several years, the original red color of Rosenthal’s Odyssey III, located to the right of the Museum’s main entrance, had faded. On an overcast day in May, under a makeshift overhang of blue tarp, Sabrina Carli and the team from Signature Sculpture, in consultation with the Rosenthal Foundation, diligently applied paint with an industrial-style nozzle, coating every inch of the sculpture’s surface, even

those edges made by its bisecting discs, in a fresh layer of gleaming red. In the sculpture garden, Henry Moore’s bronze Reclining Figure: Arch Leg received a new patina just in time for the opening of “O’Keeffe and Moore” in May. Bronze, because it is composed partially of copper, is liable to turn green over time. The surface becomes blotchy, mottled, and less unified. To restore this, the surface is stripped and given a new patina solution—a complex chemical brew, which includes potassium sulfite—then sealed with a layer of wax. The sculpture garden speaks to the co-presence of nature and culture, a lush topography where multiple styles, materials, and histories flourish. Art has risk built into it, and it’s the Museum’s duty to protect these precious cultural artifacts so the community can continue to appreciate them for years to come.

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Comprehensive San Diego Jewish Community Study Poses Challenges and Opportunities by Jacqueline Bull

“This is one of the things that I find most interesting about San Diego,” Betzy Lynch said. “Every other place that I have lived across the United States — which I’ve lived in five other communities — there is centricity to Jewish life, meaning the people live in the general area and if they don’t live in that general area, they can easily get to that general area. And the organizations are all pretty much there. There is Jewish life happening in every pocket, every piece of San Diego county,” Betzy said. If you are in the business of building community across all those tiny pockets in the nooks and crannies of the San Diego landscape, knowing everything you possibly can is crucial. The last time a large-scale community study was conducted was 2003. During the summer of 2022, 2,104 Jewish households were surveyed and now “A Blueprint for our Future” a detailed study of the San Diego Jewish community is available. Betzy Lynch, CEO of the LFJCC; Charlene Seidle, Executive Vice

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President of the Leichtag Foundation and Darren Schwartz, Chief Planning & Strategy Officer for Jewish Federation of San Diego County all sat down with me to talk about the findings in the study and what opportunities it presents ahead of their Dec. 3 community study town hall at the JCC. “We were starting to hear that some of our local agencies desperately needed to know what the Jewish community was looking like coming up on 15 years since the last study and it was going to be very difficult to start planning for the future without having that knowledge,” Darren Schwartz said. To get a new study off the ground, they used a collective funding model where both the major Jewish orgs in the area and smaller groups pooled resources. “One thing that I really, really wanted going into this was that this was not be a study that sits on a shelf–that this really creates a jumping off point for a culture of data seeking and data sharing in our community and that there were some clear points of opportunity we could act upon quickly...There is already an

enthusiasm and we haven’t even officially released it to these organizations,” Charlene Seidle said. Betzy expressed that she hoped the study would either reaffirm things we thought about ourselves or challenge norms by showing what changes had occurred in the community. “One of the things that is also really important to me is that you really paid attention to where there were gaps of opportunity, but also to identify the things we were doing well to make sure we knew that and we could do more of it,” Betzy said. The data suggests, in nearly every category, how the community is not a monolith. People from many different racial and ethnic backgrounds and different nationalities make up the tapestry of San Diego Jews. Seventeen percent of Jewish households in San Diego include an individual who was born outside the United States and 23% have members who regularly speak a language other than English at home. “This provides a unique and challenging opportunity from taking

“We hope it leads to a depth of conversation both about the strengths of the community...and also looking at potential for the future of Jewish life.”

People from many different racial and ethnic backgrounds and different nationalities make up the tapestry of San Diego Jews.

the micro communities that may exist from being from different places and how to build a fully cohesive community... understanding the level to which that international presence is a part of the work that we do, there are lots of things in terms of welcoming that we need to think about — things like language — in terms of the way that we do both engagement and outreach,” Betzy said. “There are Jews that look many different ways. And I think to see that reflected in San Diego is a reflection of reality,” Charlene said. The study also provided some context for the under 35 group. Thirty percent of Jewish adults are relative newcomers to San Diego and more than half of those newcomers are younger than 35. From the summary, “Half of the adults under age 35 are not satisfied with their current level of participation and may be looking for ways to participate more.” “So I think it is real interesting to hear that we have young adults adults that are starting families that are able to say they are dissatisfied because I think the implication in that is that they could be

satisfied or willing to be satisfied, but are not necessarily seeing the right ways to be engaged in Jewish life,” Darren said. The study highlighted many different opportunities (like what groups are looking to be engaged more in Jewish life) and how the diversity of experience existed in every facet (age, socioeconomic, background, etc.). The study also showed where the community was in consensus. “82% of our community is philanthropic...The Jewish value of tzedakah and giving back is one of the backbone values of our Jewish community,” Darren said. Charlene echoed this by highlighting that 97% of participants indicated they felt a sense of belonging to the Jewish people. “The most important thing for us is that the study becomes actionable by creating conversations, we aren’t prescriptive about what people take away from it...We hope it leads to a depth of conversation both about the strengths of the community — so many things to celebrate about who we are — and also

looking at potential for the future of Jewish life and none of that is linear,” Betzy said. “For me personally,” Charlene said, “just like looking at that goal of that social connection and belonging when we know there a lack of belonging and isolation is contributing to so much around mental health. We have so much to offer as a community. Helping people to build the networks and social connections if they want to engage more is something I’m very excited to see.” “The study is the beginning...I hope that people understand that Jewish identity and Jewish community is far more complex than religious connection and affiliation with a synagogue or a membership to an organization. It is really a cornucopia of opportunity and the more we can grapple with that as a community, the more we can be prepared for the future,” Darren said. A People interested in the community study are encouraged to attend the Dec. 3 town hall at the LFJCC which will be 3:30-6:30 p.m.

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A New Musical Born Amongst the Trees by Makayla Hoppe


ulia Butterfly Hill is an environmental activist best known for living in a California redwood to protest the logging industry. From Dec. 10, 1997 to Dec. 18, 1999, Julia lived in the tree, known as Luna, for 738 days. Her protest led to an agreement that the lumber company would not cut down Luna. Today, Julia serves as inspiration for “Redwood,” a new musical premiering at La Jolla Playhouse in 2024. Tony Award-nominated artist Tina Landau conceived, wrote, and will be directing the new production. The show comes with input from and stars Broadway veteran Idina Menzel. “Idina and I were both sitting around thinking about how we weren’t working [during COVID],” Tina said. “I returned to her with the idea, and we felt she had aged out of playing that character. We were interested in telling a different story, but we’re still enamored by the notion of a woman who goes to be in a tree and stays there and what that experience would be motivated by, and we came up with a whole new story

34 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM December 2023

“I was comforted by and found solace and hope in the nature outside my window.” around that simple image of a woman who goes at it alone and lives inside of nature in that way.” Jesse is a businesswoman, mother, and wife. Despite success in her life, she still feels a sense of longing and pain. Confronting a pivotal moment, Jesse decides to abandon her established life, embarking on a spontaneous road trip that spans thousands of miles. Eventually arriving at the redwoods of Northern California, a chance encounter and a leap of faith transforms her world. Surrounded by the towering redwoods, Jesse discovers new connections and an opportunity for healing.

“I wrote the show mostly during the pandemic,” Tina said, “and I was holed up in my house here in Connecticut. I was really comforted by and found solace and hope in the nature outside my window. My relationship with trees really changed during that time and it became very much a story of how important nature can be in our lives and the healing we might find through something as ancient and wise and steadfast as a redwood tree.” Tina and Idina have been friends for many years; they worked near each other while Idina was performing in “Rent.” “I was close to Jonathan Larson,” Tina added. “[Idina and I] were kind of


traveling in the same circle, got to know each other and have stayed in touch. We’ve always wanted to work with each other and never have.” This is not Tina’s first time at La Jolla Playhouse. In 2003, she wrote and directed “Beauty,” a modern take on the tale of “Sleeping Beauty.” However, this is her first time working with Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. “I love Chris — we went to college together,” Tina said. “He’s just so smart. He and [Exective Producer] Eric Keen-Louie really are artists who are driven and motivated. It’s always what’s best for the work — what’s best for the process. The great thing about someone like Chris is he’s also just a really good dramaturg and note-taker and his guidance from a writing point of view has been invaluable.” La Jolla Playhouse was Tina and Idina’s first choice for “Redwood.” “They said yes right away and have been really instrumental and wonderful with how they’ve supported the show over the last two years.”

Redwood rehearsal.

Kate Diaz, composer.

For six months, Tina scoured the internet, programs, and awards organizations for up-and-coming musicians; she and Idina decided that they wanted a young female composer to helm the music for the show. They selected Kate Diaz, a composer and producer from Los Angeles. “What’s great about Kate is she has a background and experience in both pop music and film scoring,” Tina explained, “this piece requires both. There are sequences in the show that are just instrumental music with no speaking or singing. She just has a really unique blend of styles and perspectives that are really right for the show.” Hundreds of towering redwood trees will be represented on stage thanks to some tricks and tools.

“From the very beginning, I imagined this piece three-dimensionally,” Tina said. “The design is predominantly video and projection, but in a very immersive and interactive way...Idina’s character actually interfaces with the environment as she lives in it. I love what we’re doing’s almost an empty space, and then we are using a lot of very sophisticated and rich technology to create the world. I hope the audience feels like they are really in there with her.” “Redwood” runs from Feb. 13 through Mar. 31, 2024. With many performances already sold out, San Diegans are eager to see a brandnew, original musical. A

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Praying for Peace this Hanukkah by Rabbi Ben Leinow


his year, Hanukkah’s first night is December 7. December 7 is also Pearl Harbor Day when we remember the destruction that took place in Hawaii in 1941. Our major water docks and airport centers in the western islands were destroyed which was the catalyst for the United States’ involvement in World War II. I was five years old when the bombs fell on Pearl Harbor. As we sat around our little Packard Bell radio, we heard President Roosevelt declare we were at war. My parents believed that Roosevelt’s words meant to assist displaced Jews in finding freedom of religion, establish proper financial support and a joyful life. Our home was always filled with what my parents called “new friends” and

I remember how happy my uncle was when he said, “The wars are over, we finally are at peace.” “new relatives.” When undocumented families found their way to our house, we helped them obtain needed documents which would allow them to wait in Canada or Venezuela before they could become U. S. Citizens. When I was old enough to buy a bicycle, my friends and I would set aside ‘quarters’ for trees in Israel. I had

an uncle who was a top sergeant in the second World War who went to Israel when the War of Independence started. When my uncle returned to Los Angeles, I remember how happy he was when he said, “The wars are over, we finally are at peace.” When the recent attack against Jews of all ages and Eastern locations started, we were fortunate that Israel was prepared and that the United States and Biden were prepared to support Israel. What is needed at this moment is peace on both sides. It is necessary to protect the peace on both sides. Peace is possible when we are in the business of helping one another. A

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Meet 2nd Sunday of the month 11:00 AM Veterans Association North County (VANC) 1617 Mission Ave, Oceanside, CA 92058

Members of the JFDA- Jewish funeral directors of America, KAVOD - (Independent/Family owned Jewish funeral directors) Consumer Affairs Funeral and Cemetery division

JWV is the oldest congresssionally commissioned veterans organization in America

For a list of currents services and additional info:

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Helen Azen – Coronado Shirley Eckstein – San Diego Regina Stadwiser – Encinitas Rosita Lazar – San Diego Fanny Krasner Lebovits – San Diego Hedva Suprun – Encinitas Judith West – La Jolla Cameron Weiss – Carlsbad Yvette Knafou – Encinitas Murray Etlin – Chula Vista

Ronald Feldman – Rancho Santa Fe Howard Kaye – Poway Jacob Askenazi – San Diego Dora Mizrahi – San Diego Mark Litvak – Spring Valley Semen Dadiomov – San Diego Joan Friedman – La Jolla David Sclar – San Diego Frida Avruchevskaya – San Marcos Justin Koldaro – San Diego

May their memory be a blessing. AM ISRAEL MORTUARY We Are San Diego’s ONLY All-Jewish Mortuary Serving the community for over 40 years.

On behalf of AM Israel Mortuary, We extend our condolences to the families of all those who have recently passed. The families of those listed above would like to inform the community of their passing.

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NEWS City of San Diego Water Treatment Plants Earn National Awards Miramar and Otay Facilities have been recognized for their superior water quality by the Partnership for Safe Water, a national alliance. Both of the awards are in a special category for maintaining quality for many years and of which only four plants in the country have received.

The Nat Celebrates Its Sesquicentennial Birthday in 2024 The San Diego Natural History Museum began in 1874 as the San Diego Society of Natural History. That group of amateur naturalists has evolved into the oldest scientific institution in Southern California. Today, the museum holds more than 8 million specimens and actively works on research and conservation.

San Diego Hunger Coalition announces new CEO Anahid Brakke passes the torch after nine years to Alondra Alvarado. Alvarado was previously the Director of Marketing and Communications for the San Diego Hunger Coalition. Prior to that she worked in the Tijuana and Baja governments.

For their 150th birthday, The Nat has unveiled some new features: • Free Birthday Admission: Visitors can enter the museum for free on one date of their choosing during their birthday month. • Merch-a-Month: One limited-edition merch item will be rolled out each month. • Nature Garden: A new native plant garden will be unveiled in early summer 2024. This exhibit is free to all visitors. • 150th Anniversary Exhibit: A new exhibition will display important milestones in the museum’s history. • A New Film: A brand new, 40-minute film has been commissioned by the museum that showcases a year in the life of San Diego’s flora and fauna.

City Council Proposes Amendments to Mayor Todd Gloria’s Housing Package Mayor Todd Gloria’s Housing Action Package 2.0 was rejected mid November by the City Council. The mayor and City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera issued a joint statement: “The package will include amendments aimed at achieving our shared goal of increasing housing opportunities for people of all income levels in all San Diego communities.

“The lack of affordable housing in San Diego is connected to every major challenge our city faces, and we must increase housing supply in order to bring down housing costs. This Housing Action Package will help us do that.” The amendments are suspected to be around development impact fees in construction and where and how

developers would build affordable units, though those were not specifically named in the statement. Those items are the expected amendments because during the original meeting when the package was rejected, the council president made a motion to pass the package with changes on those topics.

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Local Offerings BY EILEEN SONDAK


BROADWAY SAN DIEGO Broadway-San Diego will celebrate the season on Dec. 28 with Mannheim Steamroller Christmas. This Chip Davis show features classics with the Mannheim sound and eye-popping multimedia effects.

Jefferson McDonald and Matthew McGloin in 2 Pianos 4 Hands at North Coast Rep.


CYGNET THEATRE Cygnet Theatre’s version of “A Christmas Carol” is playing in the troupe’s Old Town Theater through Dec. 24. This is the eighth season for the holiday smash and Cygnet’s own Sean Murray is playing Scrooge.

LAMB’S PLAYERS THEATRE The Lamb’s Players Theatre will combine the casts of two recent hits (“Respect” and “Million Dollar Quartet”) to make one joyous holiday show. “Respectfully Christmas” will be ensconced at the Lamb’s Coronado home through Dec. 24.

42 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM December 2023

THROUGH DECEMBER 3: I’m Not a Comedian...I’m Lenny Bruce. DECEMBER 15-30: Back by popular demand is “2 Pianos 4 Hands.” The duo of Jefferson McDonald and Matthew McGloin blend comedy, storytelling and music.

SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF ART The San Diego Museum of Art’s current exhibition, “Korea in Color: A Legacy of Auspicious Images,” continues through Mar. 3. The Museum of Photographic Arts is highlighting James Balog: Photographs from Anthropocene through Mar. 10.

THE LA JOLLA MUSIC SOCIETY The La Jolla Music Society starts off the month with “The Magic of Bubbles” on Dec. 2 (as part of its Kids Series), followed on Dec. 3 by SeongJin Cho on the keyboard. Davina and The Vagabonds perform a holiday show on Dec. 6, followed on Dec. 7 by a free family Holiday Open House. Matthew Whitaker Quartet rounds out the month on Dec. 10.

Kim Chonghak, “Metamorphosed Peony,” 2006. Acrylic on canvas, ten-panel folding screen. 78 3/4 x 216 17/32 inches.

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART SAN DIEGO The Museum of Contemporary Art’s La Jolla location is featuring “Kelly Akashi: Formations” through Feb. 18, 2024. A bronze casting from “Kelly Akashi: Formations.”

THE OLD GLOBE The Old Globe’s Dr. Seuss yuletide favorite, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is back on the main stage for its 26th annual presentation. The gang from Who-ville will stay on to entertain children of all ages through Dec. 31. The Globe’s theater-in-the-round boasts the return of a holiday offering as well. “Ebenezer Scrooge’s Big San Diego Christmas Show” — a send‑up of the Dickens classic — will show off its family-friendly twist on the Dickens classic through Dec. 24.

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Food Dress Your Own Latke Party by Micah Siva

And just like that, Hanukkah is here! Although I’ll be preparing for a baby on the way this Hanukkah season, I’ve been celebrating the festival of lights since September with a build-it-yourself latke party! I take my go-to recipe for crispy latkes and offer a wide variety of toppings, from goat cheese and fresh figs, to avocado and pico de gallo. It’s a fun way to celebrate with a crowd! When it comes to making latkes, the trick is to get out as much of the starch from the potatoes as possible, making them irresistibly crispy. I like using the largest hole of a box grater to get wispy, crunchy edges. Russet potatoes are your best bet when it comes to latkes. The best part? Peeling is optional! MAKES 20-24 LATKES


• 3lb, about 6-7 russet potatoes


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.


Peel the potatoes, if desired. Shred with a box grater (on the largest holes) or a food processor; if using a food processor, quarter the potatoes, attach the shredding disc and shred the potatoes and onion.


Add the shredded potato and onion mixture to a clean kitchen towel, wringing out as much excess liquid as you can. Transfer the dried potatoes to a large bowl. Add the eggs, matzo meal, baking powder, salt and pepper, mixing to combine.


In a heavy, tall-sided skillet, heat ½ inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. You’ll know the oil is hot enough when you add a piece of potato and it sizzles immediately.


Scoop ¼ cup of the latke mixture into the pan, flattening with a spatula. Cook 4-5 latkes at a time. Fry for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden. Prep your desired toppings to serve.


Transfer the crispy latkes to the lined baking sheet, keeping them warm in the oven while you fry the remaining mixture. Repeat, adding more oil to the pan as needed and letting it heat up before adding more latkes.

• 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and trimmed • 2 large eggs • ¼ cup matzo meal • 2 tsp. kosher salt • 1 tsp. baking powder • ½ tsp. black pepper • Vegetable oil, for frying TOPPINGS • Applesauce • Goat cheese • Harissa • Pico de gallo • Hummus • Pomegranate seeds • Everything Bagel spices • Chopped chives

Kislev – Tevet 5784 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 45

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Tabatchnick Broth ea 32 oz., WHEN YOU BUY 4 OR MORE Selected PARTICIPATING ITEMS varieties Single Member Price: $7.99



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MEMBERSHIP NOT NEEDED IN ALBERTSONS STORES. Selection varies by store. While supplies last. No rainchecks. Sales in retail quantities only and we reserve the right to limit quantities. No sales to dealers, restaurants or institutions. Quantities are limited to inventory on hand and subject to availability. We reserve the right to correct typographical, pictorial and other ad or pricing errors. Prices for products you order through the online grocery ordering service generally are higher than the prices for such products in our physical stores and our online programs, promotions, savings, discounts and offers may differ from those in our physical stores. GL00209247_ROP_Chanukah2022_SanDiego_LChaim_Magazine_7.625X5.05

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A new film unspools the storied life of Jewish outsider artist and Nuremberg trials guard Nathan Hilu by Linda Buchwald, JTA News In the documentary film “Nathan-ism,” Jewish artist Nathan Hilu is hardly ever without a Sharpie or crayon in his hand, drawing something from his memories. Hilu was a Lower East Side native who, as a U.S. soldier at 19, was assigned to guard Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials. The experience left an indelible mark upon him: In the ensuing decades, Hilu processed these memories by obsessively creating art from this time in his life, often repeating the same images, simple figures with words written around them in a messy if compelling scribble.

In 2012, Tablet Magazine called Hilu the “most significant Jewish Outsider artist you’ve never heard of.” With the documentary, Israeli-American filmmaker and editor Elan Golod is hoping to change that. He’s spent the past eight years making “Nathan-ism,” which chronicles both Hilu’s daily life as a lonely, aging veteran and the history of the Nuremberg trials. The result is a movie that takes us inside the obsessive mind and cluttered apartment of a unique New York artist who is desperate for his story as a witness to one of the most significant trials in history to be heard.

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by Marnie Macauley, M.S. |

HUAC and the Blacklist My dear San Diegans: Given the massive rise in anti-Semitism worldwide, this Arts edition is a good place to revisit the horror of the Hollywood Blacklist that existed from the late 1940s to 1960, ruining the careers of actors, writers, directors and others in the arts, involving a large percentage of Jews. This was done on the basis of their membership in, alleged membership in, or sympathy with the Communist Party, or on the basis of their refusal to assist Congressional investigations into the party’s activities. Note: For the 1950 short documentary film about this, see “The Hollywood Ten.” In addition to losing work, the strain of Congressional hearings, betrayals and lost reputations also took the lives of some of those who were victims.

Background: HUAC Established in 1938, The House Un-American Activities Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives (HUAC) investigated allegations of communist activity in the U.S. during the early years of the Cold War. We might assume that given the post-War Soviet Red Menace, the intention was to flush out true active Soviet sympathizers and spies. However in this era of chaotic hysteria and paranoia, certain politicians and others, (such as Joe McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover, and Walt Disney) either took this as a “fortuitous” antiSemitic op, or simply rode the wave of

48 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM December 2023

insanity and subpoena power which was questioned constitutionally as violating free speech, and considered now, to have been, a witch-hunt. Bait was thrown, force and actual blackmail was used to extract testimony, true or not, from those questioned. No reasonable answer was acceptable. According to Joe Gilford, son of the late, great actor-comedian Jack Gilford, who was questioned by Congress, another big motive was to union bust, as unions were starting to form in Hollywoodland, he told the author in a phone interview. Joe — a screenwriter and playwright — wrote an awardwinning play, “The Finks” about this horrific time. Joe Gilford added that when questioned by HUAC, his parents took “three amendments: the 4th,the 8th as well as the 5th.” The 4th and 8th have to do with search and seizures, along with cruel and unusual punishment. “My parents were really defiant!” he chuckled, adding my first three words were “Mama,” ”Papa,” and “Fifth Amendment.” Few would disagree with ferreting out true spies devoted to the destruction of the U.S., but HUAC had expanded to using highly questionable methods with individuals who were simply “thought to be” or ”named” Communist sympathizers. Typically, an individual who raised the suspicions of HUAC received a subpoena to appear and was grilled about his or her political beliefs and activities and then asked to provide

the names of other people who had taken part in allegedly subversive activities. Any additional figures identified in this manner also received subpoenas, widening the committee’s probe. Simply, even the wafting suggestion of Communist affiliation, knowledge of others or friends of others made one suspect. Some, in fear, cooperated and “named names.” (The most famous were Elia Kazan, Budd Schulberg and Larry Parks). Others refused. Individuals who refused to answer the committee’s questions or to provide names could be indicted for contempt of Congress and sent to prison. Not wishing to get on the wrong side of Congress, most film industry executives imposed a strict blacklist policy against actors, directors, writers and other personnel implicated in Communist activity.

Hollywood Ten The first systematic Hollywood blacklist was instituted on November 25, 1947, the day after ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before HUAC. The contempt citation included a criminal charge, which led to a highly publicized trial and an eventual conviction with a maximum of one year in jail in addition to a $1,000 fine. The 10 were Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner Jr., John Howard Larson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian

Scott and Dalton Trumbo. They refused to cooperate with the investigation and used their HUAC appearances to denounce the committee’s tactics. All were cited for contempt of Congress and sentenced to prison terms, in addition to being blacklisted from working in Hollywood. The damage extended to over 300 people, some of whom lost their careers, even lives, on a mere implication. And again studios in fear cooperated, even without evidence. Many Jews were affected, some of whom were: Jack Gilford, actor and comedian; Madeline Lee, actor (his wife); Lillian Hellman, playwright and screenwriter; Larry Adler, actor and musician; Luther Adler, actor and director; Stella Adler, actor and teacher; Leonard Bernstein, composer and conductor; Abe Burrows, playwright and lyricist; Aaron Copland, composer; John Garfield, actor; “Yip” Harburg, lyricist; Judy Holliday, actor and comedian; Sam Jaffe, actor; Garson Kanin, writer and director; Arthur Laurents, writer;

Gypsy Rose Lee, actor and ecdysiast; Philip Loeb, actor; Arthur Miller, playwright; Jerome Robbins, musician and playwright; Zero Mostel, actor and comedian; Edward G. Robinson, actor; Sam Wanamaker, actor; Lee Grant, actor; J. Edgar Bromberg, actor; Norman Lloyd, actor. In April 1954, Senator McCarthy turned his attention to “exposing” the supposed communist infiltration of the armed services. Many people had been willing to overlook their discomfort with McCarthyism during the senator’s campaign against government employees and others they saw as “elites”; now, however, their support began to wane. Almost at once, the aura of invulnerability that had surrounded McCarthy for nearly five years began to disappear. First, the Army undermined the senator’s credibility by showing evidence that he had tried to win preferential treatment for his aides when they were drafted. Then came the fatal blow: the decision to broadcast the “Army-McCarthy” hearings on

1948 - PRESENT H





national television. The American people watched as McCarthy intimidated witnesses and offered evasive responses when questioned. When he attacked a young Army lawyer, the Army’s chief counsel thundered, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” The Army-McCarthy hearings struck many observers as a shameful moment in American politics.

Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin’s Fall: By the time the hearings were over, McCarthy had lost most of his allies. The Senate voted to condemn him for his “inexcusable,” “reprehensible,” “vulgar and insulting” conduct “unbecoming a senator.” He died in 1957 at the age of 48 of medical problems brought on by alcoholism. Said Joe Gilford: “We all recalled clearly a dark and fearful time — a decade, even two, spent scrambling to survive rather than acting or creating plays, television and movies. The pain and loss were a complete waste — totally unnecessary.” A





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May love and light fill your heart and home this holiday season.

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