November 2021

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H   anukkah 2021 Events Recipes Gift Guide

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First Light Sunday evening November 28 through Monday, December 6! 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, La Costa, La jolla, Oceanside/Vista, Pacific Beach, Poway, Rancho S. Fe, S. Marcos, SDSU, UCSD, University City 4 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM November 2021

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Cheshvan–Kislev 5782 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 5



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Features 24 Hanukkah Gift Guide 29 Chabad’s Youth Action Movement Teams Up with Resurf 33 Hanukkah Events


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9 From the Editor The Philosophical Questions of Naming Fake Meat

10 Israeli Lifestyle November’s Embrace 12 Religion Cultivating Desire 14 Personal Development and Judaism Powerful Yes 16 Examined Life Our Life Stories and “The Human Condition” 42 Advice The Truth About Hanukkah and Christmas

Departments 21 What’s Up Online 34 Local Offerings 37 Food 40 News

6 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM November 2021 ADVERTISING CIRCULATION & SUBSCRIPTIONS ART DEPARTMENT LISTINGS & CALENDAR SDJJ is published monthly by San Diego Jewish Journal, LLC. Subscription rate is $24 for one year (12 issues). Send subscription requests to SDJJ, 7742 Herschel Ave., Suite H, La Jolla, CA 92037. The San Diego Jewish Journal is a free and open forum for the expression of opinions. The opinions expressed herein are solely the opinion of the author and in no way reflect the opinions of the publishers, staff or advertisers. The San Diego Jewish Journal is not responsible for the accuracy of any and all information within advertisements. The San Diego Jewish Journal reserves the right to edit all submitted materials, including press releases, letters to the editor, articles and calendar listings for brevity and clarity. The Journal is not legally responsible for the accuracy of calendar or directory listings, nor is it responsible for possible postponements, cancellations or changes in venue. Manuscripts, letters, documents and photographs sent to the Journal become the physical property of the publication, which is not responsible for the return or loss of such material. All contents ©2021 by San Diego Jewish Journal. The San Diego Jewish Journal is a member of the American Jewish Press Association and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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The Philosophical Questions of Naming Fake Meat I’ve been vegetarian since 2018. I love food and I love talking about food and as food is a big component of social life, being vegetarian comes out early on meeting someone new. “Have you been to this new restaurant? Do you want to go this week?” “Let me check the menu first.” “Why?” “I want to make sure they have something I can have.” “...” “I’m vegetarian.” “Oh!” What continues to surprise me is how when I tell someone I don’t eat meat, they feel compelled to engage me in a discussion about that choice. They tell me if they think that sounds difficult or they tell me how they were vegan for a couple months or they tell me they could never do that. I feel pretty neutral towards this phenomenon. I don’t pass judgement on people’s food choices. I am not an evangelist trying to convert people. I follow the news and developments of new meat-alternatives as a passing interest. I have been incredibly loyal to my preferred meat alternative brand Quorn, so I am not necessarily trying every new product that comes out or eagerly awaiting any new ones. It seems that the biggest area of emphasis is on getting meat-eating customers to try these vegetarian products and less on expanding the options for vegetarians. When these producers talk about wanting to recreate the bloodiness of meat, I shudder slightly. The idea of lab-grown meat is interesting to me in the same way any new technology might be, but I don’t see myself ‘switching back’ for it. One such development has piqued my interest in the philosophical questions it has posed and that is Impossible Pork. The plant-based manufacturer most known for the Impossible Burger has moved into making an alternative of a different animal. Impossible Pork, though not containing any animal products, will not be certified as kosher while the Impossible Burger was. Rabbi Menachem Genack, the CEO of the Orthodox Union’s kosher division is quoted in a JTA article, “The Impossible Pork, we didn’t give an ‘OU’ to it, not because it wasn’t kosher per se. It may indeed be completely in terms of its ingredients: If it’s completely plant-derived, it’s kosher. Just in terms of sensitivities to the consumer. .. it didn’t get it.” This implies to me that this decision was made with the people who don’t currently eat pork in mind rather than focusing on trying to convert meat-eating customers. Just

as I am not interested in fake meat that bleeds due to the ick factor, the association with the word ‘pork’ conjures the same response for some. In the aforementioned JTA article, it is explained that the OU’s kosher division discussed their decision with Impossible Foods and Impossible Foods decided to keep the term “pork” over changing it to possibly receive kosher certification. I would imagine part of that decision had in mind that alternatives like “Impossible Fake Pig Product” or “Impossible Pig-Like Meat Grounds” would also offend the “sensitivities of the consumer” and be so viscerally uncomfortable and unappetizing it would be a commercial liability. I think this speaks to the emotional side of food. Our decisions regarding food are not wholly rational, they are often informed by tradition or many visceral intangibles. (And of course, religion.) My guess would be that some people that keep kosher will try Impossible Pork despite the name and that some will not as the whole idea is unappetizing to them. I think as more and more different kinds of new and innovative foods show up in our grocery stores and restaurants, we will be faced with more questions like these. Will lab-grown meat be considered kosher? Will it be considered vegan? What we eat is deeply personal. Why we eat what we do is not because of one simple answer. It has to do with religion, tradition, culture, climate, socio-economic status, health and of course taste. Throughout this article, I’ve used the word “convert” to talk about changing from being a meat-eater to vegetarian. In my mind it seems the most accurate because it implies a sense of permanence and commitment. And I think it parallels how closely people hold those choices to their identities. It runs the spectrum from totally orthodox to completely casual. We all know vegan evangelists and people that just cut out meat a couple days a week. To some that diet choice is an integral part of their self image and to some it is no more than the choice of what pants they put on that morning. A

Cheshvan–Kislev 5782 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 9


LIVING ON THE FRONT PAGE by Andrea Simantov |

November’s Embrace Despite what that page between August and October indicates, the month of September doesn’t exist in Israel; at least not in the traditional way. Days are spent in a near frenzy as people clean, shop, cook, cater, nap and start again. Children are barely in school and the term acharei hachagim (after the holidays) is a national mantra, uttered by Jew and Arab alike. No one is impervious or unaffected. I’d agonized over prayers, meal plans, pre-and-post fast sustenance, sukkah building, food schlepping, budgeting, energy depletion, staying in touch, losing touch, sukkah de-construction and — the elephant in the room — Covid. Preparing for chag almost made life feel normal until the requisite synagogue-rules appeared on Whatsapp and Facebook groups with warnings about masks, green-passes, serological testing, social distancing and quotas at recreational activities. It all felt so wearying, familiar and bleak. Who wants to enter the year 5782 with anything less than gratitude and the expectation of miracles? This is why, when I was supposed to be writing an article, folding laundry or checking my credit card statement, I instead Googled information about post-holiday blues and whether or not it was a real phenomenon or another made-up ailment to add to my list of reasons why I should apply for disability payments from the dwindling government coffers. Ergo, I made two

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alarming discoveries: 1) The government would give me bubkes; and 2) the afterholiday funk is a real thing. It is not all in my head! The good (great?) news is that the aforementioned doldrums were easy to identify, recover from and toss in the trash heap along with undercooked matzo balls and tacky sukkah decorations. The morning of the week after, I crawled to the gym with my trusty earphones and a menu of new murder-mystery podcasts that cropped-up during my month of prayer. I slogged atop the treadmill, barely broke a sweat and envisioned a diet of clean eating and recommitment to healthy living. As winter descends on Israel, it is hard to ignore the sharp change in weather. Okay, we rarely need parkas and snowshoes but until November, there is little to no rain. We endure eight months of blazing desert sun that bakes the land and covers all surfaces with thick dirt and dust. Still, emerging from a period of malaise and into a season of cleansing that falls from the sky allows us to recognize that prayers also change from entreaties borne of ‘personal want’ to the more meditative intonations that coincide with the rhythm of the season.

One recent morning, aware that I’d emerged unscathed from the aforementioned post-holiday funk, I walked the dog as the first winter rain fell. It evoked feelings of humility and gratitude. In the 5:30 a.m. darkness, a woman’s voice, cracked with age, called out from the adjacent bus stop. I’d noticed her before. “Why are you always up so early?” she asked. ‘I write in the morning but walk the dog first so that she won’t bother me for a few hours,’ came my jovial reply. ‘Why are you up so early?’ “I go to the shuk when they unload the trucks. The vendors give me unsold bread and produce from the day before.” Our lives are defined by the choices that we make including reveling in the changes of seasons, engaging in sincere prayer and practicing physical wellness. Wisdom awaits, but only when we recognize majestic moments that await discovery in the shuk, a weathered sukkah, or bus stop at dawn. A

We’re here for you. The COVID-19 pandemic brought additional challenges to thousands of families already struggling to make ends meet. As the financial effects continue to be felt throughout our community, more of our neighbors will need support to move forward.

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POST-POLITICAL by Rabbi Jacob Rupp |

Cultivating Desire The recent HBO show “Scenes From a Marriage” created a great deal of publicity around the topic of relationships and marriage, much like its predecessor did in the early 1970s. In order to keep this a family column, I will speak in generalities. As Biggie said, “If you don’t know, now you know.” In short, the series explores the dynamic in a relationship when one partner finds themselves completely enraptured by a relationship with another. Spoiler alert: while the relationship dynamics between the couple change, what emerges is a discussion of “me” versus “us” and what “I need” versus “what I should do.” So challenging to the concept of stability and familiarity present in a long-term marriage is the experience of being awakened by a powerful and magnetic desire that is so pure, strong and powerful that it makes everything else pale in comparison. Some may relate to this, others may not. Some may hope/pray that they never experience this profound sense of desire for another and some may feel like life is flat without it. The fact that a show creates so much social commentary, however, suggests that there is something that resonates. We live much of our lives in either a logical or unconscious state: This makes sense, so let’s do it or we’ve already been doing this for so long, so let’s keep going.

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Often when we encounter something that breaks us out of our normal state, we don’t even know how to deal with it. We engage in behaviors that don’t make sense. We can’t justify it. We tell ourselves “people like me don’t do things like that.” But then we do. And then there is destruction. And then construction ensues. Personally, I find it shocking to me how easy it is to be close-minded and then when you find yourself in proximity to things that we used to demonize or criticize — perhaps we are even engaged in it — you don’t know what to do. Call it a crisis of identity. I was a fat guy until I wasn’t. I was a healthy eater until I stuffed myself with cookies. I was a poor guy until I wasn’t. I was not religiously observant until I was and then I wasn’t and then I was. Most people stay comfortably numb. I don’t have much to say for these people except that they live vicariously through the exciting lives of others. But for those that are willing to play with the fire, to venture into the unknown, here’s a few tips. Number one: avoid identity. Avoid telling yourself you’re one way. I see it a lot as my wife and I coach people to build businesses that never did before. So often we get “Oh I’d never do that.” “I can’t solve that.” “I need someone to help me do that.” If you tell yourself you’re one thing, you will subconsciously always go back to that. The fat person will regain their

weight unless they change their identity to a healthy person. The more you can try to move from a fixed identity to a fluid one helps. Nothing (besides G-d) “is” forever; it is just the way it is now. It’s fluid. It’s flexible. It can be changed. For those seeking change, oftentimes it helps for us to “fall into something.” “Fall into a great job.” “Fall in love.” In essence, engage and experience without being intentional. But all too often, this doesn’t allow us to a) understand what we really want and b) actually get it. Creating clarity is crucial. Once you accept you aren’t some uniform identity, but could become whatever you want, start to think: what do I want? What relationship do I want? What kind of body? What kind of finances? Get clear. Think about it and be specific. Once you’ve settled on something specific, you want to really think about it a lot. Make it tangible. Surround yourself with the vision. All of these things create the desire to achieve it. Create the possibility of having it. As you drop more into creating your desire for your outcome, you become motivated to seek it out and create it. In many ways, it almost chases you. Granted it is scary and it pushes you because what you want is on the other side of your comfort zone. But to those that seek — the path is exciting. A

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THIS WAY TO EDEN by Rachel Eden |

Powerful Yes My son is currently in the throes of Science Fair research. His project answers questions around the psychology of motivation. What motivates people? What allows them to persevere in the face of challenge? What causes them to quit or feel discouraged? I find myself asking him for updates each day, not as a diligent helicopter mom securing elite academic programs for his future, but because I’m genuinely fascinated by the subject matter. One of my coaches coined the term “mama bear cause” to distinguish a motivating interest so great, it silences all voices of fear or insecurity. A “mama bear cause” describes one’s pursuit of raising millions of dollars to feed the homeless or travel across states or oceans to serve the needy. I simply call it a Mission or a Powerful Yes. Born in 1929, Billy Waugh is a former United States Army Special Forces soldier who served more than 50 years in the Green Berets and the CIA’s Special Activities Division. Waugh’s résumé smacks of action movie antics–heroics that transcend most standards of excellence even in esteemed military circles. In 1965, he participated in a commando raid on a North Vietnamese Army encampment. His unit suddenly found itself engaged with a much larger enemy force than expected (expected 400; met with 4,000). While he and his men attempted to retreat from the battle, Waugh sustained severe wounds to his legs and a bullet to the forehead. He

14 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM November 2021

was unconscious and taken for dead as enemy soldiers stripped him of a watch, his gear and his clothing. Miraculously, his comrades’ helicopter swooped in much later to check for survivors and saved him. That near-death experience offered a dignified escape route from the military, but Waugh had little interest in leaving. A year after recuperating from his critical injuries, Waugh returned to duty with 5th Special Forces Group. While most seniors enjoy retirement, Billy Waugh, at the age of 71, was hunting for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and fighting Taliban militants in Operation Enduring Freedom. John Rambo had nothing on Billy Waugh. Waugh had no military superpowers. He was a limited human being who was willing to risk death countless times, get up and keep going. He embodied grit and resilience. He had a mama bear cause. He had a mission. He was unstoppable. In his own words: “If the mind is good and the body is able, you keep on going if you enjoy it. Once you get used to that, you’re not about to quit. How could you want to do anything else?” Waugh has his Powerful Yes and it drives him to this very day. Gelly Asovski worked as a therapist for 20 years when Covid hit. Like many struck 18 months ago, she didn’t just get sick. She got really sick. Her lungs were functioning at a fraction of capacity, she was feverish and bedridden. Despite her serious condition, she was warned not to

go to the hospital as resources were at an all-time low. She languished in bed for two months, in and out of consciousness. She didn’t know how close to death’s door she was at the time, but she didn’t have the awareness to worry about it. When the media began publishing a spike in domestic abuse due to the stressors of quarantine, Gelly was moved despite her diminished state. Weak and struggling to breathe, she made a decision. She would start a business while dying. So, “Parenting with Gelly” was born as Gelly was about to die. Gelly understood that parents and kids were homebound and tensions were bound to run high. Consequently, so was abuse and trauma. Gelly would have none of it. She saved up energy all day until she had five precious minutes that she could record herself on social media to offer educational content. She practiced this daily. When she gained enough strength to make a phone call and offer her services virtually, she did. Any lucid moments she had, she spent building a landing page for her new business and fortifying her incredible mission: to reach one million parents and children. One million parents and children is a lofty goal but one million parents and children while at death’s door? She made it sound like a no-brainer: “When you’re dying, you’re like a baby. Just purely connected to what you were put in this world to do. None of the fears or continues on page 18 >>

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by Saul Levine, M.D., Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry at UCSD |

Our Life Stories and “The Human Condition” The phrase, “The Human Condition,” has always fascinated me. It was coined in 1958 by the political thinker Hanna Arendt and summarizes for me the complexities and both the rewarding and difficult experiences of being a human being. Of all earthly creatures, only we humans can describe through words our sensed perceptions, thoughts and feelings and convey the touching stories of our lives. Our cognitive and verbal powers enable us to consciously experience, exult and endure. Our life stories are unique and diverse yet they all contain compelling narratives of drama and romance, pain and disappointment, joys and achievements. There are oft-asked questions as to whether the “Human Condition” is a serious affliction with which we cope or endure, or conversely, whether it is a privilege and blessing for which we should be grateful and enjoy? The answer is, of course, both. We have wide ranges of emotions at different times, from love to hate, camaraderie to rancor, generosity to selfishness and celebration to sadness. We can keep our personal feelings and thoughts private, ‘locked’ in our private cerebral ‘vaults,’ or we can choose to share (or not) our stories with chosen confidantes. As a psychiatrist I am interested in diagnoses and treatments, but I’m

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particularly moved by the varied stories of peoples’ lives. My career has allowed me the privilege of learning about others’ fears, loves, hopes and meaningful relationships. I was motivated to work with and help people with psychological and emotional challenges. I was also captivated by the mysterious workings of the human mind (my own included), the places it takes one, the emotions it stirs and the dreams it produces. It is an intellectually challenging area of study, enabling clinical work, education, research and writing. Personal experiences also influenced my career choice: I had a brother born with severe autism, my mother had recurrent depressions, a close classmate had committed suicide and to be sure, I harbored my own self-doubts and anxieties. I first became interested in life stories from my parents whose lives were like multicolored tapestries, dark narratives of early poverty, Anti-Semitism, immigration and strife, as well as later colorful tales of family, accomplishments and generativity. I’ve thus been fortunate to ‘accompany’ people on parts of their journeys, which are always moving stories. I am always struck by the uniqueness of life stories, the diverse personalities we inhabit, the dramas and challenges we face and the loves and joys we experience. Our brief life

journeys are unpredictable, complex and moving. We humans are a social species and in these roiling times of conflicts, viruses and uncertainties abounding in our lives, we need each other more than ever. An important paradox (and sad tragedy) is that at the very time in human existence when we are “hyperconnected” by the internet and social media, we frequently lead intensely private and even lonely lives. The sad fact is we are now less emotionally connected, more alienated, even estranged from each other. We are a social species, and we thrive on “social cohesion,” our relationships with others. Our mutual sharing of feelings and ideas are vital to our wellbeing, but we are too often isolated and disconnected that we have little meaningful time to spend with each other. We are so preoccupied that we haven’t the time or the interest to listen and really hear each other. The Human Condition is complex: We can live in atmospheres of isolation, camaraderie or enmity. We can experience mutual cooperation, tolerance and love, or we can succumb to the negative parts of our natures, like intolerance, aggression, racism and hatred. We can live our lives in an avoidance bubble, in relative solitude and private discordance, or we can live in social atmospheres of communality and harmony. continues on page 18 >>

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Personal Development & Judaism continued insecurities that it might not work mattered at all.” Gelly had her Powerful Yes. Currently, Gelly’s health is better and her business is contracted by significant government agencies and institutions. She is well on her way to a million. The truth is, Gelly Asovski and Billy Waugh are no less lazy and possibly no more talented than the rest of us. They are simply all-in on their missions. They have a cause that matters so much to them, they will keep at it — even and especially while at death’s door. Science Fair results aside (though stay tuned!), there is no greater motivator than Mission. A

Examined Life continued The Human Condition can be our salvation or our curse. I yearn for when it is less a metaphor for a psychological ‘mixed bag’ of the supportive and the bad parts of humanity and more a description of how we have transcended our harmful frailties and faults. We have shown that we can evolve to better versions of ourselves. I believe we can achieve a mutually humane and benevolent existence and leave a positive Emotional Footprint. The very nature of our life stories depends on how we live, work and play together, or how we fail to do so. A

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From Judeo-Greek to Karaim, Oxford courses on 12 rare Jewish languages aim to keep heritages alive In April, the language-learning app Duolingo added its 40th language to its program arsenal: Yiddish. A couple of decades ago, it would have been unthinkable for a mainstream non-Jewish language program to offer

an expansive, comprehensive course in Yiddish. But Duolingo’s Yiddish addition only serves to reflect the increased global interest in learning a language that once had as many as 12 million speakers. Ladino, a Romance language of Sephardic Jews still spoken by hundreds of thousands worldwide, has also garnered much interest in recent years. Ladino classes, both online and in-person, are widely available to prospective learners. But while those two Jewish languages are enjoying a cultural renaissance, many others — ones spoken in Crimea, Baghdad, Baku and beyond, which have both miraculously survived and succumbed to tumultuous periods in world history — have remained largely inaccessible to interested learners. This month, that’s changing.

For Orthodox Jews and Israelis, WhatsApp outage highlighted basic community infrastructure — and its vulnerability

A Brazilian-Lebanese-Jewish playwright explores the nostalgic Beirut of his family’s past

Asher Lovy was expecting a flood of notifications on Monday morning when he posted information about a sexual abuse case to several WhatsApp chat groups devoted to tracking the work of his organization, which provides support to survivors of sexual abuse within the Orthodox community.

Growing up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Victor Esses’ Jewish parents told him stories about life in their native Lebanon, which they fled before he was born.

Instead, he heard nothing. WhatsApp, the Facebookowned messaging app he uses, was down, along with Facebook and Instagram, three of the most widely used social platforms in the world. “We have people contacting us on WhatsApp to get referrals for resources for therapists or lawyers, or just to talk and receive support,” Lovy said. “I get texts at 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock in the morning from people in crisis who need support or resources, who do they reach out to if not us? ...The thought of Whatsapp going down on Shabbos is terrifying.”

He was told that the Mediterranean smelled better than the South Atlantic. His father swore that Lebanese nuts were better than the famed Brazilian ones. Lebanon “didn’t feel like a real place to me,” Esses said. “It was like folklore.” Esses’ father left Beirut in 1967, as the climate soured against Lebanon’s Jewish community, following Arab defeat in the Six Day War with Israel. By the time his mother’s family left in 1975, Lebanon had careened into civil war. Neither parent has ever returned.


Cheshvan–Kislev 5782 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 21

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by Nathalie Feingold

Hanukkah candle

Close your eyes and imagine gathering around the menorah with loved ones, eating delicious latkes paired with applesauce and jelly donuts. Now imagine all that, but in candle form. This scent, aptly named Latkes and Lights, is sure to remind you of that feeling — it’s Hanukkah in a candle! Available for purchase on

24 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM November 2021

Jewish cookbook

“Jew-ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch.” This recent New York Times bestseller is the perfect Hanukkah gift for food-lovers. In this mouthwatering cookbook, Jake Cohen artfully puts his own unique twist on classic Jewish recipes.

Hanukkah salad plates

These elegant table settings are guaranteed to catch the eye of friends and family at this year’s Hanukkah. Pottery Barn’s stoneware salad plates are full of symbolism, centering around a soft blue Star of David and a Tree of Life leaf pattern.


Chocolate Zabar’s gift box

This Zabar’s Hanukkah Gift Box has it all! Includes an assortment of blue and white cookies, chocolate babka, gelt, dreidels and more– from New York’s iconic Zabar’s. Available for purchase on, this is the perfect gift for an East Coaster living in San Diego!

Olive oil

Enzo’s Table offers the practical yet luxurious gift of gourmet olive oil. A great gift for people who love to cook. Shoppers can choose from several of Enzo’s extra virgin olive oil flavors (including basil and garlic infused), as well as the option to buy in bulk from

If you’re sick of gelt, give these festive chocolate nonpareils a try. These Hanukkah-themed confections are handmade in Brooklyn and are available in both milk and dark chocolate from

Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times by Jonathan Sacks

Chagall painting book

A stunning gift for all who appreciate art — or all who are looking for a timeless coffee table book. “Chagall” features the work of influential Jewish artist Marc Chagall. As a plus, Chagall’s abundant use of the color blue is guaranteed to match your Hanukkah table settings!

Leonard Cohen vinyl

A copy of “Various Positions,” Leonard Cohen’s 1985 album, will be right at home with music fans. The album features classics ranging from “Hallelujah” to “Dance Me to the End of Love” and, as any music-lover will tell you, it simply sounds better on vinyl.

“Morality” by Jonathan Sacks was rated the Book of the Year by the National Jewish Book Awards in 2020 and therefore, it must be included in our gift guide. The award‑winning book is Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’ final book and, according to the Jewish Book Council will, “ground Sacks’ legacy as one of the great Jewish thinkers of the twenty-first century.”

continues on next page >>

Cheshvan–Kislev 5782 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 25

Hanukkah Gift Guide  continued

Dreidel The Disordered Cosmos

“The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey Into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred” is written by leading physicist Chanda PrescodWeinstein, a Black and Jewish woman. This 2021 thought-provoking book offers a fresh and unique perspective into the world of science and is great for lovers of space and physics.

Funny Hanukkah shirts

A funny gift for the whole family! This Etsy bestseller offers creative T-shirts in over 10 different designs, all inspired by classic Jewish cuisine. The designs range from Brisket to Matzo Balls to Kugel, plus many more. The whole family can match this Hanukkah because these shirts come in sizes ranging from infant to adult. The shirts are available on Etsy from seller “BootsTees.”

26 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM November 2021

Notes from the Bathroom Line Our gift guide also includes a more humorous book option, titled: “Notes from the Bathroom Line.” This collection of stories, assembled by Jewish producer Amy Solomon, includes never-before-seen contributions from 150 of today’s funniest women in comedy, from Maria Bamford to Rachel Bloom to Chelsea Peretti.

This Hanukkah staple is good gift for a toddler. This Pottery Barn Kids set includes a dreidel and 20 coins crafted from solid wood.

American Girl Doll Hanukkah Outfit

American Girl Doll released a Hanukkah outfit set just in time for the holidays! Now your child can dress their favorite doll in attire that matches the ocassion. The set includes a navy blue velvet dress with a sparkly hem, a Star of David necklace and sparkly shoes and headband to match!

Hebrew initial necklace

This 14 Karat gold Hebrew initial necklace is a lovely personalized gift for your loved ones! Shoppers can choose from several Hebrew initials — spanning from Alef to Tav, as well as the choice of yellow or white gold. The necklace is available on — make sure to order four weeks in advance because each necklace is individually crafted by an artist before it is sent out.

Coming of Age: 13 B’nai Mitzvah Stories

The stories of 13 different characters preparing for their b’nai mitzvah. The book is set to be published in May 2022 and features several authors, including a local author from San Diego.

Cheshvan–Kislev 5782 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 27

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28 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM November 2021



Chabad’s Youth Action Movement Teams Up with ReSurf How one mentorship program is democratizing surfing by Kayla Swartzberg Surfing is a way of life in San Diego. There’s a beauty to surfing, no doubt: it’s healthy, and fun and freeing. It takes patience, power, perseverance. Perhaps that’s why people fall in love with it. Perhaps that’s why people are transformed by it. But it’s pay-to-play. Many people can’t afford the equipment, training sessions and travel to the beach, therefore limiting the sport to a select few. ReSurf is trying to change that. ReSurf is a sustainable mentorship program that teaches surfing to inner-city youth. Since 2017, ReSurf has partnered with the Logan Memorial Educational Campus to provide surfing lessons, wetsuits and surfboards to the students. This is made possible with the help of the Surf Diva

Surf School in La Jolla Shores and teen volunteers from Chabad’s Youth Action Movement (YAM). Ms. Rosie Vazquez, the school counselor at Logan, said that ReSurf has been “extremely powerful” for her students. “These kids are at risk of not completing their education, they are in a bad element,” she explains. “[Because of ReSurf ], I’ve noticed an increase in grades, and a decrease in behavioral issues.” In short, “I can see the transformation.” By learning how to surf, the students gain more confidence and — as Ms. Vazquez notes — are “looking forward to the next go-around” of ReSurf. “It’s rewarding for me to see,” she added.

And to CEO Rabbi Zevi New of the Youth Action Movement, the reward is in the kindness, “ReSurf creates a sustainable kindness that is the core of Tikkun Olam,” he said. “It’s less about seeing the world as problematic and more about seeing yourself as the solution,” he said. As a leader in Tikkun Olam efforts, Rabbi Zevi has been instrumental in the West Coast creation of ReSurf. Inspired by ReSurf in New York, he introduced the program’s concept to his teens at the Youth Action Movement. He asked them, “How did you feel when you caught your first wave?” He recalled that the teens all smiled, basking in “that nostalgia.” Rabbi Zevi continues on next page >>

Cheshvan–Kislev 5782 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 29

Resurf  continued then encouraged them to give others that same beautiful experience and joy. “Times ten,” he added. From there, it was smooth sailing. “These teen volunteer surfers had no idea that surfing could be something you could pay forward,” Rabbi Zevi said, “until they got introduced to ReSurf.” One teen in particular, David Feldman, found much meaning in the experience. “I’m really grateful to have been able to give [the students] what I love to do most,” he said. “Surfing has changed my life and I’m hoping it can be a new lifechanging asset for them.” Ms. Vazquez noted that her students seemed empowered from tackling and accomplishing something new and from the pictures she could see how happy they were for the experience. It’s hard to tell who is having more fun: the students or the volunteers. Julian Davis, a lead teen volunteer for

ReSurf and YAM alum, recalled that “ReSurf was one of my first forays into community service and I found that I enjoyed spending my time working on something that would benefit other people.” Since then, Davis has been passionate about climate change and the environment.

ReSurf isn’t just an initiative for surfers. Many ReSurf volunteers are photographers, videographers and artists who help decorate the surfboards that are eventually given to the students. “There’s one student who was learning remotely the entire year,” Rabbi Zevi said, “She was struggling with isolation. Once she heard about ReSurf through [Ms. Vazquez], right away she said, ‘Mom, I’m going surfing.’ She was the one who was pushing the instructor — she wanted bigger waves! We gifted her a board and now she is well on her way to building on those skills.” This is the true essence of sustainable kindness. And the goodness continues: “My students always come up to me asking, ‘Ms. Vazquez, Ms. Vazquez, when are we going to surf?” Ms. Vazquez remarked, “and the parents can’t thank me enough.” A

Happy Chanukah! Prices effective Sunday, November 7 through Wednesday, December 8, 2021.





6 oz. Selected varieties


99 ea


Member Price


49 ea

Manischewitz WHEN YOU BUY 5 OR MORE Egg Noodles

PARTICIPATING ITEMS 12 oz. Single Member Price: $3.49 Selected varieties


49 ea

Golden WHEN YOU BUY 5 OR MORE Pancakes

12-13.5 oz. PARTICIPATING ITEMS Single Member Price: $4.99 Selected varieties

Streit’s Potato Pancake Mix

Tabatchnick Soup

6 oz. Selected varieties

15 oz. Selected varieties


49 ea





Manischewitz Potato Pancake Mix


99 ea


WHEN YOU BUY 5 OR MORE Blintzes PARTICIPATING ITEMS 13.5 oz. Single Member Price: $6.49 Selected varieties


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Elite Coins 0.53 oz. Selected varieties

Promised Land Chanukah Candles 44 ct. Selected varieties




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Bartenura Moscato d’Asti 750 ml. Mix or Match

999 ea

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Single Member Price: $11.10 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. GL00175230_ROP_Chanukah2021_SD_JewishJournal_OC_JewishLife_7.375X4.9

30 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM November 2021

2021-2022 SEASON


Michelle Bradley

Arturo Chacón-Cruz

A Celebration of Songs and Spirituals

An Evening of Opera Favorites, Zarzuela and Mariachi

Saturday, November 20, 2021 7:30 PM Sunday, November 21, 2021 4:00 PM Baker-Baum Recital Hall at The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center

Friday, December 3, 2021 7:30PM California Center for the Arts, Escondido



Hanukkah Events

by Nathalie Feingold Hanukkah Happening: Josh and the Jamtones Concert and Community Shuk with Lawrence Family JCC

Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. Outdoors at LFJCC The Lawrence Family JCC’s Hanukkah Happening celebration includes a live family-friendly performance, dancing, a stroll through the Shuk, crafts, games and shopping! Visit for more information.

Hanukkah Party at Lawrence Family JCC

Nov. 30, 12 p.m. In-person Enjoy home-made latkes with entertainment. Visit for more information.

Chanukah Party with Chabad at La Costa

Erev Shabbat Chanukah Service with Congregation Beth Israel

Dec. 3 at 6:15 p.m. at Beth Israel Welcome Shabbat with an inspirational service open to all in the Glickman-Galinson Sanctuary.”For more information, visit

Chai 20’s & 30’s Shabbat Hanukkah Dinner with Congregation Beth El

Dec. 3, 6:15 p.m. Join Congregation Beth El for a celebratory Shabbat Dinner where guests can sample traditional Hanukkah foods and light the candles with the Chai community. Registration is required; for more information, contact or visit

Nov. 30 at 4 p.m. at The Forum Carlsbad Chabad at La Costa is hosting a Chanukah party with latkes, donuts, crafts, music, menorah lighting and more! For more information, visit

JCo’s Chanukah Shabbat

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights with Lawrence Family JCC

Hanukkah Service & Luncheon-Shabbat with Kehilat Ariel Messianic Synagogue

Dec. 1 at 3 p.m. Virtual Eight female Jewish artists across several mediums will share pieces inspired by Hanukkiot from the MFA Judaic collection. Visit for more information.

Friday Night Hanukkah Dinner with Chabad at La Costa

Dec. 3 at 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. in-person and via Zoom Visit or email admin@jcosd.come for more information.

Dec. 4 at 10:30 a.m. at 5185 Acuna St. Visit for more information.

D.Z. Akin’s Hanukkah Dinner

D.Z. Akin’s is offering a Hanukkah meal including latkes, brisket, kugels and Sufganiyot. For more information, visit

Jewish Encinitas Festival of Lights Block Party

Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. at Chabad of Encinitas For more information and RSVP, visit Cheshvan–Kislev 5782 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 33

Local Offerings Coronado Playhouse All content is on NOV. 5-DEC. 12.: Clue | In-Person The classic board game comes to life on stage at the Coronado Playhouse. Watch as Miss Scarlett, Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White, Mr. Green and Colonel Mustard try to uncover who among them is a murderer.

North Coast Repertory Theatre ▲ “To The Yellow House” at La Jolla Playhouse.

La Jolla Playhouse All content is available at

Patrons must be fully vaccinated or show a negative PCR test result within 48 hours of the performance. NOV. 16-DEC. 12: To the Yellow House | Weiss Theatre Brought to you by playwright Kimber Lee and director Neel Keller, this world-premiere tells the story of melancholic artist Vincent Van Gogh in Paris. “A meditation on love, art and not being popular.”

The Old Globe All content is available at

Patrons must be fully vaccinated or show a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of the performance. THRU NOV. 7: Shutter Sisters | In-Person This Globe-commissioned world premiere tells the story of two women living parallel lives on the hardest days of their lives. THRU NOV. 23 : Krapp’s Last Tape | Online This is a free digital production of Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett’s 1958 short play. Available for streaming on the Globe’s YouTube channel.

All content is available on

Patrons must be fully vaccinated or show a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of the performance. THRU NOV. 14: Ben Butler | In-Person A comedic battle of wits set during the Civil War. NOV. 2, 7:30 p.m.: Tuesday Night Comics | In-Person A night of comedy presented by Prayer Dudz and hosted by San Diego Critics Circle Outstanding Actor of the Year Mark Christopher Lawrence. NOV. 8-9, 7:30 p.m.: Jay Johnson: The Two and Only | In-Person Jay Johnson unconventionally uses ventriloquism to take you on a heartfelt journey of a young man following his dreams. NOV. 15-16, 7:30 p.m.: Marilu Henner: Music and Memories | In-Person Marilu Henner, known from her roles in “Taxi,” “Grease” and “Chicago!” will regale the audience with stories from her decades-long career filled with Broadway shows, movies and sitcoms.

San Diego Repertory Theatre All content is available on

Patrons must be fully vaccinated or show a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of the performance.

▲ Shana Wride and Terry Burrell in “Shutter Sisters.”

34 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM November 2021

NOV. 18-DEC. 5: She the People | Lyceum Stage This play is entirely created, designed and performed by the women of The Second City. “She the People” satirizes the reality of being a woman in today’s world and has received high acclaim from the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune.

San Diego Symphony

San Diego Museum of Art

All content is available on

All content is available on

ONGOING: Inaugural Season | In-Person at the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park

NOV. 6, 10 A.M.: Modern & Contemporary Art from India: New Narratives for the New Millenium - Contemporary Art from India | Online The final lecture of the South Asian Arts Council’s fourpart series on Modern & Contemporary Art from India. Look at paintings, installations and video works from 21 different artists. Reserve your spot online, space is limited.

NOV. 5-6: Beethoven, Bartók & Biss NOV. 7, 5 P.M.: Luck Be a Lady: Ted Sperling Celebrates the Songs of Frank Loesser NOV. 13-14, 5 P.M.: Edo De Waart & the Russian Romantics

NOV 9, 7 P.M.: Art of Elan: Nostalgia | In-Person In it’s 15th season, this program takes inspiration from the “Paintings from the Confinement” installation by San Diego based artist Marianela de la Hoz. Purchase tickets online.

The Reuben Fleet Science Center All content is on and requires registration. ▲

Edo De Waart & the Russian Romantics at the Rady Shell.

La Jolla Music Society All content is available on

Patrons must provide proof of vaccination or wear a mask at all times. NOV. 6.: Jazzy Ash & the Leaping Lizards | The JAI Part of ConRAD Kids series. Jazzy Ash will share her music inspired by her mother’s hometown of New Orleans and her father’s Trinidadian heritage. The performance will feature live ukulele, guitar, banjo, accordion, fiddle, bass, trombone, saxophone, washboard and drums. NOV. 10, 8 P.M.: Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang | Balboa Theatre Enjoy a duo performance that the Washington Post called, “an evening of the highest-level of music making... one of the grand events of the season.” NOV. 19, 7:30 P.M.: C’est La Vie | The Baker-Baum Concert Hall Enjoy an evening of French music presented by Camarada. The performance features the harp, flute, string trio and piano.

NOV. 1, 10:30 A.M.: Sharp Minds | In-person Learn about how our diet affects the microbiomes in our bodies with “Our Dynamic Microbiomes and the Brain.” Followed by a screening of “Volcanoes” at noon. NOV. 3, 7 P.M.: LIVE Sky Tonight | In-person This discussion centers on interplanetary debris and what we can learn about our solar system from studying asteroids. NOV. 4, 9 A.M.: Young Scientists | Online and in-person A preschool science program for hands-on science and learning experiences. NOV. 8, 6:30 P.M.: Suds & Science | Online and in-person

San Diego Natural History Museum All content is on NOV. 3-7: 6th Annual San Quintín Bay Bird Festival | Hybrid Join Terra Peninsular and the Nat to promote biodiversity and the conservation of California shorebirds. NOV. 6, 14, 16, 21: Nature Hike | In-Person This month’s hikes are at Santa Ysabel Preserve East, San Dieguito River Park, Daley Ranch and Cleveland National Forest. Cheshvan–Kislev 5782 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 35


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36 | SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM November 2021


Looking Beyond the Latke: Fried Foods for Hanukkah

Faster Falafel Conventional wisdom with the falafel is soaking dried beans overnight is the right way and using canned chickpeas results in a mushy falafel or a patty that breaks apart in the oil. Fear not, I’ve tackled this. INGREDIENTS:

by Jacqueline Bull Latkes are a deeply personal food. Do you use crushed aspirin or another acid to keep your potatoes from browning? Do you add onions or not? Do you grate your potatoes or put them in a food processor? Do you try to squeeze all the starch out of potatoes or will just a few rinses in a colander suffice? (For me: no, no, food processor, rinse.) Wherever you stand on some of these choices, I feel I’m unlikely to change your mind and whatever your perfect recipe is, you’re happy with it, so let’s not mess with perfection.

• 1 can of chickpeas

• 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

• Half an onion

• 2 tsp. corn starch

• 1/2 cup fresh parsley

• 3 minced garlic cloves or 1 tsp. of garlic powder

• 1/2 cup fresh cilantro • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

• Oil for frying


Process everything but the cornstarch and the oil in a food processor until incorporated, but not completely smooth.

2. Add the cornstarch little by little until a stable dough forms and you can make 1 tablespoon sized disks that hold their shape.

So we’ll leave your latke recipe as is and let’s talk oil. If you are like me, you feel very wasteful using a big batch of oil for only one thing. So here are some delicious options for the oil. When someone finally invents a voice-activated fire alarm muter, I’d fry every day.

3. Heat up enough oil to nearly completely submerge the disks to 360-380 degrees. Continue to check the oil temperature as you go. Fry the falafels a couple at a time keeping in mind the additions lower the oil temperature. Flip the falafels half way through and don’t take them out until both sides are a deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Discard any small bits that break off as they burn quickly while frying.


4. Enjoy with desired toppings. Cheshvan–Kislev 5782 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 37

Fried Foods for Hanukkah  continued

Gyoza Homemade gyoza is surprisingly easy especially if you buy premade wrappers and they are so delicious, warm and crispy from the pan. INGREDIENTS:


• Gyoza/potstickers wrappers*


• Half an onion

2. Dice the tofu into small chunks and mix in with the chopped vegetables in a big bowl.

• 100 grams peeled carrots • 75 grams purple cabbage • Half a package of tofu (6 oz) • 2 tsp. canola oil • 1/3 cup soy sauce • 1 tsp. rice vinegar • 1/2 tsp. ginger • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder • Oil for frying *I’ve found these wrappers at Ralph’s and H Mart, but if you have trouble finding them, I’ve provided my recipe for the wrappers. The homemade wrappers taste better, though they are much more work.

Finely chop or food process the onion, carrots and cabbage.

3. Add the 2 tsp. of oil and stir well. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar and spices and mix again. The ingredients should look wet with a small bit of soy sauce at the bottom of the bowl, but not swimming in liquid. 4. Spoon out about a tablespoon of filling into the middle of your wrappers. Dab water along the edge of the wrapper and fold them into half moon shapes, pinching the ends together. Stand them seam side up on a plate. 5. Heat oil in a wide pan with a lid to where flecks of water fizzle quickly and place the gyoza flat side down in the oil. Once you have your gyoza in the pan, add about a 1/3 cup of water to the pan and cover immediately. Steam for about six minutes on medium heat until the wrappers are mostly translucent and the bottoms are golden and crispy. If you want them more crispy, you can turn your gyozas to fry them on their other sides. 6. These are best eaten hot, so if you have more gyoza than you plan to eat in one meal, freeze the gyoza before frying and they are ready to go for your next craving.

Homemade Gyoza Wrappers INGREDIENTS:


• 2 cups flour


• 1/2 cup hot water • Cornstarch for dusting

Combine the flour with the hot water and mix and knead until forming a dough.

2. Roll out dough with a rolling pin until it is a thin sheet. Take a circle cutter or trace a knife around a round object about 2 inches in diameters and cut out rounds. 3. Dust the rounds with cornstarch to keep them from sticking together in the stack. 4. Roll out the rounds again to about 3 inches in diameter, turning the rounds and pressing more on the edge, so the edge is thinner than the middle. Homemade gyoza wrappers do not last long in the fridge. I recommend making more gyoza than you need and freezing them before frying.

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Cheshvan–Kislev 5782 SDJEWISHJOURNAL.COM | 39

The News What’s New with JCF Philanthropist Starts New Fund for La Jolla Institute With the help of the Jewish Community Foundation’s services, Sylvia Liwerant made a generous donation to the La Jolla Institute of Immunology. Liwerant wished to invest in the future of technology and research while also honoring her late husband — as a result the fund is called the “Liwerant Family Endowed Research Technology Fund.” The fund will provide support for the technological needs of the 21 labs and four research cores at the Institute. “We are in the midst of the Jewish High Holidays. During this time, we are called to remember the importance of what is called ‘Tikkun Olam’ which means to ‘repair the world’... what better way to do that than by contributing to the advancement of science,” Liwerant said.

New Homelessness Fundraising Initiative Held Yoga Event The Jewish Community Foundation launched a new initiative titled giv4 homelessness in san diego fund, a new approach that encourages San Diego citizens to participate in solutions to homelessness. The JCF partnered with Yoga Church SD and the Dana Hotel to host a donation-based outdoor yoga event called Flow for a Cause. All proceeds from the event went towards the 12 nonprofits in the giv4 homelessness in san diego fund. The nonprofits also participated at Flow for a Cause to educate attendees about their critical work in the San Diego community. “Many people want to do something to address homelessness, but don’t know where to begin. The giv4

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initiative makes it easy to give to the cause and help people better understand the issues. JCF’s mission includes advancing a sustainable, just, and vibrant society for all of San Diego, and giv4 is intended

to do just that,” JCF’s Director of Philanthropy and Social Impact Ollie Benn said. For more information on the giv4 initiative, visit

Maccabi USA Set to Launch Maccabi Media Program Maccabi USA recently announced the launch of Maccabi Media, a program that offers a “unique, international experience for aspiring sports media professionals.”

sports reporting, streaming and more. The program is chaired by former Philadelphia 76ers broadcaster Marc Zumoff.

In January 2022, Maccabi USA will select a team of driven college and high school students from their pool of applicants — the selected students will then have the opportunity to cover the 21st Maccabiah in Israel.

“There’s never been an experience like this available to young people. They will cover the third largest sporting event in the world, while also immersing themselves in the culture and history of Israel itself,” Zumoff said.

The program offers experience to young professionals as they assume various roles in sports media and hone their skills in anchoring, video production, interviewing, editing,

High school seniors, college students and recent graduates who have a strong interest in sports media are encouraged to apply at:

Jerusalem Cinematheque’s Israel Film Archive Releases New Digital Film Archive The Israeli Film Archive is now available for streaming worldwide through The New Digital Film Archive. This marks the first time that the archive of over 32,000 films, dating from the late 19th century to the present day, will be available on demand. “Following a $10 million preservation, restoration and digitization process begun in 2015 — by dozens of researchers, cataloguers and other staff — the entire Israel Film Archive, Israel’s official film deposit center, is available to the public in North America for the first time.”

“Seven years ago we embarked on this project with the aim of transforming the Archive into a digital cultural institution accessible to everyone everywhere. The new platform will no doubt serve researchers, filmmakers, culture and history buffs, students and anyone looking to locate cinematic materials from their personal history,” Director of the Jerusalem Cinematheque-Israel Film Archive Noa Regev said. To stream, visit

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by Marnie Macauley |

Sylvia, the 3000 year old Bubbe (in honor of Hanukkah)

The Truth About Hanukkah and Christmas My dear San Diegans: In our last issue I broke the biggest news of the century (centuries)! I had gotten word of a miraculous discovery 15 miles from the Negev: Archaeologists found a 3000-year-old bubbe in the Negev. Her name is Sylvia. During a routine dig, archaeologists found the woman who claimed she was 3000 years old. Actually she said she’ll be 3000 and ½ – in October. After a stunning first interview with her during which I promised to get her gefilte fish, we met again — for the fish and a serious discussion of the biggest Hanukkah miracle she recalled. Christmas is really Hanukkah!!! So now I am over the moon to share with you part of my conversation with THE 3000-YEAR-OLD JEWISH BUBBE! With love and reverence to Mel Brooks and the late Carl Reiner!

Interview: The Untold Story of Christmas — A  Jewish Hanukkah Miracle? MARNIE: So Sylvia, you like the gefilte fish? I got it fresh from Herschel’s Hebrew Hub. SYLVIA: It’s sweet. Who likes sweet? You want I should get diabetes? Plus only one carrot? Next time, you’ll bring me latkes for Hanukkah. And don’t forget the sour cream and applesauce.

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MARNIE: Sylvia, tell us about the Hanukkah miracle. Remember...? SYLVIA: As a matter of fact, I was there. MARNIE: Where? SYLVIA: Jerusalem. I stayed five days. Amazing! That oil! We all formed a circle around the candles and stared at them. By day five, I got the message. How long can you stare at flickering? Plus Pesha Maccabee made us dance in that circle. We were “hora-ing” so long I needed a hip replacement from all the kicking. A true miracle. Ah but there was a second, even bigger miracle which I, Sylvia, will now disclose. I was taking a walking tour through Bethlehem at the time. It was a half off special for Hanukkah. But everyone thinks that was the first Christmas. MARNIE: WOW. That must have been something...being there for the very first Christmas. SYLVIA: Wrong! First, it wasn’t “Christmas.” And second, it was a disaster! A...conflagration it was! MARNIE: A fire? SYLVIA: A conflagration! I arrived on the 25th day of Kislev. Hanukkah! The Jewish Bethlehemians were, of course, celebrating. A new kosher wine was big — yellow apple galilee. Like cider it was. And the cheeses for the latkes. My mouth

is watering just thinking about them. Meanwhile, the rebbe, a traditionalist, set up a wooden shed in the wilderness. But, to light the menorah, they used a new oil made by a yutz named Krankincense, who immigrated from Chelm. True, it smelled nice but he used enough to burn the Dead Sea. Who lights four ephahs of oil in a pine shed?! One spark and it’s snap, crackle, pop! MARNIE: Oy. SYLVIA: The first to light up was the replica of the burning bush! Boy did those chestnuts roast on the roaring fire! Then, the whole wilderness! Canter the Corpulent who always dressed up in red to give out chocolate shekels in his old diabetes socks was carrying his motherin-law, Elfie. She was maybe four feet tall and would turn a little meshugge four times a year which happened on that night. Suddenly, Elfie the Meshuggener went nuts and jumped on Blickstein, the fastest caribou in Bethlehem and the two flew the hell outta there. MARNIE: Wait...caribou? SYLVIA: Only the female! They don’t talk, and for your information, they can move longer than any mammal — except maybe the humpback whale. Blickstein was some sight through the burning bush with her head held high. Ai! What a gallop on her! She took to the skies, I’m telling you.

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MARNIE: So how did it get confused with Christmas?! SYLVIA: Stop interrupting and I’ll tell. Meanwhile, some lunatic who was arguing with the rebbe kept hocking that the menorah really had 27 units. With a mouth stuffed with cheese latkes, he wouldn’t stop with the protesting until the chazzer noticed the Burning Bush! Finally, when everything went flying, burning, and lighting up including his beard, dripping, he screamed: “GOD! CHEESES!”



11:47 AM



MARNIE: Wait! Then...Santa...? SYLVIA: Cantor. The Corpulent.



MARNIE: The reindeer Blitzen who took him flying? SYLVIA: Where were we? Siberia? Forget reindeer. She was a lady caribou named Blitzstein.





MARNIE: Elves? SYLVIA: Cantor’s short mother-in-law, Elfie.


The Snowy Day and Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats

MARNIE: The tree...? SYLVIA: Burning bush. MARNIE: So you’re saying there is no Christmas! SYLVIA: Finally, she gets it. The way I look at it, it could maybe be a freak accident or another Hanukkah miracle. A

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