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  2006-08-05 - San Diego Alef Bet
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2006 blog


Our San Diego Alef Bet
News of Jews of San Diego County, August 5, 2006


{Names with links are honorees of the Louis Rose Society for the Preservation of Jewish History.  If you would like to honor a member of the San Diego County Jewish Community who is  not living in your own household, you can write a tax-deductible check for $36 to the Jewish Community Foundation/ Louis Rose Fund, and send it to the foundation at 4950 Murphy Canyon Road, San Diego, CA 92123.  Be sure to designate on the memo line of the check whom you would like to honor.  Additional honorees may be designated for contributions of $18 (chai) to the Louis Rose Fund)

By Donald H. Harrison

A Ruth Anfanger
has been recognized for delivering meals to seniors and disabled persons for 35 years as a Foodmobile volunteer of Jewish Family Service.  Every Monday since 1971 she has been bringing meals to people who are homebound.  "It's a nice way to start the weekdoing something for somebody."  In a write-up in the Mission Times Courier, she said that on some Mondays, "I may be the only person that the senior may see or speak to." 
Dafna Avraham,
who will enter UCLA as a freshman this fall, recently traveled to Washington D.C. where she was presented an award for her "Never Again" essay on the Holocaust.   Along with nine other winners, she was presented her award by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.  The Astor Judaica Library E-Connection provided a link to her essay, in which she also discusses her participation in the Jacobs International Teen Leadership Institute (JITLI), created by Gary & Jerri-Ann Jacobs.

The decision of Rabbi Paul Citrin to leave Congregation Beth Israel at the conclusion of his contract next June prompted The San Diego Union-Tribune to point out: "The congregation's two previous senior rabbis stayed for three years and seven years, leaving in 2004  and 2001."  Rabbi Ben Kamin preceded Citrin, and Kamin's predecessor was Rabbi Jonathan Stein (see item below.)

Rabbi David Kornberg
of Congregation Beth Am has issued a High Holiday challenge to the Conservative synagogue's members.  If they contribute $120,000 in Kol Nidrei pledges by mail prior to High Holy Day services, he will eliminate the plea for contributions from the pulpit.  In the current issue of HaKesher, the congregation's monthly newsletter, he explains why he'd prefer to skip the appeal.  "Ever since I was a child I remember the feeling of the services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Even though I did not understand all of the prayers, I was able to access the sense of spirituality that filled the room.  The special melodies of the Holy Days are indelibly inscribed in my mind, and even today I can bring up the tunes that I have not heard for decades. It was a time that was different than any other outside of that particular season. And then, inevitably, someone would step forward to the podium and bring everyone right back to the 'outside world' by asking for money. It would always be for a good cause or an important aspect of synagogue survival, but it would destroy the mood just the same..."

Joel Kriger
and his law partner Clayton Anderson were subjects of a question-and-answer interview with writer Milrose Basco printed in the July 27 edition of the East County Californian. Kriger, whose legal specialty is Home Owners Associations, says there will always be plenty to keep attorneys in his field occupied.  "A very large number of people live in the communities with HOA and the operations of HOA are becoming more and more complex every day, because of the amount of legislation being approved to regulate how the communities run."

Someday, if baby Marlie Lavine ever becomes an author, they'll probably reprint the squib that ran in Temple Solel's monthly newsletter, Pathfinder,  with a picture of her being read to by mother Lorna Lavine:  "Our Youngest Reader! Marlie Lavine just loves coming to the Alpert Mendelson Library, snuggling down in a beanbag chair and having mom Lorna read her a story.  We've nominated Marlie for the Alpert Mendelson Library's "Littlest Reader of 2006!"

Monica Handler Penner
, the new president of the Agency for Jewish Education, has a double role.  She will chair the AJE's 16-member board, and additionally will chair its newly established Jewish Educational Leadership Council, which will include AJE board members and representatives from congregational and day schools as well as other organizations and individuals interested in Jewish education.  The inaugural meeting of the JELC will be held in September.

Hilda Pierce is watching the gubernatorial race in Texas with more interest than most Californians.  The La Jolla resident is the ex-stepmother of independent candidate Kinky Friedman, whom she enjoyed as an original thinker. Friedman, who used to tour Texas as the lead singer of the Texas Jewboys, is expected to have help on the campaign trail from the likes of former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and country singer Willie Nelson.  An article in the July 24 edition of Newsweek reported that Friedman now polls 21 percent of the vote, compared to 35 percent preferring the Republican incumbent Rick Perry.  He's outpolling Democrat Chris Bell (20 percent) and Carl Keeton Strayhorn, another independent (19 percent). 

R Alan Rusonik, executive director of the Agency for Jewish Education, offered this thought to fellow educators in the August-September issue of AJE's newsletter Tidings:  "...When we are caught up with our classroom planning and preparations, when we are bogged down with the day to day minutiae of managing our classrooms, and when we are over-involved with meeting our curricular goals and objectives, we often forget to take a step back to reflect on the beauty and uniqueness of our tradition and what is at the core of the message we wish to impart to our students. Our task as Jewish educators is a sacred one, and our responsibility to the Jewish community, and to the future of our people is great..."

S Jorge & Aviva Saad can testify how small the world really is. After volunteering to host Tanya Fainsod of Israel in San Diego as part of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo exchange project, Jorge received a phone call from one of his insurance agency customers in Mexico City.  "I hear you have my niece staying with you," the customer said.  "I'll be in San Diego, and I'd like to see her.!

Charlene Seidle, associate director of the Jewish Community Foundation, provided this report on local campaigns to help Israel in its financial crisis as a result of the war with the Hezbollah terrorist organizatin of Lebanon:  "As the crisis in Israel escalates, Northern Israel has turned overnight into a war zone with an estimated third of the Israeli population confined to bomb shelters for all or a large part of the last two and a half weeks. However, even as Israel battles Hezbollah, there is a ray of hope for vulnerable Israelis coming from here in our San Diego Jewish community. In less than three weeks, JCF donors have recommended approximately $277,000 in grants to assist those most in need... In addition, the United Jewish Communities is launching a full-scale Israel Emergency Campaign through San Diego s UJF. You are invited to a satellite broadcast from Israel s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert live from Jerusalem followed by Karnit Goldwasser, the wife of captured Israeli soldier Ehud Goldwasser. This will take place on Monday, August 7th at 10:00 am at the UJF/JCF offices, 4950 Murphy Canyon Road , San Diego." If you would like to attend, please indicate by emailing 

Herb Solomon
is well known in our community both as a former president of both the United Jewish Federation and the San Diego Symphony.  But another side of the attorney's public service was profiled in the San Diego Union-Tribune: he is also a reading coach. Three hours a week he works with John Berry, 54, in a conference room of the law firm he founded, Solomon, Ward, Seidenwurm & Smith.  It gives me an opportunity, in a small way, to contribute to the solution of one our great social problems," Solomon told reporter David E. Graham.  Berry, who works in the tile business, is enthusiastic, saying he looks forward to sitting in an arm chair and reading about many different places in the world.

Rabbi Jonathan Stein, formerly of Congregation Beth Israel and now of New York City's Temple Shaaray Tefila will receive in September a humanitarian-of-the-year award from the World Union for Progressive Judaism.

Marsha Sutton had a charming column in the most recent issue of the  Carmel Valley News about her son, Noah, who recently returned home from a sleep-away camp.  "His letters never consisted of more than 10 words my favorite being, in total: 'Im happy. Im fine.' Sutton confided: "Its a joy to discover their growing self-sufficiency, although the elation is tinged with sadness. The babies are babies no more, and the ties that bind them to us loosen with each passing day."

Sam Zeiden
reached an important milestone in his recuperation from his July 11 heart surgery at Scripps Green Hospital.  On Friday, Aug. 4, he was well enough to be transferred to the Sharp Grossmont Rehabilitation Center for physical therapy following his long convalescence.