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  2006-08-26 - San Diego Alef Bet
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Our San Diego Alef Bet
News of Jews of San Diego County, August 26, 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 Larry Acheatel,
executive director of the San Diego Jewish Academy, could teach us all something about multi-tasking. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m .on the grounds of  SDJA's sports field, there will be a concert by Yosi Saffi Levy and the Sabras that is being billed as both a "Back to School concert" and as a "Labor Day of Love for Israel."  The concert if free, with attendees encouraged to bring dairy dinners (the school observes kashrut) and lawn chairs. The United Jewish Federation  is sponsoring the event along with such other organizations as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Jewish Community Foundation, Ken Jewish Community, Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center JACOBS FAMILY CAMPUS, San Diego Jewish Journal, San Diego Jewish Times, Seacrest Village Retirement Communities, and the South African Jewish American Community (SAJAC).

Adam and Eve, for the second time, have been forced to leave Paradise.  The first time, of course, we all know from the story in Genesis.  But recently a painting by an unknown artist of the biblical couple that has been displayed at the San Diego Museum of Art was learned to have been stolen from a church in San Juan Tepemazalco, Hidalgo, Mexico. The San Diego Museum of Art, which thought it had purchased it from a reputable dealer in 2000, was horrified, and made arrangements to take the only ethical course of action: to return the painting to the government of Mexico.  San Diego Union-Tribune Anna Cearley reported that the painting was purchased for $45,000, and that both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the government of Mexico are investigating the chain of circumstances that enabled a painting stolen from a church to wind up on permanent exhibit in a museum in San Diego.Tthe painting "will be turned over to Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History," according to Cearley's report.

C Judith Copeland and Dr. Richard A Smith, both members of the local Jewish community, and Smith's wife, Mina Sagheb, along with the Jewish War Veterans, are plaintiffs in a new suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in opposition to the Christian cross being on public land at Mount Soledad.  The suit is expected eventually to be consolidated with the original suit filed by Philip Paulson and heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

D Did someone say that congressional recesses are vacations?  U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) has forums scheduled on disaster preparedness, housing rights, and identity theft respectively today, Tuesday and Wednesday. Today's from noon to 2 p.m. at the Downtown Information Center, 225 Broadway, San Diego, has Davis participating with these scheduled speakers: Jill Olen, San Diego's deputy COO of Public Safety and Homeland Security;  Jeff Wieman, CEO, San Diego American Red Cross; Chief Kirk Sanfilippo, San Diego Harbor Police; Chief Tracy Jarman, San Diego Fire Department; Asst. Chief Joel Bryden, San Diego Police Department; Barbara Ayers, program manager of the San Diego Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and Sara Matta, Executive Director of 211.  Similar comprehensive line ups are planned at the forum on housing from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29, at the Sherman Heights Community Center, 2258 Island Avenue, and at the identify theft forum, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 30, at the Mission Valley Branch Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway.

Rabbi Yeruchem Eilfort
of Chabad of La Costa says that in the current Hebrew month of Elul:  "We blow the shofar each day of the month, we give extra Tzedakah during this month, many get their Mezuzos and Tefilin checked, and we begin blessing each other "Kesiva viChasima Tovah, (you should be written and sealed for a good year)."

G Larry Gorfine reports that Philip Paulson, who filed the original lawsuit against the Mt. Soledad Cross, and U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-San Diego) who pushed through the legislation to nationalize the Mt. Soledad Cross in order to save it, once were with him in the same military unit, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, in Vietnam.  Gorfine, a stalwart Democrat, says he still considers both men to be friends, but that on the issue of the cross, he agrees with Paulson, not with Hunter.

K Mark Kligman, whose life as a sports agent and Orthodox Jew, was profiled on this site, passes on a letter that he received from a young man in Long Beach, California.  It read: "I am a Sports Management student as well as an Orthodox Jew from the Los Angeles area. I just graduated Long Beach City College and will be attending Seton Hall University In January. The other day I was looking online for sports agents to possibly intern for while I am on break and I  ran into your homepage. While reading the article "Kligman improves his average as an observant Jew" I  thought to myself is this really possible?? Is there really a Sports Agent who is an observant Jew? ... I just wanted to say that reading your story was true inspiration for me, because most of the people I have spoken to about becoming an agent told me I would have to work on Shabbos..."  Commented Kligman  in his forwarding note:  "Looks like we're inspiring people....good to know."

L Rabbi Baruch Lederman of Congregation Kehillas Torah in the Carmel Mountain area of San Diego writes of his mixed emotions of sending a son off to yeshiva: "Yaakov Shlomo Lederman is getting ready to board a plane to Milwaukee so that he can learn in WITS Mesivta Ateres Tzvi High School. It is a very emotional time for us for many reasons on many levels.
I myself was a talmid (student) of WITS Beis Midrash (post high school program) back in 1980 - the first year of the Yeshiva's existence. I have the honor of being the very first
talmid to attend the Yeshiva - I was the first one there on the first day - and the first WITS alumnus to have a son graduate WITS high school. I am also the only WITS alumnus yet, to have a son in WITS Beis Midrash. As I send him off to Milwaukee, I am flooded with memories my own wonderful experiences there. I vividly remember stepping off the plane 26 years ago and having a young Shmuel Rennert picking me up from the airport. Everything was so fresh and new and exciting. I remember Rabbi & Rebbetzin Twerski - how special and unique they were. I
mostly remember the way the Rebbeim and Rebbetzins opened their hearts and homes to us, and the incredible camaraderie WITS engendered amongst the talmidim. WITS just has a way of bringing out the best you in you...."

R Debbie Resnicov reports that the San Diego chapter of the American Jewish Committee and the San Diego Latino-Jewish Coalition will jointly sponsor on Wednesday, September 13, "a celebratory and interactive evening dedicated to the Jewish perspectives of Renewal, Introspection and Social Justice through the symbols of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot." She says guests will sample "delicious traditional Jewish hors d'oeuvres" and that in lieu of admission, planners hope attendees will "donate a minimum of $5 to the Israel Emergency Fund." The mission of the San Diego Latino/Jewish Coalition is to "promote greater communication, cooperation, understanding, respect and friendship between the communities; pursue a collaborative working relationship on issues of mutual concern, and facilitate programs to benefit Jews and Latinos of all ages in San Diego County," Resnicov adds,. For more information please email 

Howard Rubenstein has a new play, The Golem, Man of Earth, which will be presented at the 6th@Penn Theatre in San Diego on October 6.  This play is about the monster supposedly fashioned by Rabbi Judah Loew to protect Prague from its enemies during the 16th Century, and lest anyone believe that the tale will only be of interest to folklore-loving Jews, the lead role of the Maharal has been taken by Mikel Taxer, the retired minister of Westminster Presbyterian Church in the Point Loma area.

Howard Wayne, this area's former state Assembly member, is continuing in the role as observer and foreign correspondent (at least for friends to whom he sends emails) in South Africa, while his wife, Mary Lundgren, consults with that nation's justice department.  Wayne's most recent missive deals with the AIDS crisis in Southern Africa.  This stories and others by Wayne from Southern Africa may be accessed via this website.

Y Peter Yarrow, best known as the "Peter" of the folk-singing group Peter, Paul and Mary, stopped by Congregation Beth Am on August 24 to acquaint locals with "Operation Respect," his non-profit educational and advocacy organization dedicated to transforming the environments of schools, summer camps and other youth-serving organizations in to more compassionate, safe and
respectful places.  If you're disappointed you missed him, don't fret.  He will be back in the San Diego area on October 29 to perform in a fundraising concert in support of the program.

Do you have a story about a member of the San Diego Jewish community that you would like to share on the "San Diego Alef Bet"?  If so please e-mail me at