A bissel this, a bissel that—San Diego Jewish news and chatter


(Column 8, January 11, 2011)


Donald H. Harrison

By Donald H. Harrison


San Diego and Israel

Boris Goldenberg, 20, grew up in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with his mother and grandmother, knowing very little about his Jewish background.  However, at the age of 17, he started studying Hebrew at a local Jewish community center.  That led to him signing up for a ten-day Birthright trip to Israel, and later he came back for a longer program in Israel under the MASA program.  In a column for a newsletter for the Ibim-San Diego Student Village (underwritten by Jewish Federation in San Diego), Goldenberg said his next step was to “make aliyah” and undertake a five-month program at Ibim including uplan, Jewish studies and a volunteering component.  “I then felt more than ready for the ultimate plunge—my mandatory service in the IDF as a combat soldier.  As an only child, I needed permission from my mother to go into a combat unit. Convincing her was no easy task, but I finally received her blessing and joined the IDF as a Lone Soldier.  I now reside at Ibim as a Lone Soldier.  I receive help and support; and most important of all—I have a place I can call home.”

Dr. Sergio Berkstein and his wife Ariela are sponsoring a dessert and coffee meeting at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 27 for three members of the science faculty of Ben Gurion University of the Negev.   Pablo Blinder, Ph.D., will tell of his work on “brain function and vascular dementia (it takes 2 to tango) – the interplay between cortical neurons and blood vessels.” Adrian Israelson, Ph.D will discuss “Finding a cure for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and Dr. Mordechay (Motti) Gerlic will discuss “Host responses to viral infection: recent insight into the war between our body and viruses.”  Another speaker will be Doron Krakow, executive vice president of American Associates of Ben Gurion University of the Negev.  Address and directions to this free event will be provided to those making RSVPs to Rabbi Arnold Kopikis via (858) 452-9718 or [email protected]  

Michael Lurie and Audrey Jacobs, co-chairs of the San Diego Israel Coalition, were well pleased with Sunday’s counter-demonstration against Palestinians seeking to delegitimize Israel on the second anniversary of Operation Cast Lead.   In an email, they wrote: “Our visually stunning crowd with hundreds of American and Israeli flags and positive signs of peace contrasted starkly with the small Palestinian gathering of 75 waving horrific, bloody signs and shouting hateful chants.  We ended our two hour rally by having a candlelight vigil and saying Kaddish for all the Israeli soldiers and innocent victims that have been killed by terrorist acts.  The San Diego Police Department had a tremendous showing and worked closely with SDIC to keep our groups separate and the rally peaceful.  As leaders we are deeply proud of how respectfully our group behaved to reflect the values of Israel.”

San Diego Jewish Organizations
Jewish Family Service is sponsoring and offering online registration for a panel http://www.jfssd.org/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=101481  moderated by David Feifel, M.D., Ph.D, from 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26, at Congregation Beth Israel, with a reception preceding at 5:30 p.m.   Eric Courchesne, Ph.D and Karen Pierce, Ph.D will discuss “causes and early detection of abnormal brain and behavior in autism.”  Benny Forest, J.D., Ph.D, will essay on “Early Social Action and the Impact on Brain Development” and Jeff Rowe, M.D., will talk about “Early childhood Mental Health: Issues of Diagnosis and Treatment.” 


San Diego Jewish Academy is holding an open house for grades Kindergarten through 12 on Wednesday, Jan. 19.  There will be a dinner at 5:30 p.m. for parents who are thinking of enrolling their children, with Renee Sherman, directors of admissions, taking reservations at (858) 704-3716.  Larry Acheatel, the school’s executive director, said SDJA this year introduced the concept of kovod—Hebrew for honor and respect—into every classroom.  “We always strive to integrate ethics in our curriculum,” he said. “This is what differentiates us from other schools. We not only offer outstanding academics; we also provide our students with the tools to become confident, well-rounded individuals who are prepared for life.”

Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School is beginning two after-school programs, a theatre program for boys and girls and a ballet class for girls. The first drama production for the school will be Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, with a casting call going out for kindergarteners through fifth graders to act in the show, which will be performed on March 8.  Nathan Nichols of Spotlight Ovations Performing Arts and an associate to be named later will be the drama coaches. In the 8-week ballet class, “students will learn proper dance techniques that include balance, turns and leaps and will “incorporate it all into a routine for a performance for their moms on the last day,” according to the school’s announcement.  Sharla Mandere of Spotlight Ovations will be the ballet teacher.  Both classes are fee-based.


Ner Tamid Synagogue in Poway will host a women’s symposium Sunday, March 5, from 1:30 to 4 p.m., at which the role of women in different faith traditions will be discussed.  Under the auspices of the Poway Interfaith Team, more information is available from Lea Segel at 858-487-2683

The Men’s Club of Tifereth Israel Synagogue is printing up complimentary t-shirts for participants in a “Me and My Dad” afternoon of indoor cart racing at the Miramar Speed Circuit following Sunday Torah school January 23rd and a quick pizza lunch.  Norm Katz, president of the Men’s Club, cautions that drivers of the carts  “must be at least 4 feet tall, no exceptions.” 

Jews in the general community
Steve Cushman, who served on the Port Commission for 12 years, may not have to worry about big ships anymore, now that he’s completed his service, but other forms of transportation will remain dear to him.  He owns automobile dealerships.  With his departure, there are no Jews currently serving on the Port Commission, but there have been several over recent years. Lori Black, Lynn Schenk and Robert Penner come immediately to mind.

Members of the Jewish community have been working behind the scenes to help assure the success of the 23rd Annual All People’s Breakfast, honoring the memory and the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King.  The Leichtag Family Foundation is among the major funders and Monica Bauer of the Anti-Defamation League has been sending out the publicity for the event which will be held in Hall A of the San Diego Convention Center on Monday, January 17.  Doors open at 6:45 a.m.

Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World.  Items for this column may be emailed to [email protected]

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2011 San Diego Jewish World
Please help us defray the costs of providing this free service with your non-tax-deductible contribution in any amount

Most recent 100 posts


Follow this blog

Email address