Categorized | Adventures in SD History

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, September 20, 1957, Part 2

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Press Notes
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 20, 1957, Pages 4, 5

By Julia Kaufman

After a recent unsuccessful attempt to catch a ten-inch mackerel in waters which yield 300-lb marlin, I was interested in the ocean only in relation to the fish I enviously saw being weighed in at the Marlin Club.  Intrigued by a film of underwater life off La Jolla Shores shown at a dinner meeting of the S.D. Theater and Arts Foundation, I decided to visit Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.

Flash Back — 65 years of growth:  In 1892, W.E. Ritter, professor of Zoology, in Berkeley, established a little shack in La Jolla in order to study the animal life of the Pacific Ocean.  Each summer a handful of men would go out in small boats to conduct their research work… In 1903, Ellen and E.W. Scripps added their financial support to the small sums being received from interested persons. … In 1912, the Institution became a part of the University of California and the name was changed to the Scripps Institution for Biological Research. (The Scripps financed most of the building on the 178 acres received from the city.) …. In 1925, recognizing that the research programs focused on all aspects of the study of the sea, the name was changed to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  There were 50 to 75 employees at that time… Since World War II there has been a realization of the peacetime as well as military significance of oceanography,.  Increasing support for Scripps Institution has come from various sources with the resulting rapid expansion. There are now over 600 employees. … In 1957, the Regents of the University of California approved the expenditure of $2,213,520 in major capital improvements on the La Jolla campus during the fiscal year 1958-59.

I was surprised to learn that in the past forty-five years since the Institution became a part of the University, there have been only five directors…Wm. E. Ritter, Thos. W. Vaughan, Harold U. Svrerdrup, Carl Eckart and the present head, Roger Revelle.

While the scientists at Scripps have been studying the changes in the ocean, great changes have taken place in the terrestrial life around them. Shacks have been replaced by large buildings, which house research laboratories; their exploration fleet has grown from one schooner to five ocean-going ships plus a 1,000-foot pier.  Undoubtedly the most popular facility is the Aquarium, which attracts thousands of visitors each year.

The first thing IJ saw when I entered the Aquarium was a small boy pulling on his father’s arm and yelling: “Dad, I didn’t know sharks had holes over their eyes which open and shut!”  I took a peek and found that it wasn’t a shark but a “shovelnose” guitarfish (a member of the ray fish family).  The ray has an interesting system of living in water through a spiracle above his eyes and releasing it through louvre-like openings underneath the body.  I marveled, too, that the colorful and fragile looking sea anemones resembling sunflowers weren’t flowers at all but sea animals. There were star fish in all hues, and queer looking specimens of sea life, from minute fish to a 200-pound grouper ho boldly came up to the glass and glared back at me.

I learned about other things not visible in the Aquarium, such as the skin divers who explore the undersea canyons, and the scientists who experiment in their laboratories and travel to remote corners of the world. To begin to list the names of the scientists, their contributions and awards, would take far more space than this column affords.  Since the first of this year over twenty-four scientists from Scripps have visited foreign countries–some to lecture, others for research work. Such travel is paid from various sources –State, Federal and private funds, fellowships, and son on–depending on the nature of the mission.  The Navy, the Tuna Industries and American Petroleum Institute are only a few of the many groups seeking help from the scientists at Scripps.

For the International Geophysical Year, Scripps Institution will send three expeditions into the Pacific.  One in 1957-58 will take the research vessels farther south than University ships have yet sailed. One of the ports of call will be fabled Easter Island.

I noted that several of the books on sale in the Museum gift shop were written by men associated with Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  Mr. Hinton, who was tending the shop at the time of my visit, has written a children’s book (ages 8-14 years) with Rudolph Freund, titled “Exploring Under the Sea,” which will be released this month.  He has been with Scripps for thirteen years and is now Senior Museum Zoologist.  He looked familiar to me, but it wasn’t until I returned to the office that I realized that he was Sam Hinton, whose guitar playing and folk singing has brought him national recognition and a contract from Decca Records.

The S.D. Theater and Arts Foundation has for several years been co-sponsoring a series of lectures with Scripps Institution which have brought scientists, educators and writers to speak before capacity audiences.  Dr. Leonard N. Liebermann, who was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1952, is Chairman of the Committee on Lectures.

The Foundation has, since 1954, also sponsored the La Jolla Playhouse, and in 1957 they established a School of Drama. This year, after receiving twelve acres of land from the University of California, the S.D. Theater and Arts Foundation launched a fund raising campaign to build a Living Arts Center.

For years, topnotch Hollywood stars have given excellent performances in the small auditorium of the high school; inadequate for their needs. For some, it was their first appearance before a live audience; a few directed for the first time; still others were “discovered” and today are T.V. stage and motion picture stars.  Founders of the Playhouse, Dorothy Maguire, her husband, John Swope, Mel Ferrer and Gregory Peck have pledged their support for the Center, which will feature an 850 seat theater.

In my crystal ball, I envision the San Diego of the future as a cultural and educational center, both nationally and internationally. We all know that one theater is not sufficient for a growing city of close to 700,000 residents. But, as evidenced by the growth of our universities, a start must be made.  The American competitive spirit will take care of the rest.

United Jewish Appeal To Meet in Israel
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 20, 1957, Page 4

Milton Y. Roberts, President of the United Jewish Fund, stated that he had received an announcement from the National United Jewish Appeal advising that the 20th Annual Conference of the United Jewish Appeal would be held in Jerusalem, Israel, beginning on June 24, 1958.

“An official United Jewish Appeal announcement complete with details is anticipated in the near future,” Roberts said.  Members of the United Jewish Appeal’s Good Will Mission, who were in San Diego recently, advised that the cost from New York to Israel and return would be approximately$1,000, including all expenses in Israel for a period of seven to eight days during the conference.

Those who may be interested in attending the United Jewish Appeal Conference in Israel are asked to contact the Fund office, BE-2-5172.


Temple Beth El
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 20, 1957, Page 4

The new congregation in the Northshore area, Temple Beth El, finds that its first High Holy Day Services is being met with enthusiasm from the Jewish community.

There are still seats available. Please contact Mrs. Robert Horvitz, BR-3-0723 or Mrs. Max Vicker, BR 3-2367.

As the Psychologist Sees You
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 20, 1957, Page 4

By Irving R. Stone, Psychological Consultant

The Pause That Refreshes

The other day , a friend who was confined to the hospital for a few days said, “The family seems to be getting on very well without me.”  There was almost a feeling of sorrow in the fact that he was not completely missed and that affairs could be managed without him.  Too often this idea of being indispensable engulfs all of us so that we keep driving ourselves without taking advantage of needed rest.

If only we would take that pause that refreshes we might find that we are appreciated even more.  Because we feel that things will bog down if we do not do them or if we are not around to see them done, we drive ourselves to the point where we are producing less than our capacity and our behavior is suffering. We become irritable, insufferable, and frequently inarticulate.  A patient of mine, a boy of seventeen, said that his father always had to keep busy and never stopped long enough to have a quiet conversation. He said to me, “If only he’d beat me once in a while, then he’d make me feel that he knows I’m around.”

Too often we think that the pause that refreshes indicates the taking of a vacation for weeks at a time.  This is not necessarily true although it is wise to take periodic vacations.  Sometimes just a weekend will suffice provided we can get away from the routine activities of our daily lives. Even an evening or two within the week which we spend with our families, just conversing and relaxing will suffice.  Often we believe that nothing is being accomplished by this period of inactivity and we feel guilty for wasting time.

Many of us think that we are relaxing when we engage in heated shop talk instead of concentrated work.  The best definition of a vacation is a complete change from our usual activities.  Taking our work home with us does not afford that complete change.

Instead of feeling that things at home or in the office will not go on without us we should pride ourselves in our managerial and organizational ability so that things can run smoothly and without interruption.  It is a sense of relief to know that even if we are not there our families will be able to manage and survive.  Isn’t this another form of insurance?

Let’s take that pause that refreshes and enjoy the fruits of our labors.  Our families will be able to share these benefits with us and not after we are gone.

Exclusive … Letter From Teheran
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 20, 1957, Page 4

TEHERAN, August, 1957 — Yizchak Sadeh is about 28 years old, has a dark complexion and looks more like an Iranian than a Jew.  He is a Hebrew school teacher in the community of Nehavand, which is some 300 kilometers from Teheran.

Yaz Dion is accompanying Mr. Sadeh on a very important mission to the office of the American Joint Distribution Committee in Tehran.

I am sitting in the office of Mr. Maurice Lipian, Deputy Director for theJDC, or more popularly known as the “Joint,” when the two men enter.

They have come all the way from their community of Nehavand to discuss what is for them a very vital problem.  Nehavand has a population of some 30,000 of whom approximately 1000 are Jews.  Jews have been living in this community for some 2,500- years which makes it probably one of the oldest Jewish communities continually in existence in the world.

With the help of an interpreter –Sadeh and Dion speak Persian only — we hear the following problem:  There is a Hebrew school in Nehavand; it is almost falling apart. They want to remodel the kitchen to serve kosher food to the 300 school children and install a pipeline.  The whole project will cost 1,500 dollars.

They have raised locally 1,000 dollars but are unable to get the rest. They have now come to the Joint to ask for the balance to finish the project.

Mr. Lipian listens carefully to the interpreter.  He asks some questions which Yitchak answers honestly and earnestly.

Mr. Lipian tells the two Jewish leaders from Nehavand that the Joint will seriously consider this problem and will let them have an answer at the end of the month.

We shake hands all the way around and then the two men leave.

Mr. Lipian tells me that the Joint will probably make available to them 250 dollars which is all they expected anyway.

That is how half way around the world in the oldest existing Jewish community your welfare fund dollars help to keep Judaism alive.

Just a few other sidelights from this strange and fascinating country.  Taxi fares are 13 cents from any point in the city to another … haircuts are 35 cents …orange juice costs $1.75 per can … drinking water is only available from the American embassy. … Teheran has no house numbers and how anyone can find their way around this town I’ll never understand … And just as a final note, the first day here I caught a beautiful case of Teheran tummy from which I am only slowly recovering.

Best regards, Ernest Michel

Note: Mr. Michel is West Coast Rep. of the U.J.A. and is well known in San Diego.

Books for the New Year
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 20, 1957, Page 4

Three books recently brought to our attention should facilitate the meditation on Jewish life which characterizes the New Year’s observance.  “The Romance of the Hassidism,” by Jacob E. Minkin (Thomas Yoseloff Pub, $6.00) is an invaluable aid to anyone interested in learning about this unique religious movement of Eastern European Jewry.

Though the Hassidic culture itself, with its mystical tendencies may not find sympathy with the sophisticated Jewish reader, the story of its leaders is none the less inspirational.  Dr. Minkin’s account has been well received by both layman and scholar for many years. This is a new edition of the work.

“Two Generations in Perspective” (Monde Pub., $7.50) is a collection of essays written by twenty-six observers of world Jewry since 1896.  Generally reflecting a Zionist viewpoint, the volume is dedicated to the Zionist leader, Rabbi Israel Goldstein.

Among the contributors are Dr. Louis Finkelstein, Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary; Itzhak Ben-Zvi; President of the State of Israel; Dr Nahum Goldman, President of the World Zionist Organization; and historian Dr. Solomon Grayzel.  A wealth of factual information can be gleaned from this book.

The colorful account of the greatest Hebrew Theatre group is told by one of its original members in “Habima” (Thomas Yeseloff Pub., $5.00).  Actor-author Raikin Ben-Ari describes the trial and triumphs of the acting company with warmth and a keen sense for significant detail.  Readers with a “feeling” for the theatre will find special delight in “Habima.”  — P.K.

On the Potency of the Spiritual Drive
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 20, 1957, Page 6

By Rabbi Baruch Stern

Rabbi Baruch Stern

Rabbi Baruch Stern

When God created man, He utilized–according to our Sages — both earthly and heavenly materials.  He thus endowed man with various drives and needs for the material things of life, also for his spiritual craving. The degree of the potency of our drives often depend on outward circumstances.  when man is extremely hungry his drive for food will over shadow all other drives. But everything else being equal, there seems to be a tendency in man to seek the satisfaction of the spiritual need, somehow always comes last.

We see man, all year round, scramble for material wealth, for more luxury, more comfort, even to the complete exclusion of his spiritual needs.  Indeed, many people tend to deny the existence of the spiritual need altogether. They are self-complacent.

I would like to recall a personal incident that will throw some light upon the potency of the spiritual hunger.

The incident occurred only three days before liberation in World War II.  These were the worst.  There was literally no food at all and the drive for living was strongest.  Who would not have desire to live only one hour to see the downfall of the most arrogant, wicked and outright sinful Nazi government?  A Frenchman was the head of the camp, the so-called “capo,” at whose mercy was the life of so many individuals of various nations, mostly Jews.  The “Capo” took sick.  His drive to live was very strong, for he did not turn to official doctors.  Instead he looked secretly for a prisoner who was a physician.  He soon found that in my barracks there was a Jewish doctor.  The doctor, who was a man of letters, and of wit, treated the “Capo.”

One morning the doctor approached me with a problem and with a proposition. His patient was in need of a priest, apparently to confess his atrocities.  In the absence of a priest, he would welcome a rabbi.  Just one prayer, and he would regain peace of mind and his guilt complex would be alleviated. I felt like refusing.  “This is neither a time nor a place for prayer,” I argued.  “Besides , the last prayer I’ll keep for — myself.”

The doctor insisted.  “Come now,” he argued, “do you want me to preach to you.  Is it not written in the Torah: the Lord, the Lord is a merciful and gracious God.”  Said Moses: “to the righteous,”  Said God: “even to the wicked.” “You owe it to me to come and you owe it to a human being, who is essentially good,” the doctor concluded.  I could not refuse.

“This is the young man I spoke to you about,” the doctor introduced me.  “Can you tell me if I will live?” the “Capo” asked.  “I hope the doctor did not speak of me as a prophet,” I retorted.  “Can you tell me, if God will forgive me?” he asked further.  “I do not know if you have ever been forced to perpetrate any inhuman act, but I am here to tell you: God forgives those who return.”

On leaving, the doctor accompanied me, and — to my utter amazement — shoved two slices of bread into my pocket.  To this day I could not decide: which of the two drives were more potent?  Mine–for bread or his — for a reassuring divine word?

This is the great lesson of these “days of grace.” God’s word is “very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.”  The echo of the voice of Horeb calls unto us, but we often act as if we spiritually deaf.  The saintly Baal Shem used the following simile: a group of people passing by the king’s palace and hearing the sweet music began dancing.  A deaf man who passed by, could not understand why these people were dancing.

But the music was there; sweet and enchanting.

Rosh Hashonah Message of Rabbi Morton J. Cohn
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 20, 1957, Page 7

Rabbi Morton Cohn

Rabbi Morton Cohn

These words of Rosh Hashonah greetings are written in behalf of the Officers, Directors and members of Congregation Beth Israel, as well as in my own behalf, to the entire Jewish community.

This is our Holy Day season.  What message should we bear in our hearts during  Rosh Hashanah and the days to follow?  How can we Jews recapture the awareness of God’s presence in man’s life, as we face another New Year/  How can we find certainty in a world of confusion, serenity in a world of tension, faith and confidence in a world of turmoil?

The modern Jew, lonely of heart, weary of seeking without finding, of journeying without arriving, would do well to turn aside from the clamor of daily life, the din of the marketplace, and find what he seeks in the one place where it can be found — in the Synagogue, at the fountainhead of spiritual striving and religious faith.  It is my personal convict , born out of several decades of living and studying, that the salvation, yes, the very survival of the Jew is predicated on a renewed loyalty to the Synagogue.  He will not be saved by fraternalism nor philanthropy; he will not endure through the building of country clubs and recreation centers; he cannot purchase survival for the price of chicken dinners and testimonials offered at the altar of “goodwill” movements, he will not survive through the grandiloquent gestures of civic defense agencies.  it is truer than ever before that “the Ark of the Lord will carry those who carry it.”

Fraternalism and philanthropy will have a higher meaning and value, civic defense and “goodwill” will assume their proper perspective, only when they are motivated by the religious ideals of Israel, only when they are charged with spiritual energy from the dynamo of the Synagogue.

We Rabbis are not so given to undue modesty as to minimize the significance of our message and the value of our preachments. The Jewish layman has much to learn–and his Rabbis have much to teach–about Judaism’s spiritual and ethical values as they apply specifically to the problems and ills of our day and age.  As vessels of Jewish knowledge, as links in the long chain of prophetic and rabbinic tradition, your Rabbis offer to you the never-failing stream of Jewish idealism, of Torah, at its best.

If the history of other Jewish communities in past centuries teaches us anything at all, it is that whenever Jews forsook their loyalty to the Synagogue and the religious way of life, those communities were swallowed up by the waves of assimilation, and disappeared. For Jewry without Judaism is a body without a soul, a spiritual zombie.  But where religious life was strong, where they Synagogue towered above all else in Jewish life–that community was healthy and happy,.  Let us constantly remind the indifferent Jew in our midst that when he makes his secular activities a substitute for religion instead of a supplement of it, he fails to reckon with the staying power of the Synagogue — the power of religion as the prime factor in the existence of the Jewish people.

This , dear friends, is the message and call of the New Year.  It transcends all other values inherent in our Holy Days.  It is the call to a great affirmation of religious faith and loyalty, as the answer to the forces of darkness which plague man with uncertainty and fear.  “Al tiroh mipahad pis-om,” our religion teaches us.  “Be not afraid of sudden terror. Fear not the dark veil of the future.”

As we enter the New Year with prayer and blessing, I pray that God may bless you with HIs richest gifts of the spirit. May yours be a Shonah Tovah, a good year.  May it be a year in which you will open y our eyes and  your hearts, and see the Synagogue in all its wondrous, shining glory.  May it be a year in which we walk together, like Abraham and Isaac, into the unknown tomorrow with serene confidence  and unquenchable faith that the Guardian of Israel will sustain us as we labor in partnership with Him to fashion a society patterned after the imperishable ideals of the Jew.

Yo-Ma-Co’s Eighth Annual Yom Kippur Nite Dance To Be Held at Cotillion Room, El Cortez
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 20, 1957, Page 8

Once again the Yo-Ma-Co Club extends a cordial invitation to everyone to help usher in a happy new year at the annual Yom Kippur NIte Dance to be held in the lovely Cotillon Room, El Cortez Hotel, Saturday night, October 5th.

A capable committee consisting of Milton Kossy, Sid Steckel, Bill Waggner, Evelyn and Ted Herman and Alice Solomon are “knocking themselves out” to provide a delightful evening for your pleasure.

The top rate orchestra of Benny Legasse will furnish that “makes you wanna dance” music and an excellent floor show will provide an enjoyable interlude between dance periods.  Come and visit with all your friends.

Tickets may be purchased from any Yo-Ma-Co member or at the door. They are $2.00 per person, tax included.  Dance from 9:00 till 1:00.

New Years Message By Rabbi Monroe Levens
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 20, 1957, Page 13

Rabbi Monroe Levens

Rabbi Monroe Levens

Traditionally Rosh Hashanah is a time of taking account.  It is good that, at least once a year, we pause to prepare a spiritual balance sheet and evaluate the intangibles of our life as to profit and loss.  Spiritual accounting is valuable, not only for the individual but for communities and peoples alike.

In the business world, accounting can be a precise matter. One can determine with a high degree of accuracy what the status of his affairs are.  Since, however, in the spiritual world we deal with intangibles, and since our knowledge of ultimate values  and truth is highly limited, it becomes a simple matter for deceptive rationalization to lead us astray, and make us feel that we are always on the positive side of the ledger.

The average person evaluating the typical Jewish scene might reach a satisfying conclusion. He could well deduce that Jewish life is growing stronger day by day, its hope for the future ever more promising and its guarantee for survival strongly assured.

Indeed, it is my fervent prayer that this be so. However, oft times I feel that we are deluding ourselves. We are mistaking busyness for meaningfulness; activity, for significance.  Nearly every Jewish community is bubbling over with action. We do not lack for organizations and a multitude of things to do, both necessary and unnecessary. More than one Jewish organization has for the main part of its program looking for a program. The important thing in the minds of many is to generate hustle and bustle and involve as many people as possible doing anything, needed or unneeded.

To me, this situation is like a man stranded on a high mountain peak threatened with the possibility of freezing to death.  He waves his arms to and fro, and walks back and forth, because he knows that only activity can prevent him from freezing. Should he become tired, however, or for other reasons stop his being active, then he is doomed.

Jewish life in America must not be in this position. It must be selective, with purpose and direction issuing froth from a well-founded philosophy of Jewish living. There must be priority in the Jewish program of affairs, and there must be a well thought-out pattern of Jewish life based on a deep knowledge of those principles and historic axioms that have guaranteed survival for our people in the past.

It is undoubtedly asking too much that such enlightenment will be our possession within the next year.  Most Jewish communities, San Diego included, will fritter away precious hours with meaningless activity; involving the expenditure of many thousands of dollars that should be put to significant use.  It is because of this that I welcome the expanded program of Jewish education that is being undertaken by our Synagogues.  We can dedicate ourselves to no more worthy purpose during this coming New Year than to help reinforce and extend a program of real Jewish education, not only for our children, but for our youth and adults as well.  The coming year will be a successful one if we are able to make progress in this direction.

On behalf of Tifereth Israel Synagogue, its affiliates, Mrs. Levens and myself, may I extend to the members of the Jewish people everywhere sincere wishes for a New Year of peace and happiness for all.


Adventures in San Diego Jewish History” is sponsored by Inland Industries Group LP in memory of long-time San Diego Jewish community leader Marie (Mrs. Gabriel) Berg. Our “Adventures in San Diego Jewish History” series will be a regular feature until we run out of history. To find stories on specific individuals or organizations, type their names in our search box, located just above the masthead on the right hand side of the screen.


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