Jewish community day with the Padres

Special Padres hats with the team name in Hebrew letters and emblazoned with the flag of Israel were distributed to those who purchased Padres tickets arranged by the Jewish Federation of San Diego

By Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO – The Jewish community day at Petco Park would have been better if the Padres had won instead of losing 4-1 to the Washington Nationals, but still there was much to enjoy: New hats with Padres inscribed in Hebrew and the Flag of Israel emblazoned above the bill; kosher hot dogs, and lots, but lots, of schmoozing.

Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal, spiritual leader emeritus of Tifereth Israel Synagogue, gives a rabbinical blessing to the San Diego Friar.

There were a few special moments, such as went Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal, the emeritus spiritual leader of Tifereth Israel Synagogue, raised his hands and bestowed the three-part rabbinic blessing on the Padres Friar, a character made out to look like one of the Franciscan monks who used to habituate the San Diego Mission.

Sol Lizerbram, middle, with family in the stands August 20th at the San Diego Padres-Washington Nationals game.

And there was the opportunity to see the new national president of Jewish National Fund, Sol Lizerbram, and his wife Lauren, take a seat in the upper stands in right field.  On Monday evening, Lizerbram will have pre-inaugural ceremonies in San Diego to celebrate his forthcoming installation as JNF’s first president to be elected from any city on the West Coast.  He lives in San Diego County.

Other high points a group of Jewish synagogues and institutions handing out literature and souvenirs at the “park in the park” – an area where kids can roll down the grass, and visitors can take photos of a statue of the late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who played his entire Major League Baseball career in a Padres uniform.

Jewish men passing the Chabad tables were offered the opportunity by Rabbi Zalman Carlebach to don tefillin if they hadn’t already.  Carlebach led those who accepted—including this reporter—in the traditional prayers.

Rabbi Carlebach of Chabad of Downtown S.D. puts tefillin on SDJW editor Donald H. Harrison prior to Padres-Nationals game

Various kinds of swag were offered at other tables.  Beth Jacob Congregation offered tzedakah boxes.  So did the Jewish National Fund.  StandWithUs had pens, sunglasses, keychains and various useful trinkets.

Rand Levin, executive director of Beth Jacob Congregation, distributes a tzedakah box

At all the tables, it seemed, there were pamphlets and brochures.

Some members and spouses of Tifereth Israel Synagogue Men’s Club

Rabbi Joshua Dorsch and family

Jessica Harrison, recent Birthright/ Taglit participant


Jewish Little Pal with Jack Forman

Nancy and I met the red-shirted members of the Tifereth Israel Synagogue Men’s Club before the game and we all sat together in a block of seats.  Our synagogue’s new rabbi, Philadelphia loyalist Joshua Dorsch, and family joined us.  Our grand-niece Jessica met the blue-shirted group of 20-somethings who recently had gone on a Birthright/ Taglit trip to Israel.

Other groups in our immediate vicinity included members of Chabad of La Costa and Adath Yeshurun Synagogue.  Among the latter group, I saw Jack Forman sitting with his Jewish Little Pal.

Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World.  He may be contacted via [email protected]

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