Natalie Jacobs Natalie Jacobs

High Hopes


Jeffrey Spivak had been having seizures for three years when Sanjay Gupta’s CNN special “Weed” came out. The documentary introduced Jeffrey, now 68, and his wife Deborah to a girl named Charlotte who has a debilitating seizure disorder called Dravet. By the time Charlotte was 5 she was having up to 300 seizures a week.… Read More »

Justice Served on Silver Platitudes


The first thing they tell you in jury duty is this will not be like the tv shows or movies you’ve watched your entire life, or the crime novels you continue to love even though you know they’re terrible. “So this will not be like Law and Order?” No. “How about CSI, CSI Miami, CSI… Read More »

On “The Salesman”


The Oscars turned political again this year, after 2016’s #OscarsSoWhite campaign brought attention to the unrepresentative complexion of last year’s nominee roster. While that issue has bubbled up in Hollywood before, the controversy this year is from an unlikely source – the President of the United States. As a result of Trump’s Executive Order which… Read More »

Two Kidneys, One Life-Saving Donation


Tzipi Tivon was diagnosed with end stage renal failure on her birthday. Her kidneys had been weak since chemo treatments for breast cancer nine years ago, and while she’s been in remission from cancer since then, her kidney function has continued to decline. Last year, in mid-January, she couldn’t breathe. “When I went to the… Read More »

The Jews at the Edge of the World


Among the San Diego History Center’s collection of 45 million documents and 2.5 million images are many details about San Diego’s pioneer families – those who arrived here with statehood in 1850. Surprising to many, Jewish families were among the first settlers, and they shaped civic life here in ways disproportionate to their small numbers.… Read More »

A Reason to Celebrate


Turn on the news or scroll through social media these days and it doesn’t seem like there’s much worth celebrating. Every day brings a new assault on truth, stability and the morale of the American people. But the Jewish Journal’s editorial calendar is not as malleable as the news cycle, so in March, we celebrate… Read More »

Randall Christopher and the Spy Who Enthralled Him


When Randall Christopher read a front-page article about Adolf Eichmann in the New York Times last year, the San Diego-based artist had only a preliminary understanding of the Holocaust. He was aware that it happened and that it was terrible, but that was about the extent of it. Randall, who is not Jewish, grew up… Read More »

To Be Special, Be Yourself


Unlike the character she portrays in “Zero Motivation,” Israeli actress Dana Ivgy has plenty of reasons to wake up in the morning. And for the next three months, she’ll be doing that waking up in San Diego where she’s stationed as a visiting professor and artist at the San Diego State School of Theatre, Television… Read More »

Incomptabile Truths


An interesting thing has been happening here at the San Diego Jewish Journal. It’s something that public radio innovator Jad Abumrad would call incompatible truths existing at the same time. He used that term – incompatible truths – when I interviewed him for a web story before an event he was doing at the Balboa… Read More »

Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad Brings Storytelling Tips, Live Music and Doubt to San Diego


Jad Abumrad is a genius, according to the MacArthur Foundation and probably a decent amount of people who’ve encountered his music composition, audio production and storytelling prowess on the public radio program he created, called Radiolab. But don’t expect him to utter that word. In fact, since the MacArthur Fellowship Grant, which awarded him $625,000… Read More »