Stories from the September 2004 SDJJ Edition

Michael Lerner: The most controversial Jew in America

by Judd Handler

He is relentlessly critical of Israel. He eulogizes Rachel Corrie. And he’s done more for peace than any conservative we know. One of the most controversial Jews in America will be speaking in San Diego on September 10. Rabbi Michael Lerner is author of Renewal: A Path to Healing and Transformation and editor-in-chief of Tikkun […]

Condoms for Israel

by Alexandra Fisch

A pair of UCSD students come up with a novel way to reach apathetic college students: Zionist prophylactics. A condom is a powerful piece of rubber. It can prevent a pregnancy. Or it can give birth to a firestorm. Two third-year UCSD students found that out firsthand when they gave out thousands of condoms emblazoned […]

Ararat on the Erie

by Deborah Hertz

On the day after Rosh Hashanah in 1825, the visionary – and slightly daffy – Mordecai Manuel Noah declared the Jewish homeland… in Buffalo, New York. September 15, 1825 – the day after Rosh Hashanah – was a warm and sunny day in Buffalo, New York. There was only one public house of worship in […]

Guster: Trio of Life

by Micah Sachs

How three nice Jewish boys from the ‘burbs became, uh, three nice Jewish boys playing bongos and guitar on the road. The all-Jewish trio Guster has played the following in concert: a shofar, “Hava Nagila,” even the “Shema” – which all three members knew by heart. But Brian Rosenworcel, the band’s percussionist, is emphatic that […]

This old house

by Karen Pearlman

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict comes to Balboa Park, as the financially struggling House of Israel coexists uneasily with the new House of Palestine. Most Sunday afternoons at the international cottages at Balboa Park are low-stress affairs. People stroll from house to house tasting ethnic delicacies, looking through the artifact-filled cottages, getting a feel for various nations’ […]

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Choosing “The Chosen”

by David Ellenstein

Almost cast in the film version, North Coast Rep’s David Ellenstein stages Chaim Potok’s classic novel – for the fourth time. David Ellenstein is one of the many Jewish lovers of Chaim Potok’s “The Chosen.” But he didn’t read the book merely because a teacher assigned it or friends had recommended it. As the son […]

Owner of a Jewish heart

by Jeff Berkwits

Trevor Rabin, formerly of the super-group Yes, recalls growing up in an observant South African home. In an odd twist of fate, Trevor Rabin was working on a space-related project when the shuttle Columbia disintegrated early last year. Details of the disaster came while he was crafting the music for “Mission: SPACE,” a new exhibit […]

diary of an aliyah

by William Finn

Driving on Yom Kippur I knew Yom Kippur was coming, because the stores were full of popcorn displays, aimed at secular Israelis who stayed home and watched videos. I was shopping with my friend Hannah, who complained that she wanted to go to Yom Kippur services but was too sick to walk. I offered to […]

joel’s world

by Joel Chasnoff

Say no to shul For many Jews, the High Holiday services are like the Department of Motor Vehicles: you spend a lot of money for anonymous service, you’re packed into a cramped room waiting for the moment you can leave, and the only reason you bother going in the first place is to get an […]

jewish reader

by Rabbi Philip Graubart

Living in a dream state What’s it like to live in Israel? For most American Jews, whose experience of Israel consists mainly of Israel Independence Day fairs and sightseeing tours of Israel, the only real way to find out is by reading books. And for us, accounts by English-speaking immigrants offer the best and perhaps […]

musings from mama

by Sharon Rosen

Is this cowboy kosher? When we entered the dining room at the dude ranch we’d selected for our family vacation, I couldn’t believe my eyes. A few feet away from me stood a tall, lean man in his late 50’s, dressed in new blue jeans, a big silver buckled leather belt, a western style shirt, […]

talkin’ torah

by Irv Jacobs

How the High Holidays began This month’s Torah portions Sept. 4: Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8) Sept. 11: Nitzavim/Vayelech (Deuteronomy 29:9-31:30) Sept. 18: Haazinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52) Sept. 25: Yom Kippur The High Holy Days as we know them are quite different from their origins in the budding Israelite nation of 3,000 years ago. In fact, the […]

writer’s block

by Micah Sachs

The Messianic mess The Jews for Jesus are coming to town in September, launching their largest-ever missionary blitz in San Diego. It’s my duty as a journalist and community spokesperson to tell you how horrible they are, how deceptive and manipulative and just plain creepy these people are. I am supposed to tell you to […]