Stories from the September 2005 SDJJ Edition

Marla’s Neshama

by David Greenwald

Three years ago, San Diego’s Marla Bennett was killed by a suicide bomber at Hebrew University. Since then, her name has been used for good in countless ways—all of them a reminder of the unique, gifted person that she was. It has been a little more than three years since Marla Bennett was murdered when […]

Happily Ever After, with Help

by Zach Reff

Young couples at Beth Am are heading back to school—for a crash course on relationship success. “The divorce rate in this country hovers somewhere between 40 and 50 percent,” said Rebecca Barr, a licensed marriage and family therapist. “The Jewish divorce rate is almost the same. It’s usually around 30 or 40 percent.” Although these […]

The Jewish British Invasion

by Scott Benarde

After the Beatles conquered America, many of the British bands that followed were supplied with songs by Jewish songwriters. Forty years ago, in June of 1965, a British band called the Yardbirds, featuring a guitarist named Eric Clapton, reached the American Top 10 with a song called “For Your Love,” now a rock classic. While […]

From the Ground Up

by Zach Reff

Contstruction mogul Yehudi Gaffen is getting his hands dusty with a very personal project: restoring the dilapidated cemetery in his father’s Lithuanian shtetl. In a small and overgrown Jewish cemetery 6000 miles away, Yehudi Gaffen found what he was searching for—a link to his past. Amongst overturned and crumbling headstones etched with epigraphs in Hebrew, […]

Soren the swashbuckler

by Debra Kamin

Mark our swords: Olympian fencer Soren Thompson will win gold at the International Maccabiah Games this month. But he’s probably more interested in checking out Israeli architecture. When Soren Thompson was 7, his mother told her hairdresser about her athletic little boy who loved knights and medieval combat. The hairdresser suggested she enroll Soren in […]

Pearls of wisdom

by James Giza

Daniel Pearl’s parents turn their slain son’s famous last words into an inspiration for Jews everywhere. When Judea Pearl and Akbar S. Ahmed met in Pittsburgh in November 2003 to lead a public dialogue about the divisions between Muslims and the West and between Jews and Muslims, it was supposed to be a onetime deal. […]

diary of a former oleh

by William Finn

the queen of Israel One day a religious co-worker asked me in a deep whisper, “Is it true? Do they really have lesbians at your kibbutz?” My co-worker lived only fifteen minutes from my kibbutz, but when it came to sexual politics, he might as well have been worlds away. Openly gay people were fully […]

the gold standard

by Jacob Goldberg

Death of a King The death of Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd on August 1 sent oil prices to an all-time record level – above $62 a barrel. This signaled the oil market’s nervousness about any potential instability in Saudi Arabia. It was a natural reaction given that the Saudi Kingdom is the largest world oil […]

jewish reader

by Rabbi Jack Riemer

a novel that raises questions ALIBI by Joseph Kanon Henry Holt & Co. New York, N.Y. 2005 405 pages, $26.- The year is l946. A weary, worn out Europe is slowly beginning to recover from the ravages of World War Two. A man named Adam Miller comes to Venice, both to visit his widowed mother […]

musings from mama

by Sharon Rosen

saying Shalom to the Summer of Love I’ve taken to calling this summer The Summer of Love. Why? Because it makes me laugh and laughter is good. I don’t mean the summer of love in the 1969 Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin “Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz,” let’s get high kind of […]


by Curt Leviant

Saul Bellow’s influence No doubt about it, Saul Bellow was America’s premier writer in the last half of the 20th century. His prose style was muscular and jaunty – like the hats he wore – and it possessed the unique quality of seasoning colloquial English with matters cerebral. An example of this melding of low […]

this just in…

by Debra Kamin

She’s got the look When I told my mother I had been made editor-in-chief of the San Diego Jewish Journal, she couldn’t hold back her excitement. “Oh, Deb!” she exclaimed. “I am so, so proud of you! We’ve got to get you a manicure!” A manicure? A snazzy set of bookends, maybe. A subscription to […]