• Students Unite to Recognize SPHS Teacher

    San Pedro High School teacher, Karin Bruhnke, was honored by the Carlston Family Foundation with the 2014 Outstanding Teacher of America award recently. Her former student, Deshawn Sambrano (right), was one of five students who nominated her for the award. Photo Courtesy of Karin Bruhnke

    By Zamná Ávila, Assistant Editor

    Isabela Mejia decided to take her mother’s advice and follow her sister’s footsteps when it was time to take advanced placement classes at San Pedro High School: Take Ms. Bruhnke’s AP Psychology class so she can do well in school.

    “I enjoyed the way she taught,” said Isabel Mejia,16. “She bases it on how a real college class functions…. She is one of the teachers who really cares about her students and wants to make a difference in their [lives].”

    It’s no surprise that her reputation follows her. Mrs. Karin Bruhnke has worked at the high school for almost 20 years, teaching advanced placement psychology, advanced placement world history, government, economics and honors world history courses. (more…)

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  • RLn ARTS Calendar: Jan. 7, 2015

    Transformations
    The Museum of Latin American Art presents Transformations, through May 17. Transformations is an exhibition that visually depicts how everyday people deal with, and are transformed by, life altering challenges. Utilizing art from MOLAA’s collection, participants will select works that reflect their emotional state before and after their transformative experience. Five local community members will share inspiring stories ranging in topics from cancer to gang violence.
    Details: (562) 437-1689
    Venue: Museum of Latin American Art
    Location: 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach
    (more…)

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  • Winter Reflects the Season of Cool at Warshaw

    By Andrea Serna, Arts and Culture Writer

    Maybe it’s just me, but the quality of exhibitions at Warschaw/Transvagrant Gallery seems to improve with each new opening.

    Warschaw/Winter is an eclectic group exhibition featuring artist works previously featured at Warschaw/TransVagrant Gallery. Painting in its various guises, from geometric patterns to biomorphic abstraction to solar-burned works, play alongside large scale photographs, sculptures made largely of pigmented rubber, Sumi ink drawing and ironic 3-D assemblage. The common denominator is quality.

    Ron Linden is unfailing in his ability to curate artists with national and international reputations. This latest show includes emerging artists as well as the solidly established and mid-career artists that San Pedro is known for. Craig Antrim, Merwin Belin. Arnée Carofano, Katy Crowe, Nate Jones, Hyung Mo Lee, Ron Linden, William Mahan, Jay McCafferty, Elizabeth Medina, Heidi Pollard, Yong Sin, Gary Szymanski, Marie Thibeault, Ted Twine, and HK Zamani are artists in the exhibit.

    Warschaw Gallery is as unconventional as the artist who manages the exhibit space. Hidden in a breezeway in the Pacific Warner Building, with entrances on Pacific Avenue and on 6th Street. The gallery receives foot traffic primarily from people visiting Off the Vine wine bar, or the local pot shop. It is doubtful that most of the people passing through the gallery realize the significance of the art hanging on the wall. Happily, local artists and art enthusiasts follow his exhibitions devotedly.

    Linden is an art professor at Los Angeles Harbor College and curator of the Harbor College art gallery. He kicked off his career with a masters in fine arts from the University of Illinois and left a tenured position in the Midwest to move to California. His resume contains positions at the some of the most prestigious art institutions in Los Angeles, but he supported himself for many years as a set builder and artist in the film industry. He has been instrumental in the development of the San Pedro arts district.

    Lindens understated restrained work is included in the exhibit.

    “Although Linden’s abstract painting utilizes, in unexpected and subtle ways, techniques acquired in his three decades working in the scenic industry, its deeper base is his ongoing interest in the philosophical conundrums of modern art,” wrote art critic Peter Plagens of Lindens work in the online website CUE Art Foundation . “Working with mixed materials, Linden’s layered compositions strike an odd but convincing sense of balance and solidity.”

    Jay McCafferty’s delicate solar burned, process driven work is included in this show. As well as the whimsical paintings of Ted Twine.Emerging artist Elizabeth Medina has contributed an abstract impressionist piece reflecting her interest in the work of Richard Diebenkorn. Medina is a masters in fine arts student at Otis College of the Arts.

    Angels Gate artist Hyong Mo Lee is another emerging artist, whose work on paper exhibits a rigorously detailed hand-penciled drawing. His education includes attendance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.

    “My drawing strategy is similar to the slow growing process of stones, trees and mountains,” Lee said. “It is an incremental process — laborious and time consuming — whereby a single cellular unit or mark is repeated until all surface is filled.”

    Stand outs in this show are photographer Ray Carafano and his wife, photographer Arnée Carafano. The two photographers reside and work at Gallery 478 on 7th St. Their studio is a popular stop on the San Pedro art walk night.

    Ray has worked in black and white abstract landscapes for much of his 50-year career. Recently, his composition has moved further away from representational references and muted color has lent a haunting impression to his photos.

    His wife Arnée, also an accomplished artist, has developed her own distinctive style. Two pieces focusing on the Pacific Ocean, confirms her shared interest in the abstract perspective.

    Many more works stand out in this exhibition. The exhibition will be displayed in the hallways of the old building at the corner of 6th Street and Pacific Avenue. If you are stopping by the dispensary, or heading for a glass of wine, your visit will be enhanced by a few minutes spent viewing the art at Warschaw Gallery.
    Winter runs through Jan. 16, 2015.
    Details: (310) 600-4873
    Venue: Warschaw/Transvagrant Gallery
    Location: 600 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro

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  • RLn COMMUNITY, THEATER Calendars: Jan. 2, 2015

    COMMUNITY
    Jan. 11
    South Coast Cactus & Succulent Society
    Gregg DeChirico, president of the Cactus & Succulent Society of America, is presenting a program on the plants and wildlife of Madagascar, starting at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 11, at the South Coast Botanic Garden, in the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
    Learn how the most diverse flora and fauna imaginable are caught in a complicated and anxious struggle for survival.
    Details:  southcoastcss.org
    Venue: South Coast Botanic Garden
    Location: 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula

    Jan. 17
    The Bombs that Saved China
    Learn about how the fight against Japan in the China-Burma-India campaign required rugged machines, at 11 a.m. Jan. 17, at the Western Museum of Flight in Torrance.
    Lt. David K. Hayward will talk about his experience with the B-25.
    Details: (310) 326-9544
    Venue: Western Museum of Flight
    Location: 3315 Airport Drive, Torrance

    Jan. 17
    Tidepool Wonders
    Explore one of the lowest tides of the year on the rocky shore with Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 17, and from 12:30p to 2 p.m. Jan. 18.
    Bring family and friends to the aquarium’s John M. Olguin Auditorium for an informative slide show, followed by a walk led by Cabrillo Marine Aquarium education staff to the nearby Point Fermin tidepools.
    Details: (310) 548-7562; www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
    Location: 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

    Jan. 17
    Underwater Parks Day
    Join Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.Jan. 17, for Underwater Parks Day.
    By attending this free event, you can learn about marine protected areas in Southern California that went into effect on January 1, 2012.
    Details: (310) 548-7562; www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
    Location: 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

    Jan. 17
    27th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace & Unity Parade Celebration
    The 27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace & Unity Parade Celebration will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 17, in Long Beach.
    This year’s theme is “From Poverty to Prosperity.”
    The parade will begin on Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue intersecting Anaheim Street, and is followed by a multi-cultural celebration at King Park, 1950 Lemon Avenue.
    Details:(562) 570-6816
    Venue: King Park
    Location: 1950 Lemon Ave., Long Beach
     
     
    THEATER
    Jan. 9
    Shadows-A Play
    Experience Shadows-A Play, at7 p.m. Jan. 9, at the Grand Annex in San Pedro.
    Playwright and San Pedro native, Linda Dunton Delmar presents the 15th anniversary of her off-Broadway play based on her own childhood experience.
    Tickets range from $15 to $35.
    Details: (310) 833-4813; www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex
    Location: 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    Jan. 17
    Murder on the Nile
    Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile opens, Jan. 17, on the Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage.
    Murder on the Nile promises a host of colorful characters and all the twists and turns of a classic Christie to keep you guessing to the final shattering climax.
    Tickets are $24 for adults, $21 for seniors and $14 for students.
    Details: (562) 494-1014; www.lbplayhouse.org
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage
    Location: 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

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  • RLn ENTERTAINMENT Calendar: Dec. 30, 2014

    Jan. 4
    Jazzedelics
    The Jazzedelics are scheduled to perform, at 4 p.m. Jan. 4, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Jazzedelics is the brainchild of singer and percussionist Tony Jones and guitarist Doug Perkins. Their music is based on a simple premise: what if seminal rock giants of the 60s had written their songs in a jazz framework?
    Suggested donation is $20.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Jan. 6
    John Daversa Progressive Big Band
    The John Daversa Progressive Big Band performs, at 8 p.m. Jan. 6 and 7, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    The John Daversa Progressive Big Band is one of the leading forces of large ensemble jazz today.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Jan. 9
    Rob Klopfenstein
    Rob Klopfenstein performs at 7 p.m. Jan. 9, at The Whale & Ale in San Pedro.
    Rob Klopfenstein is an all-around entertainer on the piano along with special guest artists.
    No cover charge for bar or dinner guests.
    Details: (310) 832-0363; www.whaleandale.com
    Venue: The Whale & Ale British Restaurant
    Location: 327 W. 7th St., San Pedro
     
    Jan. 9
    Richard Sherman Trio
    The Richard Sherman Trio performs, at 8 p.m. Jan. 9, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Jan. 10
    Cole Marcus Trio
    The Cole Marcus Trioperforms, at 8 p.m. Jan. 10, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
     
    Jan. 16
    Los Tribes
    Los Tribes performs, at 8 p.m. Jan. 16, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Jan. 17
    Robert Sarzo
    Robert Sarzo performs a tribute to Santana, starting at 8 pm. Jan. 17. at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
     
    Jan. 18
    Frank Potenza
    Frank Potenza performs, at 4 p.m. Jan. 18, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    Jan. 22
    Jeff Hamilton Trio
    The Jeff Hamilton Trio performs, at 8 p.m. Jan. 22, at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro.
    Details: (800) 403-3447
    Venue: Alvas Showroom
    Location: 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro
     
     

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  • RLn COMMUNITY Calendar: Dec. 23, 2014

    Dec. 27
    Cannon Battle Sails
    Get ready to rock the harbor aboard Los Angeles’ official tall ships, from 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 27 and 28, in San Pedro.
    The cost is $60 for adults and $40 for children.
    Details: (310) 833-6055; online 
    Venue: Downtown San Pedro Harbor Cut
    Location: 6th Street at Harbor Boulevard, San Pedro
     
    Dec. 29
    The Nature Center is hosting fun workshops over winter break for children 5 to 8 years old, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Dec. 29 through 31, at the El Dorado Nature Center in Long Beach. (more…)

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  • Listening in to LACO’s Baroque Conversations

    By Melina Paris, Music Columnist

    The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra has a well-loved tradition of performing the five concert “Baroque Conversation” series.

    Now in its ninth year, music director Jeffrey Kahane leads the program. This year the program uniquely included four harpsichords with the chamber orchestra. There were two performances: Dec. 11 at Zipper Hall in downtown Los Angeles and on Dec. 13 at The Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge

    Former San Pedro resident and artist, Curtis Berak, is the builder and owner of the four harpsichords that were played. Two were modeled after Italian designs (Italians were the first to make harpsichords), the other two were French designs. The tops of the harpsichords also were on display at the back of the stage. Each was finely painted by San Pedro artist Timna Pilch, depicting country side scenes and painted marble. (more…)

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  • If Not Now When?

    How We Fail at Democracy, How It Fails Us

    James Preston Allen, Publisher

    We spend a lot of time in this country talking or posturing about defending democracy. How many times have we gone to war in the past 100 years on this very premise?

    Yet, I am constantly reminded of how often we don’t live up to those hallowed words, let alone the intent behind them.  The recent U.S. Senate report on the CIA’s use of torture, the egregious acts of brutality by various police agencies against people of color and the militarization of police forces nationwide all lead me to question once again, the “rule of law” and its service in protecting our liberties and freedom. (more…)

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  • Being Homeless is Not a Crime

    By Zamná Ávila, Assistant Editor

    Neecee, who asked that her last name not be included in this article, has been homeless for the past three years. She often gets the free meals offered at Mary Star of the Sea Church or Kurt’s Kitchen on Pacific Avenue in San Pedro. At 45 years of age, she carries her life in a shopping cart filled with blankets, clothing and other personal affects. Neecee’s 23-year-old son and her brother also are homeless.

    In circumstances as these, a shower is difficult to come by. When the opportunity arises to get one, you take it.

    A couple of weeks ago, around about the time the recent storm hit Southern California, Neecee was given permission to shower at a friend’s house. When she returned to the place at Plaza Park where she left her cart, all of her belongings were gone. (more…)

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  • Disillusionment at the Ancestral Court

    By Lionel Rolfe

    Recently, when the publication of a paperback version of my first book The Menuhins: A Family Odyssey (the book originally came out in hardcover in 1978), I remembered my visit to Brooklyn to meet my Hassidic ancestors.

    My mother Yaltah and aunt Hephzibah were prodigy pianists and my uncle Yehudi, the violinist, had been described as the greatest musical prodigy since Mozart. At that point the three were alive in London, so a stopover in Brooklyn was appropriate.

    The first morning after my arrival in Gotham, I emerged from the black pits of the subway to find that number 790, the address of the Hassidic headquarters, was quite a bit further down Brooklyn’s Eastern Parkway.

    As I began the trek down the broad, shabby, but still dignified boulevard, I felt my balding head and cursed myself for not having followed the advice of people who had told me to get some cover for my shiny dome. It doesn’t have to be a yarmulke; any type of hat would do, I had been told.

    “But wouldn’t that be dishonest?” I had asked. “I mean, I’m not an orthodox Jew.”

    “Just to show them respect,” had been the answer.

    Ah, in that case, I knew what would have been ideal: one of those jaunty black berets that my grandfather Moshe always used to wear. Moshe used to have an endless supply of them, one in this room, another in that room, maybe even one in the chicken shed.

    A beret made you a dapper, worldly gentleman, and yet, if you had come from the ghettoes of Eastern Europe, it eased your conscience about your naked head. But there were no berets in the ghetto shops. My pace quickened and as it did so, the whirring worrying in my head that I would have to brave the Lubavitcher Court hatless also increased. Many a writer had been thrown bodily out of the Lubavitcher Court. On the other hand, the Schneersohns, the Lubavitchers, were my cousins. The Menuhins were but an offshoot of the famed Chabad father-to-son dynasty, which presided over the Polish-Russian town of Lubavitch.

    Once the Lubavitchers had been the major leaders of half of Russia’s Jewish population, which numbered several millions. But the pogroms at the turn of the century, the mass exodus of the Jews before the Russian Revolution and then Hitler, reduced the Lubavitchers to holding sway over only a few thousand souls. They had done so ever since Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, the sixth generation head of the Lubavitcher dynasty, had been released from a Soviet prison in the 1920s. He had made his way first to Paris, then to Brooklyn.

    Now, I stood in the foyer of 790, behind the heavy entrance doors, uncomfortable because I could be naught but a stranger to the bearded Jews chanting in the next room with a passionate, melodic, electric hum that I recognized. Although in my youth my grandfather did not sing Hassidic melodies to me, there was an intense melody in the hum of his activity. Even if he was merely showing me the right way to pull up a weed or to dig a hole to trap a gopher gnawing at the roots of an orange tree or tamping down the compost heap back of the chicken shed, the old Hassidic energy emerged in melodic glory, thanking G-d for always creating something new.

    Now, Hassidim emerged from the room where they had been chanting and davaning; they kissed the mezuzah on the door and went outside. My mind became involved in the kissing of the door’s mezuzah and I wondered if they expected me to do it. When a Hassid, a thin, pale-looking young man, had finished kissing the mezuzah, he looked straight at me, without giving me a sign of acknowledgement. He did not even ask me what I was doing there and left the building. Seconds later, another Hassid, with a more authoritative bearing, walked in the door and asked me what I wanted.

    I heard my voice mumble something, and then I was being pointed to a door I assumed was an office.

    “Somebody should be there soon,” a passing Hassid told me.

    Finally an “American” rabbi arrived I began to explain my purpose to him. He confirmed what the Los Angeles Hassidic American rabbi had said, that Rabbi Israel Jacobson was the man I needed to see.

    The “American” rabbi had returned. He kept glancing up at me. Something was making him nervous. Then I laughed.

    “Have you a yarmulke” I asked him.

    He looked relieved.

    “Yes, yes,” he said quickly, and rummaged through a cabinet, coming up with a red yarmulke.

    I put it on, and the rabbi looked as if God Himself was smiling in His Heaven.

    Now, the yeshiva student became very friendly. He wanted to talk. I asked him if he had ever heard of Yehudi Menuhin, the violinist.

    “No,” said the student.

    “Well,” I said, suddenly feeling silly, “he’s my uncle, and one of the world’s most famous violinists. I’m surprised you haven’t heard of him, for he is also a Schneersohn.”

    I talked for awhile about the Menuhins and the Schneersohns, and about the book I was writing.

    “I am related to the family, too,” said the student proudly.

    I looked at him and saw that his broad, beaming countenance could be said to look like my own.

    I told him, “I had not been raised religiously; in truth, I hadn’t even been Bar Mitzvah’d. It wasn’t until six months ago that I had even started to look into my family background. I hadn’t known how extraordinary and eccentric my family was. I had always known they were famous musicians, but not religious figures, too.

    “I’ve been reading a lot about my ancestors,” I said.

    “Follow me,” the student replied.

    We went down a narrow, winding stairway to a basement synagogue, a gigantic room filled with noise and hubbub. Everyone was chanting and talking; it was chaotic, and no one person seemed in charge. The student approached the torah rabbi on my behalf. I was surprised. The rabbi was surprised too, and angry. He glared at the student as if to say, “Deal with it as you will.”

    So the yeshiva student returned to me and said I should put on tfillin, the Hebrew phylacteries. For the second time in my life, I did so. I repeated the Hebrew words without knowing what they meant.

    We went upstairs, and the student said he would help me find Rabbi Jacobson. The student talked to several people and discovered which of the yeshiva buildings Jacobson was in at the moment. He pointed to the right one. I shook his hand and began walking, and came upon what looked like an abandoned building. From down at the end of one of its darkened halls, however, came the sound of voices, and finally from the shadows emerged the man who, I knew, had to be Jacobson.

    “I want to talk,” I said to the rabbi, and got the feeling that he had been expecting me.

    Jacobson merely nodded and pointed to the door at the far end of the building. I followed the little man.

    It was a small, dark room with a rough bench and some chairs. At first Rabbi Jacobson couldn’t understand, and my heart sank.

    “Moshe Menuhin, my grandfather,” I said.

    Finally Jacobson took out a piece of paper and wrote the name down, and I began worrying. To whom could I go if this man didn’t know? Jacobson had become my link with the past. “Meshe,” the rabbi finally said slowly, and his face lit up. “You’re related to him? How are you related to him?”

    “He is my grandfather.”

    “And what do you do?”

    “I am a writer. I am writing a book. I am told we are related to the Schneersohns.”

    Rabbi Jacobson nodded. “I have a letter,” he began explaining, “written to me from Russia many years ago about Meshe, the father of Yehudi Menuhin. Your grandfather is the direct descendant via a marriage with a daughter of the great tzaddik, Menachem-Mendel Schneersohn, the famed grandson of Schneur Zalman. And on his father’s side he was the great-grandson of Levi-Yitzhak of Berditchev.”

    He scrawled the name “Levi-Yitzhak” on the back of an envelope. I knew who Levi-Yitzhak was.

    I remembered having read about the saintly but eccentric teacher, and saying to myself, “That man reminds me somehow of myself.”

    Now I was learning that there might be a reason for this.

    “I want to see the letter,” I said.

    It’s in Hebrew,” the rabbi told me. Suddenly his tone of voice became suspicious. He was no longer friendly. He began to scowl, and began asking me questions like a prosecuting attorney hot on the trail of a confession. The rabbi questioned me about my family, my Jewishness, my upbringing.

    When I said that my brother Robert was a physicist at Los Alamos, New Mexico, he asked “What’s a physicist? Is that like a doctor?”

    After that I thought it was best not talk too much about the relentless pursuit of the mechanics of matter, for Hassidim are, after all, mystics, who treasure the universe’s mystery as God’s very own cloak.

    Jacobson was on much surer ground when I mentioned my daughters, and the rabbi asked, “Is the mother Jewish?” My first wife had not been Jewish, I had to admit. (Neither were my next two wives, come to think of it).

    The rabbi raised his hands in horror and announced that he had no intention of contributing to a book such as mine.

    “I will not besmirch the name of the Schneersohns, one of the greatest of Jewish intellectual family names, by linking it with that of the Menuhins,” he said dramatically. “I will tell you no more.”

    My anger exploded.

    “The Schneersohns have nothing to be ashamed of by being linked to the Menuhins,” I replied. “And you have no right to talk to me that way. I am every bit as much a Jew as you are.”

    “Is your mother Jewish?”

    “Of course. She’s a Menuhin.”

    “And your father?”

    I nodded.

    “Fully.”

    “But your children aren’t.”

    “What do you expect me to do–disown my own children?”

    “I’m not running a charity,” said the rabbi. “I can’t worry about every lost soul. And Yehudi Menuhin, he’s not married to a Jew either, is he?”

    “He’s not.”

    “Listen,” he said. “I will maybe help you if you go back to the yeshiva and start by getting to know some of the young men there.” I shook my head. I said I had to be in London soon, which was only partly true. But I knew I didn’t want to spend much more time in New York, let alone with the Hassidim.

    “All right then, when you get to London, look us up there,” Jacobson said.  “Associate with the right people. Stay away from the shiksas.”

    If I did all those things, maybe Jacobson would then consider revealing all the details of my family tree.

    Maybe I should simply go back to my Manhattan hotel and catch the next plane out. I was still seething. But no, I owed it another try. I would go to an afternoon of lectures by one of the Lubavitcher rabbis.

    The lecture was on Tanya, the great opus of Jewish psychology written in 1797 by the Alter Rebbe himself, Schneur Zalman. The Tanya lecture concerned Jewish souls and non-Jewish souls. According to Tanya, all human beings have souls, but only Jews have higher souls.

    One of those around the table listening to the rabbi’s lecture was a loud, aggressive-sounding fellow who, as it finally came out, was a member of Rabbi Kahane’s Jewish Defense League, the militant Zionist political organization centered in Brooklyn, until it moved to the West Bank.

     

    He started talking about “uncircumcised dogs” and I knew I wasn’t going to stay much longer in Brooklyn. My shiksa wife often told me that while they might have circumcised me in the hospital, it didn’t look that way. Oy, I thought, that’s all I needed, to have a roomful of Hassidim telling me I should get an operation. London seemed a much better fate than a retroactive circumcision.

    *

    The new paperback edition of “The Menuhins: A Family Odyssey” by Lionel Rolfe is available from Amazon.

     

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