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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘CA’

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

One-Issue Voters Re “Lew Fidler for State Senate” (editorial, March 16):

I am aghast that certain rabbonim were apparently manipulated into signing onto a letter “decreeing” that it is a violation of halacha to vote for someone because he or she supports same-sex marriage.

For me it is a leap to say that just because something violates halacha it automatically follows that one cannot vote for a political candidate who doesn’t agree with or abide by its prohibition. That requires a judgment along the nature of a takanah enacted by universally acknowledged gedolei hador sitting in council – not a process in which single-issue activists pester individual rabbis they target to sign a letter they’ve drafted.

Besides, rabbinical approval was far from unanimously lined up behind Fidler’s opponent, David Storobin. What about the rabbis who supported Fidler?

I think our community risks becoming something of a laughingstock as we increasingly – and mindlessly – become one-issue voters at the urging of activists who ignore dozens of other, equally important, issues.

I also wonder what our reaction would be if we learned that a non-Jewish elected official was “ordered” to blindly following the direction of his clergyman? You wait and see, this will come back to haunt us. Stuart Miller (Via E-Mail)


Super Jewish District Am I the only one repelled by the cynicism inherent in the plan to carve out a new senate district so as to maximize Orthodox Jewish clout there? (“No To a Jewish Super District,” editorial, March 16).

Where are the concerns about gerrymandering? Do we just go along with anything some individual or organizational political activists put on the table? I think you are correct in saying this is all part of a deal to guarantee the election of a Republican in a sea of Brooklyn Democrats. But whom do these dealmakers speak for? Nobody asked me. Helene Rosen New York, NY


Academic Hatred Of Israel I concur with David Solway’s review (“The Academic Jihad Against Israel,” op-ed, March 16) of Dr. Richard Cravatts’s new book Genocidal Liberalism: The University’s Jihad Against Israel & Jews.

The book explores the growing phenomenon of Israel-hatred and covert anti-Semitism on college campuses. Fomented by extreme left-wing institutes, funded by Saudi dollars, and led by professors with a barely-hidden intolerance for even the continued existence of the Jewish state, the new anti-Semitism parading as anti-Zionism poses dangerous threats to Israel and those who recognize the viability of this Western-style democracy in the Middle East.

Tracing the birth of this new strain of virulent anti-Israelism to the left’s obsession with “Palestinianism,” the book also reveals how a destructive “unholy alliance” has been formed between those liberals who seek social justice for the Palestinians, and Islamists who now find the left as an ally against a common enemy: Israel.

Genocidal Liberalism exposes the threat posed by the new anti-Semitism in detail, and then offers some concrete solutions to help bring American and Canadian campuses back to a balanced and levelheaded discussion of Israel and to expose the dangerous agenda of campus radicals. Brian J. Goldenfeld Woodland Hills, CA


The Tyranny Of Beauty

More Gym And Makeup As the mother of an unmarried son, I applaud Yitta Halberstam Mandelbaum for “Purim and the Tyranny of Beauty: A Plea to Mothers of Girls in Shidduchim” (Family Issues section, March 16).

Every era of history is characterized by its own approach. While our grandmothers probably had to be pleasingly plump, or at least well rounded, to find a husband, today the boys are more interested in how a girl is looking rather than how well she’s cooking.

I have seen far too many shidduch-age girls who don’t bother to style their hair and wear makeup. Time at the gym and good nutrition would help too (and that applies to boys as well). Leah Silverman (Via E-Mail)


Harmful Message Operating under the assumption that Yitta Halberstam Mandelbaum’s article imploring young women in shidduchim to do anything to improve their looks – even undergo plastic surgery – was not a Purimshpiel, I have this to say:

I do not understand why your publication, which has always given a large platform to issues like eating disorders and disaffected youths who leave the path of Torah, gave Ms. Mandelbaum the chance to spread a message that seems not only antithetical to the Torah’s timeless teachings and Jewish values, but one that can only harm, and not help, the many Jewish young women suffering from disordered eating, body dysmorphia, and endless worrying over whether they are attractive enough to find a mate.

Ms. Mandelbaum’s son may have been “in demand” before his mother’s plea for Jewish young women to do anything to improve their looks – no matter how fake those looks end up being – but I doubt many women will be lining up now to have Ms. Mandelbaum as a mother-in-law. Tova Ross Bergenfield, NJ

Our Readers

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Beren Kiddush Hashem (I)

Nathan Lewin’s inside report on the frum kids from Beren Academy who, because of Shabbat, were ready to default on a basketball tournament slot was the story of a true Kiddush Hashem (“Playing for a Higher Authority,” front-page essay, March 9).

While being able to compete in sporting events is hardly the essence of life, telling a non-Jewish world that puts such great store in sports – and is not all that familiar with the kind of strict Sabbath prohibitions we live by – is very significant. Perhaps most important is that the students declared to all that they will not easily abide religious discrimination. In doing that they hopefully spoke for all of us.

Bravo to Mr. Lewin and the others for assuming the responsibility of standing up to those who would keep Jews out of the mainstream. It is this kind of hishtadlus that will secure our survival as a people. Irving Brecher (Via E-Mail)

Beren Kiddush Hashem (II)

I have mixed feelings about the Beren Academy controversy. I am proud that the students and their parents stood up to what I believe was outright bigotry. The world did not come to an end because the sports association modified its schedule in order to accommodate students. In fact, there didn’t seem to be even one adverse consequence.

Yet I wonder whether the lingering result of this controversy will be an increased identification on the part of the students with sports competition rather than their religious studies – which, after all, is why we send our kids to yeshiva. I also wonder whether risking a negative court decision that could have impacted on the employment rights of religious Jews was wise. David Lazar Los Angeles, CA

Beware A Reelected Obama

“The President and the Prime Minister” (editorial, March 9) captures the essence of the problem our community faces should President Obama be reelected. I believe that Obama desires to change the special relationship between the United States and Israel – a relationship that has allowed Israel to thrive and pursue its national destiny.

When you boil the Obama rhetoric down, it is clear that he ultimately sees America only as the guarantor of Israel’s physical survival but not as a supporter of its ongoing nation-building. Worse still, he seems prepared to join the other side’s efforts to derail it. His dubious risk-taking with the Iranian nuclear threat at Israel’s expense is certainly indicative of what is to come. Nachman Gorman New York, NY

Inebriated Tzedakah Collectors

Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb’s front-page essay (“Why I Dread Purim,” March 2) was thorough and poignant. I commend you for giving it the space it deserved.

After spending Purim being harangued by a number of young and drunk collectors, I couldn’t help thinking the following: If tzedakah is what brings these boys to our homes, and if they feel that performing the mitzvah of collecting tzedakah on Purim entitles them to act in a disgusting manner, what is missing in the conversation is the most obvious and simple solution. Simply put, we get the yeshivas and organizations to control their own boys.

How? Hit them where it hurts. If potential donors decide that even seemingly drunk collectors will not be given any money at all, the yeshivas will feel the pinch and take control of the situation.

Just as I do on a daily basis with other collectors whose causes I do not identify with, I will be implementing this solution next year, and hope others will join me. If enough of us take this stand, and the yeshivas know about it ahead of time, there might well be a change in the behavior of the visitors we receive. Eitan Zerykier (Via E-Mail)

Contact Schumer About Pollard

I agree with your March 9 editorial “Jonathan Pollard and the McFarlane Factor.” Anyone who is not deterred from spying by what happened to Pollard will not be deterred by anything. And any information Pollard got hold of is by now out of date. He has been punished enough. As McFarlane says, Pollard’s harsh sentence was motivated in large part by Defense Secretary Weinberger’s anti-Israel feelings.

Jewish Press readers should write to Senator Charles Schumer asking that he urge his good friend President Obama to commute Pollard’s sentence to time served. Your editorial noted the example of Israeli President Shimon Peres, who asked Obama to free Pollard. Let us follow Peres’s example. Reuven Solomon (Via E-Mail)

The Plague Of Divorce

Re Dr. Rachel Levmore’s “Demonstrations and Remonstrations on Agunah Day” (op-ed, March 2):

I think we have missed the boat on this issue, to the great sorrow of many individuals and our community as a whole.

The Torah commands men to marry, as “It is not good for man to be alone.” Many have explained the reference to man and not woman because a woman is instinctively inclined to seek marriage.

Our Readers

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Bleak Future

I fear your Feb. 17 front-page story about the recent bombing attacks against Israel was right on the mark. Apparently Iran is not going to take efforts to deter its nuclear weapons program lying down. We can expect more attacks as those efforts continue.

William Scheiner New York, NY


We Are One

Terror attacks directed against Israeli diplomats abroad should come as a warning signal not only to Israelis but to Jews everywhere.

Jews are really part of an extended family wherever we live. The world views us as one whether we live in Brazil, Ireland, Croatia or the United States. Iran definitely views us as one people and therefore these attacks cannot be viewed with complacency. Jews all over the world should take it upon themselves to endeavor to make Israel stronger. Because what we do for Israel is what, in the long run, we do for ourselves.

Thelma Susswein Jerusalem


Tuition And Education (I)

Re “Obsession With Tuition Hurts Jewish Education,” (front-page essay, Feb. 17):

Marvin Schick paints a dire picture of the future of Jewish education because of financial difficulties and the tendency to look to parents to make up the slack – which, he says, is not only an inadequate solution but also often has an adverse effect on children.

But it should not be all that surprising that school administrators tend to focus on tuition to meet their financial responsibilities. That is the most logical source for funds and indeed perhaps the most reasonable. After all, parents have at least as much of an interest in the education of their children as does the school. And school personnel have just as much a right as the parents to live their lives with some degree of dignity.

So sacrifice should not be a one-way street. Of course, great care should be taken to ensure that children do not suffer because of any disputes between their parents and the school.

Eliezer Gardner (Via E-Mail)


Tuition And Education (II)

Unfortunately, Jewish education receives no tuition subsidies from government; it involves two sets of teachers for each child; and its costs are largely dictated by those of the public schools, which are fully funded by government.

While there are parents who refuse to meet their tuition responsibilities, that is not the core issue. Until there is widespread recognition in our community that tuition will never be able to provide the wherewithal to run our schools, and that serious fundraising is essential, there will be no progress.

Sharon Glazer Los Angeles, CA


Tuition And Education (III)

The real problem bedeviling Jewish education is the failure of efforts to secure government funds for the secular education of children in parochial schools. Ambitious efforts in the past have resulted only in peripheral, although important, aid.

And while such assistance should properly be seen as a matter of equity with parochial school students entitled to the same educational funding as their public school counterparts, the current difficult economic situation in our country and around the world means that it will not be forthcoming.

Adam Sobel (Via E-Mail)


Tuition And Education (IV)

I was disappointed that no mention was made by Dr. Schick of the high quality of religious and general studies education provided by the U.S. yeshiva day school movement today. Graduates have not only strengthened the American Jewish community but Israel as well has benefited from those making aliyah.

Yeshiva day school graduates can be found in all professional, business and governmental sectors, with many achieving distinguished positions. So it is frustrating that this fact is not considered by prospective parents as well as by potential supporters in determining the value they place on this unique educational system.

One solution to the financial hurdles facing yeshiva day schools would be for Jewish leadership to actively promote the importance of day schools in order to enhance their prestige as philanthropic recipients.

Many Jewish philanthropists prefer to donate to non-Jewish causes. Recently, two major Jewish philanthropists each donated $100 million to medical schools of the University of Pennsylvania and Ohio State University. If this generosity were duplicated for day schools, their financial problems would begin to be alleviated.

Last but not least, there are very good reasons for the government of Israel, already the major supporter of Israeli yeshivot, to make major annual contributions for Jewish education in the Diaspora.

For steps toward a solution, bold thinking and dynamic action must be taken by the top educational, rabbinic and lay leaders of the American Jewish community.

E. Magnus Oppenheim New York, NY

Editor’s Note: The writer is a member of the board of directors of Manhattan Day School (Yeshiva Ohr Torah) and Ariel-Midrasha Institute in Jerusalem.


Kabbalists, Segulas And Red Bendels

A certain value promoted in segments of the Jewish community and touched on by Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum in his Feb. 10 “My Machberes” column requires a response.

Our Readers

Letters To The Editor

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Agrees With Feiglin

Moshe Feiglin’s Jan. 20 column (“The Real Coercion In Israel”) was right on the money. He argued that “No coercion is good – religious or secular” but also that “Today, Israel suffers more from secular coercion than from religious coercion.” As examples he noted the problems facing soldiers who want to adhere to halacha, the demonization of the settler movement, the provocateur-inspired gender discrimination controversy, and “the continuing offensive against anything that smacks of Jewish identity….”

His conclusion is well worth pondering by those who are being carried away by the excesses of a relatively few mindless zealots: “Those who discriminate against women or harass them must be punished according the law. But none of that has anything to do with the murky wave of incitement that has lately been washing over our heads.” Avraham Weinstein Jerusalem


Obama’s ‘About-Face’ (I)

I think reader Martin Fried missed the point last week when he suggested that criticism of President Obama is somewhat irrational (“There seems to be something about this man that drives all too many frum Jews absolutely crazy.”)

I wonder whether Obama’s abrupt and dramatic about-face on the issues of settlements and the 1967 lines just as the presidential election season began heating up mean nothing to Mr. Fried. Am I off the wall if I believe this indicates the change in tone is driven by politics and that Obama will unload on Israel if he is reelected? Ross Eilberg (Via E-Mail)


Obama’s ‘About-Face’ (II)

Notwithstanding reader Martin Fried’s take on American political history, I think any American president who treated Israel and its prime minister the way Obama did should not expect applause from the Jewish community.

The calculus is simple. He wants to change the American posture toward the Muslim world. Israel has heretofore enjoyed a special relationship with the U.S. Even if we don’t attribute sinister motives to the president, how does this shift occur without Israel paying the price? Think about it, Mr. Fried. Rivkah Levine Los Angeles, CA


Obama’s ‘Chicanery’

The abrupt cancellation of the proposed joint military maneuvers of Israeli and U.S. forces (editorial, Jan. 20) is only a new example of the chicanery of the Obama administration.

From the time of his inauguration, and even before, Obama has voiced his support in words for Israel but not in action. From attempting to negotiate with Iran and then proposing only limited sanctions on that nation as well as his apologies to Muslims worldwide and his less than friendly relations with Benjamin Netanyahu, he has shown a dislike for Israel while attempting to line up Jewish domestic support for his anti-Israel stance.

Hopefully the charade is over and Jewish contributors to his campaign coffers and Jewish voters who opted for him in 2008 will be finally disenchanted and act accordingly. Nelson Marans Silver Spring, MD


WJC’s Naïve Approach (I) Re: “What Were They Thinking?” (editorial, Jan. 20): I have long wondered about the dynamics of Jewish organizational life. When our self-proclaimed leaders take a public position or engage in some action, do they first check with the members of their organizations?

Moreover, if they blunder as Lauder and Terpins of the World Jewish Congress did in giving Mahmoud Abbas legitimacy as someone truly interested in resolving the issues between Israel and the Palestinians, is there any accountability?

At the very least, they should be required to respond to the devastating indictment of the Palestinian president you delivered last week. The WJC leaders did not move the cause of peace along by positing the harebrained notion that the problem stems from the Palestinians not understanding each other. David Ginzberg (Via E-Mail)


WJC’s Naïve Approach (II)

The anger that comes through your editorial “What Were They Thinking?” is righteous anger, thoroughly justified. It is incredibly disheartening to hear our leaders repeat what they know are lies and deceptions just to be politically correct and keep the pretense going for some inexplicable reason.

As you pointed out, the fact that Ronald Lauder and Jack Terpins met with Mahmoud Abbas in London and spoke words of “better cooperation between Jewish and Palestinian communities around the world…” bringing about a “peaceful future” is such a betrayal of truth and decency.

Lauder and Terpins know better, as their quoted words in other contexts make clear. They should be saying that there is no chance for peace with people who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and who promise on a daily basis to exterminate the Jews of Israel.

What purpose can possibly be served by the continuation of the lie of Oslo? It is time for our leadership to announce that the possibility of peace with the present Hamas/Fatah alliance is non-existent. The “two-state solution” is dead.

It is time for Messrs. Lauder and Terpins to go back to the drawing board and examine other formulas. One definition of insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting different results. Helen Freedman Executive Director Americans for a Safe Israel/AFSI

Our Readers

Kulinary Adventures Holds Second Tour

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

    Gourmet mouth-watering food, top notch cooking classes, a wine and cheese tasting, and exclusive tours of a kosher chocolate factory and Manhattan’s premier farmers’ market were on the menu and, in its first tour, Kulinary Adventures served up these and more.


    The kosher culinary tour company, launched earlier this year, conducted its inaugural tour on June 6 and 7. Participants hailed from as far away as Brazil, California, and Virginia, with New Yorkers and New Jerseyans also turning out for what was billed as a “one-of-a-kind” kosher foodie adventure.


Ahi tuna tartare in wonton cups, arranged on a

bed of sesame seeds with scallion flowers



    Featured chefs included Chef Shaya Klechevsky, chef instructor and owner of At Your Palate, the kosher gourmet catering company; Chef John Scoff, executive chef instructor from Home Cooking New York; and food stylist and Chef Lauren Braun Costello, the author of Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide to an Essential Craft.


    Among the featured recipes of Klechevsky’s class on French country cooking were crepes suzette and savory crepe recipes, as well as a watercress salad with goat cheese and lemon thyme vinaigrette.


    Scoff led the Kulinary Adventurers on a private tour of Manhattan’s Union Square greenmarket, and followed that up with a cooking class using fresh seasonal ingredients found at the market. The participants partook in fresh-from-the market roasted potatoes and fennel, sugar snap peas amandine, pan roasted chicken with sherry-thyme sauce and a fresh strawberry and rhubarb crumble.


Aron Ritter, president of the Kosher Wine Society,

leading a wine and cheese tasting



    Braun Costello’s food styling class included demonstrations on how to use ring molds, squeeze bottles, and a mandoline to turn ordinary plated food into a decorative culinary presentation.


    Participants also enjoyed a chef’s tasting lunch at Basil, a dairy restaurant located in Brooklyn, which was recently lauded in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, among other publications.


    Although this was an inaugural tour, participants we spoke to raved about the balance of activities that the tour provided, which ranged from active cooking classes and tours to the more leisurely wine and cheese tasting and spa experience.



Chef Shaya Klechevsky demonstrates

French country cooking techniques



    One participant, Abby Robyn, joined the tour while on a visit from Los Angeles, CA. When asked about her experience, she replied, “What a wonderful culinary adventure! Excellent chefs with recipes for new dishes that I actually will make. And besides the great activities, such warm and interesting people in the group. I can’t recommend Kulinary Adventures highly enough.”


    Another participant, Miriam Rosenblum of East Brunswick, NJ, decided to come on Kulinary Adventures because of her love of good food and great cooking. She lauded Scoff, in particular, for his “extreme organized (style) and confidence, and the loads of useful tips and tidbits” he gave.


    Pearl Mann, of Woodmere, NY thought that “all of the presenters were excellent, knowledgeable, and personable” and added that she is now inspired to do more in the kitchen.




Kulinary Adventures participants at

Tumbador, the artisan chocolate factory



    Kulinary Adventures is planning a second tour, to take place on December 19 and 20. The upcoming tour’s cooking classes will focus on Italian and Levant (Sephardic) cuisines, respectively. In addition, a historical eating and walking tour of NYC’s Lower East Side will feature tastings and food history at local area establishments. There will also be a cookie decorating class, using the latest techniques in fondant and royal icing, as well as a wine and cheese tasting and several restaurant visits.


    Anyone interested in registering for the next tour should visit kulinaryadventures.com or call 646- 823-7529.


    All food served at Kulinary Adventures is supervised by Orthodox supervision agencies.

Paul Elliott

Gift-Giving On The Rise On The Eve Of Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

   Gift-giving has become increasingly popular on the eve of Rosh Hashanah and the lead item is honey, not only those ubiquitous cute honey bear bottles, but more sophisticated and gourmet options.


   Good kosher wines are also a common staple in the ever-expanding holiday gift baskets. HoneyRun Winerybased in Chico, CA, produces a sophisticated non-sulfited wine from fruit and honey, and is kosher-certified by the OU. Honeywine flavors include blackberry, cranberry, elderberry, cherry, and dry mead.


   Savannah Bee CompanyGrill Honey is a wonderful present for any chef, from the amateur or professional. Formulated specifically to bring a distinctive honey flavor to be a perfect pairing to grilled foods, this honey can serve as a marinade, basting or brush-on condiment to grilled veggies, meat, and fish to add a crisp caramelizing factor and honey flavor to barbecue favorites. The product, hand-harvested at the peak of honey season, is KSA kosher certified.


   Sandt’s pure buckwheat honey, Grade A natural and unfiltered, is another option. More full-bodied and dark than typical mass-produced grocery store honeys, buckwheat honey is richer in iron and several antioxidant compounds than its lighter and mass-produced counterparts. Buckwheat is the strongest and darkest of all honey varieties.


   WeeBee Honey, produced on a small family farm split between New York and Florida, is an unadulterated and 100 percent natural raw version of honey that results in a nutritionally beneficial product, rather than a mere sweetener. WeeBee uses bees located strictly in wild locations in both states, thus producing a wildflower honey coming from wild plants, trees and grasses.


`Since it is unfiltered and unstrained, the honey retains all the beneficial properties that are often missing from conventional honeys, such as pollen, propolis, and honeycomb. The crop is tested every year for pesticides with a USDA lab, ensuring a pesticide-free product. WeeBee Honey is certified kosher by the OU.


   Other honey-related gifts for the yomim tovim include a large selection from innovative candy purveyors Oh, Nuts, and include a honey-filled candlestick, violin or guitar-shaped honey bottles for music lovers, Jelly Belly honey beans in an adorable honeycomb-shaped jar, and baked goods like teiglach (small pastries boiled in a honey syrup) and honey cake.


Tova Ross

The Warm and Wild West

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

           While no one can ever guarantee great weather, I know that just the other day, on December 29th, I was sitting outside a caf?, sipping my favorite iced drink – without a jacket. Having survived many frigid winters on the East coast, I truly appreciated the moment, as I worried that my kids were actually going to get sunburned. If you are tired of bundling up, why not spend this winter break out West. While it may seem daunting to travel to new territory, the information below is meant to give you a head start on planning a great vacation and if you live in the warmer Western climate, perhaps you’ll find some ideas for a great road trip. There is much more to the West Coast than Los Angeles and Disneyland.


            First of all when traveling to Southern California, know that flying into LAX is not your only option. Burbank Airport (BUR) is smaller and located in the San Fernando Valley; it is very easy to navigate with less traffic and closer to many area attractions. While flight schedules may be limited, they may be less expensive. Jet Blue, Southwest and American Airlines are some of the carriers that service Burbank Airport. It is just minutes away from the Valley Village community where you will be able to find many kosher restaurants and markets along Burbank Boulevard. There are many shuls nearby, including Shaarey Zedek, if you need to catch a minyan.


Visiting some of the major attractions is cursory and Universal Studios is only 10 minutes from Valley Village, so pick up some sandwiches and snacks and head for the stars. Universal Studios is great for ages 7 and up, younger kids might be frightened by some of the special effects that are demonstrated and by the costumed characters that roam the park. The rides are mostly geared towards older kids as well. Universal CityWalk is located directly adjacent to the theme park. There is no entrance fee, but you do have to pay for parking. CityWalk is a fun place for a relaxing stroll while you pick up souvenirs and browse and play in the unique shops. There are some great photo ops, an IMAX movie theatre, and you can play at Jillian’s – an arcade and bowling alley.


There is also a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf located on CityWalk that is entirely under the kosher supervision of Kosher Los Angeles. Bagels, muffins, cakes and pastries are among the food offerings, and their ice-blended drinks are famous. The Coffee Bean has numerous locations throughout Southern California and they are all kosher – double check the certificate inside the store – which is essential, as some are located near major attractions and in malls where other kosher food may be scarce.


Another major attraction that is great for families with kids of all ages is Legoland located in Carlsbad, Calif. Much more family friendly than Disneyland, Legoland has rides and attractions geared for every age group, many of which are interactive which adds to the fun. Parents will really appreciate the beautiful miniature exhibits as well as the Lego building areas where the kids can play within view, while parents wait in line for the ride. Within the past few months, Legoland has opened the Sea Life Aquarium on the same premises that you can visit for just a minimal extra charge.


            For those that would prefer to stick closer to the Los Angeles area, the Aquarium of the Pacific, located in Long Beach, is a beautiful place to spend a few hours with the family. Although there are great exhibits outside, much of the aquarium is located indoors, so you can still visit in case of rain. Also available for an extra fee are: 3-D educational films, a 45 minute cruise of the Long Beach/Los Angeles Harbor, or a three-hour long whale watching trip.


In the heart of the L.A. area is the famous Santa Monica Pier where you can play games, enjoy amusement rides (limited ride operation on weekdays during the winter), or rent bikes on the boardwalk. There is a Coffee Bean located on the pier as well. Travel inland a bit and you will hit the famous Pico Robertson neighborhood in Los Angeles. Make time to visit the Museum of Tolerance and take a stroll down Rodeo Drive. You can choose from the many kosher restaurants, including pizza, fast food, and many fine dining selections. The Milky Way owned by Steven Spielberg’s mother, Mrs. Leah Adler, is a favorite of tourists as she is often there to greet and schmooze with diners.


            Further north up the 101 Freeway to Ventura, you may enjoy visiting the Camarillo Premium Outlets for some great shopping deals, The Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard – including the very upscale restaurant Tierra Sur, and the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens for light hiking. When heading up this direction, stop in at Pizza Nosh, located right off the 101 in Agoura Hills.


            For those seeking a bit more adventure, head to Arizona, where you can relax at a state of the art spa, golf at a world-class golf course, hike, or museum hop. Of course while it won’t be as warm as the Phoenix area, a trip north to Sedona and The Grand Canyon is a must. Go off-road jeeping, (or for an on-road van tour, if you are faint of heart or pregnant) and hiking in Sedona to see the beautiful red rock formations. There are also many art galleries to visit. Take a walk along the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is especially beautiful at sunrise or sunset. Dress in layers, bring a camera, keep small children away from the edge, and you’ll have a great time. Before you go, eat at King Solomon’s Pizza in Central Phoenix, located just 10 minutes from Sky Harbor Airport and then stop in next door at Segal’s Kosher Market and Restaurant to get some deli sandwiches, Chinese or shabbos food to go.


If you choose to stay in the Phoenix area, you can go for a hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert, visit the classy Scottsdale shops or go for a gondola ride at Hyatt Gainey Ranch. Kosher food is available in Scottsdale at the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center and Scottsdale Kosher Market. Other places of interest to visit are the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art, the Desert Botanical Gardens, and the famed Arizona Biltmore whose architecture is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and has been the U.S. Presidential choice for accommodations in the Phoenix area since it opened circa 1930. Take a walk around the beautiful gardens, get a spa treatment, or go golfing.


Make a plan and pack your bags; for the Jewish traveler heading west, all of your needs can be met and the options are endless.


Directory of Listed Attractions and Services:


Shaarey Zedek Congregation

12800 Chandler Blvd.Valley Village, CA 91607Phone (818) 763 – 0560

Mikva (818) 760-4567


Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Boulevard

Universal City, CA 91608


Hours vary daily.



Universal CityWalk

100 Universal City PlazaUniversal City, CA 91608

(818) 622-4455

General hours:

Sun-Thurs 11:00 AM – 9:00 PMFri-Sat 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Many of the venues keep their own hours.

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on CityWalk opens at 8:30 am and closes at the general closing time.



One Legoland DriveCarlsbad, CA 92008

(760) 918-5346

Hours vary daily.



Aquarium of the Pacific

100 Aquarium WayLong Beach, CA 90802(562) 590-3100

9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day of the year, except April 17, 18, and 19, 2009


Santa Monica Pier / Pacific Park

200 Santa Monica Pier, Suite A Santa Monica, CA 90401

Always open 24hours, but each business has its own operating hours.



Pacific Park Amusement Park on the Pier

Phone: (310) 260-8744

Hour and extent of operation vary by day



Museum of Tolerance9786 West Pico Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90035



Hours: Monday -Friday 10 am – 5:00 pm

Fridays: November – March- early close at 3:00 p.m.

Sunday: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm


The Milky Way Restaurant

9108 W Pico BlvdLos Angeles, CA 90035-1321Phone: (310) 859-0004

Hours: Sun-Thu 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-8pm, Fri 11:30am-1:30pm


Camarillo Premium Outlets740 E. Ventura BoulevardCamarillo, CA 93010(805) 445-8520

Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-8pm


Herzog Wine Cellars and Tierra Sur Restaurant:

3201 Camino Del Sol

Oxnard, CA 93030



Self-guided tours are always available. Guided tours are Monday-Thursday at 3:30 and 4:30 pm and on Sundays by appointment only.

Tierra Sur Hours:

Sun – Thurs: Lunch 11:30 – 3:00, Dinner 5 – 9, Friday: Lunch only 11:30-2:00 (open until 3:00 during the summer)


Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

212 Mission Canyon RoadSanta Barbara, CA 93105Phone: (805) 682-4726


March – October: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., November – February: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Guided tours weekdays at 2:00 p.m., weekends at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.


Pizza Nosh

818-991-300030313 Canwood StAgoura Hills, CA 91301


Sunday – Thursday 11:00 am – 8:00 am

Friday: 11:00am – 2pm



King Solomon’s Pizza

4810 N 7th St

Phoenix, AZ 85014


Sunday through Thursday, 11am-8pm

Friday 11am to 2:30pm

Saturday after sundown to 11:00pm


Segal’s Kosher Foods

4818 N 7th StPhoenix, AZ 85014

(602) 277-5769‎


The Heard Museum2301 N. Central Avenue (Central & Encanto)Phoenix, AZ 85004


Open Monday- Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.Free Public Guided Tours daily at noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.


Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch

7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Road,Scottsdale, Arizona, 85258 480- 444- 1234

Gondola Rides

Hours: Daily 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (weather permitting)



Desert Botanical Gardens

1201 North Galvin Parkway

 Phoenix, Arizona 85008


Garden Seasonal Hours:October – April / 8 a.m.-8 p.m., May – September / 7 a.m.-8 p.m. During evening hours certain trails are closed.


Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa

2400 E. Missouri AvenuePhoenix, AZ 85016(602) 955-6600


Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center Cafe

12701 North Scottsdale Road

 Scottsdale, AZ 85254




Scottsdale Kosher Market

10211 N Scottsdale RoadScottsdale, Arizona 85253

(480) 315-8333

Call for hours and restaurant availability.


Amy Dubitsky is a freelance writer who grew up in Southern California and has lived in Phoenix for the past six years.

Amy A. Dubitsky

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/travel/the-warm-and-wild-west/2009/01/07/

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