San Diego Jewish World

Friday Afternoon, August 3    

                                                                        Vol. 1, Number 95

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David Harris and Salah Udin Shoaib Choudhury
Bangladeshi journalist facing death for resisting radical Islam receives AJC tributes

NEW YORK (Press Release) Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, on a rare visit to the United States, personally thanked the American Jewish Committee

for supporting his efforts to combat radical Islam and promote Muslim-Jewish relations. “I cannot afford to let my country fall into the grips of the radicals,” Choudhury declared before a large luncheon at AJC headquarters in New York.


Choudhury, editor of the Weekly Blitz, a major English-language weekly in Bangladesh, has been on trial in Bangladesh for sedition because of his writings on radical Islam and his attempt to visit Israel. His newspaper offices have been bombed, and he has been physically assaulted. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

San Diego Jewish World—August 3, 2007
  (click on headline below to jump to the story)

Israel and Middle East
Bangladeshi journalist facing death for resisting radical Islam receives AJC tributes

UN agency for Palestinian refugees condemns
 Israeli incursion into southern Gaza school

Latin America
U.S. House seeks Interpol arrests in AMIA bombing

ADL calls for release of Korean hostages; expresses solidarity with families and friends

United States of America
Chabad now has its own news website

A parable of the donkey trapped in the well

Now, Israel has different kinds of milk and honey


Blue Sox sock Miracle 8-0

Restless lawyer, editor, stockbroker Feingold
now a pitcher for Israel Baseball League's Tigers



“We are in the presence of someone unafraid to stand up in a world which needs more people to follow his example and stand together shoulder to shoulder against the forces of hatred, and incitement, who would divide us in the name of religion, in the name of other ideologies,” said AJC Executive Director David A. Harris.


AJC presented its Moral Courage Award to Choudhury, in absentia, in 2006. Dr. Richard Benkin, who accepted the award on behalf of Choudhury at AJC’s Annual Meeting, also attended the luncheon.

Choudhury described in detail the ongoing efforts of Islamist groups, funded by Saudi Arabia, to take over Bangladesh. “They are patronizing the culture of jihad,” he said. Saudis are investing in every sector, including banks, education, hospitals and “trying to capture Bangladeshi politics,” he said.





There are 64,000 madrassas in Bangladesh, 70 percent of them dedicated to Koranic education, said Choudhury.


Additionally, Saudi Arabia has provided $20 million to establish a television station in Bangladesh to “combat secular-Western media.”


While most Bangladeshis are moderate, their leadership and educational system have been radicalized, he said.


Choudhury has been actively involved in the reinvigoration of moderate voices in Bangladeshi society and has spoken out against misinformation about Jews and Israel. The Jewish state should be a natural ally of Bangladesh, since it was one of the first nations to recognize Bangladesh’s independence in 1971, he said.


“We are in the presence of a real hero,” said Irwin Cotler, Choudhury’s lawyer and former Canadian Minister of Justice, who also attended the luncheon at AJC.


Choudhury said he looked forward to returning to Bangladesh after the weekend to continue his struggle. “Political asylum is not a solution,” he said. “If I don’t go back, Bangladeshis will not raise their voices against the radicals.”


“We have to win the battle in Bangladesh,” said Choudhury. Bangladeshis must declare “no to jihad, no to culture of hate, no to Holocaust denial.”

(Return to top)


 UN agency for Palestinian refugees condemns
 Israeli incursion into southern Gaza school

(Editor's Note: The following story from the United Nations was issued on Friday.  Because of the time difference between the United States and Israel, it was already Shabbat and there were no corresponding postings on Israel's official websites.  If and when a reply is posted, it will be carried here)

UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. (Press Release)The United Nations agency entrusted with aiding Palestinian refugees today condemned an Israeli army incursion into one of its schools in southern Gaza, which left property damaged.

“This is a violation of our property and we expect the IDF to halt any operation that places in danger our staff and which damages our installations,” UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Director in Gaza John Ging said, using the acronym of the Israeli Defence Forces.

Local residents said Israeli soldiers and two tanks entered the compound of the Al Shouka Elementary Coeducational School and arrested two of the guards. The main gate of the school was damaged during the operation. Israeli soldiers then rounded up some 50 other people, bringing about 15 of them to the school, where they were held for several hours before being moved elsewhere.

  The preceding story was provided by the United Nations



Latin America

U.S. House seeks Interpol arrests in AMIA bombing

WASHINGTON (Press Release)—The United States House of Representatives has called upon the international police organization Interpol to implement the arrest warrants of six suspects in the 1994 terrorist attack against the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.

In a resolution, legislators call on the Interpol General Assembly "to uphold, issue and implement the international arrest warrants supported by the Executive Committee of Interpol" in March 2007 of five Iranians and a Lebanese accused by Argentina of masterminding the 1994 bombing that killed 85 and wounded 300.

Iran has ignored the executive committee's demand and the arrest warrants are still not active.

The preceding story was provided by the World Jewish Congress


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Adventures in Cruising—Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas

Lunching with the staff

Thanks to the Ford family of Agoura Hills, California, for sharing their photos of their family reunion weekend cruise




ADL calls for release of Korean hostages; expresses solidarity with families and friends

LOS ANGELES (Press Release)—As the crisis in Afghanistan enters its third week, the Anti-Defamation League calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the captive South Korean aid workers.
"ADL is outraged by these acts of cowardice and terror.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the hostages and their families.  We mourn for those who have lost their lives in this unspeakable tragedy.  We stand in solidarity with the citizens of South Korea, the Korean American community, and the international community calling for the immediate release of the 21 remaining hostages," said Amanda Susskind, ADL Director, Pacific Southwest Region.
ADL works closely with the Korean American community in Los Angeles.  "As Jews, who are targets of terrorism here and in Israel, we understand the frustration of standing by as innocent victims are taken hostage," Susskind said, referring to Israeli soldiers Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas on June 25, 2006, and Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who were kidnapped by Hezbollah on July 12, 2006.
In June, ADL launched the Asian Jewish Initiative.  Its mission is "to advance alliances and partnerships between Asian and Jewish communities in Los Angeles through constructive dialogue and exploration of common ground; to empower and enrich both communities; and to foster a positive environment for open and frank discussion about topics of mutual concern."   The Initiative includes outreach to and interaction among the communities served by the ADL, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Japanese American National Museum, Korean American Coalition and Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics.

The preceding story was provided by the Anti-Defamation League

(Return to top)


United States of America

Chabad now has its own news website

NEW YORK, N.Y. (Press Release)—Chabad-Lubavitch has launched a new website with Jewish news. The site, which can be accessed at, will feature updates from Chabad centers around the world as well as profiles of Jewish figures, information about Jewish holidays and rituals, articles on Lubavitch philosophy and links to other resources at

Current offerings include the announcement of a new Chabad rabbi in Cancun, Mexico, Jewish community news from Ukraine and Germany, and a comprehensive guide to Jewish marriage.

The site is headed by Joshua Runyan, a former news editor of the ”Philadelphia Jewish Exponent”. Readers may sign up for a free daily e-mail of top stories.

The preceding story was provided by the World Jewish Congress

           (Return to top)



Rabbi Baruch Lederman

Amazing tales of Judaism
Congregation Kehillas Torah, San Diego

A parable of the donkey trapped in the well


SAN DIEGO—Moshe was commanded to carve a second set of Tablets with the Ten Commandments, to replace the first set of Tablets, which was smashed during the incident of the
golden calf. The second set of Tablets were not as great as the first set. The first set was written by the finger of Hashem (G-d) and possessed many miraculous properties. One
might say, "I can never duplicate the original so I will give up and not bother."  We see here instead the correct attitude, that one must always do the best one can with whatever one has to work with.
One day a farmer's donkey fell into a well.  The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.   Finally, he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.   He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him.  They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.  At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly.
Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down.  A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw.

With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing.  He would shake it off and take a step up.  As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.  Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt.  The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up.  Each of our troubles is a stepping stone.  We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up!
Shake it off and take a step up!

Dedicated by Dr. Scott A. Magnes in honor of his parents Dr. & Mrs. G. D. Magnes.


Torah on One Foot
By Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal
Tifereth Israel Synagogue, San Diego


Now, Israel has different kinds of milk and honey

SAN DIEGO—Parshat Ekev describes Eretz Yisrael as eretz zavat chalav u’dvash, "a land flowing with milk and honey."  (Deut. 11:9) The Torah does not mean this literally, of course, but uses this euphemism to describe the abundance and fertility of the Promised Land.

Earlier in the parasha the Torah explicitly delineates the shiva minim, seven species, which still flourish in Israel: "For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with streams and springs and fountains issuing from plain and hill; a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey*." (Deut. 8:7-8)

To this day one can find all of these wonderful fruits and grains in Israel. When Judy and I traveled through the country we saw an abundance of vineyards and orchards with much of the fruit near ready harvest. We were especially enamored of the pomegranates. The type of pomegranate grown in Israel is much redder and symmetrical than the ones that are grown here. We also enjoyed visiting some of the wineries, though not close to the near 200 that now can be found there.

One fruit that one does not see as much of these days is one that until recently had been closely associated with the modern State of Israel: the Jaffa orange. For many years these sweet oranges, similar to Valencias, had been one of Israel’s most prominent exports. One could find them in the United States as well as in European markets. In many ways the Jaffa orange symbolized Israel’s reclaiming of the desert and burgeoning agricultural industry.

What, then, led to its decline? The answer is simple: water. It takes a lot of water to irrigate an orange grove. In fact, it takes 50 glasses of water to grow enough oranges to make one glass of juice. In the Middle East water is a very precious commodity. Israel is a pioneer of drip irrigation, but even so it is more efficient to use Israel’s water sources for less thirsty plants and growing population.

Although Israel still has a large agricultural industry (among other things, you can often find flowers grown in Israel at local stores), "High Tech" has become one of Israel’s greatest exports. Driving through the country one does not have to look far to see large buildings bearing logos such as "Intel"** and "IBM." One especially successful locally founded company is Amdocs, which is a leading international supplier of business software for the telecommunications suppliers. We even saw an advertisement posted in Hebrew soliciting applicants to work at Qualcomm Israel, a research and development center which is a wholly owned subsidiary of San Diego’s Qualcomm.

Israel is still a land flowing with milk and honey, but some of its sweetness and fertility today is not produced by that which grows from the ground but the people who live upon it.

*The honey referred to in the Bible is "date honey," the sweet sticky substance found on the outside of dates.

**Many of Intel’s Pentium Mobile chips were developed in Israel.


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        News from the    
  Israel Baseball League

Blue Sox sock Miracle 8-0

Upper Left:  Bet Shemesh pitcher Juan Feliciano and catcher Scott Jarmakowicz have a friendly conference
on the mound; Upper Right: Bet Shemesh right fielder Jason Rees takes a mighty cut.  Bottom: Jarmakowicz
slides into second base as Modi'in infielder Oren Gal attempts a put out. 
IBL photos by Asher Stein

By Nathaniel Edelstein

GEZER, August 3- The Bet Shemesh Blue Sox had no problem dropping the Modi'in Miracle to four games out of first place on Friday, beating Modi'in 8-1 behind the arm of Dominican right-hander Juan Feliciano.

Feliciano improved to 6-1 with a complete-game three-hitter at the field of Kibbutz Gezer, giving up one run while striking out 12 and walking three.

Centerfielder Sean Slaughter led the Blue Sox offense with a 2-for-3 day and a second-inning homerun, three RBI, and three runs scored.

Australian rightfielder Jason Rees chipped in going 2-for-2 with a solo homer, two RBI, and two runs scored to raise his average to .371.

At Sportek in Tel Aviv, the Ra'anana Express handed the Netanya Tigers their 17th loss, winning 7-2.  The game was tied through five innings as each team scored a run in the third and a run in the fifth before Ra'anana pulled away in the sixth.

A three-run homerun by shortstop Brendan Rubenstein, who went 2-for-4, capped off a five-run sixth inning that put the Express on top for good.  First baseman Scott Feller went 3-for-4 with two doubles to give right-handed Columbian Max Vasquez all the support he needed in his third victory.  Vasquez threw a complete-game, giving up
two runs on six hits with two strikeouts and five walks as the Tigers fall ten games out of first place.

The Tel Aviv Lightning defeated the Petach Tikva Pioneers 13-1 to stay 1.5 games behind the first-place Blue Sox.  Tel Aviv native Dan Rothem picked up his third win, throwing five innings and giving up no runs on three hits with one strikeout and one walk in Yarkon Field action.

Dominican shortstop Raul Franco led the Lightning offense, going 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored.  Third baseman Nate Fish of Brooklyn, New York, contributed a double, two RBI, and three runs scored while first baseman Steward Brito added three hits of his own. The loss is the sixth consecutive for Ken Holtzman's club, which isnow 16.5 games out of first place.

League Leaders
Avg. - Raymundo (BS) .526, Rodriguez (Mod) .468, Doane (Net) .410
HR - Rees (BS) 14, Lopez (BS) 13, Rodriguez (Mod) 13
RBI – Rees (BS) 44, Raymundo (BS) 38, Rodriguez (Mod) 38
SB - Lyons (BS) 22, Doane (Net) 21, Hastings (TA) 18
W-L Pct.- Bergstrom (BS) 6-1 .857, Feliciano (BS) 6-1 .857, 2 Tied at 5-2
Strikeouts - Nelson (Mod) 63, Feliciano (BS) 61, Bennett (Mod) 59
ERA - Bergstrom (BS) 2.03, Feliciano (BS) 2.14, Pribble (TA) 2.15

                         1   2   3   4   5   6   7   R   H   E
Modi'in             0   0   0   1   0   0   0   1    3   1
Bet Shemesh     1   2   1   4   0   0   x   8   11   0
W: Juan Feliciano (6-1); L: Noah Walker (0-1); HR: Sean Slaughter (5),
Jason Rees (14), Moko Moanaroa (3)

                        1   2   3   4   5   6   7   R   H   E
Ra'anana          0   0   1   0   1   5   0   7    9    2
Netanya            0   0   1   0   1   0   0   2    6    3
W: Max Vasquez (3-2); L: Matt Comiter (1-2); HR: Brendan Rubenstein (2)

                        1   2   3   4   5   6   7   R   H   E
Petach Tikva      0   0   0   0   0   0   1   1    5   5
Tel Aviv             1   0   3   0   9   0   x  13   9   0
W: Dan Rothem (3-1); L: Scott Cantor (0-4); HR: Willis Bumphus (3)
Team                               W    L     %     GB
Bet Shemesh Blue Sox    22    8    .733     –
Tel Aviv Lightning          20    9    .690   1.5
Modi'in Miracle               18   12   .600   4.0
Netanya Tigers                12   16   .429   9.0
Ra'anana Express             11   19   .367   11.0
Petach Tikva Pioneers       5    24   .172    16.5

On Sunday at 5 pm the Petach Tikva Pioneers play the Ra'anana Express at Sportek in Tel Aviv while the Tel Aviv Lightning and Modi'in Miracle play at Kibbutz Gezer.  At 6 pm the Bet Shemesh Blue Sox match up against the Netanya Tigers at Yarkon Field at the Baptist Village in Petach Tikva.



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Restless lawyer, editor, stockbroker Feingold
now a pitcher for Israel Baseball League's Tigers

  By Yoni Peres, DVM

HAKFAR HAYAROK, Israel—“The nicest guy I've ever met in baseball.” That's how Leon Feingold was described by former Major Leaguer and Indians coach Billy “B-Dub” Williams.

Well, I have met very few baseball players; however, in our two-hour conversation, I discovered Leon to be a charming, gentle and polite person, totally different than the "killer" expression he had when I watched him pitch at the IBL all star game at Yarkon field.

I called Leon on Wednesday night to ask for an interview. Introducing myself to him as the owner of the veterinary hospital at Hakfar Hayarok, he was excited "Wow, I didn't realize there was a veterinary facility here – I just found a little kitten and was looking around for a vet"… So Leon brought the tiny kitten and we named it, guess what ? Tiger !

The 6'6" 34 year old Netanya Tigers pitcher, was born and raised in Long Island, NY.

In 1994, he began his baseball career playing for a Cleveland Indians farm team. Unfortunately, one year later a shoulder injury requiring arthroscopic surgery, and an additional injury of the same shoulder from a car accident, cut off his baseball career. Leon decided to become an attorney and in 1998 he graduated from the law school at Hofstra University, specializing in sport and entertainment legal transactions.  As a lawyer, that's where he gained his nick name "Justice."

He tried playing in an amateur tournament and a scout invited him to the spring training of the independent Atlantic league. But again he had to retire due to shoulder pain.

Leon says he hates boredom and long-term plans and likes the challenges of new experiences.  Over a short period of time, he has worked for trade publication, in the aviation industry, and as a real estate broker, he told me.

Leon was playing for four years at the semiprofessional level, when he heard from his good friend, Dan Rootenberg about the tryout for the IBL in Massachusetts, in August 2006.

The evaluation process was headed by Dan Douquette. Out of many Jewish and non Jewish players, all  anxious  to try the Israeli experience, the first four to be picked out were Feingold, Rootenberg, Adam Crabbe (who flew in all the way from Australia just for the tryout), and Willis Bumphus from San Diego, Ca.

A press conference which was held in New York City in June 2006, by former major league baseball players Art Shamsky, Ron Blomberg and Ken Holtzman to announce the establishment of the Israel Baseball League, to open one year later.

For Leon, this is his second time to Israel. The first was about 15 years ago. But for him, there is no comparison between the two. This time he is more grown up and has many opportunities to interact with Israelis.

 "I love the concept of bringing baseball players to Israel, some of them Jewish and the others have the passion for the game and the curiosity for the Israeli experience. Israel is on the news in the US all the time."  

Leon thinks that Tel Aviv is an amazing bubbling city and he finds a lot of similarities to Manhattan. "It is one of the few countries in the world, where you can feel that the people like Americans,” stresses Leon, who has traveled around to many countries throughout the world. He met many friendly Israelis and made some friends – not only at the baseball fields.

Besides meeting people, sports, music, movies and books, Leon loves eating. He enjoys the food here and is quite knowledgeable of restaurants in the Tel Aviv area that offer the best Middle Eastern food.
He is also a Professional Competitive Eater and has been ranked as high as 12th in the world by the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE).

Leon says that baseball is the most popular sport in the US as well as in other countries. "We grow up with it and understand the game, which is, comparing it to other ball games, not so fast and dynamic, but very cerebral. Just like comparing chess, in which you have to plan several moves ahead, to simpler games" explains Feingold, " It is a long game, a social experience for the whole family".

As opposed to many pessimistic Israelis, claiming that the baseball does not fit the Israeli public mentality, he believes that there are enough curious people here and it is a matter of time, before baseball becomes popular here as well.

He thinks that the organization of the league has been amazing, however he suggest that more efforts should be taken in order to make the Israeli public aware of the game. " People recognize me on the street, as the pitcher from the TV, however that is not sufficient and the management should take more steps, such as explaining the rules of the game to the Israeli public".
Plans for the future?  Leon is spontaneous and does not like planning too much. "I just want to be happy. I am very passionate and would love to come back for the next season. I just need to shape up a little…"

Aliyah? " I am not sure, I'll have to think about it".

Well, Leon, I am sure that if your decision will be positive, you would be a great asset to the state of Israel.


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Shabbat shalom, chaverim!