Fullerton/North County ORT Honors Sarah Entin

An organization that began in Russia in 1880 to keep five million Jewish people from poverty still has a message that resonates with a group of local women – the of raising money to educate underprivileged people to learn a skill or a trade to become self-sufficient.  ORT has four chapters, three of which are active, in Orange County – Port Mesa/Laguna Hills, SCORT (South County ORT) and Fullerton/North Orange County.
The latter will hold a tribute luncheon at the home of Elaine and Harvey Socol in Fullerton on Sunday, September 9, at 12:30 p.m., to honor Sarah Entin, long-time active member of the chapter.  Entin has spent a lifetime of service volunteering for Jewish organizations and her synagogue, Temple Beth Emet.
Born in Ponadel, Lithuania, in 1921, Entin came to America with her mother and brothers to join her father.  While still in high school, she met her lifelong love and partner, Lou.  They married in 1943, had three childen and moved to Fullerton in 1963.
Entin became an active member of ORT as soon as a chapter was formed and later received achievement honors from both Temple Beth Emet and ORT.  She also become a life member of Hadassah and City of Hope, finding “so much fulfillment and meaning” in her volunteer work.
Entin enjoyed watching her children grow throughout the years, and especially enjoyed becoming a “Grandma” to her ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.  She loves to travel, read and especially to cook and bake for others.  She is known for always being there to help and support her family and friends.  Entin hopes to continue her involvement in ORT as a new life member.
Congregations Welcome Rabbis

“Too often we ignore dealing with our past – even positive people and events – and let them dominate our future,” said Rabbi Mark Kaiserman, the new interim Rabbi at Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Fountain Valley.  “An interim rabbi makes sure the congregation is the healthiest and the most ready for the next rabbi.”
Rabbi Kaiserman received his rabbinical education at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and was ordained as a rabbi in 1997.  After his ordainment, he first took on a position as an assistant rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Texas for seven years. The Rabbi recalls that Emanu-El is a “HUGE” synagogue and how amazing it was for the opportunity to learn with so many clergy and Jewish professionals.  Since 2004, he has been serving as the sole rabbi at a different Temple Emanu-El in Livingston, New Jersey.
“Rabbi Stephen J. Einstein is essentially the only rabbi this synagogue has ever known,” Rabbi Kaiserman said.  “He leaves behind a tremendous, well-earned legacy.  I thought it would be a great opportunity to help bridge the synagogue from Rabbi Einstein’s 36 years to the successor rabbi who will begin in July 2013.  The congregation is full of dedicated, friendly, genuine people, so I know it’ll make this transition and change a great success.”
Asked about his greatest wish as a leader of the Jewish faith, Rabbi Kaiserman touched on those Jews who have become disenchanted with their faith.
“I wish more Jews would give Judaism a chance right now,” the rabbi said.  “If they came to a social action event or service or study session or program today, they might find a Jewish community that would elevate their soul and embrace their life.”
The rabbi also has a soft spot for children in his line of work.  “They are more honest and more interesting than a typical adult,” the rabbi explained.
Rabbi Kaiserman believes that a rabbi’s greatest responsibility is leading his community, “to allow it to grow and learn and share and to do so in the traditions and faith of Judaism.”  He also believes that part of his responsibility as a rabbi is to connect with his community, to help it have fun and be happy.
“Judaism and Jewish life are fun,” the rabbi explained.  “I add humor and pop culture connections to my Jewish teaching and speaking, because people can be spiritual or [studious] and enjoy themselves at the same time.”
Surf City Synagogue welcomes Rav Matt Rosenberg, its newest spiritual leader.  Rosenberg is starting his final year at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.  He has traveled to Siberia to help teach 50 Jewish teenagers about Judiasm, to the Ukraine to help lead Passover Seders with fledgling Jewish communities and to Ghana with the American Jewish World Service.
Before starting rabbinical school, Rav Matt worked for and volunteered with the American Red Cross as a disaster manager in California.  With his background in emergency management, he currently volunteers for Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa’s Crisis Response Team.  He hopes to invigorate volunteerism within the Surf City Synagogue Community.
Rav Matt is also a professional geographer who has operated the geography website for the past fifteen years.  He is the author of two geography books and taught geography at CSU Sacramento.  He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees in geography at UC Davis and CSU Northridge, respectively.
In addition to his new role as Surf City Synagogue’s student rabbi, Rosenberg is a rabbinic intern at Adat Ari El in Valley Village.  He previously served as the student rabbi of Temple Beth Sholom of the Menifee Valley in Riverside County and as a student rabbi at an assisted living facility in the San Fernando Valley.  Married to Jen, he is the father of four-year-old Zachary and 16-month-old twins Talia and Benjamin.

JCC Offers
“Hollywood Moguls: Jews and the American Film Industry”

Lights! Camera! Action!  This is the story of how a few Jewish immigrants in the early 20th century found employment in the U.S. film industry and put on the screen their own dream of what this country was or should be.  From 1904 to 1929, the American film industry expanded and consolidated under Jewish studio and corporate leaders such as Adolph Zukor, Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, Marcus Loew, Carl Laemmle, Samuel Goldwyn and Irving Thalberg, as well as motion picture theater showmen like Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel and Sid Grauman.
Their amazing stories will be brought to life by Ross Melnick, author and an assistant professor of film and media studies at University of California, Santa Barbara.  His “edutaining” presentation at the Merage JCC on September 23 at 4 p.m. will showcase how these Jewish individuals helped change the art and business of motion pictures and, in the process, American culture.
Many of the great Hollywood moguls came from poor Jewish backgrounds and got into film at its infancy.  After arriving in America many owned nickelodeons before the age of theaters and production.  They were able to make their mark in a brand-new business: the exhibition of short films in storefront theaters called nickelodeons, after their admission price of a nickel (five cents).  Within a few years, many had switched to the production side of the business.  Soon they were the heads of a new kind of enterprise: the movie studio.
Ross Melnick is the author of American Showman: Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel and the Birth of the Entertainment Industry (2012) and is the co-author of Cinema Treasures (2004), winner of the 2004 Book of the Year award from the Theatre Historical Society.  His articles on film and media history have appeared in journals such as Film History and The Moving Image.
The “Hollywood Moguls” is the next in the Great Jewish Americans 101 series presented by the Merage JCC, 1 Federation Way, Irvine.  Tickets for this presentation are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.  Priority seating is available for $50. Students are admitted free.  For tickets, please go to the website or call the J at (949) 435-3400.  For additional information, contact Geri Dorman, PrimeTime adult director, at

Merage JCC Preschool Launches New
Hebrew Program

Peter Blair, director of the Merage JCC’s Early Childhood Learning Center, announced the launch of a new Hebrew Immersion program for children ages two and half to four and a half.  The program offers the children an extension of their preschool day in an environment where Hebrew is the spoken language.
Blair explained, “Children will have circle times with singing and dancing, art, drama, building, early literacy and numeracy in a setting where the spoken language is Hebrew.”
The program is based upon current brain research showing that language acquisition is at its pinnacle when children are between the ages of 18 and 48 months.  According to Blair, the Merage JCC is quickly positioning itself as the leader in preschool language immersion programs in Orange County, as its Italian Immersion program is entering its third year.  The JCC’s preschool Hebrew Immersion program uses current brain science, as well as the richness of Judaic culture and traditions to help children acquire a second language in a culturally vibrant setting.
The Hebrew Immersion program is partially based upon a recent report from the Harvard Center on Child Development entitled “The Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Combine to Shape Brain Architecture.”  It states: “Beginning at birth, all children have the capacity to learn any of the world’s languages.”  This ability is encoded in our genes and activated by exposure to everyday conversation in an interactive way…the younger the brain, the greater its capacity to master more than a single language.  If education policies were guided by what we know about the development of the brain, second-language learning would be a preschool priority.”
The Merage JCC engaged in a national search for its Hebrew Immersion teaching faculty members and was pleased to name Sylvia Marom as its lead teacher.  She has spent the past seven years teaching Jewish early childhood education at Temple Shalom and Temple Emanuel in Dallas, Texas.  A native of Israel, she brings a love and respect of the richness of Judaic tradition and Hebrew language to the Merage JCC’s Hebrew Immersion Program.  Associate teacher Orna Fadida has prior teaching experience at the Hebrew Academy in Huntington Beach, where she taught Hebrew language and religious studies for seven years. She is originally from Israel, studied at Tel Aviv University and is a veteran of Israel’s Air Force.
The Hebrew Immersion Program provides an environment rich in hands-on exploration and an individualized approach with the added benefit of Hebrew as the spoken language.  Children and families who enroll in the program may or may not speak Hebrew in the home.  Through their new shared language the children will engage in expanding relationships with their peers.  “The focus is on deepening the Jewish experience for the children at the Merage JCC and the Hebrew Immersion Program is one of several pieces that will enhance our program in this area,” Blair said.
There are a few remaining spaces open in the Hebrew Immersion Program.  For more information, please contact Peter Blair, director of Early Childhood Education, at (949) 435-3400, extension 221, or


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