Jewish Journal

Orange County Up Front

by Journal Staff

Posted on Jun. 6, 2002 at 8:00 pm

'Stop the Hate' Workshop

Alissa Yamazaki, a 15-year-old Corona del Mar High School 10th-grader, still seethes over a

comment by a former teacher, she confessed to classmates during a sensitivity-raising assembly last month titled "Names Can Really Hurt Us." When Yamazaki auditioned to sing songs from the musical "My Fair Lady," the teacher told her, "We've never had a Chinese Eliza Doolittle." Yamazaki, who is Japanese, told students, "My basic message is not to generalize, to consider the talents and personality of people.

"Ninety-nine percent of the human race has the same DNA!"

Yamazaki was one of six panelists to describe personal experiences with discrimination during the event, a pilot program presented this year by the Anti-Defamation League at five schools around the state .

Anti-bullying policies already are enforced in the Newport Mesa School District, but the workshop gives the issue greater visibility, says Sharon Fry, the school principal. "I don't think kids do it with malicious intent," she says, citing name-calling over physical features as a typical insult. "Kids don't know how to respond, that they have a right to say 'that's not acceptable.'" -- Andrea Adelson, Contributing Editor

New Federation Officials

Lou Weiss, influential in the development of nearly every Jewish organization in the county since the 1980s, will head up its most visible one over the next year. Weiss, 54, a marketing consultant from Laguna Beach, was elected president of the Jewish Federation at an annual meeting of community donors last month. A five-person nominating committee proposed the slate to govern the Federation, which last year dispensed $1.5 million, mostly to six Jewish agencies and three day schools.

Also new to the Federation is Alissa D. Duel, who joined as campaign director responsible for fundraising activities. Duel previously worked for a nonprofit that tapped celebrities to support worthy causes. Duel succeeds Jeffrey Rips, who held the post for 18 months and returned to his previous position as executive director of the county's Hillel program. -- A.A.

Rabbi Roundup

Several congregations will start seeing new faces from the pulpit over the summer.

After alternating for a year between synagogues in Camarillo and Fullerton, Rabbi Kenneth D. Milhander beginning this month will make Fullerton's Temple Beth Tikvah his permanent home for at least three years.

Beth Tikvah's alternate rabbi, Bernie King, beginning Aug. 23 will serve part time in the synagogue at Heritage Point, the Mission Viejo home for the elderly. King will alternate with Susan Deutsch, a cantorial soloist.

Rabbi Stuart Altshuler, of Chicago, will join Mission Viejo's Congregation Eilat on Aug. 1. His predecessor was Rabbi Martin Cohen.

Also new to the area is Rabbi Rayna Gevurtz Zylberman, recently hired as the second spiritual leader at Newport Beach's Temple Bat Yahm. Ordained last year, Gevurtz is a graduate of Cincinnati's Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR). Her husband, a physician, is in a rabbinic program and recently transferred to HUC-JIR in Los Angeles.

Another student from HUC-JIR, Adam Schaffer, is a rabbinic resident this summer at Fountain Valley's Congregation B'nai Tzedek. He will be mentored by Rabbi Stephen J. Einstein. -- A.A.

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