The Santa Cruz campus of the University of California has announced a $500,000 gift to further enhance its reputation as a leading center for Jewish and Holocaust studies in northern California.
Producing wine atop a tranquil mountain in a remote area of northern California is quite a way to make a living. For Benyamin Cantz, whose one-man operation in the hills of Santa Cruz produces kosher wine from organic grapes, it's also a calling.
On the third floor of the Baskin Engineering building at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin is going over points of Hebrew grammar.
Sandra Vasquez has a longer job history than many 28-year-olds. When she was 10, she began working with her father, a contractor who didn’t speak much English. She served as his translator and all-around assistant. Vasquez is the first member of her family to graduate from high school, and she went on to earn an associate’s degree and complete two quarters at University of California, Santa Cruz.
What is it that allowed this family to stay whole and renew the life in themselves when fate, or God, or a violent man, dealt them unimaginable grief? In this season of renewal and introspection, of fate and faith, what can others facing obstacles of any degree learn from this family's remarkable ability to transcend the unthinkable?
Bruce Cantz grew up in the San Fernando Valley, where he had a good Conservative upbringing and was bar mitzvahed at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino.
Now a baal teshuvah (returned to Judaism) who goes by his Hebrew name of Benyamin, Cantz, 54, lives on top of a remote mountain in Santa Cruz, where he runs Four Gates, the country's only organic kosher winery and the smallest, kosher winery in California.