Milken's Kian Zar goes in for the lay up. Photo by Ezra Fax

Milken basketball falls in state tournament

After suffering a loss in the first round of a statewide playoff tournament on Wednesday night, Milken Community High School’s basketball coach Mike Whiting said his biggest disappointment was not the defeat but that the game would mark his last with the current squad.

“I’m just sad I won’t have the pleasure of coaching those young men again,” he said after the Wildcats were defeated by the West High School Warriors, 70-57, in the CIF State Boys Basketball Championships – Division 4 tournament. “It’s a very special group of people, and they accomplished something nobody ever has at Milken.”

The game at West High School in Torrance ended Milken’s unprecedented season, which included winning a sectional championship on March 1 against Shalhevet High School and going further than any Milken sports team had gone before.

On Wednesday, it looked as if Milken’s journey would continue as the team played a strong first half, led by the captain, Aaron Harouni, knocking down three three-pointers.

In the second quarter, Milken enjoyed its largest lead of the night, 26-23, behind Amitai Afenjar, the team’s 6-foot-4 junior forward, whose 18 points led the Wildcats last week against Shalhevet. He had six points in the second quarter against West.

But West closed the quarter with three unanswered buckets and led 29-26 at halftime.

Still, hopes were high.

“All I heard is how good these guys are,” Rabbi Menachem Weiss, director of the Israel Center, told the Journal, at halftime. “Meanwhile we’re only one shot away.”

Afenjar and Kian Zar scored consecutive baskets to open the third quarter, but that was the team’s highpoint. West went on a run, outscored Milken by six in the quarter and ran a full-court, defensive press that forced turnovers and gave the Wildcats trouble getting the ball inside to Afenjar, their best player.

Trailing in the fourth quarter, Milken fought on as guard Idan Yohanan sunk a three-pointer that brought Milken within nine, at 59-50. But West maintained its edge the rest of the way, challenging Milken with a steady stream of field goals and forcing Milken to intentionally foul to save time on the clock. West players converted most of their free throws.

Milken students, alumni, parents and faculty endured heavy rush-hour traffic to Torrance to cheer the team on.

“Brian, he’s probably my best friend,” Milken senior Josh Berenbaum said of center Brian Pearlman.

Many Milken fans, including Sam Schiff, a junior who wore a Kanye West T-shirt, arrived, still in high spirits from Milken’s two-point victory over Shalhevet last week. Watching Milken junior Doron Matian, Schiff described him as “the legend, the half court hitter,” a reference to Matian’s Hail-Mary three point shot to close the second half against Shalhevet.

Barbara Iverson, upper school athletic director at Milken, said the bond among the team’s 13 players elevated them above the competition this year.

“In all my years at Milken, I’ve never seen a group of boys so tight,” she said before the game. “The chemistry the team has is unbelievable, like no other team I’ve ever seen.”

Polly Kim, a science research teacher at Milken and former teacher at Stephen Wise Temple, a feeder school for Milken, said watching the boys play this season was nostalgic.

“It’s great to see them all grown up, and play basketball,” she said.

Yohanan hit a three-pointer in the fourth quarter that became his last basket as a member of a team that, according to his mother, Einat, ought to be proud of its success.

“His dream was to bring a championship to Milken,” she said, watching from the stands.

Like Coach Whiting, Harouni, a junior, is sorry he won’t be playing next year with Yohanan, one of the team’s eight graduating seniors.

“Aaron was saying he is sorry it’s over,” Dr. Eddie Harouni, his father, said in a phone interview on Thursday. “He’s not sorry they lost, but he’s sorry it’s over as far as playing with the seniors, the team.”

Fatah youth soccer tourney honors three terrorists

Fatah held a youth soccer tournament named after three Palestinian terrorists.

The tournament held earlier this week was named for the terrorists who killed Israeli Rabbi Meir Chai, a 45-year-old father of 7, in a drive-by shooting in the northern West Bank, Palestinian Media Watch reported.

Fatah is the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Fatah’s Nablus branch sponsored the championship, the third “Martyrs Raed Al-Sarkaji, Anan Subh, Ghassan Abu Sharakh, and Haitham Al-Naana Ramadan Football Championship” for youth born in 1996, PMW cited the Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida as reporting the news.

A closing ceremony was held, including a moment of silence and a recitation of passages from the Koran in memory of the terrorists, the newspaper reported, according to PMW.

Earlier this summer, according to PMW, Fatah sponsored a summer camp for youth named after terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who led a bus hijacking in 1978 that killed 37 civilians.

Jewish school is denied request to change basketball tourney time

An Orthodox high school in Texas was rejected in its request to have the state basketball semifinals rescheduled to avoid a conflict with the Jewish Sabbath.

In a decision Monday, the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools informed the Robert M. Beren Academy of Houston that semifinal games scheduled for Friday night and Saturday afternnon would not be rescheduled to accommodate the team’s Shabbat observance.

“Just as TAPPS doesn’t schedule games on Sunday in deference to Christian teams, we expected that as a Jewish team, there would be grounds for a scheduling change,” Beren’s head of school, Rabby Harry Sinoff, told JTA.

Beren is scheduled to play Dallas Covenant on Friday night in one of the two semifinal games in the boys 2A category. The finals are scheduled for 2 p.m. the next day.

Sinoff told JTA that his school had lodged an appeal with TAPPS petitioning to have the game times adjusted so they would not conflict with Shabbat, which begins at approximately 6 p.m. Friday in Mansfield, where the games are due to be played.

The local chapter of the Anti-Defamation League also petitioned TAPPS. In a letter Sunday to TAPPS director Edd Burleson, ADL Southwest Regional director Martin Chominsky wrote that by adjusting the game times, the association would enable the team to play “without having to choose between competing and observing their religious holy days.”

Sinoff said an informal task force has been formed by the community to find a more acceptable outcome.

Shafir leaves for Eurobasket tourney with shooter sleeve

Orthodox Jewish women’s basketball player Naama Shafir accompanied the Israel national team to Poland for the Eurobasket tournament.

FIBA Europe—the Munich-based organization that governs basketball in Europe – had denied a request by the Israeli squad for Shafir to wear a T-shirt under her jersey for modesty reasons. All team players must wear the same uniform, according to FIBA rules.

But the team has created a special jersey for Shafir, with a shooter sleeve designed to cover her shoulder.

A shooters sleeve is an accessory made out of nylon and spandex, that extends from the players biceps to the wrist.

The team hopes that FIBA will accept the special sleeve, Haaretz reported Thursday. It brought an extra 13th player to the tournament in case the sleeve is rejected.

Israel will open the tournament against the Czech Republic on Saturday and plays Belarus on Sunday and Great Britain on Monday.

Shafir, 21, who hails from the town of Hoshaya in northern Israel, told the Associated Press she will not compromise her religious beliefs and will not play with her shoulders bare.

In April, Shafir scored 40 points to lead the University of Toledo to victory in the final game of the 2011 Women’s National Invitational Tournament, the school’s first ever postseason tournament championship. She has been able to wear a T-shirt under her jersey for her collegiate games.

Leaders of the PAC are back

The Pac-10 Mens’ Basketball Tournament returns to Staples Center this week, and Jewish athletes Derek Glasser and Alex Pribble join their teams in the quest for the Conference Tournament Title.

Glasser, the starting point guard for Arizona State Sun Devils (8-21; 2-16 in Pac-10) averages 27.7 minutes per game, logging more total minutes this season than any freshman in the school’s history. Glasser took Artesia High School to the 2006 California State Championship Title, and the 6-foot-1 player welcomes his role as a team leader for Arizona State.

“As a point guard, leadership is a role you have to take on. You’re the one with the ball the majority of the game, trying to get guys where they need to go,” said Glasser, who sunk a buzzer-beating three-point shot on Saturday, sealing the Sun Devils’ 42-41 win over UC Berkeley.

A three-time gold medalist at the Cincinnati, Houston and Philadelphia Maccabi Games, Glasser considers the games a formative moment in his athletic and Jewish life.

“Seeing all the Jewish athletes at that level of competition was a great experience,” Glasser said.

Ranked 10th in the Pac-10, Glasser and the Sun Devils face Washington (18-12; 8-10 in Pac-10) in their first round of tournament play, in what many consider the toughest conference in the nation. The Marina del Rey native is ready to take on the challenge and is thrilled to compete in front of his hometown crowd.
“Growing up in L.A., playing at Staples Center will be an incredible experience,” Glasser said.

UC Berkley senior Pribble happily returns to Staples for his fourth Pac-10 tournament.

“Everyone is so friendly, there are fans everywhere, it’s a lot of fun,” said Pribble, who earned Pac-10 all-academic honors his sophomore and junior years
Originally a freshman walk-on, the 6-foot-4 sociology major became a scholarship player at Cal in his junior year. He now contributes key minutes off the bench and plays an invaluable role on the team.

“As a short, fairly unathletic Jewish boy, I don’t necessarily have the natural athleticism to play with these guys who are so unbelievably talented and athletic,” he said. “So my role has been more of an energy thing, coming in, playing very tough and physical defense, just trying to make a difference and bring the whole energy up on the floor.”

Though Pribble’s not observant, Judaism plays a pivitol role in his life. “It’s a moral guide, not necessarily in a ‘go to temple everyday’ kind of setting, but in a ‘know the difference between right and wrong, what to care about, what to be thankful for’ setting,” said Pribble, who played on the U.S. team in the 2006 Maccabi Australian International games and returned wanting to have an adult bar mitzvah.

Pribble and the Cal Bears (14-16, 6-12 in the Pac-10) face the Oregon State Beavers (11-20, 3-15 in Pac-10) in the tournament’s opening round. Pribble, who started the past three games, is ready for the match-up and hopes his team goes deep in the tournament. “Basketball is about working hard and putting your effort on the floor — just play ball and play hard,” he said.

The Pac-10 Tournament runs March 7-10. For more information visit Syndicating Purim

Local community refuses to forget 12 missing Persian Jews

12 missing Persian Jews: not forgotten

Nearly 300 members of the Iranian Jewish community and local Persian-language media gathered at the Nessah Cultural Center in Beverly Hills on Sept. 27 for an event sponsored by the Council of Iranian Jews to discuss the fate of 12 Persian Jews who were kidnapped by the Iranian secret police between 1994 and 1997 and have not been heard from since. Family members of the missing 12 Jews were on hand to express their frustration with lack of cooperation from the Iranian regime.

“I am sure my son is not lost; he’s alive and being held by the Iranian government and that regime must answer to where they are holding our youngsters!” said Elana Tehrani, whose 17-year-old son, Babak, was arrested by Iranian secret police when trying to flee Iran into Pakistan in 1994.

Those in attendance cried when photos of the missing 12 Jews were held up for the audience with their names and dates of abduction announced. An emotional recorded telephone message to the community from Orit Ravizadeh, one of the missing Jews’ wives living in Israel, was also played for the audience.

Speakers at the event included Nessah’s Rabbi David Shofet and the Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Abraham Cooper. Persian Jewish activists George Haroonian, Bijan Khailli, Frank Nikbakht and Pooya Dayamin who spoke at the event said they have been active in trying to resolve the case of the missing 12 for the last six years.

Earlier this month, the kidnapped victim’s families filed suit against Iran’s former President Mohammad Khatami for implementing a policy of abduction and imprisonment of their loved ones.

— Karmel Melamed, Contributing Writer

Smile, darn ya!

Operation Smile, a leading humanitarian and medical services organization dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults worldwide, honored humanitarians Vanessa and Donald Trump Jr. and the Trump family; L.A. Clippers of present (Elton Brand) and past (Norm Nixon); and Abbott, the global health care company, at its fifth annual Operation Smile Gala Sept. 21 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Among the prominent civic leaders in attendance were Milt Hinsch, Jerry and Vicki Moyers, Joe and Sue Kainz, Dennis Seider and dental innovator Dr. Bill Dorfmann, author of “Billion Dollar Smile, a Complete Guide to Your Smile Makeover.”

The evening, whose honorary chairs were Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his wife, Cindy, began with a VIP party, complete with goodies and piano accompaniment and culminated in a dinner and awards ceremony emceed by “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush. Guests were royally entertained by multi-Grammy Award-winner Christopher Cross and Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy.

Lladro, the renowned Spanish House of Porcelain, donated $150,000 to the cause and the evening included a surprise visit from Madelein Cordova Dubon, a 2-year-old girl from Honduras who was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. Event co-chairs Roma Downey and Mark Burnett had recently participated in an Operation Smile medical mission in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where they met and bonded with Madelein.

Operation Smile was founded in 1982 by Dr. William P. Magee, a plastic surgeon, and his wife, Kathleen, a nurse and clinical social worker. It has provided free reconstructive surgery to more than 100,000 children and young adults with cleft lips, cleft palates, tumors and other birth defects in 32 countries around the world.

For more information, visit ” border=0 alt = “”>

Dr. Sarah Weddington, renowned winning attorney in one of the most famous cases in U.S. history, Roe v. Wade, spoke at the annual fundraiser for the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP) recently. Opening her speech, she immediately expressed her deep sadness about learning of the death of her dear friend, colleague and fellow Texan, Ann Richards, former governor of the state of Texas.

“I had the privilege of knowing Ann since the early ’70s,” she told the large group of supporters who turned out for the event. “When it came to running for a political office, Ann was a guru and pioneer in the art of running for political office and winning. Her inspiration, courage and quick wit were element of her savvy personality. Ann Richards was a friend, mentor and role model for women.”

WRRAP raises money for low-income women of all ages, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds who are unable to pay for either emergency contraception or a safe and legal abortion. The event featured sumptuous hors d’oeuvres and a wine reception. Following Weddington’s speech and comments on the upcoming Proposition 85, which would prohibit abortions for California teens until 48 hours after their parents have been notified, there was a Q-and-A session.

For more information on WRRAP, visit the ” border = 0 alt = “”>

Ghanaian Kicks It Up for Israel Fans

World Cup viewers were confronted with more than one big surprise on Saturday when Ghana defeated the Czech Republic 2-0 in what was perhaps the greatest upset of the tournament so far. The second shocker came when Ghanaian defender John Pantsil pulled an Israeli flag out of his sock during Ghana’s celebrations of its two goals.

The gesture has been greeted by an array of reactions all over the world. While some call Pantsil, a religious Christian, a hero, others say he acted with na?veté and foolishness.

But Pantsil, who isn’t Israeli, told one Israeli sports Web site that his actions were motivated by good-hearted intentions: “I love the fans in Israel. I have played at Hapoel [Haifa] and Maccabi Tel Aviv, and the fans always made me happy so I wanted to make them happy.”

Pantsil is one of three Ghanaian players who play in the Israeli Premier League.

The Ghanaian Football Association issued an apology on Monday in response to outrage in the Arab world caused by Pantsil’s action: “He is obviously unaware of the implications of what he did. He’s unaware of international politics,” Randy Abbey, spokesman of the Ghanaian FA, said at a press conference.

“We apologize to anybody who was offended and we promise that it will never happen again. He did not act out of malice for the Arab people or in support of Israel. He was naïve.”

But FIFA, the organization that runs the World Cup, said that it had no problem with Pantsil’s actions.

Meanwhile, Israeli Sports Minister Ofir Pines-Paz has been quoted as saying, “We have an Israeli at the World Cup. Pantsil’s gesture has warmed our hearts and many Israelis have now become supporters of Ghana.”


Israel’s Grand Duo

Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram think they can win the upcoming U.S. Open. Come again? The Grand Slam tennis tournament that no Israeli has come close to winning?

“Every tournament we enter we think we can win,” Ram said.

Erlich and Ram nearly backed that up two years ago at Wimbledon. They reached the doubles semifinals, and Ram butted into the mixed doubles final. That makes them the top Israeli Grand Slam duo in history.

Last month, Erlich and Ram were in the heat of the Mercedes-Benz Cup on the UCLA courts, reaching the final. The U.S. Open begins in New York on Aug. 29.

“We’re playing at a really high level,” Ram said, “and we’re communicating well.”

They yak in Hebrew. But the inseparable friends also could banter in English and Spanish, thanks to their South American heritage, but they consider themselves “100 percent Israeli,” as Erlich put it.

Erlich was a 1-year-old when his grandfather packed up the family in Argentina and landed in Haifa. Ram was 5 when his parents said it was time to leave Uruguay and make Jerusalem home.

Erlich, 28, and Ram, 25, have won a combined $1 million in career prize money.

The night after chatting with The Journal, Erlich and Ram beat a French team in three tight sets in the L.A. quarterfinals.

A sparse crowd stayed until the midnight finish. Among the diehards was Avi Suriel, who led his wife and two sons in cheers for the Israelis. No wonder. He served four years in the Israeli military before coming to Los Angeles at age 25.

“I can’t believe more from our Jewish community aren’t here,” he said.

Erlich appreciated the support.

“Thanks for waiting,” he said to fans as he left the court.

For more information on the U.S. Open, visit

Israel Serves Up a Star

When the U.S. Open swings into New York Aug. 30, you’ll have to squint to find Israel’s tiniest tennis player.

It’ll be easier to catch her on the scoreboard. She’s the one with the muscular name — Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi — and the big game.

Generating power with her 5-foot-2, 117-pound frame, Smashnova-Pistolesi has smashed her way to No. 19 in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings.

You can simply count on Smashnova-Pistolesi. This is her third straight year ranked in the top 20. She’s 9-0 in WTA tournament finals. That makes her one of Israel’s most effective athletes.

Smashnova-Pistolesi has done it on the go. She was born 28 years ago in Minsk, Belarus. Her family moved to Israel when she was 14. She stays at her parents’ home in Herzelia when she’s in the country. She has her own home in Italy, where she lives with her husband, the former pro Claudio Pistolesi.

You can call Smashnova-Pistolesi a walking United Nations. But she knows her loyalty.

“I always play under the Israeli flag and represent my country at every tournament,” she said. “I am always happy by the widespread support that I receive from Israeli fans throughout the world.”

Even though Smashnova-Pistolesi stands tall in Israeli sports, her Italian shift makes it tough for her to connect with some Jews. She keeps trying to win points well after serving in the Israeli army in the mid-1990s.

“If there are people who don’t appreciate what I have done,” she said, “I can only say that I am sorry that I cannot reach out to everyone, but with so many tour events, the rigorous training necessary and the constant traveling, tennis is really a demanding sport.”

She also waves the flag for other Israeli players: “Shahar Peer has a lot of potential. She is ranked No. 17 in the juniors and has a very good attitude. She could become quite good, and there are also some good boys; Dudi Sela got to the semis of the U.S. Open junior boys event last year.”

Smashnova-Pistolesi has had an active summer. She entered all the California tournaments and the Olympics. She didn’t win a trophy or medal, but in Los Angeles she picked on someone much bigger, Daniela Hantuchova, and cut down the once-rising Slovakian.

The next day, Smashnova-Pistolesi wilted under a sizzling sun and against a hot Svetlana Kuznetsova. The fullbacklike Russian proved too strong.

“She didn’t give me many chances,” Smashnova-Pistolesi conceded after getting cooked.

Smashnova-Pistolesi hopes to bounce back at the U.S. Open. She certainly has the strokes, especially one mean backhand. It could be the third best one-hander among women pros after Belgium’s Justine Henin-Hardenne and France’s Emelie Mauresmo.

If Smashnova-Pistolesi beats top pros such as those, her name will grow. Even if her body doesn’t. — Bucky Fox, Contributing Writer

The Circuit


A movie about the “big 3-0” and a good cause drew the famous and the wannabe famous to Club Ivar in Hollywood as “Gretchen Brettschneider Skirts Thirty” had its L.A. premiere on Sept. 28. The screening of the San Diego Film Festival Jury Prize-winner, written, produced and starring Annie Oelschlager, included a silent auction as a benefit for Sabrina, an 11-year-old Make-A-Wish child who wants to go to Hawaii. (The average cost of fulfilling a wish is $4,000.)

Among those who enjoyed the zany musical-comedy: “Less Than Perfect’s” Eric Roberts and Zachary Levi; “Babylon 5’s”Claudia Christian; “Gretchen” producer, director and co-star Corey Blake; and Mark Thompson of KLOS radio’s “Mark and Brian,” who emceed the event.

“Everyone at the Make-A-Wish Foundation is thrilled with the success that Elevation 9000 Films, Annie Oelschlager and 1421 Productions have achieved with their film,” said Bart Verry, vice president and development director of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. “Their hard work and dedication to their craft will now have the additional benefit of turning a wish into reality for a child with a life-threatening medical condition.”

The evening took in $6,000 for Make-A-Wish. — Shoshana Lewin, Contributing Writer


“Seinfeld” alumnus and current star of “The Producers” Jason Alexander drank only tea when he joined Westside Jewish Community Center (WJCC) supporters on Sept. 13 at the Hancock Park home of WJCC advisory board member Helene Seifer and her husband, producer Gary Grossman. The fundraising party for the center was a pretheater reception for “Evening at ‘The Producers'” and drew over 170 people.

The Westside JCC is still going strong, and despite recent financial difficulties is working on a $14 million capital campaign to finance a major renovation of its facilities. The center has 117 students enrolled in its nursery school and kindergarten, is entering into the fifth season of its “Celebrity Staged Play Readings” and is continuing its senior day care, in addition to keeping its sporting facilities open.


Attorney Jay L. Cooper, chairman of the Greenberg-Traurig West Coast Entertainment Law Division, was named “Entertainment Lawyer of the Year” by the Beverly Hills Bar Association Entertainment Law Section at an dinner-dance celebration at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Sept. 18.


The National Multiple Sclerosis Society honored Miramax Films co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein on Sept. 25 at the 29th annual Dinner of Champions, held at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. This year, the society will invest more than $30 million to support MS research, and more than $5 million is currently in place locally at UCLA, USC and the VA Medical Center.


Supporters of Cedars-Sinai Hospital took out their tennis whites and dusted off their rackets so they could participate in The Merchant of Tennis/Monty Hall/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center 31st Annual Diabetes Tennis Tournament on Sept. 12-14.

Jeff and Marie Green sponsored the tournament, which benefited diabetes patient care and research at Cedars. Hosted by Monty Hall, led by honorary chair Harold Foonberg and co-chaired by Elaine and Larry Baum, the tournament had matches played at the Mountain Gate Country Club and at the Playboy Mansion.

But Cedars cannot live on tennis tournaments alone. On Sept. 10, entrepreneur and philanthropist David Saperstein, CEO of Five S Capital, Ltd., and his wife Suzanne, made the largest donation to Cedars-Sinai in the medical center’s history. Cedars is not saying how much the donation was, but they did announce construction of the Suzanne and David Saperstein Critical Care Tower, which will combine the latest monitoring technology with staffing to provide fragile patients with the most sophisticated care available. Construction on the tower is expected to begin this fall and will be completed in 2005.

“Our commitment to Cedars-Sinai is an important example of our philanthropic mission to nurture world-class organizations locally, nationally and internationally,” said David Saperstein at a private celebration at Cedars hosted by the medical center’s board of directors.

Cedars-Sinai board Chair Barbara Factor Bentley said that the Saperstein’s donation “set a new standard for visionary philanthropy here at Cedars.”


The Los Angeles chapter of America Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) held a concert and high tea event Sept. 21 at The Wilshire. The AICF is a privately funded organization that provides financial support for talented young Israelis and cultural institutions in Israel. At the event, cellist Dennis Karmazyn and pianist Beth Sussman presented a musical program of both chamber music and Broadway tunes.


Best-selling author Stanley Pottinger was the special guest on Oct. 1 at Temple Shalom for the Arts’s get-together for sustaining members at Morton’s Restaurant. The Temple is a nondenominational congregation that is famous for its star-studded High Holiday services, which have featured the likes of Jason Alexander, Larry King and Leonard Maltin reading the prayers.

The sustaining members are congregants who pay a larger membership fee so that the congregation can, among other things, give free High Holiday tickets to people who can’t afford them. For the past two years, Rabbi David Baron has been broadcasting a half-hour version of the services on television so that people who are ill or who can’t make it to services will be able to still have some kind of a High Holiday experience.

“Entertainment Tonight” anchor Mary Hart was at the party as Baron introduced Pottinger to the crowd as one of his friends. Pottinger is not Jewish, but he is from New York, which he said makes him “partly Jewish by association.” Pottinger signed copies of his newest book, “The Last Nazi,” a thriller about Joseph Mengele’s lab assistant who wants to unleash a deadly virus on the world that will kill all the Jews. Scary stuff indeed.

Pottinger told The Journal that while most of the actual Nazis from World War II were “dead, or gone, or toothless,” the spirit of Nazism is unfortunately still around.

“In a direct way, the anti-Semitic sense of what propelled Nazism, is not a dead issue,” Pottinger said. “Whether it is with the ignorant, pathetic skinheads who create small problems — or big enough problems for us to notice — or whether it is with a morphing of the spirit of anti-Semitism that comes in the form of haters of Jewish culture, or Jewish people, whether it is in the Middle East or here. It pre-existed the Nazis and it continues today.”


If your rabbi veers from his sermon this month to talk about genetics and diseases, it is probably because he is aware that October has been proclaimed Familial Dysautonomia (FD) Awareness Month. On the advice of the Cure FD Foundation, L.A. Mayor James Hahn teamed with leaders of the Jewish community, such as Federation President John Fishel; Rabbi Mark Diamond, vice president of the Board of Rabbis; and Rabbi Alan Henkin, director of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Southwest Region, to get the Los Angeles community to start thinking about FD.

FD is a Jewish genetic disease Jewish present from birth that is carried by one in 27 persons of Central or Eastern European Jewish descent; it is neurological, degenerative and fatal.

During FD Awareness Month, rabbis throughout the community will be presenting programs and materials to inform the community about FD, how to help fund the cure and how prospective parents can get tested for FD.

For more information about FD, call (310) 459-1056.

Canter’s at 55

After 55 years in business on Fairfax Avenue, what better way for Canter’s Deli to celebrate than offer a 55-cent corned beef sandwich?

Normally a whopping $8.25, the sandwich was served on rye with a scoop of potato salad and a chocolate chip rougala. The deli, still a family-run business, prepped for the event with 6,000 pounds of corned beef and extra staff. With lines out the door as early as 10 a.m. and no sign of it dwindling, Canter’s had their hands full said Jacqueline Canter, granddaughter to the owners of the deli, Ben and Jenny Canter.

Earlier in the day, City Councilman Jack Weiss made an appearance to congratulate Canter’s for being for 55 years in business on Fairfax. — Leora Alhadeff, Contributing Writer.

7 Days In Arts


Let’s make a deal? Monty’s offering you one you can’t refuse. Continuing today and tomorrow is the 31st annual Merchant of Tennis/Monty Hall/Cedars-Sinai Diabetes Tennis Tournament. You might have missed last night’s cocktail reception, but that’s no reason to skip today’s tournament. Plus, Sunday’s championship finals take place at that earthly Valhalla — the Playboy Mansion.$450 (tournament entry fee). Mountaingate Country Club, 12445 Mountaingate Drive, Los Angeles. $150 (championship). Playboy Mansion, Beverly Hills. (310) 996-1188.

It’s got the trappings of a good murder mystery, but Col. Mustard stays away in Robert E. Sherwood’s “Idiot’s Delight.” Colorful characters go about their business while stranded in a Fascist Italy hotel on the eve of World War II.8 p.m. (Thursday-Saturday), 7 p.m. (Sunday). $20. Runs through Oct. 19. Lillian Theatre, 1078 N. Lillian Way, Hollywood. (323) 960-5521.


What with the kids back in school, it’s dawned on youthat you actually miss the little buggers. Indulge this tender moment and takethem with you to Park Labrea’s seventh annual Art in the Park Art Fair andFestival, featuring a children’s “fun field” with art workshops and children’sart display. 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Free. 6200 W. Third St., Los Angeles. (323)549-5580. .

Jews, Muslims and Christians come together for some interfaith dialogue at the Laemmle Fairfax. The program includes a screening of Ruth Broyde-Sharone’s 18-minute documentary, “God and Allah Need to Talk,” as well as performances by Palestinian violinist Nabil Azzam, Iranian entertainer Mitra Rahbar, Ladino music singer Stefani Valadez and the Yuval Ron Trio with percussionist Jamie Papish.Noon-3 p.m. $10 (suggested minimum donation). 7907 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. R.S.V.P., (310) 837-2294.


Don’t let the title fool you. Those who love a parade shouldn’t attend Alfred Uhry’s “Parade” expecting baton twirlers atop toilet-papered flatbeds. It’s called irony, people, and Uhry uses it well. His Pulitzer Prize-winning musical tells the tragic tale of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-born Jew living in Georgia, who was executed for a crime he didn’t commit. The show kicks off the Musical Theatre Guild’s eighth Broadway in Concert season at the Alex Theatre tonight.7:30 p.m. $35. 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. (818) 243-2539. Also Sept. 21, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. $38. The Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre, Countrywide Performing Arts Center, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. (805) 583-8700.


Short and sweet, “The Ice Cream Man” screens today at the Silver Lake Film Festival. That’s short, as in not feature length, and sweet, as in ice cream. Written and directed by Dylan Rush, the film tells the story of a turf war between ethnically divergent Venice Beach ice cream vendors.11:30 a.m. $10. Vista Theatre, 4473 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. (866) 468-3399.


With the High Holidays approaching, do you know what you’ll be putting on the table? Perhaps you should let Sur La Table help you out. Chef Judy Bart Kancigor offers a cooking demonstration titled “Not Your Grandma’s Rosh Hashanah Dinner,” based on her cookbook “Melting Pot Memories.” On the menu: Layered Hummus Eggplant, Braised Turkey Breast Pinwheels With Spinach and Exotic Mushroom Stuffing, Southwestern Sweet Potato Tzimmes in Chile Pockets and Cream Puff Taiglach Towers With Honey Almond Caramel Sauce.6:30 p.m. $45. Farmers Market, 6333 W. Third St., Los Angeles. Also tomorrow in Santa Monica. (866) 328-5412.


Milla Jovovitch performs punk covers of klezmerfavorites and Adrien Brody ventriloquizes in Greg Pritikin’s new film, “Dummy.”Opening this week, the offbeat romantic comedy about a nebbish who still liveswith mom and dad follows his endeavors in learning the art of ventriloquism andin wooing his unemployment counselor. Some are hailing it “My Big Fat JewishWedding,” while others point to some disappointing clichés. We leave it to youto decide who the dummy is.


Give peace a chance? Maybe after today’s outing. Currently on display at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts is “Requiem for War: Paintings by Hans Burkhardt.” The works, which span the years 1938-1993, use abstract expressionist symbolism to reflect his responses to the Spanish Civil War, World War II, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm and the conflicts in Latin America and the Middle East.10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Tuesday-Friday), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Saturday). Runs through Sept. 30. 357 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 938-5222.