Jewish Book: Saving Myself, a Los Angeles Childhood
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A Los Angeles Jewish Childhood - Winter 2012
Friday, 28 December 2012 19:36

What comes out of a Jewish Childhood? Strong beliefs of social justice, how to survive in a world with prejudices and mind sets that are in the DNA of each of us. How stereotypes play out in a world where Jews have often been those scapegoats as well as defenders of others.

I remember the Watts Riots, 1965 in Los Angeles. I remember the Freedom Riders in the 1960s, many of them Jews, riding on the buses, walking with Martin Luther King.

I remember Julian Bond, one of my early heroes, when he came to talk with us at my synagogue, Temple Beth Shalom, at an afternoon event sponsored by the Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance. He spoke about biases, similarities and freedom won in our own time. How inter-racial marriage was banned in much of the south until 1967.

I remember my interview on Radio Cafe with Mary Charlotte Domandi, in Santa Fe, right before my book launch for Saving Myself: A Los Angeles Childhood, and talking with her about discrimination, that even in this socially awake time, there is still bias, childhood bullying. How at my synagogue, at a concert celebrating 400 years of Jewish Composers, there were two police officers from the Santa Fe Police Department at the front door.Click here: Santa Fe Radio Cafe Interview

It seems that when I left my parent’s home, I learned of a New York ritual of having Chinese Food out at my favorite restaurant on Christmas Eve, and here it is December 24.

I have just had a wonderful decaf latte and a gluten free pumpkin muffin at Revolution Bakery in Santa Fe, thinking about the six of us who will go to our favorite Chinese restaurant in Santa Fe, Yummy Cafe, just a few hours from now.

Chanukah has now long past and I have cleaned my menorah, freeing it from all the extra wax by using boiled water, the extra candles stored in the pantry and the menorah up in its rightful place in the china cabinet to rest until next year.

The air is crisp with a 50% chance of snow by early evening.

This year I feel especially blessed. My energy is coming back after a five month hiatus. It's great to be alive in this chilled Santa Fe winter.

Should I make New Year's resolutions? Each year I think about it and fail to make a concrete plan. This year, build up stamina and energy. I will dance in the streets of Paris for Fete de la Musique on summer solstice.

I will fill the time in between with daily writing practice. I am half way through with Just Now: The Alzheimer's Journal. I hope to have the first draft done by my birthday in September.

I wish you all a happy, healthy, and abundant New Year and believe that intention makes a difference, so may all your wishes and dreams come true.

Thank you for reading the Jewish Childhood Blog.