Westwood Rotary at the end of July, the
I had a guest - who insisted that he pay for his own lunch, and thus I couldn't
announce him at the appropriate time. However, he has offered his own 'take' on
our Speaker today, and I'll include it when I get to that subject. I enjoyed it
- hope you will agree.
PP RALPH WOODWORTH - who is our new Front Page Windmill Editor, note - led the
Pledge, and it was well done. Next up were the duo of PP STEVE DAY and GREGG
ELIOTT, with The Battle Hymn of the Republic - and despite some slight threats
of continuing beyond the first verse (which didn't happen), that, too went well.
DAVE MATSON started his Invocation by quoting some lines from Only in America,
among them Why do banks keep their doors open but their pens chained? (and I
noted Mike Gintz furiously making notes!) DAVE then pointed out some other
American exclusives - we have the freedom to pray - or not, To believe, or not,
To participate in a religion, or not. This in turn led to his conclusion -
separation of Church and State started here as a Grand Experiment- and Thank God
for that! Well done, as usual, DAVE.
There were lots of guests, with Visiting Rotarians introduced by PP BOB
WESSLING. First up was Hugh Travis, from Santa Monica. Prexy TED pointed out
that Hugh is a top Boy Scout executive in the area, and he has been kind enough
to arrange a harbor cruise for our visiting Rotary Exchange Students from Japan,
who will be with us next week.
PP DOUG DESCH reintroduced his guest,
Clair Mitchell - Clair is the new Associate Minister at Westwood Methodist, and
his membership proposal is now circulating. PDG BILL GOODWYN had a Special
Guest, Karen Mason, who is a management consultant. PP GEORGE DEA brought
along Janice, and RALPH SMITH had a guest, "Julio…Oh Yeah, Herzer" - and you can
imagine the delay between first and last names provided several suggestions as
to what his name really was. RALPH admitted to YOE afterward that these moments
of 'blankness' do creep in from time to time - my advice to RALPH being, "Just
wait, buddy - it won't get better". BURLEIGH ARNOLD had as his Special Guest,
Don La Motta (sp). And a bit later, MARK BLOCK'S wife, Margie, slipped in to
RALPH BEASOM made a nice, light-hearted presentation to PP GEORGE DEA and Janice
- it was a wonderful scrapbook featuring the many highlights of PP GEORGE"S year
as President. RALPH added that he had tried to add some Dea Dollars to the
Presentation, but when he stopped by the bank, they didn't have any - not to
worry, RALPH, you probably just weren't at the right bank! May I here insert a
message from our Auxiliary: Attn. Auxiliary Members - we now have our own email
address: Auxiliary@wvrc.net, OR
CATHY REZOS was asked to make a presentation in behalf of Angel Flight, an
organization in which she has been active for the last ten years. This is a
group of private pilots and volunteers, who provide free air transportation to
those from outlying areas who need to visit medical facilities. Angel Flight
West covers the eleven western states, within a 1000 mile range of the starting
point, and is available to all ages of participants. The pilots either own or
rent their aircraft, and pay for all their own fuel and related costs.
Angel Flight started in 1984 - with just 16 missions - and by 2001, the annual
total had grown to 2341 missions! The group is composed of about 1200
volunteers, of whom 1000 are pilots. A short video was shown, illustrating the
services they are able to provide. Your WVRC Board would like us to become
involved in this most-worthwhile endeavor, partnering with Angel Flight West,
the UCLA Health Care System and Santa Monica Airport - YOE has to add that this
is a real win-win for all of us, and we'll be anxious to hear more details as to
the many ways we can help. Thank you, CATHY.
While on the subject of aircraft, it seems that BILL MICHAEL found himself
pictured inside a new Lear Jet. When asked if the photo was indeed of him, BILL
replied "I can't see it from here" or some other equally lame dodge. However,
when specifically pressed by Prexy TED as to what kind of contraption it really
was, BILL had to admit, "Yes, that's what it is"! This cost him a hundred clams
- and YOE opines that BILL got off pretty cheap, really. Prexy TED continued
his excellent self-imposed limitation of just ONE announcement each meeting -and
the winner this time was a reminder that the first District Breakfast for this
Rotary Year will be this coming Tuesday, July 30th, 0710 at the LAX Marriott.
We have NINE members who will be attending! These early risers include Prexy
TED, PETER MORE, RUDY ALVAREZ, KEN LEVER, PDG BILL GOODWYN, RALPH SMITH, PDG
ANDY ANDERSON, PP GEORGE DEA and Rotaract member Karina Quintero.
Continuing the list of those who are contributing to our Rotary Foundation in
memory of PP DAVE MORE, please add Madelyn and WALLY FISCHMANN plus Judy and PP
BOB WESSLING. And a final pre-speaker thought, if I may. The July 4th letter
from Prexy TED, welcoming us all to his Rotary year, makes excellent reading,
and provides good food for thought. Our record of participation at the four
recent International Conventions is unsurpassed, and we should recognize the
honor we are receiving in the visit of the Rotary International President,
Bhichai Rattakul, to our OWN club! New projects which are planned include
expanding polio surgeries to the Philippines, CATHY REZOS Angel Flight program,
Emergency Preparedness with Ellis Stanley, head of the City of LA Emergency
Preparedness Dept., starting up a WVRC Young Stars basketball team, and last but
not least, promoting the wonderful book by MYRON TAYLOR covering the Four Way
Test. Truly, we are just starting a great new year! (Careful, TED - PP JIM
SUMNER may be after you for copyright infringement).
PP STEVE DAY
introduced his good friend, Rabbi Alan Rabishaw, whose subject was The State of
Israel Today. Rabbi Rabishaw was born in Chicago, graduated with a degree in
Psychology from the University of Illinois (and here, PP STEVE SCHERER could
plainly be heard chanting "Go Illini") and both the Rabbi and PP BOB WESSLING
are Chicago Cub fans. He received his Rabbinate degree from the Hebrew Union
College Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, and is now at Stephen S. Wise
Temple. This is right across Sepulveda from the Getty, and, with 3500 families
affiliated, is one of the largest Synagogues in the world. Rabbi Rabishaw is
married to Laura, and they have an 8-year-old daughter, Elana, and a son, Jacob,
who is 5.
Rabbi Rabishaw has visited Israel six times, starting in 1976 when he was an
exchange student staying in Jerusalem. He lived with a family then, and has
returned each time to revisit this original home-away-from-home. The first of
what has been called an 'Intifada' occurred in 1987, when organized resistance
to the occupation of Palestine began. This was sporadic, and short-lived. The
present Intifada, called by Israelis "The Situation", began almost two years
ago, and of course, still continues. During his earliest visit, he was asked
what the solution to the Israel/Palestine problem was, and he said then, "If I
knew, I would be eligible for the Nobel Peace Prize". He feels the same way
Yes, just two years ago, Israel was booming - it rivaled the Silicon Valley in
its technological sector, and the Israel Government was beginning to urge their
many supporters in the U.S. to start shifting their support from Israel itself
toward better educating their own children! Life was indeed good. But this
continuing, long-term improvement has now totally stopped, of course. The most
recent air strike, on a residential section in Gaza City, did indeed kill the
leader of the most militant Hamas suicide bombing planners - along with at least
fourteen children plus injuring hundreds of others. As Rabbi Rabishaw said, this
broke his heart - but he feels apologies are not appropriate. Regrets, yes -
but a Terrorist was at least eliminated. And yet, just a week before this
tragedy, the Israel government had released 45 million dollars of Palestinian
funds which had been blocked, plus 7000 Palestinians were once again admitted to
resume work within Israel itself. What do these very badly mixed signals mean?
Two weeks before, 55 % of Israelis said they could live with a Palestinian State
- certainly that figure has now decreased, but where will it all end?
Rabbi Rabishaw has always been a moderate - that is, neither supporting "Peace
Now" or "Biblical Israel for the Israelis". Probably about a quarter of the
people support each position, the Orthodox for Biblical Israel, and the secular
for Peace. Historically, there have always been two Jerusalem's. Fifteen
hundred years ago there was an earthly city, similar to the modern city. At the
same time, there was also a heavenly Jerusalem, a place of dreams, where music
played and angels sang. Here, prayers would be answered. Today the reality is
much different, and much sadder. Rabbi Rabishaw spoke of viewing the city from
afar, looking toward the Golden Dome. He feels Love describes this scene.
There is hope, and Israel must continue to fight.
A short Q&A. RAY ZICKFELD and DAVID MATSON - how is Israel society divided.
Perhaps 75% of her citizens are secular, yet they live in a religious society,
controlled by the Orthodox minority. The 'right' leans more to the right all the
time, but the other side says, "Let's talk". Probably 20% of the total will
never budge from their positions. Not too long ago 63% favored living with a
Palestinian State alongside - this has decreased to 55% and probably continues
to drop. Likud gets 30 to 40% of the vote, Labor 20 to 30%, and this split
continues. Truly, a terrible standoff.
And now, as promised at the start of today's report, from my neighbor, Dr.
Harold Goodman -I had the pleasure of attending the Rotary luncheon on the 25th.
It was at the suggestion of Ernie Wolfe. During Rabbi Rabishaw's
talk I saw Ernie taking notes and, as we walked to our cars, I asked why. He is
some kind of recording secretary and it is his responsibility to summarize the
proceedings including, I hope, the laughs.
Ernie and I run across each other early in the morning. Our dogs take us for
walks. His Bentley and my Pierre are well acquainted but still somewhat wary of
Why am I telling you this? In a word, Bentley and Pierre are both canines and
the Israelis and Palestinians are all Semites. We should be hugging each other
like members of the same family. In past centuries the two peoples lived
together harmoniously in Arab lands. Now, with the end of the British mandate,
the relationship has fallen apart.
Each side has some valid points. I, of course, as a Zionist supporter, have a
As the good rabbi said, some compromises may eventually lead to Israelis and
Palestinians hugging each other.
It may even be that Bentley and Pierre will become friends. (end)
One final note - remember the Japanese Exchange Students, along with the five
relatives of our own members, will be out guests next Thursday. It will be fun
- be there!
YOE, Ernie Wolfe