If you are a grandparent, you have to read Andy Slavitt’s book PREVENTABLE

My fourth grandchild Jacob— two months old— is arriving today after a 12 hour drive from the Marine base in North Carolina where he lives with his parents. Jacob will need to read Andy Slavitt’s book first thing to prepare for the future.

Wikipedia: “Andrew M. Slavitt is an American businessman and healthcare advisor who served as the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from March 2015 to January 2017 and as a temporary Senior Advisor to the COVID-19 Response Coordinator in the Biden administration. A leader of the team that helped to repair the healthcare.gov website after its initial rollout, he was nominated by Barack Obama to run CMS in July 2015. In January 2021, Slavitt accepted a temporary role as Senior Pandemic Advisor to President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 pandemic response team. He stepped down from that role in June 2021.”


Yair Lapid, architect of the new Israeli government

On Sunday June 11th the new government of Israel which Yair Lapid crafted will dispose of Benjamin Nitanyahu, Israel’s longest serving prime minister known as the magician for his ability to form working majorities in the Kenesset. Now Lapid has become Israel’s magician. Perhaps, quite relevant is that the media ( e.g. NBC and PBS ) have reported President Biden and Lapid know each other well and are united in their hatred of Bibi.

Israel’s new President elect Issac Herzog hates Netanyahu well having run against him the the cacophonous political sphere. While Herzog’s tenure as President, which begins in July, to a largely ceremonial office, Herzog will be acquiring the power to hurt Netanyahu greatly. The President of Israel has the power to pardon. Soon and finally, Bibi will be convicted of bribery as deserves to happen. The big question: Will Herzog pardon Bibi or will he delight in making sure he goes to prison.

Back to Lapid, leader of one of Israel’s instant political parties, the English translation of the Lapid party is Yes There is a Future Party.


Yair Rosenberg of Yair’s Newsletter wrote:

Who is Yair Lapid?

I’ve interviewed Lapid multiple times, in part because I hope that if he’s in the news enough, people will finally learn how to pronounce my name, and in part because I’ve long thought he’s been perennially overlooked by a media in search of more incendiary Israel storylines. For nearly a decade, prognosticators have predicted the demise of Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party, and for nearly a decade, Lapid has outperformed many politicians who get many more headlines.

A former journalist and TV presenter, Lapid created Yesh Atid as a third-way party between Israel’s traditional left and right. It’s important to understand that this project was not about averaging both sides and picking a moderate middle point. Instead, Yesh Atid was more about adopting different compelling aspects from the right and left to create a new synthesis that Lapid believed better represented the Israeli mainstream. The goal was to include more voices, rather than exclude.


Interview on Germany’s English language service with a hostile reporter

Five Hours a Day in the Saddle: The Pacific Coast School of Horsemanship ( written for the San Francisco Chronicle in 1972; never published; now at age 73 the article I wrote when I was 22)

Suddenly, I became interested in horses

I was living in New York City at the time. Faithfully, once-a-week I walked to Van Courtland Park in the heart of The Bronx or took the subway down to the stables at Central Park. Horses seemed the answer.The way out. They symbolize a slower, simpler more natural way of life. It is no surprise my weekly ride made working in a ghastly nine to five job on Madison Avenue almost bearable.

The same effect— produced by a swift, exciting hour spent on a mellow horse on a pleasant bridle path— has turned on large numbers of people like myself.

San Francisco goes at a slower pace

We urbanites have a remarkable inability to understand what the word nature means. Seeing it as a flower pot on a window ledge or, at the most—a vest-pocket park. The horses carried me out of that skyscraper trap: A lifetime of New York City living. had caused living in the City of my birth to be intolerable.

.Until I get the feel of New York City buildings out of my blood, this is a lovely jumping off spot for my trips to the horses. Naturally, I rode the nags in Golden Gate Park.The stables there are in good shape feeling at times like stage props from a Fellini film.The horses are well cared for.and are fine for hack work. The bridal paths are beautiful. Riding alongside an enclosure of buffalo is as Wld West as I thought I would ever get.

Regulations require a guide come along with you when renting a horse. Instead, in a burst of independence. I went to Daly City where a man can ride free. There, riding at Mar Vista or at Pale Mar Stables, I ride through the sand dunes and down along the beach. Between readings of Dick Frances’ wonderful murder mysteries of steeplechase riding in England, I explored stables in Marín County To my surprise, there in the south of San Francisco— in the Los Altos Hills— I found myself way out of class.

[ “After wartime service in the RAF, Francis became a full-time jump-jockey, winning over 350 races and becoming champion jockey of the British National Hunt. He came to further prominence in 1956 as jockey to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, riding her horse Devon Loch which fell when close to winning the Grand National. Francis retired from the turf and became a journalist and novelist.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Francis]

Way out of class

This summer the San Francisco Chronicle carried an advertisement for the Pacific Coast School of Horsemanship. Since riding is one thing and becoming a horse person is something else, I decided the time had come to stop hacking around and call Linda Tellington Jones , director of the school. Linda invited me to come down to her Westwind Hungarian Horse Farm— a 45 minute drive from San Francisco.

Los Altos is horse country. Traffic signs warn about equestrians and equestrians about motorists.

I had come to watch Linda give a lesson to Phyllis Paris one of the school’s students, to attend ( for the first time a polo match ) and, as it would turn out, to join Linda and her husband for dinner at a suitably posh restaurant. The stables are located below a large one-storied, California / Spanish house where Linda lives with a parrot named Khan, a dog named Tiger, an assortment of cats, and an endless stream of guests, students, and horse fanciers plus 44 horses: Morgans, thoroughbreds, Arabians, quarter horses, and Hungarians. [ Linda’s Hungarians were a special breed she promoted.]

The horses looked down from their stables, corrals, and enclosures on a small valley and the foothills of the Santa Cruz. Mountains.. Behind an assortment of horse trailers workmen busily erected additional stables. One alongside Jones’ house, and an imposing , columned mansion on a nearby hill. The mansion served as living quarters for the Pacific Coast School of Horsemanship. staff and students,

The school was founded 11 years ago in Badger, California where it was associated with the Pacific Coast Equestrian Research Farm. Linda and her former husband WentworthTellington decided the world needed was to know more about horses. In addition to training riders to become instructors trainers, and stable managers, the farm served as a,center for equine information and development.Example: In response to the comment “If a horse eats vinegar, he won’t be bothered by flies,” Badger School staff fed vinegar to horses and it worked.

One researcher asked Linda about the efficacy of worm medication in the tropics.

The school developed menus and diets for horses including kelp and honey and milk.

Today, forty nine years later, now that I am not only a father but a grandfather, here is my elder daughter Joanna proving that although I did not have equestrian talent, Joanna does

The Pacific Coast School of Horsemanship relocated to the Los Altos Hills where Linda provides the West Coast equestrian community with expertise and wisdom acquired over the years. Birch Brown ( Linda’s new husband–the romance began when he was her student) regards their school and their special Hungarian breed as a clearing house of information and services for riders and the equestrian community generally.

The school is the only facility of its kind in the Bay area and one of a handful nationally where equestrians tran to become professionally. Graduates now run college riding programs, breed horses, manage livestock and otherwise serve an industy willing to pay them well.

Only 10 students are permitted to attend the school’s six month session. To be admitted, one must be at least 18 years of age. have over four years experienc in the saddle, and not smoke. Thirty six states and six countries have contributed to the stident body. Each student has plenty of time to spend with horses. To be precise, for nin e hours a day for five days a week, each student works with horses:

+ Five hours riding

+ Two hours in the lecture room

+ Remainder of the time: Managing a section of the stable, Dealing with blacksmiths, insurance agents, and horse buyers, Generally, being on call until 2 AM.for a foaling or a midnght ailment. Part of Saturday, preparing for the Sunday horseeshow. Sunday:

Students are schooled in everything from dressage to schooling horses to the Cavaletti principle of jumping.They learn about hipology, what to do about parasites, bots, worms, and other pests, how to judge a horseshow, and how to teach jumping.

Student Phyllis Paris

It is summer and Phyllis Paris, an enrolled student, is spending it here because she wants to spend more time with horses. She is pretty, thin, and blonde; while in her early Twenties she looks younger. Bra-less.Wearing a close fitting top, neatly pressed jodhpurs, cavalry boots, and a red huntng cap, She seemed at first, in need of protction until she mounted Cjengo. On horseback, her perfect posture and general attitude makes it clear she is a woman who knows what she is doing and is confident she does it well.

Linda Tellington Jones Runs the Show

Linda Tellington Jones immediatelyh took charge of the lesson. Linda is an attractive gregarious woman who is at ease in any situation. She began her career wth horses as a rodeo queen in Canada. Her principal reputation in competiton is endurance riding. In 1961, she set the world record for riding 100 miles in one day.On Brint Guilda at Moore, Oklahoma. she completed the course in 13 hours and 36 minutes. She is even the heroine iof a children’s book–written by S.I. Hayakawa, called The Hundred Milers–which tells the story of a five woman team of distance riders which she led.

Linda is an aceredited judge for the American Horse Show Association and competes in their activities and those sponsored by others.This year, she won the Los Altos Point-toPoint in Pebble Beach.

Brief interruption with George Strait

Linda Tellington Jones today

Back to the past

Linda is head instructor. And directs the many activities of the farm. Her friendliness and energy are contagious. Everyone from the stable hands, blacksmith to her students respond to her loyalty and respect. She is constantly on the go. When I interviewed her she was preparing for a three way trip to Germany. There she was collaborating with Ursula Bruns on a book on the do’s and don’ts of riding.Linda also was plannng an equestrian trek through the Alps, having aleady ridden in the Arctic Cicle an the Sierras.

Standing in the center of Westwind’s Olympic-size jumping arena, Linda direcrted Phyllis to go therough the customary limberng-up exercises prior to taking the course of jumps. Phyllis took Cjenge through the walk, trot, canter series effortlessly and what I thought perfect form. “He’s too eager to jump>” Linda sad, “calm him down.” She suggestd Phyllis take firmer control Soon, a more mellow Cjenge was cantoring, then stopping, then going through the series again. After that the figure eights.

Why ride a horse around in circles? I can understand jumping. Jumping is fun. But riding around in circles? Well a reading of Jack Coggins told me figure eights are a fine exercise.The exercise resides the rider to handle sharp turns without stopping while maintaining a straight seat and steady hands.At the time, I didn’t know what I was looking at. So, I was amused when Linda said, “Your eights are not eight enough.” Phyllis watched in serious concentration as Linda derew dagrams in the dust with the back of a ridng crop. Archimedes, are you there?

The eights more eight, Linda said, “His head should be facing me as you complet3e the loop.” After correcting that, Phyllis (and her horse) were ready to jump. A course of winged jumps was already set up. There were fences, bricks, barrel, railroad, and bar jumps to go over– all in a omplicated pattern requiring many turns, some of which were supposed to begin even before Phyllis completed the jump.

“Try jumping with one hand,” Phyllis said. Phyllis’ tongue lolled out of her moth in expression of anxiety. They both smiled; then, Phyllis went to work. At first this was awkward, especially since I had not been paying attention to the course tujrns and had to scamper to prevent being run over. “Think of the ext jump. The hoirse will take car of this one,” Linda said.The advice and practice took. While Phyllis’ turns were not faultless, her jumping was. Of course, a rider should not need to hold on to the reins at all while jumping. It is keeping a perfect balance that makes it possible to take a horse four feet into the air. Of course, Linda does not need to use her hands. Photographs in the trophy room prove that.

A week after that lesson, Phyllis entered her first competition. She picked up her first ribbons. Two weeks later, I watched Phyllis and another student instructing purchasers of horses on the art of jumping , inviting students to teach equestrionship quite in keeping with Linda’s standards.

Polo practice plus


Joel Solkoff

Mullen Avenue

San Francisco, California


Disability and Elderly Issues

Remembering Jean and Marvin Staiman and their love of Israel

Williamsport, Pennsylvania, US, June 2, 2011,

22 Sivan

For years, congregation Ohev Shalom has benefitted from the services of Rabbi Herbert Horowitz. Rabbi Horowitz  was a friend of my good friend Marvin Staiman. Marvin died on January 17th (my mother’s birthday) at age 93. Marvin died not long after the death at age 92 of his wife Jean. Marvin died four months after Jean’s death. 

Marvin and Jean were married for over 70 years–an accomplishment  praiseworthy beyond my ability. Following the first commandment in the Five Books of Moses, “Be fruitful and multiply,”. Marvin and Jean Staiman were fruitful. Consider, they had six children: Keith, Cynthia, Jeffrey, Richard, Jonathan, and Rebecca. They had 19 grandchildren; {I merely have four grandchildren,} Marvin and Jean also had 19 great grandchildren Indeed!.

Rabbi Howowitz told me over the phone on Tuesday: “The death of Marvin and Jean has left a void for each and every member of Congregation Ohev Shalom.”

Photo of Jean Staiman by me

My relationship with Jean stemmed from the fact that Marvin did not read books; Jean did. {Marvin read newspapers, magazines, and Jewish publications–lots of them}.


 I had been standing next to the Bemma (platform/altar ) at the synagogue Marvin’s grandfather had helped found (back when Peter Herdic was alive). I handed my book on surviving cancer to Marvin and he handed it to Jean. That is when I first met her. 

 Upon meeting Jean for the first time, she smiled. It was the kind of smile you might wish your grandmother was here to smile at you, During the time Jean  and I became friends, Jean was extremely hard of hearing. When I visited her in their home on Grampian Blvd (a house with a far too narrow driveway), I would pull out my reporter’s notebook and we would write back and forth.

Writing on the sabbath is forbidden. The Jewish Sabbath begins on Friday evening to the end of the day on Saturday  (until one can see three stars in the sky); {For candle lighting times please see Congregation Ohev Shalom’s excellent website Congregation Ohev Shalom: )].

To repeat, writing  is not permitted in a Orthodox synagogue on Friday night and S.aturday So, Jean and I could not communicate with words. We would sit next to each other at Saturday lunches and smile and occasionally we would touch each other’s shoulder. At first, it felt strange but after the first time, communicating in this way–this non-verbal happy way–seemed natural.

Our bond stemmed from our love of books, especially books that have something to say. I had published a book on my experience with cancer and surviving it. The reason I know she loved it is because she said so to Marvin and two of her sons.

Photo of Marvin Staiman by me

The void my synagogue is experiencing as a result of Marvin’s death concerns those actions Marvin regarded as essential to his view of what it means to be a Jew. For one thing, being a Jew for Marvin meant praying to God in Hebrew and Aramaic (the language of Jesus). The second requirement, even more significant than Hebrew prayer, is working to preserve the State of Israel. Eretz (land of) Yisrael (Israel).

Marvin remembered vividly the Israeli 1948 War of Independence about which Wikipedia wrote: “The 1948 (or FirstArab–Israeli War was the second and final stage of the 1947–1949 Palestine war. It formally began following the end of the British Mandate for Palestine at midnight on 14 May 1948; the Israeli Declaration of Independence had been issued earlier that day, and a military coalition of Arab states entered the territory of British Palestine in the morning of 15 May.

“The first deaths of the 1947–1949 Palestine war occurred on 30 November 1947 during an ambush of two buses carrying Jews.There had been tension and conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, and between each of them and the British forces since the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1920 creation of the British Mandate of Palestine. British policies dissatisfied both Arabs and Jews. Arab opposition developed into the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, while the Jewish resistance developed into the 1944–1947 Jewish insurgency in Palestine. In 1947, these ongoing tensions erupted into civil war following the 29 November 1947 adoption of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, which planned to divide Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state, and the Special International Regime encompassing the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.”

Although Israeli government officials compare the current Israeli Hamas War to 1948–nothing could be farther from the truth. In 1948, there emerged true stories of the difficulties involved. Victims of the Holocaust, those fleeing Auschwitz and the other camps, landed on Israeli soil, were handed Sten guns, the often problematic guns the British left behind. Many died, especially on the road to the Old City of Jerusalem. Gone without a trace.

Marvin’s success at raising funds for Israel in 1948 was critical to the effort which still seems like a miracle that the Jews won. Today, as a consequence of the 1967 Six Day War, Israel emerged as an important military power in the region. In six days, Israel conquered the skies on day one and next took over access to the Old City of Jerusalem–since 1948 the Jordanian government had prohibited access to our holiest spot, the Western Wall of the Second Temple. In the South, Israeli soldiers in tanks changed tank warfare forever, causing the United States to create M1 tanks to replace the tanks that won World War II. In the north, where most of the Israeli casualties took place, soldiers scaled the Golan Heights and might have reached Damascus if they so desired

The Israeli air force, widely praised for winning the day, consisted of French Mirage jets–French because the US was not yet willing to sell jets to Israel The American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC).emerged from an organization that was primarily a news source with an excellent newsletter to a lobbying group whose power has been compared to the liquor and alcohol lobby.

At the aftermath of the Six Day. War, French President DeGaulle refused to sell Israel’s air force spare parts. The US then provided Israel with a US built air force, It would seem that the US will continue to provide needed weapons.That may not be the case. There are reports that some Israeli military authorities believe Israel will be helped by receiving Congressional  permission to buy bombs that demolish bunkers, like the ones Hamas uses to make terrorist strikes.

To make sense of this, asking myself how would Marvin react to the news that for 11 days Israel was at war with Hamas. Now there is a fragile and badly needed cease fire. Therefore, I called Richard, Marvin’s son, who runs the family business, to have our synagogue respond to the crisis posed by the Israel Hamas War and the cease fire that has followed. Stay tuned.


Finally, consider Williamsport attorney Fred Holland’s observation: ““Marv and Jean were two lights who shone brilliantly as one, providing illumination of all good things in Williamsport, and anywhere else they were.” I  could not put it any better.-

Joel Solkoff, US Editor, e-architect.UK, member Ohev Sha;o,.Cherry Street, Williamsport

Copyright 2021 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved