Diario Judío México - Chaya Mushka, the Rebetzen (Part Two-Final)

Things settled down for Rabbi Ephraim and his family. The work with the Tijuana
Jewish community continued. However, there was a change of the Board as the previous Board of Directors finished its term. After the New Board of Directors was installed, new ideas came to the forefront. The new Board wanted the Centro Social to become financially independent. So the President had the idea of having a Restaurant operate since we already had Glatt Kosher food, a cook and Rabbinic Supervision.

The restaurant we have now operates from 8:00 A.M. to 9:00 P. M. 5 days a week, Sunday through Thursdays and on Friday until 2:00 P. M.. However, work had to be done. It was up to the treasurer to refurbish the room. Live music with professional musicians was instituted, operating on Mondays and Thursdays during breakfast after prayers and on Wednesdays when a special meal, which includes several salads, is served. On Wednesdays, the music alternates every other week between a marimba player and a piano player, both professionals. The restaurant’s location is the dining area of the Centro Social at Ave. Cuauhtémoc Norte #18, 1 ½ blocks south from the Hotel Palacio Azteca, next door to the Club de Leones (Lion’s Club) and at the corner, the Restaurant Ricardo’s on Cuauhtémoc Norte and Gobernador Lugo Street. The sole Kosher restaurant in San Diego is at the JCC in La Jolla. Ralph’s market also provides Kosher food that can also be purchased.

Returning to Rabbi Ephraim and his family, his wife, Chaya Mushka, Adina, the child and Ruth, the baby. The family was known to have taken a 5-hour trip (each way) to San Felipe and also to La Paz (it takes a full day to drive to La Paz and the same back to Tijuana). Various members of the community were mystified. One of the Board members asked the Rabbi the purpose of said trips and Rabbi Ephraim answered: “Now, I can tell you after-the-fact, we were looking to use a Mikveh. Since the beaches nearby are open beaches whit out privacy, we were unable to make use of them, but in both San Felipe and La Paz we found appropriate areas. Neither were we able to make use of the Mikvot available in San Diego as my wife can´t enter the U. S.’’. The mystery of the long, burdensome trips was clarified.
Some of us thought that there was a need for a Mikveh in the premises of the Centro Social Israelita in Tijuana, as it couldn’t be possible that because the Rebetzen couldn’t enter the U. S. because she was denied access by an immigration officer, she should have to go on long, hard trips. And the idea of building a Mikveh in the premises took hold.

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The community work at the Centro Social Israelita de Baja California, A. C. Mrs. Sofía Model Segal started in the 1970’S. The only opening in the board was in the religious committee, and she worked there for 5 years. Her son Eric Segal and Dr. Louis Katz conducted the High Holidays free of charge. The fist orthodox Rabbi, Rabbi David Weicman, now a teacher at an Israeli Hebrew University, was brought by Mrs. Segal from Mexico City. In the 1980´S she was the accompanist of a choir at the Centro Social for five years. And since 1997 she woked for the Centro and was chosen as President of the same. She instituted the first Jewish accredited grammar school of Tijuana which lasted a few years until she had to leave for personal circunstances. Now she was instrumental in building a new Kosher Mikveh which was approved on October 17th 2017. This beautiful Mikveh will be inaugurated on December 09, 2017. A contest for an original drawing or Project of a Mikveh was entered by children 14 years or younger including those from the Centro Social, San Diego Jewish Academy, Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School, Chabad Jewish Academy and Beth Eliyahu.