These days, more American families are adopting from China than any other foreign country, and a large number of those families are Jewish. A wave of girls is now coming of age, starting to face challenging issues of identity.
Marc Kessler, who conceived the show, along with Ken Davenport, said they first conceptualized a four-person band. But then they realized they could add "the outsider" archetype, and who would better fit that than a Jewish character?
Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz wants to correct what he sees as a major misunderstanding about the history of Jews in this country. "There's a misconception that Jewish life in America started after World War II," he said. "But Jewish life existed more than 100 years before there even was a United States."
Here is a question for the rabbis: Can a teenager acting out a bar mitzvah on stage actually get credit for becoming a man? What if he has rehearsed for months? And what if he reads a real Haftorah? Ricky Ashley, the 17-year-old who stars in the new musical "13," never had a bar mitzvah. He was too busy acting and never found time to prepare. But now, Ashley is playing Evan Goldman, a 13-year-old who has his coming of age ceremony after moving to a new school in a new town, where the kids confuse "bar mitzvah" with "Bon Jovi."
An observant Jew, Bleich provides a Jewish rationale for his commitment. While Judaism teaches that each individual is unique and special, it also emphasizes community, he says.
In a gallery carved into a stone wall amid the ancient ruins of Caesarea, Eran Grebler sits at a potter's wheel shaping clay dreidels.Grebler's dreidels are not your typical spinning tops. They don't have four sides, and they're not necessarily for Chanukah.
Experiencing the classic symptoms of altitude sickness -- fatigue and hallucinations -- Hall had refused to continue down the mountain and ended up passing out. The two sherpas with him concluded, after poking Hall in the eye and getting no response, that Hall was dead. Suffering from lack of oxygen themselves, they hurried down the mountain.
When Olga Bitterman, an 83-year-old Holocaust survivor, found out that another survivor needed help, she knew what to do. For a year, Bitterman left money in the other survivor's mailbox without leaving a trace of its origins.
The magic of the Jaffa Flea Market derives from both its past and present. The market began as a small bazaar in the mid-19th century. It is a rare remnant of the old Middle Eastern way of life in this modern Jewish country. But the market is also a place where Jews and Muslims work side by side as neighbors and friends.
Twenty-five years ago, Rabbi Harold S. Kushner wrote a book that changed his life and the perspective of millions,"When Bad Things Happen to Good People". Now, Kushner, 71, has written another practical guide of spiritual wisdom. His 10th book, "Overcoming Life's Disappointments," uses Moses' example to discuss ways of dealing with - and rising above - failure.
The retirement of Rabbi Moshe Rothblum after 35 years on the bimah at Adat Ari El.
The way Dieckilman sees it, Jews are God's Chosen People and Christians are simply "grafted on" to that group.
"There's no question Jews are the people blessed by God and chosen by God to bring redemption to earth," he said.
Upon entering the museum, visitors will receive a grain of rice, representing themselves. Then, they will walk into a room filled with 300 million grains of rice - one for every person in the United States. The rice will be divided into piles, each one illustrating a statistic, such as the number of people who have walked on the moon or the millions of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island. One grain of rice will stand for one person.
And there it will be, among all the piles: a large mound with 6 million pieces, representing each individual Jewish life lost in the Holocaust.
Eli Wiesel and George Clooney have spoken out about it. Protesters have rallied against it. Even an online game seeks to draw attention to the ongoing genocide in Sudan's Darfur.
Before Shelly Collen lost almost everything, her life had just fallen into place. Then Hurricane Katrina struck.
"It's like a temple," the painter says of his artist's studio.
A lonely temple, that is.
"I'm the rabbi and congregation all in one," he says with a laugh.
Almost from the time she was born in 1941 in Milhars, Kaufman had to be invisible, she recounted. Her parents had come from Poland, where they had suffered under Nazi oppression.
"When Do We Eat?" centers on the Stuckman family, which includes grandfather Artur (Jack Klugman); father Ira (Michael Lerner), who tries to lead "the world's fastest seder"; his neglected wife, Peggy (Lesley Ann Warren); and their children.
This tour is no typical high school field trip, with its predictable mix of unruly, disinterested teenagers. These students are here mainly because their school, Jefferson High, became a flash point last year for fights between Latino and African American students. The overcrowded, underperforming campus in South Los Angeles was 92 percent Latino, 7.5 percent black and, seemingly on a handful of occasions, nearly 100 percent out of control.
"The Journey That Saved Curious George : The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey.
Linguists have predicted that within 100 years, more than half of the 6,000 languages that exist today will disappear.
For a long time, it's looked as though Yiddish was among those bound for extinction, but scholars and Yiddish speakers, as well as some Jews who remember their parents speaking Yiddish, have never given up on the language.
And now there's a better chance that a new generation of Jews will understand Yiddish and the Jewish culture it embodies. This fall, three local Jewish day schools will offer their middle and high school students classes in Yiddish, the language spoken for 1,000 years by Ashkenazi Jews of eastern and central Europe.
The three schools represent a spectrum of Jewish education and geography in Los Angeles: New Community Jewish High School in the west San Fernando Valley is non-denominational, Shalhevet School in the Fairfax district is Orthodox and Sinai Akiba Academy in West Los Angeles is Conservative.
It's a lot more than Kenn Phillips could have bargained for when he accepted this gig as principal. Lucky for him, he doesn't have to come back tomorrow.
That's because Phillips isn't the real principal, but merely principal for a day. Phillips is among more than 200 professionals who arranged to shadow principals as part of a Los Angeles Unified School District effort to create alliances between businesses and schools.
Eight-year-old Danielle dashes to the front of her third-grade classroom and shows off her drawing of an equilateral triangle.
When it's time to celebrate Chanukah, nobody should be left out of the fun. We've scoured the holiday gift scene to find the perfect presents for Mom, Dad and the whole family.
Zager started out as a reporter, working for a short stint after college at a community newspaper in her hometown, Detroit. After getting married and having children, she turned to comedy. She spent 14 years as a stand-up comedian, entertaining at clubs in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
But being a journalist was her lifelong dream.
Open Wilda Spalding's "little black book," and you'll discover a code of ethics -- written in part by Eleanor Roosevelt and adopted by the United Nations in 1948: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Since Meir Jacobs bought the J&T Bread Bin 34 years ago, the bakery hasn't changed much. Nestled in the center of the Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax, it retains its old-world charm -- the original glass showcases line the store's perimeter, and the original orange "Bread Bin" metal signs hang on both sides of the store. Handwritten yellow notes advertise the goods: chocolate danishes, raspberry hamantaschen, sprinkled cookies, lemon bars, macaroons and more.
It's the Hungarian treats that reveal the bakery's hidden history. The loaves of glazed cinnamon raisin bread, the apple squares and the three-flavored puff pastries called kalaches give meaning to Jacobs' words: "This is a very old-fashioned-style bakery."
An old-fashioned Hungarian bakery fashioned after its owner.