It’s a foggy fall morning, and standing atop Mount Cardeto on the east coast of central Italy, I can barely make out the deep blue of the Adriatic Sea. As I look out toward the cliff’s edge, what I do see is a vast, grassy slope dotted with gravestones. Most of the stones are circular — thick, stubby posts with decorative tops — and are engraved in Hebrew, though some are in Italian. Many are lopsided, having settled part way into the ground over the hundreds of years since they were first erected.
Getting old, as Bette Davis famously said, is not for sissies. And developing a terminal illness, as Davis later learned, is no picnic either. Yet while most of us fear sickness, aging and the end of life, hospice volunteer Michael Curtis finds solace and purpose — pleasure, even — in being with the elderly as they face death.
Ted Kanner, who served as an executive vice president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, died Nov. 14, following many years of painful incapacitation.
For Rabbi Mike Comins and his bride-to-be, Jody Porter, the decision to commission a custom ketubah was a no-brainer. Comins, who had advised many couples about matrimonial matters over the course of his career, firmly believed in the centrality of a ketubah to the covenant of marriage. Porter agreed, adding that “since a spiritual journey was part of our courtship, it was important for us to have this [a ketubah] be a part of our wedding.”
The development of manuscript illumination is perhaps one of the lesser-known chapters in the history of French art, largely overshadowed by the popularity of later — especially Impressionist — painting in France. But, as a new exhibition at the Getty Center shows, artistic invention was alive and well in medieval France — within the pages of books. “Imagining the Past in France, 1250-1500,” on view through Feb. 6, explores the theme of history in manuscripts, focusing on how images were used both to enhance and influence audiences’ experience of the text. The works here have been culled by co-curators Elizabeth Morrison of the Getty and Anne D. Hedeman, a University of Illinois professor, from collections throughout Europe and the United States and contain lavish illustrations of epic adventures and heroism. These range from biblical stories of Creation, King David and Jesus, to histories of Caesar, Alexander the Great and Louis XII, all of which served not only to entertain France’s emerging bourgeoisie, but also to further an evolving national identity. In addition, the exhibition showcases more than 200 years of artistic innovation, some of which laid the groundwork for developments in French and European painting for decades to come.
Judith Broder felt ready to enter a new phase of her life in 2004. The Studio City resident had devoted more than 30 years to a private psychiatric and psychoanalytic practice, working primarily with teens and young adults. As a volunteer, she counseled teenage mothers and taught, trained and supervised analysts at the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies (LAISPS). Broder had begun cutting back on her practice and was looking forward to retirement.
To look at the logo for Big Sunday — a child’s handprint with a heart-shaped center — is to see Charlie Hess’ artful presentation of the community service weekend’s raison d’etre: to lend a helping hand. Since Hess created that logo nine years ago, pro bono, he has continued to lend his hand in many ways, most notably by creating every graphic image for the annual event. This makes Hess one of the key behind-the-scenes people who’ve helped Big Sunday grow from a one-day event with a handful of projects and participants to a weekend-long event, with 50,000 volunteers pitching in at 500 nonprofits, schools and other agencies across Southern California last May.
Emmy Award-winning choreographer and actress Debbie Allen, also a prolific producer/director of television, film and stage productions, is bringing her latest show, “Oman ... O Man!” to the stage at UCLA’s Royce Hall this week.
With Rosh Hashanah 5770 fast approaching, the synagogue membership renewal season is in full swing. Throughout the summer months, billing statements with letters explaining dues, fees — and often increases — arrive in congregants’ mailboxes.
After an eight-month, $4 million “green” renovation of its pools, the Westside Jewish Community Center (WJCC) this week opened its new Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Aquatic Center. Children’s swim lessons resumed Monday, and other aqua programs will be phased in over the course of the summer, said Michael Kaminsky, president of the WJCC’s board.
The Jewish Journal asked several authors appearing at Sunday's Celebration of Jewish Books to answer a question that, at least for writers, has existential overtones: "If you were stranded on a deserted island, what Jewish book would you want to have with you, and why?"
The Westside Jewish Community Center (JCC) has announced plans for an Oct. 29 groundbreaking on its Harriet and Jeanette Weinberg Aquatic Center, a $4 million renovation of the center's pools and related areas.
"In my country, it was always war. I saw people dying. I saw people without arms, eyes, hands -- without heads," Mustafa said. "We finally got away, but I was upset."
It was 1985, and many of the Ethiopian Jews who'd been airlifted from Sudan were being housed in a hotel in Netanya, Israel. When writer Sonia Levitin entered the temporary nursery, she was particularly struck by all the babies and toddlers who'd been born since their families had arrived.
Elinor Lipman, writer of smart and often hilarious modern-day social satire, considers herself "the luckiest writer." Her first novel, "Then She Found Me," well-received when it was published in 1990 and selling steadily ever since, has inspired the film of the same name -- starring, co-written and directed by Helen Hunt -- that opens in theaters this Friday.
The Jewish Journal invited writers who will be featured at Sunday's Festival of Books to answer the simple, essential question that every Jewish writer is often asked: "What Jewish sources -- ideas, writings, traditions -- inspire you, and how do they show up in your work?" The following show that there is no easy answer to what defines a Jewish author, but there is no question that there's much to draw upon within the faith.
More than most cities, Los Angeles boasts a wide array of Jewish day schools, religious schools, camps and youth and family activities. But if you're new in town, or a first-time parent, or just not familiar with the community, this wealth of opportunities can seem daunting. In February, the BJE launched its Concierge for Jewish Education program, focusing solely on Jewish offerings. And unlike a growing number of related services -- including locally published school guides or consultants who charge fees of up to $150 per hour -- the BJE provides its service for free.
In her intricately plotted story, Gilmore deftly weaves fact into fiction as she traces the fortunes of three intertwined families of Jewish immigrants in early 20th century New York. The result is a compelling portrait of hopes, both realized and dashed, that explores questions of identity, self-invention, women's roles and the definition of success.
Educators these days are taking a new look at homework, attempting to measure its value and to re-examine the underlying assumptions about how kids learn, the pace of their development, family life and the role of work in our lives. Despite the complexity of the issue and a lack of consensus about the research, the battle lines in the debate have been redrawn.
As part of Sulam Summer Service Corps, the teens, who come from Jewish day schools and public schools throughout Los Angeles, have been spending their days with local kids who attend the center's day camp. The emphasis for the day camp's elementary school kids is on sports, teamwork and friendship; for the mentors, on giving back.
Where can a family go in Los Angeles -- with toddler, tweener and grandparent in tow -- to whip up a huge storm, repair leaks, build nests, feed animals, climb ropes and resolve to improve the world, all while being inspired by artistry both grand and fanciful? Beginning June 26, they will be able to visit "Noah's Ark," the Skirball Cultural Center's $5 million, five-years-in-the-making, new addition to its galleries.
A classically trained pianist who didn't write his first song until he was 24, Friedman thrives on intensive research -- whether it's the hundreds of interviews that form the basis of The Civilians' plays, or historical research for "Bloody Bloody" -- and draws musical inspiration from a seemingly limitless range of styles.
The incidence of psychological problems in teens has been increasing at an alarming rate over the last decade, recent research suggests, especially in a specific -- and some say surprising -- segment of the population. Nationwide studies of teens from upper-middle-class, well-educated families show they have some of the highest rates of substance abuse, anxiety disorders, depression and psychosomatic complaints of any group of adolescents.
Amid this seasonally induced excitement, if we are lucky, we'll be spending more time with our families -- both nuclear and extended.
Noshing on a bagel while shlepping his groceries, the klutz fell on his tush.
Although had she expressed a desire to become a professional cook, Fine is convinced that her mother "would have freaked." Cooking was thought of as "such an ordinary job, one that simply wasn't OK for nice Jewish girls," Fine said.
"Passages Between the Past and Future: Photography by Bedouin Children of Abu Kaf, Israel," at the Venice Arts Gallery.
Non-Jews are common at many Jewish facilities, ensuring the smooth operation of our institutions -- understanding and anticipating the needs of members, meeting the standards of our practices. But Guerrero's story is more than the tale of someone "other" who happens to work among "us." To hear Guerrero tell it, he has learned both the most fundamental and profound of life's lessons by being among Jews.