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Jewish Journal

Sharon Schatz Rosenthal

  • Twinning builds friendships between U.S. and Israeli youth

    August 27, 2008 | 11:37 pm

    The first time Sarah Blau, 17, visited Israel, she felt like a tourist. But her second trip to the Jewish homeland in March 2007 was quite a different experience.

    "My second time there I was like, wow, I have a family here," said the Oakwood School student, who also attends Los...

  • Temple bingo— a gamble if it’s a good way to raise funds

    July 31, 2008 | 12:45 am

    The social hall at Temple Etz Chaim in Thousand Oaks undergoes a major transformation every Thursday night. Television monitors and a flashing scoreboard are mounted on the walls, and a sea of cafeteria-style tables cluttered with small computer monitors, game cards and good-luck...
  • One more time around

    June 12, 2008 | 2:33 pm

    Stuart Miller was not looking for a wife. After two failed marriages over the course of 15 years, the Arcadia doctor and father of two was content with his newfound bachelorhood and independence. But when he met Stacy, the widowed mother of one of his daughter's Hebrew school...
  • It’s a nice day for a green wedding

    April 10, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Jessica Kraft didn't wear a traditional flowing white, off-white or ivory gown during her wedding day last October. Instead, the 29-year-old college professor made her way down the aisle at the UCLA Faculty Center in purple and gold.

    While the San Francisco resident -- whose husband...

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  • Looking forward and giving back

    February 7, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    When Richard Weiner and Judith Forman geared up for their November nuptials last year, they didn't register at Crate & Barrel, Macy's or Bed, Bath & Beyond.

    "We're 65 years old," chuckled Weiner, a Philadelphia lawyer who has become bicoastal since marrying his Manhattan Beach...

  • Teen makes a difference for orphans in Kenya slum

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Instead of splurging on a Wii or a state-of-the-art laptop, Ryan Silver, of Manhattan Beach, donated a portion of his gift money to orphans in a Nairobi slum.

    "I think the best thing you can do is help another person," said Silver, 13. "I have a better life than the kids [in the...

  • How to reduce restlessness among tweens and teens at services

    May 10, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Before any bar or bat mitzvah student walks onto the bimah to read from the Torah, Wilshire Boulevard Temple goes into high alert.

    Three weeks before the service, the child's parents must submit the names of three adult guests who will sit close to the younger guests to make sure...
  • Yichud—a romantic oasis

    April 19, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Jennifer Tralins' wedding on a private beach near Miami was picture perfect, from the warm sand under her bare feet to the sweet sounds of the flute as she walked down the aisle in an elegant beaded gown. But for the bride, the most memorable aspect of the ceremony was her yichud,...
  • Siblings show they have write stuff

    March 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    As they practiced their haftorah portions, perfected their speeches and sent out invitations, Daniel and Lauren Deitch felt something was missing from their b'nai mitzvah preparations: Grandma Julie.

    The Deitches' grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, had promised to attend their Dec....

  • How to choose an Israel summer program

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Josh Ungar will never forget the first time he laid eyes on the Western Wall.

    "It was right before Shabbos and [the tour leaders] led us to the Wall and had us close our eyes and then open them when we were right in front of the Kotel," remembered Ungar, 16, of his experience with...

  • After School Is Prime Game Time for Kids of All Needs

    August 17, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Kathryn Gaskin's blonde braid bounces against her sweatshirt as she rounds second base under the afternoon sun. The 12-year-old's obvious enthusiasm is not for her own athletic pursuits but for those of Angeline, a teen with Down syndrome, whom Gaskin coaches in an after-school...
  • Nonverbal Baby Talk a Sign of the Times

    February 23, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    While other infants and young toddlers let out a howl when they are hungry, 14-month-old Emmet Weisz simply brings his hands together at the heel and rotates the right hand over the left, making the hand-sign for his favorite food: cheese.

    "He has a great love for dairy," laughed...

  • T-Shirts Tell Tales of Domestic Violence

    October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Lisa Kapler remembers the day her high school boyfriend deliberately bit her cheek until it bled.

    He thought it was funny, said the 29-year-old San Fernando Valley resident, her tone a combination of perplexity and the frankness one might use with a close friend. Soon, her beau's...

  • Young Jews Can Act Out—on Sundays

    September 1, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    After landing the lead in several school plays at Sinai Akiba Academy in Los Angeles, Leora Weinstock, 13, decided she wanted to be a professional actress. Her mother, Judith Weinstock, combed the city in search of just the right acting teacher. It wasn't long before she made a...

  • Young Jews Can Act Out—on Sundays

    September 1, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    After landing the lead in several school plays at Sinai Akiba Academy in Los Angeles, Leora Weinstock, 13, decided she wanted to be a professional actress. Her mother, Judith Weinstock, combed the city in search of just the right acting teacher. It wasn't long before she made a...

  • Young at Heart Get a Turn at the Bimah

    June 16, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Rose Engel practiced her Torah and haftorah portions with an eager diligence. She studied with the rabbi and prepared an essay. Her passion and excitement matched that of most of the synagogue's bat mitzvah candidates, but at 87, she is far from their peers.

    Engel is the most senior...

  • Let My Students Go

    April 21, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    To celebrate Passover, Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy preschoolers spent time in ancient Egypt.

    Teachers and students transformed hallway bulletin boards into a colorful representation of the story of Passover. The journey begins with the pyramids, and then students pass through a...

  • Moms-to-Be Seek Religion Reconnect

    March 31, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Shlepping around with swollen feet, a growing belly and mounting exhaustion is a challenge for any mom-to-be, but Beth Saltz is determined to go to Shabbat services as often as she can for the rest of her pregnancy.

    "I feel I need to do it now before the baby is born," said Saltz,...

  • Cure Found for the Summertime Blues

    March 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    When Sarah Winchell needs motivation or encouragement, during her daily prayers she visualizes Chimney Rock, a landmark in the Rocky Mountains surrounded by frozen lakes, a plunging cliff and a blanket of snow. The image has been imprinted in the 15-year-old's mind since she saw...

  • When Xmas Enters the Classroom

    December 16, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    Five days a week during this holiday period, Jodi Braverman sits in a room that conjures up images of the North Pole. The walls are covered with pictures of jolly old St. Nick, and not one, but two miniature Christmas trees serve as obstacles to the seating area. From time...

  • When Parents Get Preschool Jitters

    October 21, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    It was the first day of preschool and 2-year-old Jessica didn't know any of other children in her new class at B'nai Tikvah Congregation Nursery School. But the child's anxiety paled in comparison that of her mother.

    "I worried that Jessica would get her feelings hurt or that she...

  • Ease Your Kids Into Holiday Services

    September 16, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    I was tired, I was bored and I hated wearing pantyhose. I stood up and sat down at the right times, and even hummed along to the some of the prayers. But in my head I was replaying scenes from my favorite movies and wishing I was home playing video games.

    Ah, the High Holidays. The...

  • Israel Seminar Gives Teachers Refresher

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    When it came to modern Israel, Ziva London found herself living in the past. Having immigrated to the United States 23 years ago, the Jewish-day-school teacher recently realized that her concept of the Holy Land reflected the Israel she knew there as a citizen more than two decades...

  • Catholic Teachers Learn Shoah Lesson

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Early in her teaching career, Marilyn Lubarsky introduced her ninth-grade history students to the Holocaust by showing "Nuit et Brouillard" ("Night and Fog"), a 1955 film containing vivid images of the horrors endured by Jews in concentration camps.

    "I thought, 'I'm going to make my...

  • The Class of 2004 Ready to Journey On

    June 10, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    It's graduation time and The Journal caught up with several high-achieving high school graduates from around the Southland. For many of these young leaders, Judaism will continue to play a role in their lives as they enter the world of college and beyond.

    Rena Stern

    Milken...

  • Parents Don’t Kid About Day Schools

    May 27, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    After extensive research, campus tours, a detailed application and an interview, Aidan Buckner was recently accepted into the school of his choice. While his parents may have done the legwork, it is Aidan who will enter kindergarten at the Ronald and Trana Labowe Family Day School at...

  • Active Camps for the Unathletic

    December 25, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Jordan Cinnamon, 15, has been crazy about the ocean since he was a little kid, so when it came to choosing a way to spend the summer, the idea of going to a regular sports camps didn't appeal to him.

    "I really don't like that many sports," admitted the high school freshman from...

  • Time to Transition From Day to Night

    December 25, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    This summer, Jacqueline Berlin, 7, will leave her mom, dad and younger sister to enter the world of overnight camp for the first time.

    "As soon as she found out that she would be old enough to go [to Camp Ramah in Ojai] this summer, she wanted to go," said Jacqueline's mother,...

  • Q & A With Simha Lainer

    December 11, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "If you have a piece of fruit," said Simha Lainer, "throw away the skin and eat only the good part inside." Such a wise and optimistic statement could fit right in with the list of "zayde-isms" that Lainer's granddaughter, Lisa, is compiling for the family in honor of his upcoming...

  • Move Over Frosty, Here Comes Fran

    December 11, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Fran Drescher doesn't remember receiving Chanukah presents as a child.

    "With the Dreschers, [Chanukah] was all about the food," laughed the actress who is best known for her role in TV's "The Nanny," which aired from 1993-99. "Nothing was as important as the chocolate dreidels and...

  • Get Your Creative Jews Flowing

    December 4, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Calling all creative kids. If you have a way with words or an aptitude for art, you can use your unique talents by entering the first annual Jews for Judaism Jewish Students' Creative Writing & Art Contest.

    Working with the theme "I Love Judaism," future scribes and artists can...

  • Teen Victims Tell Their Stories

    November 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    On June 1, 2001, Larisa Azyaski stood with her best friend Irina Nepomnyaschy among a sea of teenagers clamoring to get into the Dolphinarium, a popular Tel Aviv club. Suddenly, the place exploded. A suicide bomber detonated himself, and Azyaski saw only darkness in front of her. She...

  • A Teen Spared From Terror

    November 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Hilla Hayo, 16, was not a victim of the Dolphinarium attack in Tel Aviv on June 1, 2001 -- but she could have been. The teenager, who, along with four classmates, spent 10 days at New Community Jewish High School in West Hills this October as part of the Los Angeles Jewish...

  • Tzedakah With Toys

    November 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    When 5-year-old Ariela Weintraub learned about the recent Southern California fires during a family dinner discussion, she was worried. The Santa Monica resident asked her mother, Susan Weintraub, "Mommy, do you think the children who lived in those burning houses lost their toys?"

    ...

  • Hebrew, Anyone?

    November 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    If you thought Hebrew school was just for bar and bat mitzvah students, think again. This fall, tens of thousands of Jews around the United States and Canada are learning to read and write Hebrew through Read Hebrew America/Canada. The campaign, which is made possible by the National...

  • Pencils Ready? Let the Stress Begin

    October 16, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    After working with two private tutors last fall, Aliza J. Sokolow took the SAT college entrance exam in January. Devastated by her test results, the Milken Community High School junior studied on her own and took the test again in April.

    "My scores went up insanely and I was beyond...

  • Tzedakah-Giving On A Budget

    October 16, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Last year, Malka Nutkiewicz and her friend, both students at Emek Hebrew Academy in Sherman Oaks, raised more than $1,000 for Camp Simcha, a kosher summer camp for youngsters with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses in Glen Spey, N.Y. During the 2002-2003 school year, the...

  • Students Seek Forgiveness, Too

    October 2, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Adults aren't the only ones planning to ask God for forgiveness during the High Holidays. As the Day of Atonement approaches, youngsters around Los Angeles are already contemplating the mistakes they've made over the past year. Here is what eight young Angelenos plan to repent for...

  • Facing the Holidays Without a Mate

    September 18, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Since losing her husband unexpectedly two years ago, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have been painful for Liz Safirstein Leshin, 42.

    "For me, the High Holidays and a lot of things like birthdays are very fraught," the Westside resident said. "I haven't been able to feel enthusiastic...

  • Higher Ed. and the High Holidays

    September 18, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Do classes, study sessions and a budding social life conflict with observing the High Holidays? Not for these college students. Here's how local coeds and young Angelenos attending out-of-state schools are planning to spend Rosh Hashanah.

    Aaron Kachuck

    Age: 18

    School: Yale...

  • Student Opts for Cross Cultural Study

    August 21, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Like other 18-year-olds around the country, Aaron Canter graduated high school this past June. But unlike most Jewish students, Canter attended a Mass in celebration of his impending graduation. From the sixth though 12th grades, the Northridge teen attended Chaminade College...

  • Emotional Bond Revs Up Reading

    August 21, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Isabella Van Etten, 3, began her journey of learning to read before she was even born. "I got a book when I was pregnant called 'Oh Baby, the Places You'll Go: A Book to Be Read in Utero,'" recalled the child's mother, Celeste Russi of Newbury Park.

    Russi, an actress, recalled...

  • Camp Helps Teens Strengthen Identity

    August 21, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    When I grew up in the outskirts of Philadelphia in the early 1980s, going to a Jewish overnight camp meant spending eight weeks in the Poconos with a bunch of pampered girls with last names like Greenberg, Cohen and Leibman.

    The religious part of camp included Friday night services,...

  • Top Gun Rabbi

    August 14, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    While you won't find Sarah Schecter soaring through the skies like Tom Cruise in "Top Gun," the Los Angeles resident has the honor of becoming the Air Force's first female rabbi.

    Schecter, who was ordained in May at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, is...

  • Educator Retiring to Study in Israel

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    As he watched his students play basketball, Rabbi Yochanan Stepen's eyes lit up.

    "I felt like I was at Staples Center watching the Lakers play, and I was sitting next to Jack Nicholson," Stepen told them.

    "That excited the kids, because names from the news make it relevant," Stepen...

  • Educator CombinesTwo Passions in Life

    June 26, 2003 | 7:59 pm

    Metuka Benjamin was sitting in a taxicab in a Tel Aviv traffic jam when the Israeli prime minister's limousine happened to pull up next to her. The driver recognized Benjamin and told her to ditch her cab and he would take her where she wanted to go -- and she did.

    While the Jewish...

  • The Class of ‘93

    June 19, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    As students around the Southland graduate and move beyond high school, The Journal sought out some of the outstanding Jewish high school seniors of 10 years ago, talking with five of the 13 valedictorians of the Class of 1993. Current grads can take solace that these five...

  • Sound of Silence

    June 19, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    "So, maybe we should get to know each other."

    My husband Glenn's voice cracked like an adolescent as he broke the hour-long quiet inside the car. Glenn looked expectantly toward Jacek, a partner at a Warsaw-based software company and Glenn's business contact.

    When I had decided to...

  • Book Preps Jewish Students for College

    May 22, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Jeff Gabriel knows that when he arrives at the University of Colorado in Boulder this September, connecting to his Jewish roots won't be a priority. As the Calabasas High School senior prepares for college, his primary concern is adjusting to his new lifestyle, while living more than...

  • Students Seek Justice for Americans in Israel

    May 22, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Armed with reams of notebook paper and plenty of pens, 600 yeshiva students rallied for legislation that would support American families whose loved ones have died in Israel at the hands of Palestinian terrorists.

    In honor of Yom HaZikaron (the Jewish Day of Remembrance), students...

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