Jewish Journal

Shoshana Lewin-Fischer

  • Calming those wedding-day jitters, virtually

    April 10, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    The situation couldn't be more stressful: convince your ex-boyfriend to sing at your sister's wedding after the band quits; keep the groom's sister from making it "her" day; assure the groom's mother that it is OK to have a store-bought wedding cake; make sure the bride's divorced...
  • Enter Elijah, designated drinker

    April 3, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Video demonstration

    Passover is a holiday near and dear to Marc Jaffe's heart. So when the "Seinfeld" and "Mad About You" writer went to a friend's house for a seder last year, he was let down when an Elijah's entrance gag bombed.

    "They shook the table. I thought, 'You gotta be...

  • New Pesach haggadah is off the page!

    March 27, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Any haggadah that turns the four sons into the Marx Brothers is tops in our book.

    "Richard Codor's Joyous Haggadah: The Illuminated Story of Passover" (Loose Line, $11.95) combines colorful cartoon illustrations with all the components of the seder -- so you can follow along and...

  • Purim in the produce section

    February 28, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    YeLAdim recently stumbled across an airing of the 2000 "VeggieTales" film "Esther ... The Girl Who Became Queen" (Big Idea, $14.99). In one scene, a grape thwarts two peas trying to drop a piano on a pickle. Well, it makes sense if you think back to the story of Purim. Mordechai...
  • Election 101—who is your choice?

    January 24, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    This time of year, we know that you are seeing signs everywhere about the upcoming presidential election. So many people, so many numbers ... and even though you won't be able to vote until you are 18, we think you should know what it all means.

    1) What is a caucus? A caucus is a...

  • Let kids rule the land

    January 3, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    Kids get a bum rap. They can't vote, they can't drive, they can't call up and order things off the TV without a parent's permission and they have no say in the way their schools are run. But all is not lost. They can influence how their families handle the growing global warming...
  • No matter how you say it

    December 27, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Below are several ways to say "Happy New Year." Match the expression to the language it comes from and dazzle your family with your knowledge. Here's a hint: No. 9 is I

    1) Afrikaans                a) Boldog Ooy Ayvet
    2) Chinese                  b) Bonne Annee 
    3) French...

  • How to get your favorite things without losing your mind

    December 13, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    At some point between "Will you marry me?" and "You may kiss the bride," a happy couple must devote some time to the gift registry, which will help fill the shelves and drawers of their new home.

    But the first time a couple walks into a store to register for their wedding gifts can...

  • Top Chanukah tunes

    November 29, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Just itching for a good Chanukah tale? Check out "Chanukah Stories" on KCET on Sunday, Dec. 2, 8 a.m. Actors Jami Gertz and Bob Saget narrate "The Tie Man's Miracle" and "Moishe's Miracle." Or head over to the Disney Channel on Dec. 4, at 8 p.m. for "Full-Court Miracle," based on the...
  • Producer Josephson’s vision for a new fairy-tale princess stars in Disney’s ‘Enchanted’

    November 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    One of Barry Josephson's first forays into the world of fairy tales was in an elementary school production of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Although the "Men in Black" producer doesn't remember which dwarf he played, that glimmer of the land between "once upon a time" and...
  • Golems, schlemiels, reporter for a day

    October 25, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Things That Go Bump in the Night We're getting into the "spirit" of things this month. YeLAdim loves a good scary story, so we asked our friends at the Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles to suggest some of their favorites.

    "Golem" by David Wisniewski (Clarion Books, 1996) ...

  • YeLAdim yaks with Disney’s Adam Bonnett

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    How cool would it be to pick what everyone else gets to watch on television? Well that's what Adam Bonnett, Disney Channel and Jetix senior vice president of original programming, gets to do -- every day. He helped bring shows like "Hannah Montana," "That's So Raven" and the...
  • Kids slip into reading and cozy up with PJ Library

    September 13, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    The High Holy Days can be a confusing time for children. It's not easy for them to understand the sense behind the story of a father who almost sacrifices his son or how a chicken can help take away sins.

    Luckily, the answers to these mysteries and many more can be found in a book...

  • Say L’Chayim to 5768!

    September 8, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    The smells and tastes of Rosh Hashanah are like no other. The sweet honey, crisp apples and refreshing pomegranate make for quite a feast for the senses. While tradition dictates that we enjoy sliced apples and honey and have a new fruit on our table -- most families use pomegranate,...
  • Happy New Year—shofar so good!

    August 30, 2007 | 8:00 pm


    Whether you spend Rosh Hashanah in services, in the kids' room or in the hallway, when it's time for the shofar to blow everyone listens. Fill in the blanks with the words below and learn more about the shofar (visit jewishjournal.com for the answers):

    The shofar is made from...
  • Jack Gindi, American Jewish University philanthropist, dies at 83

    August 5, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Jack Gindi, real estate developer, lawyer, philanthropist and Jewish community benefactor, died Saturday, Aug. 4, at 83, following a prolonged illness.

    Known primarily for his philanthropy with American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism), where an auditorium...
  • You get when you give

    July 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    It is very cool to give. Whether you can give your time through volunteer work or give money though tzedakah, every little bit helps. If you need some inspiration, check out the following two stories:

    "The Giving Tree," written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein, begins: "Once...
  • ‘Hairspray’ style holds up

    July 19, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    There must be something in the water. How else can Hollywood explain the screen-to-stage-to-screen adaptations of "The Producers," the recently announced "Footloose" and, hitting theaters July 20, "Hairspray"?

    The film is a big-screen version of the 2002 Tony Award-winning Broadway...

  • Backlot parties put simchas in the spotlight

    July 12, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Founders of Hollywood's great studios, like Jack and Harry Warner and Louis B. Mayer, played down their Jewish heritage when they arrived from the East Coast. Now, more than 70 years after the beginning of Hollywood's Golden Age, when talkies became the rage and Jews routinely...
  • Curtain call—Stars and Stripes forever

    June 28, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    In honor of the Fourth of July (this year the United States turns 231), YeLAdim feels like singing. Match the lyrics below to the patriotic song it comes from. Get some help from your mom or dad and then listen for the songs while you watch the fireworks.
    (Quiz answers at the bottom...
  • Off the page, holidays not on the calendar, cool quiz

    May 24, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Off the Page

    It's coming up on summer vacation, and do you know what that means? It's a great time to catch up on your reading! Our picks this month are for anyone ages 6 to 10 and come from "Jewish Heirloom Stories" ($12.95, Gefen Publishing) by Tami Lahman-Wilzig with...
  • The ‘Show’ behind the show

    May 24, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Irving Berlin was right on the money when he wrote about life on Broadway: "
    Even with a turkey that you know will fold, you may be stranded out in the cold. Still you wouldn't trade it for a sack of gold."
    When the curtain rises on a new production, the audience sees only a...
  • Hey, hey! We’re the SqueeGees!

    April 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    The SqueeGees

    Anyone who can plop the words antioxidant and pomegranate into a song is tops in yeLAdim's book. The catchy tunes of The SqueeGees make education entertaining in such songs as "The Elements" (i.e., all about wind, fire, water, etc.) and "Rules of the Road" (Go, go,...
  • Create an emergency kit for The Big Day—just in case

    April 19, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Ask almost any bride what she needs for her big day and she'll run down the list: Flowers? Check. Dress? Check. Cake? Check. Groom? Check.

    Ask a bridesmaid what the bride needs for the big day and you might get a different list: Bandages? Check. Tweezer? Check. Antacids? Check....

  • Curtain call; More holidays not on the calendar

    March 29, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Curtain call

    Next year, a cool new festival is coming to Los Angeles -- and its focus is all about kids. The Festival of New American Musicals, coming in May 2008, brings Broadway to the West Coast with the premiere of musicals, like "Sarah, Plain and Tall" and an opera version of...

  • Skateboarder’s project links charity and sport

    March 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Devin Schneider looks like a typical 13-year-old boy: his long hair covers dark brown eyes, a smile reveals a mouthful of braces, and he wears a long hooded sweatshirt, T-shirt and jeans. He's quiet, sometimes keeping his eyes downcast as he thinks of what to say.

    But Devin...

  • Holidays not on the calendar

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    JCLLA's Dog-Day Afternoon

    The Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles had a furry good time on Feb. 4 when Cantor Marcelo Gindlin, above, came by to sing and read a new book called "Alfie's Bark Mitzvah." The book, written by Shari Cohen, includes a CD with five of Gindlin's...

  • “Wicked” producer Platt flies across another bridge

    February 15, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Producer Marc Platt has crossed a number of bridges in his life, and the inside of his bungalow offices on the Universal Studios back lot certainly reflects it.

    On the Hollywood side, a pink-covered "Legally Blonde" script rests on a glass coffee table and a framed poster for the...

  • Premarital counseling gets short shrift in Jewish L.A.

    February 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Couples make many choices that represent shared values in the run-up to a wedding, from filling the ceremony with long-held family traditions to tackling stress-filled tasks like whittling down the "I can't believe we know this many people" guest list.

    Often such to-dos are...

  • Holidays <B>not</b> on the calendar; Rockin' with Himmelman

    January 25, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Holidays NOT on the Calendar

    Feb. 13: Get a Different Name Day -- If your name is Jennifer and you'd rather be called Waterfall Gumdrop, today is your chance. Although the next day you have to go back to your real name. Sorry.

    Feb. 26: Tell a Fairy Tale Da -- Why not get together...

  • Give me a happy ending

    January 4, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    I'm so happy that my parents are happy. Each of them are very much in love -- just not with the other.

    My father has been with his girlfriend, Joan, for 3 1/2 years; my mother has been with her boyfriend, Paul, for 1 1/2 years. And as is often the case with children of divorced...

  • What’s Up for 2007?

    December 28, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    YeLAdim will be mixing it up next year with more movies, books, music and TV reviews than ever before. If you have a review you've written (or want to write) or have heard of something that you want us to know about, e-mail kids@jewishjournal.com. You'll be famous, and your parents...

  • A wish list of guilty pleasures and goofy gifts

    December 7, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    We've all been there.

    You go to the store, turn on the TV or pick up a catalogue and see something incredibly silly that you never in a million years would buy for yourself (it's also called a "guilty pleasure"). But you can always say you are buying it for someone else. So in...

  • Why we celebrate Chanukah—according to YOU!

    November 23, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Why We Celebrate Chanukah ... According to ______________________ (YOUR NAME)

    Around 200 B.C.E. Jews lived in the Land of Israel, which was ______________ (verb) by the king of Syria. In 175 B.C.E. Antiochus IV Epiphanes became ______________ ( noun). At first, everything was...

  • Television: Will Shabbat dinner drama hold ‘Nine’ viewers captive?

    November 16, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Rabbi Kates and his wife, Sheryl, recently invited their doctor-son and his girlfriend of two years to Shabbat dinner. Nothing too out of the ordinary there -- unless you consider the fact that the couple is not married, although the young woman is pregnant and they broke up during a...
  • It happened one weekend ... at the Sisterhood

    November 16, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    "Something happens," I was told across the "first timers" table Nov. 2 at BJ's Restaurant in Woodland Hills. "When these women get together. I can't explain it, but something happens."

    The get-together was the 46th annual Biennial Assembly of the Women of Reform Judaism's (WRJ)...

  • Noah is full of animal crackers

    October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Animal Crackers

    This week's Torah Portion is Noach. We learn that Noah had to build a massive ark (aka a really BIG boat) because the floods were coming. Two of every animal (one male, one female) had to make it onto the boat, otherwise there would be no more of that animal in the...

  • Brachas vs. bluegrass: moms make the switch

    October 5, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Reality shows seem to be becoming less and less real every season. Exhibit A: The very intriguing but highly unlikely pairing of a Shomer Shabbos Jewish family from Brookline, Mass. (near Boston), and a coon-huntin' family from Olympia, Ky. (on a map that would be nowhere near a...
  • Exercise your right to read—without censorship

    September 28, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The last week of September is Banned Books Week. Ever read a book from the "Harry Potter" series or "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"? Then you've read a banned book -- a book taken off of shelves in a classroom or library at one time because people complained about it....
  • Keep Your Eyes Open

    August 24, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Kein v' Lo: Snack Attack

    YeLAdim talked to the LAPD and got these tips on what kids can do to stay safe -- and maybe to help catch a bad guy:

    • Be aware of your surroundings on the way to and from school, at your synagogue and while hanging out with your friends.
    • If you find a note...

  • How YOU Can Help Israel; Electronic Devices

    July 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    How YOU Can Help Israel

    Kids in Los Angeles can send letters to kids in Israel by e-mailing elka1@jdc.org.il. The letters will be printed out and inserted into "care packages" that are beng sent out to families in shelters in Northern Israel. When you send an e-mail, include your...

  • My Superpower: Datedar

    July 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Some folks claim they have "gaydar" -- they can tell whether someone is gay.

    Some folks claim they have "Jewdar" -- they can tell whether someone is Jewish.

    I've got "datedar" -- I can tell if a couple is on a first date.

    It's kind of a cool power ... I mean none of the...

  • Perky Obit Girl

    June 29, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    My love of journalism started in high school, when I confronted the cafeteria manager at my public -- predominantly Jewish -- high school about why there was no matzah available during Passover. I've always loved keeping people informed, so journalism seemed like a natural career...

  • What Will Life Be Like in 2026?

    June 29, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    In honor of The Jewish Journal's 20th anniversary, yeLAdim asked some of our young readers at the May 7 Israel Independence Day Festival: What will you be doing in 20 years?

    "I will run a restaurant with spaghetti and macaroni and cheese."
    -- Hannah F., prekindergarten, B'nai...

  • Spectator - The ABCs of LUV

    June 8, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Now retired from the dating game, Teresa Strasser happily enjoys her new role as love coach. Journal readers have long been treated to her insights on being single in these pages. Strasser, an Emmy winner and news reporter for Adam Carolla's show on KLSX 97.1 FM, now takes on the...

  • Un-bee-lievable Spellings

    June 8, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Of the viewers who watched ABC's broadcast of the 79th National Spelling Bee on June 1, how many would have spelled the word meaning "kosher approval" the way the judges did? The Round 8 word trumped the young lady who had to spell it, too.

    When Saryn Hooks spelled it...

  • yeLAdim

    May 25, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Mighty Glad to See You!

    It was great seeing so many of you at the Israel Independence Day Festival on May 7 (we hope you enjoyed the fans). Be sure to check out our yeLAdim page on June 30, as we will be printing many of the essays you wrote for our 20th anniversary!

    Kein v' Lo:


  • Singles - Walk Out the Door

    May 18, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Mr. Chauvinist. Mr. Cheapskate. Mr. Paranoid. Mr. Habitually Late. Mr. Whiner. The parallel universe of "Little Men" of the 21st century are alive and well and living in Los Angeles -- and my friends have, unfortunately, dated them all.

    The friends I refer to (I'll call them, "The...

  • yeLAdim

    April 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    We Love Israel

    Come Party With The Jewish Journal at the Israel Independence Day Festival on May 7. Answer the Kein v'Lo question on a separate sheet of paper, attach the completed entry form and bring it to our booth at Woodley Park, which will open at 10 a.m. Every family that...

  • Runaway Bride Redux

    April 20, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    It's your wedding day. The rabbi pronounces you married. Your new husband steps on the glass -- and it flies across the room, hits a wall and doesn't even crack.

    Sound like a nightmare?

    It happened to author Eileen Rendahl -- and to Chloe Sachs, the heroine of Rendahl's latest...