Having staved off the imminent demise of the area's only Jewish preschool, Simi Valley's Congregation B'nai Emet (CBE) is poised to do far more -- trade land donated to CBE to meet the needs and ensure the future of the area's entire Jewish community.
Though certainly one of the most bitter memories of history, the Holocaust was also a time of true heroism and great humanity. On Sun., May 6, Mt. Sinai Memorial Park in Simi Valley dedicated a grove of trees to the non-Jewish heroes who risked their lives to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust. Lidia Furmanski of Pasadena, a rescuer from Poland, and Bert Lerno of Simi Valley, a Jewish Dane who was rescued, were guests of honor at the dedication ceremony.
An undeniable physical reminder of a man's connection to Judaism, circumcision has been an important focus of the first days of a boy's life since before we received the Torah. However, for almost as long, there have been people who question the act of circumcision and those who have rallied for eliminating the practice.
"I was thinking back to my childhood and the origins of my interest in Judaism," said Mel Wax, native of New York and longtime Los Angeles-area resident, "and it came from the Yiddish records my grandfather gave me."
In the early 1990s, Drs. Bernard and Melanie Gero began to look toward the future for their young children.
Shirley Levine is a woman with many admirers. She was the founding principal of both Abraham Joshua Heschel Day Schools in Northridge and Agoura and has been dedicated to their success for more than 25 years. Just speak with one of the many parents whose children attend one of the Heschel schools and he or she will be quick to list her talents.
One sure sign the Conejo Valley Jewish community is growing comes every year about this time.
"I tell you, there was never a trip like this before. The motives are terribly sad, but we are going to have a lot of fun. This is another dimension of history." With these words, Arnost Lustig and Jan Wiener, both Jewish survivors of the Shoah, embark on a trip to the Europe of their childhoods, documented in the film "Fighter." Premiering at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, "Fighter" is a unique exploration of both the Holocaust and the Communist era of Eastern Europe.
Happy and outgoing, three-year-old Brandon Lefton sits on a rocking chair holding his guitar. "I gotta be a rock 'n roll star now," he announces and then lets loose a wild strumming of the open strings.
About six months ago, The Journal published a ballot asking readers to pick their LA Jewish favorites: delis, party places, bookshops, etc.
Simi Valley offered the most appealing, yet affordable horse property within driving distance of downtown. Though during rush hour, that distance hardly seems driveable. At the time of our move, I dismissed my mother's concerns about Simi's rumored lack of Jewish community.