Jewish Journal

Beverly Gray

  • Ladies, grab your coat and get your Red Hat

    May 3, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Edna Kohn strutted confidently down the center of the room to the tune "Steppin' Out With My Baby." She twirled in place, showing off her smart maroon pants suit to the ladies in the audience who beamed with approval.

    Like Kohn, most of the women at the March 7 event topped their...
  • Krayzelburg Keeps Swim Program From Taking a Dive

    August 3, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Just a year ago, the Lenny Krayzelburg Swim School, headed by the four-time Olympic gold medalist, opened with fanfare and big ambitions at the Westside Jewish Community Center (JCC), a once lively place that in recent years has been seeking to reinvent itself. Living up to the...

  • Jews-by-Choice: A Look 10 Years Later

    June 1, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    It's a Shavuot tradition to read the biblical story of Ruth, whose marriage to a Jew -- and her bond with her mother-in-law -- led her to embrace wholeheartedly and inspirationally the Jewish faith.

    Even today, many, perhaps most, converts enter Judaism through a relationship with a...

  • Davening for Dollars

    June 1, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Talmud teaches that a righteous act is its own reward. But if that's not inducement enough, a rabbi in Woodland Hills is offering $10 cash plus a Krispy Kreme doughnut to teens who attend his 7 a.m. minyan.

    It started like this: In 1998 Rabbi Netanel Louie founded the Hebrew...

  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah - Author-Baker Rises to Bimah—at Last

    May 11, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Joanne Rocklin is obsessed with food. On her 60th birthday, she began summarizing her life with the essentials: "I love to cook. I love to eat."

    But it's her passion for writing that has enabled her to come to terms with her life and her faith. The author of 20 children's books,...

  • A Young Violinist With a Lot of Pluck

    April 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Her name is Camilla Tsiperovich. But, growing up in Azerbaijan, there were times she wasn't allowed to use it. As a 9-year-old violinist performing for world-renowned cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, she was told to call herself Camilla Gadjieva. Her headmaster at the Azerbaijan...

  • Classical Musicians’ Volume Decreases

    March 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The conductor raises his baton. On cue, 73 young musicians launch into a heartfelt rendition of "Sabbath Fantasies," a piece that weaves together snatches of Jewish liturgy and folk tunes.

    This is the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra (LAYO), a 6-year-old ensemble sponsored by Stephen S....

  • Glimpses of Jews’ Past in Andaluc­a

    January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Spain's Andaluc­a is romance. It's orange blossoms perfuming the air. It's golden drops of sherry sliding down your throat in a smoky bodega. It's fingers dancing on the strings of a flamenco guitar.

    This southern wedge of the Iberian Peninsula, known for whitewashed villages...

  • Holy Toledo!

    January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    My husband's family hails from Toledo, Ohio, a city that proudly claims kinship with Toledo, Spain. That's one reason I didn't want to miss this Castilian hill town 42 miles southeast of Madrid. There's also the fact that El Greco's "View of Toledo," a spectral view of the city's...

  • Rhodesli Keep the Faith in L.A.

    October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    As a student at Cal State Northridge more than 30 years ago, Aron Hasson wrote a paper about the Sephardic synagogues of his ancestral homeland, the Greek island of Rhodes. His professor was so taken with Hasson's research that it ended up in a history journal.

    Hasson paid his first...

  • Lack of Jewish Life in Greece Just Myth

    October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    When twilight descends on mountain villages and sun-kissed beaches, sociable Greeks make their way to tiny sidewalk cafes. They toast the end of the workday with anise-flavored ouzo, accompanied by plates of broiled octopus and green olives.

    Dinner in the taverna is a long,...

  • PhD on the Flying Trapeze

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    You're on the flying trapeze, gliding fearlessly through the air. Keeping you aloft, 30 feet above gaping spectators, are your trusted teammates. Today, your welfare is in their hands. Tomorrow they'll go back to being -- the guys from accounting?

    On that premise, Edy Greenblatt has...

  • Families Find Magic in ‘Miracles’ Musical

    May 26, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Lexie Aaron stands center stage. The 13-year-old girl sings out in a strong, pure voice, "Miracles happen ev'ry day ... open your eyes."

    The song is the opening number of "Everyday Miracles," an original musical about four Hebrew school students who travel back in time to interact...

  • UCLA Alumna Heads Film School

    June 24, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Barbara Boyle has come full circle.

    When she first entered UCLA in 1957, she was one of four female law students in a class of 140. She considered herself a beatnik, dreaming of saving the world. Now she's back at UCLA as head of the Department of Film, Television, and Digital...

  • Power of Prayer?

    April 15, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    In the wee small hours of Dec. 7, 2003, my husband and I got the phone call that every parent dreads. A matter-of-fact voice said, "This is UCLA Medical Center. Your son, Jeffrey, has been hit by a car. He's got at least a couple of broken bones, but he's alert and he's asking for...

  • Awaken Your Inner J.K. Rowling

    December 11, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Scratch away at any Jew and you'll find a storyteller. The people of the book dream of spinning out personal memories and Old Country stories to a rapt circle of children. That's why the first-ever Jewish Children's Literature Conference, held in the fall at Sinai Temple through the...

  • Book Unpacks Shoah Memories

    December 11, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Karen Levine never had plans to write a book.

    Then in 2001, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. radio producer came across an article in the Canadian Jewish News about a young Japanese woman, urged on by Tokyo schoolchildren studying the Holocaust, who traveled halfway round the world...

  • Golfing Gran Takes Down Yiddishe Bubbe

    October 2, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Jews, it is said, are the people of the book, which may explain why Jews buy so many books, both to read themselves and to give to others. Book publishers know that the marketplace is full of Jewish customers with a high level of secular education, a reasonable degree of Jewish...

  • Is There a ‘Docta’ in the House?

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    "There's a big controversy on the Jewish view of when life begins. In Jewish tradition, the fetus is not considered viable until after it graduates from medical school." -- Old Jewish joke.

    The link between Jews and the medical profession might not serve as a punch line to a joke in...

  • Promoting Medical Care in Israel

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Even when Jews packed medical school classrooms, there were few organizations dedicated to their special concerns. Today, most schools lack active associations for Jewish students. As Carol Ghatan puts it, "The Jewish medical student gets lost sometimes."

    Ghatan, both the daughter...

  • Marlene Marks’ Spirit on the Web

    June 5, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Being treated for cancer is no one's idea of fun. But a new Web site, www.chemochicks.com, is bringing moral support and an irreverent sense of humor to women undergoing chemotherapy. The colorful, breezy site gives female cancer patients a place to gripe, share inspiring stories and...

  • 60th Anniversary Reunites Orphans

    April 24, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    When Miriam Weichelbaum and Henri Dybnis were married on March 26, 1943, their future did not look promising. Their wedding took place in wartime France, where the two young educators -- he a refugee from Russia, she from Germany -- ran a home for displaced Jewish children. Ten...

  • Blacks, Jews Unite for ‘Sheba’

    December 5, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    In 1939, as a child of 3, Sonia Levitin fled Hitler's Germany with her family. The first friend she made in the United States was a small African American girl. Nearly 50 years later, as a well-established writer of young adult fiction, Levitin won the National Jewish Book Award for...

  • Woman of the Book

    October 10, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Sherrill Kushner's crusade on behalf of the Santa Monica Public Library system began with her realization that Jews are the People of the Book.

    "I've always felt comfortable in a library," she said. As a child, Kushner spent many happy hours in the "cozy and wonderful" Carnegie...

  • In the Biblical Sense

    February 21, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    The story comes from Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman, educational director of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy. A rabbi, it seems, tells his son, "It's time to learn about sexuality." The boy replies, "What would you like to know?"

    It's an old joke, but one that touches on the problem of...

  • Being Greene

    February 14, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Brian Greene thinks of himself as a product of the University of Judaism (UJ).

    Since 1983, when he left his native Vancouver to pursue a UJ undergraduate degree, he has largely remained connected to the university, as a student first and then as a faculty member in the school of...

  • BJE replaces L.A. Ulpan

    January 31, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    The Los Angeles Ulpan has been reborn.

    The eight-week summer study tour of Israel, created by the Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE) back in 1964, introduced thousands of local high school students to their Jewish homeland. Over the decades, L.A. Ulpan became the model upon which...

  • Teaching the Kids

    January 3, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    There's a 7-year-old girl who attends second grade at a local Jewish day school. She's intelligent, but in a classroom setting, she finds it hard to focus: if a fire engine roars down the street, there goes the lesson.

    Her teacher, busy with a room full of students, is hard-pressed...

  • Doctor of the Barrio

    December 27, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    When Julie Korenstein speaks out on environmental matters, she credits her mother, Dr. Pauline Furth, with shaping her own crusading spirit. Korenstein, who represents District 6 on the Los Angeles Unified School District's school board, said that throughout her life her mother has...

  • Strike Up the Klezmer

    November 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    This is not your grandmother's halftime show. Unless of course, Grandma grew up in a kibbutz or shtetl with a 145-piece marching band in residence.

    Santa Monica High School's Viking Marching Band and Color Guard performs at halftime during the school football team's home games. Band...

  • Susan Rubin ExploresSpielberg’s Childhood

    November 15, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Steven Spielberg has inspired dozens of biographies, none of them written with the filmmaker's consent. But Susan Goldman Rubin's new book, "Steven Spielberg: Crazy for Movies" (Harry N. Abrams, 2001), has input from Spielberg's production company and in-depth interviews with his...

  • Day Schools Cope With Attack Aftermath

    October 25, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    After Aug. 10, 1999, when a white supremacist went on

    a shooting spree at the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills, Abraham J. Heschel Day School quickly beefed up security at its Northridge campus, installing a high-tech video scanner in the school parking lot and...

  • Toxic Crusaders

    October 18, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    When Sherman Oaks resident Robina Suwol drove her two sons to school in the Valley March 1998, she didn't know she was about to become a crusader. The events of that morning kicked off a chain of events resulting in the Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) new integrated...

  • Torah Lover Beats Odds

    September 13, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Joey Schwartzman has a passion for clocks. He is also crazy about street addresses, dates and numbers of any kind. And he has one more enthusiasm not often seen in 15-year-old boys: he loves reading Torah and Haftorah at his synagogue, Westchester's B'nai Tikvah Congregation.


  • Kitchen Classroom

    August 23, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    As he welcomed a group of home schoolers to an open house at the Slavin Family Children's Library of the Jewish Community Library, Dr. Gil Graff of the Bureau of Jewish Education cited an ancient Jewish precept: "Each child should be educated according to that child's particular...

  • Togetherness Through Yachad

    August 23, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Some years ago, when Lauren Mayesh was a teenager, she rarely saw her classmates reach out to people who were different from them. Since March 2000, Mayesh has been the Los Angeles coordinator of Yachad, an organization formed to serve young adults, ages 17 to 30, who are coping with...

  • Shalom and G’Day, Mate

    August 2, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Last summer, when Sydney, Australia, burst onto my television screen as part of the coverage for the 2000 Olympic Games, the city struck me as an urban Disneyland, full of fanciful architecture and enchanting public gathering spots. It seemed the ideal place for the multitudes to...

  • Art of Summer

    July 5, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Max and Jesse Glaser come from a home where the fine arts are highly valued. Their father, Sam Glaser, is a well-known Jewish musician, and as their mother, Marcia, says, "We have a lot of artistic muses in our family." But because Max and Jesse are being educated in Orthodox...

  • Drastic Rule Change

    June 28, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    When Talia Hill started kindergarten, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) didn't know how to handle her. Hill had been diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy, moderate hearing loss and seizures. This combination made her unsuited for any of the district's self-contained...

  • An Educator Speaks

    June 28, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Eileen Horowitz, an elementary school teacher for two decades, taught general studies at Adat Ari El Day School for six years. She became principal of Temple Israel of Hollywood Day School in 1995. This February, Horowitz was one of 11 graduates of the Bureau of Jewish Education's...

  • Rabbis’s Wives

    June 21, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Thirty-five years ago, when Elliot and Marlynn Dorff got married, he was a rabbinical student and she was a recent college graduate with a degree in French. She also was fluent in Hebrew, and had augmented her secular studies at Barnard with coursework at the Jewish Theological...

  • Not Just Summer Scholars

    May 24, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    While growing up in Cincinnati, Elissa Ben-Naim attended a Jewish sleep-away camp. At the end of the summer, still filled with camp spirit, she insisted that her family begin saying blessings before and after every meal.

    This lasted only a month, but it led the family to institute...

  • Giving and Getting, as B’nai Mitzvah Mentors

    May 10, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    When Rabbi Laura Geller became Temple Emanuel's spiritual leader seven years ago, she sought to add new meaning to the familiar b'nai mitzvah ritual. For Geller, a bar or bat mitzvah can offer young teenagers the opportunity to create significant relationships with Jewish adults who...

  • Survivors’ Stories

    April 19, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    In 1989, Judith Mendel Novack decided to come to terms with her Holocaust memories. She wrote "The Lilac Bush," a memoir drawn from her Hungarian girlhood and its tragic aftermath, then persuaded a small New York publisher to bring out her manuscript in book form. Novack wasn't...

  • Free Hebrew School

    April 12, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    People insist that there's no such thing as a free lunch. But HaShalom, a small Sephardic Orthodox congregation in the Pico-Robertson area, is offering local public school children exactly that. When students in grades K-8 arrive at HaShalom at the end of their secular school day,...

  • Nurturing Yesod

    March 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    As a boy in Tel Aviv, Gady Levy &'9;lived in a purely secular household. He rode his bike on Yom Kippur and had absolutely no interest in Jewish tradition. Then, when he was 16, his family moved to San Diego. His mother, realizing that her son felt isolated from American teen...

  • Vital Learning

    March 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    It's a Thursday evening at Sinai Temple. Thirty-eight adults grapple with Genesis 37:18-35, the passage in which Jacob's sons sell their brother Joseph into slavery. The text seems straightforward, but Prof. Walter Herzberg, who chairs the department of Jewish studies at the...

  • My Best Teacher

    March 22, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    There will be one empty seat at our seder table this year. Blanche Wadleigh Bettington, who has helped us celebrate the Jewish people's liberation from Egypt since my college-age daughter was a baby, passed away on March 1. She was four months shy of her 100th birthday.


  • Love forLearning

    March 22, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    The opera world has its Three Tenors. The University of Judaism (UJ) kicked off its day-long Festival of Jewish Learning with three stellar rabbis. The festival, offered by UJ's Department of Continuing Education and The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, partly as a...

  • Educator Q &A: Dr. Stu Bernstein

    March 15, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Dr. Stu Bernstein has spent 40 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as an elementary school teacher, principal and cluster administrator for Westside schools. On the occasion of his retirement, he was recently feted by the Association of Jewish Educators, with...

  • Forging Ahead

    March 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    For the past 37 summers, the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles (BJE) has sent high school students to Israel through its pioneering L.A. Ulpan program. This year, that long tradition nearly ended.

    A sharp drop in enrollment, precipitated by the current unrest in...

  • Teaching Teachers

    February 22, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Aviva Kadosh, who serves the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles (BJE) as a specialist in religious schools and Hebrew-language programs, has been an educator for 34 years. But the Moreinu program has introduced her to "the most interesting group of people I have ever...

  • Performing Torah

    February 22, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Kids Kehilla bills itself as "a different kind of religious school." It is different partly because of its emphasis on theater as a way of introducing children to their Jewish heritage. Also out of the ordinary is the way Kids Kehilla is being used by its founders, Rabbi Moshe ben...

  • Jewish Educator Q & A

    February 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    With this issue, the Journal launches a new feature, Educator Q & A. We will be featuring regular interviews with teachers, school administrators and others involved in public, private and Jewish education in the greater Los Angeles area. Through their answers, we hope to shed light...

  • Finding Middle Ground

    January 25, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    First comes love, then comes marriage. But when baby makes three, an interfaith couple has to face hard decisions about their child's religious upbringing. Arlene Chernow, who for 16 years has headed the outreach department for the Pacific Southwest Council of the Union of American...

  • Addressing Anxieties

    January 18, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Each November, Valley Beth Shalom holds a meeting at which its youth director urges parents to send their teenagers on a summer trip to Israel. In 1999, more than 100 families attended. This past November, there were only eight. The low turnout appears to reflect parental anxiety...

  • Showing Solidarity

    January 18, 2001 | 6:59 pm

    Back in October, 60 UCLA students learned that over winter break they would be going on the trip of a lifetime. They had been chosen from among hundreds of applicants to take part, virtually for free, in UCLA Hillel's Birthright Israel contingent. The Birthright program brings...

  • Musical Gift

    January 11, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Anya Karlin has been fascinated with opera since the age of 4, when she was invited to join the cast of "Madame Butterfly." At 10, while performing in a Chanukah concert, she discovered the joys of singing in Yiddish. Dressed as a maidel from Eastern Europe, she crooned "Maz'l," a...

  • Good Deeds

    January 11, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    When Becca Yuré turned 13, her enthusiasm for pandas became the focus of her Bat Mitzvah celebration. Her Torah portion provided a neat tie-in to her message: the importance of caring for endangered species. At her party, stuffed panda toys graced the tables, and teenaged guests...

  • Mightier Than the Sword

    December 21, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    In southern Sudan, a quiet holocaust is now underway. Since 1983, millions of Dinka and Nuba tribespeople have been massacred, tortured and enslaved by their Muslim neighbors. While much of the world averts its eyes, a small interfaith coalition is working tirelessly to save those...

  • Varied on Vouchers

    October 26, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Though many Jewish organizations, including The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Bureau of Jewish Education, prefer to remain officially neutral on Proposition 38, their members often have strong emotions pro and con.

    Dr. Ron Reynolds, director of school services for...

  • Teen Founds Jump-n-Jive Minyan

    September 7, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Most Shabbat worshippers expect decorum. But Adat Ari El's new Jump-n-Jive minyan is different. Its founder, Aaron Kaychuck, describes the monthly Saturday morning service as "upbeat neo-Chassidic egalitarian." The service is unusual partly because it combines traditional...

  • European Vacation

    August 31, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    When friends heard that my husband and I planned to take our two children to Europe, they shook their heads gravely and predicted we'd live to regret it. It wasn't that Hilary and Jeffrey were too young to cope with foreign travel. At ages 21 and 18, they were hardly likely to demand...

  • Back-to-School Roundup

    August 24, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Among students, this is the time of year for new shoes, new backpacks and new haircuts. And schools approach September with fresh paint and revamped goals.

    Within the Jewish community, this September will see the start of one preschool program and the revitalization of another.


  • What They Did for Love

    June 1, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Love always seems to be in bloom on the Los Angeles Ulpan. The high school students who travel to Israel each summer under Ulpan auspices all return to L.A. filled with love for the Jewish homeland. And a surprising number of ulpanistim - and staff members - have found their besherts...

  • Working Together

    May 25, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    When Mark Miller arrived in Los Angeles to become the associate director of Wilshire Boulevard Temple's camps and conference center, he expected to find fierce competition among Southern California's Jewish summer camps. Instead, he's been pleasantly surprised by the spirit of...
  • Funding the Future

    May 4, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    In the past, the Jewish Community Foundation has used its grant-making powers to help senior citizens, Conejo Valley preschoolers, and teens traveling to Israel. Now it has announced a major initiative on behalf of Jewish college students on local campuses.

    Marvin I. Schotland, the...

  • An Unaccustomed Sound

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Today's schools tend to have only limited resources for music instruction, and Jewish day schools are no exception. And in an American Jewish community dominated by Ashkenazic-descended households, Sephardic culture remains a mystery to many Jewish children. Happily, the Maurice...
  • Following the Money

    March 30, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    How do you spend $1 million extra a year? That was the exciting but delicate issue administrators faced three years ago when The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles announced a new annual $1 million allocation for Jewish education. Then-President Herb Gelfand pushed hard for...
  • Right at the Start

    March 23, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    It's not only that children are killing children. There's also the fact, chronicled in such publications as U.S. News & World Report, that cheating is up in classrooms across the nation. No wonder educators of all stripes are pondering what it takes to teach ethics to their students....
  • Double Duty

    February 24, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    A highlight of the annual religious school educators conference sponsored by the Bureau of Jewish Education is always the presentation of the Lainer Awards. These cash awards, established in 1989, go to talented educators who help perpetuate Jewish traditions and values in a...
  • Hillel Students Return From Israel 2000 Trip

    January 27, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    When Jessica Wolf arrived in Eretz Yisrael, she dutifully kissed the ground. Still, she didn't feel all that impressed. Says the UCLA sophomore, "It looked to me a lot like Santa Barbara when I first got off the plane." For the next 10 days, as part of Hillel's Israel 2000, she and...
  • The Life and Times of 2 Teachers

    January 13, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Dr. George and Aviva Lebovitz didn't plan on being educators.

    When they met and married in Jerusalem, her goal was to be a mathematician and he was preparing for a career in economics. But both discovered they were gifted teachers, strongly dedicated to Jewish education. Ultimately...

  • ADL: December Dilemma

    December 16, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    'Tis the season when children in public schools face the December Dilemma. As part of a classroom lesson, Jewish youngsters may be given Christmas trees to color. During holiday music programs, they may find themselves acting in a nativity scene or singing "Silent Night." Santa Claus...
  • Reviving a Public School

    December 2, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Four years ago, when Robyn Ritter Simon's eldest son was ready to start kindergarten, she looked at her local public school and found it lacking. It was not that Canfield Elementary School fell short academically. The Simons live in a West Los Angeles neighborhood that is heavily...
  • Bonding Over Bonds

    November 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Monique Maas Gibbons believes that in the 21st century women will be more in charge of their finances than ever before.

    "Now we have to start thinking about how to save and how to make our money grow," Gibbons told the Journal.

    So Gibbons herself started thinking. The result was "Women...

  • Traditional Home

    November 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Becoming a Jewish Parent: How to Explore Spirituality

    and Tradition with your Children

    By Daniel Gordis

    Harmony Books, $24

    When my daughter was very young, a relative gave me a copy of a classic book, "To Raise a Jewish Child," by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin. It was a well-meaning gift....

  • Expanding Horizons

    October 28, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    In early October, four 13-year-olds from Tel Aviv spent 10 days in Southern California. They checked out the major tourist spots, including Disneyland. More importantly, they joined with their "partners" at Heschel Day School to celebrate Shabbat and Simchat Torah. They participated...
  • More than a Birthright

    October 7, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Having recently become excited about her Jewish heritage, Michelle Block wants to start off the new millennium with a trip to Israel. And thanks to a new program created by a group of American billionaires and the Israeli government, this Cal State Northridge student just might get...
  • Safety First?

    September 23, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    On the first day of school, when Barbara Gindi escorted her children to Maimonides Academy, she was appalled by what she saw: Two security guards stood out front, a Sheriff's squad car was parked at the curb, and the administrative staff was on high alert.

    "It brought tears to my...

  • Beyond Puppets and Cookies

    September 2, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Eleven-year-old Katie Zeisl, who attends Hebrew School at Adat Ari El, knows that the High Holidays are a time to "tell God I'm really sorry and I'll try not to do it again." But she's skeptical about making promises she may not be able to keep, and she has little use for her...

  • The Hart of the Matter

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The subject arose over dinner in a neighborhood restaurant. Have you heard, asked a friend who's generally up on current affairs, that the new governor wants to open the University of California system to the top 4 percent of every high school graduating class? The implications...
  • Torah For Torah’s Sake

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The Jewish Federation's Westside facility was transformed into a beit midrash, a traditional Jewish study hall, last week when more than 250 people of all denominations gathered to study Torah together.

    "There were people sitting and standing in every crevice of the two rooms and...

  • A Soaring Exchange Rate

    May 6, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    There were cheers and happy tears at Los Angeles International Airport when the first contingent of Milken Community High School students returned from a three-month stay in Tel Aviv. The 13 students, all 10th-graders, attended classes at Milken's sister school, Tichon Hadash, while...
  • Unity 101

    May 6, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Building Jewish unity in one afternoon is a tall order. And the organizers of Teen Clal's "One People" conference knew better than to expect miracles. Still, it was little short of miraculous that, on a recent Sunday, 75 teens from a wide range of Jewish denominations were able to...
  • Chaya’s Dance

    April 8, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Six years ago, Carol Solomon attended Yom Kippur services in Copenhagen. Flipping through the back of the English language prayerbook, she came upon a poem, translated from Hebrew, called "The Letter of the Ninety-Three Maidens." Based on an actual letter that was found after the...
  • Haggadah

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    A 1998 article about Chicago collector Stephen Durschslag's haggadah collection set the number of different haggadot on his shelves at 4,500, increasing almost daily.

    It's probably impossible to know how many haggadot exist, but it's obvious that for every Jew, there should be a...

  • Books

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    A 1998 article about Chicago collector Stephen Durschslag's haggadah collection set the number of different haggadot on his shelves at 4,500, increasing almost daily.

    It's probably impossible to know how many haggadot exist, but it's obvious that for every Jew, there should be a...

  • Wanted: A Few Good Teachers

    February 4, 1999 | 6:59 pm

    A parent in North Hollywood is appalled by what passes for religious-school education: His child has a terrible teacher. A parent in Brentwood is ecstatic: Her child's current teacher is outstanding. Marcy Goldberg, director of education at Temple Aliyah of Woodland Hills, sums up...
  • A Unique University

    January 21, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The University of Judaism is not easy to categorize. Unique among this country's Jewish institutions of higher learning, it combines an undergraduate college, a graduate school of education, an MBA program, a long list of continuing education offerings, two nationally renowned think...

  • School’s Out—Forever?

    January 14, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    At a time when many Jewish day schools in the area are bursting at the seams and new ones move closer to opening their doors, Temple Isaiah Day School is making plans to go out of business.

    The formal decision about the fate of the school has just been handed down by the Reform...

  • Lessons in Civic Responsibility

    January 7, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Five years ago, a school group from Oakland laughed and jeered throughout a screening of "Schindler's List." This fiasco convinced Steven Spielberg that many students needed careful preparation before viewing his film. So the director asked Facing History and Ourselves to develop...

  • Educating American Jewish Families

    December 10, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Risa Gruberger, whose children are 8 and 9, hopes they will both grow up loving the Jewish holidays as she does. "When the weather's crisp out," says Gruberger, "I want them to feel they can smell it, they can taste it, that Chanukah's coming." At her house, decorations are homemade,...

  • Multiculturalism at Work

    November 12, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Among those who care about public education, "multiculturalism" is one of today's favorite buzzwords. But at the Community School, a magnet campus that falls under the auspices of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the concept of multicultural education has been in place for 25...
  • For the Sake of Fun

    October 22, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Lisa Stern, a Hancock Park attorney and mother of three, has identified a syndrome afflicting women that she thinks is just as real as postpartum depression -- post-Yontiff exhaustion.

    As the Days of Awe come to a close, women who have spent a month entertaining are feeling the wrath...

  • A School With a Mid-Eastern Flair

    October 22, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    The Eretz Alliance School may be small, but its lineage is long and distinguished. Eretz Alliance, which occupies a brand-new campus in Tarzana, opened this fall with 36 students enrolled in its nursery school and kindergarten classes. Ultimately the $7 million building will house...
  • Conference Explores Peace Through Education

    October 22, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Israeli-Palestinian coexistence and how to achieve it: That was the topic on everybody's lips when the 24th Annual Academic Conference convened at the Century Plaza Hotel last weekend. The panel, sponsored by American Friends of the Hebrew University, was followed by a luncheon...
  • Knowledge is Power

    September 17, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Most Jews bring to the High Holidays indelible memories of their childhood. But those who have chosen to become Jewish as adults have their own special feelings about the holiday period. Such is the case with many graduates of the University of Judaism's Introduction to Judaism...
  • A Solid Foundation

    September 10, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Until recently the Milken Community High School was housed in cramped rows of portable bungalows. The high school's students spent their day in what looked like bunkhouses at a summer camp. Several of the portables are still in use until finishing touches are completed on the...
  • Honor Bestowed

    September 3, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Joel Grishaver, everybody's favorite hip Jewish uncle, had been up half the night, schmoozing with a rabbi's son who was visiting from England. So when Grishaver answered the phone at 6:30 a.m., he was hardly prepared for the voice that said, "You and I have a date for lunch in...
  • Back To School

    August 27, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Freshman Orientation: A Primer for Jewish Life on Campus

    By Beverly Gray, Education Editor

    As Labor Day fast approaches, colleges around the country are welcoming the class of 2002. Some of...

  • Cover Story

    August 13, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    As Zionism turns 100 and Israel approaches 50, a Sept. 14 conference re-examines our affection for the Jewish State.

    Photo from Jerusalem in 3000 Years, Konemann, 1995.

    To many American Jews in their 20s, 30s and 40s, Zionism, the ancient dream of a Jewish homeland that spawned a...

  • Unlimited Learning

    July 16, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    It's 5:30 p.m. on a Wednesday evening, and a group of well-dressed men and women have gathered in the swank board room of a Beverly Hills talent agency. On the long marble conference table in front of them are stacks of academic books. After a few...

  • Adult B’nai Mitzvah Gaining in Popularity

    July 9, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Back in the fall, Joyce Snyder toured Israel,steeping herself in the spirit of Torah.

    But this, she felt, was not enough.

    Six months later, she was standing in front of hercongregation, publicly chanting the words of the Torah.

    It was all part of a journey that for her heldgreat...

  • A Future So Bright

    June 11, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Jessica Shpall (Beverly Hills High School. Will attend UC San Diego.)

    "I went to Israel last summer, and I had a rebirth. I definitely want to start Hebrew in the fall."


  • Community

    June 4, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Imagine that it is 1940, and Great Britain is fighting Hitler's Nazi Germany almost alone. Imagine, further, that an American who loves both America and England and hates the Nazis works in American intelligence and has access to secret files concerning Germany that, for whatever...
  • Putting Heart

    May 7, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    The rabbis-in-training were making the rounds at UCLA Medical Center. They stopped at bedsides to chat with patients, to inquire about their needs, to offer prayer and consolation. Then, unexpectedly, the sight of wires, tubes and surgical dressings took its toll. One student rabbi...
  • Community

    April 9, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    CaliforniaTreasurer Matt Fong

    California has taken the lead in slapping newsanctions on Swiss banks to penalize them for alleged foot-draggingin settling the claims of Holocaust survivors.

    Getting a jump on other states, CaliforniaTreasurer Matt Fong ordered an immediate halt on all...

  • A Teacher’s Guide to Parents

    January 29, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    What do Jewish educators think about Jewishparents? To get the inside scoop, I turned to "Jewish Parents: ATeacher's Guide." It's a recent co-venture by Joel Grishaver and Dr.Ron Wolfson, both veteran teachers and observers of the Jewisheducational scene. The irrepressible Grishaver,...
  • Education Israel as a Core Requirement?

    December 11, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    My daughter flew home for Thanksgiving with two college friends in tow. At the dinner table, the conversation revolved around computers and the antics of the Stanford Band. At some point in the course of that whirlwind four-day visit, Hilary informed me that, though she's been...
  • Coming Together Aboard Bus No. 2

    November 27, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    I have never been a fan of group travel. Bernie and I like to headout for parts unknown, armed only with a guidebook and a rental car.So what were we doing on the mammoth Golden Anniversary CommunityMission sponsored by the Jewish Federation Council of Greater LosAngeles?

    Frankly, the...

  • Education Adopting a More Accepting Attitude

    November 6, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    Debra has always known she's adopted. At the age of 6 months, shecame into the lives of a couple I'll call the Rubins, who welcomedher with open arms. Now a feisty fifth-grader, she has the run of ahousehold filled with music, pets and love. But as she approachespuberty, her parents...

  • Psychology at the U.J.

    October 23, 1997 | 7:59 pm

    The campus of the University of Judaism where Lutzker'sclasses are taught

    Sometimes we all need a good nudge before we do the right thing.Nearly 10 years ago, when the University of Judaism approached Dr.John Lutzker to head its fledgling psychology department, he broachedthe...

  • Beyond the Classroom and Themselves

    October 16, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    How does a school become a community? For 215 students at MilkenCommunity High School, it all began with a trip out of town.

    Milken, affiliated with Stephen S. Wise Temple, kicks off itsschool year by sending students and faculty on a three-day Shabbaton.Under the majestic oaks of...

  • Easing the Pain

    October 2, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Ethan Gura doesn't remember his sister. Still, he cannot forgether. He can't forget that Rebecca Alexandra Gura died in 1991 after afour and a half year battle with leukemia. She was then six yearsold. He was three.

    Now, at age 9, Ethan is a veteran of various therapies, alldesigned...

  • Lifting the Language Barrier

    September 25, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    In the past, when members of Los Angeles Hebrew High School's student body applied for foreign language credits at their home high schools, some were routinely turned down. This despite the fact that they had spent the school year studying Hebrew intensively three times a week, in...
  • Happy Anniversary

    August 28, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    My 25th wedding anniversary iscoming up fast. Wish me luck.

    I'll need all the good fortune I can muster,thanks to one of the ways I've chosen to mark this momentousoccasion. Of course, Bernie and I will be celebrating conventionally,with a party for some of our oldest friends. But, in...

  • Ramah’s Happy,

    August 14, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    During that first weekend, we found nourishmentfor all parts of our Jewish psyches. Religious services weretraditional but encouraged participation: I had my first-ever aliyahthere. The camp's weekend scholar-in-residence gave us grown-upsserious food for thought. The children had...

  • Honors Are Just Icing for Sara Lee

    July 10, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    In the 1950s, young women knew their place. "You are who you marry" was the gist of the covert message that mothers passed on to their daughters. And Sara Lee, having graduated from college with a degree in social relations and a burning passion for Zionism, was quite content to put...
  • The Gates of Hope

    June 19, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Fortunately for Elisa, she landed in a caring and effective public-school program, which taught her to make the most of her abilities. But Lora was determined that her child also have the opportunity to learn about her Jewish heritage. She found that opportunity at Shaare Tikva.


  • Strumming, Fiddling at the Skirball

    May 1, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    What is there about klezmer music that sends feet flying and excitement levels of certain Jewish audiences soaring? Nostalgia for the past or a just-found fondness for a "new" music"? Whatever it is, when the klezmer band struck up a "Freylach," almost instantly, a woman in a red...