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...