Calendar of Book & Literary events around town.
Last year, when Leonard Lawrence learned that the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Los Angeles (JCCGLA) had to cancel its annual book fair as a result of restructuring within the organization, he vowed to not let it happen again.
"We saw it as a challenge that Mount Sinai could rise up to," said Lawrence, general manager of Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries.
This year, Lawrence's call to duty has placed the book festival back on the map with a bit of a twist. Unlike the traditional book fairs of previous years, this year's book festival, co-sponsored by Mount Sinai and JCCGLA, will cater to children.
On the first Saturday of each month, while weekly, traditional Shabbat morning services are taking place at Adat Shalom synagogue, another service transpires behind the main sanctuary that is anything but traditional.
Silversmith David Friedman has the unique ability to trace the origin of almost every antique that comes across his desk.
When Ross Neihaus exited his chemistry class three days after the start of UCLA's fall quarter, he saw the words "Anti-Zionist and Proud" scrawled in chalk on the wall of an adjacent building. Such a statement coming so early in the quarter was a surprise to the fourth-year biology major, but not a shock.
"I expect this to be my toughest year in college," said Neihaus, the president of Bruins for Israel, UCLA's pro-Israel group. "We are concerned that what will be said this year will be nastier, more radical and essentially more anti-Semitic."
Those who might have the greatest need to repent this High Holiday season may not be able to.
A severe shortage in Jewish chaplains has led to a situation where the spiritual needs of some prisoners in California's state and federal correctional institutions are not being met.
"When it comes to holidays and services, there's a very real concern that we're not doing a very effective and adequate job at serving in institutionalized settings," said Rabbi Mark Diamond, executive vice president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California (BOR). "There are many institutionalized Jews that do not have the benefits of a rabbi."
Community Brief, news from around California, los angeles,United States.
As she enters her 23rd year in prison, Doris Roldan realizes that she has two choices: she can wallow in self-pity or she can continue to have hope.
On Tuesday evening, Sept. 30, while standing in front of her fellow inmates at the California Institution for Women (CIW), Roldan made her choice: "My body is incarcerated but I will not allow my mind, heart or soul to be in prison," Roldan said.
Roldan is one of 26 members of the Shalom Sisterhood, a group of inmates that meets twice a month for Jewish study at the Chino maximum-security prison, who participated in a joint Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur service.
Laura Bush on Howard Stern; J. Lo waking up with a pimple on her nose; Homer Simpson running for governor of California. No, it's not a slow day on "Live on E!" It's a game of "Scenes from a Hat" -- one of 40 interactive games that improv comedy troupe, The Los Hombres, has in its repertoire. The game, in which audience members write down funny scenes that they would like to see acted out, is just one way the eight-member cast connects with the audience.
Today, just steps away from USC's fraternity row -- which has historically been a symbol of the university's typically all-white culture -- lies the new site of the campus Chabad House. The 6,500-square-foot Victorian home, which Chabad is in the process of renovating, will be the third site that the organization will occupy since outgrowing its first two locations in the past three years.
Located on 3,000 acres in the Santa Susana Mountains -- the largest piece of land owned by a Jewish institution outside of Israel -- BBI, the pluralistic Jewish retreat center, has established a dedicated following since it acquired its first piece of property in 1947.
From films on the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge regime of Cambodia and civil war in Sudan to mental illness and homelessness in America, the series will allow viewers to take a second look from a Jewish perspective.
The state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has instructed Boeing to determine if high levels of a contaminant used in rocket fuel and found on property owned by the Brandeis-Bardin Institute (BBI) came from the company's Rocketdyne testing site located nearly a mile away.
Lori Moss waited three hours to meet her heroine, environmental activist Erin Brockovich, at a book signing last year, even though Moss was weak from her chemotherapy treatment.
The meeting turned out to be exactly what Moss had hoped -- Brockovich was intelligent and personable.
But Moss was surprised at how much interest Brockovich took in Moss' own story.
hen the editors of Ha'Am, UCLA's Jewish student newsmagazine, scrawled the words, "Ha'Am Is Back," across the back of Kerchoff Hall, they didn't realize the staying power of the statement that they were about to make. What the editors thought was sidewalk chalk, commonly used by students at UCLA as a means of political expression, turned out to be permanent.
"We're still waiting for it to come off," said Miriam Segura, Ha'Am's editor-in-chief.
Bat Yam's efforts follow a trend of volunteer organizations trying to entice younger members to replace an aging membership. In doing so, groups like Hadassah must change their image to counter old stereotypes. Historically viewed as an organization for older, married women, Hadassah now has a wide variety of options for women who don't fit the mold.
In his new book, pop songwriter Seth Swirsky pays tribute to the sport that has played such an important part in his life.
A Palestinian boy, about 8 years old, dressed in a red T-shirt and missing his two front teeth, is yelling in Arabic: "I foresee my death and I run toward it.
Has a question or statement about Israel ever caught you so off guard and tongue-tied that you wished you could just reach into your back pocket to pull out an answer?
Renamed Big Sunday to represent the eclecticism of its volunteers, the fifth annual day of community service will take place this year on Sunday, May 4.
When 14-year-olds Kobi Mandel and Yosef Ishran were found brutally stoned to death by Palestinian terrorists on May 9, 2001, Jews around the world mourned.
When rabbi and author Jan Goldstein was suddenly faced with the news that his 12-year marriage was ending -- leaving him with primary custody of his three children -- he felt his life was ruined, until he learned to make sense of his pain.
It's 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday, and the modest storefront at 3531a N. La Brea Ave. is teeming with people. The shelves that were stocked with bottles of Rokeach grape juice, jars of Tzali's gefilte fish and cans of California chunk light tuna only a half hour ago, are now nearly empty.
While leafing through their college newspapers Monday morning, students at several major Southern California universities came across a full-page advertisement featuring Barad Zemer, a 23-year-old Israeli film student. Beneath Zemer's photograph it read:
Legend has it that when Jews first came to America, they
couldn't afford quality grapes. To make wine palatable they would add tons of
sugar. Thus came the red, syrupy wines that have long been associated with the
kosher winemaking industry.
Rhonda Van Hassalt's concerned father offered her $1,000 not to go to Israel. Although the money would have been enough to send both Van Hassalt's and her boyfriend to Europe for winter break, it wasn't Europe that was tugging at her heart -- it was Israel.
When Jonathan Schulman went on a mission to Israel 1995, he said his life was forever changed, because he started getting involved. "I got engaged because there were opportunities for me to build on that experience," said Schulman, director of the recently established Young Leadership Program of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Schulman, who is in his mid-30s, hoped that the other 61 Los Angeles young Jewish leaders would be similarly inspired at the United Jewish Community's (UJC) Young Leadership Regional Conference, which took place March 7-9 at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis Hotel.
For much of his life, Lawrence Mudgett didn't need Judaism. He had football. But when the 6-foot-6, 250-pound sophomore was declared ineligible for the NCAA at the beginning of the school year, he began searching for another niche.
As a participant on Birthright Israel's 2002-2003 winter programs, Mudgett found what he was looking for.
"Going to Israel changed me. It's opened up so many doors," said the UCSB sophomore. "Just being part of the Jewish community and being involved in Hillel helps fill the void of not being on a team and not having that camaraderie."
When Susan Samueli met her future husband, Henry, at a dance at Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles in 1979, she never could have anticipated how different her life would be today.
That was 24 years and three children ago, before Samueli became a household name in much of Southern California, as Henry co-founded Broadcom, the leading provider in broadband high-speed communications technology. It was way before Broadcom went public, and the Samuelis, with Henry serving as chief technical officer, became multimillionaires nearly overnight.
When most people think of a spiritual awakening, they don't necessarily think of such a thing taking place at the GAP. But then again, artist Orit Arfa isn't really into conventionality.
While walking down the streets of Manhattan seven years ago, dressed in her ankle-length skirt and modest Orthodox clothing, Arfa caught a reflection of herself in a revolving door.
"I felt I looked really shleppy, and it didn't really reflect who I was inside and what I was feeling," she said.
Arfa immediately marched straight to the GAP and into a new pair of jeans. "I was jumping up and down! There was this freedom. This spiritual freedom. It seemed like the whole world opened up for me."
For Arfa, the experience was not only religiously liberating, it was creatively liberating.
"I knew that part of my challenge was to break the stereotypes of the ideal Jewish woman, both for myself, and I wanted to paint the foremothers as sexual, sensual, beautiful, vibrant women," Arfa said.
It's not unusual to see 60 students cramming into an nonairconditioned duplex on fraternity row on a Saturday night at UCLA -- unless
those students happen to be surrounding a havdalah candle singing Hebrew songs.
When Justin Levy returned to UCLA for his senior year in September 2002, he was expecting a continuation of the previous school year's belligerent anti-Zionist rallies and aggressive anti-Israel fervor.
What he found was exactly the opposite. The divestment campaigns and public demonstrations that made last year's headlines were nowhere to be found.
While the calm should have put Levy at ease, the drastic atmosphere change instead made him apprehensive.
But ask San Franciscan Elliot Brandt about Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Jewish community, and you won't be able to put a stop to his praise.
Since the 34-year-old moved here in April to become the Western States director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the pro-Israel lobby, Brandt expressed nothing but admiration. "To see the potential that is represented by the size of this Jewish community, the dynamism and the passion of this community ... it's amazing," Brandt said.
Maybe you've noticed that many of the bagel chains today are named after some of the most influential Jewish figures in history -- Einstein, Noah. But have you ever stopped to think that maybe it's the bagels that spurred all of this insight?
Well, the creators of TheBagel.org, a new Web site connecting and inspiring college students in Southern California, seem to think so.
The event, which was staged by Cafe Europa, a Jewish Family Service program that serves as a social outlet and offers financial assistance and emotional support to Holocaust survivors, allowed those who shared a common experience to also share the joy of Chanukah with one another.
Second Generation Los Angeles is one of hundreds of organizations that supports children of survivors, but the only one of its kind in Los Angeles.
When the Jewish actor-comedian wanted to do something to help brighten the lives of Israeli children wounded in suicide bombings, he contacted his friend Stephen Berman, president and COO of JAKKS Pacific toy company.
The collaborative effort resulted in a donation and shipment of more than 500 toys to hospitals in Tel Aviv, each with a personal note from Sandler included. However, while the celebrity's name was probably the most recognizable to the children, it was the lesser-acclaimed Berman whose massive donation made the whole thing possible.
If your kids are out of the house and you're experiencing empty-nest syndrome, how about considering adoption?
When Sarah Tolkoff returned to UC Irvine to begin a new school year, she found that the Muslim student newspaper Al Kalima's cover featured a picture of Sharon and Hitler's faces digitally merged together. The headline read: "History repeats."
History was also repeating itself for Tolkoff, who had hoped that by this semester the anti-Israel propaganda would have been toned down.
Ever since she was a young girl, Rebecca Solo looked forward to when she would be old enough to visit Israel through a program, following the path that many teenagers at her synagogue take during high school.
A bombed-out building transformed into a discothèque; the central section of an apartment building that is bizarrely absent -- these are just some of the visual images that preserve the memory of Berlin's complex and turbulent past.
When Adam Bergman researched colleges toward the end of his senior year at Milken High School, he looked very closely at the quality of their soccer teams and not so closely at the size of their Jewish populations.
Petroleum jelly-covered watermelon relays, gunk-filled balloon popping and prom dress-clad swimming pool races -- not your typical day at Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu.
Pro-Israel faculty at UCLA have launched a petition drive opposing a campaign to get the University of California system to divest itself of investments in corporations doing business in the Jewish state.
On the wall of philanthropist and humanitarian Richard Gunther's office hangs a photo of a man triumphantly standing atop a Western Nepal mountain peak.
World leaders can't seem to arrive at a solution to violence in the Middle East, but just maybe because they didn't use a larger-than-life-sized corn on the cob. Kernel Corn, mascot for the vegetarian organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), has set off on his Middle East tour, marking the launch of PETA's campaign, "Give Peas a Chance."
"Free Zaidi," read signs held by pro-Palestinian students at UC Riverside during an on-campus rally May 22 organized in support of fellow student, Nauman Zaidi, who was imprisoned by Israeli authorities May 10 for entering the Church of the Nativity during the recent standoff in Bethlehem.
Zaidi, who entered the church in an effort to bring food and water to Palestinian militants, was accompanied by UC Berkeley student Robert O'Neil. Both students were freed and returned to the United States May 26.
Shopinisrael.com is one of several sites -- including shop4israel.com and israelshop1.com, among others -- that allows people to purchase Israeli products with the click of a button.
Ever since she received her acceptance from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's (HUC-JIR) rabbinical seminary, Stanton's life has become a whirlwind of television appearances and telephone interviews -- everything from the CBS "Early Show" to Black Entertainment Television have taken an interest in her story.
"Israel Independence Day, 2002 and Counting..." read the sea of royal blue T-shirts adorning members of the UCLA Jewish Student Union (JSU) -- a positive statement at a time when Jewish students are receiving a great deal of negative publicity on college campuses across the country.
More than 120 Jewish students, including JSU members, gathered at UCLA's Meyerhoff Park on April 11 to oppose an anti-Zionist rally organized by the Peace and Justice Coalition. The coalition, a new group on the UCLA campus, is an alliance of student organizations, including the Muslim Student Association, the African Student Union, Samahang Filipino, the Asian Pacific Coalition, the Vietnamese Student Union, Concerned Asian Pacific-Islander Students for Action, the United Arab Society, the Iranian Student Group and the Pakistani Student Association.
Cars slow and heads turn as curious UCLA students drive past 574 Hilgard Ave. The construction site will be the new home of the UCLA Hillel building, scheduled to open this fall.
Action Israel offered intensive strategy and communications training in order to equip students with the tools necessary to counteract anti-Israeli sentiment.
Although Salt Lake City hosted several Jewish Olympians this year, including figure skater Sasha Cohen, the Olympic games haven't always been so welcoming to Jewish athletes.
Birthright is an umbrella organization which is the result of a partnership between the Israeli people and government, local Jewish communities, and leading Jewish philanthropists. It provides funding for the trip and sets up the basic guidelines, such as standards and security policies.