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Jewish Journal

The Circuit

by Michael Aushenker

April 26, 2001 | 8:00 pm

Ahoy, Singles!

If the Circuit worked every single night of the week, we would inevitably start to short Circuit. So we decided to break from the weekday routine and head for the plush, seashore Loews Hotel in Santa Monica, where the ACCESS Young Adult Program and the Singles Initiative of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles hosted the very first "Shabbat by the Sea," a banquet-style Shabbat dinner and mixer.

Organizing the event were Tanya Labowitz, assistant director of Community Development and director of the Singles Initiative for the Federation, and Florence Klatzko, assistant director for community Development. Co-sponsors included B'nai Tikvah Congregation, Hadassah's Vanguard Singles, Jewish Big Brothers/Camp Max Straus, Federation's Jewish Community Relations Committee, Klutz Productions, Kosher Meet Market, Makor, Meet-A-Mate, Project Next Step of The Simon Wiesenthal Center, Sinai Temple, and Vista Del Mar Presidents Club.

"The idea came out of feedback from singles who participated in research conducted by The Singles Initiative, as well as ACCESS participants and singles service providers," Labowitz said. "People are looking for alternative opportunities to make a connection to each other and the community, to identify with their Judaism, meet those with shared Jewish values, and celebrate the joy of Shabbat. Through this event, we are responding to this acknowledged need."

Rabbi Shlomo Seidenfeld shared a few words with the 250 happy-go-lucky singles in attendance. Thankfully, no rum-guzzling pirates or primordial sea monsters crashed this relaxed evening (perhaps they were busy davening elsewhere). With this kind of turnout and the swanky seaside location, maybe we should all return for tashlich in September.

"Live Long and Prosper"

Actor Leonard Nimoy, best known as Mr. Spock, and his wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, have donated $1 million to the Griffith Observatory's renovation and expansion project, launching the individual donations of the Observatory's capital campaign into orbit. So far, nearly $42 million has been raised toward the Observatory's $63-million goal, according to Observatory Director Dr. Edwin C. Krupp. The renovation and expansion, set for 2002-2004, also will be funded by voter-approved city and county bond measures, as well as by corporate and state funding.

"As they have done before, the Nimoys are providing leadership for an important civic institution," Krupp said. "We are overwhelmed by their incredible generosity and sense of vision."

Teen Titans

Two students from Congregation Beth Shir Shalom in Santa Monica, accompanied by Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels, traveled to Washington, D.C., in February to participate in Panim el Panim, a four-day intensive learning program for Jewish teens across the country, designed to fortify community leadership skills....

Students of Kathy Reynolds' eighth-grade science class at Milken Community High School have been awarded second place in the NASA-Student Involvement Program's 2000-2001 competition. Jenny Hyman, Tova Handelman, and Sydney Esensten were honored for their work on using satellite imagery to detect heat islands in urban areas. This work is significant in understanding how Earth's radiation budget becomes imbalanced with the concretization of our planet. This all might be well over your head, but trust us -- we've double-checked their math, and they deserve the honor.

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