Jewish Journal

Class Notes - A Weekend of Ethics

by Julie G Fax

Posted on Oct. 20, 2005 at 8:00 pm

Scholars-in-residence Rabbi Laura Geller, Rabbi Steven Leder and Dr. Bruce Powell will address teaching children values and ethics at Brandeis-Bardin Institute's family weekend Nov. 19-21. Sponsored by The Jewish Journal, the weekend will explore how ethics interface with spirituality, social justice, education and consumerism. Renowned child development specialist Dr. Ian Russ will address how kids learn ethics, and an expert from Merrill Lynch will discuss saving for your children and grandchildren.

Space is limited, so apply early. For more information, contact The Brandeis-Bardin Institute at (805) 582-4450 or visit www.thebbi.org.

Young Writers Unite

Budding poets, playwrights, essayists and novelists can do the grown-up conference thing at an all-day seminar for fourth- to sixth-graders on Sunday, March 5 at Milken Community High School. Sponsored by Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, the second annual Young Writers' Conference aims to inspire expression in all its forms, from comic book writing to sports reporting. A keynote speaker, along with workshops led by professional writers, will bring kids of all backgrounds together to explore the passions, techniques and skills that make for good writing. The $125 fee covers lunch, a T-shirt and a conference pack. Proceeds go to support Access Books, which supplies books to under-funded school libraries. Financial aid is available.

Deadline for enrollment is Nov. 5. For more information, visit www.youngwritersconference.org or call (310) 889-2300.

Dollars for Day Schools

Day school proponents looking to cultivate new major donors now have added incentive. A consortium of five foundations and two organizations is offering to match new gifts between the amounts of $25,000 and $100,000. The consortium, which includes the Jewish Funders Network and the Project for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE), will have $5 million available to match 50 cents for every dollar donated.

To be eligible, a philanthropist must make a first-time grant to Jewish day schools or increase a previous gift fivefold. The program runs through Jan. 13, 2006.

"The match program is just the kind of investment strategy that philanthropists value," said Michael Steinhardt, PEJE chair and founder. "By leveraging their gifts, these funders are able to stretch their contribution to Jewish day schools and join the ranks of those of us who believe that serious Jewish education is at the core of a renaissance of Jewish life."

For an application and information, visit www.dayschoolmatch.org.

Tradition Goes Wireless

The words beit midrash, Hebrew for study hall, may bring to mind images of bearded young men stooped over row after row of crowded tables. But not at the Los Angeles Campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the Reform movement's rabbinical school. At the new Simha and Sara Lainer Beit Midrash, dedicated Sept. 27, men and women can sit at specially designed workstations or create their own space with moveable furniture. The shelves are stocked with traditional and contemporary books, while the computers hold a full complement of programs and databases. And of course the room is set up for wireless communication.

The Lainer family has established batei midrash in institutions of all denominations across Los Angeles.

Ellie Steinman, a third-year rabbinic student, is ready to get to work.

"The environment of a beit midrash is what rabbinic school is all about -- peer helping peer with abundant resources available at the fingertips," Steinman said.

For information, call (213) 749-3424 or visit www.huc.edu.

Rub Elbows With Wiesel

Junior high and high school students will have an opportunity to talk with Elie Wiesel next year, as Sinai Temple in Westwood hosts the Holocaust survivor and theologian for a weekend in May as part of its 100th anniversary celebration. Sinai is inviting seventh- to 12th-graders to submit essays answering the question, "If you could ask Elie Wiesel any question, what would it be and why?"

Two students from each grade level will be chosen to pose their question to Wiesel personally at a May 21 teen forum.

One page essays are due March 1, and can be sent to Sinai Temple, 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. 90024, Attn: Centennial Essay Writing Contest. For more information, call (310) 474-1518 or visit www.sinaitemple.org.

You can reach Julie Gruenbaum Fax at julief@jewishjournal.com or (213) 368-1661, ext. 206.


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