Pastor Delivers 8,000 Signatures in Support of Israel
Pastor Roger Cochran of Calvary Chapel Long Beach delivered more than 8,000 signatures on a pro-Israel petition to Israeli Consul-General Yuval Rotem on April 11. The petition was distributed nationwide, and more signatures from every state are arriving at the church's offices daily. Cochran noted that his congregants are fervent supporters of Israel and spend two weeks in the country every year. Rotem thanked the pastor and his congregation for their support of Israel during this time of crisis and promised to forward the signatures to the foreign minister's office. The meeting with Cochran and his family was arranged through the consulate's expanding Christian outreach program, which the consul-general has indicated is one of his priorities for the upcoming year.
From April 21-25, the West Coast Rabbinical Court-Beit Din of Beverly Hills invites all rabbis and the entire Jewish community to the first demonstration of support for agunot and agunim -- people who cannot obtain a get (Jewish divorce). They will discuss approaches to deal with the agunot crisis. The rabbinical court will assist in obtaining a get for every Jewish man or woman who has been civilly divorced, has settled his/her financial differences and/or is completely disattached. "Many of our brothers and sisters, whose marriages have been terminated or are estranged from their spouses, use the get as a tool of manipulation," organizers of the conference wrote in a press release.
The conference will take place at Bais Naftoli Congregation, 221 N. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles. For more information on the event, call (323) 939-0298.
Cal State Suspends Israel Program
The California State University system has suspended its junior year abroad program in Israel, although it will not penalize current students who decide to stay and finish their academic year in Israel.
The suspension became official as of April 15, said Leo van Cleve, director of international programs for the 23-campus Cal State system.
However, two Cal State students currently at the University of Haifa, and their academic advisor, intend to stay until the end of the school year, according to an e-mail from Norma Tarrow, Cal State's adviser and resident director in Haifa.
The two students are Ayelet Arbel of the San Jose State campus and Adam Ascherin from Chico State. "We are encouraging the students to leave, but we will not be punitive if they decide to stay," van Cleve said. He indicated that if the students stay put, they will not be deprived of academic credit, financial aid and health insurance.
Five Cal State students have applied to study in Israel for the 2002-2003 academic year, but no decision has been made on whether to reinstate the program at that time, said van Cleve. The nine-campus University of California system suspended its Israel program on April 11 and recalled its 27 students there. -- Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor
Mishkon Tephilo Wins Grant
Temple Mishkon Tephilo, the oldest synagogue on the Westside, received a Preserve L.A. grant from the Getty Grant program. This grant will allow the synagogue to prepare a historic structure report that will form the basis of conservation efforts and preservation goals for its historic sanctuary building, the synagogue's gathering place for religious services since 1948. Mishkon's two-story sanctuary building is one of the few remaining examples in Los Angeles of the classical revivalism that was popular in synagogue architecture until the 1940s. It has been a vital presence in Venice and southern Santa Monica since its founding in 1918. Temple Mishkon Tephilo is holding a kiddush and luncheon on April 20. Services begin 9:30 a.m. at 206 Main St., Venice. To R.S.V.P. for the luncheon, call (310) 392-3029.