Pray for Peace
In response to the current crisis in Israel and the rise of anti-Semitism across Europe, several thousand people attended an outdoor prayer rally at Pan Pacific Park on Sunday, April 28. Similar prayer gatherings have taken place in cities across America in the last few weeks, such as New York (which attracted 50,000 people), Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, Miami, Atlanta, Toronto and others.
Several local organizations sponsored the Los Angeles gathering, including Agudath Israel, The Orthodox Union, Young Israel, Rabbinical Council of California, Religious Zionists of America, Emunah Women and Chabad of Hancock Park. Individuals also sponsored the event to help cover the cost of security, a sound system and advertising.
Armin Mandel, an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor from Hancock Park, said he found the presence of the students particularly moving. "To look around and see all those children taking the prayers so seriously was really something," he said. "It's the prayers of the children that really have an effect. They are the guarantors of our heritage."
Among schools that attended were Yeshiva Gedolah Boys High School, Yeshiva of Los Angeles, Valley Torah Center, and Yeshiva Rav Isacsohn.
Shayna Kramer, a prominent community educator, called the event "a deeply moving experience. After all we have gone through this past year in the Jewish world, it felt comforting to be doing this in the company of thousands of fellow Jews across the spectrum of religious practice," she said. "Our fears and empathy for Jews in peril are undiminished, but by banding together to seek the Almighty's mercy, I felt that we had added to the hope that in this as in every generation, 'God is standing with us, though they may rise against us,'" she added. -- Staff Report
Shop Till You Drop
Shopping enthusiasts have been known to start lining up at 6 a.m. hoping to get first pick at merchandise for sale at the National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles's Fabulous Flea Market (NCJW/L.A.), which takes place May 4 and 5.
"You can't miss this sale," said Edith Goodman, who has worked at Council Thrift since 1993. Goodman said the Fabulous Flea Market merchandise is the crème de la crème of the generous donations NCJW/L.A. receives via their six Council Thrift Shops. Select merchandise is reserved for events such as the Fabulous Flea Market instead of being put out on the thrift store shelves. For months, Goodman has been sorting through jewelry donations to set aside the true "gems" for this weekend's extravaganza.
The proceeds from the sale contribute to NCJW/LA's community programs. Entrance to the event this weekend is free. However, if you join as a member ($50/$35 seniors and students), you may take advantage of the special Thursday, May 2 "Membership Has Its Privileges" sale (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and truly get the first pick of what Jeannine Schechter, NCJW/L.A.'s public relations director calls "sick" deals. As members, shoppers receive an additional 20 percent off their purchase price.
The sale will be held Saturday, May 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at NCJW/LA's headquarters, 543 N. Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles. For more information, please contact (323) 651-2930. -- Song Oh, Contributing Writer
Students at the College of Judea and Samaria (CJS) in Ariel, Israel, and UCLA held a special teleconference on April 28. During the course of the 90-minute dialogue, 20 UCLA students and 13 CJS students discussed the current situation facing Israel, the Sept. 11 terror attacks, life on the Ariel campus, efforts to deal with anti-Israel bias in the media, the question of aliyah for American Jews and the growth of anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States.
The event, called "Panim el Panim" (Face to Face), was the first of three dialogues planned between CJS and UCLA students in order to become familiar with the challenges and issues each faces. -- Staff Report