April 10, 2008
Briefs: UCLA’s Friedlander awarded Pulitzer Prize, Rabbi Weil to head O.U.
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Eliyahu also repeatedly made the point that Israel would be best off in this strategy if it had the backing of some allies -- specifically, the United States. Afterward, the rest of the world, including Europe, might also be more inclined to impose diplomatic sanctions. For the moment, however, the region is in a precarious balance. "Israel is scared stiff of Iranians; Iranians are scared stiff of Israel," Freilich said.
-- Alex Collins-Shotwell, Contributing Writer
Holocaust Memoirs Unite Survivors and Students
In a statewide effort to connect and commemorate Holocaust survivors, California high school and college students have been recording survivors' harrowing stories as written essays that will be compiled into a book and displayed at the State Capitol building. Zahava Sweet, a 78-year-old Holocaust survivor, will be recognized by the California Assembly and Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge) on April 28 in Sacramento. Jewish agencies and synagogues, along with Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), are teaming up to insure that survivors' stories are preserved.
Portantino's Assembly intern, Hillary Low, 17, interviewed Sweet and captured the story of how the then-9-year-old survivor lost her mother and many family members to the Nazis in Poland. As a child, Sweet was sent to a ghetto in Brzeziny and then transferred to the Ravensbruck concentration camp. After being liberated by the Russians in 1945, she immigrated to Israel, then the United States, where she attended Cal State L.A. and graduated with a bachelor's degree in child development.
For the past five years, the Assembly has supported the Holocaust Memorial Project, which has brought together more than 15,000 Holocaust survivors and students in California to preserve and record Holocaust memoirs and testimonials.
-- Celia Soudry, Contributing Writer
Heschel West Hires New Head of School
Educator Tami Weiser was recently named new head of school of Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School West.
The position is new not only for Weiser, a 22-year veteran of the Los Angeles Unified School District, but also for Heschel West, which has grown from 14 kindergartners in 1994 to almost 200 students in grades pre-kindergarten through five on its temporary campus off Liberty Canyon Road in Agoura. Its middle school, currently merged with Kadima Hebrew Academy, is housed on Kadima's West Hills campus.
As head of school, a model adopted by many private schools, the 44-year-old Oak Park resident will be responsible for fundraising, reaching out to the greater community, implementing the school's vision and leading it into the future.
Weiser's first day was Feb. 11. She will work alongside principal Jan Saltsman until July 1, when Saltsman retires, and will help set budgets, contracts and calendar items for the 2008-09 school year, during which Weiser will serve as both principal and head of school. In due course, a new principal will be hired.
Weiser's first order of business is to become familiar with the school's culture and community. Her longer-term goal is to increase enrollment and oversee the building of a permanent facility on a 72-acre site just east of Agoura Hills and north of the Ventura Freeway, which will eventually house up to 750 elementary and middle school students.
The school recently received approval for its conditional-use permit from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors after a 10-year battle with the city of Agoura Hills and the Old Agoura Homeowners Association. A final consent hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Weiser was selected to serve as Heschel West's new head of school after an 18-month nationwide search; she comes from Palisades Elementary Charter School, in Pacific Palisades, where she served as principal since November 2004. She was responsible for making that school a California Distinguished School in 2006 and also helping to significantly raise student test scores.
Prior to that, she served as assistant principal of Hamlin Street Elementary School in West Hills and in a variety of other administrative and elementary teaching positions. In 1989 she was nominated for California's Outstanding Teacher of the Year.
"I am handing the baton to a wonderful educator," said outgoing principal Saltsman. "I love her energy and her dedication to education."
-- Jane Ulman, Contributing Editor
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