The 75th annual General Assembly (GA) of United Jewish Communities, which begins Sunday and continues through Wednesday, will feature prime ministers, award-winning journalists and celebrated academics, among the nearly 4,000 Jewish leaders expected to attend.
We know that Adar is a month of great joy. But there is one day, the 7th of Adar, which falls this year on March 18, when we take a small break from joy.
Well, no. Tu b'Shevat is an annual celebration for a reason.
Thousands of years ago, our rabbis knew that we would need to be reminded on a regular basis about how important trees are to our lives. We must always remember to protect, plant and care for more of them.
It's Sunday night and a half-dozen people are onstage at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. Jumpin' Jim Beloff and his wife, Leapin' Liz, are leading the sold-out crowd as they strum their ukuleles and sing "Farewell."
This is the climax to Uketopia, Beloff's annual celebration of that four-stringed wonder: the ukulele. It is an evening in which almost a dozen performers, from 20s to 90s, including the self-declared "Mr. Ukulele," Charles "Soybean" Sawyer, Fred Sokolow and "King Kukulele," played two-song sets each of Hawaiian, Jamaican and Tin Pan Alley tunes -- everything from Sophie Tucker's "Making Wicky Wacky down in Waikiki" to a soulful rendition of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song."
Why sit home and watch "SportsCenter" on TV when you can take part in a local sports highlight?
On Sunday, June 6, the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame will hold its annual induction banquet. Yes, there are enough extraordinary Jewish sportsmen and women in the Southland for a hall of fame. So wear your tux, but leave your Jewish sports jokes at the door.
To be held at the JCC at Milken, the black-tie optional affair will feature a silent auction and kosher dinner. The event will honor athletes, coaches, media personnel, officials and executives who have made significant contributions to the wide world of sports. Inductees are nominated by the public and selected by the Hall of Fame board of directors.
Last year, when Leonard Lawrence learned that the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Los Angeles (JCCGLA) had to cancel its annual book fair as a result of restructuring within the organization, he vowed to not let it happen again.
"We saw it as a challenge that Mount Sinai could rise up to," said Lawrence, general manager of Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries.
This year, Lawrence's call to duty has placed the book festival back on the map with a bit of a twist. Unlike the traditional book fairs of previous years, this year's book festival, co-sponsored by Mount Sinai and JCCGLA, will cater to children.
Here we go again: the Yom Kippur confessional is upon us, our annual alphabetical recitation of our sins and transgressions, from ashamnu to ti'tanu, from avarice to xenophobia and zealotry. The list never changes; the question it poses, somewhat tediously, is whether we have changed.
The Bush administration is calling out the heavy hitters to convince the American Jewish community that it won't ignore Israel's concerns as it mounts a renewed push for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Five Bush administration officials addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) annual policy conference this week, including Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.
During Orange County's annual "Chanukah Concert", a corner of Costa Mesa's Performing Arts Center is transformed into an all-Jewish music store featuring CDs recorded by some Reform cantors who participate in the performance.
"They don't have much opportunity to put their CDs up for sale," said Dr. Gordon Fishman of Newport Beach, who co-produces the concert with his wife, Hannareta. She and some friends supervise sales, which this year include works by Ruti Brier, Nancy Linder, Shula Kalir-Merton and Arie Shikler. Also available are CDs by the Orange County Klezmers, who play at the concert intermission.
Dr. Gordon and Hannareta Fishman fell for Newport Beach in 1956 while he served as a medical intern in Long Beach. The couple even considered putting down roots until they inspected a local phone book. But their hope turned to disappointment and shock at finding three other opthomalogists already listed in Corona del Mar.
In the days when National Public Radio flagship KCRW-FM was an obscure Santa Monica College station, general manager Ruth Seymour decided to create a live Chanukah show as an alternative to Christmas programming.
Stephen Hoffman said he only learned of the missing data Tuesday, one week before the information from the NJPS about Jewish identity and intermarriage was due to get released at the annual UJC gathering, which brings together much of the organized American Jewish world.
The Council of Israeli Community (CIC), an organization primarily known for planning the annual Israeli Independence Day Festival in Los Angeles, is moving in new directions in the wake of the current Middle East crisis.
According to Vice President Haim Linder, the CIC (originally called the Council of Israeli Organizations) came together in 1996 as one arm of a nonprofit umbrella organization called the Promoting Israel Education and Culture Fund. The group adopted its current title and mission statement on Sept. 10, 2001.
"We got together at Valley Beth Shalom. At noon we went home, knowing we had a new organization, and then we all know what happened the next day," Linder said.
The third annual daylong symposium sponsored by the Jewish Federation in Worcester, Mass., was titled, "A Woman's Voice," without the slightest hint of irony. Less than a generation ago, "a woman's voice" meant only one thing, the talmudic prohibition of Orthodox men toward hearing the sound of Jewish women in prayer.
Kol isha (a woman's voice) was used as the legal barrier against women becoming rabbis and cantors, the excuse for exclusion.
That's why I named this newspaper column A Woman's Voice, to break down a wall.