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  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah - Author-Baker Rises to Bimah—at Last

    By Beverly Gray

    May 11, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Joanne Rocklin is obsessed with food. On her 60th birthday, she began summarizing her life with the essentials: "I love to cook. I love to eat."

    But it's her passion for writing that has enabled her to come to terms with her life and her faith. The author of 20 children's books,...

  • Classical Musicians’ Volume Decreases

    By Beverly Gray

    March 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The conductor raises his baton. On cue, 73 young musicians launch into a heartfelt rendition of "Sabbath Fantasies," a piece that weaves together snatches of Jewish liturgy and folk tunes.

    This is the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra (LAYO), a 6-year-old ensemble sponsored by Stephen S....

  • Glimpses of Jews’ Past in Andaluc­a

    By Beverly Gray

    January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Spain's Andaluc­a is romance. It's orange blossoms perfuming the air. It's golden drops of sherry sliding down your throat in a smoky bodega. It's fingers dancing on the strings of a flamenco guitar.

    This southern wedge of the Iberian Peninsula, known for whitewashed villages...

  • Holy Toledo!

    By Beverly Gray

    January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    My husband's family hails from Toledo, Ohio, a city that proudly claims kinship with Toledo, Spain. That's one reason I didn't want to miss this Castilian hill town 42 miles southeast of Madrid. There's also the fact that El Greco's "View of Toledo," a spectral view of the city's...

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  • Power of Prayer?

    By Beverly Gray

    April 15, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    In the wee small hours of Dec. 7, 2003, my husband and I got the phone call that every parent dreads. A matter-of-fact voice said, "This is UCLA Medical Center. Your son, Jeffrey, has been hit by a car. He's got at least a couple of broken bones, but he's alert and he's asking for...

  • Blacks, Jews Unite for ‘Sheba’

    By Beverly Gray

    December 5, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    In 1939, as a child of 3, Sonia Levitin fled Hitler's Germany with her family. The first friend she made in the United States was a small African American girl. Nearly 50 years later, as a well-established writer of young adult fiction, Levitin won the National Jewish Book Award for...

  • Woman of the Book

    By Beverly Gray

    October 10, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Sherrill Kushner's crusade on behalf of the Santa Monica Public Library system began with her realization that Jews are the People of the Book.

    "I've always felt comfortable in a library," she said. As a child, Kushner spent many happy hours in the "cozy and wonderful" Carnegie...

  • Doctor of the Barrio

    By Beverly Gray

    December 27, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    When Julie Korenstein speaks out on environmental matters, she credits her mother, Dr. Pauline Furth, with shaping her own crusading spirit. Korenstein, who represents District 6 on the Los Angeles Unified School District's school board, said that throughout her life her mother has...

  • Your Letters

    September 6, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Back to School

    While we are both strong supporters of day schools, your Back to School issue failed to put day school education in the proper context.

    The 1997 Los Angeles Jewish Population Survey found that more than half of Jewish married couples with children in Los Angeles did...

  • Free Hebrew School

    By Beverly Gray

    April 12, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    People insist that there's no such thing as a free lunch. But HaShalom, a small Sephardic Orthodox congregation in the Pico-Robertson area, is offering local public school children exactly that. When students in grades K-8 arrive at HaShalom at the end of their secular school day,...

  • Educator Q &A: Dr. Stu Bernstein

    By Beverly Gray

    March 15, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Dr. Stu Bernstein has spent 40 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as an elementary school teacher, principal and cluster administrator for Westside schools. On the occasion of his retirement, he was recently feted by the Association of Jewish Educators, with...

  • Addressing Anxieties

    By Beverly Gray

    January 18, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Each November, Valley Beth Shalom holds a meeting at which its youth director urges parents to send their teenagers on a summer trip to Israel. In 1999, more than 100 families attended. This past November, there were only eight. The low turnout appears to reflect parental anxiety...

  • Showing Solidarity

    By Beverly Gray

    January 18, 2001 | 6:59 pm

    Back in October, 60 UCLA students learned that over winter break they would be going on the trip of a lifetime. They had been chosen from among hundreds of applicants to take part, virtually for free, in UCLA Hillel's Birthright Israel contingent. The Birthright program brings...

  • Varied on Vouchers

    By Beverly Gray

    October 26, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Though many Jewish organizations, including The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Bureau of Jewish Education, prefer to remain officially neutral on Proposition 38, their members often have strong emotions pro and con.

    Dr. Ron Reynolds, director of school services for...

  • Teen Founds Jump-n-Jive Minyan

    By Beverly Gray

    September 7, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Most Shabbat worshippers expect decorum. But Adat Ari El's new Jump-n-Jive minyan is different. Its founder, Aaron Kaychuck, describes the monthly Saturday morning service as "upbeat neo-Chassidic egalitarian." The service is unusual partly because it combines traditional...

  • Back-to-School Roundup

    By Beverly Gray

    August 24, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Among students, this is the time of year for new shoes, new backpacks and new haircuts. And schools approach September with fresh paint and revamped goals.

    Within the Jewish community, this September will see the start of one preschool program and the revitalization of another.

    The...

  • Double Duty

    By Beverly Gray

    February 24, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    A highlight of the annual religious school educators conference sponsored by the Bureau of Jewish Education is always the presentation of the Lainer Awards. These cash awards, established in 1989, go to talented educators who help perpetuate Jewish traditions and values in a...
  • ADL: December Dilemma

    By Beverly Gray

    December 16, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    'Tis the season when children in public schools face the December Dilemma. As part of a classroom lesson, Jewish youngsters may be given Christmas trees to color. During holiday music programs, they may find themselves acting in a nativity scene or singing "Silent Night." Santa Claus...
  • Safety First?

    By Beverly Gray

    September 23, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    On the first day of school, when Barbara Gindi escorted her children to Maimonides Academy, she was appalled by what she saw: Two security guards stood out front, a Sheriff's squad car was parked at the curb, and the administrative staff was on high alert.

    "It brought tears to my...

  • The Hart of the Matter

    By Beverly Gray

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The subject arose over dinner in a neighborhood restaurant. Have you heard, asked a friend who's generally up on current affairs, that the new governor wants to open the University of California system to the top 4 percent of every high school graduating class? The implications...
  • Chaya’s Dance

    By Beverly Gray

    April 8, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Six years ago, Carol Solomon attended Yom Kippur services in Copenhagen. Flipping through the back of the English language prayerbook, she came upon a poem, translated from Hebrew, called "The Letter of the Ninety-Three Maidens." Based on an actual letter that was found after the...
  • Multiculturalism at Work

    By Beverly Gray

    November 12, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Among those who care about public education, "multiculturalism" is one of today's favorite buzzwords. But at the Community School, a magnet campus that falls under the auspices of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the concept of multicultural education has been in place for 25...
  • Conference Explores Peace Through Education

    By Beverly Gray

    October 22, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Israeli-Palestinian coexistence and how to achieve it: That was the topic on everybody's lips when the 24th Annual Academic Conference convened at the Century Plaza Hotel last weekend. The panel, sponsored by American Friends of the Hebrew University, was followed by a luncheon...
  • Honor Bestowed

    By Beverly Gray

    September 3, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Joel Grishaver, everybody's favorite hip Jewish uncle, had been up half the night, schmoozing with a rabbi's son who was visiting from England. So when Grishaver answered the phone at 6:30 a.m., he was hardly prepared for the voice that said, "You and I have a date for lunch in...
  • Community

    By Beverly Gray

    June 4, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Imagine that it is 1940, and Great Britain is fighting Hitler's Nazi Germany almost alone. Imagine, further, that an American who loves both America and England and hates the Nazis works in American intelligence and has access to secret files concerning Germany that, for whatever...
  • Putting Heart

    By Beverly Gray

    May 7, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    The rabbis-in-training were making the rounds at UCLA Medical Center. They stopped at bedsides to chat with patients, to inquire about their needs, to offer prayer and consolation. Then, unexpectedly, the sight of wires, tubes and surgical dressings took its toll. One student rabbi...
  • A Teacher’s Guide to Parents

    By Beverly Gray

    January 29, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    What do Jewish educators think about Jewishparents? To get the inside scoop, I turned to "Jewish Parents: ATeacher's Guide." It's a recent co-venture by Joel Grishaver and Dr.Ron Wolfson, both veteran teachers and observers of the Jewisheducational scene. The irrepressible Grishaver,...
  • Education Israel as a Core Requirement?

    By Beverly Gray

    December 11, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    My daughter flew home for Thanksgiving with two college friends in tow. At the dinner table, the conversation revolved around computers and the antics of the Stanford Band. At some point in the course of that whirlwind four-day visit, Hilary informed me that, though she's been...
  • Easing the Pain

    By Beverly Gray

    October 2, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Ethan Gura doesn't remember his sister. Still, he cannot forgether. He can't forget that Rebecca Alexandra Gura died in 1991 after afour and a half year battle with leukemia. She was then six yearsold. He was three.

    Now, at age 9, Ethan is a veteran of various therapies, alldesigned...

  • Happy Anniversary

    By Beverly Gray

    August 28, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    My 25th wedding anniversary iscoming up fast. Wish me luck.

    I'll need all the good fortune I can muster,thanks to one of the ways I've chosen to mark this momentousoccasion. Of course, Bernie and I will be celebrating conventionally,with a party for some of our oldest friends. But, in...

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