When Al Ashley first began peeking inside Los Angeles’ Jewish day schools to review their business practices, it was partly for personal reasons: He wanted to make sure his three children would get a sound education.
Money has a way of dominating issues. This is true of politics and presidential elections, and it’s also true of Jewish education. Just say the words “Jewish education,” and the first word you’ll typically hear is “unaffordable.”
When Sarah Shulkind, head of school at Sinai Akiba Academy in Westwood, was a child in Winnetka, Ill., a woman walked into the elementary school four blocks from Shulkind’s house and opened fire, killing one student and injuring five, as well as a college student.
“We are planting seeds — not me, but all of us.” With those words of hope offered to her fellow teachers, Lidia Turner, a seventh- and eighth-grade Hebrew teacher at the David Saperstein Middle School of Milken Community High School, accepted the Milken Family Foundation’s 2012 Jewish Educator Award during an assembly at her school on Sept. 21.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has some money to give away for programs targeting Jewish youth. Federation has put out a request for proposals for formal and informal Jewish educational programs based on four age groups it has identified as needing the most attention: birth to preschool, preschool to first grade, the years surrounding bar and bat mitzvah, and the later teen years leading into college.
The Jewish Family Service (JFS) Family Violence Project raised funds and awareness on Jan. 27 during its second annual Empowerment Celebration, which honors the birthday of Abby J. Leibman, co-founder of the California Women’s Law Center and newly named CEO of MAZON, and the memory of Nina C. Leibman, who was murdered by her husband in 1995 just after a court order had gone into effect to force him to move out of her home. At the event, JFS recognized former state Sen. Sheila J. Kuehl for her decades of work to help victims of domestic violence.
The Milken Family Foundation and BJE (Builders of Jewish Education) awarded four Jewish day school educators $15,000 prizes at their annual Jewish Educator Awards Luncheon last week, a feel-good event that brings out the Jewish community’s top brass and a wide swath of the denominational spectrum.
More than most cities, Los Angeles boasts a wide array of Jewish day schools, religious schools, camps and youth and family activities. But if you're new in town, or a first-time parent, or just not familiar with the community, this wealth of opportunities can seem daunting. In February, the BJE launched its Concierge for Jewish Education program, focusing solely on Jewish offerings. And unlike a growing number of related services -- including locally published school guides or consultants who charge fees of up to $150 per hour -- the BJE provides its service for free.
The Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School West team labored close to two years on their assignment. They administered surveys, compiled data and poured through reams of material. This homework, however, was completed not by students, but by staff and faculty. And the project was not so much required as extra credit.
Written by Milton Steinberg, the book is based on a historical character, a renegade rabbi who lived during the Roman conquest of Judea and was excommunicated.
Sivan Hamburger, one of the longstanding, staunch leaders of the Bureau of Jewish Education (BJE), died June 3, at the age of 87.
Hamburger was a passionate Labor Zionist, who as a young, idealistic high school student, spent a year in the Land of Israel, during the time it was still called Palestine. His love of Israel, Hebrew and Jewish learning followed him throughout his life.