Fran Teller of the National Council of Jewish Women known as "Madame NCJW," is one of the many Jewish women who keep a vigilant watch over reproductive freedoms in the United States. She has been active on the issue even before the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that gave women the right to chose an abortion -- and she is concerned.
After World War II, when Japanese Americans were sent home from internment camps in Wyoming and Arizona, many found their lives had changed in untold ways. For Kenji Tanaguchi, his return to Boyle Heights -- an immigrant community east of the Los Angeles River -- was colored by what was no longer there: his family had returned to Japan, and he was left to fend for himself.
Claudia Sobral, mother of three, woke up the other morning after watching a night of bloodshed between Israelis and Palestinians on the BBC news, and wrote a spontaneous letter to no one in particular, hurling blind questions into cyberspace: "How can we as citizens of the world not take action against the violence that impacts all of us as human beings, impacts all of us who praise and value democratic principles?"
These days, Third and Fairfax is pure traffic mayhem. Bulldozers, big rigs and construction workers jam the city streets and block available driveways. Trying to park at Farmers Market, the historical market and eatery that has drawn locals and tourists for 68 years, is like entering a revolving door and not stopping. Not only is the Market going through a $45-million revival, but a new outdoor shopping mall, The Grove at Farmers Market, is being erected, for a projected March 15 opening, amidst a flurry of dissension and exhilaration.
One of the country's fastest-growing environmental groups, the interfaith community, has been gearing up to fight President George W. Bush's new energy policies.
"Love and Liberation: When the Jews Tore Down the Ghetto Walls" by Ralph David Fertig (Writers Club Press, $17.95)
On Jan. 9, 1807, Prince Jerome of Prussia decreed that the fortifications of the ancient city of Breslau could be destroyed. After 540 years of isolation, the Jews of Breslau tore down the ghetto gates. Under Napoleonic law, they were now free to pursue their religion while becoming citizens of the state.