Every year, the college tour is a rite of passage for students and parents alike, but for some it becomes an occupation. I wanted to make it simple, that is, wait until after my son was accepted, but before we had to give notification to colleges, a two-week period between April 15 and May 1. Had I known that our three-day, three-state, three-college tour was going to be so hectic I might have planned otherwise. I worried: Was this too much pressure, in too little time, to make such an important decision? What was the best approach?
Although there were no right or wrong answers, this rite of passage was harder than I thought to get right: for every decision, another better one could have been made. Of course, I get to do it all over again in four years when my daughter goes to college.
A wall of neatly coiffed ladies charges up to the counter to place their orders for baked goods on one of the last days before the holidays and one of the last days before Brown's Bakery in North Hollywood closes its doors forever. Some of the customers have been buying their cakes, cookies and bread here for as long as the bakery has been open, and that's 42 years. Some have been Brown's customers even longer, when it was Brown Brothers Bakery on Wilshire Boulevard; some for longer still, when Brown's was in the Bronx, during the war.
In the long view -- and who could have a longer view than the man who, until recently, was the U.S. State Department's Middle East negotiator for the past 12 years? -- Dennis Ross believes that diplomacy in the Middle East boils down to psychology. "The idea of taking politics out of foreign policy," Ross said, "is as illusory as taking psychology out of human behavior, and what is foreign policy after all, but a collection of human behaviors."
A historic conference call recently took place between the six Jewish Big Brothers and Big Sisters (JBBBS) associations in America. The Jewish agencies had never spoken together outside of informal gatherings at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) conferences; in the past, they had never had a reason to speak as one.
Sam Dabby was 100 years old on Nov. 5, but he waited to celebrate with members of his family and friends at a Nov. 18 party given at Kahal Joseph Congregation Temple. Among the celebrants was his workout trainer, Jeremy Forte, who has been helping Dabby lift weights and exercise for the past year. "Sam has a variety of medical challenges, but it's never too late to start working out," Forte says. "Like Sam says, 'You don't have to wait a 100 years to do it.'"
If you're looking to move into a new home in Los Angeles, good luck. Last month, the median sale price for an L.A. home jumped 10 percent to $213,000, setting an all-time record for L.A. County.
"Ouch," cried a perfectly coiffed, white-haired lady. "It hurts."
"My fingers won't listen to me," a tall brunette complained.
But Susanne Haymaker, their exercise teacher at the Jewish Home for the Aging, wouldn't listen. "Lift your fingers up if they're hurting, " Haymaker encouraged. "That will signal the brain. People with severe arthritis have to help their fingers along."
Ralph Fertig, a retired judge and current community activist and novelist, has what a lot of progressive Californians are looking for: a solution to voting on Nov. 7.
Rabbi Shimon Paskow, 68, let down his guard the other day and began to reel off a few of the jokes he had told at his retirement dinner on Sun., June 25, honoring his 31 years of service at Temple Etz Chaim of Thousand Oaks.
I arrived in Miami Beach one morning last week on a mission: to find the last kosher hotel in South Beach, an ultra-hip area of restaurants, clubs and shops that used to be the hub of Florida Jewish life.Today you can drive along Ocean Drive (inch along is more like it) and see scores of suburban teenagers and sophisticated European tourists sitting at Art Deco restaurants and hotels, sipping their lattes and looking to be seen, but you won't find many Jews. South Beach is where Gianni Versace was murdered on the steps of his mansion and where Gloria Estefan, Madonna and Sylvester Stallone all have had multimillion-dollar homes at one time or another.
On this Friday morning, Norm Katz, Bunny Schwartz and a guy named Joel are squeezed together like early hour commuters in a crowded subway. They're discussing the role of men and women in traditional Judaism, between the cash register and the reduced baked goods rack -- a space of about three feet -- inside the Kosher Connection of Agoura Hills, the only kosher meat market from Reseda to Santa Barbara. Busy shoppers elbow past, but the trio remains steadfast.
My son and I have been wandering around the mall all afternoon looking for Pokémon cards. When we called last night, everyone had them, but today, nobody does.