As a counselor at Camp Kimama in Michmoret, Israel, I learned that the only connection these children from all over the world need is their passion and love for Israel. Camp Kimama is Israel's first international camp, where Jewish children spend two weeks forming a multicultural group of friends and exploring the different worlds that these friends come from. I spent one month of my summer working at Kimama, every day discovering more about myself and my fellow Israelis, Jews and Zionists.
When the grind of settling in subsided, I leased a studio-with-a-view in pristine Santa Monica and acquired a job in the film industry to foot the rent; I also regained the luxury of longing. Three thousand miles divided me from comfort and companionship, and though I was determined to forge ahead and establish my independence, I needed a community.
In the spiritual realm, they tell you there are no coincidences -- everything that happens to us holds a divine message. What could be the message in this unusual sequence of events: a little barbecue party for two young girls who were caught in a Jerusalem bombing, followed by a masterful presentation on the final days of global redemption?
Jews are no different. Whether male or female, young or old, Ashkenazic or Sephardic, rich or poor, left-wing or right-wing, religious or secular, SUV-driving or Prius-driving, loud or quiet, screenwriter or grant writer, somehow, no matter how good you feel in our own skin, and how much you enjoy your own company, none of us wants to be alone.
We may listen to a lot of music, but when we close our eyes, which band or artist is our secret self?
As the years have gone by, I realize I'd just as soon be alone than continue to go through cycles of head-spinning effort with someone in exchange for a couple of moments of grace. So I don't do that anymore. And though this kind of spiritual honesty has created an ease in my nervous system (and a welcome death to that horrible intimate uncertainty of giving myself where it's not appreciated), I have to stop and wonder, have I become overworked and underplayed?
OK, we know some of the things that college students, especially college freshman, want. But put aside the clichés, the risqué jokes and careerism for a moment. It turns out that many Jewish undergrads also seek a connection both to Judaism and to Jewish peers.
Bob and I had an unusual bond. We were both folk singers, but as friends, each knew the other had a weakness for the music of Buddy Holly. I was from Texas and knew Buddy, so Bob and I had lots to talk about. Our other passion was this new musical adventure.
"Mayor Villaraigosa said many times during his campaign that he would lead a trip to Israel," Weiss said in a phone interview. "He feels a strong connection to Israel."
Nimoy said he was eager to participate because he finds current Israeli cinema to be "fresh, well-executed and relevant to the culture," compared to the "primitive" films he viewed in the early 1980s.
Cunningly constructed, the play relates the adventures and misadventures of the Sycamore Family of New York, whose guiding motto is, do whatever turns you on, however eccentric, and you'll have lots of fun, avoid ulcers and enjoy a happy ending.
Paris police say a 52-year-old Jewish man arrested Monday morning in connection with the Aug. 22 torching of the Judaeo-Spanish social center in the capital's 11th district is the principal suspect in the arson.
Stunned friends and family members are trying to make sense of the death of Assaf Deri, a 25-year-old Israeli who was shot and killed by Burbank police officers on June 25.
Norman Brokaw's first day at the William Morris Agency was July 7, 1943; he has never worked anywhere else.
"I came to klezmer quite by accident," said virtuoso clarinetist David Krakauer.
He was a noted classical musician around 1987 when a chance encounter on a Manhattan bus changed the direction of his career.
Let's leap into the month of Adar!
The Tu B'Shevat seder, with its many fruit and nuts, challenges us to reconsider our usual diets, and the recommended Jewish diet. While the FDA recommends a diet high in grains, rich in nutrients and low in saturated fats, Judaism recommends a diet high in holiness, rich in consciousness and connection, and low in selfishness. These four factors guide not only a Jewish diet, but also a Jewish life.
Hier: Gibson Is Insensitive
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has asked Mel Gibson to "speak out forcefully against anti-Semitism" and to "condemn the false charges of deicide leveled against the Jewish people.
David Ross and Lauren Schmidt met for the first time in Los Angeles in May 2000. Or at least, the couple is pretty sure that was the first time.
Sacred places are those sites where we can experience a unique sense of connection; these are the places where we turn outside of ourselves and become aware of our place in the universe. We sense the energies and flow of the universe and where we have a heightened sense that there is something larger than each of us that informs how we exist in the world.
Rabbi Mike Comins had just completed his rabbinic thesis, was preparing to start his doctorate and, even though he was writing about God, "I felt like my soul had been choked off," he recalled.
It may seem an auspicious time to bring Israeli artists over to America, as Israel has been in a virtual state of war since the beginning of the second intifada, and America is on the brink of war as well; but in a way, the timing could not have been better to discover what role museums play amid chaos.
Sylvia Rouss, who teaches at Stephen S. Wise Temple, is the author of the popular "Sammy Spider" series, which are widely used in Jewish schools around the country.
Orange County. At least 60,000 Jewish residents creating over 20,000 Jewish households spanning 800 square miles. Within the borders of this vast area, we can find about 25 synagogues, great Jewish day schools, numerous Jewish organizations ... and you.
In May, The Jewish Journal of Orange County launched its premier issue. As the "numbers" person for The Jewish Journal, I know that the statistics listed above mean a target market for advertisers. But far more importantly, I believe they prove that O.C. Jewry deserves an independent Jewish news source that facilitates your connection to Jewish life.
Dear Jewish Journal