My husband was called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah in 2001, more or less on the sixth anniversary of his conversion to Judaism. People started asking Spencer when he was going to have a bar mitzvah when his hair was barely dry from the mikvah.
West Side and South Bay parents who send their teenagers to Los Angeles Hebrew High School (LAHHS) had to contend with some extra miles and a longer school day this week as the program moved its Sunday classes from the University of Judaism (UJ) to Pierce College.
Ten years ago, it was a first -- and it's still an only. When Noreen Green established the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony (LAJS) in 1993, Los Angeles became the only city in the world with a resident symphony orchestra devoted to Jewish music, and the city maintains that unique status today.
The Milken Family Foundation, well-known for its philanthropy to education and medical research, has announced that it will begin to issue recordings this fall from its 13-year-old music archive project, an enormous undertaking spanning more than three centuries of American Jewish music.
Los Angeles' three rabbinical schools will present the Jewish community with 26 freshly minted rabbis this month as the seminaries hold their ordination ceremonies.
People are always asking Dvora Weisberg's parents, "Where did you go wrong?"
A delicious breeze wafted through the white tent erected on the brand-new, football field-sized parking lot of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) on May 14, cooling gowned graduates, faculty, and alumni -- plus a bevy of proud relatives and friends -- as the school awarded degrees to a group of freshly minted Jewish educators and communal service professionals and a clutch of rabbis-to-be.
At first glance, it would be hard to imagine two women with less in common than my mother and my husband's mother. You can begin with the obvious differences in cultural and religious background: my mother grew up Jewish in the Bronx, while my mother-in-law, a Presbyterian, has lived in Virginia all her life.
And while neither exactly bears out a stereotype, each carries somewhat predictable ethnic and regional markers. My mother, Lois, is voluble and huggy, a devotee of popular arts, an ace shopper. Lloyd (yes, Lloyd -- like many other Southern women, she was assigned a family surname as her given name) is much more reticent and reserved. To me, she seems very much the patrician Virginia gentlewoman, while my mother has a large measure of what one novelist once called the "yolky warmth" typical of many Jewish women.
In a small town in eastern Tennessee, a town without Jews, teenagers are almost halfway through a project that will give them a visual handle on the enormity of the Shoah.
Eighth-grade students at the 425-student Whitwell Middle School -- whose student body is all white except for five Black children -- are amassing 6 million paper clips to represent the 6 million Jews who died during the Holocaust.
Rabbi Leonard I. Beerman's art-filled home on a quiet, verdant Brentwood street is a world away from the gritty industrial world in which he lived as a child during the Depression and again as a young man on the cusp of World War II. But it's his experiences in that world of assembly-line workers that led him to the rabbinate and to his 52 years in Los Angeles.
My worst Passover was my first in Los Angeles, more than half a lifetime ago. I had nowhere to go the first night, and the second night, a college friend took me to an institutional seder that was so sterile and faceless that I went home early and, paraphrasing Scarlett O'Hara, vowed, "As God is my witness, I'll never go without a seder again."
At our Ski Passover, experience the thrill of the 2002 Winter Olympics ... Ski the mogul run and view the aerial jumping hill; ride the snowboard half-pipe and ski the giant slalom course ... take a bobsled or luge ride or even try Nordic jumping ...
If the New Economy has let you down and the Old Economy holds no charms, there may be a career opportunity for you in the Shul Economy.
When Kelly Smith and Brian Bloch met at a convention in Long Beach in 1999, sparks flew. As they developed their long-distance relationship via e-mail -- Brian at his computer in Houston, Kelly at hers in the Valley -- they were astounded to find out how much they had in common.
When her first liturgical tune popped into Debbie Friedman's head almost 30 years ago, she had no clue that she would become the queen of contemporary American Jewish music.
One was a U.S. resident from the beginning of his long life to its end, creating music as American in its sound and subject matter as "Yankee Doodle Dandy." The other, after making his mark in Germany, fled his homeland through France and spent his final, tragically few years adding to the glory of the American musical theater at its height.
Half of Tina Feiger's family fled from there in 1938. Barbara Ravitz became so anxious on a visit there in 1969 that she hasn't been back since. Sherri Lipman, like so many American Jews, has never been there.
On Nov. 25, they will be in Germany, part of a huge, largely Jewish choral ensemble singing music based on a Jewish text, written by of one of the world's most renowned Jewish composers. They will be not just in Germany, but in Nuremberg, where the Nazi regime generated its restrictive anti-Semitic laws. Not just in Nuremberg, but in a concert hall built over the rubble of the arena where thousands of Germans gathered in the 1930s to affirm Adolf Hitler's hate-filled rants.