Single malt Scotch. Schmaltz herring. Cholent. Kugel. Marble sheet cake. What do all these delicacies have in common?
Yes, they all contribute to heart disease, but there's something more: They are all served at the Kiddush Club. A Kiddush Club is an exclusive group of shulgoers that meets somewhere outside the sanctuary during services -- usually during the chanting of the Haftorah -- to have a private "pre-Kiddush" Kiddush.
Who says that Israelis and Palestinians can't work together? On New Year's Day, a group of Israelis and Palestinians embarked on a 35-day expedition to Antarctica that culminated in the scaling and naming of an unexplored mountain.
The group, Breaking the Ice, was honored this month for diplomacy through sport by Search for Common Ground, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conflict resolution.
Human voices converge on the same note, echoing a haunting harmony -- arousing complicated emotions.
This has been the buzz surrounding an award-winning Jewish a cappella group, Shir Appeal, a group of college students from Massachusetts, who will bring their hypnotizing harmonies to Orange County's Temple Bat Yahm (TBY) for Shabbat evening service, Jan. 16. The group was named after Tufts University's mascot -- Jumbo the Elephant. The Hebrew phrase shir hapeal means "song of the elephant."
While news of the Geneva accords hit the headlines, a group of Palestinians and Israelis were trying to make a different kind of peace -- with the help of Buddhists in southern France.
Thich Nhat Hanh -- Vietnamese Zen master, poet and Nobel Peace Prize nominee -- has been inviting groups of Palestinians and Israelis to his practice center, Plum Village, in an effort to show them that Buddhist meditation can lead to inner peace as well as nonviolence between nations. The trips are largely underwritten by an American Jewish businessman.
Nhat Hanh preaches nothing less than personal transformation as the road to peace.
Early morning on the day before Yom Kippur, groups of Jews will be gathering to hold squawking chickens by the feet and twirl them over their head while chanting a prayer. After the twirling, the chickens will be ritually slaughtered and given to the poor.
Kaparos, literally atonements, which has been performed in Los Angeles at the Santa Monica Chabad House and at Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad, is one of the strangest-looking customs in Jewish liturgy. It is done to inspire repentance and to impress upon its adherents the seriousness of Yom Kippur. However, the practice has inspired the ire of animal rights groups, who consider it cruel to the chickens, and many are urging that Jews who practice this custom do so using money instead, which is an acceptable substitute.
Beginning in June, terror victims will be able to go online and chat one-on-one and in real-time with rabbis, counselors and therapists about their personal and financial problems.
Bob S. insists that his mother back in Virginia made the best chicken soup ever, but he's willing to admit the homemade version delivered to his Van Nuys apartment is a close second.
The delivery is part of the mission of Project Chicken Soup, an all-volunteer group that cooks, packages and personally delivers kosher meals twice a month to patients living with HIV and AIDS. It might be a chicken breast or a casserole, along with the soup, salad, fruit, dessert or even a protein drink.
It's been nearly two years since David Lorch had a job. Currently, the former pricing analyst for an Orange County high-tech firm attends networking events near his home in Laguna Hills, does volunteer work for his shul, Congregation Eilat in Mission Viejo, and tries to maintain his hope.
With the job market showing little or no signs of improvement, Lorch is hoping to start a new networking group through his synagogue that is focused specifically on helping unemployed Jews find work. Such organizations have taken off at a handful of congregations in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the dismal job market is already considered a crisis in the Jewish community. Lorch is hoping to draw from the experiences of his peers in Silicon Valley in crafting a network of his own.
Amid the profusion of billboards along Southern California freeways, motorists are being startled by a new one. It features seven smiling faces of various ethnicities, with one, a woman wearing a black headscarf, holding a small American flag.
The Shivyon Minyan may be a 4-year-old prayer group of about 65 people that meets at a hotel once a month, but it has many of the assets that older, more established synagogues recognize are requirements for success: strong lay leaders and a grass-roots base of committed members, the capacity to meet needs that are not being met elsewhere, and a history of challenges and struggles that have strengthened the group's character.