In response to the devastation wreaked on the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan, which hit land on Nov. 8, killing thousands and obliterating whole towns and villages, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles has set up the Philippines Typhoon Relief Fund.
Jewish groups are joining the effort to help those displaced by the tornado in suburban Oklahoma City.
Israel said on Tuesday it was launching an airlift of supplies to help Turkey cope with a devastating earthquake, following a request from Ankara, with a first shipment of prefabricated homes destined for shipment on Wednesday.
After seven years of obsessing over security in the context of terrorism, we've all been blindsided by a more pervasive form of terror: sudden financial insecurity.
Too many will sit in synagogues through this season and be equally concerned with their own economic situation as they will the state of their soul.
Having cancer has emboldened Kaufman in other ways, too -- after her first surgery in 1999, she traveled to Israel for the first time.
United Jewish Communities has set up donation drive for hurricane victims
"In general people from the West are in a special position to do something very positive for Israel," Berrin said. "We can import some of our positive values and awareness. In this case, we want the average Israeli to know what's going on in Darfur and to care about it."
Even though I can readily explain the concept of the World to Come ("Did you hear the one about the rabbi in heaven posted next to the blonde in the bikini?"), eschatology isn't my really my strong point, and I'm not sure it's the point of Judaism.
Realizing tikkun olam as a central pillar of Jewish practice, synagogues throughout the country require children to perform service projects before becoming b'nai mitzvah, sensitizing them to their growing responsibilities toward others as they approach adulthood. In many cases, these projects have been the inspiration for ongoing philanthropic endeavors.
Rosenfield started out collecting donations for one caseworker from the Department of Children and Family Service, and found she was so successful at motivating people to give that she adopted another caseworker a year later. Before long the former personnel manager had adopted the entire North Hollywood office.
This is the second year The Jewish Journal has compiled a list of our "Top Ten Mensches." Let other magazines slobber over the 50 Sexiest or the 400 Richest or the 20 Most Influential. Rich, sexy and powerful are easy. Mensch is hard.
For the past 20 years, Yoram Hassid, a 60-something financially successful general contractor, has been quietly helping scores of local Jews -- in particular Iranian Jews -- avoid the courtrooms, acting as an unpaid mediator in disputes over everything from multimillion dollar real estate deals to challenging family conflicts.
Rebecca Levinson grew up always doing things for the community.
"This is what you do," the 17-year-old junior at North Hollywood's Oakwood School, said matter of factly.
"Why is the world so silent -- why are Jews so silent about the plight of Jews being held captive in Iran?" Elana Tehrani, an Iranian-born Jewish woman now living in Los Angeles asked a crowd during a speech at the Nessah Cultural Center in Beverly Hills.
Having trouble finding the perfect gift for the one who has everything? Want to give back to the community this holiday season and into 2007? Here are eight great ways to contribute.
In addition to my business, I always take on the opportunity to help in my own community. I believe that it is important to help out whenever you can, whether it's picking up trash at the beach or working at a charity benefit, as well as taking on new challenges.
Gila Garaway says that the vision for her organization, Moriah Africa, came to her as she was lying in a hospital bed in Nigeria in 2001.
Today, one of the great Moroccan sages, Rabbi Chaim Pinto of the city of Mogador, has a living presence right here in our own hood, on Pico Boulevard, just east of Robertson. It's at a little shul called the Pinto Center.
Experiencing the classic symptoms of altitude sickness -- fatigue and hallucinations -- Hall had refused to continue down the mountain and ended up passing out. The two sherpas with him concluded, after poking Hall in the eye and getting no response, that Hall was dead. Suffering from lack of oxygen themselves, they hurried down the mountain.
The wisdom to help others is not privileged information. It is taught to all of us through our life experiences.
"Evil" -- which won the nonfiction prize at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival in July -- presents for perhaps the first time a convicted pedophile speaking graphically about his actions on camera. O'Grady's words provide "the backbone of a deeply disturbing documentary about the Roman Catholic clergy abuse crisis," the Associated Press said.
The JOI presented results from "The Jewish Outreach Scan of the West Valley/Conejo Valley" during a well-attended Jewish Federation/Valley Alliance board meeting at The New JCC at Milken in West Hills on Oct. 4. The survey was funded by the United Jewish Communities' Emerging Communities Project.
Here are the stories of these American servicemen who observed the High Holidays not in conventional synagogues, but on far-flung battlefields. The worship services they participated in were often improvised and incomplete. But the jarring juxtaposition of war and prayer, faith and fear, continues to resonate with these men.
When Jews hire people to do household jobs -- anybody who cleans, cooks, does the laundry, cares for children or elderly parents -- we are the ones who represent the privileged class, with the funds to hire help. Jews today are generally wealthier and better educated than the majority of Americans.
One year after "the storm," as New Orleanians refer to Hurricane Katrina, Jewish communal leaders describe the health of the community with certain expected terms -- loss, trauma, devastation and challenge.
Some of the local organizations collecting donations to aid Israel in its time of crisis.
Just one year ago, we had proudly taken our first family vacation in Israel. The places where my kids had the most fun -- Haifa, Nahariya, Rosh Hanikra, Safed, Kiryat Shemona -- were bearing the brunt of the Katyusha attacks.
With our children as our inspiration and the news of Katyusha attacks getting worse, despite the heroic efforts of the Israel Defense Forces, my husband, Rabbi Joel Zeff, and I decided we needed to do whatever we could to help, even if just a little.
They say that Israel is a place where a man might push you over on the bus to get to his seat and break your leg, but he will drive you to the emergency room and stay up with you all night to make sure you are all right -- better than all right, actually.
When we think of bar and bat mitzvah gifts, many things come to mind: fountain pens, cuff links, picture frames, checks. But the true gifts of this religious rite of passage extend far beyond the envelopes and boxes piled up at the party door.
Ehud Danoch, who has served as consul general of Israel in Los Angeles since October 2004, has been working round the clock since fighting first broke out between Israel and its neighbors in late June.
Looping is plugging in background sound for movies after they are shot so they sound more realistic. I had done some looping sessions before, but they were all in English. While this movie was also in English, there were plenty of scenes with Hebrew and Arabic in them. My Hebrew is far from perfect, but I can still pull off the Israeli accent so I was pretty sure I could do the job.
My first instinct in any new city is to mingle. I like to walk the streets, stop into ordinary shops -- grocery stores and electronic shops, not just the Judaica stores or Dead Sea skin care outlets for tourists. I like to take public transportation.
Kodlawsky said her goal was to tell Thiranagama's story vividly; in a way, it reminded her of those late-night discussions over cigarettes and coffee. Her mother's friends often spoke of how Kodlawsky's mother risked death to smuggle food to others at Bergen-Belsen.
Founded in 1997, the Justice Ball has grown into one of the nation's most successful nonprofit fundraisers/parties targeting young professionals, Jews and non-Jews alike. Over the past nine years, more than 16,000 attorneys, financiers and others have attended the soirees, and scores of them have gone on to become Bet Tzedek contributors and volunteers.
One day last year Rabbi Levi Meier, the Jewish chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, was summoned to the room of an elderly Russian man in the ICU who had cancer.
He was in poor spirits, so Meier decided to bring in the Torah from the chaplaincy ark. The patient's eyes lit up at the sight of the Torah that Meier, and volunteer Sandy Gordon, brought into a room.
Jewish Lamaze was first sponsored by the Los Angeles Bureau of Jewish Education in the early 1980s and taught in various synagogues until the funding ran out toward the end of the decade.
And while it's no longer being offered in Los Angeles, as far as anyone knows, similar programs exist elsewhere.
In the beginning of the Nazi era, my father, thanks to his international reputation, was offered various positions abroad, including, oddly enough, at the main hospital in Tehran, but he couldn't conceive of leaving Germany. Like many old-time German Jews, he looked on Hitler as a temporary aberration, which the good sense of the German people would soon reverse.
Imagine that you live in Latin America and you're Jewish. Typically, you and your family would belong to a full-service Jewish club with cultural, recreational, educational and athletic activities for all ages. The club is reasonably priced, promotes Jewish identity in a secular manner and is the backbone of your social life.
Etz Jacob prides itself on accepting children who would not otherwise get a Jewish education. Rabbi Rubin Huttler of Congregation Etz Jacob founded the school in 1989 as a haven for new immigrants flooding into Los Angeles from Russia and Iran.
Families are feeling the squeeze of the upward crawl of day school tuition over the last several years, which has brought the average tuition for elementary and middle school to about $12,600 and for high school to as much as $20,000. Those numbers are about 30 percent above what a year of schooling cost four years ago and nearly double 10 years ago.
"John has given real leadership to the issue of Ethiopian Jewry," said Barry Shrage, president of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, who earlier this year went to Ethiopia with Fishel and 100 American Jewish federation members. "He's always been the first one to speak up and stir the conscience of the federation movement."
"He's the James Brown of the Jewish community, the hardest-working man in L.A. Jewry," Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss said. "I see him everywhere."
Although in some ways, Fishel is everywhere but nowhere. A bearded, slender man with a direct gaze, the shy Fishel seems to prefer keeping his own counsel. He sometimes materializes at events in his well-tailored suits and then slips away after talking to but a handful of folks.
No matter where you are in the menopause transition, it's never too late (or early) to get your health act together to ensure the next 40 or so years are as terrific as or better than the first were. Here are 10 things you can do right now.
Wounds are plentiful in Eli Wiesel's "The Time of the Uprooted," an absorbing novel that moves back and forth in time, from 1940s Hungary to New York at the end of the 20th century, shifting points of view, with emotional intensity packed into memories and stories.
Michael Sachs remembers that he had initially thought that a program on death wasn't really important for people in their 40s.
"But, in fact," he now says, "I learned things I assumed I wouldn't need to think about for many years. I thought the program dealt with potentially distressing material in a nonthreatening, matter-of-fact fashion," he said.
The situation is extraordinarily complicated. Human rights groups say the rebels are also responsible for abuses, including looting humanitarian aid convoys. Chadian bandits encouraged by Sudan's actions also prey on the tribal population. Still, if the Sudanese government could be taken to task and forced to stop the abuses, most would stop.
In this week's double Torah portion, Tazria-Metzorah (Leviticus 13, in particular), God instructs Moses and Aaron on the role of priests when people take ill.
Almost from the time she was born in 1941 in Milhars, Kaufman had to be invisible, she recounted. Her parents had come from Poland, where they had suffered under Nazi oppression.
My grandfather is my best friend. I have spent every Sunday with him since I was born -- going to restaurants, talking for hours and going to festivals. I could literally feel his unconditional love for me. When I was 5, he dropped me off on my first day at summer camp. I was terrified to be away from my family. The counselor called him and he rushed over to pick me up. He let me know that it was OK to feel afraid, and he took me to a restaurant and bought me gifts. He assured me that he would always be there for me. I quickly learned to love camp, but more importantly, my grandfather taught me to love and trust myself.
"The real 'magic' is that Michael transcends politics to help both Israeli and Palestinian children," Felderstein says from his Los Angeles home. "He crosses cultural lines purely through performance and humor."
The documentary has been nominated for a 2006 L.A. Indies Film Award and screens in Redondo Beach this week.