Every other year, our congregation travels to a different part of the Jewish world to meet and, if necessary, help our fellow Jews. Having traveled to Israel, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union many times, as well as Turkey, Morocco, Spain, Argentina and Brazil, our experiences have mostly been with communities under political, demographic or economic siege. This trip was different.
Dr. S. Jerome Tamkin doesn't keep a little black book, but he does keep a large white binder. And if you're an educational, Jewish or health organization, you want to be listed there, because the binder tracks 32 organizations which Tamkin and his wife, Judith, have chosen to support through their Tamkin Foundation. And that's just the major projects. It also includes a list of more than 100 additional entities which receive donations from the foundation.
On May 7, at about 6:30 a.m., I was awakened by a call informing me that an incendiary bomb had been thrown through the stained-glass window of our sanctuary at Valley Beth Shalom. I rushed to the temple, only to find that our custodians, uninstructed by any temple official, had themselves rushed into the sanctuary, opened the ark, removed the scrolls of the Torah and deposited them safely in another room. A spark of holiness penetrated the darkness of our mood. Here were men and women who take care of the grounds of the synagogue, clean and prepare the classes, seminars and programs of our congregation, people mostly Hispanic and Catholic, not of our faith or our catechism, who would not stand idly by and observe without action the violation of a people's sanctuary. We must acknowledge Marcial Cano, Martha Arelleno, Irma Buenelo and Carlos Crespian, custodians lovingly supervised by Sigfredo Barker and his daughter, Noemi Lasky. Here are people who realized in their lives the potentiality of God's image invested in every child of Adam and Eve.
Attention Jewish Angelenos: now you can become more beautiful and help Israeli victims of terror at the same time. Two programs, Smiles in Spite of Terror and StandWithUs tooth whitening campaign, donate half the fee from your teeth bleaching sessions goes to help fix the teeth of terror victims.
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.
Two days after her radical breast cancer surgery last May, Missy Stein hit that moment where all the emotional and physical implications of her condition came crashing in on her.
But then she remembered Sari Abrams' words.
Amanda Susskind doesn't look like she was raised in Berkeley. With her tweedy, conservative suits, paired with sweater sets and pearls, the new West Coast director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) doesn't look like she was brought up anywhere near the laid back, hippie haven.
Sherrill Kushner's crusade on behalf of the Santa Monica Public Library system began with her realization that Jews are the People of the Book.
Call up a Los Angeles City Council or Board of Supervisors office these days and you are likely to speak to someone called Adina, Adeena or Adena.
Investment banker Adlai Wertman was fed up with Wall Street -- so he moved to Los Angeles, took an 85 percent pay cut and got a job on Skid Row. Two years later, he says he's never been happier.
Even though Robert Hertzberg will step down from the speakership of the California Assembly on Feb. 6, he still has plenty to say. The Sherman Oaks Democrat, as a rule, keeps busy.
Whenever one of our writers or contributors -- or I myself -- use the term "Jewish community," I think of Lew Wasserman. An interviewer once asked the former MCA chairman and power broker about the Jewish community here. Wasserman shot back: "I don't know of a Jewish community. It is nonexistent."