I want to tell you about a man I’ll call Jack. Jack was a man who slept under the 405 underpass that I cross on my walk to synagogue every Shabbat. For a long time, I didn’t really see him. He was tucked away in the bushes next to the on-ramp. But that’s not what kept me from seeing him.
When we talk about Jewish values, we usually refer to things like justice, compassion, generosity, humility, honesty, faith, wisdom and so on. We rarely talk about beauty.
Four Jewish institutions have teamed up to build a sukkah composed entirely of homeless signs. They are asking the public to purchase and donate the signs in time for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
I started building my sukkah in December. To those of you who are sukkah DIYers, you know how ridiculous this sounds.
The numbers tell a consistent storyline: Nearly one in four Israelis lives in poverty.
Back in 2004, attorney Jerry Neuman was driving in Hollywood with his then-4-year-old son, Jake, when the boy noticed a disheveled homeless man on a bus bench beside a shopping cart of belongings. Jake asked his father where the man lived.
All charges have been dropped against a homeless man shown on a video being beaten by New York police officers at a Chabad youth center in Brooklyn.
It’s a Wednesday in September. Brad Baker stands in front of Elat Market on Pico Boulevard, holding out his baseball cap. People exit the supermarket, pushing shopping carts and carrying bags with groceries. Some look at Baker. Some don’t. For Baker, this is just another day.
A growing number of once proud, working-class Israeli families are being transformed into the "working poor," as they've failed to keep up with increased taxes as well as rising food and gas prices. Without the assistance of outreach social service organizations such as Meir Panim, the Mirilashvili family might have endured more than one Rosh Hashanah on the streets of Israel. Instead, they are not only regaining their independence but are giving back to the community too.
Tahl Leibovitz spent much of his adolescence riding New York City’s subways – not for transportation or because of the trains’ allure.
A UCLA student group that supports the homeless is headed to the White House, one of five initiatives to win the White House’s Campus Champions of Change Challenge. The White House selected 15 finalists from hundreds of applicants, and online voters chose the top five.
Many people avert their eyes when they walk by the homeless. Hanne Mintz opens her hand, her heart and her home.
The facts are horrific. Video captures the brutal attack on the side of a busy street. Onlookers and passers-by don’t come to the victim’s aid. Eventually, the bruised, bleeding half-dead body is attended to by medical personnel, but it is too late. The victim dies.
The Jewish Journal created this list as a response to all those lists extolling fame, money, power and hotness. We honor these special ten because they are just people -- menschen, to use the proper Yiddish plural -- who understand the power and possibility of just one person.
Meet Gabriel Halimi, Kim Krowne, Manijeh Youabian, Andrew Wolfberg, Susan Corwin, Ari Moss, Richard Braun, Bracha Yael, Jack Matloff and Neil Sheff
No one has gone unscathed by the convulsions of the global economy. Even the wealthy are losing money -- and if they cut their charitable giving, it is likely to ripple across the Jewish nonprofit sector
It was an elegant opening for a gallery exhibition. It was difficult to discern, on the surface, that the artists represented some of Los Angeles' most impoverished citizens, residents of Skid Row and South Los Angeles, who are actually using the broken bits of tile, stone and other rejected and recycled materials to rebuild their own lives.
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.
I was partnered with a woman who, before she even really met me, thanked me for just showing up as a volunteer. She was homeless in San Francisco and felt that she had nowhere to turn before she found Project Homeless Connect. As I walked her to the housing information stand, she displayed thorough delight that somebody was beside her to hear all that she had to say. It seemed as if very few people, or none, had bothered to listen to her full story.
Every night on Skid Row, 5,000 people pile onto shelter cots or erect their flimsy huts in the concrete desert of the city. Another 9,000 go to bed in the area's residency hotels, hoping to still have a roof over their heads the next day. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, year-round they share their sukkot with each other and remind us that we have failed to do the same for them.
Imagine LA coordinators work with facility case managers and faith partners to determine the family's needs and set up a plan for independent living.
Iranian American Jews -- reaching out to poor and homeless in the city
Helen was one of about 25 homeless people -- Jews and non-Jews -- who come once a month to have lunch and schmooze with members of the B'nai David Judea Congregation, located in the heart of the Pico-Robertson neighborhood. The program started a year and a half ago, and it has become so crowded that they now hand out tickets.
"Eve is the soul of the Food Pantry. She just knows that people cannot be hungry and we need to do whatever is necessary," said Joy Grau, a member of St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church in Studio City and a 15-year volunteer.
Has anyone else noticed that the only difference between your local Starbucks and your local homeless shelter is the shelter has a faster turnover?
This month at the Skirball Cultural Center, JFS celebrates its 150th anniversary with a simple but moving exhibit, "Still Listening," which tells its story mostly through case histories like Miss N.
Jewish law requires that we publicize the miracle of Chanukah -- both when we light and where we light. We light the Chanukah candles after dark when they are most visible and we light in the early evening when most people are still out and about.
David Grunwald is agitated. The chief executive of L.A. Family Housing Corp. grows ever more upset as he details the indifference many Angelenos feel toward the population his nonprofit group serves: the homeless and those one or two paychecks away from being on the streets. From liberal Brentwood to conservative Pasadena, most Southern California residents don't want homeless shelters in their neighborhoods and oppose the construction of high-density, affordable housing that could help thousands of families. NIMBY is alive and well here.
In 1998, Alice Elliott received a disturbing call from Larry Selman, the remarkable man with developmental disabilities she was profiling in her Oscar-nominated short documentary, "The Collector of Bedford Street."
For years, an empty lot in Van Nuys was gathering garbage, used appliances, old furniture and was a "home" for the homeless and their shopping carts.
On his first day of work in 1985 as executive director of the Hillel Foundation at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Rabbi Stephen Cohen received a telling welcome.
Cohen, a former New Yorker, stepped off the plane and took a cab straight to the University Religion Center (URC), where the offices of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life are housed. A social worker, prompted by the rabbi's forlorn and scruffy look, invited him to take part in that day's breakfast program for the homeless.
Cohen, 28 at the time, laughed and explained his position.
When one person helps another person, it's a mitzvah. When 1,500 people from 30 different organizations join together to help out in over 50 volunteering projects, it's Temple Israel of Hollywood's (TIOH) Mitzvah Day.
The death toll from the Jan. 26 earthquake in India may surpass 100,000, with thousands more left injured and homeless. To contribute toward disaster relief, you can send a contribution to Indian Earthquake Relief c/o Jewish Federation Accounting Office, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048.
When Spectator caught up with Monique Powell, lead singer of the pop sensation Save Ferris, she was wandering around Anaheim, tired, displaced and searching for food.