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Tag: Jane Ulman

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  • Fate of Santa Monica apartment building embroils rabbi and residents in legal battle

    By Jane Ulman

    October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    One late afternoon in October 1978, Hertzel Illulian, a Chabad student from Brooklyn, was silently praying mincha outside the Intercontinental Hotel in Tehran. He took three steps back after reciting the Amidah, the service's central prayer, and found himself surrounded by a wall of...

  • Water and pumpkins mark eco-friendly Sukkot

    By Jane Ulman

    October 5, 2006 | 8:00 pm


    During Sukkot, families of Kesher Israel, a Modern Orthodox congregation in Washington, D.C., will gather together for a special celebration. Socializing in the synagogue's sukkah, they will be treated to a tantalizing array of chocolate cakes and candies, accompanied by delicious...
  • September is a struggle for interfaith families

    By Jane Ulman

    September 21, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Months before the High Holidays arrive, Patrick Patterson requests the days off for both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur from his job as a firefighter/paramedic with the Los Angeles City Fire Department. A few days before, he reviews the entire High Holiday machzor, or prayer book, so...
  • Not a Minute’s Rest for Min the Dynamo

    By Jane Ulman

    May 18, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Here in Tinseltown it can be difficult to find people who help without expecting a moment in the limelight; a "15 minutes" of philanthropic adoration. Good deeds are supposed to be their own reward, and this new Lifecycles feature will profile those unsung senior tzadikim whose...

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  • Celebrating a Shpiel-Good Holiday

    By Jane Ulman

    March 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    "Ramvetlh QonglaHbe' voDleH," Beth Chayim Chadashim congregant Maggie Anton Parkhurst will say as she begins Chapter 6 of the synagogue's Megillah reading on Erev Purim.

    What?

    It's Klingon, the invented language of the "Star Trek" TV series and films, for "That night the emperor...

  • Fourth Bar Mitzvah No Piece of Cake

    By Jane Ulman

    August 11, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "Fourth bar mitzvah. This must be easy for you," my friend Maureen says.

    "I'm a loon," I answer.

    "But you've already done this three times."

    "Doesn't matter."

    It doesn't matter, because I still have to make sure that Danny learns his eight aliyot and his haftarah, writes his d'var...

  • The Agony, Ecstasy of School Awards

    By Jane Ulman

    June 9, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Before 18 year-old Sara Smith graduated last June, she made multiple trips to the stage to receive multiple honors at Shalhevet High School's awards brunch for graduating seniors. In addition to being named class valedictorian, she received the excellence in math award, two Bureau of...

  • Teens Take a March to Remember

    By Jane Ulman

    May 12, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    David Grossman, 18, wanted to make the Holocaust more personal. Eliya Shachar, 18, wished to understand her grandmother's pain. And Max Kappel, 17, wanted to find a tangible place to comprehend the Shoah.

    They were among 51 teenagers from Los Angeles who took part in last week's...

  • Women Still Struggle to ‘Have It All’

    By Jane Ulman

    March 31, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    More than 30 years after Gloria Steinem founded Ms. Magazine and Sally Priesand was ordained a rabbi, more than 25 years after Judith Resnick became an astronaut and more than 10 years after Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Jewish...

  • Foreign Siblings Return for Torah Study

    By Jane Ulman

    January 6, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    After spending the summer at Lishma, an intensive yeshiva-style program for young adults at Camp Ramah in Ojai, sisters Olga and Anna Dramchuk expected to be teaching Torah to fellow university students at Hillel in Novosibirsk, Siberia. Instead, they're back in Los Angeles in...

  • Out of the Car, Into the Classroom

    By Jane Ulman

    January 6, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Years ago, Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom would run up and down the Hebrew school carpool line handing out cassette tapes of his and Rabbi Harold Schulweis' sermons.

    "If you're not going to come inside, at least listen to this," he'd tell parents.

    Today Feinstein...

  • It’s Time to Change

    By Jane Ulman

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    The oldest and most primitive human dates back about 7 million years, according to a skull found by scientists in Central Africa.

    "That's so depressing," I say to my husband, Larry. "I can't believe that in 7 million years we haven't evolved any further than this."

    "This" being...

  • New Prayer Communities Seek Spiritual High

    By Jane Ulman

    August 19, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Don't call them synagogues.

    They are minyanim, or spiritual communities. They have evolved from shared and individual dreams and from serendipitous, profound and beshert connections. They are new, egalitarian, independent, warm, collaborative and vibrant.

    And they are all led by...

  • Adults-In-Training Hopes and Fears

    By Jane Ulman

    December 11, 2003 | 6:59 pm

    "Why are you having a bar or bat mitzvah?" Larry Kligman, dean of students at Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School in Northridge, asks the school's 65 seventh-graders.

    "Tradition."

    "Fun."

    "Identity."

    "Heritage."

    The students are attending a one-day retreat, an event the school...

  • Second Honeymoon

    By Jane Ulman

    November 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "Are you in for another 20?" my husband, Larry, asks. We're lounging on the beach on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, a brief

    escape to relax and reconnect as a couple, to celebrate and contemplate two decades of marriage.

    Exactly 20 years earlier we were standing under a chuppah at the...

  • You Take the Good, You Take the Bad

    By Jane Ulman

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The rabbis of the Talmud tell us that we are created with yetzer hatov (good inclination) or yetzer harah (bad inclination).

    And, like Harry Potter and the evil Lord Voldemort, they're engaged in a never-ending battle. And have been since birth.

    Indeed, with apologies to John...

  • The Fear Factor

    By Jane Ulman

    March 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "Haman wanted to hurt our people. We pushed him in the water and a shark ate him," announced Hayden Cohn, 3, a student in the Valley Beth Shalom Nursery School in Encino.

    Cohn and his classmates were illustrating their version of the Purim story with a large mural of Shushan's...

  • Teach Our Children

    By Jane Ulman

    February 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "Why go to war?" Dr. Aryeh Cohen, chair of rabbinic studies at the University of Judaism, asks a group of teenagers at Milken Community High School.

    "To further your political agendas."

    "To help your allies."

    "To prove you're right."

    "To defend yourself."

    With a United...

  • The ‘Contemporary’ Bar Mitzvah

    By Jane Ulman

    August 8, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    "No, Jeremy, you cannot wear 'liberty spikes' to your bar mitzvah party," I say, referring to the hair-style that transforms my son's head into the Statue of Liberty's crown.

    "Mom, you don't understand," he says. "Even when I'm 50, I'll be spiking my hair."

    Oh, to be adolescent...

  • Better With Age

    By Jane Ulman

    May 9, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    "You're the oldest of all my friends' moms," my son, Danny, 11, tells me.

    Like I don't know this. Or have a card for senior discounts or billions of cells that have lost their elasticity to prove it.

    A year and a half ago, I was a trendsetter. The Wall Street Journal reported that...

  • Never the Same

    By Jane Ulman

    March 7, 2002 | 6:59 pm

    Danny, 10, can recite the Five Pillars of Islam: faith, prayer, charity, fasting and pilgrimage.

    Jeremy, 12, understands the difference between Predator armed drones and Global Hawk surveillance drones; between 500-pound "dumb" gravity bombs and 2,000-pound "smart" precision-guided...

  • Everything I Know About Bar Mitzvahs

    By Jane Ulman

    January 10, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Many Native American parents, in an adolescent rite of passage, send their teenage sons on a solo journey, without food and with little water, into the wilderness. This is called a vision quest, and the child doesn't return until he is visited in a dream by his personal spirit....

  • Fearing Fear

    By Jane Ulman

    January 3, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    My husband, Larry, and I had been training, or so I thought, for the Avon Breast Cancer Three-Day, a 60-mile walk in from Santa Barbara to Malibu last October.

    But now I realize that we were really training for a grave new world -- for when an act of God, or more likely an act of...

  • What Is the Holiday Miracle?

    By Jane Ulman

    November 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Nes Gadol Hayah Sham.

    We all agree that the letters on the sides of the dreidel stand for "A Great Miracle Happened There." (In Israel, of course, the letters stand for Nes Gadol Hayah Po -- "A Great Miracle Happened Here.")

    But -- and this is why there's a book titled "Two Jews,...

  • Power of the Past

    By Jane Ulman

    August 9, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    My son Zack, 17, is celebrating Shabbat dinner tonight at the Bohema Restaurant in Krakow, Poland.

    In fact, not only is he celebrating Shabbat, but he and his group -- 15 students from Milken Community High School in Los Angeles and 140 students from Tichon Chadash High School in...

  • Mother of Invention

    By Jane Ulman

    May 10, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    The photographs from my son Gabe's bar mitzvah sit on my dining room table, waiting to be ordered.

    His bar mitzvah took place more than a year ago.

    The handpainted needlepoint canvas that I am stitching for my husband's 50th birthday remains unfinished. Never mind that he's now 51.

    I...

  • We’re Really the People of the Question

    By Jane Ulman

    April 5, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Why are we the People of the Book? Why aren't we the People of the Question?

    After all, before Moses receives the Torah on Mt. Sinai, like Abraham earlier, he answers God's call to service with a question. In Exodus 3:11, he says, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and free the...

  • Piscatorial Compassion

    By Jane Ulman

    February 22, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    "Fish is meat," announces Danny, my 9-year-old vegetarian son.

    "Fish is fish," responds Larry, my 50-something pescetarian husband.

    Judaism backs up Larry, classifying fish as pareve, neither dairy nor meat, and telling us that fish first appeared almost 6,000 years ago, on the...

  • Feeding the Hungry

    By Jane Ulman

    November 23, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    "We have slaves to help," Jerry Rabinowitz, the Friday co-captain of the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry, announces. "We Jews know something about slaves."

    The "slaves" this morning are my sons Gabe, 13, and Jeremy, 11, who have a day off school. They are fulfilling part of a...

  • Operation: GobbleCrying ‘fowl’ on Thanksgiving by feeding, not eating, a turkey.

    By Jane Ulman

    November 16, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Judaism commands us to be kind to animals.

    Thus I don't eat them and I don't keep them as pets. But this Thanksgiving, I've gone a step further. I've rescued one.

    "Oh great, you adopted some foul fowl," my husband, Larry, says.

    "Not any old fowl," I answer, "but Pumpkin, a 40-pound...

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