The Archbishop of Vienna has advised Austria’s government not to add Jewish and Muslim dates to the list of national holidays.
On Aug. 30, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) held its annual security meeting at its Los Angeles headquarters to advise local Jewish leaders on possible threats facing the community in advance of the High Holy Days.
It's not easy for a kid to find out that his parents are spies, and that he and his sister have to rescue them from evildoers.
But it's not as hard as trying to learn Hebrew from scratch in six months for a bar mitzvah -- especially when the spy scenario is fictional and the bar mitzvah is real.
So it was for Daryl Sabara, the cherubic red-headed star of three "Spy Kids" films. He and his twin brother, Evan, also an actor who appeared in "Spy Kids," were bar mitzvahed at Chabad of Brentwood last month after studying with the synagogue's rabbi, Baruch Hecht, for half a year.
As professional actors, it would have been a cinch for the Sabaras to memorize their Torah portion phonetically, just like many kids who don't know Hebrew. But the twins really wanted to learn Hebrew -- and about their heritage.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have traded Shawn Green, the only Jew on the team, to the Arizona Diamondbacks. My 8-year-old twin
daughters are devastated. They don't know if they should continue to root for the hometown Dodgers or to switch allegiances to the Diamondbacks, so they can still root for Green, their favorite player.
I've told them they can do both, especially when the Diamondbacks come to Los Angeles to play against the Dodgers. But their disappointment is real, nonetheless.
7 Days In The Arts
My 10-year-old daughter came home from school sad, her shoulders carrying the kind of weight that breaks a mother's heart. She faced a tough dilemma: friends who were no longer true friends, demanding her to compromise who she is or be alone. It's the kind of challenge we all meet many times in life, in different disguises. The fear of being alone versus the self-destruction of changing who you are so as not to be alone; the challenge of the mere one of us against the seeming might of the many of them; the overwhelming feeling of odds stacked against you, of being quietly different from the louder group but choosing anyway, to believe in yourself.
As I write this article, Hurricane Isabel has come and gone; its destructive force headlined the news, offering a strange but appropriate counterpoint to writing about children's books on Sukkot and Simchat Torah. In today's world, these holidays, following on the heels of Yom Kippur, remind us of the swift changes life brings and underscore the fragile nature of our security. Through stories, we can find shelter in the joy of offering hospitality, in helping others, in relishing happiness when we can and in acknowledging human courage and endurance in the face of trouble. These are all themes to explore as you sit, rejoicing with your children and guests, in your sukkah.
Tisha B'Av, the fast day commemorating the destructions of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem 2,500 and 2,000 years ago, respectively, doesn't rank up there with most celebrated Jewish holidays.