John Fishel says one of his favorite parts of his 17-year tenure as president and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles was visiting communities around the world, where he could tap into his background as an anthropologist and social worker to determine how Jews in Los Angeles could have a global impact.
Noteworthy sessions and events at the General Assembly
Letters to the Editor.
John Fishel took his seat on the jetliner and glanced across the aisle. Seated near the president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles was an Ethiopian woman. Resplendent in traditional garb, she cradled an infant in her arms and looked lovingly at her toddler son seated beside her.
My friend's tale is one among tens of thousands; many are far more devastating, as families are dealing with the deaths of loved ones and the loss of nearly everything they own. As New Orleans is dredged, the true scope of the devastation will be understood. Already, the evacuees realize that a return to their former lives in that wonderful city may take months or years, and that some things may never be recovered. Into that disheartening reality, the Jews of Los Angeles and elsewhere have stepped in willingly and generously to help as they can, exactly as their religion says they should. And all the fractiousness, all the confusing, competing layers of the various Jewish organizations have seemingly melted away, coordinating the relief aid very much as they were designed to do.
This week's Israel Christian Nexus gathering at Stephen S. Wise Temple was intended to rally support for Israel. Its advertised list of speakers included John Fishel, president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, and a fair number of prominent local rabbis.
There are more than 30,000 Jewish teen-agers in Los Angeles -- how do we engage them?
As we approach the new millennium, we often discuss the unity of the Jewish people, seeking those aspects of Jewish life that will hold our diverse communal elements together after the year 2000. Rabbi Joseph Soleveitchek has referred to our Jewish covenant as including our shared history, shared suffering, shared responsibility and shared action.
In a Jewish community the size and scope of ours, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the small acts of kindness that define our concern for justice and quality of life.
In 1948, the world agreed to the creation of the State of Israel in a moment of stricken conscience over its outrageous failure to stop or even attempt to mitigate the effects of the Holocaust.