“We are planting seeds — not me, but all of us.” With those words of hope offered to her fellow teachers, Lidia Turner, a seventh- and eighth-grade Hebrew teacher at the David Saperstein Middle School of Milken Community High School, accepted the Milken Family Foundation’s 2012 Jewish Educator Award during an assembly at her school on Sept. 21.
If the great Maimonides ever came back to life and found himself in Los Angeles, chances are he'd look for a house on a small street called Detroit, between Oakwood Avenue and Beverly Boulevard, one block west of La Brea Avenue. There are no holier streets in Los Angeles.
This little discovery happened thanks to my 10-year-old daughter, Mia, who informed me recently that she had volunteered me to be a driver for her upcoming class outing. Little did I know what kind of class outing it would be: a minitour of a very Jewish neighborhood -- not my neighborhood of Pico-Robertson, but the neighborhood of Hancock Park.
Several times during my visit with Rabbi Karmi Gross at Maimonides Academy, coaches and kids came to pull balls out of the corner of his tiny office in a prefab building smack in the middle of the schoolyard.
On the first day of school, when Barbara Gindi escorted her children to Maimonides Academy, she was appalled by what she saw: Two security guards stood out front, a Sheriff's squad car was parked at the curb, and the administrative staff was on high alert.
"It brought tears to my eyes," Gindi says. "Is this what our world is coming to?"