About a mile north of Duke’s in Malibu, a right turn takes you up to a bluff with its own driveway, which leads to a large parking lot. There, on the day I visited, a tour bus was parked in front of a modest ranch house, alongside several other cars, none of them too fancy.
Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu is quiet in its off-season — or quieter, at least, if you’re used to seeing the space filled to bursting with energetic young campers. In the fall, it’s populated mostly by groups of adults who come through to use the grounds as a conference center, and there’s a distinct calmness in the air, a sense of relaxation that comes along with shorter days and southern light.
Synagogue leaders are reporting that the Springs Fire has affected Jewish institutions in Ventura County, including Malibu camps run by Wilshire Boulevard Temple (WBT) and synagogues Temple Ner Ami, Temple Etz Chaim and Temple Adat Elohim.
Leonora Kolischer died in her home in Malibu on October 31, followed soon by her husband Herbert Kolischer on November 4. They were both 88.
Micol Cohen, a 34-year-old international marketing professional, was fatally injured in an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) accident on June 24. Cohen, a native Italian who lived in Beverly Hills, was a passenger when the vehicle veered off a private road in Malibu and, according to the California Highway Patrol, hit an exposed tree root. Cohen died from blunt-force trauma.
When Rabbi Judith HaLevy came to Los Angeles in 1992 to help start Mesivta, a Center for Jewish Spirituality, she committed to stay for just a year. Nineteen years later, she is deeply rooted in the L.A. community with the thriving Malibu Jewish Center & Synagogue and a new post as the 36th president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California.
Talent manager Joan Hyler makes slow, steady progress after a life-threatening accident.
Hollywood talent manager Joan Hyler’s critical condition has stabilized, three days after she was struck by a car on the Pacific Coast Highway and nearly lost her life.
It is not a secret that many beachfront homeowners in Malibu have a disproportionate sense of ownership of the surf and turf that fronts their properties. They pay millions for the illusion that they own the beach. It's also not a secret that they don't.
Rikud is the largest and longest-running Israeli folk dance camp in the United States, and it takes place every year on Memorial Day weekend at Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu. More than 300 dancers from around the world pack into the beachside summer-camp facility for three days of non-stop dancing.
Situated a quick jaywalk across Pacific Coast Highway from Surfrider Beach and the Malibu Pier, Malibu Beach Grill is a kosher oasis in a town renowned for breathtaking seaside vistas, A-list celebrity sightings and new-age crunchiness.
Joyce Brooks Bogartz's look isn't quite what you'd expect from the owner of a kosher restaurant. Adorned with brown-and-cream dreadlocks, the nearly 50-year-old proprietor of Malibu Beach Grill would at first glance seem to fit in better with customers sporting board shorts than black hats. But this post-punk Gidget is the kind of 'Bu Jew who is as comfortable around Chabadniks as she is with surfers.
During the last few weeks of his life, when the brain cancer that had stalked him for eight years was about to claim victory, Daniel Jacoby spent hours on his laptop.
Construction crews broke ground at the site of the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue (MJCS) last week -- two and a half years after the congregation held a gala groundbreaking celebration for the new $10 million building.
"Building in Malibu is legendary -- it's very difficult to get through the regulatory process. Thank God, we've made it through all of that," said George Greenberg, congregation president.
The recently mounted mezuzah on the front door of a soon-to-be opened restaurant in Malibu is symbolic for many reasons.
It marks the first kosher eatery to open in the seaside community. It also symbolizes Chabad of Malibu's first foray into mainstream life in a city of surfers and celebrities.
Chabad has been cultivating its surf town persona since 2001, purchasing several buildings and a house across the street from the Malibu Pier. A sign posted in front of the property portrays the silhouette of a Chabadnik riding a surfboard.
They are not scholarships but "camperships" in Jewish summer camp parlance. Of the 1,000 campers expected soon at Malibu's Camp JCA Shalom, which is supported by JCCGLA, about 200 parents applied for camperships.
"It's amazing, in the past few years, the income level of people who are requesting camperships," said Bill Kaplan, executive director of the Shalom Institute, which runs Camp JCA Shalom. Its campership aid this year will run about $130,000, $75,000 of which is general camp aid from The Federation. That is an increase from the $50,000 The Federation made available 2002, the boost due to the increase in cash-strapped families.
Nestled deep within a Malibu canyon off the Pacific Coast Highway, the Shalom Institute, a Jewish summer camp and nature center, has planted an extensive organic garden on its grounds this year and plans to incorporate the age-old tradition of farming into its summer programs.
At Ramirez Canyon Park in Malibu, Happy Trails offers an opportunity for city-dwelling kids to interact with nature.
When Rabbi Judith HaLevy of the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue exchanged rings with Edward Toppel of Chicago last Sunday, hope, like the late afternoon winter sun, burned brightly. If remarriage, as the saying goes, is the triumph of optimism over experience, how much more so when the rabbi herself carries white calla lilies?
"Survivor" as inspiration for Jewish programming? It seems strange that the divisive show where deceit, backstabbing and empty promises are de rigueur would serve as the inspiration for a Shabbaton that stresses the importance of religious and cultural continuity. Yet Sephardic Tradition and Recreation (STAR) has seized on this pop culture phenomenon and infused it with a positive spin.
I arrived in Miami Beach one morning last week on a mission: to find the last kosher hotel in South Beach, an ultra-hip area of restaurants, clubs and shops that used to be the hub of Florida Jewish life.Today you can drive along Ocean Drive (inch along is more like it) and see scores of suburban teenagers and sophisticated European tourists sitting at Art Deco restaurants and hotels, sipping their lattes and looking to be seen, but you won't find many Jews. South Beach is where Gianni Versace was murdered on the steps of his mansion and where Gloria Estefan, Madonna and Sylvester Stallone all have had multimillion-dollar homes at one time or another.
More than 220 Jewish environmental activists gathered in Malibu last weekend for this year's Mark and Sharon Bloome Jewish Environmental Leadership Institute, sponsored by the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL). Professionals from Jewish educational, environmental and outreach institutions came from as far as Canada, Europe and Israel.
Take nearly 100 people training to be rabbis, priests, pastors, ministers, nuns and religious educators. Put them together for 24 hours at a Jewish summer camp. Add a torrent of rain, and stir in several inches of thick mud. What do you get? You never know.