Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug has been named executive director of Jewish World Watch (JWW).
The United Teachers Los Angeles committee that came under intense criticism for planning to host a gathering calling for economic sanctions against Israel, including a boycott and divestment, has shut down its Web site and agreed to undertake a monthlong "self-evaluation."
Under a tidal wave of pressure from the local Jewish community, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) has decided to deny use of its headquarters to a UTLA committee planning to host a meeting to discuss the launch of a local boycott of sanctions against and divestment from Israel.
Although rabbis can play a positive role in brokering a reconciliation in couples with relatively minor problems, they are generally ill-equipped, both educationally and often temperamentally, to grapple with spousal abuse, depression, bullying and other serious issues that can destroy marriages and souls.
David Zucker sees threats to America and Israel mounting, and he believes the Democrats are unable or unwilling to confront those challenges, so he has decided to go public with his belief that the Democrats have lost their way.
Even a resolutely mediocre chess player like me knows it's not enough to have some good opening moves. To win, you need an end game. That's why this month's protest by some Jewish groups against the selection of a Muslim spokesman for a county human relations prize baffled me -- what possible end game could they have in mind?
Dr. Maher Hathout, like no other local Muslim leader in recent memory, has divided the Jewish community, exposing fissures between Jews who fervently believe in reviving the frayed Jewish-Muslim dialogue and those who have lost faith.
When I joined The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles in late 2002 after 3 1/2 tumultuous years at the Los Angeles Times, I expected to stay at the paper a maximum of six months. My plan was to use The Journal as a safe haven while I hunted for a prestige magazine gig. But a funny thing happened on my way out the door. I fell in love with The Jewish Journal and nearly everything about it, including the myriad opinionated readers who never hesitate to let me know when they think I've blown it.
A new exhibit at the Zimmer Children's Museum shows that when sliced, diced and deconstructed by artists and humanitarians, timepieces can edify, entertain and even inveigh against social injustice.
Community Briefs; Displaced Gaza Resident Raises $5,000 in L.A.; Father, Daughter Each Earn Book Awards; Preteen Ambassadors From Beverly Hills.
The showing of three cartoons of the prophet Muhammad at a conference last week on radical Islam at UC Irvine attracted a near-capacity crowd of about 400, including leaders of some local Jewish groups, while protesters demonstrated outside.
The beloved rabbi of a Northridge synagogue apparently committed suicide in the wake of personal disclosures that jeopardized his job. These disclosures had to do with allegedly "inappropriate" actions by the rabbi, but nothing that was criminal or illegal, said officials of Temple Ramat Zion.
Critics have long derided Jewish federations as functionally outdated and overly bureaucratic -- the organizational equivalent of dinosaurs on the brink of irrelevance, if not extinction.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's devastation, though, the array of Jewish organizations under the umbrella of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles have shown that they are far from moribund. They have raised large sums of money, moved critical resources to devastated areas and coordinated Jewish agencies to address victims' needs.
Jews aren't the only ones fasting this High Holiday season.
Two other religious organizations, one Christian, one Muslim, have joined with a Jewish one to call on Americans to take part in a nationwide fast of reflection, repentance, reconciliation and renewal from sunrise to sunset on Oct. 13.
n his decades as a journalist, foreign correspondent Richard Z. Chesnoff has reported from around the globe, including the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Over the years, Chesnoff -- a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report, columnist for the New York Daily News and author of several acclaimed books, including "Pack of Thieves: How Hitler & Europe Plundered the Jews" (Anchor, 2001) -- has chronicled such historic events as the birth of the PLO, the Vietnam peace talks, the 1967 Six-Day War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and, more recently, the rising tide of Islamic terrorism.
Fallout From Holy Day Ballot and Panitch Killer Denied Parole.
Gabe Goldman wanted to believe in miracles, wanted to believe in the power of prayer, wanted to believe that God had spoken to prophets. But Goldman, an Orthodox Jew, felt burned out on Judaism. He would perform the rituals with perfect technique, but no heart. A change, he thought, was in order.
At the time, a little more than a decade ago, Goldman held a prestigious job as curriculum director of the Bureau of Jewish Education in Cleveland. He earned $70,000 annually, enough to own a comfortable home and provide for his wife and four children.
The Valley Cities Jewish Community Center received a new lease on life late last week when its parent organization agreed in principle to sell the center property to a local partnership that will keep the JCC going. Without the agreement, the center could have shut down at the end of June, probably for good.
The parent organization, which is called the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Los Angeles, said it would accept a $2.7 million bid for the Sherman Oaks property.
The condition for this "discounted" price was that any developer must also agree to renovate the JCC building or construct a new facility, insiders said. Four developers are believed to have expressed interest in putting senior housing and a state-of-the-art JCC on the land. A formal purchase offer could materialize by the end of July.
Several sources close to the deal declined comment because of ongoing negotiations.
The Valley Cities Jewish Community Center received a new lease on life this week when its parent organization agreed in principle to sell the center property to a local partnership that will keep the JCC going. Without the agreement, the center could have shut down at the end of June, probably for good.
The parent organization, which is called the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Los Angeles, said it would accept a $2.7 million bid for the Sherman Oaks property. The condition for this "discounted" price was that any developer must also agree to renovate the JCC building or construct a new facility, insiders said. Four developers are believed to have expressed interest in putting senior housing and a state-of-the-art JCC on the land. A formal purchase offer could materialize by the end of July.
In the end, it wasn’t a Jewish organization that saved a valuable Jewish community center, but a forward-thinking Christian cleric.
Bishop J. Jon Bruno, head of Los Angeles’ Episcopal Diocese, has stepped in with the money needed to rescue the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center, which had faced an imminent shutdown and the sale of its property.
Community news in the U.S.
As a young man, Bernie Axelrad learned two invaluable lessons: family and education are everything.
Like their clients, several local Jewish agencies that serve the poor are struggling mightily.
Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) and other Jewish nonprofits have recently lost millions in government funding at a time when demand for their services has skyrocketed. That has strained their ability to care for the indigent and threatens the health of existing programs.
George W. Bush wasn't the only Republican to win big on election night. Larry Greenfield, director of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) of Southern California, also fared quite well.
Surrounded by a crowd of 250 Jewish Republicans partying at Beverly Hills' Level One club, a beaming Greenfield looked more like a giddy teenager than a 42-year-old man in a dark suit. As news of the Republican triumphs came in, RJC members hugged and high-fived Greenfield, who has become the public face of Southern California's Jewish Republicans.
Howard Parmet, community outreach consultant for the American Red Cross (ARC) of Greater Los Angeles, wants to build bridges to a Jewish community that has largely shunned the organization because of a belief that it is anti-Israeli at best and anti-Semitic at worst. Parmet wants to rehabilitate the organization's image, dispel misperceptions and recruit legions of local Jewish volunteers.
Stanley Sheinbaum is in his element. As 40 members of Americans for Peace Now and their allies sip white wine, nibble brie and heatedly discuss the economic and moral injustices of Israel's occupation, the éminence grise of liberalism watches and listens with the rapt attention of the Stanford University graduate student he once was. When guest speaker Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) says that the "ethical aspiration of Judaism is to stand up for the downtrodden," including African Americans, homosexuals and Palestinians, Sheinbaum nods his head in agreement.
When the nation's largest and oldest Mexican American civil rights group selected a new leader recently, the committee that recruited her included the organization's chairman, a man who is neither a Mexican American nor an immigrant. Meet Joe Stern.
At the downtown YMCA on Saturday mornings, parents congregate at poolside tables to gossip, kibitz and trade jokes, while their children take swimming lessons. For the adults, these hour-long sessions represent nothing less than a much-needed respite from the grind of the work week.
For more than 50 years, Valley Cities Jewish Community Center (JCC) has served as a magnet for San Fernando Valley Jews, a one-stop shop that offers a panoply of services, ranging from nursery school for the young to lectures for seniors.
As the Valley Cities Jewish Community Center slips into a coma and the health of other JCCs declines, the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center not only has survived but thrived. That makes it all the more strange the center is in danger of shutting down.
Bailey Silverman and Rebecca Namm are in many ways typical teenagers. The best friends like to go to the mall, hang out with pals and talk on the phone.
But come Super Sunday, Feb. 22, the two Milken Community High School juniors will undertake the very adult mission of raising money for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and its 15 beneficiary agencies, including Jewish Family Service, Jewish Vocational Service and Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters. During Super Sunday, the girls will supervise a group of high school and college students in the San Fernando Valley who will call Jews throughout the Southland to make The Federation's annual fundraising extravaganza just that much more super.
When Mark Meltzer became executive director of the Jewish Free Loan Association (JFLA) in 1980, the agency had $800,000 in total assets, the equivalent of three and a half full-time employees and largely made interest-free loans to people for groceries, car repairs and other such emergencies. In the words of JFLA President and long-time board member Jim Kohn, JFLA was "small, unknown and stuck in the corner somewhere."
Former U.S. Rep. Mel Levine has been tapped as chair of the Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC), a move that some observers said they hoped would restore the luster of the embattled agency.
Seated before 21 third-graders at Selma Avenue Elementary School in Hollywood, actor Henry Winkler cracked open a copy of "I Got a 'D' in Salami," a children's book he co-authored, and began reading. The "Fonze," a little grayer and thicker around the middle than in his salad days, quickly won over his young audience, which giggled at his jokes and sat with rapt attention as he painted pictures with words.
The shock waves created by recent dismissal of Michael Hirschfeld as executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC) continue to reverberate both locally and throughout the country as JCRC supporters worry about the future of community relations.
With his political fortunes darkening and support for the recall growing, the beleaguered Gov. Gray Davis has turned to members of his disparate ethnic and religious coalition to save his job. In the past six weeks, prominent African American, Latino and gay and lesbian political and business leaders have held a series of high-profile events to condemn the recall as an illicit power grab by the radical right and a threat to California.
Now, Davis and his allies are playing the Jewish card.
Mitch Kamin was a punk. As a teenager, he would don grubby jeans and an attitude and make his way to the Roxy, Madame Wong's or the Whisky A Go Go to listen to the sonic drum-and-guitar assaults of such bands as X and the Circle Jerks. Plowing his way through the mosh pit, the young Kamin experienced a cathartic release as the music pounded throughout his body.
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, Sande Hart grew increasingly disgusted by disparaging remarks some of her friends -- both Jewish and not -- made about Muslims. The Koran, they said, preached killing Jews and other infidels; Islam was a hate-filled religion, with few redeeming qualities.
When Susan First married five years ago at 35, she badly wanted children. With her "biological clock" ticking, she and her husband wasted little time trying to expand their new family.
Life was good for Bennett Bridge. He owned his own business, raked in more than $100,000 a year, had a good marriage and two healthy children.
After graduating from UCLA nearly four decades ago with a degree in psychology, Gerald Zaslaw thought about becoming a parole officer. But after briefly working alongside one, he had a change of plans. Rather than police children, Zaslaw decided he wanted to help them.
Shlomo Eplboim sees green in the arid landscape that is Israel.
So confident is he of the Holy Land's future that the 30-year-old financial adviser has helped launch a new mutual fund that will invest solely in Israeli high-tech, health care, biotech and other companies.
Ari Engelberg has always taken a personal interest in those less fortunate than himself.
Whether tutoring third- and fourth-graders in math and English while at UC Berkeley or coaching an inner-city youth basketball team as a UCLA law student, Engelberg has long dedicated himself to tikkun olam, the Jewish mission of repairing and improving the world.