The numbers tell a consistent storyline: Nearly one in four Israelis lives in poverty.
At the end of Shabbat services last Saturday, I watched a 7-year-old boy recite the blessing over the wine, the Kiddush. His voice was pure, the Hebrew, a learned language for him, flowed fast and flawlessly from his mouth. His face shone.
Earlier this year, I got a call from an old friend, Rabbi Juan Mejia. Juan asked me if I’d be willing to accompany him and Rabbi Felipe Goodman to San Miguel de Allende for a couple of days in early February. Juan, Felipe and I have a lot in common: We laugh at the same jokes, we all speak Spanish, and we’re all rabbis. A little getaway to Mexico in the middle of winter? Sure, I could fit that into my schedule — no problem, I said.
It is so good to be a traveler during December. Whether you want a romantic escape, a girlfriends’ getaway or a family vacation, the deals are abundant as many people choose to stick closer to home through the holiday season. My family and I have traditionally hit the road and enjoyed destinations that are packed with value and are not crowded — great places for a quick winter trip.
An Israeli man and his daughter were found dead in their home in Mexico City amid signs of violence.
The immigration-reform debate has gripped the country and enflamed passions. Hate groups, along with mainstream media, have engaged in facile assumptions about Mexican immigration, often leading to racist stereotypes and opening the door to extremist ideology.
A growing number of American Jews have chosen to retire to Mexico. Two of the largest expatriate communities, in San Miguel de Allende and Ajijic; have experienced contrasting experiences while attempting to establish spiritual leadership.
It has been a year since Dana Rishpy, an Israeli girl last seen vacationing in Mexico, disappeared. In that time, her parents have had their hopes buoyed -- and then dashed -- by numerous erroneous reports that Dana had been spotted in Guatemala or Belize or some other Central American country.
If you're heading down Mexico way, all the way down to Oaxaca, you should know about a bed and breakfast there called Casa Machaya. The name is a sly Jewish reference, a wink at potential clients for the B & B: That's right, it's not meant to be the Spanish "ch," as in "change," but a guttural "ch," as in mechaya, Yiddish for "joy."
Mehlman had gone to the Mexicali home because this community wants Spanish-speaking rabbis to visit them and give them guidance. Through a series of connections, Orozco learned about Mehlman, who's Argentine-born and has sponsored many conversions, and invited him for the weekend.
When he was sent by his high-tech company to America in 1989, it was only natural that he would begin to search for more volunteer opportunities. An experienced pilot, Uziel, 56, began working for various medical aid organizations, flying needy sick people, as well as medical equipment and doctors around the country.
Cabo San Lucas is at the western end of what has become a 20-mile corridor of hotels and gated communities known collectively as Los Cabos. In the last year a very visible and increasingly vibrant Jewish community is taking shape where the land meets the sea.
Non-Jews are common at many Jewish facilities, ensuring the smooth operation of our institutions -- understanding and anticipating the needs of members, meeting the standards of our practices. But Guerrero's story is more than the tale of someone "other" who happens to work among "us." To hear Guerrero tell it, he has learned both the most fundamental and profound of life's lessons by being among Jews.
>Speaker after speaker at the recent immigration march in Los Angeles told the 500,000-strong primarily Latino crowd that racism and anti-immigrant sentiments lie behind the debates on Capitol Hill about border enforcement. This was the focus at the march and subsequent student walkouts, even though the House and Senate have debated competing immigration reform legislation, which has included discussions of some sort of guest worker or amnesty plan.
"Security measures enacted after 9/11 are impeding the inflow of scientific talent that helps energize American universities.... If the red tape is not untangled soon, it could cause long-term harm to universities and high-tech industries." -- (Visa Quagmire, The New York Times Editorial, May 17, 2004)
On a recent trip to Manhattan, I traveled to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which I'd heard about from friends in Los Angeles. The core of the museum is a restored 19th- century tenement house, which was a second point of landing, after Ellis Island, for a mixture of Italians, Germans and Eastern European and Sephardic Jews who made the hard crossing to America in search of better lives.
In Veracruz, Mexico, there lived a group of people who for generations had avoided eating pork and lit candles on Friday night without knowing why. In the early 1980s, some members of the group discovered their Jewish roots and converted to Judaism, and now, 20 years later, are still struggling for acceptance from the Jewish community in Mexico.
Their story is being told in "Eight Candles," a 2002 Mexican documentary, one of nine Jewish films being shown in Mexico's first Jewish film festival.
For the most part, Jewish leadership in Los Angeles and elsewhere can be expected to oppose the recall of longtime "ally" Gov. Gray Davis and, in a pinch, support his Mini-Me proposed replacement, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante (see page 12). "Go along to get along" expediency and Pavlovian liberal sympathies provide much of the explanation.
Yet, as is all too often the case, the more pressing, long-term issues will be lost. Not only has Davis presided over a disastrous decline in the state's finances and an unprecedented debasing of its political culture. Now he has become handmaiden to the undermining of our most precious principles, the sanctity of citizenship.
Catholic groups say the film depicts the Roman Catholic Church in an unfair, negative light.
This segment of richly documented history is more than 400 years old, but its theatrical representation now speaks to the evolution of modern Los Angeles as a vibrant center of both Hispanic and Jewish life and art.
Student films from throughout Southern California are currentlybeing featured on the three-part KCET series "Fine Cut: A Festival ofStudent Film," airing on Sundays at 10 p.m. The series, hosted bydirector Michael Apted, will feature a total of 17 films fromstudents at UCLA, USC, CalArts, Loyola Marymount and the AmericanFilm Institute. Ranging in length from three to 32 minutes, theentries include dramas, documentaries and animation.