Recently, I attended a three-day conference celebrating the 10th anniversary of Paideia, the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden. The brainchild of Barbara Spectre, an American-Israeli-Swedish philosopher who has led the program since its inception, Paideia brings together young Jews for a year of intensive study. Imagine in an American context a Wexner Jewish Heritage Program leadership retreat that is sustained for 10 intensive months. By now, Paideia has several hundred alumni working, living and creating throughout Europe. They were returning to learn, celebrate and renew.
Ed Pearl, 70, silver-haired and feisty, will forever be associated with the Ash Grove, the folk club he opened 50 years ago with a $5,000 investment, despite the fact that the venue's been closed for a quarter century.
"My life," Pearl said, "has been a series of fortuitous accidents. And," he ruefully adds, "not-so fortuitous."
As a counselor at Camp Kimama in Michmoret, Israel, I learned that the only connection these children from all over the world need is their passion and love for Israel. Camp Kimama is Israel's first international camp, where Jewish children spend two weeks forming a multicultural group of friends and exploring the different worlds that these friends come from. I spent one month of my summer working at Kimama, every day discovering more about myself and my fellow Israelis, Jews and Zionists.
Depending on whom you ask, Bratz are odd-looking multiethnic dolls with big eyes and skimpy clothes - or they're, like, the coolest things ever.
Akira Mizutani, a tall, willowy Japanese man who's been living in Los Angeles for 12 years now, has long, flowing, jet black hair that hangs loose to his waist -- and on this night, his mane is topped with a yarmulke.
The Cervantes Institute has been sponsoring Ladino readings and seminars at its branches in Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Bucharest and Sofia. Now Urrutia says the institute will create a Ladino Department with a Judeo-Spanish archive at its headquarters in Madrid. And Ladino will be the focus of a new Cervantes Institute in Salonika, which will be located next to the city's Sephardic Museum.
Café Danssa opened for business in December 1965 on a nondescript block of West Los Angeles on Pico Boulevard. The name of the business was a morphing of the first three letters of Dani Dassa's first name and the last three letters of his last name.
Joellen Lapidus points out that klezmer, which has famously experienced a revival since the late 1970s, has never been performed exclusively at Jewish functions, and the bands have often included non-Jewish musicians. Likewise, Extreme Klezmer Makeover is not comprised solely of Jews.
Based on Whedon's short-lived 2002 TV series, "Firefly," whose fan base helped spur the movie, "Serenity" revolves around the outlaws' attempts to discover the telepath's true identity after she beats up everyone in a bar.
To structure the sprawling "Waters," James Still drew on Arthur Schnitzler's classic play, "La Ronde," in which scenes are connected by protagonists moving from one sequence to another.
For The Kids
In Lita Albuquerque's serene "Particle Memory," a constellation of gold disks swirls in an intense blue void. In Peter Shire's cheekily futuristic "Torso Teapot," a tiny central pot sprouts gangly limbs.
If there is such a thing, I am your typical Japanewish American Princess.
My Mom is Japanese American, my Dad is ethnically Jewish and, in a wonderful embrace, I came to be. Growing up in a town in which racial and religious combinations were not the norm, my two heritages naturally blended into one. Kamaboko (fish cake) and matzah ball soup were just as normal to me as they were odd to everyone else. On several occasions, my brother and I would joke about being double-teamed by our parents, whose academic standards were sky-high. Mom and Dad seemed to be the only ones on the block who strategically transformed games of report cards and SAT scores into two-on-one situations. But no matter how much I still accuse them of being ruthless, they didn't team up to be mean -- they just wanted us to be the best we could be.
Monica Garcia had her daughter-to-be in mind when she designed a modest line of Barbie clothing while she was pregnant last year.
Gurinder Chadha was having one of those surreal multicultural moments you get in L.A.