Journalist and author Lisa Alcalay Klug flew across the country this month to present at the annual New York version of Limmud, one of the Jewish learning gatherings that occur worldwide. She’ll fly in the other direction next month to attend the fourth annual LimmudLA, Feb. 18-21 in Costa Mesa. LimmudLA will be Klug’s eighth Limmud gathering in 12 months. Like the hundreds of other Limmud presenters whose paths she crosses, she doesn’t get paid for her time. “I’ve met amazing people, developed new friendships and reinforced past relationships,” said Klug, who splits her time among California, New York and Israel. “My world has grown exponentially because of it.”
Facebook has become far more than a social network; it is a virtual social necessity. The Jewish community has created a haven for there, claiming hundreds of groups, applications and pieces of Jewish flair.
A new report lends muscle to certain aspects of the phenomenon, hinted at by Katznelson: Young Jews' desire to be with other young Jews and their interest in creating their own Jewish experiences rather than signing up for long-standing programs.
If the group of Gen Y-ers -- also known as Millenials or NextGens or iGens -- who gathered for a Jewish leadership conference in Santa Monica last week are any indication, it seems that parents who did everything to build their children's resumes and self esteem may have been on to something. This handpicked group of Jewish leaders in their 20s and early 30s have the self-confidence to think -- to actually believe -- that if the old people would just make some room for them, or maybe get out of the way altogether, they could fix this mess of a world. They are committed to social justice; they are willing to get their hands dirty; they have great ideas, time to volunteer, and they have the arrogance, self-centeredness and technological savvy to bring their ideas to fruition. The question is how to channel all that into the Jewish community.
By the end of the Professional Leaders Project gathering in Santa Monica, I walked away with three things: a stack of business cards, some good stories and a condom from KinkyJews.com in a package that featured an Israeli flag on the front and an off-color, yet highly creative tagline we can't print here.
For dozens of new congregations and minyans, or prayer communities, like Ikar, the Internet is not just a faster, more convenient communication tool. It's a central organizing mechanism and community-building tool, filling the roles performed in more traditional synagogues by administrative staff, newsletters, membership committees, religious school, even rabbis.
Save the few Web sites with supertight security (most of which are considered too babyish by tweens and up), worry resounds throughout kiddie cybersocial world. While parental e-mail consent may be required before activating a child's registration, there's no way for a Web site to determine whether the e-mailed permission is indeed linked to a parent.
Gila Garaway says that the vision for her organization, Moriah Africa, came to her as she was lying in a hospital bed in Nigeria in 2001.
When Devora Kidorf wanted to help a family of four from northern Israel displaced by Israel's battling with Hezbollah, she knew where to turn. Having hosted the family for a night but needing to make room for relatives from abroad, the English teacher and mother of seven posted an urgent message on Janglo -- the ultimate online networking service for English-speaking ("Anglos") in Jerusalem -- seeking accommodations for the family she had just met.
More than 80 studio executives, producers, directors, lawyers, agents, distributors and rabbis all enjoyed a Shabbat dinner together in the south of France. For some, Shabbat was a new experience. For others, a weekly ritual. Still for others, it was simply another networking event.
In 1994, a year after his brush with mortality, Firestein founded a nonprofit that would eventually become the Kids Cancer Connection. A descendant of cosmetics magnate Max Factor -- whose family has donated millions to local charities -- he invested $10,000 to get the project going.
When parents gather for monthly meetings of Ozreinu, a spiritual support group for families with special-needs children, the first thing they do is check in.
Powerful women in Hollywood, back in 1978, were as prevalent as communists during the blacklist. Probably even less so. That's when Loreen Arbus came to town.
Chinese-food-and-a-movie faces strong competition in our city once again this year.
It's been nearly two years since David Lorch had a job. Currently, the former pricing analyst for an Orange County high-tech firm attends networking events near his home in Laguna Hills, does volunteer work for his shul, Congregation Eilat in Mission Viejo, and tries to maintain his hope.
With the job market showing little or no signs of improvement, Lorch is hoping to start a new networking group through his synagogue that is focused specifically on helping unemployed Jews find work. Such organizations have taken off at a handful of congregations in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the dismal job market is already considered a crisis in the Jewish community. Lorch is hoping to draw from the experiences of his peers in Silicon Valley in crafting a network of his own.
For much of their history, Jews have been the masters of networking. Even before the destruction of the Second Temple, far-flung Jewish communities, usually through itinerant traders traveling precariously across the Mediterranean and land routes, maintained sophisticated communications networks with each other in a diaspora that extended from Palestine to Spain, in the West, and Persia, in the East.