As part of their visit to Los Angeles last week, the outgoing class of Joshua Venture Fellows, all leaders of innovative Jewish organizations that are less than five years old, spent a few hours one evening talking to a group of L.A. Jews.
This year, more than 1,000 Los Angeles families in need received food from organizations that provide assistance specifically for Passover.
Four Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles programs that serve the elderly, disabled and frail may end up casualties of the state budget crisis, which leapt to a new level of urgency Tuesday as California lawmakers failed to pass budget revisions before a July 1 deadline.
It is time that we American Jewish liberals who have been left leaning about our politics regarding Israel begin to review the support we give to the organizations that have been leading us. They are proving themselves obsolete, outdated and out-of-touch.
Letters to the editor: Bush administration's failure to deal with violence in the Middle East; maintaining Jewish unity instead of deference to the Jewish Left; Torah portion by Rabbi Lisa Edwards on Leviticus; response to Michael Steinhardt on Jewish philanthropy; and more.
Gary Wexler levels the charges that Americans for Peace Now (APN), along with other organizations associated with American Jewish liberals, are obsolete. He writes that
we are ignoring the "real" threats facing Israel such as those emanating from Syria and Iran, that we are out of touch with the mainstream for questioning the efficacy of Israel's current military actions in Lebanon and Gaza, that we are wrong to believe a peace partner exists on the other side and that our "knee-jerk" reactions and inability to recognize and react to the redefining of American Jewish support for Israel will prove to be our ultimate downfall.
This past September, the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles, the Zimmer Children's Museum and representatives of more than 70 other organizations attended a seminar for nonprofits that I conducted at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
I was an advertising agency copywriter and creative director. I was trained to be one of the manufacturers of hip. I would sit in offices and create hip, and then watch all those people lust after the creations. I reveled in hip.
Do the words "innovative" and "Jewish groups" seem like oxymorons? Not to the publishers of "Slingshot," a new guidebook to the "50 most innovative Jewish groups in North America," published by a division of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies.
President Bush and Congress talk a good game when it comes to homeland security, but the tragic truth is that the country is less able to cope with disasters than before Sept. 11, 2001. The proof is on the flood-ravaged streets of New Orleans, where an unprecedented natural disaster quickly produced violent anarchy and a flaccid government response that multiplied the suffering.
For all the money thrown at preparing for massive terror attacks and other disasters, the new Department of Homeland Security looked more like a Third World bureaucracy, as armed gangs roamed the city and people died for lack of food, water, sanitation and medical supplies.
An investigation into alleged home-grown Muslim extremists has yielded another arrest and prompted law-enforcement agencies and Jewish institutions to tighten security as the Jewish High Holidays approach.
Yaffa Elharar, from Afula in northern Israel, has spent days outside a courtroom in the summer heat of Tampa, Fla., holding a photo of an attractive teenage girl and a sign proclaiming "The Blood of Our Children Calls for Justice."
Elharar is in the United States as a possible witness in the ongoing trial of Sami Al-Arian, accused of heading a Florida support group for Palestinian terrorists.
At the risk of sounding like a cranky old-timer, the Jewish festivals of yore -- the '70s and '80s -- had a distinctive communitywide feel to them. The festival that was once held in Rancho Park drew thousands of people from across the communal spectrum -- young, old, Orthodox, Reform, Israeli, American, rich, poor.
Part of the celebration was a morning march through the city, the marchers waving flags and accruing donations for Israeli charities for each mile they walked. The booths reflected the entire spectrum of Jewish involvement, and the entertainment -- David Broza, Theodore Bikel -- had a multigenerational, cross-cultural appeal.
"It was amazing," said Temple Aliyah's Rabbi Stuart Vogel of the Rancho Park Jewish Festival -- affirming my nostalgia. "The whole Jewish community turned out."
While I appreciate The Journal's attempt at Purim humor, as a long time and very proud shtreimel wearer, I was saddened by your cover of Michael Jackson, currently under indictment and on trial for [alleged] child molestation (Purim Cover, March 25).
Local and national Jewish organizations have mobilized to help tsunami victims and invite the community to participate, as well.
In this remote region, more than 1.5 million African tribal farmers have been violently driven from their homes by the government of Sudan and the militias they armed, called Janjaweed (evil men on horseback). Despite repeated calls from humanitarian organizations and U.N. agencies warning of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, there continues to be a systematic program of expulsion, rape and murderous violence that has taken at least 100,000 lives.
Jews have long had a reputation as being among the most successful minority groups in the country. For the most part, they are. But as a new report from The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles makes clear, not all Southland Jews live large.
Bowing to mounting pressure from Jewish groups, Wal-Mart has decided to stop selling "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" at its Web site.
New twists and turns in the case of alleged wrongdoing by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have left many in the Jewish community baffled.
As early as March of this year, humanitarian organizations were issuing warnings of ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Sudan.
The High Risk Nonprofit Security Enhancement Act of 2004 currently before Congress would allocate $100 million in grants and up to $250 million in government-guaranteed loans for security improvements to nonprofit organizations in 2005, with similar amounts in 2006 and 2007, along with $50 million in grants to law enforcement.
I'm sitting in Gina's Pizza, the local hotspot for members of UC Irvine's Greeks.
If there had been any doubts that I was in another country, they were erased when the first reviews of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" began to appear in the London press.
Should synagogues and Jewish day schools get federal tax dollars to help them beef up security to meet the rising terror threat?
Just this week, at the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) luncheon for combating hate, held at the Skirball Cultural Center, a reporter was told the luncheon was kosher and later found out it might not have been.
To go kosher or not to go kosher -- it doesn't seem to be a major question for Jewish organizations here in Los Angeles.
Increased pressure from officials of American Jewish organizations is driving preliminary talks on a new deal to bring thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel before famine takes a heavy toll on the community remaining in Ethiopia.
Coming on the eve of a federation-sponsored trip to Ethiopia, federation leaders, advocates for Ethiopian Jews, representatives of Jewish humanitarian groups and Israeli government officials met recently in Jerusalem to discuss new ways of expediting the emigration process for thousands of Falash Mura left in Ethiopia. The Falash Mura are Ethiopians whose Jewish ancestors converted to Christianity, often under social pressure, but who have resumed practicing Judaism and whose Jewishness is accepted by all three major Jewish religious denominations, including Israel's chief rabbinate.
When Ross Neihaus exited his chemistry class three days after the start of UCLA's fall quarter, he saw the words "Anti-Zionist and Proud" scrawled in chalk on the wall of an adjacent building. Such a statement coming so early in the quarter was a surprise to the fourth-year biology major, but not a shock.
"I expect this to be my toughest year in college," said Neihaus, the president of Bruins for Israel, UCLA's pro-Israel group. "We are concerned that what will be said this year will be nastier, more radical and essentially more anti-Semitic."
One of the more unusual characters in Jewish literature appears in the Book of Esther.
The Federation is committed to a strong and vibrant JCRC.
Engaging residents of our community to impact the "urban agenda" is the objective. But the agenda of the organized Jewish community must be redefined in a thoughtful, targeted and strategic way to successfully mobilize human resources beyond the core of active, identified Jews.
Tashbih Sayyed believes in democracy as a way of life. He can be counted among the few Muslims in America who believe that modernism, free-thinking and education are keys to rid Muslims from the morass of extremism.
With Abbas in office less than a month, members of Sharon's inner circle already are expressing doubts about whether the Palestinian can deliver.
It took me 15 years of living on the Westside and in the San Fernando Valley to find what I was looking for -- a Jewish lifestyle in Los Angeles fit for my family.
Eat-4-Israel was the brainchild of Monique Grunberger, a high school senior at the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto, who developed the idea with two local Yeshiva University of Los Angeles students, Yitz Novak and Zvi Smith.
The bad blood between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and a group of international pro-Palestinian activists continues to grow as more members of the group are injured in Israeli anti-terror operations.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Wiesenthal Center, has known Nussbaum for seven years. He said the banker's efforts to coax Wells Fargo to pay the reparations reflect Nussbaum's deep commitment to Jewish values.
Sharon Evans founded Adopt-a-Family, a project of the Coalition Against Terror, a nonprofit organization that matches Jewish organizations worldwide.
Look, I know you're busy. What with the spouse, the children, the job, the synagogue, the gym, the board meetings, the dinners --
it's hard to find a moment in your day, your week, your month, your life.
After more than two years of a downward spiral in Israeli-Palestinian relations, the prospect of a new regional balance after an
anticipated American war on Iraq is concentrating Israeli and Palestinian minds.
In an unprecedented event, 650 of the most successful members of Los Angeles' Russian Jewish community gathered under the banner of
Judaism and Israel.
The United States has convinced Israel and Egypt to accept an immediate cut in the American presence in the Sinai, JTA has learned.
A religious court ruled in favor of Chabad of California late last month, awarding it ownership of Marina del Rey properties contested by the Living Judaism Center (LJC), but the ruling has only exacerbated the battle between the two organizations.
The crux of the highly charged dispute centers on which of two rulings -- one backing Chabad of California and the other in favor of LJC -- is the final one that should be recognized under halacha.
I spent most of this past week at the United Jewish Communities (UJC) General Assembly (GA), the annual gathering which, this year, brought nearly 4,000 Jewish communal representatives (and journalists) from North America, Israel and elsewhere overseas.
At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, approximately 40 support groups raise millions of dollars for research, wards, departments, buildings and other medical and physical needs.
Recent boycotts of media outlets, launched mostly by grass-roots groups concerned about anti-Israel bias, have prompted criticism from a few establishment Jewish organizations that have argued that because the Jews and Israel have been the victims of boycotts, the tactic is illegitimate and immoral.
Birthright Israel hopes to send 1,000 participants this winter despite violence in the Middle East.
As the Bush administration seeks international support for an attack on Iraq, Jewish organizations are also crystallizing their positions.
What is the nature of the struggle for Jewish continuity? What is it that the Jewish community is trying to sustain, and why should we bother?
The signs on campus read, "Zionism equals Nazism" and "Why do Israelis love to kill Palestinian children?" One simply showed an Israeli flag dripping blood.
In November of 1994, PBS aired nationwide an unforgettable documentary titled, "Jihad in America." Recognizing as it did -- a year after the first attack on the World Trade Center -- the concrete dangers posed by the radical Islam network beginning to burgeon in the United States, the film caused an upheaval in the perceptions of many viewers -- just the reaction Steven Emerson wanted.
Jewish organizations are increasingly relying on the Internet as a way to augment or even launch fundraising and publicity efforts.
My wedding gown hangs on the rod in the corner of my closet. Although it's sealed in cellophane, the once winter-white dress has lost its luster.
The long-term forecast predicts a very hot autumn on American college campuses, as Israel advocates challenge a well-organized, well-financed anti-Israel campaign by pro-Palestinian activists.
This is the first in a multipart series looking at the Jewish community and Valley secession. Let us know what you think about secession by taking part in our secession forum at www.jewishjournal.com/forum.
As thousands raced from the office towers of Manhattan, Jewish leaders in Los Angeles scrambled in two directions at once.
Two days after the devastating attack on the World Trade Center, Jimmy Delshad was driving toward the Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale to attend a funeral, when he stopped to ask an elderly man for directions.
Despite a tough economic year that prompted more than $550 million in line-item vetoes by Governor Gray Davis, the new California state budget allocates almost $10 million dollars to Jewish organizations.
Israeli military sources were quoted as saying the army had postponed a planned action in Beit Jalla by a day.
In the Brave New World of cloning, most Jewish ethicists and organizations are staking out the middle ground.
A physician might be queen of the operating room, or a lawyer king of the courtroom, but put them up on a bimah, and without some serious background, they'll feel fumbling, foreign and clueless.