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  • How Jewish ritual helped me find my way through loss

    By Danielle Berrin

    October 2, 2014 | 11:06 am

    I had to press my lips closed, the day after it ended.

    The ritual was no longer mine. My duty was complete. But the words, with their cadences and rhythms, their alliterative twists — yitgadal v’yitgadash — had become my anthem. For 11 months, I had owned these words, claimed...

  • Camp advice for parents: FAQs

    February 12, 2014 | 4:15 pm

    Every year in the months prior to the beginning of camp, I get numerous phone calls from parents who have a variety of concerns about sending their children to camp for the first time. If you’re one of these parents, allow me to offer some advice.

    First of all, know that you are...

  • Sibling Rivalry

    December 6, 2013 | 8:10 am

    This Shabbat, Jews all over the world are reading Vayigash - a Torah portion that continues the saga of Joseph and his brothers, and the story of sibling rivalry that spiraled way, way out of control. Just to recap: Joseph is the young and favored son of our patriarch Jacob, and...

  • Child Labor

    December 3, 2013 | 10:40 am

    In the cafeteria a few weeks ago, my fourth-grade daughter's friends were complaining about their lunches. The dessert was missing. The fruit was bruised. The drink was no good.

    Why didn't you pack yourself a better lunch? she asked.

    Incredulous eyes swung to her. They don't...

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  • Hanukkah After Thanksgivukkah

    November 29, 2013 | 11:51 am

    The much-anticipated, much-discussed holiday of Thanksgivukkah has ended - and as you've probably heard, it won't be back for 70,000 years. I'm emptying the fall-colored dreidels from my Thanksgiving cornucopia, going back to sour cream on my latkes (cranberry sauce is fun for a...

  • Raising a Grateful Child

    November 15, 2013 | 9:04 am

    Shabbat Shalom! Our next couple of Fridays may find us thinking not only of Shabbat - but also of the rapidly-approaching Thanksgiving holiday. (How has the time passed so quickly?) In addition to figuring out the best way to carve a turkey and if it's worth it to make our mashed...

  • Mommy, What Happened in the Philippines?

    November 11, 2013 | 4:55 pm

    Tens of thousands dead. Communities destroyed. Food and medical supplies running out. Survivors desperate and suffering: The devastating news continues to pour forth from the Philippines, and horrific accounts and images from Typhoon Haiyan leave us overwhelmed and shattered. How...

  • Arguing Like Abraham

    November 5, 2013 | 9:22 am

    I facilitated a parenting discussion this past weekend, which is one of my favorite things to do (besides hanging out with my family and - shamefully - watching Vampire Diaries after the kids have gone to bed). We talked about why our children should be helping around the house,...

  • A Year after Sandy

    October 29, 2013 | 7:07 pm

    I had just picked up the kids, and we were en route to their favorite after-school snack spot when we noticed the American flag flying over the post office. "Hey," my daughter asked, "why is the flag only halfway up the pole?" Because, I answered, it's the one-year anniversary of...

  • Should I “Rescue” My Middle-Schooler?

    October 23, 2013 | 8:07 pm

    My three kids and I made it out the door on time this morning - and, yes, I will happily accept congratulations for this not-always-the-case occurrence! The ride to school went smoothly, and one of our favorite safety-patrollers was on duty as my kids tumbled out of the car,...

  • Survey: Israeli parents give children cell phones for peace of mind

    August 14, 2013 | 9:50 am

    One in four Israeli children between the ages of 6 and 8 has their own cell phone, a new survey found.

    The number increases to one in three children for ages 9 to 11, and 91 percent for children ages 12-14, the survey by the Israeli cell phone company Pelephone found.

    The...

  • What I want for Father’s Day

    June 12, 2013 | 5:22 pm

    If you’ve never had a tooth extracted, I can assure you that it is everything you’d imagine and more, especially since I opted out of the general anesthesia that would’ve rendered me unconscious during the procedure. Turns out, I didn’t need it. You can imagine the surprise of the...

  • Mother’s Day: Redefined

    May 10, 2013 | 2:03 pm

    There are tons of stereotypes about Jewish women … the overbearing matriarch, the do-it-all maven, the neurotic meshugennah, the your-business-is-my-business yenta. You might embody an aspect of one or none of these. You might love the idea. Or shudder at the thought of it....

  • Chewable Xanax and the shoe debacle

    By Teresa Strasser

    April 18, 2012 | 12:02 pm

    I had to look inside myself, which was kind of like looking into my high school locker: moldy half-eaten sandwich, a few loose Starburst candies, heaps of notebooks and burrito-stained gym clothes obscuring the few things of value. Sure, there’s a book of Sylvia Plath poems and a...

  • Decals on my car - don’t want any!

    By Julia Bendis

    February 10, 2011 | 11:45 am

    Does having a decal of children, dogs and your entire family on your car make you a better Mom?  And more importantly, does NOT having one make me a bad Mom?

    I was pondering that question as I sat in traffic on the 405 freeway the other day.  As usual, I was stuck behind a Minivan...

  • Searching for the soul

    October 22, 2008 | 10:17 pm

    On a recent Friday night, during one of her rare articulate moments, I asked my 88-year-old mother with Alzheimer’s if she could feel her soul.

    “Yes, I certainly can,” she answered slowly, searching for her words, as she struggled to express the reflection of the feelings inside.

    ...
  • The Parent Trap

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    August 23, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Teenagers in Tennessee who want tattoos need a note from Mom or Dad. A minor in Indiana had best have parental permission if he of she is planning to pierce anything other than ears.

    In both Israel and America, parents and politicians alike are searching for some solution to the...

  • Alike, But Different

    By Rabbi Jonathan Jaffe Bernhard

    August 31, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    I am one of three totally different children, and my parents have assured me that none of us is adopted.

    I find this hard to believe.

    I am not sure if my siblings have thought about this, but it has certainly crossed my mind a few times. How could three such radically dissimilar...

  • Our Uri

    By David Grossman

    August 24, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Hours before the cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah went into effect, Israel Defense Forces tank commander Uri Grossman, the son of acclaimed Israeli novelist David Grossman, was killed by an Hezbollah anti-tank missile. This is an excerpt of the eulogy David Grossman delivered...
  • A Mother’s Wish for Her Daughter’s Day

    By Wendy Jaffe

    August 11, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Aaaah, to be a Jewish parent 1,000 years ago. Sure you had to worry about anti-Semites trying to exterminate your people, dying from the flu and wild animals eating your children for lunch, but what a breeze to plan your child's bar mitzvah. No invitations to send, no DJs to hire, no...

  • Child’s Play

    By Teresa Strasser

    August 4, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Is our culture trying to scam us into having kids?

    This is an epic question and I only have 850 words, so let me start close to home, with my grandma.

    "Listen to me," she said last week over the phone from Reseda. "You have to have kids. You'll never regret it. It's the best thing...

  • On Jewish Mothers

    By Annie Korzen

    October 21, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    I was raised on Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx by a woman who could have taken Olympic gold in Jewish mothering. Sonia, Abie-the-tailor's

    wife, never stopped fearing for my life. She made me wear galoshes on sunny days ("It might rain, you never know!"), and warned that if I left the...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    August 5, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    A Loving Parent

    When I read the Torah, I see two things: 1) God is a parent who loves and disciplines his children. 2)The people of Israel are loving children who constantly test God's boundaries: "I don't want this food. I'm too tired to walk. When will we get there?" If you read Parshat Ekev, you will see the story in action. God teaches the children of Israel to be patient, brave and to make good choices. If they do, they will be rewarded. It's like getting to have fun all summer, because we worked hard all year in school.

  • The Circuit

    By Andrea Adelson

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Patent Appointee

    Howard J. Klein, an Irvine patent attorney and Jewish Republican activist, was appointed to an advisory panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in July.

    Klein, 53, will serve a three-year term on the panel, created by Congress in 1999. Its function is to...

  • Minority Retort

    By Michael Aushenker

    April 30, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    A war is brewing. A minority in our midst is being actively persecuted. Society fears and loathes them. The government is using legislation to identify them and the military to hunt, contain and kill them. This is not Nazi Germany. This is America.

    If the plot of "X2: X-Men United,"...

  • Kids Page

    By Abby Gilad

    May 16, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    10 Commandments

    On Shavuot, we read special sections from the Torah. One of those is the Ten Commandments. The first five are engraved on the right tablet. The second five on the left. The first five, according to the rabbis, fall into the category of commandments "between humans...

  • Careless Undertaking

    By Mike Levy

    January 10, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    A gruesome scandal at two Jewish cemeteries in Florida may have implications at a cemetery near you.

    A class-action lawsuit alleges that Menorah Gardens oversold space at its Palm Beach County cemetery and at another cemetery in Broward County.

    The lawsuit also claims that remains...

  • Your Letters

    December 6, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    JCC Closures

    As a longtime Jewish Community Center (JCC) devotee and one-time Hollywood-Los Feliz director, I find our community's possible loss of any part of the JCC system as tragic and appalling ("Flourish, Not Fail" and "JCCs in Jeopardy," Nov. 30). Yes, the handwriting has...

  • High Time

    By Diane Arieff

    November 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    For the past three years, in meetings that often go toward midnight, a handful of local parents, educators and community leaders have been coming together to plan Los Angeles' next non-Orthodox Jewish high school.

    Now it has come to pass. Late last month, the Core Group, as the...

  • Childhood Echoes Onstage

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 31, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    The two voices began screaming inside Murray Mednick's head the minute he sat down to write a play some years ago. The characters were arguing viciously about money.

    They sounded alarmingly familiar.

    "I recognized my parents," said Mednick, founder of the Padua Hills Playwrights...

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