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  • Rite of Passage Bestows Bundle of Intangible Gifts

    By Sharon Duke Estroff

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    When we think of bar and bat mitzvah gifts, many things come to mind: fountain pens, cuff links, picture frames, checks. But the true gifts of this religious rite of passage extend far beyond the envelopes and boxes piled up at the party door. Here are a few of the intangible yet...
  • Next Year in Cannes

    By Max Gottlieb

    June 15, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    It's a tough thing trying to arrange a Shabbat dinner at the Cannes Film Festival.

    My friend, Scott Einbinder, had gotten the idea two years ago, during my first trip to the festival. At first, I was hesitant. I was focused on business, a filmmaker obsessed with my career. Plus, I...

  • Throw a Party With a Purpose

    By Sharon Duke Estroff

    April 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "I'll call your bet and raise you two," the sequin-clad woman said.

    "Go for it," I said, only to see my winnings swept up moments later by a poker-faced dealer.

    "You may have won this round," I told my chip-hauling opponent. "But just wait until after the Motzi!"

    Having one son...

  • Eco-Friendly Parties Mix Mitzvah, Simcha

    By Pearl Salkin

    April 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Three days after my son, Will, ascended the bimah as a bar mitzvah, I stopped by our shul to drop off some books and thank the principal of the Hebrew school and others who made his big day such a wonderful experience.

    When I got back in my car and drove past the piles of huge trash...

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  • Ready, Aim, Birthday!

    By Judy Gruen

    March 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    It's not every day that I am E-vited to a birthday party promising to feature live ammunition. Excitedly, I E-sponded with a resounding "yes."

    Paula was throwing a Wild West-themed shindig for her husband Bill's birthday. It was a "BYOF" (Bring Your Own Firearm) affair.

    "Don't...

  • The Circuit

    By Norma Zager

    February 16, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Supercause for Super bowl

    Goodies abounded on Super Bowl Sunday as, for the 20th consecutive year, "Doctor to the Stars" and Fulfillment Fund founder Gary Gitnick, chief of the Division of Digestive Diseases at UCLA School of Medicine, and his gracious wife, Cherna, opened their home...

  • Fit L.A. - The Birthday Party Crasher: Dr. Atkins

    By Judy Gruen

    January 19, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Over the past few months, I have relished the apparent collapse of the low-carb industry. Low-carb specialty stores and magazines arrived with much fanfare but soon crumbled like a tired soufflé.

    Good riddance to them, I thought -- especially the magazine that tried to bilk me...

  • The Circuit

    By Norma Zager

    January 12, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Shining Lights

    The Jewish Federation's Young Leadership Division put a cool spin on Chanukah with "Latkes and Blackjack" at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood. The usually dark alternative music club had a cheery holiday makeover as dreidels and chocolate gelt were spread across...

  • 24-Hour Party People

    By Amy Klein

    January 12, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    There's a guy in line behind me whose name I can't remember but who is a good friend of a 50-year-old I once dated whose name I also can't remember, which is kind of ironic -- I stopped dating him because he's too old, and it's my memory that's failing.

    But that's neither here nor...

  • Post-Bar Mitzvah Stress Disorder

    By Judy Gruen

    January 12, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Our youngest son has just celebrated his bar mitzvah, and I am recovering from a case of Post-Bar Mitzvah Stress Disorder. This is a seriously underreported malady, yet shockingly, the government has yet to allocate a single dollar to research. If this doesn't change soon, I'm going...

  • Advice From an Insider

    By Kayla Greenberg

    January 12, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Flashing lights blind me. I am deafened by the pounding music. I feel lost among the moving bodies. Where am I? At the scene of yet another sensory-overloaded bar mitzvah party.

    I am disturbed by the dancing girls dressed in tube tops and thigh-length skirts and people drinking at...

  • 11:59 and No Plan

    By Dara Lehon

    December 29, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    It's almost 2006, and I'm almost proud of myself. Almost.

    I've accomplished most of my 2005 New Year's resolutions: Been a devoted daughter/aunt/sister/friend, got a new job, got into grad school and bought a new, sumptuously soft forest green couch, complete with a plush, inviting...

  • He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Dated

    By Amy Klein

    November 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    You know how Harry Potter has a scar emblazoned on his forehead from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? Dan has a big T for Trouble on his, marking him as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Dated.

    Let me start in the middle: I go to this party at an awful place in Santa Monica, in some dark and crowded and...

  • 525,600 Minutes

    By Wendy Jaffe

    September 22, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    I was sitting in the AMC theater in Woodland Hills, a captive of a dull series of pre-movie advertisements, when I started to think about my next column. I considered writing about fasting (argue that a tall Starbucks latte might be an acceptable fasting exception, compared to a...

  • Party Pooper

    By Carin Davis

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    My college friends Jordy and Michelle are throwing a party -- a birthday party for their 1-year-old son. That's right, my former party 'til the break of dawn dormmates are hosting a luau for their little one. This should be good.

    I walk into the Hawaiian-themed rager and am...

  • Recipes Add Spice to New Party Trend

    By Beverly Levitt

    August 11, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Although today's bar mitzvah parties are often as elaborate as yesterday's weddings, there's a new trend on the horizon -- a, noisy, jubilant oneg Shabbat and lunch directly after the ceremony, and a quiet, intimate dinner at home for a few close friends and family at night.

    The...

  • Project Shabbat a ‘Go’ in Cannes

    By Carole Raphaelle Davis

    May 26, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Every year in May, a phenomenon occurs in the South of France -- the Cannes Film Festival. Like showy, migrating birds, "Zee American Show Beez people" make their annual flight to the Riviera convention of Hollywood deal-makers. Clinging to their cell phones, they stuff...

  • Circuit

    By Kelly Hartog

    April 21, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    Party Hearty I

    More than 900 young professionals attended the third annual ATID Purim Party at the Peterson Automotive Museum on March 19.

    It was drinking and dancing the night away to the sounds of DJ Bakdraft, and prizes for the best costumes, including casino resort weekends, LA...

  • Creative Calm Over Shower Stress

    By Beverly Levitt

    February 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Are you the designated bridal shower giver this season? Don't let the happy occasion of your daughter, your best friend's daughter or even your fourth cousin-once-removed's daughter give you the jitters. This is a time to be joyful. A time to be extravagant. A time to spend, to...

  • Westside JCC Bash Celebrates 50 Years

    By Marc Ballon

    December 16, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    Sol Marshall looked at the aging Westside Jewish Community Center and smiled.

    "I think it looks great," he said.

    Marshall, 92, served as the center's first public relations director five decades ago. For an instant, he allowed himself to become lost in remembrance of things past....

  • Calendar

    By Keren Engelberg

    December 9, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    The Jewish Journal is no longer accepting mailed or faxed event listing information. Please e-mail event listings at least three weeks in advance to: calendar@jewishjournal.com.

    By Keren Engelberg

    Calendar...

  • Latkes Without End, Amen

    By Rob Eshman

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    It's 1991, and I am in the basement kitchen of Temple Mishkon Tephilo in Venice. I don't know what it looks like now, but back then, many years ago, the place had an Army hospital feel about it: beige cupboards that didn't sit quite flush on their hinges; floor-level shelves...

  • It’s All About the Olive Oil

    By Linda Morel

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    "I like to have fun in the kitchen," said Susie Fishbein, a stay-at-home mother of four -- three girls and a boy -- who became an overnight success with the publication of her cookbook, "Kosher by Design: Picture-perfect food for the holidays & every day" (Mesorah, 2003).

    While...

  • L.A. Jewish GOP Parties, Dems Despair

    By Marc Ballon

    November 4, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Stress and disappointment gave way to jubilation at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) of Los Angeles' election night party as President George W. Bush piled up the electoral votes and turned the map of the United States Republican red.

    The mood was far more somber at the...

  • Key Congress Races Hold Great Import

    By Matthew E. Berger

    October 21, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Perhaps it makes sense that Allyson Schwartz's campaign headquarters sits above a Russian Jewish market on a small strip mall -- after all, Schwartz is considered to have the best chance of any candidate to join the Jewish caucus in Congress.

    The Democratic Pennsylvania state...

  • Another Braff Tale of Jewish Ennui

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 16, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green" by Joshua Braff (Algonquin Books, $22.95).

    While fidgeting at Shabbat dinner, Jacob Green decides to play a game he calls "The Unthinkable" -- imagining blasphemies that would infuriate his super-strict father. Like hurling the challah...

  • More Meaning, Less Material

    By Rabbi Jack Riemer

    September 9, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "Danny Siegel's Bar and Bat Mitzvah Book: A Practical Guide for Changing the World Through Your Simcha," by Danny Siegel (The Town House Press, $12).

    This is a book that we have long needed. I wish that it had been around when my children were becoming bar and bat mitzvah.

    Bar and...

  • Bar Mitzvah Cheer—Without Cheerleaders

    By Andrew Silow-Carroll

    August 12, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    We were halfway through my older son's bar mitzvah year, and I'd been stumbling through an emotional landscape littered with caterers' proposals, reception hall bills and unanswered e-mails from my wife demanding that I "please, please call the band and ask them if they are available...

  • B’nai Mitzvah Planning Guide

    By Joan G Friedman

    August 12, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    At Birth

    When the child is born, start saving! It's not a bad idea to start two savings accounts; one for college and one for the bar or bat mitzvah.

    One to three years ahead

    • Set the date.

    • Set a budget.

    • Reserve the synagogue.

    • Reserve the hall for additional receptions.

    • ...

  • Mother of the Bat

    By Elyce Wakerman

    August 12, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    A friend of mine called in a lather the other day, all het up about her daughter's upcoming bat mitzvah.

    "I can't believe it," she said, her voice a good octave higher than usual, "there's so much to think about. You have to find a place, decide on a menu, pick out flowers and...

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