Gabler, author of “An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood,” is joined by a star-studded panel that includes actor-director Carl Reiner, Leonard Nimoy (“Star Trek”), Jeff Garlin (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Marta Kauffman (co-creator, “Friends”) and Philip Rosenthal (creator, “Everybody Loves Raymond”). Tue. 7 p.m. Free (Temple Israel of Hollywood members), $10 (general). Temple Israel of Hollywood, 7300 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. RSVP by Feb. 27. (323) 876-8330. tioh.org.
On my wedding day last fall, I was very nervous. My husband and I planned our celebration, to be held in Chicago, entirely on our own and all the way from Boston. We were also combining a Russian-Jewish family with a Sabra-Israeli family, and members of each took long flights to the U.S. for the wedding.
One of the first things I learned about wedding planning is that it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. Oh, I knew it would take time, money, teamwork and a slew of help from my family and friends, but what I never took into account was just how political the entire process would become. Having never been a big fan of politics — personal or otherwise — I was less than thrilled at this discovery.
A traditional Jewish funeral is simple and not ostentatious -- good news for people concerned about the high cost of dying. But while Jewish law doesn't require embalming, elaborate floral displays or 16-gauge metal caskets with tufted crepe interiors, it does require Jews to be buried in the ground. And that costs money.
To me, mere satisfaction -- in job or life -- has always meant stagnancy. But, as we all know, the interview process is exhausting. Besides being on your best behavior, you're subject to constant judgment. Confidence is imperative, and things are often not as they seem.
Now that the holiday season is upon us, it's time to do a little carving -- and we're not talking brisket.
Do you have to spend a king's ransom to have a fabulous bar or bat mitzvah for your child? Absolutely not, but remember that not all money-saving tips are created equal. This one -- which I've read in several places -- wins my top prize as the silliest: Have your party on a Monday and you'll get a slightly better price from the caterer.
Miriam Prum-Hess, an experienced and admired Federation executive, took on a new role working on behalf of day schools last year, an effort to increase the level of professionalism and efficiency in all nonacademic areas. She has become the central address for day schools looking for expertise on operational issues -- fundraising strategies, legal advice, business decisions, purchasing, and human resources.
Whether you're trying to capture a wedding, b'nai mitzvah or 50th anniversary celebration, the day will come and go whether you're ready for it or not. Unless you're prepared, the opportunity to capture family history can easily slip through your fingers.
It's not that glitz, glamour and secular themes at b'nai mitzvah are inherently problematic, like in the soon-to-be-released one-upsmanship film, "Keeping Up With the Steins," but when they're inadequately balanced with Jewish values we can be left with an empty shell of a party that undermines the entire point of these meaningful milestones.
Some 50 South Indian villagers are spread out along the sandy beach. Women clad in brightly colored saris converse in groups, while men repair fishing nets. Teenage boys playfully tackle each other.
Then, the residents of Vellakoil get some news from fellow clansmen: Dangerous weather is on the way.
A year ago, when the tsunami hit, 19 died in this village of less than 500; 14 were children. And everyone's house and belongings were washed away.
This time, they are ready.
I have plenty of friends who keep more strictly kosher than I do, but even some of them make exceptions -- like bouillabaisse in France or lobster in Maine. I deviate when I'm the guest in someone's home, and the options are slim -- my rationale being that it's better to not shame a host than to stick to my half-baked rules.
"You guys know I love Carrie very much, and I'm going to ask her to marry me. I'd like to get your blessing."
Israel has scores of unique wedding venues. Most couples typically choose a venue between Jerusalem and Caesarea, thereby missing out on the many special venues in Israel's periphery.
Forget the perennial issue of the divorced child, having to split holidays (especially holidays like Passover that don't really split equitably, when all that counts is the seder). The real issue is how can I get out of this endless cycle of Jewish holiday four-month advance planning?
Following are pointers on livening up your Chanukah table from "Kosher by Design" by Susie Fishbein (Mesorah, 2003).
Just remember: The most important parts of planning an event is having fun and enjoying the benefits of all your hard work.
Lately it seems as if everyone I know is interested in me getting married. In fact, the person pressuring me the least is my girlfriend, Carrie.
Becoming a grandparent is a very exciting event.
The horrid bus bombings in Beersheba on Tuesday, which claimed the lives of 16 Israelis, including a 3-year-old boy, are grim reminders that the war onterror continues to rage in Israel.
After the high of the High Holidays, twice-a-year Jews hang up their kippot for another 354 days, or so, and in the process miss out on the lesser-known treat of Sukkot.
Sharon hopes to create sufficient motivation among settlers to evacuate their homes willingly in exchange for generous compensation packages, avoiding violent confrontations like those in Yamit.
When the date was set, everything came into focus. He really will become a bar mitzvah. How exciting the whole year became. Bobby knew his prayers and haftarah very well. No one was concerned about that. He began to work on his sermon and master that, too.
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.
The Last-Minute Pajama Party, preparation process.
It was a hot and sunny June afternoon, just hours before Julie Davine's meticulously planned 1991 wedding at the Hotel Sofitel. The huppah stood festooned in tulle with pink and white roses for the evening ceremony. Upstairs, the tuxedoed and gowned wedding party posed for photographs on the balcony of the penthouse bridal suite. Suddenly, Julie said she saw a cloud of black smoke. "I said, 'What's that smoke?' But everyone said I was being neurotic, so I dismissed it," she said.
No evacuation is scheduled to take place until next year, but the mood on both sides already is tense.
Travel agent Rina Silverman, of World Express Travel in Tarzana, said that roundtrip tickets to Israel are selling well for late June, when school gets out, with flights for some days already sold out.
Sometimes the smallest details are the ones that make the biggest impression.
Amid a gaggle of Israeli security guards, bustling volunteers and California Highway Patrol officers wired up to communicate with who knows whom, Rabbi Abraham Cooper runs around the first two of about 50 rows of plastic seats temporarily set up in Jerusalem's Cats Square.
"Bring me chairs over here," says Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, as he tries to move some seats to make room for one more.
"[Israeli Defense Minister] Shaul Mofaz is not going to be a happy man," he says aloud to no one in particular. "See this guy over here?" he tells his helpers, pointing to a flimsy seat that doesn't look big enough to hold the name on the sign: "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger," "this guy doesn't move."
Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros once gave a speech about the tremendous growth of the Latino population in the United States.
"I don't get it," one of them told me. "Here this popular governor is going to Israel at a time when Israel really needs all the friends it can get, and people are turning it into an issue. I've had it with the Jews."
As winter chill gives way to spring sun, it's not too early to start planning a summer trip to Budapest.
It had been perfectly planned. For my brother's bar mitzvah reception, each member of our family was responsible for sitting with and entertaining a particular constituency.
So you're going to have a mitzvah -- whether it is a bar or a bat, the planning begins early.
As both a Los Angeles city ethics commissioner and a Jewish community journalist, I was in a skeptical mood as I took a seat in the audience of a discussion on "Jewish Ethical Values in the Halls of Power: From the Board Room to the Council Chamber."
After only two hours of sleep, I woke up on Aug. 13, 2000, to the sounds of drizzle hitting my hotel window. With a pit in my stomach, I got out of bed -- terrified and excited all at once. It was my wedding day, the culmination of three months of harried planning. I desperately wanted everything about this day to be perfect, to reflect the perfect love that Brad and I shared.
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.
I've had a good time being engaged. People are really nice to you. Strangers wish you "Congratulations!" and "Mazel tov!" Thank you, everyone. As the date has gotten closer, I noticed that people go a little bit insane when I tell them, "I'm getting married -- on Thursday." They all seem to think that I should be doing something. What, exactly, I don't know. Baking a cake, maybe.
Judaism's moral imagination describes that King Ahashuerus was not able to sleep because of all that was going on around him: Esther was involved with planning and preparing her next feast; Haman was busy building gallows; Mordecai was upset, praying and wearing sackcloth.
Is the United States going to fight for that New Babylon, a democratic, peace-loving, malice-free Iraq that will serve as a model for the whole Arab re-gion? The answer is probably "yes."
Because elder care can be an enormous drain on an individual's resources, with nursing homes costing in excess of $100 a day and home care costing even more, planning ahead and buying long-term-care insurance is one way of preventing the costs from being too overwhelming.
"For bioterrorism, we're about as prepared as we are for snow," said City Councilman Jack Weiss, who has spent a year working with security experts and local officials to figure out what Los Angeles needs to do to prepare for and prevent terrorist attacks.
The protracted court case, which is now awaiting an environmental impact report (EIR) from the school, shows how badly a school building project can go when met with fiery opposition by the surrounding community.
Within the last few weeks, a number of developments have added strength and further scope to these programs.
Even hypothetically, it's not so simple. How do I feel about life-sustaining technology? At what point, if ever, would food and water be a form of futile prolonging of life?
The Council of Israeli Community (CIC), an organization primarily known for planning the annual Israeli Independence Day Festival in Los Angeles, is moving in new directions in the wake of the current Middle East crisis.
According to Vice President Haim Linder, the CIC (originally called the Council of Israeli Organizations) came together in 1996 as one arm of a nonprofit umbrella organization called the Promoting Israel Education and Culture Fund. The group adopted its current title and mission statement on Sept. 10, 2001.
"We got together at Valley Beth Shalom. At noon we went home, knowing we had a new organization, and then we all know what happened the next day," Linder said.
It is common to find couples with different, and even conflicting, attitudes toward spending money.
Monique Maas Gibbons is co-chair of the Business and Professional Women's Division, a branch of the Women's Campaign of the United Jewish Fund (and an extension of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles).