Philanthropist and game show icon Monty Hall took center stage last week at Temple Shalom for the Arts when he stepped up to the bimah to read from the Torah at his bar mitzvah. Hall embraced the ancient tradition of a second bar mitzvah surrounded by an overflowing group of friends and well-wishers who turned out to share this "second" special life moment.
Stepping up to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, Jewish day schools opened their doors to evacuees, families welcomed strangers into their homes, Jewish rescue squads searched through the storm's wreckage and Jewish organizations raised millions of dollars for those whose lives were turned topsy-turvy by the deadly storm.
Houston has quickly become a major haven for victims who have been left, for the moment at least, without homes. The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston quickly jumped into action to aid the beleaguered evacuees, Jew and non-Jew alike.
When it comes to helping victims of the Southeast Asian tsunami, the American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is taking the adage, "teach a man how to fish," quite literally.
As part of its long-term relief efforts for victims of the Dec. 26 tragedy, the group is working with its partner organizations in the region, including the Sanghamitra Service Society in Andhra Pradesh, India, which helps local fishing communities with sustainable development and disaster preparedness. The philosophy behind the group's post-tsunami effort is the same as that behind general AJWS operations -- long-term efforts through collaboration with groups in the region.