On Dec. 14, 2012, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School with a semi-automatic rifle and two semi-automatic handguns, he easily broke through the school security system.
Shabbat dinner tells one part of the story. When Alon Kashanian, a UCLA senior, wants a “very big social atmosphere” on erev Shabbat, he goes to Hillel’s grand, Jerusalem-stone-adorned, 25,000-square-foot Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life on Hilgard Avenue in Westwood. He socializes with friends and mingles with some of the 100 to 200 students — the number can vary widely — who come for services and Friday night dinner.
The Jewish Student Union at the University of California-Berkeley rejected J Street U for membership for the second time since 2011.
First responders have been, rightly so, the focus of national attention since the terrorist attacks at the finish line of the Boston Marathon this past April. We have marveled at men and women tearing down barricades, running in the direction of smoke and chaos, unmoved by possible personal injury, in order to care for the needs of others.
Three years ago, I wrote a version of this column. Because it went viral — often listing me as the high school principal who actually gave this speech! — I am revising it and publishing it here. I believe that if every school principal gave this speech, America would be a better place.
Rose Bern isn’t afraid to fight for her values. The 17-year-old, who recently graduated from Shalhevet High School and lives in Westwood, has strong convictions when it comes to feminism, justice and fairness.
After surviving opposition funded by the mayors of America’s two biggest cities, newly re-elected Los Angeles Unified School District board member Steve Zimmer says his win has preserved a “system of checks and balances” in running L.A.’s huge school district.
A knife-wielding woman was arrested after threatening a student of the Toulouse Jewish school where an Islamist radical murdered four people nearly a year ago.
A cache of weapons was discovered hidden in an elementary school in an Arab-Israeli village in northern Israel.
Residents of the Holy City woke up to a blanket of white as some six inches of snow fell overnight, the largest snowfall since 1992. Schools were cancelled, businesses closed and joyful children bundled up to play in the cold white stuff many had never seen or enjoyed.
A conference call on school safety organized by the security arm of two national Jewish umbrellas drew over 800 participants.
Money has a way of dominating issues. This is true of politics and presidential elections, and it’s also true of Jewish education. Just say the words “Jewish education,” and the first word you’ll typically hear is “unaffordable.”
The American pro-Israel community has a lot of work to do. While many pro-Israel organizations in the United States, including AIPAC, Christians United for Israel, Stand with US and Hasbara have been extremely effective in defending the Jewish State, there is always more we can do. Here is a list of the five greatest challenges facing the American pro-Israel community in the next four years.
We’re worried. That’s what we Jews do, of course. Often, for good reason. While we’re pleased to see California voters currently favor Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 initiative to restore a measure of fiscal stability to the state, polls show that support is precarious.
When theater producers Pierson Blaetz and Whitney Weston established Friends of Fairfax to help Fairfax High School in 1998, they came up with the Melrose Trading Post, a flea market held every weekend in the high school’s parking lot. But the annual $200,000 from the Trading Post has not been enough to help Fairfax High cover the shortfall it’s currently facing due to statewide cuts in education spending.
When the Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts and Sciences (AEA) opened in August 2010, part of the draw for parents was the chance for students at the Santa Clarita charter middle and high school to study Hebrew. Since then, AEA backers have submitted petitions to set up elementary schools in the Newhall School District, Los Angeles Unified School District and Ventura Unified School District, without success. In August 2012, a revised version of its twice-rejected petition for an elementary charter was submitted to the Saugus Union School District in Santa Clarita. Among the changes in the newest version was eliminating offering Hebrew at the school, at least initially.
Americans for Peace Now is establishing a presence on college campuses aimed at reaching students and faculty.
The Saugus Union School District is set to hold a third hearing on Sept. 19 regarding a petition to establish an Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts & Sciences (AEA) charter elementary school in Santa Clarita. If approved, the school would be the second in the AEA family of charter schools, along with a charter high school in Santa Clarita that started its third year in August. It would also be one of a handful of charter schools on the West Coast where Hebrew is taught as a second language. Classes in Mandarin would also be offered.
Shalhevet high school is close to finalizing a deal to sell more than half of its 2.4 acres to a property developer who plans to build an apartment complex on the lot at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard. The plan will put Shalhevet on firmer financial footing, head of school Ari Segal told the Boiling Point, Shalhevet’s school newspaper. The school currently carries heavy debt and has limited funds for capital improvements and programming, Segal said.
When Rabbi Adam Raskin arrived at Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, Md., last year, he was determined to reach out to teenagers uninvolved with the Conservative synagogue's youth activities.
Not long ago, psychologist Madeline Levine gave a lecture at a Jewish day school near her home in Marin County, Calif. The topic: "Your Average Child."
Meet 22-year-old Jeremy Moskowitz, the poster child for what Hillel hopes will be a revolution in campus Jewish life. The catch: He didn’t spend much time at Hillel during his four years at Duke University.
It seems like only yesterday that my friend Teri was telling me that if she could do college all over again she would take different courses: literature, poetry and just a greater variety of subjects. Well, I’ve got some good news: turns out that you can now take an amazing variety of courses, many of them offered by universities that most of us couldn’t get into today, such as Harvard, Oxford and Stanford, many of them free. What’s the hitch? Just this: the courses are online.
On a Thursday this past March, at around 11:40 a.m., the alluring scent of chicken schnitzel – freshly breaded and pan-fried — wafted through the parking lot of New Community Jewish High School (NCJHS) in West Hills.
I remember my kindergarten graduation. We wore crowns on our heads and had big smiles on our faces. We sang songs, cute songs about the changing seasons and growing up. And then we received our diplomas, had an ice cream party and were hugged and kissed by our loved ones.
“Yeah, those years of seventh to ninth grade were not the greatest years for Jacob Cohen,” Jacob Cohen says, trying to bring a little levity to a pretty grueling litany.
In any political race, each candidate tries to define what the election will be about. With California’s June 5 primary just days away, the candidates in California’s new 46th Assembly District race are still shaping the context in which voters will make their choices.
A Toronto Islamic school has lost the right to use a public school for its classes after anti-Semitic teachings were discovered in its curriculum and posted on its website.
Does understanding our past enable us to move forward more freely? This question was among those posed by Eugene Yelchin, a Russian-born author/illustrator of books for children, in a recent discussion with students during his visit to Wilshire Boulevard Temple's Brawerman Elementary School in West Los Angeles.
A suburban New York father is suing his school district over the anti-Semitic taunting of his son.
Few universities have garnered as much international attention and Jewish communal concern over student-led, anti-Israel and sometimes anti-Semitic activities on campus than the University of California, Irvine (UCI).
For decades, the American Jewish community has debated the advisability, constitutionality and necessity of government aid to Jewish (and other faiths’) parochial schools. But with the United States still experiencing tough economic challenges, the American Jewish community finds its schools under greater financial stress than ever.
Today, I stopped home to change my outfit before picking up my kid from day care.
The Beren Academy Orthodox Jewish day school should never have been accepted to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, the association's director told a Texas newspaper.
Like old soldiers, Jewish organizations never die. For proof, look to Bnai Zion. Established in 1908 in New York as the Order of the Sons of Zion B’nai Zion, the organization has, over the years, changed its name and mission, and even lost its apostrophe.
The teacher stands in front of the sparse classroom, its walls bare and paint peeling. “This school looks like a prison,” one of my fellow travelers whispers. Many of the children are huddled in coats; schools in this neighborhood do not have heat, and the unexpected rain and cool air chill the room.
As a rabbi and an imam, we deeply mourn the tragic loss of innocent lives in the murderous terrorist attacks in France. We express our heartfelt sympathy and compassion for the bereaved.
Rona Ramon, widow of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who was killed in the Columbia space shuttle disaster, will join in a festive event on March 25, marking the renaming of a Jewish day school in her husband’s honor.
At Sioux City Middle School in Iowa, 12-year-old Alex Libby is the odd-man-out. Seen by his peers as different, he has golden hair, gentle eyes, a wide, flat nose and permanently puckered lips. Together, they might seem to express something both pouty and vulnerable, sweet and sad. Kids are not so kind. “People call me fish face,” he blankly tells the camera in the new documentary “Bully” by filmmaker Lee Hirsch. “I don’t mind.”
Ron Avi Astor, the Richard M. and Ann L. Thor Professor in Urban Social Development at USC, has been studying the epidemiology of school violence for nearly 30 years. In 1997, he moved his family to Jerusalem for one year to run the first-ever large-scale comprehensive school violence survey in Israel, with his partner, Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor Rami Benbenishty.
The standoff in France between police and Mohammed Merah, the suspect in the shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, stretched into its 13th hour Wednesday.
The Jewish community in New York gathered for a memorial service at the Consulate of France Tuesday afternoon. The well-attended service was organized by Rabbis Joseph Potasnik and Avi Weiss. Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, Senior Rabbi of the Park Avenue Synagogue, offered the comfort of psalm and prayer.
The breaking news from France yesterday morning was tragic. Just after 8:00 a.m., a lone assailant on a motorcycle pulled up in front of the Ozar Hatorah School in a quiet neighborhood in the eastern part of Toulouse and opened fire with two high-powered handguns.
French police stepped up the search on Tuesday for a gunman who apparently filmed the scene as he shot dead three children and a rabbi at point-blank range in a Jewish school, warning that he had already killed twice last week and could strike again soon.
Three former French soldiers who were believed to be involved in the shooting attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse were questioned and released by French police.
When Arié Bensemhoun, a Jewish community leader in Toulouse, woke up on March 20, he thought for a moment that the horrific shooting of three children and a rabbi at a local Jewish school might just have been a bad dream.
Israeli leaders condemned remarks by European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton which appeared to compare the Toulouse victims to deaths in Gaza, while Ashton said her words were "grossly distorted."
The four victims of the attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse will be buried in Israel. The bodies will be flown from Toulouse to Paris by the French Air Force and then will be flown by El Al to Israel.
French Jews in Southern California reacted with sadness and disgust, but not surprise, to the shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, that left three children and one teacher dead.
New York police ramped up security at synagogues and other Jewish institutions citywide on Monday following the deadly attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse, France.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that the same gunman who shot dead a teacher and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday was also responsible for the killing of three soldiers last week, apparently motivated by racism.