Academy Award winner and peace activist Yuval Ron brings his ensemble to a stage near you. With focused efforts to lessen the national, racial, religious and cultural divides that often dominate the Middle East, Ron chooses to celebrate, unite and bridge these gaps.
Usually, the frantic words, “Someone get the rabbi!” uttered in a hospital room mean only one thing. So Debbie Marcus burst into tears when Rabbi Jason Weiner was summoned to her grandfather’s room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in July 2008.
The philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel emphasized time rather than space as the major category of significance in Judaism. The first divine hallowing in creation was the seventh day, the Sabbath, not any place or thing. When the child asked Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, “Where is God?” he answered, “Whenever you let Him in.” Not “where” but “when,” and not place but time is the locus of godliness.
On Friday night, June 15 JewishJournal.com will be airing a live stream of Temple Judea's Shabbat services.
On Friday night, June 8 JewishJournal.com will be airing a live stream of Beth Chayim Chadishim's Shabbat services.
On Aug. 30, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) held its annual security meeting at its Los Angeles headquarters to advise local Jewish leaders on possible threats facing the community in advance of the High Holy Days.
Cantor Ruth Berman Harris has been earning paychecks for leading services since she was 15, years before a cantorial school even existed in her native Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Aish brings together rhythem, beats and davening for their 'Rosh Hashanah in the house tonight' dancing spectacle.
A bona fide institution in Los Angeles’ Jewish community, Friday Night Live is one of the biggest Shabbat celebrations in town. Blending the religious with the musical and offering an environment conducive to socializing, Sinai Temple’s monthly service regularly attracts up to 1,000 people.
The spirited, eclectic Happy Minyan of L.A. davening Hoshana Rabba concluding Sukkot. Guest chazans, New York's Yehuda Green and Lazar Wax, lead and deliver the cantillation.
But as much as she loves the pulpit, Naomi, like me, finds the modern synagogue problematic. She believes that Judaism offers people a sense of purpose, a mission to heal society and a fulfilling spiritual path, but that too often standard synagogue services don't attract or inspire Jews, much less compel them to commit to a community.
There's nothing like a heated, intelligent political debate to get Jews' social synapses firing. Jewish Journal staff writer, Brad Greenberg, a.k.a. The God Blogger, will be holding the reins of "The Young Jewish Vote," where Republican Jewish Coalition Director Larry Greenfield will face Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena) in a battle to win the hearts and educated minds of young Jewish professionals between the ages of 21 and 39
Job one: Contact the hospital or mortuary so that you can fill out any paperwork, i.e., death certificate, as soon after the death as possible
Friday night Shabbat services at Temple Akiba Culver City with Rabbi Zachary Shapiro and Cantor Lonee Frailich .
Has anyone else noticed that the only difference between your local Starbucks and your local homeless shelter is the shelter has a faster turnover?
Being a service member in Operation Iraqi Freedom, I also realized that life, like the sukkah, is temporary. One never knows how long one might live or when one might die.
Here's a variation on Wolpe's idea -- let your children stand in awe in front of the bimah, but then take them behind the bimah. Raise the curtain and demystify the sanctuary. By doing so you help them feel comfortable.
The new shul is a testament to the Jewish community's growth in the area, which already houses another equally large Chabad campus close to the Las Vegas Strip.
Now Moshe is gone too. As I entered the graveyard, I saw his mother. I started to mumble my condolences when this old woman, a survivor of Auschwitz, gave me a stern look.
"Spare your words," she said dryly. "It's between me and God."
What could I possibly say to this woman, who had lost all her family in the Holocaust, who married another Holocaust survivor, started a new chapter in Israel and gave birth to two sons -- only to lose them as well as her husband, who died heartbroken after Issachar was killed?
According to the Pew study, illegal immigrants add 700,000 new consumers to the economy every year, while legal immigrants account for 600,000. As these illegal immigrants move up economically -- 84 percent of them are ages 18 to 44, as compared to 60 percent of legal residents -- their spending on credit cards, loans and mortgages will help boost the economy.
"Just one Shabbos and we'll all be free," religious rocker Mordechai Ben David sang back in the 1980s. Well, for the last decade, one Jewish organization has tried to get people to experience Shabbat at least once a year.
Corporate, private and organizational donors underwrite the day, including Temple Israel. The budget this year is $450,000. The city's participation will include providing security, busing and street closures. Additional donors are both welcomed and needed, Levinson said.
Christian Zionists see the existence of modern Israel as a precondition for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which they believe will be marked by the violent death of millions, including the ingathered Jews. Those who survive the Apocolypse will embrace Jesus.
The Etta Israel Center runs programs to teach Judaism to developmentally challenged children and young adults, as well as group homes for adults (its third home will open in the Valley in June) and a popular summer day camp. It helps Jewish day schools meet the learning needs of all its students, and has trained thousands of teachers in how to help all children learn through its Schools Attuned programs.
This week's cover story celebrates not make-believe angels, but real live ones.
Here in Los Angeles, our services are more important than our dates. (I learned this the hard way by dating my mechanic's assistant -- a budding screenwriter -- and soon had to find a new mechanic. Not worth it.)
Those eight crazy nights are coming up fast. Still stumped what to get your sweetie? Think outside the giftbox and give your loved one a gift certificate for an experience.
One thing that pleases Harmatz about being the grand marshal is riding in a convertible. In fact, last year when it rained on the parade, someone suggested they put up the top, but Harmatz wanted it left down.
The question before voters is whether the drug companies should regulate themselves, as laid out in Proposition 78, or whether the state should be granted authority to pressure drug companies into providing discounts, as specified in Proposition 79. If both initiatives pass, whichever receives the most votes becomes law.
This month House Republicans will try to wrap up work on proposals aimed at slowing the hemorrhage of red ink from federal budget ledgers while finding a way to pay for hundreds of billions of dollars of hurricane relief and for two wars that don't seem about to end anytime soon.
"I think of Pompeii," wrote Anne Brener in a September article for The Jewish Journal. "New Orleans was so beautiful."
As a child I was so bored in synagogue that I hid novels in the creases of my prayer book.
The High Holidays make your mind wander -- wander around the people around you and no longer around you.
Rabbi Toba August likes to accentuate the positive, and the new year is no exception.
"Too often for the High Holidays, we're told about our shortcomings," August said. "I want to concentrate on what we're doing right.... We don't recognize the things we do that matter. I want us to walk out of services feeling elevated and validated and renewed."
August has reason to focus on the positive, because this summer she was made the principal spiritual leader of Adat Shalom, a Conservative synagogue in West Los Angeles. Currently, August is one of only two women to head a longstanding Conservative congregation in Los Angeles. (The other is Rabbi Sally Olins of Temple Bnai Hayim in Sherman Oaks.) Her appointment comes just as the Conservative movement is grappling with the disparity of women rabbis in the movement.
In the last few weeks of her life, Barbara Sherman had the help of Jewish Hospice Project-Los Angeles, which offers spiritual end-of-life care for the Jewish community, regardless of religious affiliation. Sherman, whom her family describes as a life-long spiritual seeker, was brought back to her roots upon hearing Jewish songs and prayers in her final days.
When a Marine finds himself in a ditch or an abandoned house, suddenly under fire, having to decide where to shoot and who to kill, it may not much matter if the Marine is Jewish. It was before and after the firefights in Iraq that Marine Corps Sgt. Kayitz Finley remembered and confronted his belief.
The war in Iraq cost Finley his faith for awhile. It also took away 11 buddies -- including a close friend -- men on whom he'd depended to get home in one piece. Still, for Finley, the conflict was never the wrong war, the wrong place or the wrong time. For him, the Iraq War was as advertised -- a war of liberation, a war keeping faith with the American principle of bringing freedom to those lacking it.
"Every Marine out there was for the cause," said Finley, who served two combat tours in Iraq. "I believe in the cause, and I wanted to continue what I was doing."
Keep passing. Keep passing." It's 6 a.m. on a Monday morning in March, and students from Milken Community High School, wearing hairnets, plastic aprons and gloves, are dishing out hot cereal, sugar, applesauce, milk and a muffin assembly-line style onto blue trays.
The Hotel Edelweiss in St. Moritz and the Hotel Metropol in Arosa are Jewish sanctuaries for observant tourists, offering everything from kosher dining and space for simchas to daily religious services and snow-melt mikvahs.
The middle school girls of Emek Hebrew Academy-Teichman Family Torah Center in Sherman Oaks raised almost $35,000 (yes, that figure is correct) for Chai Lifeline, a national organization that provides support, services and programming for families with seriously ill children.
To me, skiing is almost a religious experience. When you're flying down the back bowls, sun on your face, cool air filling your lungs and a warm feeling filling your heart, it's like you can feel the hand of God.
The paucity of Jews serving on front lines may explain the dwindling numbers of members belonging to Jewish war veteran organizations.
When Lori Marx-Rubiner underwent a bilateral mastectomy two years ago, she lost the use of her arms for a few weeks. She couldn't brush her teeth, let alone tackle cooking dinner or driving her son to school.
Michael Gabai is on a quest. The owner and administrator of Ayres Residential Care Home has spent the last two weeks calling physicians, senior centers, grocery stores and pharmacies in search of flu shots for about half of the 18 residents in his facilities who have been unable to get one.
The dancing rabbis returned Sept. 12 at the 24th annual Chabad L'Chaim -- To Life! Telethon. The program was beamed into homes in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas and on the Dish Network.
A few weeks ago, I was at a funeral at Mount Sinai in Glendale when, at one of the most emotional moments, a cell phone rang loudly for several minutes, humming a Broadway tune.
Last February, a class of 17 retirees jumped at the chance to pursue a Jewish rite of passage bypassed in their youth by circumstance or cultural rigidity.
While federal laws require public buildings to provide access for the handicapped, Jay Kruger still encounters restaurants without ramps, public restrooms with hard-to-open doors that trap him inside and theater seating that is spitting distance from the screen.
Just as it seemed his honeymoon governorship was degenerating into insults and whining, Arnold Schwarzenegger finally signed a $105 billion state budget on July 31, about a month late.
Don't call them synagogues.
They are minyanim, or spiritual communities. They have evolved from shared and individual dreams and from serendipitous, profound and beshert connections. They are new, egalitarian, independent, warm, collaborative and vibrant.
And they are all led by female rabbis.
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.
How many trees does it take to absorb the emissions from your car's commute? How much land does it take to feed and raise the beef you eat for dinner? How much space on earth does your trash take up?
The city of Santa Monica has taken up the task of answering those questions in "Santa Monica's Ecological Footprint, 1990-2000," released in March. The report measures the amount of land used to produce everyday products and services like electricity, transportation, garbage disposal and housing. That land use is called the ecological footprint, and it can be measured individually or citywide.
As a national commercial real estate lender, Pacific Mortgage Funding Corporation offers a variety of financing options for apartment projects, office buildings, retail shopping centers, hotels, subdivisions, and more.
The Bermans and Michaels expect their daily routines and social lives will alter substantially mid-August because of membership in the county's greatly expanded Jewish Community Center (JCC), relocated in Irvine.
On a particular stretch of Wilshire Boulevard near Westwood at 6 p.m., right-lane traffic is hopelessly stalled. A stream of cars crowds the intersection, trying to squeeze into the nearby parking lot of a well-known synagogue.
It's a familiar sight: With most people heading home from work, L.A.'s Jewish community is swimming against the current, driving to services in some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city.
She first started worrying about those on the streets in 1980, and now, 24 years later, Tanya Tull is fighting against a real estate boom that prices the low-wage earners out of the housing market and federal aid cuts that exacerbate the problem.