Why would a group of more than 40 Jews from various occupations,movements, ages and geographic locations stand, arms entwined, in a circle, singing Jewish melodies at the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area?The common bond they share is environmentalism, or more specifically,Jewish environmentalism. With help from Tree People, the group symbolically planted a sapling Monday in the park as part of the closing ceremony of the COEJL (Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life) Jewish Environment Leadership Training Institute.
Beth Olam Cemetery in Hollywood, one of the most venerable and historical Jewish cemeteries in Southern California, is in danger of being abandoned and padlocked.
Strains of somber organ music resonated in the large sanctuary as the eight Holocaust survivors told their stories. As each spoke about horrors endured, loved ones lost and, ultimately, faith reclaimed, the congregation punctuated their speeches with murmurs of "Thank You, Jesus."