This past Yom Kippur, as my 4-year-old son and I were walking into shul, I was explaining why Mommy and the other adults were fasting. I said: “And when you’re 13 …”
Some months ago, L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky was “cruising Boyle Heights,” the neighborhood where he grew up and where a large portion of Los Angeles’ Jewish community once lived. Feeling nostalgic, he drove by B’nai Jacob Synagogue — once known as the Fairmont Street Shul — and recalled that some of his parents’ students had celebrated their bar mitzvahs there.
How essential is a house of worship to a neighborhood?
The National Council of Young Israel voted to eliminate a rule barring member synagogues from withdrawing from the franchise.
The sukkah, the booth in which Jews celebrate Sukkot, is made to be temporary, to survive, perhaps, a brisk windstorm, but is unlikely to stand much longer than for the weeklong harvest festival. In this regard, the wooden sukkah in the parking lot behind the Kollel Rashbi Ari, a synagogue in a narrow storefront on Pico Boulevard at the heart of Los Angeles’ “kosher corridor,” is no exception. When the holiday ends, the carpet that covers the asphalt floor will be rolled up, the cloth that lines the sukkah’s four walls will come down, and the tables and chairs that fill the space will be removed.
“I call it a hub, like the airlines, Mikhael Maimon said. “When people want help, they come through our doors. And when people want to help others, they come here.” Maimon is director of Kollel Rashbi Ari shul in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood.
My friend and I go to the same synagogue but almost never run into each other. “How come?” I was musing the other day.
Chabad-Lubavitch leaders have renewed their push to evict the congregational leaders of the Chasidic movement’s main Brooklyn synagogue.
The small Jewish community in the earthquake-ravaged New Zealand city of Christchurch will celebrate Rosh Hashanah in a rental property because the city’s only synagogue has not yet been repaired.
Aish brings together rhythem, beats and davening for their 'Rosh Hashanah in the house tonight' dancing spectacle.
After their building took a battering from Tuesday's earthquake, parishioners from Washington National Cathedral will instead worship in a Washington synagogue.
A plastic bag whips in the breeze, trying in vain to free itself from the coil of barbed wire atop a chain link fence that surrounds the Breed Street Shul just off Cesar Chavez Avenue (originally Brooklyn Avenue) in Boyle Heights.
Noach Dzmura has a master’s degree in Jewish studies, publishes widely on Jewish topics and is the communications director at his synagogue. In 2006, he received an award from the San Francisco Jewish Federation that funded a year’s study in Israel.
Holland’s first same-sex Jewish commitment ceremony was held in Amsterdam. The couple, who were not named in the Radio Netherlands report, was united Sunday in the synagogue of the Liberal Jewish Community.
Better Use for Shul Funds
Dining, shopping, living, praying -- VideoJew Jay Firestone shows you how it's done Los Angeles-style.
Korobkin, the Yavneh spiritual leader, said he was very pleased with the mayor's recommendations and that the fault for last year's incident lay mainly in the way DBS was structured, as well as a certain lack of sensitivity.
At pilot school in Florida, Mark Gabriel found something that he loved and had the craving to learn. After two years of study and training, he returned to Southern California, where he worked as a co-pilot for a charter jet company
A new group of Orthodox day school principals and pulpit rabbis on Los Angeles' Westside began meeting a few months ago to work through issues that overlap the classroom and the synagogue.
Is there a better day than the one when we abstain from all physical sustenance to reflect on the sanctity of the human body and honor the Torah's injunction that "You shall guard your being"?
Success in finding the perfect shul in Los Angeles for you and your family too often seems just one more visit away.
Animal sacrifices are rather messy, and most of us would have a hard time imagining ourselves offering them up upon a Temple altar.
The Schwartzes have been my friends for more than 21 years. Their learning and charisma has had a deep effect on many Jews, not least among them Jews in Hollywood's Jews.
Laura has never spoken a word, but she can coo, laugh, sigh and cry. At her best, she has taken steps with the help of a walker. She has a thin body with a smallish, sweet face framed by dark-brown hair. She gets 24-hour home care, with three rotating nurses monitoring her breathing and other vital signs.
Oh yeah, and she loves to smile.
This, for me, is the Chabad genius: a knack on the deed, not the talk. They don't get turned on by grand debates that lead to more grand debates. While the Jewish world agonizes over "profoundly important" issues, Chabad agonizes over getting to Kinko's on time to get their flyers out for their Chanukah event.
Biston's public airing of his story and his threat to file suit have brought to light a number of complaints from others who also have been asked to leave Beth Jacob. They claim the rabbi is autocratic and mercurial and bars people who don't fit his image of an appropriate congregant.
Today, one of the great Moroccan sages, Rabbi Chaim Pinto of the city of Mogador, has a living presence right here in our own hood, on Pico Boulevard, just east of Robertson. It's at a little shul called the Pinto Center.
You walk into an elegant, minimalist little building on the corner of Pico and Doheny in the heart of the hood. It's Shabbat, and you've come to pray.
The retirement of Rabbi Moshe Rothblum after 35 years on the bimah at Adat Ari El.
Understanding the unique power of Shabbat. Shabbat does not just come and go every week. In fact, it never really goes away.
The Jews of Shanghai, fleeing Nazi persecution, thousands of Jews journeyed halfway around the world to the sanctuary offered by Shanghai's unique status as a free trade city.
A few years ago, the leadership of Temple Society of Concord, decided that we were doing many programs and activities, yet we were not sure where they were heading and whether we held the same vision of Jewish learning.
The JOI presented results from "The Jewish Outreach Scan of the West Valley/Conejo Valley" during a well-attended Jewish Federation/Valley Alliance board meeting at The New JCC at Milken in West Hills on Oct. 4. The survey was funded by the United Jewish Communities' Emerging Communities Project.
Spiritual decision-making is also frequently a factor in the calculus of gay life. In fact, finding a religious tradition that affirms gay experience and offers the support of a vibrant community can be one of the most important aspects of self-realization for gay men and lesbians -- especially for people who see being in a committed relationship as a natural extension of their spiritual lives.
The wait is finally over for members of Young Israel of Century City, who were eagerly anticipating the theme of the annual program "brochure," which was kept secret until its publication last week. It's ... Old West
Jews are not immune to America's divorce endemic.
The High Holidays provide some of the greatest frissons one can experience in a synagogue. And the music is, indeed, a big part of those rising chills.
USC Trojans march for restored Torah; backyard tashlich in Fairfax.
Here are the stories of these American servicemen who observed the High Holidays not in conventional synagogues, but on far-flung battlefields. The worship services they participated in were often improvised and incomplete. But the jarring juxtaposition of war and prayer, faith and fear, continues to resonate with these men.
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.
Gone are the days when observant Jewish students suffered for their absences from class or exams on the High Holidays or Passover. The California Education Code fully protects students' rights to observe religious holidays free of academic penalty.
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.
On Sunday, in the intense heat of a mid-summer day, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, carried a Sephardic Torah for one-half mile along city streets in Tarzana to a new Persian synagogue that had been the victim of an anti-Semitic attack just two days earlier. Police are still investigating the arson attempt, which burned a rear door of Beith David Education Center on Clark Street, as well as anti-Jewish graffiti left at the scene, as a hate crime.
Imagine that you live in Latin America and you're Jewish. Typically, you and your family would belong to a full-service Jewish club with cultural, recreational, educational and athletic activities for all ages. The club is reasonably priced, promotes Jewish identity in a secular manner and is the backbone of your social life.
Gafni was appointed to the Wisdom Chair at Stephen S. Wise two years ago -- despite anecdotal allegations that he had a history of sexual misconduct. The temple's senior rabbi this week issued a short statement denouncing Gafni.
How do you sum up 100 years of history? That's the task of historian Florie Brizel, who was hired by Sinai two years ago to write the history of the shul. She just completed "Sinai Temple: A Centennial History," a narrative that runs more than 200 pages.
In Los Angeles, as in other American cities where Jews have moved out en masse from their old neighborhoods, they not only left dwellings behind, they also left behind synagogues, social centers, stores and street corners that connected them to a certain time in their lives and to a particular era in their collective past.
Scientists will tell you that the senses of smell and taste are most strongly associated with memory. I think eating resembles what learning the Passover story should be -- we allow something from outside of ourselves to enter us; we "digest it" and change it (it is we who must tell the story so that our children can hear it) and it changes us and nourishes us and stays with us forever.
Looking to really make your Passover meaningful? To truly exploring the modern-day concept of freedom? Then invite an American soldier to your home for the seder. That's what the Conservative movement on the West Coast is trying to arrange in a program called Seders for Troops, connecting synagogues located close to bases with local base chaplains.
We arrived early for the Purim carnival last Sunday. The giant bounce house still lay in a wrinkled, uninflated wad on a corner of the parking lot. The only children around were, like our son, middle school volunteers, corralling the puppies for the puppy-petting booth, lining up bottles for the ring toss.
Rabbi Aron Tendler has stepped down six months early from the pulpit of Shaarey Zedek, an Orthodox synagogue in Valley Village, because "it was no longer appropriate for Rabbi Tendler to continue," shul officials said.
Today, contentious issues and tough questions persist. Aside from continuing enmity over the election, residents are battling in court over the construction of a synagogue on a busy residential street. And an Orthodox school and its neighbors are testing just how far they can push each other.
Yavneh moved into the Tudor estate, which formerly housed the Whittier Law School, in 1999. The school has about 400 students in preschool through eighth grade, and insists it has worked hard to foster a good relationship with neighbors. But things have soured in the last few years, as Yavneh tests the strict limitations of its conditional-use permit.
Etz Chaim, for its part, is arguing that the settlement is valid, that it did not violate the settlement and, that, in any case, federal law exempts it from zoning regulations.
A voice expert known for coaching singers and nonsingers, and working with deaf and autistic students and contestants for TV shows like "Extreme Makeover" and "American Idol," Coury is unique and considered "revolutionary."
It was a nippy, star-filled Friday night, and we were on our way to a bar mitzvah. We -- Julius, my husband of 50 years; our son, David; and I -- had traveled from the Valley to Santa Maria for the celebration.
At Temple Beth Israel, the planting project, which is being done in phases with funding and physical assistance from a Jewish environmental group, has transformed congregants' preconceived notions of drab native plants.
The incident took place just before the evening service, when the Bolshaya Bronnaya Synagogue in downtown Moscow was full of worshippers. The shul is one of the oldest in Moscow and serves as the base of the Agudas Chasidei Chabad in Russia, a Lubavitch organization.