The nerve-wracking morning of a bar or bat mitzvah will eventually be all that's left standing between a student and his or her catered night of extravagant partying. The b'nai mitzvah coach already has helped detangle the Hebrew and trope, but the pressure of reading the Torah portion and haftarah, as well as delivering a speech in front of hundreds of family members, friends and congregants, might make even a usually unassuming bimah look terrifying.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords spoke for the first time since she was shot. C.J. Karamargin, a spokesman for Giffords (D-Ariz.), told CNN on Wednesday that she had asked for toast.
Two former presidents will share the stage when American Jewish University’s (AJU) Public Lecture Series returns in early 2010. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are scheduled to appear together at Universal’s Gibson Amphitheatre on Feb. 22, the university announced Monday.
Dean's confusion about the location of the Book of Job generated a fair amount of ridicule at the time from commentators -- but not from William Safire, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist of The New York Times, who is speaking next week about Job at Sinai Temple.
7 Days In The Arts
At French Connection on Boston's fashionable Newberry Street this past Tuesday evening, L.A. native Lindsey Berman is juggling. A song by the band Journey blares out of her satchel shaped like a guitar each time her cell phone rings. People are calling -- friends, friends of friends, friends of friends of friends. Everyone wants a ticket to the Black Eyed Peas concert that evening, the hot after-party sponsored by the organization Rock the Vote at the Democratic National Convention. Inside French Connection, vendors are hawking their black T-shirts that read, "FCUK you! I'm voting," referring to the brand French Connection United Kingdom. Art Alexakis, the lead singer of the pop band Everclear, is singing. Berman is making sure everything goes smoothly, firing up the volunteers on the street, and figuring out how she'll get credentials for young people so they can get on the floor for the convention's speeches that evening.
Just before midnight on Monday the phone rang at our house. It was a guest booker from ABC's "Good Morning America," asking if I would speak that morning to Diane Sawyer, live on air, about Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."
While studying for rabbinic ordination at Yeshiva University in the late '70s, I was at the main study hall dedication where the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik spoke, honoring the great philanthropist, Joseph Gruss, who underwrote the project.
Documentary filmmaker Ruth Broyde-Sharone's latest work, "God and Allah Need To Talk," will make its Los Angeles debut Sunday, Sept. 14, with the 18-minute film being central to a three-hour interfaith celebration highlighting common bonds between Muslims, Christians and Jews.
Carole Levine had been a member of Temple Israel of Hollywood for 28 years. During that time, she attended temple only during the High Holidays. Recently, Levine has started going to temple more often. As a flautist for The Chai Tones, a 10-piece temple band, Levine finds herself at the temple now at least once a month, playing jazzed-up versions of the regular synagogue melodies.
'I'm a ham," said legendary actor-writer-director Carl Reiner.
"When you're a showoff, you've gotta get on that platform."
Which is why 80-year-old Reiner is eager to regale the audience with tales of his life in a speaking engagement at the Orange County Performing Arts Center on Dec. 9. He'll cover everything from working on Sid Caesar's TV shows to playing straight man to Mel Brooks' 2,000-Year-Old Man to writing semi-autobiographical novels such as "Enter Laughing."
Yom Kippur is much more than saying, I'm sorry, said Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, the well-known theologian, author and speaker who will be in Orange County on Aug. 12 to talk about preparing spiritually for the High Holidays.
The struggle for peace in Israel may take years or even generations, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak told a crowd of over 6,200 people at the Universal Amphitheater on April 21. Barak was the final speaker in the University of Judaism's (UJ) department of continuing education lecture series, which featured Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright and James Carville. The sold-out series, organized by the dean of UJ's continuing education department, Gady Levy, has brought much money and prestige to the university, and will be continued next year, Levy said.
At my college newspaper, new writers all received the same encouraging spiel. "We want you to start writing for us immediately," the editor would say. "We're not like the Harvard Crimson, where you have to scrub floors all semester before anyone even talks to you."
The sign to the left, posted by Israeli Jewish and Arab students at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology around the elite Rehovot campus, reads: "We, the Arab and Jewish students of the Technion, who daily sit together in the same classrooms in cooperation and friendship, express our pain over the recent outbreaks of violence in our country. It is up to us to continue living here in mutual dignity, peace and security. We call on every Technion student to speak out against violence, and on every citizen to work on behalf of good neighborly relations."
Abe Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, says that he's opening up a new front in his organization's 85-year campaign to protect Jews from defamation. This new fight is a little different from battles past, though, because its target is other Jews.
Foxman wants Jews to watch their language when they talk about fellow Jews. Otherwise somebody could get hurt. Another Israeli prime minister, for example.
While cities such as Detroit and St. Louis were holding major Jewish book festivals year after year, drawing celebrity authors such as Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, observers here asked, Why isn't there a Jewish book festival in Los Angeles?