Can you put a price on a good night’s sleep? Earl Kluft thinks so. But it will cost you. Kluft, 62, is CEO of the family-run E.S. Kluft & Co., and he made headlines last year with his king-size Palais Royale plush mattress, which sells at Bloomingdales and Macy’s for $33,000.
Jews have long celebrated freedom as part of the Passover seder, but any look at a newspaper these days provides a reminder that the topic is as relevant as ever.
It was Purim, 1985. The surroundings seemed so strange to me. From childhood, Purim always meant Megillah reading, noise from noisemakers, loud music, lively dancing, people dressed up in different costumes, lots of good food, exchange of Mishloach Manot gift baskets, and a little “l’chaim” to top things off. That was exactly the Purim I had in 1984, 1983, 1982…all the way back to 1964, the year I was born.
With Purim just a grogger’s turn away on March 19, it's time to reroll the scroll of Esther and take another look at the whole megillah. It's a story with characters so lifelike, I should quote them. That would be news. But lacking a time machine, I was still able to go to the source to hear what Mordecai, Esther, Haman and Vashti have to say: I interviewed prominent people -- Jews and a non-Jew -- whose names either come from the Megillah or sound like they are straight from the scroll:
When was the last time you stood on your head? If you don't practice yoga, and you're not a 2-year-old, it's probably been quite a while. Noting that my toddler couldn’t get enough of being upside down on his little sister’s infant seat, I understood the allure. Seeing the world in a completely unexpected way is titillating. Subverting the natural order of things is energizing.
This summer was going to be the one — the one when Prissi Cohen’s daughter, Tillie, would finally get to enroll with a friend in a late-summer overnight session at Camp Ramah. But now Cohen’s not so sure. If Tillie, 10, winds up going to a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) middle school in the fall, she would have to be at her desk two days before camp ends.
To those who love it, Hava Nashira is less a Jewish summer music workshop and more a calling. Even the name — translated as “come let us sing” — beckons. Started in 1992 by Debbie Friedman and Cantor Jeff Klepper, the sessions originally intended to train camp song leaders have gone on to have a global impact on Jewish music and synagogue life.
Usually, Fryda Dvorak needs a cane to move around. But put her behind a pingpong table and you wouldn’t know it. Dvorak, 86 and living with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, returns volley after volley with her confident lob, sometimes gritting her teeth in concentration as she reaches to hit the ball. She’s so focused on the game that she refuses to put the paddle down for a breather when her instructor, Irina, suggests they take a break.
The new building on Pico Boulevard and Veteran Avenue in West Los Angeles could pass as an upscale hotel in the heart of Hollywood, with its brightly painted exterior walls and angular balconies. Instead, the complex is the 17th addition to the collection of apartment buildings developed and managed by the Menorah Housing Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing low-income seniors with affordable, clean and convenient places to live.