Growing up in Los Angeles, Asaf Shasha, then 16, had everything a teenager could want: a loving family, good friends and a comfortable home. Still, Shasha couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to life than the fancy gadgets prized by the kids at his Jewish day school.
The pro-Israel education and advocacy group StandWithUs is launching a new program to help train 48 teenagers from around the U.S. as proactive leaders on their future college campuses.
Mickey Haslavsky of Holon is only 18, but he’s already on his second startup.
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz is restirring a tempest in a glass of milk (“How Kosher Is Your Milk,” June 22). This issue was addressed in great detail in the fall 2007 issue of the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society in the article “The Kashrut of Commercially Sold Milk” by Rabbi Michoel Zylberman.
Police arrested two secular Jewish teenagers hired to implement gender segregation on Jerusalem buses.
American Jews are known for the emphasis they place on academic success.
Five California teenagers won Diller Teen Tikkun Olam awards for their innovative social action projects.
Ben Levinson, 28, was born and raised in St. Louis. He returned after college to find most of the Jewish friends he grew up with had moved away. That’s not unusual: St. Louis is one of many U.S. cities with shrinking Jewish populations and, as in other cities, the young are the first to leave. “There are no hard figures, but there’s a tendency to lose young Jews from St. Louis,” said Meg Crane, senior writer at the local Jewish federation.
The New York Times article last week about the explosion of anorexia and eating disorders in the orthodox community highlights a tragedy that has long been buried. About four years ago I published a column about an eighteen-year-old girl my daughter knew at seminary in Jerusalem who died of anorexia. The seminary denied it was the cause and cited some other illness, even though the girls at the seminary watched her wasting away with the administration seemingly oblivious.
More than 300 people attending the annual candle-lighting and Chanukah celebration at the JCC at Milken on Dec. 22 witnessed what many consider an extra miracle: the announcement that the JCC is seeking bids on the work necessary to reopen its Olympic-size pool.
Our boys have surprised us by some of the choices they have made, and while we might not have made the same choices for them, we are proud of their growing commitment to living wholly, and holy, Jewish lives.
"In my country, it was always war. I saw people dying. I saw people without arms, eyes, hands -- without heads," Mustafa said. "We finally got away, but I was upset."
At the same time Southland Jewish Olympians like Jason Lezak and Dara Torres medaled in Beijing, the next generation of local athletes was preparing to compete in events of their own.
A pierced tongue may be the height of cool in some teen circles, but a new study by Israeli researchers suggests that skin piercings in the mouth may lead to an increased risk of oral health problems and even tooth loss
Facebook has become far more than a social network; it is a virtual social necessity. The Jewish community has created a haven for there, claiming hundreds of groups, applications and pieces of Jewish flair.
The leader of our small group told us many history book-type facts that for me went in one ear and out the other. I was concentrating on the camp. However, one of the last things he said stopped me in my tracks. He said, "Remember guys, the Holocaust didn't happen in black and white, it happened in full Technicolor." Oh.
Yael Rabin didn't feel any symptoms until it was too late, but if she had, she would have had Jewish law on her side in breaking her fast.
Survivor. No, not the television show, as I wish were the case. A young Jewish woman and personal friend, Amy Farber, is a real survivor who was diagnosed with LAM (short for the fatal lung disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis) a few years ago, when she was 35.
Recognizing alcohol's long-standing presence in Jewish custom, tradition and culture -- especially on Purim, when drinking is a mitzvah -- and hearing from some rabbis that it would be impossible to have shuls go completely dry, Aleinu has tried to work directly with the shuls and parents to take responsibility for their teens.
"When you're out in the water, when you see the sunrise or sunset, and when you see how small you are in comparison to the massive water, and the current and waves, it humbles you," Shoshtain said. "Everything in nature connects you to spirituality, if it's done properly."
For many years, at-risk behavior and drug use among yeshiva high school students has been an open secret, but only in recent years have kids and their families had anywhere to turn.
Although the voice at the other end of the phone is always that of a young person, the driving force behind Teen Line is Elaine Leader, a 79-year-old great-grandmother with a British accent and a propensity for hats and oversized costume jewelry.
Realizing tikkun olam as a central pillar of Jewish practice, synagogues throughout the country require children to perform service projects before becoming b'nai mitzvah, sensitizing them to their growing responsibilities toward others as they approach adulthood. In many cases, these projects have been the inspiration for ongoing philanthropic endeavors.
545 San Pedro Street is an address I will never forget.
It is the Union Rescue Mission downtown, inhabited by homeless individuals that reside in their designated corners on Skid Row. My school, Milken Community High School, offered a community service experience for 21 students, and I found myself at the Union Rescue Mission.
Living a life of dual identity is no simple task. On one hand, my peers and I are told to live up to the expectations of being Modern Orthodox teens, but on the other side of the spectrum we are tempted by the culture of the secular world on an everyday basis.
There is one program in particular that embodies all of the emotionalism and meaning of machon summer: Tza'adah. Tza'adah is a five-day, four-night overnight trip that takes campers far from the boundaries of camp and into the nature of Northern California, where we bond with friends, while experiencing the outdoors.
Similar citywide musical battles have met with much success in the Jewish communities of Vancouver and Miami, among others. Such an event, though, seems tailor-made for Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world.
Talmud teaches that a righteous act is its own reward. But if that's not inducement enough, a rabbi in Woodland Hills is offering $10 cash plus a Krispy Kreme doughnut to teens who attend his 7 a.m. minyan.
I have grown up listening to my grandparents' stories, studying the history, reading the literature and seeing the pictures. I have become familiar with the atrocities and images of the Holocaust. But I cannot describe the way I felt seeing the infamous sign, "Arbeit Macht Frei" on the gate of Auschwitz in color and from inside the gate, instead of outside of it.
Peace Child Israel was founded in 1988 by the late Israeli actress Yael Drouyanoff and uses theater and other art forms to encourage dialogue between teens who might otherwise never meet. So far, seven groups have been formed, pairing Jewish and Arab towns throughout Israel, among them Misgav-Sakhnin, Raanana-Qalanswa, and East and West Jerusalem.
This section of the page will be a way for you as kids to sound off on an issue. This month's kein v' lo (yes and no) is about New Year's. Should Jews care as much about the regular New Year as we do Rosh Hashanah? Here's some info for both sides of the argument.
I am sitting in physiology class. The teacher assigns a lab report and I open my planner. I see something doodled on the page.
I have a swastika in my planner.
Here's where you get to sound off. This month's kein v' lo (yes and no) is about Thanksgiving. Should Jews celebrate the holiday? Is there anything Jewish about Thanksgiving?
Simchat Torah, the holiday called "Rejoicing in the Torah," falls on Oct. 26. We finish the cycle of reading the Torah and begin again.
Jews for Judaism is hosting its third-annual Creative Writing Contest for kids. The theme his year is "My Greatest Jewish Hero."
After landing the lead in several school plays at Sinai Akiba Academy in Los Angeles, Leora Weinstock, 13, decided she wanted to be a professional actress.
We have now entered the period Jews call "The Three Weeks."
When Melissa Hanna won the $250,000 grand prize on ABC's "The Scholar" Monday, she felt shocked but ecstatic.
As the big talkers started in, Ort reminded them about Steven, a fictional character who showed up in a scenario during their seminar on sexual ethics. Ort reminded the 20 boys what they'd said about Steven, who had boasted about his experiences and tried to push a pal into also going "all the way" with a girl.
Do you like ice cream? Cheesecake? Blintzes?
Well, Shavuot is the holiday for you. That's when the dairy queen grants us our wish: to eat all the sweetest, milkiest foods we want.
The following conversation took place between a cellular telephone subscriber and her daughter:
When parents catch their children -- typically boys -- looking at porn online, they usually become alarmed.
Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, fell this year on Thursday, May 5. Did your school honor the day? Quartz Hill High School, in the Antelope Valley, honors the Holocaust every year by putting on a competition for the best creative work.
More than 900 young professionals attended the third annual ATID Purim Party at the Peterson Automotive Museum on March 19.
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.
Teva Adventure offers a variety of wilderness programs enabling Jewish travelers to develop outdoor skills while keeping Shabbat and kashrut. While backpacking, hiking, mountain climbing and fishing, participants learn Jewish perspectives on the outdoor world. Programs for 14- to 19-year-olds include Rocky Mountain Teen Adventure and Derech Hateva in Israel.
On the first rainless Sunday morning in weeks, hundreds of Los Angeles teens have forfeited the chance to soak up the sun and opted to learn instead.
It takes more than a sense of rhythm to make a DJ business successful. Being able to mix two songs together seamlessly is a good start, but each act needs its hook -- something that grabs the audience and draws it in.
For Avi Elhiani and Yoni Aviv, both 14-year-old Orthodox day school students, that unique spin comes from the melding of their distinct personalities and drawing from the musical heritage of their Sephardic cultures.
Before the Big Boyz D-Jewz make it to a gig, these young entrepreneurs have a lot to overcome -- heavy schoolwork loads, long hours spent perfecting mixes and dealing with conflicts that inevitably arise in any business arrangement. But when they overcome the obstacles, Elhiani and Aviv can focus on what matters most.
Last week we talked about being part of the Jewish community. This week you will find some kids who are doing it already. You will also find a great opportunity to participate yourself.
This week's Torah portion, Vayakhel (meaning "and he gathered"), is about the community of Israelites building the Mishkan.
Why Not Pie?
Fencing's all the rage in Hollywood hits like "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" and "Die Another Day," although it's less of an everyday hobby with today's teen crowd. But for Jewish high school students Harry Mahaffey and Teddy Levitt, fencing is where it's at.
Mahaffey is the top-ranked 14-year-old saber fencer in the world. Ranked 49th in the international junior division (19 and under), only 10 Americans rank above Mahaffey, the youngest among them. Mahaffey started fencing at 7, when it was offered at his elementary school. He now practices two to four hours a day, five days a week at the Los Angeles International Fencing Center (LAIFC).
Yeladim.This week, we start a new year – and a new book. Shemot (Exodus) is the second book of the Torah. The Israelites are in the deepest winter of their lives – a dark slavery. In this book, we will read about their move toward freedom, rebirth and spring.
When Amy Cohen graduated from Adat Ari El's day school in 2003, her family faced a decision: Where would she continue her education?
With 15 years of Jewish day school education under his belt, Marc Marrero had a plan for college.
For years, young Jews have voted with their feet after their bar or bat mitzvahs, with about half of those in non-Orthodox synagogues' religious schools leaving before the 12th-grade confirmation.
While most 13-year-olds gleefully rip wrapping paper off their abundant bar/bat mitzvah presents and dream of ways to spend their gift money, a growing number of teens are opting to make their bar/bat mitzvah more meaningful.
For the Kids, information for kids.