The Sidmans are among the lucky ones: Their Colorado Springs home is still standing, nearly untouched by the flames that left many of their neighbors' houses in ashes.
When Lori Schneide was 16 years old, she lived in India for the summer.
"I had this deep impression of calling," she said. "There's something we all can humbly contribute."
"I was born and raised in the West Bank," said Fadil Bayyari. "I've been in the U.S. for 36 years and northwest Arkansas for 27.... I respect other peoples' ways of life, other peoples' religion."
Jewish life in the South Bay has been flourishing.
According the Jewish Federation/South Bay Council, the area is one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in California. From Westchester to San Pedro, the Jewish population has increased dramatically to an estimated 40,000, and there are numerous indicators that this trend will continue.
Robin Franko, director of the South Bay Council and a lifelong South Bay resident, says that the numbers speak volumes about the thriving community.
This month, just a few weeks after the High Holy Days, Theodore Bikel will begin a national tour of the bittersweet musical, "Fiddler on the Roof," reprising his role as Tevye the milkman. "Everyone is a fiddler on the roof," he'll explain in his 1,600th performance of the part, "trying to scratch out a simple tune without breaking his neck. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: Tradition!"