I was meeting with an upcoming bat mitzvah girl the other day and talking with her about the Torah (what else?). I pointed out all the books that surrounded us in my study and mentioned that as someone who has published five books myself, how thrilled I would be if people were still reading even one of my books 20 years from now.
Who would have thought that a Frisbee could be used to build bridges between bitter enemies? Ultimate Peace, an organization founded in 2008 by American Ultimate Frisbee players, tries to do just that. By running a weeklong overnight summer camp in Israel and other activities throughout the year that are open to Jewish-Israeli, Arab-Israeli and Palestinian youth, it aims to improve relations between the groups, one flying disc at a time.
As a Jewish kid growing up in Israel, I never dealt with the issue of Tikkun Olam. Even though the words are in Hebrew, they say much more to Americans than to Israelis.
Israeli scientists have cultivated a cannabis plant that doesn't get people stoned in a development that may help those smoking marijuana for medical purposes, a newspaper said on Wednesday.
If the thought of spending too much Chanukah gelt on lavish gifts for friends and loved ones seems a little dim this year, adding a little tikkun olam to the presents can give your Festival of Lights a memorable glow.
The sixth annual Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards is seeking nominations for California Jewish teenagers engaged in social action projects. The deadline is Jan. 6.
Food Forward is a Valley-based nonprofit that brings volunteers to private homes and public spaces in Southern California to harvest tree fruit for the purpose of distributing the abundance of fruit to food pantries and hunger relief organizations.
Among the gifts of the Jews, to use Thomas Cahill’s flattering phrase, perhaps none is more stirring and enduring than the biblical call to social justice. We are reminded of the Jewish injunction to seek justice in a couple of new books from Jewish Lights, each of which shows us how do more than pay lip service to one of the bedrock principles of Judaism.
In northeastern Japan, the area hardest hit by the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami, a team of Israeli post-trauma experts guided local teachers and officials through their lingering pain.
Who would have thought that a noncontact sport invented by a Jewish high school kid in the 1960s would someday find its way to Israel and be used to build bridges between bitter enemies? Founded in 2008 by veteran American Ultimate Frisbee players, Ultimate Peace (UP) is a weeklong overnight camp open to boys and girls ages 13 to 15 with a mission to help improve relations between Israelis, Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, one flying disc at a time.
Jessica Youseffi and Sarah Shahawy, two undergraduate students at the University of Southern California (USC), discussed how the teachings of Judaism and Islam, their respective religions, obligate them to accept people of other faiths and to work toward tikkun olam.
The Jewish Journal created this list as a response to all those lists extolling fame, money, power and hotness. We honor these special ten because they are just people -- menschen, to use the proper Yiddish plural -- who understand the power and possibility of just one person.
Meet Gabriel Halimi, Kim Krowne, Manijeh Youabian, Andrew Wolfberg, Susan Corwin, Ari Moss, Richard Braun, Bracha Yael, Jack Matloff and Neil Sheff
Judaism has a lot to say about how to create a balance between using the resources we have and abusing or destroying them.
" . . . It is time for the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) to drop the "Jewish" part of their name . . . "
Jewish friends, colleagues and supporters from Chicago say Barack Obama's Yiddishe neshumah -- Jewish soul -- makes him the right candidate. Official campaign video.
"Religion is not primarily about faith in God; it is about community, identity, heritage and being of service to others," he said. "We Humanists must also do more to meet these needs, rather than complain about what others believe.
"We want to nurture a diverse body of students who are passionate about learning, engaged in their community and have respect for themselves and others."
Last Saturday, on the Jewish Sabbath, I was attending prayer services at one of the big synagogues in Los Angeles, Beth Jacob Congregation, when something unusual happened that made me think of writing you this letter.
I tried to visit the orphanage every day, and I formed incredible relationships with almost all of the kids living there. I loved the kids so much; they were always so happy and hopeful, even though they have close to nothing, not even running water or clothes and shoes that fit.
"Oprah's Big Give" challenges contestants to perform charitable acts by giving them money and resources. But Michael Feldman didn't need the artifice of a television show to inspire his desire for a genuine big give.
Now that saving the environment has become more mainstream, it has also become more acceptable in Orthodox schools
When the boys decided to raise funds for developmentally disabled children in Israel, they made an effort to involve their families, their community and even their four-legged friends.
Who would have guessed that a 15-year-old boy born and raised in West Los Angeles would befriend a 49-year-old elephant named Yom who lives in a conservation reserve hidden deep in the jungles of Lampang in Northern Thailand?
Our Jewish communities now have the resources they never had before. We have a certain influence over everything in which we become involved. Let us now employ the hope that defines us as Jews and ameliorate the world's conditions for ourselves and for whomever else we can before our entrenchment in despair becomes possible again.
This speech, by writer/editor/blogger Esther D. Kustanowitz, was delivered at the 2007 General Assembly convened in Nashville by United Jewish Communities as part of the "Next Generation" plenary. At the plenary, a range of young Jewish and Israeli activists, bloggers, an Oscar-winning filmmaker and others described their visions of community building and the power of the collective.
The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles president and CEO Marvin I. Schotland sat down with The Jewish Journal recently to talk about the changing nature of Jewish philanthropy.
f you want to be popular in the Jewish world today, just say tikkun olam. Everywhere you go it seems that Jews of all stripes are jumping on this universal bandwagon. Recently, in one day, I got to experience three different views of tikkun olam. The last view was so politically incorrect, it was almost embarrassing.
There's a new mitzvah in the Jewish world, and its name is Africa. It is hard not to notice the increased money and energy Jews and Jewish organizations are putting into the continent.
Helping others and bettering the community -- "healing the world," as tikkun olam translates from Hebrew -- are ancient themes in Judaism. This has most commonly been done through social action -- planned events like feeding the homeless, visiting the elderly and cleaning up a neighborhood. But in the past few years, there has been an explosion among American Jewry, particularly within the Reform movement, to do more than just treat a symptom.
As part of Sulam Summer Service Corps, the teens, who come from Jewish day schools and public schools throughout Los Angeles, have been spending their days with local kids who attend the center's day camp. The emphasis for the day camp's elementary school kids is on sports, teamwork and friendship; for the mentors, on giving back.
When I first arrived at the homeless shelter, I was scared. I didn't know what to expect, and I had to admit to myself that I had never really been out of my element. But I was open to the new experience -- and completely unaware of how the day would turn out.
For those who love the experience of shopping for real estate, "Open House: Architecture and Technology for Intelligent Living," on display in Pasadena at Art Center College of Design's south campus, is not the usual collection of modish conceits by residential architects.
This is Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's dream: On one weekend a year -- known as Big Sunday -- 50,000 volunteers of all colors and creeds from neighborhoods throughout the region, all donning T- shirts preprinted with the Big Sunday logo, will fan out throughout Los Angeles and as far as Ventura, Anaheim and even Fontana to paint murals on classroom walls, plant trees, refurbish recreation rooms, clean homeless shelters, give blood, teach literacy, make cards for the sick and engage in hundreds of other do-good projects.
Kirk Douglas, having survived 87 movies, countless one-night stands with Hollywood's most beautiful women, a helicopter crash, a stroke and two bar mitzvahs is beginning to hit his stride at age 90. His latest endeavor, coinciding with the publication of his ninth book, is a clarion call for tikkun olam to rouse Generation Y to repair the world through social action and respect for human rights.
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.
Giving tzedakah is one way to achieve tikkun olam, or the Jewish obligation to repair what is broken and lacking in the world. Both affirm our responsibility to give a part of what we have to take care of others who are less fortunate. We do this because Judaism views individual wealth as neither a right nor a privilege but a form of stewardship for which we are charged to care for the world.
We are 17-year-old identical twin brothers, living a comfortable life in suburban Los Angeles.
Five brief pieces, on the following: Shalhevet School's recent winning streak, Camp Ramah's new solar panels, a five-day summer workshop that shows teachers how to use studying the holocaust to teach morality, an opportunity to serve abroad as part of the "Jewish Peace Corps," and a recent Prejudice Awareness Summit at the University of Judaism.
Sometimes the best gift is a non-gift.
Growing up in the Oakland public school system, MC Hyim began freestyling when he was 8 years old. Today, he performs and produces conscious hip-hop, encouraging listeners to do tikkun olam -- take the anger and pain from today's society and transform it into something good: "As important as it is to acknowledge and understand the history of what we might call Babylon," Hyim said, "it's important to move beyond it.
Back in the social-action heydey of the 1960s, tikkun olam was everyone's favorite mitzvah. Repairing the world was hip, and folk anthems such as "Times They Are a Changin'" were as de rigueur around Jewish campfires as that ditty about animals boarding Noah's ark two by two.
Bailey Silverman and Rebecca Namm are in many ways typical teenagers. The best friends like to go to the mall, hang out with pals and talk on the phone.
But come Super Sunday, Feb. 22, the two Milken Community High School juniors will undertake the very adult mission of raising money for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and its 15 beneficiary agencies, including Jewish Family Service, Jewish Vocational Service and Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters. During Super Sunday, the girls will supervise a group of high school and college students in the San Fernando Valley who will call Jews throughout the Southland to make The Federation's annual fundraising extravaganza just that much more super.