Welcome to Radio Sawa, the brainchild of Norman J. Pattiz, founder and chairman of the biggest radio network in the United States. Since March of last year, Radio Sawa (which means together in Arabic) has been broadcasting in Arabic around the clock in the Middle East, targeting listeners under 30 years old, who make up 60 percent of the region's population.
Radio Sawa broadcasts a mix of Western and Arabic pop music, interspersed with news updates and analysis, interviews and opinion pieces. Potentially, millions of listeners can access Radio Sawa via AM, FM and shortwave frequencies, as well as on the Internet (www.radiosawa.com) and on digital radio satellite channels.
On the evening before Thanksgiving, my synagogue, Congregation Eilat in Mission Viejo, always gets together with a neighboring church, Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist, for an interfaith service. What is remarkable about this joint venture, and other pre-Thanksgiving services like it throughout the United States, is the fact that Jews and Christians can pray together under one roof.
My parents entered a church only for a neighbor's wedding, funeral or other life-cycle event. On those rare occasions, they were invited guests, not participants.
As the Jewish community gathers for the Valley Jewish Festival, we must ask ourselves whether there is, in fact, a Los Angeles Jewish community to speak of. If we define community as "a group of people defined by a geographical area," then we can refer to the Jewish community of Los Angeles as such. But if we wish to imply that a community is "a cohesive yet diverse group bound together as one," then I do not believe that Los Angeles fulfills this qualification.