My friend's tale is one among tens of thousands; many are far more devastating, as families are dealing with the deaths of loved ones and the loss of nearly everything they own. As New Orleans is dredged, the true scope of the devastation will be understood. Already, the evacuees realize that a return to their former lives in that wonderful city may take months or years, and that some things may never be recovered. Into that disheartening reality, the Jews of Los Angeles and elsewhere have stepped in willingly and generously to help as they can, exactly as their religion says they should. And all the fractiousness, all the confusing, competing layers of the various Jewish organizations have seemingly melted away, coordinating the relief aid very much as they were designed to do.
After less than 10 months on the job, the president of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute has announced plans to step down, a development that surprised board members and raised questions about the health and future of the Jewish-owned camp, retreat and conference center.
Rabbi Isaac Jeret insisted his departure was voluntary and amicable. He said he enjoyed his time at Brandeis but wanted to move on to a more spiritually fulfilling job.
Few people are eager to pick fights with the IRS. Michael Sklar, now well into his second voluntary tax lawsuit, is definitely an exception.
Sklar is an Orthodox father with several children in Jewish day school. His courtroom quest: to establish religious school costs as tax deductions.