Young American Jews have closer ties to Israel than ever before, while Israelis who have moved to the United States are raising the Jewish consciousness of all Jews in the New World.
Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young apologized for his anti-Semitic rant and attack in New York following the lifting of his weeklong suspension.
Rabbi Yonah Bookstein knows how to excite Jewish youth. He’s been the guiding light behind the annual Jewlicious Festivals in Long Beach, which bring together youth from all denominations to celebrate their spirituality with raucous concerts mixed with some serious learning; he’s been a highly popular campus rabbi at Cal State University Long Beach Hillel, and now, he’s just moved to Los Angeles to head up JconnectLA, which presents social events for young Jews. Bookstein (or Rabbi Yo, as he’s known to his followers) and his wife Rachel have also worked hard on behalf of Jews living in Poland. He talked with The Journal recently about what being a rabbi at JconnectLA means to him.
Over the past decades, nearly two dozen local Iranian Jewish groups have been involved with political awareness efforts, but no group until now has seriously pursued or organized communitywide political and civic activism.
The wait is finally over for members of Young Israel of Century City, who were eagerly anticipating the theme of the annual program "brochure," which was kept secret until its publication last week. It's ... Old West
Sarah Leiber Church and Laura Podolsky were part of a protest march that took place along Century Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport aimed at hotels that allegedly have been preventing employees from unionizing.
MRI is increasingly being recommended as a complimentary screening tool, especially to find invasive tumors.
Moshav Band, which was founded as a direct result of Carlebach's influence, just released its first English only album -- "Misplaced."
Why are there so many young, hip Jews writing fiction that irreverently pokes fun at their heritage?
Phillip Roth's "Everyman," (Houghton Mifflin) is a short, and in some respects, slight work. Clocking in at around 200 pages, it recounts the life of one man through his medical history. As an organizing principle, this one's as valid as any, even if in this instance, it doesn't necessarily yield the most compelling, multidimensional portrait.
It is well known that some children of Holocaust survivors carry severe scars and wounds that actually manifest in peculiar psychological behavior. For two decades, I worked as a licensed family therapist, and I believe that some day soon there will be a formal psychological syndrome that would account for self-hating Jews like Norman Finkelstein. Perhaps the syndrome will even be named after him: The Finkelstein Syndrome.
Hila Plitmann is building a career based largely on new music by composers like David Del Tredici, John Corigliano, Roger Reynolds and Esa-Pekka Salonen, the latter the longtime music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and something of a Plitmann champion.
The unforgettable superheroes of comic strips became the stuff of endless Hollywood big-budget sequels. But more often than not, they began in the fevered imaginations of struggling young Jewish guys, whose wildest dreams could be hemmed in only by four panels and black ink.
As a Muslim and an Arab, playing in the homes of American families, Zade Dirani wanted to bring a message that culture could unite people. At the same time, he also wanted to send a message to his fellow Muslims and Arabs that, "You can be proud of your culture."
Kolet's participation in charity events has put her onstage with artists such as Elton John, U2's Bono and, most recently, Andrea Boccelli. She has developed a close working relationship with Klaus Meine of the legendary German rock band, the Scorpions, having performed with him last year in Israel.
As a 9-year-old violinist performing for world-renowned cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, Camilla Tsiperovich was told to call herself Camilla Gadjieva. Her headmaster at the Azerbaijan Conservatory considered this a more suitable name, one that reflected the Muslim heritage of her country. While representing Azerbaijan in international music competitions and spending her first year of high school at the famed Moscow Conservatory, she always understood that "there was something wrong because you were Jewish."
Parents don't understand why 300 young Jews packed the Long Beach Alpert JCC for the Jewlicious sequel on Feb. 17. We came for food and song, complete with banging on the tables and exuberant dancing wherever there was room. At the Sunday night concert, "Jewbilation," you could see the look of shock on the older generation's faces as we jammed to Hebrew heavy-metal songs by the Maccabees. This was not your mom's "Oseh Shalom."
The two-day event over Chanukah, dubbed "Light Up the Negev," was organized by the Jewish National Fund-Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (JNF) with the express purpose of "selling" the Negev to Israel's youth.
The Etta Israel Center runs programs to teach Judaism to developmentally challenged children and young adults, as well as group homes for adults (its third home will open in the Valley in June) and a popular summer day camp. It helps Jewish day schools meet the learning needs of all its students, and has trained thousands of teachers in how to help all children learn through its Schools Attuned programs.
Generally taught once a year, with 10 to 20 girls enrolled per class, the program affords mothers and daughters special time together. It also introduces the girls to peers from other schools, allowing them to view bat mitzvah as a more universal experience.
With a gift for diction, Kadosh explores the cultural absurdities and political hypocrisies of America, dedicating one spoken-word poem to SUVs, and another to the cheese at the heart of America.
In 1994, a year after his brush with mortality, Firestein founded a nonprofit that would eventually become the Kids Cancer Connection. A descendant of cosmetics magnate Max Factor -- whose family has donated millions to local charities -- he invested $10,000 to get the project going.
This year, traditional Christmas Day volunteering is being spread out across December. The shul's ATID young adult leadership group's annual Dec. 25 Mitzvah Day is being merged with templewide volunteering on Dec. 18, the formal start of Sinai's yearlong centennial anniversary.
Perhaps what's at issue is my own life: I'm a word person. For more than 20 years I've made my living by writing and editing. Getting the words right is what I labor to achieve, all day every day. It's a struggle that often leaves me in despair.
Four years ago, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles funded the joint project between Centinela and two L.A.-based Jewish groups, the Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA) and Beit T'Shuvah, a Jewish recovery program.
A team of scouts is scouring the Diaspora for the ideal single Jewish man for a new Israeli reality television show. Once selected, the bachelor, who according to producers preferably will be good looking and "financially secure," will come to Israel for the summer, when 15 young Israeli women will compete to capture his heart.
"We all grow up in Jewish houses and we know the dream of Jewish mothers is that their son finds a nice Jewish girl," said Gadi Veinrib, a producer for the show, to be called -- what else? -- "A Nice Jewish Boy."
Congressional staff members heard cogent arguments on the topics of separation of church and state, women's reproductive health and banning assault weapons from some singular constituents recently -- the confirmation class members of University Synagogue in Brentwood. Led by Rabbi Morley Feinstein, the students -- Alyssa Mannis, Sabrina Benun, Ben Marcus, Eric Rosenstein, Spencer Strasmore and Jack Eller -- attended the L'Taken Seminar of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C., in February.
Rosenstock is one of six Jewish screenwriters who will appear on a panel to discuss how Judaism affects their work as part of The Jewish Screenwriter Speakers Series on March 29 and May 3 at B'nai David-Judea.
The political firestorm over the case obscures the Schiavo's family deeply personal dilemma.
Jews have a deserved rep for being contrary, for being argumentative, for being curmudgeonly. And yet, today, we all seem to have a bad case of Jewish politically correct fever.
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.
I joined the Maccabi organization when I was 16. It was a sports club with a Zionist philosophy. The goal was to build a strong youth who would be able to fight for Eretz Yisrael.
Dan Ettinger looks nothing like the popular image of a classical conductor. The Israeli is making his American debut with the Los Angeles Opera in Verdi's "Aida."
The loud, affectionate, occasionally crude, left-wing bohemian Fockers are essentially the polar opposites of the Byrneses. And so the fun begins, as Greg tries to convince his future father-in-law that his family won't be a "chink in the chain" of his lineage.
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin said that he was inspired to write the book, which CBS plans to bring to the small screen in fall 2005, after he conducted a hypnotic regression with a friend of his who went back to a life in the year 1853.
Neil Sedaka has had a noteworthy place in American music for four decades; he became a comfortable perennial who did not let himself turn into a tortured titan like Sinatra or a forgettable one-hit wonder like The Imperials, Haircut 100 or Luscious Jackson.
Today, Nir Barkat, high-tech entrepreneur and dynamic Jerusalem councilman, is trying to breathe economic life into the city by using the academic and intellectual sectors to jump-start the capital's economy.
Nandor Markovic was lying in the gutter, awaiting death. He had already seen his best friend shot in the head, but Markovic could not take another step on the German-led march in 1945.
Ah, the High Holidays. The mere words conjure up memories of long services, uncomfortable clothing, endless Hebrew passages, Mom and Dad dozing off, semi-fasting against my will, and, most of all, not quite taking in what the holidays were all about. What can I say? I was a kid.
Sharon hopes to create sufficient motivation among settlers to evacuate their homes willingly in exchange for generous compensation packages, avoiding violent confrontations like those in Yamit.
Indeed, like Dorothy from the "Wizard of Oz," I am a young adult on a quest to find her inner soul and place in life. Dorothy transitions from childhood to adulthood, and travels to Oz only to fathom that everything she wanted was in her home, in her own backyard.
Rosh Hashanah celebrates the birthday of the world. The Jewish/Hebrew calendar follows the cycle of the moon. The English/Gregorian calendar follows the cycle of the sun. Both calendars are divided into 12 months.
Ezra operates as a sequel to Ramah's Amitzim program, which serves children and teens with special needs. Both programs run under the umbrella program Ramah calls Tikva (Hebrew for "hope"). Kamin said hope is an understatement for what Ezra has done for her son this summer.
"Saving Stanley: The Brickman Stories," by Scott Nadelson (Hawthorne Books & Literary Arts, $15.95).
Recently, a number of young Jewish writers have made successful entrées into the world of publishing. Jonathan Safran Foer, Gary Shteyngert, Dara Horn and others have published novels to critical acclaim, won prizes and, more importantly, audiences for their work.
As opposed to those writers, first-time author Scott Nadelson has chosen the short story as his form.
'Saved' was not an easy sell for co-writers Michael Urban and Brian Dannelly (who also directed the film). There was concern over the potential controversy of a religiously flip teen comedy, especially with all of the "Passion" fervor.
For Rena, missing weeks of dance rehearsal was unthinkable, but so was missing out on the quintessential Jewish youth experience of summer camp.
This summer, Rena hopes to have that conflict resolved for her for at least two weeks when she attends T'hila, a new program at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley that integrates a Jewish camping experience with an arts experience molded for young, talented artists who are as serious about their craft as Rena.
I asked a young woman in a T-shirt that read, "Psycho Bitch" why she'd want to wear that.
"It's empowering!" she replied, in a tone that left the "I mean, like, duh" hanging in the air.
"I am very proud of my Jewish heritage," Jason Pullman said, talking to The Journal from the Clear Channel offices (Star's parent company). "I used to use stage names, but then as of four or five years ago [I decided] I am myself, and that is only person that I want to be."
"I don't want a bat mitzvah," she told her parents. "It's just for you and your relatives. You don't even need me there. So why don't you just throw your own party?"
This year, the family is invited to an "after-the-Purim-carnival buffet" inspired by the elaborate banquets that were served in biblical days. One long table in the dining room will be set for all the guests, and our collection of Purim groggers (noisemakers) will be arranged at each place setting for everyone to use during the retelling of the Purim story.