Los Angeles

Toddler Talmud

06/30/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

When my daughter was 3, she taught me Talmud.

One morning I was making her waffles. When the toaster oven rang I said, “Oh, your waffles are ready.”

She said, “Why did you say ‘oy?’”

“I didn’t, I said ‘oh.’”

“You said ‘oy’” she insisted.

“OK” I conceded, I said “oy.”

“Aha!” she said, eyes gleaming with toddler triumph. “You misunderstood yourself.”

Toddler Talmud

06/30/2010

 When my daughter was 3, she taught me Talmud.

One morning I was making her waffles. When the toaster oven rang I said, “Oh, your waffles are ready.”

She said, “Why did you say ‘oy?’”

“I didn’t, I said ‘oh.’”

“You said ‘oy’” she insisted.

“OK” I conceded, I said “oy.”

“Aha!” she said, eyes gleaming with toddler triumph. “You misunderstood yourself.”

New Torah-Based Outreach Seen Energizing Hillel

Conference here explores success of engagement through sacred texts.

06/30/2010
Editor And Publisher

 Dan Smokler, a 31-year-old Yale graduate, ordained rabbi and former labor organizer, wears the mantle of the Jewish campus community’s equivalent of The Great White Hope with an easy grace.

Gary Rosenblatt

We Contain Multitudes

06/22/2010

Essayist Charles Lamb wrote that the world is divided between those who borrow and those who lend. Essayist Max Beerbohm divides the world into hosts and guests. Essayist Robert Benchley explains that there really are two types of people: those who insist upon dividing the world into two types, and those who do not.

Israel’s Friends In ... Finland

06/22/2010
Staff Writer

Throughout the Arab world and the anti-Israel community in theWest, protestors burned the Israeli flag in recent weeks, following Israel’s fatal attack on the Gaza blockade-busting flotilla.

Last week, some supporters of Israel made their voices heard, too.

At rallies here, in Vienna, Brussels, Hamburg, London, Montreal, Los Angeles and Miami, Jews and non-Jews rallied side-by-side for the Jewish state.

Photo By Stas Voronin

`Don’t Talk To Me About God’

 After Rabbi David Wolpe wrote a thoughtful column on the Huffington Post website this week about how to talk to children about God, he was astonished by the volume and vehemence of the response.

A Ballet For Bugsy Siegel?

06/09/2010
Staff Writer

 When she was growing up, Melissa Barak hated Christmas. “I used to beg for a tree,” said Barak, a choreographer who premiered a new work for New York City Ballet last weekend.

Her mother, who was Jewish, tried to cheer Barak up by listing all the famous Jewish stars. “Joan Rivers, Barbra Streisand, she’d say. She did it to make me feel better.” It didn’t work, Barak said.

But then her mother added one more: “Well, the guy who created Las Vegas was Jewish,” Barak recalled her mother saying. That caught her attention.

Melissa Barak, foreground, rehearsing dancers Robert Fairchild and Jennifer Ringer for “Call Me Ben.” Paul Kolnik

Jewish Agency To Hold Aliyah-Planning Expos

06/08/2010

Avital Simon’s interest in making aliyah was piqued after an eye-opening year and a half as an overseas student in Israel. Currently a senior at Stern College for Women, she is planning for her future, and seriously considering making aliyah.

Avital will be among the hundreds of people expected to attend the Aliyah Planning Expo sponsored by the Jewish Agency in New York, where Israeli professionals will provide information about employment, housing, higher education and Hebrew language programs for those considering aliyah.

A Jewish Agency-sponsored aliyah expo will take place Sunday at the Marriot Marquis. Above, prospective olim at last year’s expo

A New Act For The Old Bar Mitzvah

Storahtelling’s Amichai Lau-Lavie is out to revolutionize the
ceremony in emerging partnership with families, synagogues.

06/02/2010
Associate Editor

Arguably one of the most memorable scenes in last year’s Oscar-nominated “A Serious Man” is the bar mitzvah, when Danny Gopnik does his Torah and Haftorah portions while visibly stoned, having smoked prodigious amounts of pot in the Hebrew school bathroom. 

So accustomed are they to tuning out the foreign chanting from the bima that his parents and the other congregants in the soulless 1960s Midwestern temple don’t even seem to notice anything amiss.

Storahtelling ceremonies aim to be creative and engaging, with humor, music, drama and costumes. Photo by Lisa Kimmell

The Ethics Of Invitations

06/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Responding to invitations causes both excitement and anxiety. What if I do not show up? Will it be held against me? Do I have to invite them because they invited me? Will they believe my excuse?

The French writer Jean Cocteau solved the problem with a telegram: “Regret cannot come. Lie to follow.”

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