Los Angeles

Bergen County’s Thriving Yeshiva

While many New York-area day schools are in crisis, Yeshivat Noam —
blessed with a growing Modern Orthodox community and energetic faculty — is riding high.

06/01/2010
Editorial Intern

When Yeshivat Noam first opened its doors in 2001, it was the kindergarten students — the upperclassmen, so to speak — who ran through the building, checking that every door had a mezuzah.

“We like to refer to them as our pioneers,” said Rabbi Chaim Hagler, principal of the Modern Orthodox school located in Bergen County. “They’ve kind of been eighth graders now for nine years.”

Second graders listen to a unit on bugs and their habitats.

Rabbis Gone Virtual: From Facebook to Live Streaming Rabbinic Conventions

Cross-posted at Blog.RabbiJason.com

For me, it began a few years ago. That's when I first heard the words: "Rabbis, you need to have a presence on Facebook if you want to succeed in the 21st century!"

Social Networking is a Must for 21st Century Rabbis

Ethical Kosher Seal Nearing Marketplace for Conservative Jews

Conservative movement’s ambitious ‘Magen Tzedek’ in testing stages, hoping to have certified products on store shelves within year.

05/25/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

With the trials of Sholom Rubashkin, the former CEO of the Agriprocessors kosher slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, still looming large over the kosher food industry, the Conservative movement is ready to make its mark on a field that is dominated by Orthodox companies.

After years of discussion and planning, the “Magen Tzedek” — which the Conservative movement calls the world’s first Jewish ethical certification seal — will complete beta testing with two food companies by the end of 2010.

Rabbi Morris Allen heads up the Conservative movement’s Hekhsher Tzedek commission.

Soulful Approach

05/25/2010

Chancellor Arnold Eisen often states that JTS is the center of the Conservative world (“JTS Chancellor Charting New Course For Outreach,” May 21). He dismisses the efforts and results that Rabbi Bradley Artson of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles has realized.

Gary Rosenblatt’s article spoke of combining “heart” and “head.” There is a difference between the two schools: whereas JTS aims for the head, the Ziegler School goes directly to the heart.

New Focus On Genetic Screening For Persians

Two research projects, new organization raising awareness
in Iranian communities here and in L.A..

Special To The Jewish Week
05/05/2010

 If you’re an Ashkenazi Jewish woman, a standard prenatal visit to the obstetrician includes testing for as many as 15 hereditary diseases that could affect your offspring. Insurance covers the cost. If you’re a Persian Jewish woman, and you want to be tested for the assortment of genetic mutations commonly found in the Iranian Jewish community, you’re basically out of luck. And quite likely, you’re also out of pocket, paying with your own money for each individual test.

Dr. David Rimoin and his research partner developed the West Coast study that screened 1000 Persian Jews.

Speed Kills

05/04/2010

Seeing something I have written in print always evokes the wish that I could snatch the words back, if only for a moment, to correct or change them. Manuscripts of notable novels and poems are almost always indecipherable squiggles, cross-outs, arrows, editing marks. Second, third and fourth thoughts are essential for clarity and elegance of expression. As the great Thomas Mann put it, “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

Tells Tell All

04/27/2010

Have you ever climbed to the top of a tell? A tell is a pile of old civilizations, massed atop each other. Such hills mark the landscape of Israel, reminding us that civilization is less about building than about rebuilding.
 

Anna Halprin’s Dance Therapy

New documentary traces the varied steps of the pioneering
modern dance choreographer.

04/27/2010
Staff Writer

When Anna Halprin was growing up in the 1920s, she liked to watch her grandfather pray. He would rock back and forth, his long white beard swaying, while a string of unintelligible words rushed from his mouth. As his words became louder, faster, his body followed suit, moving in what seemed like some mystical dance. God must have looked something like that, Halprin remembers thinking. And so, she reasoned, “I thought God was a dancer.”
 

For Halprin, dance has tangible health benefits.

Orthodox LA Teen Elected to Local Council

04/21/2010

LOS ANGELES (JTA) – A 15-year old Orthodox Jewish girl has become the youngest elected public representative in Los Angeles. 

Rachel Lester was elected last week to the South Robertson Neighborhood Council, besting her opponent, a college-educated family man, with a lop-sided vote of 144 to 13.

The 90 neighborhood councils in Los Angeles are official municipal bodies, which serve as advisory boards to the L.A. City Council and as liaison between the average citizen and the municipal government.

The Choice Is Ours

04/20/2010

The Talmud teaches, “Everything is in the hands of heaven except reverence for heaven (Berachot 33b).” In other words, there is much we do not choose in this world, but we do choose our posture toward what we are given. For a characteristically wise and elegant formulation of this, listen to the words of the superlative essayist, Joseph Epstein:

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