Friday, May 28, 2010

Sign up for Spring and Summer Classes online.

Check out our class schedules and register at:
Don't miss out!

How has Judaism by Choice made a difference in your life?

We'd love to hear your story and possibly include it in one of our upcoming newsletters.
Please email your story to Rabbi Weinberg at

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

White House Party Will Fete Jewish Culture

Who Made The List? Jewish Community Wonders Who'll Make White House Reception

NEW YORK (AP) - In politics, as elsewhere, it's a sport that's almost as popular as people-watching: Guest-list watching.

And this week, it's the Jewish community in Washington and beyond that's buzzing over who'll be on the list when Barack and Michelle Obama host the first-ever White House reception marking Jewish Heritage Month.

Read more.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Census - Do you count?

We all need to feel like we count and feel like we are a part of something larger...a community.
It's nothing new. This week's Torah portion deals with this very issue. 
Is there someone you know that isn't being counted? Maybe you?
How do you get heard? And what can you do to help others feel like they count?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Los Angeles Jewish Symphony

This Sunday, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony presents L'Chayim: A Musical Celebration of Eastern European Culture at the Ford Amphitheater. The program includes Wladislaw Szpilman's Piano Concertino, featured in the Academy Award-winning film "The Pianist" and written while the composer was interned in the Warsaw Ghetto, as well as The Fiddler, based on a Yiddish Shalom Aleichem tale. Featuring violinist Mark Kashper, clarinetist Zinovy Goro, and piano soloist Yevgeniy Milyavskiy, and Mike Burstyn.
For more information, click here or call (323) 461-3673.
Full price - $25 - $36
Students price - $12

For a Special Discount - identify yourself to the Ford Box-Office as a "Friend of LAJS"

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Check out our new Havdalah Social photos

Havdalah Social, May 1, 2010, Beverly Hills.

Mumps cases on the rise in Los Angeles Jewish Community

Amid an increasing number of mumps cases reported in Los Angeles County, the Department of Public Health today urged residents to be alert for any sign of the disease in their community and to take steps to protect themselves.
“At least nine cases of mumps have already been reported in Los Angeles County this year, six of which have been confirmed,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer. “By comparison, seven cases were confirmed countywide in all of 2009, seven in 2008, and five in 2007.”

Los Angeles Welcomes the IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy!

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles is hosting the annual international conference on Jewish genealogy July 11-16 in L.A. Those beginning their family history research and those continuing their search will find fascinating sessions, amazing resources, interesting films and expert advice.

On the Media: Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles adapts to changing media market -

On the Media: Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles adapts to changing media market -

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jewish woman for US Supreme Court

Obama selects Elena Kagan, boosting Jewish justices to 3 if confirmed.

WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama selected Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court on Monday, a nominee who would boost the court’s number of current Jewish justices to an unprecedented three if confirmed.

Kagan, 50, who is the first female US solicitor-general and was the first female dean of Harvard Law School before that, would also raise the number of female justices to three, another historic number, in taking over for the retiring John Paul Stevens, 90.

Noting her fierce intellect and legal achievements in announcing the nomination, Obama also cited Kagan’s immigrant roots and the values her parents instilled as key to her success and life path.

“Understanding of law, not as an intellectual exercise or words on a page but as it affects the lives of ordinary people, has animated every step of Elena’s career,” he said, pointing out that Kagan chose public service over a lucrative private practice.

“Given Elena’s upbringing, it’s a choice that probably came naturally,” Obama said, referring to her being raised by a public school teacher and a tenant lawyer who were the children of immigrants and both the first in their families to go to college.

He then quoted Kagan’s comments during her confirmation hearing for solicitor-general: “Both my parents wanted me to succeed in my chosen profession. But more than that, both drilled into me the importance of service, character and integrity.”

Abner Mikva, who hired Kagan as his clerk when he was an appellate judge in the 1980s and then later when he was legal counsel for the Clinton White House, said that her closeness to the immigrant experience influenced her approach to the law.

“I think she did identify with people who are friendless and powerless, and that the law is there to protect them, not impose further burdens on them,” he said, describing qualities that Obama had previously said were key perspectives for any nominee he chose. “When you talk about the law, you’re talking about individuals, and I think that’s part of the heritage of being close to the immigrant generation.”

Mikva, whom Kagan praised in her remarks upon being nominated Monday, also told The Jerusalem Post how her sense of Jewishness connected to her work.

“Her yiddishkeit, as I call it, informs her views on social justice and compassion and understanding what law is about,” he said. “We the Jews invented the law, and it’s only fitting that someone of Jewish heritage would fall in love with the law and make it a career.”

Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz told the Post that that heritage has been one she has worn proudly, as “she never tries to hide her Jewish background.”

Dershowitz, who worked with her for the dozen or so years that she headed the law school, said he frequently saw her when he went to Conservative services held at the Harvard Hillel, calling her someone who clearly “knows how to daven” and reads Hebrew.

Although he said that “she doesn’t see herself as a Jewish law professor or a Jewish justice,” at the same time she “clearly identified positively as a Jew.”

Though he noted that he had never held a lengthy conversation with her about Israel, he said that “I think she would be generally supportive” of the Jewish state and described her as “actively involved in moderate, liberal Judaism.”

He added, “With a name like Kagan, she’s probably a kohen too.”

Dershowitz lauded Kagan for working to create a more inclusive, less politically polarized climate at the law school and for bringing both sides toward each other in the center.

He pointed out that this ability would be helpful in the Supreme Court, and it seems to have been one of the key reasons she was selected.

Obama himself emphasized her record as “a consensus-builder,” particularly at Harvard, and her belief that “exposure to a broad array of perspectives is the foundation not just for a sound legal education, but of a successful life in the law.”

This could be particularly important on a sharply divided court – Kagan will replace a long-time liberal justice – where Justice Anthony Kennedy often is a swing vote. Legal observers suggested Obama wanted someone who could work with Kennedy and help sway him as some of Obama’s key legislative initiatives – such as health care – wend their way toward America’s top court.

As the solicitor-general, until now responsible for arguing the administration’s perspective before the court, Kagan would have to recuse herself from the cases she’s worked on. While that has already formed as a line of attack for some Republicans, as has her lack of experience as a judge, her academic and government background means that she doesn’t have a lengthy, controversial record of past decisions.

That is one reason political insiders expect that her nomination will go through without a full-court press of opposition by the GOP. The White House hopes the Senate will take up the nomination early enough to have it wrapped up by the August recess, so Kagan can take the bench for the fall session.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jewish Film Fesival Event May 11
Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Laemmle's Music Hall
9036 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles

NEXT LA is proud to sponsor an evening at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival. Following a short film by Antwone Fischer ("ATL") called "My Summer Friend", we will be screening the Los Angeles premiere of "Holy Rollers"; a film written by Antonia Macia, directed by Kevin Asch, starring Jesse Eisenberg ("Zombieland","Adventureland"), Justin Bartha ("The Hangover","National Treasure"), Ari Graynor ("Mystic River", "Youth in Revolt"), and Q-Tip; about a youth from the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn who gets lured into becoming an Ecstasy dealer by his pal who has ties to an Israeli drug cartel. The evening will conclude with a Q&A with the screenwriters moderated by Naomi Pfefferman, Arts Editor of the Jewish Journal.
Buy tickets here

Socially Responsible Jewish Investing on Rise

Socially Responsible Jewish Investing on Rise

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Report: Tycoon Donald Trump's daughter converting to Judaism - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Report: Tycoon Donald Trump's daughter converting to Judaism - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Friday, May 7, 2010

How do you incorporate Judaism in your life?

Do you observe Shabbat? Attend services? Keep Kosher? Get together with friends to celebrate the holidays? We'd love to learn what Judaism means to you. Share your thoughts here on this blog or by email at


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Celebrate Shabbat with your mom!

Bring mom and your entire family to Shabbat Dinner this Friday, May 7 at 7:45 pm.
Location: Temple Beth Am.

For more information and registration, click here:

Los Angeles Jewish Home Hosts the 16th Annual World's Largest Mother's Day Celebration

For the sixteenth year, the Los Angeles Jewish Home will host the "World's Largest Mother's Day Celebration."  The event includes brunch, music, jugglers, clowns and other activities for all to enjoy.  The cost is $20 for adults and $8 for children between the ages of 5 and 11.  There is no charge for children under 5 and Jewish Home residents.  

Approximately 1,000 participants are expected to join the Home in honoring mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and great-great-grandmothers everywhere.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

10:30 AM
Event begins

11:30 – 12:30

Los Angeles Jewish Home

18855 Victory Avenue

Reseda, CA 91335

Founded in 1912, the world-renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home is one of the foremost continuing senior-living facilities in the United States and is the largest single-source provider of senior housing in Los Angeles. Each year, more than 1,700 senior women and men are supported through in-residence housing on two village campuses totaling 16 acres and community programs.  The Home is a nonprofit organization that relies solely upon donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to continue its remarkable work. Further information regarding the Home can be found online at or by calling 818-757-4407. 

Jewish Funds for Justice collects money to help oil spill relief

Tax-deductible donations can be made by individuals and organizations to the JFSJ Gulf Coast Disaster Recovery Fund online at or, by phone at (212) 213-2113 x3, or mailed to JFSJ, 330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY.

May 4, 2010 – Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ) announced today that it is accepting donations to help affected communities in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. This is the first Jewish disaster fund to help residents and communities impacted by the oil spill. Building on JFSJ’s long-term commitment to and deep relationship in the region, the Gulf Coast Disaster Recovery Fund will provide an effective vehicle for distributing financial resources to community-based organizations on the front lines.
Already, more than 6,800 square miles of federal fishing areas have been shut down in the Gulf of Mexico, eleven Deepwater workers are presumed dead, and 210,000 gallons of crude oil are being spewed into the gulf each day. The Gulf Coast fishing industry, which is the largest seafood producer in the continental United States, may lose $2.5 billion because of the spill, according to early estimates.
“From the first report of the explosion, Jewish Funds for Justice has been in communication with our partners on the ground from New Orleans to Boothville, from Plaquemines Parish to the Houma Nation,” said Simon Greer, JFSJ CEO and President. “The message we’re hearing is clear: workers and families are at risk of losing their livelihoods permanently. Jewish Funds for Justice believes we have an obligation to help the most vulnerable among us and to ensure that families have the support they need, whether it’s helping to employ displaced workers in new jobs, making sure homes aren’t lost to foreclosure, or keeping families safe from environmental pollutants.”
Since 2005, JFSJ has led rebuilding efforts through its Hurricane Recovery and Redevelopment Fund. In partnership with a broad segment of the Jewish community, including the United Jewish Communities, UJA-Federation of New York, Union for Reform Judaism, Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, and the Andrea & Charles Bronfman Fund, the Fund helped channel the Jewish community’s outpouring of support in response to Hurricane Katrina. JFSJ works with grassroots organizations that have earned the trust of their communities and are well positioned to give voice to and address unmet needs of low-income residents.
Through this fund and its other Gulf Coast initiatives, JFSJ will work with its long-standing community partners to provide both immediate and long-term assistance.  Tax-deductible donations can be made by individuals and organizations to the JFSJ Gulf Coast Disaster Recovery Fund online at or, by phone at (212) 213-2113 x3, or mailed to JFSJ, 330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY, 10001.

Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ) is a national public foundation guided by Jewish history and tradition. JFSJ helps people in the United States achieve social and economic security and opportunity by investing in healthy neighborhoods, vibrant Jewish communities, and skillful leaders. Our holistic approach to social change includes grantmaking and community investing, service learning and leadership development, organizing and advocacy.
 - Jacob Berkman

Jewish Film Festival May 8-13

By Todd David Schwartz

It'll become the stuff of Hollywood Trivia: What was Patrick Swayze's last film role, and where did it debut in Los Angeles? Answers: He played a Jewish attorney in the English-language Austrian film Jump. It debuted here at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival in 2009. Celebrating its fifth year the festival's opening-night movie, A Matter of Size , is a comedy about Jewish sumo wrestlers. Holy Rollers is a drama inspired by actual events, about Hasidic Jews smuggling ecstasy from Europe into the U.S. Included among the terrific documentaries is one about the Grammy Award-winning group the Klezmatics, another about Nazi Germany's propaganda filmmaker Veit Harlan, the only artist from the Nazi era to be charged with war crimes. It's a week's worth of edge-of-your-seat cinema, guaranteed to enlighten, rattle, entertain, and inspire. Festival Director Hilary Helstein (an acclaimed filmmaker herself) says, "There's an interconnection of Jewishness throughout the world, as communicated through the variety of films shown at our festival." (Hey, did you know there were Argentinian Jews, and people who practice Judaism in remote north-eastern India? Neither did I.) There'll be U.S. premieres, L.A. premieres, shorts, independent features, a selection of women's films, and a program of student films, with many filmmakers in attendance. The opening night gala will be nutty, with a visit by sumo wrestlers, a chance to sip a kosher scotch called Loch Chaim, and a diet-destroying dessert buffet. And leave it to the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival to have this as its tagline: "Our films aren't just selected, they're chosen!" Locations vary, as do prices.
- LA Weekly

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Shabbat Dinner - Friday, May 7, 7:45pm

Temple Beth Am
1039 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles
$40.00 per person

Register by May 5 at:

Join Rabbi Neal Weinberg as he leads a traditional Shabbat Dinner for those considering Judaism and those who have embraced Judaism. Learn the basic structure of the Shabbat dinner and how to make the blessings. Enjoy a delicious meal, participate in discussion and meet new people!