Up Front

Photo illustration by Carvin Knowles

The Sukkah Patch?

The annual fall festival and pumpkin patch is along tradition at the Farmer’s Market at Third and Fairfax. Thisyear, it will host an even longer tradition: the building of asukkah.

In conjunction with the Skirball Cultural Center,the market will erect a sukkah, the traditional booth that marksSukkot, in the midst of all the festivities. Visitors can helpdecorate the structure, learn more about the holiday and schmoozewith representatives of the Skirball.

The actual sukkah is being funded by the Farmer’sMarket, and Lopez Family Produce is donating the decorative produce.”We’re trying to bring out the universal aspects of Sukkot: shelter,hospitality and thanksgiving,” said the Skirball’s Joana Fisch.”We’re not only showing the Jewish side but the universalthemes.”

The sukkah will also be used as a collection pointfor a canned-food drive to benefit needy families in the season ofThanksgiving. You can visit the sukkah at the Fall Festival Oct.3-5.

The Skirball’s own Sukkot Festival will be held onOct. 19. The cultural center, along with Gelson’s Markets, will holda food drive during the festival to benefit the Los Angeles RegionalFoodbank. Bring canned or packaged goods to donate when you visit.The festival will feature art projects, live music, dance andstorytelling. You can also see an exhibition that celebrates Sukkot,”Temporary Quarters: Artists Build for Shelter and Celebration.” Formore information, contact the Skirball at (310) 440-4500.

A Mother’s Plea

Left to right:

Noam, Lior, Tzvi, Elana and ShiraRozenman.

Sixteen-year-old Noam Rozenman was walking downBen-Yehuda Street last month when a suicide bomber’s blast foreverchanged his life. The Los Angeles native, who moved to Israel withhis family seven years ago, suffered burns over 30 percent of hisbody. His eardrums burned. He remains in the burn unit at HadassahHospital in Jerusalem.

The cruelty and randomness of the violence thatinjured her son provoked Elana Rozenman to action. So did her son’sfear of the city she loves. Last week, he said to her, “I’m afraid toleave the hospital.”

A trained social worker, Elana has long beenactive in Israel, organizing women’s business networks. She turned toone of her networks of working women to mount a 24-hour vigil at thebase of Ben-Yehuda Street on the 30th day after the bombing, at 3p.m. — the exact time the first bomb went off.

In a speech to announce the vigil, Rozenman told agroup of women: “I beg you, let us transcend the religious, cultural,political differences that separate us. I pray to God, let him be thelast child to go through this horror.”

The Oct. 5 vigil will be silent. That way,Rozenman hopes to draw women from all different political andreligious persuasions, united by a common desire to make the streetsof Jerusalem safe for their families.

A similar vigil might be organized here in LosAngeles by the friends of the Rozenmans’. For more information, callMarilyn Hershenson at (310) 204-0600. You can reach Rozenman bye-mail at women@qanton.com.

Shooting Straight

When Israel needs a friend in Congress, it canalways rely on Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. But when Feinsteinwants something in return, can she rely on Israel?

What Feinstein wants is for the Israeli governmentto intervene and block the export of tens of thousands of Galil andUzi military-style assault rifles to the United States. IsraelMilitary Industries Ltd., a company owned by the state, recentlyreceived permission from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco andFirearms to export a modified version of these automatic weapons tothe States.

In a Dear Mr. Prime Minister letter sent toBinyamin Netanyahu on Sept. 11, Feinstein wrote that the weapons areeasily remodified to automatic, and that such weapons — designed torapid-fire up to 100 bullets a clip– have plagued the urban streetsof California for years. This year alone, there have been nineincidents involving assault weapons, used in bank robberies, drive-byshootings and revenge killings.

How ironic, wrote Feinstein, that while U.S.military equipment and assistance have made Israel safer, Israelwould endanger American lives by selling military-style weaponshere.

Copies of the letter were sent to about everymajor Jewish organization we know of. Feinstein knows American Jewssupport gun controls. Does Netanyahu?