Go Ahead, Lick Your Lips


When you clean your house for Pesach, don’t forget your
drawer full of makeup. Yes, makeup. Your lipstick, lip gloss, foundation and
eye shadow may contain wheat and oats that some rabbis say you need to stash
away with the rest of your unleavened food products.

But for ladies who hate to go bare, Shaindy Kelman has
fashioned Shaindee Cosmetics, a line of kosher-for-Pesach makeup that can also
be used on Shabbat and holidays, when some don’t apply makeup. Under the
supervision of Rabbi Abraham Blumenkrantz and Rabbi Moshe Heinemann of Star K
Certification, Kelman designed two lines: Long-Lasting Everyday Cosmetics for
those women who would rather apply makeup before the Shabbat and Yom Tov, and
another line of powder-based Shabbat Cosmetics you can apply (according to
specific halachic guidelines enclosed in the packaging) during Shabbat and Yom
Tov.

It was about eight years ago that Kelman decided that a
naked face on Shabbat and Pesach was simply unacceptable.

“You know, you buy yourself a nice suit and shoes and a nice
hat and a great sheitl [wig] and then you look like you’re dead,” said Kelman,
who has 20 years of experience as a makeup artist and esthetician.

Shaindee Cosmetics distributes in London, Johannesburg,
Israel and select markets in the United States.

Kelman also wanted to help the women in her religious
community in Baltimore who are looking to make a match.

“Let’s face it, shidduchim these days are so hard,” Kelman
said, referring to the process of matchmaking. “It’s important to look nice and
feel good because makeup … is that little confidence that comes in a jar.”

“The time that I invest in teaching them [her clients] is
worth it to me because they are following halacha, they look great and they
feel positive,” the mother of four and owner of a full-service skin care clinic
in Baltimore told The Journal.

For more information, visit www.shaindeecosmetics.com or
call (800) 625-3897.

To purchase Shaindee Cosmetics in Los Angeles, visit Miracle
Mile Beauty Supply & Salon, 5001 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 104, (323) 931-2777.

Active Camps for the Unathletic


Jordan Cinnamon, 15, has been crazy about the ocean since he
was a little kid, so when it came to choosing a way to spend the summer, the
idea of going to a regular sports camps didn’t appeal to him.

“I really don’t like that many sports,” admitted the high
school freshman from Claremont. Instead, Cinnamon has spent his last seven
summers at Catalina Sea Camp on Catalina Island. Last year, he became certified
in scuba diving, and this coming summer he plans to shoot underwater films
during his dives.

Like many kids, Cinnamon’s interests don’t revolve around
baseball, basketball or tennis. In a camp world that is dominated by outdoor
sports, many nonathletes feel forced to play ball in order to reap all the
other benefits of camp — like forming lifelong friendships, finding other
activities they like and spending time without Mom and Dad. For those who are
in need of a change, there are plenty of alternative camps available to Southern
California kids who aren’t as sports-minded.

Most West Coasts Jewish overnight camps are much more
focused on Jewish programming than getting kids out on the field.

“What we do is Judaism,” said Zach Lasker, associate
director of Camp Ramah, a residential camp in Ojai. “The goal is to show kids
that being Jewish is a 24-hour experience and way of life.”

While Ramah and other local Jewish camps offer activities
like swimming, arts and crafts, archery, hiking and sports, there is usually
more emphasis on Jewish study, Hebrew and Israeli dancing.

Judi Joyce from Bakersfield has sent both of her teenage
daughters to Wilshire Boulevard Temple-run Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu since
they were 8. While her daughters, now 13 and 17, are both aspiring dancers,
Joyce and her husband encouraged the girls to spend their summers establishing
their Jewish identities.

“We live in a very small Jewish community,” Joyce said. “My
kids are not at Hess-Kramer for a sports program, they’re there because they
want to be around other Jewish kids.”

If finding a Jewish connection is not a summertime priority,
there are number of other specialty camps around the Southland. For the
technologically gifted or curious, there is iD Tech Camps, a summer program
available at more than 35 universities nationwide, including UCLA, Pepperdine, Cal
Lutheran University, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and Stanford. The programs, which
are available as day camp or residential camp, consist of weeklong or multiweek
computer-related courses. While living in the dorms or commuting, campers can
take classes like video game creation, digital video and movie production, Web
design, graphic arts, robotics, digital music editing, cinematography and
special effects, among others.

Space enthusiasts might explore Astrocamp, the sister camp
to Catalina Sea Camp, which is located in Idyllwild. Here campers participate
in astronomy, simulated missions into space, science experiments, rocketry, a
ropes course and geology.

“Astrocamp brings kids out of their shells,” said Paul
Kupferman, Catalina Sea Camp director, adding that the program tends to attract
academic children. “In school, [these kids] are kind of teased and at camp
we’re here to embrace and celebrate difference.”

For the dramatic at heart, there is Camp Ocean Pines in Cambria,
which is located between Santa Barbara and Monterey. For half the summer, Ocean
Pines is a performing arts camp that offers four one-week sessions relating to
theater, singing and music. During the other four weeks, the camp offers
“nature camp” sessions in surfing and the marine sciences.

While a nonathletic child might still flourish at a sports
camp, specialty camps often help kids gain confidence as they hone a new skill
or develop a deeper understanding of an area of interest.

“Kids just thrive here and when the school year starts, they
become mentors to other kids for knowing the technology,” said Karen Thurm
Safran, vice president of marketing for iD Tech Camps. “Their self-esteem just
blossoms.”

Some kids, like Alyssa Loriezo, 14, who studied digital
music editing at Stanford through iD Tech Camps, even develop a career
direction from their summer experience. After two weeks of composing her own
songs on the piano and manipulating her work through an editing system last
summer, the Loma Linda teen is thinking of majoring in music when she gets to
college.

“I have lots of other friends who go to other camps, but
they don’t seem as appealing as [Catalina Sea Camp],” said Cinnamon, thinking
ahead to his eighth summer in the ocean. “This is what I’m interested in now
and when I’m old enough, I want to be a counselor there.”

For more information on Catalina Sea Camp and Astrocamp,
call (909) 625-6194 or visit www.guideddiscoveries.org
.

For Camp Ramah, call (310) 476-8571 or visit www.ramah.org .

For Camp Hess Kramer, call (213) 388-2401 or visit www.wbtcamps.org
.

For iD Tech Camps, call (888) 709-TECH or visit www.internaldrive.com
.

For Camp Ocean Pines, call (805) 927-0254 or visit www.campoceanpines.org
.

The Sabra Seduction


It was an offer I could refuse — but only for a short time. Yaniv was his name, and his sweet entreaty epitomized the dating habits of the macho, cocky Israeli man (can you say caveman with a cell phone and Chanel sunglasses?). He cunningly wanted to prepare hot cocoa for me in his apartment.

Actually, in his room.

More accurately, on his bed.

I declined, but was coaxed into this little setup before the week was out.

As an Israeli whose life was split between Israel and America in the familial and environmental sense, I have the pleasure of viewing both worlds as a foreigner and native. When it comes to Israeli men vs. American men, I am a big advocate of my Mediterranean-blooded counterparts.

Israeli men seem to have confidence imbedded in their DNA. Maybe it’s from the army, or perhaps it’s the carpe diem syndrome. Maybe it’s outright self-destructiveness. Either way, Israeli guys know how to approach a woman and make her feel like God has descended upon her.

I attribute this approach to an unfair advantage Israeli men have over their American counterparts when it comes to courting Israeli women (can you really call hot cocoa on his bed courting?). Let’s face it, when people have the same life experiences — dealing with an aggressive public, terror attacks, army service, chocolate milk in a plastic bag — they can more easily relate to one another. So Israeli men already have a pretty good idea of the background of their potential prey.

This knowledge inevitably detracts from the taunting image of the unapproachable, mysterious woman on a pedestal, at least somewhat, and results in a boosted sense of chutzpah.

But Israeli men’s confidence is a quality that proves enticing to at least some of those being pursued. If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you — if by nothing more than mere trickery. Every woman loves a man who knows what he’s doing, and Israeli men, even if they don’t know what they’re doing, will never admit it. They approach a woman like they approach the toilet — with conviction and purpose. Women, even new age feminists, can appreciate this quality.

Yet the Israeli brand of macho can sometimes go overboard. Sometimes, and quite often, the Israeli man is considered too cocky and overconfident, an incorrigible flirt and womanizer. Israeli men offer deals — “You come here and I will pamper you with chocolate.” It seems archaic, even primitive, but that kind of confidence can really melt away at a woman’s reserves.

Confidence, unfortunately, is not a word I would use to describe American men. Their approach is subtle; they are over-intellectualized and fearful of trespassing on the female sense of liberty. They want to make a woman feel as an equal. If I wanted to feel like an equal, I would date women.

The beauty in a female-male relationship is that your femininity or masculinity is enhanced by the mere presence of something so different than yourself. American men seem to have forgotten this, and with it their manliness has atrophied.

I like American men because they are the product of an over-analytical society, and sometimes this comes in handy. They are willing to change their opinions. Nothing is ever black and white. They don’t eat meat. They are sensitive to racial equality. They cook and clean.

Yaniv is a carnivorous lug who can’t get enough of his Iraqi mother’s cooking. To him, everything is simpler than how I make it seem. He turns my poetry into prose.

Me: “I feel like I am floating off the air with no one to help me come down.”

Him: “You’re just lonely.”

Me: “I had this image of pierced holes in my back.”

Him: “You were just scared.”

When he brings down my elaborate metaphors to three-word sentences, everything seems clarified. He is almost always right.

To American women, Israeli men are gruff, too adventurous and too set in their ways to accommodate those who don’t know how to not take them seriously. Israeli women, on the other hand, know how to manage.

Israeli women are a breed of their own, too. Strongminded, highly opinionated, no BS and, for the most part, pragmatic. I have an Israeli friend who is dating an American man and her chief complaint is, almost always, “He’s not hard enough.” I translate that on several levels — emotionally, intellectually and, well….

Ultimately, it’s more a matter of personality than anything else. A relationship with either an American or an Israeli both require the common denominator that unites us all and transcends any national barriers — love.

As for Yaniv, the big lug has become quite a sweet guy, no doubt because of my good influences and perhaps his “Americanization.” And by the way, he’s graduated from hot cocoa to latte.

To the Graduates


I can’t remember a word spoken by Ira Goldstein, the Plainview (NY) High School valedictorian, Class of 1965, but I’m sure his graduation address was brilliant. Ira, who apparently was in the Philosophy Club with me for three now-forgotten years, was the most brilliant boy in a class of brilliant boys. Girls were “smart” or “sweet” in those days; boys were “brilliant.”

“The difficult he does quickly; the impossible takes a little longer” was written under Ira’s school photo. He was destined for greatness, but I never heard about him again. I used to follow him home from school, padding along behind him since he lived around the corner from me. I can’t remember a word he said.Still, I miss him terribly. I know this sounds insane, but 35 years later I think I’m finally ready for high school. Having worked on my self-esteem for three decades, I’d finally be capable of talking to Ira about things that matter. Leslie Wiletzky, who had been a god to us girls as sophomore class president the year after I moved from the city to the suburbs, would no longer intimidate me either. I’m even ready for Bob Dickman (Fencing, Honor Society, Russian Magazine) now. And what about Allen Kranz, sports editor? I can still fake interest in football, if that’s how the game is played.

Yes, now I’m ready for high school. I’m confident I can enter the girls’ room on my own now, without a bodyguard. I’m not afraid of those “Leader of the Pack” gang girls with their teased hair and stiletto nails, though I still dream about them and break into a sweat.

The first time around, none of my outfits were good enough, and the fashion police in the sorority crowd had real fun snickering at my plaid skirts. I didn’t own a single Orlon sweater, let alone a twin set! These days, I’m an adult and wear jeans. But just in case I relapse into self-doubt, it’s good to know that I can have all the sweater sets I want – and in Lycra – since my mother no longer co-signs my charge card! I can afford my own Kate Spade bag, too, if I want one. You can’t be too well-armed against peer pressure.What a wuss I was. I hated lunch hour, spent writing morose poetry and trying on shades of lipstick, even though my best friend at the time, Diane Cobert, swore in my yearbook that we had endless fun. “I can still remember that first day in Caf 2A eating spaghetti,” she wrote in my yearbook. “Ever since it’s been a ball.”

What an actor I must have been. Everyone, it seems, admired my sense of humor. I burned my hair during the National Honor Society candle lighting ceremony. What a joke! David Don, however, took me seriously.

“Despite your liberal tendencies, you’re still OK,” he said. See, it began early.No matter what they say in the Plainview Gull, I was totally unhappy, and I mean every single day. Paul Kornreich (Chess, German Club) had the right idea. “Whenever you’re feeling gay,” he wrote, “just remember the miserable times we had in history; that will cure you.”

I made it look good, I guess, as did we all. I don’t remember my public speaking class, but Barry Aaronoff insists I alone made it endurable for him. “The only good spot of the period was you.” He never said a word to me, I swear it.

It’s no wonder that it took so long for the pain to ebb. We were just kids, hurting each other mercilessly in preparation for the real world, which has been kind in comparison. That’s why I’d like once again to look into Barry Aaronoff’s eyes.

“You wrote ‘I’ll never forget,'” I’d tell him, pointing to his own handwriting. “Did you?”

Since I’m on the topic of high school graduation, it’s not too early to address the college road ahead. Inspired by Maria Shriver’s best-selling “Ten Things I Wish I’d Known – Before I Went Out Into the Real World,” here are the first “Four Things I Wish I’d Known – Before I Went to That Hare Krishna Meeting” (with more to follow soon):

1) Learn who you are: Many people think college is the time to experience alienation, to respect other cultures more than your own and to bust the rules. Fine, but rebellion gets tiresome. Plan to take a Jewish studies course. There’s more to our tradition than your Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Your non-Jewish roommate may know more about religion than you do. 2) Get a support system: You may think Hillel is square, but come the High Holidays, you’ll be glad it’s there. Keep the number posted. Use It. 3) Watch out for loneliness. Suicidal thoughts and depression are too common among freshmen. Don’t be macho. Call home. Light candles. Keep your spiritual life alive. Get a subscription to your hometown Jewish newspaper. 4) Satisfy your curiosity, but don’t forget to come home. Of course you may want to date non-Jews.

But then get smart and see Rule 1): Learn who you are.Meanwhile, has anyone seen Ira Goldstein?

Marlene Adler Marks is senior columnist of The Jewish Journal. Her e-mail address is wmnsvoice@aol.com