Picture of Wendy J. Madnick

Wendy J. Madnick

Keeping Security a Priority

Ten years after the shooting of three children, a counselor and a receptionist by a white supremacist at the North Valley Jewish Community Center, and then his subsequent murder of a Philippines-born postal worker, the bond forged between the Jewish community and the Asian American community remains strong.

Survivors — Not Victims

To see Mindy Finkelstein and Joshua Stepakoff today, one might easily take them for siblings, or at least cousins. They are relaxed in each other’s presence, as only two people can be who share a common bond — even if, as in this case, that bond involves a successful escape from a gunman.

The Shots That Shattered Our Calm

The day began like any other summer day at the North Valley Jewish Community Center — hot and heady with promise. Children lined up at the back of the site for field trips, or unpacked their gear to go swimming. Office workers answered phones and filed papers. Counselors accompanied kids to the arts and crafts room. Nothing indicated this would be anything other than a normal camp day — until a white supremacist walked into the lobby, spraying bullets and shattering the Los Angeles Jewish community’s calm.

A Brutal Awakening

The events of Aug. 10, 1999, changed our culture. We would never again feel as carefree as before the madman walked into the JCC and opened fire. In some ways, the shooting began our preparation for what was to come two years later — when not just our community, but our country, experienced a shattering of innocence.

Special Needs Group Fills Special Niche

When parents gather for monthly meetings of Ozreinu, a spiritual support group for families with special-needs children, the first thing they do is check in.

A Brave New High School

Roberta Weintraub used to be a technophobe. But that was before she decided to launch High Tech High, a public charter school in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) that integrates technology and education.

Stein Scores Grammy

In the midst of all of the glamour of the 47th Annual Grammy Awards, one could easily miss the hurrahs of one local cantor. But it was a proud moment for Chazzan Mike Stein of Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, one of a group of musicians honored Feb. 13 with an award in the Best Children\’s Music category for \”\”cELLAbration! A Tribute to Ella Jenkins.\”

Special-Needs Bill: Good IDEA or Not?

Under IDEA, students who require special services — such as speech therapy, sign language interpreters or resource teachers — must receive them by attending local public schools. Although some parents have successfully negotiated or even sued to allow their child to attend a private school and still receive financial support from their district for those services, for the most part, parents who want their child to receive a religious education must pay for additional services themselves.


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