November 9, 2000

Party Up, Kosher Style!

Call it a beach party without the beach. The pouring rain didn\’t stop Beverly Hills High School students from partying when they recently converged on the campus football field for an early evening bonfire. The up-tempo rally – which featured kosher hot dogs and school cheerleaders busting moves to the beat of a live band – was organized by Rabbi Hertzl Illulian, who, for seven years, has been organizing events at Beverly Hills High School.

Board Meeting

Skate Roc \’n Jam, an event held Nov. 5 at the Hollywood Los Feliz JCC, drew about 100 skateboarding enthusiasts who tried their luck on newly built ramps and rails borrowed from Oasis in Hollywood; listened to music by the group Custom; talked shop with DV8, a skateboarding shop in Eagle Rock; and basically allowed one and all a place to jam.

After the Election

I\’m writing this on Recount Wednesday, following Cliff-hanging Tuesday. The national and local scenes are running through my mind, a nightmare set on permanent rewind.

Courage Under Fire

Mort Wolk hadn\’t slept a wink in two days. The invasion had been called off the day before due to bad weather, but Wolk had been on edge and too busy to rest. It was 4 a.m., and his plane was over Nazi-held Normandy. The only Jew and the only enlisted man on board, Wolk was part of Task Force A, a group of 40 paratroopers that had four hours to establish and secure a command post for the D-Day invasion.

Capitol Hill Gains

One influential Jewish representative was defeated, one venerated Jewish senator retired and the number of Jewish Republicans in the House may have tripled as a result of this week\’s elections.Overall, the Jewish presence in Congress will increase, with several new faces in the House of Representatives.

Tough Jews

As twilight descended upon the forest of Ponar, Rich Cohen gazed upon the green canyons where the Vilna Jews died in the Shoah. He took photographs of the treetops, thinking of a survivor who had stared at the same trees while feigning death in one of the mass graves. \”I knew that the roots of everything growing were in ashes,\” says Cohen, the 32-year-old author of the Jewish-gangster tome, \”Tough Jews.\”

Fundraising Fluctuations

The umbrella organization for North American Jewish federations is now the seventh largest charitable organization in the United States, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.


\”I was in all of one spelling bee in my life,\” confides Myla Goldberg, the author of \”Bee Season,\” who\’ll read from her stunning debut novel at the Jewish Book Festival this week. The overachiever was in the fourth grade, and she smugly expected to win – until she was asked to spell \”tomorrow,\” her Achilles-heel word. She spelled it \”tomarrow.\”

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More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.