August 12, 2004

Melrose: Avenue of the Stars of David

The street was made famous by the TV show \”Melrose Place,\” and for years, scores of tourists have trawled Melrose Avenue every day, hoping that some Los Angeles stardust will rub off on them.

Frum Frenzy

Of course, it was only a matter of time before a class of frum frauds emerged on Craigslist. But if the missives from Orthodox neighborhoods are to be believed, where there are frum, there is desire.


One can argue whether the actions Israel\’s government has taken in the face of terror and recalcitrance are moral or effective. One can argue that Israel\’s settlement policy — as its architect, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, has come around to doing — is deleterious to the nation\’s security.

Ready for Judgment?

This week ushers in Elul, the month when Jews traditionally prepare for the High Holidays. In anticipation of the Day of Judgment, we judge ourselves, conducting a full cheshbon hanefesh (accounting of the soul). The Torah portion Re\’eh can serve as a checklist for forgiveness, repentance and renewing our lives. Its various laws and themes each suggest avenues for real and lasting change:

Blessing and Curse

Hope Is on the Menu at Cafe Ezra

Ezra operates as a sequel to Ramah\’s Amitzim program, which serves children and teens with special needs. Both programs run under the umbrella program Ramah calls Tikva (Hebrew for \”hope\”). Kamin said hope is an understatement for what Ezra has done for her son this summer.

Alliance Backs Hotel Workers’ Pay Fight

\”I\’ve been working at the Century Plaza for three years. I\’ve had only a 44-cent raise, and I have two children. It\’s hard to support a family with this salary,\” hotel worker Sonya Lopez told a crowd in Roxbury Park at the Progressive Jewish Alliance\’s (PJA) Aug. 8 event, \”Justice in the Park,\” to educate groups on the hotel workers\’ position.

Since their extended contract expired June 1, unionized workers at nine Los Angeles hotels have been embroiled in a struggle with hotel management over new terms. Aside from a battle over wages and other benefits, the main sticking point between the two groups is the length of the contract.

Most of the workers are low-wage earners, starting at about $11 an hour, and many are recent immigrants.

Slave Laborers Get Final Claims Check

Frieda Moldavan had to wait 60 years, but last week she was finally \”compensated\” for digging German anti-tank trenches outside Budapest in the bitter winter of 1944.

Under The Skin

In the new \”Body Worlds\” exhibit at the California Science Center, a plastic man called \”Chess Player\” sits at a table with his back hunched forward and his hands cupped under his chin. His lips pursed, his eyes stare intensely at the chess board.

We Must Renew Presbyterian Dialogues

In response to these unprecedented overtures, some in our community have called for ending all dialogue with Presbyterians. I believe that is exactly the wrong response. What we need is a renewed dialogue that would occur on two levels.

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

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