December 9, 2004



New Israeli Consul Arrives in L.A.

For a man who is celebrating his 34th birthday this month, Ehud Danoch, Israel\’s new consul general, introduces himself with an impressive resume.\n\nHe has an insider\’s knowledge of his country\’s domestic, economic and foreign affairs, is a lawyer, holds a master\’s degree in business administration and knows all the right people in the Israeli government and bureaucracy. He also has an advantage as a fluent speaker in this region\’s two primary languages, English and Spanish, and he can also get by in French.

Chrismukkah Web site

A menorah is topped with candy canes, a mini Christmas tree adorned with a Jewish star and a spinning dreidel pictures Frosty the Snowman on one side and the tree on another: These are just some of the \”interfaith\” pictures featured on the mugs on the gift section of the Chrismukkah Web site (www.chrismukkah.com). Other images – which also adorn T-shirts and holiday cards – include a reindeer with a menorah for antlers, a zayde-slash-santa and other cute combo sayings like \”Oy Joy\” and \”Merry Mazeltov,\” which get across the sentiment of both Judaism and Christianity.

The Paintbrush as Sword

Samuel Bak\’s first art exhibit was in the Vilna ghetto when he was 9 years old. While the Nazis killed 75,000 Vilna residents, he and his mother emerged as just two of 200 survivors.

Some of that young boy\’s artwork, which depicted a culture that once was called \”the Jerusalem of Lithuania,\” has survived the 20th century and can be found in the Lithuanian capital\’s Jewish museum. But Bak\’s storied 45-year career in painting also brings more than 40 of his works to Los Angeles for the two-month \”Between Worlds\” exhibit at the Finegood Gallery at the New Jewish Community Center at Milken in West Hills.



The Jewish State of Relaxation

At spas around the world, activity menus focus on the body, offering the likes of hiking, exercise, body treatments and tai chi. Occasionally, spirituality can be explored in a special class or workshop. Long before the spa frenzy began filling travel columns nationwide, Jews recognized the value of spas and retreats. But these oases focus on the mind and heart, with the purpose of refreshing one\’s spirituality and peace of mind.

A Sporting Chanukah

On the third night of Chanukah my true love gave to me, an Olympic swim cap signed by Lenny Krayzelburg, a game of Horse with the Houston Rocket\’s Bostjan Nachbar and a chance to be on the set of ESPN\’s Cold Pizza.

Thanks to the Center for Sport and Jewish Life\’s online Chanukah auction (www.CSJL.org), gift giving just got more interesting.

Letters to the Editor

Return of Torah Portion; Toll of Terror; and other letters.

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