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  • Planting trees isn’t enough

    Thousands of years ago, Tu B’Shevat was designated as the birthday of all trees. Today, on Tu B’Shevat, Jewish conservationists and environmental activists calculate the rate at which trees are decimated faster than we can count or replace the

  • Defending Chanukah

    Columnist Jane Ulman campaigns for major-holiday status for Chanukah, both for spiritual reasons, and because the Americans who will buy 8 million Chanukah cards and 35 million Chanukah-themed stamps this year are voting with their wallets in favor of thi

  • Shofar: the meaning behind the music

    On Rosh Hashanah, known as Yom Teruah – The Day of the Shofar Blast – an ancient horn will sound once again. This year, the shofar, with its eerie, piercing sounds, awakens us to a world of continued sadness, fear and seemingly irreconcilable conflict.

  • Tisha B’Av at summer camp

    Jewish campers are commemorating Tisha B’Av this year with a new level of understanding in the wake of the Sept. 11 tragedy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

  • Torah portions and zoot suits

    Most people think the Bar Mitzvah is a religious ceremony in which the 13-year-old assumes adult responsibilities according to Jewish law and tradition. It is. But it is also an opportunity to push the limits and push one’s parents’ buttons.

  • The joys of older motherhood

    A year and a half ago, I was a trendsetter. The Wall Street Journal reported that many women were short-circuiting a potential midlife crisis by giving birth to another child. But now, according to Time Magazine, I’m an aberration.

  • Purim and alcohol

    The talmudic commandment to drink until we "don´t know the difference between ‘Blessed Be Mordechai´ and ‘Cursed Be Haman´ " on Purim might not be such a good idea.

  • Judaism´s take on love

    For couples contemplating a legal and religious union, the University of Judaism in Los Angeles offers a 10-session seminar on "the meaning of love and commitment." For couples seeking a shorter, more shocking premarital education, I suggest a

  • Chanukah in a dark year

    Chanukah´s twin messages of miracle and survival are even more worth celebrating in this somber year.

  • In Poland, everything Jewish is intense

    ENCINO, Calif. Aug. 8 (JTA) — My 17-year-old son Zack is celebrating Shabbat dinner tonight at the Bohema Restaurant in Krakow, Poland. In fact, not only is he celebrating Shabbat, but he and his group — 15 students from Milken Community High School in Los Angeles and 140 more from Tichon Chadash High School in…