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Our Children Deserve Better

Raising awareness of the needs of our children is crucial. Setting high standards and goals will be an important first step to greater accomplishments. THE COMMUNITY LINKS is published biweekly and is distributed free to the Jewish Community of Southern California. THE COMMUNITY LINKS accepts no responsibility for typographical errors or reliability of Kashrus of any advertisers. All submissions become the property of THE COMMUNITY LINKS and may be shortened and/or edited for length and clarity. Articles published in THE COMMUNITY LINKS express the views of the individual writers and may not necessarily represent the views of THE COMMUNITY LINKS. No artwork or any part of the magazine may be reprinted or otherwise duplicated without the written permission of the publisher.

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The judge looked sternly at the ball player. He was stunned at the mere suggestion. "Mr. Dugan," he exclaimed, "You will do no such thing. Either we will score our runs honorably or not at all!"

Rabbi Mordechai Kaminetzky Dr. Robert Rome


Getting Past The Whatever Attitude

To me, nothing captures the spirit of the times like this ubiquitous whateverness. We are a Whatever Generation who lives by the motto of "live and let live."

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I had never been so nervous to start a job before, but then again, this time was different. Unlike every other first day of work I had ever had, this time I was wearing a skirt. Rucheli Manville

Chana Weisberg

COMMUNITY LINKS • Volume 8 Issue 197 6 December 30, 2011

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Few articles that I have written have triggered the kind of response as my last article in Community Links focusing on protecting our children and their needs. I received phone calls and emails. Some readers have actually stopped me on the street or at synagogue. Comments have been varied, but many have described how they and their children have experienced many of the problems I noted. They welcomed continued discussion regarding school and teacher standards and other points raised in the article. There were also calls pointing out issues that were not discussed in my article. I would like to take this opportunity to feature some of the concerns raised in the comments that were received. Among the issues in the comments that were received:

sations. The internet can be a useful resource much of the time. But the internet also has the power to destroy. Be careful. Don’t judge anyone only by what you read on the Internet. Our schools maintain accreditation. A woman who has served as Principal of two separate schools wrote to point out that virtually all of our day schools and yeshivas voluntarily achieve accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Some even voluntarily achieve accreditation from other recognized, higher accrediting agencies. Our schools set standards and work hard to achieve those standards. I think this Principal’s comments are important so we can see the schools in properly a more favorable light. I remain concerned, however, that the standards actually set by

Some Real Concerns About Protecting Our Children: A Community Discussion About Jewish Education No one polices websites. Be careful when on the Internet! My article noted an Internet site which lists sex offenders in the community. While the site described does indeed list some who have been convicted of offenses against children, the site also lists individuals who have never even been accused of a crime by the police, let alone convicted. A single student who may be mad at a teacher may lodge an unfounded charge to get even. The site I had mentioned does not differentiate between a student accusation and a conviction in court. Such a site can destroy the reputation of a Rabbi or other teacher on the basis of only an unfounded accusation by an upset student. Indeed, in a least one case, the website has kept the name of a Rabbi on the list where the police have reviewed the accusations and found that there was no basis for any charges. While there are numerous offenses committed against children, we must protect those working with children against false accu-

our schools are too low. Why should we have state-credentialed teachers only for secular studies? Don’t we see the importance of Jewish studies? We are creating the Jewish leaders of tomorrow. Experienced, qualified, and talented teachers are needed to accomplish this. And should we not demand that administrators of our schools are also appropriately trained? Many of the concerns in our Jewish schools relate to disciplinary issues and other learning problems, problems which can be addressed and in many cases resolved through proper learning plans and know-how shown by our Jewish educators and administrators. We require trained educators who understand how to include children with special concerns in the classroom. Kudos to our schools for successfully achieving accreditation. But let’s enter a broader discussion about future goals in Jewish education. We can do better.

Robert J. Rome, Ph.D 10 D e c e m b e r 3 0 , 2 0 1 1

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Money is key! One reader wrote that more could be accomplished in our schools if our educators did not have to spend so much time and effort raising money. The annual dinner of schools may take a half year or more of the time of the School Head to organize and fundraise. With so much effort in fundraising, and so little funds to run the schools, it becomes hard to work on educational goals. There is an interesting article in this month’s OU (Orthodox Union) magazine on solving the financial crises in our Jewish schools. That article suggests that we turn more and more toward public resources for our schools. We need to rally as a community for unity in support of our schools. In most states in the U.S., Jewish schools get support from the state and local school districts. In New York, transportation is provided to yeshivas by publicly funded school buses. In New Jersey, special education and resource assistance are provided in the Jewish schools by the school districts. Vouchers are provided in Milwaukee to help fund tuition for children and families in need. Other states provide textbooks and library resources to Jewish schools. In California, the Board of the Jewish Federation in Los Angeles actually voted to oppose a ballot proposition that would have provided vouchers to needy families to pay for tuition for Jewish schools. By working against the larger community interest, our schools lost millions of dollars that are desperately needed. We need either to work with the community leadership to change their direction, or we need to remove the community “leadership.” Either Jewish education matters or it does not matter. We need to unite against those opposed to bettering our Jewish schools in the guise of supporting our public schools. I remain hopeful that a community-wide discussion of how to bring the best and most resources to our schools can 11 D e c e m b e r 3 0 , 2 0 1 1


yield positive results. We have lost important resources. In the last article, I had noted that the L.A. Unified School District had provided psychoeducational testing onsite at our Jewish schools for students suspected of learning needs. Unfortunately, one of the educators in the community pointed out that the School District stopped providing this service this year. This is a shame. It costs no more to test a student onsite in the Jewish day school than at the public school site. It basically involves the same amount of time for a school psychologist to test in either location. Unfortunately, as many students and parents feel uncomfortable within the public school setting, there are those who need evaluations who will go without. Furthermore, the published standards for testing of our children actually call for the evaluation of children within their natural environment. Testing in the actual school of the child, the Jewish school, is the most valid setting for the best results. We need community leaders to renegotiate with the School District this important service to our community. We can hope. Raising awareness of the needs of our children is crucial. Setting high standards and goals will be an important first step to greater accomplishments. And we need to provide our children with a safe and protected environment, free from danger and abuse. I am honored to be part of this important discussion. I greatly appreciate the extent of community interest in our children and in Jewish education. Keep the comments coming…

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parent turns to her teenaged son and asks, "What's bothering you?" "Whatever," answers the kid with a disconsolate shrug.

much of an exertion to express a passionate stand, to formulate a well-reasoned opinion, or to intervene with practical assistance. So we suffice with "Whatever."

A husband enquires of his wife, The whatever mindset has seeped "Did I do something to upset you? Is into every facet of our society—into something wrong?" Her disappointed politics, into our schools, the workface grimaces, "Whatever…" place, our relationships, even how we A father questions his daughter, dress. Youngsters and adults wear "Have you finished your homework? frayed cuffs, torn jeans, underclothing Did you study for your test?" The peeking out or pants almost falling daughter turns up the volume on her off. Anything that screams "What-

Perhaps it began as true tolerance for the practices of others. Maybe the media bombardment of atrocities and calamities—natural or man-caused— created within us this defense mechanism to counteract feelings of absolute helplessness in the face of so much tragedy. Or maybe it happened with the fast-paced speed of technological advancement: with the whole world our village, we sense ourselves to be insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Getting Past the Whatever Attitude By Chana Weisberg

head-phones and mutters, "Whatever" (ironically, we'll spend many ever." hours and dollars to achieve this look Overheard in conversation: What of casual indifference.) should we do about the terrorism? "Whatever" means I don't really About the starving children in Africa? think that you sincerely care. Even if About global warming? "Whatever." you are concerned enough to ask, I To me, nothing captures the spirit don't think that you'll put forth the of the times like this ubiquitous what- necessary effort to change the situaeverness. We are a Whatever Genera- tion or help me improve my circumtion who lives by the motto of "live stances. So, let's be honest: if you and let live"; our first commandment don't really care about this and I ceris "Thou shalt be open-minded to tainly don't, then why are we even other people's morals," or, alterna- bothering to discuss it? tively, their desire to be lacking in So the teenager sulks silently and exmorals. Our openness is lauded as tolplores all kinds of harmful pursuits in erance, but to me it smells more like order to forget his misery. The couple apathy. joins 50% of the married population I've noticed that when I ask my chil- in divorce court because they couldn't dren what they want for dinner, I'll be burdened with the extensive effort never hear "Whatever"; I'll be very necessary to work through their conspecifically informed which foods flicts. And our children continue to they like and dislike, and how they feel that their education is irrelevant. prefer it to be cooked. But as soon as I'm not sure how this whateverness something beyond our most immedibecame so ingrained in our society. ate needs is at stake, it becomes too 16 D e c e m b e r 3 0 , 2 0 1 1

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Regardless of its causes, this caustic apathy needs to be counteracted from the roots upward, beginning with the earliest and most formative years of our children's lives. We must impart two basic values to our children, values that Judaism has been espousing from time immemorial: The Torah teaches us that when G‑d created the first human being, Adam, He created him as a single individual (unlike every other plant or animal species). The reason, explain our sages, is that G‑d wished to teach us, for all perpetuity, the importance of every human being; that every person is indeed an entire world. On the other hand, mankind was created last of all creations, on the sixth day of creation. Our sages explain that this was to teach us responsibility to our world. If a human being acts with morals and ideals, acknowl-

edging his responsibility for the rest of creation, he is higher than all creatures. If, however, man shuns his responsibility, he has sunk lower than even the smallest insect crawling on the earth. Our challenge is to inculcate our children with these essential, foundational beliefs: You matter. You are important. You are a being with infinite potential. You are a whole world, and you can make an impact. Respect yourself. Respect who you can be. And act in accordance.


As great as you are, your greatness is only reflected in realizing that there are things greater than you that are worth sacrificing for: values and morals, community and family. Your personal happiness is not an end to itself, but you must feel a sense of responsibility for your world.


These simple but fundamental values are what distinguish us as human beings. They are essential for us to believe and for our children to trust. Because there is just too much at stake for us to abandon our children to the cruelties of an irreverent and irrelevant whatever world. •

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evenge. Though the Torah warns us against acting on our emotions, it's hard to control the desire. In fact, a dogma of modern society preaches to us not to get mad, rather to get even. But Yoseph discloses his real identity in this week's portion, and despite a 22-year backdrop filled with excuses for anger, revenge, and retribution, he stays calm and fulfilled. Surely, we should expect to find harsh words of criticism if not acts of payback. But we don't. After Yoseph reveals his identity, and the brothers are shocked, rather than chastising his brothers, Yoseph appeases them! "Come close to me if you please, and they came close." And he said, "I am Joseph your brother -- it is me whom you sold into Egypt. And now, be not distressed, nor reproach yourselves for having sold me here, for it was to be a provider that G-d sent me ahead of you“(Genesis 45:4-5). He explains to them that the entire scenario was not even their doing but part of a Divine plan to contend with the worldhunger. "Thus Hashem has sent me ahead of you to insure your survival in the land and to sustain you for a momentous deliverance. And now -- it was not you who sent me here, but G-d; He has made me father to Pharaoh, master of his entire household, and ruler throughout the entire land of Egypt” (ibid v6-7). What type of man has the capacity not only to ignore horrible injustice totally, but to revel in it, saying that it was all meant to be, without the slightest display of bitterness or animosity? It takes an unique attitude about life. Joel Mandel and Julius Rosenzweig have a large electrical supply house in Long Island City, NY. Their vast warehouse occupies over a million • 323-965-1544 •

cubic feet of space containing thousands of different electrical components, from transformers as large as the average-size garage to tiny cathodes that could dance on the head of a pin. It was a couple of years ago when some electrical doo-dad, that seemed to be a vital organ of one of my children's battery-operated what-nots, went on the blink. With zero electrical know-how, I decided to bring the component to my friends at Globe Electrical Supply and maybe they could find me a replacement. Weaving my way through a labyrinth of shelves, boxes, and drawers, I climbed some metal steps and made my way to the old office that appeared out of a 1950s Hollywood set. An old wooden desk was the pedestal for a dusty computer that probably strained harder than their human principals to maintain the vast inventory. I showed the part to Joel, who looked at the tiny part and smiled. He called over one of the workers, "Warren," he said,


"please get the rabbi a…" I couldn't make out the exact name, but it sounded like flux-capacitator, though I highly doubt that my kid's toy was dying for lack of a lack of a flux-capacitator! Like a Tomahawk missile directed toward a predestined mark, Warren took the injured electrical component, weaved through the myriad rooms, the barrage of boxes, and an almost unlimited array of electrical paraphernalia. Homing in on the exact location, Warren scaled a ladder that looked as if it could have been used to wash the windows of a Manhattan skyscraper, and about 30 feet off the ground, with amazing agility and precise guidance, he reached for his target -- a small cardboard box. Its edges were yellowed with age, but I knew it had not been touched in five years. He placed his hand into the box and plucked out a component, which exactly matched my broken one.

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As if he had rehearsed this scene from the day he started working, he held the component between his thumb and forefinger, then smiled, opened the human vise, letting the piece drop into my palm. "Here's the sucker!"

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Stunned at both the accuracy and speed of the retrieval, I reacted as if I had just seen a minor miracle. "Warren!" I exclaimed, "how'd you do that?"

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"Do what?" he asked with a shrug. "Do what?" I repeated with an air of incredulity. "You just found a microscopic part hidden like a needle in all the hay in Kansas! And you knew exactly where it was."

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tory installed On-Star program speaking. It comes free with a new car purchase and is activated by the owner when learning how to use the car.


“Rabbi.” “Yes.” “I know who you are,” said the voice, “I can tell where you are exactly.” “Tell me where I am” I said.

I soon became aware that the GM Company will contact me by E-mail and let me know how my car is feeling. It will let me know when I need an oil change, air in my tires, or other incidentals. It can also tell me how many miles I have driven and offer me a gas allowance. Oh, how great technology is, I thought.

“You are in your car in front of your home.” Quite startled I answered, “I believe you are right.” The voice continued. “I can tell you where you are at all times. If you need help I can help you. Imagine, if you get lost I will help you find directions. Even if you become unable to reach for help I will do it for you.” Now, being a bit of a skeptic, I asked “Can you really help me find a kosher restaurant? I need one now,” I said. “Sure,” came the answer. In less than 30 seconds the voice said “There is a kosher restaurant in the vicinity and I will help you get there.” I thought I had finally arrived. God Almighty is speaking to me. I have reached new spiritual heights. I asked, and God answered, so I thought. But, lo and behold, to my great surprise, it wasn’t God nor my guardian angel, it was my new General Motors fac26 D e c e m b e r 3 0 , 2 0 1 1

I thought God was with me at all times and places. But instead of God being my co-pilot On-Star had kicked in. I always felt that if I got lost or was in an accident I would pray and call to God for help. But now I am told that it is not necessary as On-Star will always be with me. If an accident happens On-Star will automatically contact the Police, Fire Department, or Paramedics.

Jokingly I asked the On-Star operator, the person behind the voice, if On-Star could also tell me my spiritual condition? Does it let me know how things are going, like do I need more good deeds or spirit in my religious practice? She took my remarks in good taste and concluded the conversation. Still sitting in my car I contemplated what had happened. I thought how wonderful it would be if there would indeed be a spiritual On-Star giving us directions when we are spiritually off base, calling us in case of emergencies to remember God and prayer. It may be that On-Star is onto something, reminding us that the star of the show is truly God. Guaranteed 24/7 / 365. Rabbi Eli Hecht, Chabad of South Bay, Vice President, Rabbinical Alliance of America (310) 326-8234 (310) 326-1555, E-mail

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aakov had passed from this world. His twelve sons were left alone in a foreign world, and it was time for reconciliation. The brothers were afraid that with Yaakov's passing Yoseph would avenge them for selling him to Egypt. So they sent the sons of Yaakov's concubine Bilhah, with a message. "Your father commanded before his death saying, 'Thus shall you tell Yoseph, please, kindly forgive your brothers terrible deed and their sin for they have done you evil." Yoseph assures them that he has no intent for retribution. In fact, he promises to sustain the brothers and their families. The Talmud in Yevamos tells us that Yaakov would not have suspected Yoseph to be vengeful and he never issued the stated command. The Talmud extrapolates from this incident that one may twist the truth for the sake of peace and harmony. Yet it seems that there was a bit more than twisting truth. It sems that there was an overt lie. And why would they use Yaakov's name in this untruth? If he did not suspect Yoseph as Rashi explains, then weren't they insulting him by saying, "your father commanded"? The 1929 Boston Braves were owned by Judge Emil E. Fuchs. Judge Fuchs cared basically for the financial management and legal affairs of the team, but the depressed economy and his unwillingness to put up with the difficult and expensive Roger Hornsby, left the team without a manager. Judge Fuchs, an experienced adjudicator, read the rulebook and surrounded himself with a few cronies who would help him guide the team. Then he literally brought his swivel chair into the dugout and began to manage the team.

never explicitly gave the command to lie, he did issue a game plan for the future. Before he blessed the brothers, he gathered them together with the words, "gather yourselves together," (Genesis 49:1-2). The charge for the future was unity, and whatever it took to achieve unity amongst the brothers was the core of Yaakov's wishes. The brothers understood how to play the game of life and how their father Yaakov would have wanted it. Peace and harmony were the only ultimate goal. That is what all parents want for their children and that is what the objective of the twelve brothers was. It took a squeeze play, but harmony was achieved. Had Yaakov been alive to manage the situation he may have also chosen the exact game plan. Yaakov, with the guidance of his mother and a skillful deception, had his father give him the blessings that were intended for Esav. My grandfather, Reb Yaakov Kamenetzky, of blessed memory, once told me that attaining the highest level of any attribute required knowing when to violate it! And to that end, Avraham the stalwart of kindness and compassion, was ready to sacrifice his own son at God's command, surely an act of seeming brutality. Yaakov, whose virtue is truth, knew when it was proper to mislead. And Yaakov's sons who understood the virtue of Yaakov's truth, also understood his quest for peace. They learned, very well, that though sometimes it is time to swing away, this was the time to drop a gentle bunt.

It was late in the summer of that dismal season, and the team had just been on a losing streak. Miraculously, however, it seemed that the down streak was about to end. The game was tied in the bottom of the ninth and the bases were loaded. The Braves were batting and Judge Fuchs gave the orders to swing away. After one strike, the batter, Joe Dugan, called time and approached his well-respected manager. "Judge," the player suggested, "the rookie at third base is playing well behind the bag. If I drop a bunt, we'll squeeze in the winning run!" The judge looked sternly at the ball player. He was stunned at the mere suggestion. "Mr. Dugan," he exclaimed, "You will do no such thing. Either we will score our runs honorably or not at all!" The Sha'ar Bas Rabim explains that though Yaakov

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The Girl in the Skirt By Rucheli Manville

My heart was racing… I had never been so nervous to start a job before, but then again, this time was different. Unlike every other first day of work I had ever had, this time I was wearing a skirt. It's interesting how much of a difference a piece of clothing can make. In a world that blatantly judges you based on what you look like, and a society that makes it all but impossible to change first impressions, what you wear is a sure-fire way to make a statement. I had already accomplished that by wearing a skirt-suit to the interview. After all, what woman does that these days? Every girl who wants to go places in a field dominated by men knows well enough to dress like a power-house, and that means a pants-suit that says, "I can hang with the big boys." Maybe they just thought I was behind the times or thoroughly overdressed? In either case, skirtsuits to an interview are one thing...wearing a skirt to your first day of work at a manufacturing and assembly facility falls under an entirely new category. I scanned my ID and walked through the double-doors out onto the factory floor. I could feel the stares coming my way. A girl setting foot on the factory floor was a somewhat uncommon occurrence to begin with. Now add in the fact that I was wearing a black pencil skirt instead of the customary slacks or even more standard jeans, and the blue-collared 32 D e c e m b e r 3 0 , 2 0 1 1

workers nearest to the door seemed to be in downright shock. I could already tell that this was going to be an interesting day. Telling myself to stop being so selfconscious, I walked into the office to greet my new boss. "Good morning, Mark! How are you?" I internally

clothing," he stated, pointing out his own slacks and polo. "Everyone here dresses a little more relaxed. Polos and slacks are fine, and since you'll be on the manufacturing floor most of the time, I have no problem with you wearing jeans if you'd like." This was the conversation I had been waiting for… How could I tell my boss that I don't wear pants without sounding like a freak of nature? Without finding an easy way around it, I decided to go for the straight shot. "Umm, well, I don't really wear pants, Mark. Just skirts really." I sounded so awkward.

breathed a sigh of relief at not letting my nervousness come across in my greeting. "Living the dream!" was the answer. Another sigh of relief; a boss in such a great mood would make this day much, much easier. Yet even though Mark seemed to be impressed by my timeliness (eight minutes early), he joined the masses in giving my wardrobe choice a once-over.

I had known that this conversation was coming, and I had asked my Rabbi about it ahead of time. What should I say? I had just made the life-altering decision to throw out the last pair or two of my jeans, an action that is almost devastating to a 22 year old from a secular background. I hadn't worn those jeans in months, but they felt as much of a part of me as my hair did. And although, I didn't really want to wear jeans to work, at the moment it was tempting to revert back to old ways just to avoid the unseemly situation at hand. Even though I could bring a pair of pants to work with me, change when I got there, and change back when I left (if it was absolutely needed for safety reasons), I had decided to stick to my guns and see what would happen, and here I was.

"I'm glad you've decided to take our work here very seriously, but you can really come to work in more casual

"You don't really wear pants? Really meaning what? Meaning you like wearing skirts better or you really

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don't wear pants?" This was getting more awkward by the second. "Umm… meaning I don't own any pants. At all." Mark cocked his head to the side and gave me a look that had "Interesting…" written all over it. A few seconds ticked by in silence. "Okay." Okay? I was caught completely offguard, but Mark seemed content to leave it at that, passing me on to my trainer and good friend, Haley. The morning continued with the standard first-day paperwork and the more indepth tour of the facility. The requisite introductions to anyone and everyone that we happened to meet along the way ensured that as many people as possible saw my unusual outfit. Yet despite the staring, no one else said anything to me at all, and my day flew by, ending without any further incidents. The next day, I decided to meet my boss somewhere in the middle, showing up in a polo shirt with a black long-sleeved shirt underneath and a knee-length jean skirt instead of the more dressy pencil skirt of the day before. "Good morning! Is this better?" I asked my boss, half joking, as I walked into the office. "That's closer," he remarked with a smirk. "I'm glad you at least wore some kind of jean today, you're going out on the factory floor. Ask Haley for details when she gets back. Have fun!" Out on the factory floor? Yeah, it would be fun alright. A few minutes later, Haley walked in and led me back downstairs and into the repair area of our manufacturing facility. More introductions, more stares. She set me up with detailed instructions on gathering information for redoing some of our training paperwork, walked me through the first few steps, and then 33 D e c e m b e r 3 0 , 2 0 1 1

left me to my own devices. The morning passed by in a flash and it was lunch-time before I knew it. I went upstairs to grab my lunch since the cafeteria was definitely not kosher, and as I was heading out the door to join Haley in the cafeteria, Mark stopped me. "Have a minute?" he asked me. "Of course," I answered. "What can I help you with?" "Before you go to lunch, I need you to come with me. We need to go see one of the managers downstairs." Great, already? I had only been here for a day, what could I have possibly messed up?! "Don't worry," he added. "You're not in trouble, we just need to work out this dress code of yours." Faaaaantastic. We walked downstairs into the office of the Manager for Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) for our plant. Mark pointed to the seat for me and then stood next to the chair in the corner with his arms crossed. This was going to be fun. "Hi Rucheli, my name is Matt, I'm in charge of EHS here," stated the man across the desk. "I just called you and Mark in here to discuss your dress here at work. You're not in trouble at all," he reassured me. Seemed to be a common theme, yet always followed by a clause. "But, we do need to figure out something different. We'd really rather have you wear pants to work for safety reasons. Your legs need to be covered completely so that you have some protection from any scrap metal that may go flying from the manufacturing machinery." This was exactly what my Rabbi and I had spoken about. Frustrating...I really didn't want to have to wear pants again! I sat for a second thinking about an answer when an idea popped into my head. "I'm not sure if Mark told you or • 323-965-1544 •

not, but I don't wear pants. I actually don't even own any. It's for religious reasons. I do have some long jean skirts though… Those would cover my legs completely if that's what the main problem is. Would that work?" I got the same look of "Interesting… " that I had received from my boss the day before. And the same answer: "Okay." The next day I came in with yet another new wardrobe… long-sleeves and a polo still, but this time with a floor-length jean skirt. In the state of Florida, as far as clothing is concerned, less is usually considered more and this was anything but "less." Yet despite all of the stares, the day as a whole was pretty uneventful until a friend of mine from school who worked in another department, Jake, came up to me while I was finishing up on the factory floor. He had a huge smile on his face, so I knew something was up. "Hey you, how's work so far?" he asked. Before I could even answer, he continued. "You've already got quite the reputation around here." "What?!" Any reputation I could get after two days could not be a great one. "Yeah, even people who haven't met you yet have heard about you… You're the girl in the skirt," he said with a mischievous grin. "Perfect, everyone thinks I'm a freak, huh?" "Nah… everyone's just curious I think. You attract a lot of attention just by being here, but wearing a skirt on a manufacturing floor is definitely a first for these guys. I think it's endearing…" he finished. "Alright, thanks Jake. I get the point. Good to know I have a nickname already." I thought that would be the end of the interesting events for the day, but I was wrong. As I was literally walking out of the door, I was once again

stopped by my boss, for the same reason as the day before. "Let's go," Mark said. "We're taking another trip down to EHS." "Another one? I thought this worked," I answered. "Yeah, so did I." Back in the EHS Manager's office, I sat in the same chair and Mark stood in the same corner and we listened to the same speech. "Okay so the long skirt was a step in the right direction, but this morning I had some of the manufacturing supervisors come in to express their concerns over the long skirt… They think that the long skirts will get caught in machinery or snagged on a pallet, and I have to agree. I really think we need to have you wear jeans, Rucheli." Time for some quick thinking...I either needed an alternative or it was time to give in. I never thought I would have to defend my personal choice to dress more modestly. I said

the first thing that came to my mind. "Well, if I can't wear long skirts but I need to cover my legs, what if I just wear those knee length skirts with boots?" What was I thinking? It was 97°F outside and I was asking to dress like it was the middle of winter?! "What about the skin between your boots and your skirt?" asked Matt, looking to cover all of his bases. "I have thick tights that I wear sometimes. They're completely opaque, that would cover the four inches that are left. What do you think?" I was immediately regretting this statement, but Matt seemed to like the idea. "Try it out tomorrow and come see me when you get in. We'll see if this might work as a solution, it sounds good to me," he said, ending the conversation. I left work that day wondering what I had just gotten myself into. Jean skirt + calf-high boots + thick opaque tights + long-sleeved tshirt + polo shirt + summer weather = one very overheated Jewish woman. How had dressing modestly turned into such a huge ordeal?! I showed up to work the next morning in full winter gear. It was 93°F outside. I walked into work hardly even noticing the stares and marched straight into Matt's office to present my new regalia. "Perfect!" Finally. "I think that will work great! I'm glad we were able to find a

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solution that will keep everyone else happy with EHS and still allow you to express your religious beliefs!" Answering in thanks, I left the office and ran upstairs to start my day. I was already sweating. Days passed by without any more trips to the EHS office, but every few days someone new would build up the chutzpah to actually approach me and ask why I dressed the way I did. The first few times I responded nervously, but after a while I built up confidence in defending my decisions and my dress-code. I learned more about why I was doing what I was doing, and it made a huge difference. "Hey girl, I don't mean to offend, but I wanted to check what yo' deal is. You a Christian or something?" Gotta love welders. "Nope, actually I'm an orthodox Jew. Let me guess, my style made you ask?" "Yeah, I thought it was just some crazy new fashion thang, but then I saw you dress like 'dat every day. Figured I'd come see what up. That's cool though, I dig that. I admire a girl who can stand her ground. Props to you, girl in the skirt." As time went by, more and more people came to respect my odd sense of fashion. Was it normal? Absolutely not. Had anyone ever worn a skirt in a factory? Not that I know of. But did it matter? Not a bit. If anything, I was able to make our workplace a more diverse and more accepting environment, one that was open-minded to new scenarios and different customs. It wasn't easy, and it was almost never comfortable, but I found out the hard way that when you respect yourself, everyone else follows suit. Something I had been so nervous about on my first day of work has become my trademark. I'm the girl in the skirt, I'm the Jew, and I'm proud



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Over this past Shabbos,3 frum men were assaulted on a attempted robbery. Obviously, they were not carrying any money, because it was Shabbos. Please be very careful when walking alone. WLAPD and Wilshire Division have put Pico/Robertson and east of La Cienega on extra patrol. Women should be careful if they choose to wear expensive jewelry. Always walk aware of your surroundings. Baila Romm - Neighborhood Watch Crime and Community Concerns 310 663 8560

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Kayla & Dovi Brown Moshe & Miriam Brown Simy and Yardena Hollander

• 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts • 1/2 head napa cabbage, thinly shredded (about 6 cups) • 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups) • 1 large carrot, shredded (about 2 cups) • 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, greens included (about 1/2 cup)

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• 1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts • 1 (11-ounce) can Mandarin oranges in water, drained • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar • 1 teaspoon minced garlic • 1 teaspoon minced ginger • 2 tablespoons canola oil • 2 tablespoons brown sugar • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce or chili sauce • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and brush onto chicken breasts. Arrange in a baking dish and bake until juices run clear, about 13 to15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely, and cut into 1/4-inch slices. In a large bowl, combine Napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrot, scallions, water chestnuts, Mandarin orange and sliced chicken. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, brown sugar and chili sauce. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Divide among bowls and top each serving with 2 teaspoons toasted almonds.

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Can you spot the differences in these two pictures?



qq qq qq qq qq 1. The top of the Dreidel has been widened. 2. The “A” from City Walk has changed. 3. Bottom of the speaker has changed colors. 4. Toy soldier is missing part of his hat. 5. Benny Friedman’s tie has been lengthened. 6. A bottle of water is missing from the stage. 7. There is an extra row of stage lights. 8. Snow flake is missing from front of stage. 9. The drum is missing its logo. 10. A boy’s Yarmulkah has changed colors. 39 D e c e m b e r 3 0 , 2 0 1 1

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CLASSIFIEDS BRIS - ,hrc Traditional Ritual Circumcision Rabbi Nachman B. Kreiman Certified Mohel vjnun kvun

Home: 323.934.9329 Cell: 323.896.5098 #1751




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will help you eliminate unwanted hair! Doctor referred over 10 years in the community. Reasonable rates, Flexible hours open Sundays by appt. Call anytime for an appt.

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Wedding dresses Forsale & For Rent. Custom Designs, & Alterations, Sewing Classes Also Available. Please Call 323-933-5960 or 323-348-8786

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Brand new Bush Computer corner desk for sale, great price! Misc. household items, Cherry wood accent table, Silk balloons shades, very beautiful, and other items. Please call Rochel 323-318-0108 or 323-937-5380 • 323-965-1544 •

Dining Guide Listing Please Call 323-965-1544

DINING GUIDE MEAT Afshan Restaurant RCC 106 W. 9th St. LA, (213) 622-1010 Bocca Steakhouse RCC 16610 Ventura. Encino, 91436 (818) 905-5855 Café Del Mar Meat Kehila 12526 Burbank Blvd. N.H. 91607 (818) 487-8171 Chic N Chow Kehila 9301 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 274-5595 Chinese and Kabob Kehila 9180 Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 274-4007 Cohen’s Restaurant RCC 316 E Pico Blvd # F LA, CA 90015 (213) 742-8888 Elat Burger Kosher LA 9340 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 278-4692 Elite Cuisine RCC 7119 Beverly Blvd. LA, 90036 (323) 930-1303 Shawarma Express Kehila 5577 Reseda Blvd. Tarzana, 9135 (818) 342-2226 Glatt Hut RCC 9303 W. Pico Blvd. 90035 (310) 246-1900 Golan RCC 13075 Victory Blvd. N. H, 91606 (818) 763-5344 Got Kosher? RCC 8914 W. Pico Blvd. 90035 (310) 858-1920

La Glatt RCC 446 Fairfax Ave. LA, 90036 (323) 658-7730


26 By Shilo’s Kehila 8657 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310)246-1326

La Seine 14 N. La Cienega Beverly Hills, CA 90211 310 358 0922

Beverly Cafe Elite RCC 7113 Beverly Blvd. LA, 90035 (323) 931-3563

Metro Glatt RCC 8975 W. Pico Blvd. 90035 (310) 275-4420 Nagilla Meating Place Kehila 9407 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 788-0119 Orange Delight Kehila 13628 Ventura Blvd. SO, 91423 (818) 788-9896

Bibis Warmstone Kehila 8928 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 246-1788 Bramis Pizza


Pico Kosher Deli RCC 8826 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 273-9381

(818) 342-0611

Cafe of Paris Kosher LA 6399 Wilshire Blvd. LA, 90048 (323) 653-0513 Circa RCC 8622 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles (310) 854-0592

Pita Way RCC 8532 Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 652-5236 7275 Melrose Ave., LA, 90046 (323) 932-0052

Delice Kehila 8583 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 289-6556

Sassis Kehila 15622 Ventura, Encino, 91436 (818) 986-5345 Schwartz Bakery and Deli RCC 433 N. Fairfax Avenue, LA, 90036 (323)653-1941 Shanghai Kehila 9401 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 553-0998 Shilohs Kehila 8939 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 858-1652

Eat Good To Go Kosher LA 12417 Burbank Blvd., N.H, 91607 (818) 509-2966 Fish Grill Kehila 7226 Beverly Blvd. LA, 90036 (323) 937-7162 12013 Wilshire Blvd. LA, 90025 (310) 479-1800 9618 W. Pico Blvd. 90035 (310) 860-1182 22935 Pacific Coast Highway (310) 456-8585

Habayit Bukspan 11921 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90064 (310) 479-5444

Schnitzle Kehila 9216 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 786-8282

Jerusalem Pizza Kehila

Haifa Kosher LA 8717 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 888-7700

The Meating Place KCA 30313 Canwood St. AH, 91301 (818) 706-1255

La Brea Bagel Kehilla 7308 Beverly Blvd. LA, 90036 (323) 965-1287

Jeffs Gourmet Kehila 8930 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 858-8590

Tierra Sur at Herzog Winery 3201 Camino DelSol Oxnard (818) 752-6866

La Pizza Rabbi Furst 12515 Burbank Blvd. N.H, 91607 (818) 760-8198

La Gondola Kehila 9025 Wilshire Blvd. BH, 90211 (310) 247-1239

UCLA Hillel - The Shaq 574 Hilgard Ave.,LA 90024 (310) 208-3081

17942 Ventura Blvd. Encino, CA 91316

(818) 758-9595


Milk N Honey RCC 8837 West Pico Blvd LA, 90035 (310) 858-8850 Milky Way

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Nana Cafe RCC 1509 S Robertson Blvd. (310) 407-0404 Pacific Pizza RCC - Cholov Yisroel & Pas Yisroel 12460 Oxnard St. N. Hollywood (818) 760-0087 Pico Cafe Kehila 8944 W Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310)385-9592

17736 ShermanWay, Reseda 91326

Café Del Mar Dairy Kehila 12526 Burbank Blvd. N.H. 91607 (818) 487-8171

Pats Kehila 9233 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 205-8705

9108 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 859-0004 Nagilla Pizza Kehila 9411 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 788-0111

• 323-965-1544 •

Pizza Maven Kehila 140 North La Brea Blvd. 90036 (323) 857-0353 Pizza Nosh Rabbi Ami Markel 30313 Canwood St. A.H. 91301 (818) 991-3000 Pizza Station Kehila 8965 W. Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 276-8708 Pizza World Kehila 365 Fairfax Ave. LA, 90036 (323) 653-2896 Sassis Sushi Kehila 16550 Ventura, Encino, 91436 (818) 783-2727 Shalom Pizza RCC 8715 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 271-2255 Stacey’s Café D Kosher LA 12501 Burbank Blvd. #5, NH 91607 (818) 506-2551 Unique Cafe

Rabbi Aron Simkin

PAREVE 18381 Ventura Blvd. Tarzana (818) 757-3100 Fish In The Village RCC 12450 Burbank Blvd. N.H, 91607 (818) 769-0085 Le Sushi RCC 12524 Burbank Blvd N.H. 91607 (818) 763-6600 Bodhi Vegan KitchenKosher LA 9303 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035 (310) 248-2777 SushiKo RCC 9340 West Pico Blvd. LA, 90035


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Busines Changes: • Buy/Sell funding is no longer required • Business is sold • Changes in deferred compensation benefits • Bankruptcy proceedings

C A S E S T U DY INSURED: Type of Policy: Face Amount: Cash Surender Value: Offer price to policy owner: Reason:

81 year old male Universal Life $5,000,000 $0 $860,000 Premiums of in-force policy were expensive and becoming difficult to afford. The insured no longer needed the policy and sold it for a sum worth approximately twice the policy’s cost basis. C A S E S T U DY

For a free, no obligation consultation and policy appraisal, by phone or in person



43 D e c e m b e r 3 0 , 2 0 1 1

• 323-965-1544 •

Â˛ÂˆĂ€Â° ‘ŽȹÂŽÂ—ÂŠÂŒÂ‘ÂŽÂ–Čą —œÂ?Â’Â?žÂ?Žȹ’—Â&#x;Â’Â?ÂŽÂœČąÂ˘Â˜ÂžČąÂ?Â˜ČąÂŠÄ´ÂŽÂ—Â?ȹŠ Čą Čą Čą Čą Čą Čą Čą


MARRIAGE: theČą˜–ŽÂ?¢ȹŠ—Â?ČąÂ?‘Žȹ Š‹‹Š•Š‘ Čą Čą Čą Čą Saturday Evening, January 7, 2012 8:00 pm Chabad of the Valley Headquarters The Teichman Family Social Hall 18181 Burbank Blvd., Tarzana

Fee: $25 per person Includes creative Havdalah Service followed by the lecture and a full course Melavah Malka For reservations, please visit our website at or call 818.758.1818

Rabbi Yosef Y. Jacobson, one of the most sought-after Jewish speakers in the world today, has lectured to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences on six continents and in thirty states. Funny, brilliant, charming, and an exceptional orator, he has touched thousands with his deep, intuitive grasp of the human condition and his remarkable ability to bring down profound Torah ideas and inspire his listeners with its relevance to their daily lives.


Community Links Issue 197  

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