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‫‪Winter 2014‬‬

‫חורף תשע”ד‬

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Table of Contents 4

Politics Too little, a millennium too late? A right of return for Iberian Jewry ............... 4 by Yona Remer


Opinion LA County seal controversy is a heavy cross to bear ......................................... 5 by Devorah Friedman

About the Cover On the cover is a watercolor by Talia Kamdjou, depicting the colors and diversity of the world. The delineated countries and states point to the areas discussed in these pages of Ha’Am, as we tackle what it means to be a Jew in different spaces.


Special Report The Jewish campus tour ............................ 6-7 by Talia Kamdjou


Feature Hillel at UCLA’s Perla Karney inspires students through art .................................. 8-9 by David J. Chernobylsky


Campus Life A hodgepodge of campus organizations ­ Which to choose? ....................................... 10 by Tessa Nath

Quiz: beyond the “Big Three” Which Jewish org should you join?.......... 11-12 by Elyssa Schlossberg

Hamantaschen Recipe ................................ 12 by Nicole Rudolph

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Ha’Am Winter 2014 Choref 5774

Editor-in-Chief Tessa Nath Managing Editor Devorah Friedman Business Manager Elyssa Schlossberg App Manager Nicole Rudolph Content Editors Lea Luterstein Miriam Pinski Yona Remer Copy Editors Simone Dvoskin Nicole Rudolph Elyssa Schlossberg Layout Editor Nicole Rudolph

Winter 2014

About Ha’Am Ha’Am is the official student-run Jewish newsmagazine at UCLA. We cater to a mainly college-age audience, with the distinct goal of uniting diverse Jewish communities through intelligent debate, maintaining the Talmudic tradition that has sustained our people throughout the millennia. We seek the unique Jewish voice in ageold arguments and perspectives, highlighting what makes the Jews of today exceptional through our articles, personality profiles, and pro-con discussions. We celebrate the intersections of religious and secular life that exist within each Jewish student and writer. This isn’t your grandmother’s Judaism — this is Ha’Am today. (Please note that individual opinions expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Ha’Am as a whole.)

Ha’Am is always looking for talented writers, editors, designers, photographers, illustrators, sales representatives, creative thinkers, and skilled debaters. Look us up on Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail to give us your feedback or to get more involved. Or visit our website at for even more articles.

Art Editor Talia Kamdjou Staff Writers Briana Begelfer Birtu Belete David J. Chernobylsky Illustrators Briana Begelfer David J. Chernobylsky Ha’Am Newsagazine 118 Kerckhoff Hall 308 Westwood Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90024 © 2014 UCLA Communications Board Published with support from Generation Progress, a project of the Center for American Progress (online at

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Download our FREE iPhone app, and visit us online at The UCLA Communications Board has a media grievance procedure for resolving grievances against any of its publications. For a copy of the complete procedure, contact Student Media UCLA at 118 Kerckhoff Hall, 310 825-2787, or The UCLA Communications Board fully supports the University of California’s policy on non-discrimination. The student media reserves the right to reject or modify advertising portraying disability, age, sex, or sexual orientation. It is the expectation of the Communications Board that the student media will exercise the right fairly and with sensitivity. Any person believing that any advertising in the student media violates the Board’s policy on non-discrimination should communicate his or her complaints in writing to the Business Manager, (name of student medium), 118 Kerckhoff Hall, Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024. For assistance with housing discrimination problems, call: UCLA Housing Office (310) 825-4491, or the Housing Rights Center (213) 387-8400. All opinions expressed in this newsmagazine are solely that of the author, not of the Ha’Am Editorial Board or the UCLA Communications Board. Letters to the editor should be directed to

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Winter 2014

Too little, a millennium too late? Yona Remer

A right of return for Iberian Jewry

Content Editor July 5, 1950 marks a historic day for the Jewish people. Eager for new immigrants, the government of the nascent Jewish State, Israel, granted the right of return to all Jews. In a historic first, Jews could now obtain citizenship by virtue solely of their historic ties, without residency or language requirements. Until recently, however, Israel stood as the lone country offering Jews the right of return. In the past two thousand years, Jews have established communities throughout the world. Although the Jews of the Iberian Peniansula constituted one of the most entrenched and prosperous Jewish communities in Europe, their position came to a precarious end in 1492 and 1497 with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal, respectively. However, in the last two years, Spain and Portugal have made efforts to rectify their tarnished history with the Iberian Jews by introducing legislation promoting the right of return for people of such descent. The approved legislation, now in development, seeks to offer Jews who can provide evidence that their ancestors originated from the Iberian Peninsula citizenship, without the requisite residency period necessary of others seeking citizenship. While the details have yet to be released by the government, officials have suggested that Jews with tradi-

tionally ‘Sephardic’ names (of Iberian origin) or Jews with an Iberian linguistic heritage (namely Ladino) may be eligible for citizenship. The Spanish government has entrusted to the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Spain the process of differentiating between eligible and ineligible candidates for citizenship.

At present, the Jewish communities of the Iberian Peninsula comprise a minor fraction of the once robust Spanish and Portuguese communities prior to expulsion that once boasted an estimated population of nearly one million Jewish residents. Today, some 10,000 and 600 Jews call Spain and Portugal home, respectively. Moreover, if the

[...] officials have suggested that Jews with traditionally ‘Sephardic’ names or Jews with an Iberian linguistic heritage may be eligible for citizenship.”

According to the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain: "At present, the [Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain] is pending administrative development of the policy announced in November by the Ministry of Justice and Foreign Affairs. This implementation may still take a few months [...] Regarding Sephardic names, we inform you that we do not have information we can provide." The curious timing of the legislation, more than 500 years after the expulsion of Iberian Jewry, lends itself to speculation. As is the case with Portugal, politician José Ribeiro e Castro saw correcting a historic injustice as the impetus for the legislation. Nevertheless, factors other than rectification may also be at play, such as political and economic expediency.

Jewish experience in Spain and Portugal is at all similar to that of their other European counterparts, then there might not be much of an appeal to return. This attempt to appeal to Jews of Iberian origin has the potential to fall on deaf ears. On the whole, the past several decades have witnessed dwindling Jewish communities throughout Europe, largely due to the reemergence of anti-Semitism and increasing economic opportunities elsewhere. In a recent survey, conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, amongst several thousand European Jews, nearly a third of respondents claim to have considered emigration due to perceived anti-Semitic persecution. At present, the emigration trend may undermine any real

efforts of Jews to return to Spain and Portugal. Moreover, the financial crisis of 2008 and ensuing global recession has been particularly destructive to Spain and Portugal’s economy. Youth unemployment in Spain sits at a staggering 57.7% and overall unemployment in Portugal remains in double digits at an estimated 15.3%. Both nations have experienced sovereign debt crises followed by austerity measures intended to stabilize their respective economies. Attracting new Jewish emigrants may fit into the economic calculus of jumpstarting the economy. The arrival of immigrants may bode well for an economy increasingly unresponsive to efforts to restore it to its previous luster. The cynics among us can certainly point to a series of questions and criticisms in regards to Portugal and Spain’s decisions. After all the gesture is over half a millennium too late and at a particularly expedient time. Nevertheless, the gesture should be judged primarily on its outcome. As naïve as it may seem, this gesture may in affect represent a genuine effort to mend one of the greatest injustices in Jewish history. In a society where victors have the power to write history, devastating atrocities and acts of cruelty often dissipate without mention. Any effort that acknowledges the crimes of the past, let alone attempts to rectify them, represents a positive step forward.

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LA County seal controversy is a heavy cross to bear

Winter 2014

Devorah Friedman Managing Editor

To those unfamiliar with the history of Los Angeles County, its official seal appears to be a strange assortment of unfamiliar symbols, with a Native American woman and some animals thrown in for good measure. To those involved in the recently-filed lawsuit about a councilsanctioned addition of a cross, however, it represents the struggle between historical accuracy and civil liberty. The original county seal, designed in 1887, simply depicted a cluster of grapes. It was redesigned in 1957 and much more closely resembled today's seal, featuring the Roman goddess of fruit trees, Pomona, surrounded by images of oil towers, the Hollywood Bowl with stars and a cross overhead, a cow (representing the dairy industry), a tuna fish (representing the fishing industry), a Spanish galleon, and a triangle and cipher (representing the engineering and astronomical industries). In 2004, Pomona was replaced with an image of a Native American woman, the oil towers were eliminated and the Hollywood Bowl moved into their place. An image of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel was placed where the Hollywood Bowl had formerly been. The cross was removed from the seal, also in 2004, as the American Civil Liberties Union had threatened a lawsuit over its inclusion in the county seal. Since the mission's own cross had been removed during maintenance work and was then stolen, the county board members decided against depicting the missing cross with the mission. However, the mission's cross was reinstated in 2009, and the question of whether or not to add it to the county seal has become the subject of fierce debate. On January 7, the County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 in favor of its inclusion and a lawsuit, Reverend Father Ian Elliot, et al, v. Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, et al, was filed by the ACLU on February 6 in opposition. The ACLU claims that the cross's depiction would be unconstitutional because it "favors the Christian religion over all other religions and divides County residents by religion and by adherence or non-adherence to religious beliefs." Those in favor of the inclusion (Michael D. Antonovich, Don Knabe and Mark

Ridley-Thomas) argued that it was purely a matter of historical accuracy, since the mission generally has always mounted a cross, as it currently does. According to the proponents, the cross would thus not be a religious symbol but a historical detail. Those opposing its adoption, Zev Yaroslavsky and Gloria Molina, stated that they were concerned about possible litigation — which has since come to fruition through the ACLU. The ACLU has argued that the cross is a clearly identified symbol of Christianity. As such, it would violate the constitutionally-mandated separation of church and state. Others in opposition to the implementation simply wonder why the board is expending taxpayer-funded time and resources to add a small detail to the seal and fight a lawsuit, especially when issues like homelessness, hunger and water shortages continue to afflict county residents. One wonders whether deep-pocketed individuals seeking to religiously brand the county might have wielded influence in forcing the vote. Regarding the use of a cross as a purely religious or secular symbol, the case can be made for either side. The International Red Cross is one example of an organization whose use of a cross does not hold religious meaning; the Red Cross symbol was modeled after the Swiss flag, which features a cross in reverse colors. Other Switzerland-based organizations and companies, such as Victorinox AG and Wenger SA (both of Swiss Army knife fame) also use crosses on their logos. Outside of organizations, the cross is of course used as a symbol to indicate an additive operation in math. However, in matters other than multi-tool pocket knives and numerical calculations, few people would associate the right-angled intersection of vertical and horizontal bars with many things other than Christianity. The identification of a cross with early Christianity traces back at least to the second century C.E., obviously derived

from the crucifix and the painful death of a first-century Jew. Since then, the cross has been featured on religiously-themed media — from Crusader flags, which declared the supremacy of Christianity, to grave markings, which identify the religion of the deceased. Many Christians today wear crosses as adornment — usually as necklaces — which show a commitment to their faith. Even though the county seal would only feature a cross to show historical accuracy and the county's nascence as a Catholic pueblo, to place any religious motif on a public symbol is to inherently emphasize that religion. The county government's decision to replace the cross on the seal conveys the impression that the county is mainly Christian and the government mainly represents Christians. For example, the Israeli government's symbol is the menorah, which, although not exclusively Jewish, does carry Jewish associations for most whom it would concern. However, unlike the United States, Israel does not have a separation of church and state and its government and many of its policies carry clear associations with Judaism. The Knesset is also the government in a majority-Jewish state, although there are

many non-Jewish Israelis. Los Angeles County, however, bears the federal stipulation of the separation of government and religious matters and so cannot legally identify with any religion. Had the cross been continuously on the seal from the seal's inception it would perhaps be a different matter, but its special board vote and deliberate placement single it out and draw attention to the cross as an element of particular significance. Furthermore, for some Christians, the secularization of the cross may be offensive, as it denies the nature of their most well-known symbol. Were the cross to be divorced from Christianity, those who value it for religious reasons might be marginalized and overshadowed by the symbol's new lack of meaning. The county board has voted and it has now been left to the courts to decide whether or not the cross's addition violates federal law, if the plaintiff and defendants do not settle out of court. No matter the outcome, the issue of the nature of religious symbols has emerged in the ongoing struggles between government regulations and civil liberties.

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[Special Report]

The Jewish campus tour Talia Kamdjou

Welcome to Ha’Am’s campus tour, where we explore the hidden locales influenced by Jews, or Jewish dollars. You this tour focuses on the contributions that Jews have made to the entire UCLA community. So next time you are

Art Editor

1. Gloyra Kaufman Dance Theater

for UCLA’s School of Medicine, and in 2012, he donated another $100 million, making him the largest individual benefactor of the UC system.


The “1939 Club

Inc, among other companies. In total, Younes and Soraya Nazarian have donated $5 million to UCLA and helped build the university’s Israel Studies program, thereby founding the center in their name.



Gonda (Goldschmied) Neuroscience and Genetics Research Center

Schoenberg Music Building

Photo by Talia Kamdjou

Located in North Campus, UCLA’s dance theater is named after Detroitnative philanthropist, Glorya (Pinkis) Kaufman. Born to Jewish parents who were strong members of the Jewish community, Glorya had a love for dance but her parents could not afford lessons. In 1999, she donated $19 million to UCLA to found the Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater and Hall.


David Geffen School of Medicine and Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Talia Kamdjou

Can a name be more obviously Jewish than this? David Geffen was born in Borough Park, New York to Jewish immigrant parents, Abraham Geffen and Batya Volovskaya. He completed high school in New York and then spent multiple years completing his education between Santa Monica College, Brooklyn College, and the University of Texas. He made a name for himself in film and is now founder of DreamWorks, Asylum Records, Geffen Records and DGC Records. In 1995, he donated $5 million to UCLA’s Westwood Playhouse, which was then renamed the Geffen Playhouse. In 2002, David Geffen endowed $200 million

Photo courtesy of UCLA Maps Photo by Talia Kamdjou

Located in an archway between Bunche Hall and the Murphy Sculpture Garden, a bronze plaque reads: “A professorship dedicated to the study of the Holocaust and its significance within the broad historical and intellectual context, and in eternal memory to the six million Jews – men, women and children who perished…To the millions of other faiths who lost their lives…And to all those who stood up for human rights. So that it will never happen again!” The “1939” Club is a membership dedicated to documenting and teaching about the Holocaust. In 1977, the Club established an endowment chair at UCLA with of $250,000, which has consequently allowed thousands of students to take courses in Holocaust studies.

Photo by Talia Kamdjou

Born in Austria to a lower-middle class Jewish family, Arnold Schoenberg was a prominent composer and painter during the expressionist period in Germany. In response to the antiSemitism around him, he converted to Christianity, but reaffirmed his faith in Judaism in 1933. In 1934, he moved to the United States and was, therefore, fortunate to avoid the rise of the Nazi party. He taught music at UCLA and USC, both of which have renamed their music buildings to honor him and his beautiful music.

6. Jewish Music Chair at Herb 4. Younes and Alpert School of Soraya Nazarian Music Center for Israel Studies

As you read that, you probably thought, “Hey I know someone with the last name Nazarian!” That is because they are a prominent Iranian Jewish family in Los Angeles and Israel. In 1979, Younes and Soraya Nazarian, along with their four children and a few suitcases, fled the Iranian revolution for LA. Over the years, they have founded various enterprises, such as the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation, and became board members of Qualcomm

Photo by Talia Kamdjou

In 2008, philanthropists Ron and Madelyn Katz donated $1 million in honor of Mickey Katz, a Yiddish entertainer, to establish a chair in Jewish music at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music.

Named in hono duo, Leslie and Susa schmied Research provides students opportunities for e vancement in scien Leslie Gonda is a H who moved to Sou the end of war, wh found and grow v Over the years, he h nations to Holoca medical centers ar including the Gond Additionally, th ter’s architect, Ro

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[Special Report]

Winter 2014

u may notice that Hillel, JAM, Chabad, AEPi, and the Jewish organizations around UCLA did not make it on the list­; e on campus, look around and take pride in the different ways that Jews have helped to shape the UCLA campus.

or of husband-wife married to fellow architect, Denise an Gonda, the Gold- Scott Brown, who is Jewish! Center at UCLA and faculty with education and adnce and medicine. Holocaust survivor uth America after here he went on to various businesses. has made large doaust museums and round the country, da Center at UCLA. he Research Cenobert Venturi, is


Broad Art Center

Photo courtesy of UCLA Maps


Eli Broad was born in Bronx, New York, to Lithuanian Jewish immigrants but moved to Detroit, Michigan, at age 6. He attended Michigan State University and earned a CPA. In addition to donating to multiple universities and learning centers around the country, Broad and his wife, Edythe, gave $23.2 million to build the Broad Art Center in 2002. The architect Richard Meier (also Jewish) designed the center. And did you know, Broad co-founded a homebuilding company, KB Home, with Glorya Kaufman’s husband, Donald Bruce Kaufman?


8. 3. 4.

Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior


Jules C. Stein was born in Indiana to Lithuanian Jewish immigrant parents. He graduated from the University of Chicago and then received his medical degree from Rush Medical College to become an ophthalmologist. He eventually left his profession to pursue his passion for music and the entertainment industry. In 1966, Dr. Jules Stein and his wife, Doris, founded the Eye As part of the UCLA Medical School, Institute at UCLA, a center for the vithe Factor Building houses the School sion sciences. of Nursing and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Max Factor, a Polish Jewish immigrant, moved to Los Angeles in 1904, where he built a reputation as the makeup artist for almost all Hollywood celebrities of the time. When he passed away, members of his immediate family, including his son Louis Factor, expanded the prestigious international cosmetics firm, Max Factor Co. In 1975, after Louis’ death, his wife, Doris Berman Factor, donated large sums to UCLA to complete the Louis and Doris Factor Health Science Building. Photo courtesy of UCLA Maps


Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science

Photo by Talia Kamdjou


5. Photo courtesy of UCLA Maps



12. 2.


Terry Semel, former CEO of Warner Brothers and Yahoo! Entertainment, and his wife, Jane, made the generous donation of $25 million to the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, which led to the name change in 2004 to its current title. In the following year, Semel was awarded the UCLA Medal, the university’s highest honor.


10. 2.

Jules Stein Eye Institute

Aside from owning the Anaheim Ducks, Henry Samueli teaches at the UCLA School of Engineering, to which he donated $30 million. Samueli’s parents, Polish Jewish immigrants, survived Nazi Europe and came to the United States. They moved to Los Angeles, where he graduated from Bancroft Junior High School and then Fairfax High School. Samueli attended UCLA for his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D, all in the field of electrical engineering. The Samueli family directs most of their philanthropy to Jewish organizations, namely those focused on Holocaust history and commemoration. Samueli has also made large donations to the Hillel at UCLA building, and if you check the outside of the building, you will see Samueli Plaza, named in his honor.


Photo by Talia Kamdjou

UCLA Factor Health Science Building


UCLA Chancellor Gene Block

Public Domain Photo

Last but not least, UCLA’s very own chancellor is Jewish! His parents were Reform Jews but he celebrated his Bar Mitzvah in a Conservative synagogue. He recalls that his family did not keep a kosher home but were traditional in the sense that they had two sets of dishes and any food that was blatantly non-kosher was never served. To this day, he still identifies with his Judaism and knows a few words of Yiddish, which he learned from hearing his father speak.

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Hillel at UCLA’s Perla Karney inspires students through art David J. Chernobylsky Staff Writer/Illustrator

Through the large, wooden doors and down the main hallway of Hillel at UCLA lies the office of a woman whose work with the arts has influenced a decade of students. On any given day she is either organizing art galleries or speaking with famous dignitaries, producers and authors of the modern era. Yet she always has time for those interested in the arts — to guide them and to inspire them. “It enriches your life to give back and to have empathy for others,” Perla Karney, artistic director at the Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at Hillel at UCLA, smiled as she explained her life philosophy. “The arts have helped me do exactly that!” Karney was born in southern Germany and lived in the United States, Canada, Switzerland and Paris during her teenage years. She then returned to the United States to get her Bachelor of Arts at UCLA and completed several years of graduate work in English literature at Loyola Marymount University. It was only then that her journey into the world of art and culture really began. “Books have been my greatest love — they are art — and they opened worlds to me that I didn’t know existed. They opened whole new experiences. They were something I fell in love with, and have been in love with ever since.” Karney's passion for literature (especially books by Leo Tolstoy and Chekhov, as well as books by other classic writers) took her on a path that wove through screenwriting, theater production (including “Woman in Mind” with Academy-Award winner Helen Mirren), and television and documentary films, finally leading her to the steps of the art world. “I connected to that world,” she said, looking around her office filled with an array of colorful photographs, paintings and fliers from her previous and upcoming art exhibitions. On one side of her desk lay a stack of bright-red fliers titled “The Jewish Refugees in Shanghai

Photo by Talia Kamdjou

ART FOR ART’S SAKE: Perla Karney, artistic director at the Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at Hillel at UCLA, proudly stands in front of one of the latest art exhibitions at Hillel.

(1933-1941),” an art symposium Karney organized during the past fall quarter. On the other side was another set of fliers titled “Hillel student Maya Harel opens her photo exhibition at Hillel,” referring to the latest exhibition Karney

marked the connection between her love of literature, art and Judaism. The same world of art that had inspired Karney became a canvas for her greatest passion: Jewish expression. The books she read in her youth about the Jewish immigrant experience gave

You see yourself as an outsider, not as part of the majority,” said Karney, drawing from her own experience immigrating to the United States. “Art opens up boundaries students didn’t even know existed,” Karney's voice explained, commencing the doc-

Books have been my greatest love — they are art — and they opened worlds to me that I didn’t know existed. They opened whole new experiences. They were something I fell in love with, and have been in love with ever since.” — Perla Karney, artistic director at the Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at Hillel at UCLA

helped organize, which opened on Feb. 13. On the wall hung pictures of her family and from experiences while working at Hillel at UCLA. Perhaps most notably, the latest issue of The Jewish Journal always seemed to make it onto her desk; it

her the desire to see art through a Jewish lens: one that would serve to inspire and remind the Jewish community (as well as future generations of Jews) of their Jewish culture. “When you are a Jew — no matter where you live — you are the ‘other.’

umentary about the Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at UCLA. “It enriches student’s lives and gives them a dimension that helps them in their identity as Jews.” Her opportunity to give back to the Jewish community came when

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Winter 2014

Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller hired her to be the artistic director of Hillel at UCLA. “It was her combination of knowledge of the arts and devotion to promoting Jewish life, [as well as] her intellect and experience in theater,” said Rabbi Chaim as he recalled the reasons that fueled his decision to hire Karney for the position. “I knew we would be able to work together — we had a common understanding of the value and role of art and culture in our lives and in Jewish life, in particular. We shared a vision.” Since then, ten years have passed

and in that time Karney has not only board of the UCLA Fowler Museum happen, and walking me through the organized nine art exhibitions each of the Arts. Moreover, she leads all process of my first exhibition,” said year, but has also introduced docu- of these organizations while also Eli Rubel, an aspiring artist who had the opportunity to showcase his first exhibition at Hillel at UCLA. It was her combination of knowledge of the arts and Karney said that she has worked devotion to promoting Jewish life, [as well as] her hard to be a good role model through building lasting relationintellect and experience in theater.” ships and by giving back to her — Rabbi Chaim Seilder-Feller, Hillel at UCLA community. “I believe that it is very important to have meaningful mentaries and authors, and orga- mentoring students who share her relationships in life and to not go nized several Hillel lecture series. passion and vision for art through through life in isolation. Art is my way of connecting people in a visKarney is now the vice president of the Jewish lens. the Los Angeles Museum of the Ho“Perla, the artistic director at the ceral and educational manner that locaust, a founding member of the Dortort Center, was really very in- impacts students and futures genTemple of the Arts, and is on the strumental in making my [art] show erations of Jews.”

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Seeking light featured Jewish men who acted as anonymous sperm donors between (but not limited to) 1981-1985, to clinics in and around the UCLA area. Your offspring are seeking medical information. Please contact at (For anonymous communication, create a new gmail account.)

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[Campus Life]

A hodgepodge of campus organizations Tessa Nath

Editor-in-Chief The sun beats down on the tops of students’ heads as they shuffle from table to table, sampling organizations at the Enormous Activities Fair. The scene is a familiar one, replaying itself every fall quarter at UCLA. A new student disentangles himself from his pack of friends and approaches the Ha’Am booth, stretching out his hand with the greeting, “Hi, I’m Josh, I’m Jewish and I saw your sign.” Josh stays to chat for a while be-

Which to choose?

Jewish has declined by about half since bi Jacob Rupp, senior rabbi at UCLA the late 1950s, and is now a little less than JAM says, “The way I know that JAM 2%. This is not to say, however, that Jew- is successful is I look at who is going to ish college students don’t take their Juda- JAM and who is running Jewish organiism seriously; the Pew Research Center zations on campus and a lot of times they study also found that 68% of Jewish mil- are one and the same. We facilitate love lennials identify as Jews by religion and for Israel and community and have Jew32% identify as Jewish on the basis of ish outlets in the United States and all ancestry, ethnicity or culture. These fig- over the world. People are impacted by ures stand in contrast to the 93% of older our organization and have a large sense Jewish adults who identify as Jewish on of responsibility.” the basis of religion, while 7% identify Chabad and Hillel at UCLA similarly as Jewish on the basis of ancestry, eth- contribute to a Jewish Bruin’s sense of Before a student has even taken his first class at nicity or culture. pride and provide a multitude of leaderUCLA, he is engulfed in the Jewish network at UCLA, In order to sustain Jewish life on ship opportunities and chance for pera network that will work hard to fulfill his needs for campus, many organizations approach sonal growth and empowerment. the issue from different perspectives. In In the Journal of Higher Education arlearning, socializing, advocacy, social justice and an October Jewish Journal article titled ticle “Settling into Campus Life: Differleadership. Josh has just landed the whole package.” “Sharing the next gen: How Chabad is ences by Race/Ethnicity in College Inchanging Hillel — and reshaping cam- volvement and Outcomes” (March/April fore asking where he can find other ways Project. If Mark were seeking Chris- pus life,” Jared Sichel writes, “While 2007), Mary J. Fischer writes, “In his to be Jewishly involved. A staff member tian groups, he would find the Campus Chabad’s mitzvah-based version of extensive research on college students, points him in the direction of Hillel, one Crusade for Christ, the Chinese Chris- Jewish kiruv (outreach) is based on its [Alexander W.] Astin (1984, 1993) has row down and six tables in; Bruins for tian Students, or the Grace Stewards for Israel, two aisles down and three tables Christ. In his extensive research on college students, in; Chabad just two tables to the left, with There is no denying that Mark would their spinning wheel of fortune; and the have plenty of opportunities available to [Alexander W.] Astin (1984, 1993) has found that those who become more involved in various aspects of Jewish Awareness Movement, engaging him were he to join any number of culstudents in the crowd with clipboards turally or religiously-oriented groups, college life tend to have better outcomes, both in the and rapid-fire questions. but none of these cultural groups would short and long terms.” Josh learns all about the Maimonides fill his Tuesday or Thursday nights with — Mary J. Fischer Program, Sinai Scholars, Alternative Israel advocacy, Wednesdays with chalSpring Break, AEPi’s rush protocol, and lah baking and learning, Fridays and “Settling into Campus Life: Differences by where he can find the best Friday night Saturdays with meals and good friends, Race/Ethnicity in College Involvement and Outcomes” meals. He walks from table to table, en- or afternoons with rabbis, coffee, and couraged by the organizations’ directions texts, as the plethora of Jewish organiof whom he should visit next. Before Josh zations does. This article will strive to own unique brand of Chasidism, Hil- found that those who become more inhas even taken his first class at UCLA, take a closer look at campus Jewish life lel’s form of outreach does not ‘repre- volved in various aspects of college life he is engulfed in the Jewish network at at UCLA, and what organizations seek sent any dogmas,’ according to [Rabbi tend to have better outcomes, both in the UCLA, a network that will work hard to offer students. Chaim] Seidler-Feller, and will often short and long terms.” mold its flavor of Judaism to the stuRather than promoting competition Perhaps the push for Jewish involvement in campus dent body of a particular campus. […] between UCLA’s Jewish organizations, And while Chabad defines a Jew ac- celebrate the opportunity to be involved life is a symptom of the decreasing identification of cording to Jewish law (someone born in the Jewish network at UCLA. With AsJews in the United States, and the feeling that Judaism to a Jewish mother), the movement will tin’s research in mind, no matter which should be preserved at all costs, starting with the still welcome students who identify as campus organization you choose to get Jewish even if not Jewish by law. Hil- involved with, remember to pick one that transformative college experience.” lel, meanwhile, as part of its outreach, relates to your key interests, or helps you to fulfill his needs for learning, socialPerhaps the push for Jewish involve- will purposely engage those brought to become the type of person who you izing, advocacy, social justice and lead- ment in campus life is a symptom of the up in interfaith families.” ultimately wish to be — because to some ership. Josh has just landed the whole decreasing identification of Jews in the At UCLA, there is also a third compet- extent, college is all about the individupackage. But what about his non-Jewish United States, and the feeling that Ju- ing force, the Jewish Awareness Move- al. College helps to nourish and cement floor mate, left standing awkwardly next daism should be preserved at all costs, ment. JAM follows a similar methodol- the individual before he or she embarks to him as he rambles on with someone starting with the transformative college ogy to Chabad, namely that they define on the wide world. Check out our quiz about how he was involved with BBYO experience. The Pew Research Center a Jew according to Jewish law, but are on the next page to find out which small in high school and is just looking for his study released in October states that the welcoming to all interested students. Jewish campus organization you should Jewish niche in college? number of U.S. adults who say they are When asked about JAM’s success, Rab- join (tomorrow).

“ “

If the floor mate, “Mark,” were to identify as Latino, ethnic organizations that he might join include La Gente Newsmagazine, the Latino Student Health Project, the Latino Greek Council, and the Latino Student Business Association. Or if Mark wanted to get involved in the African-American community, he could join Nommo Newsmagazine, the Afrikan Student Union, the Afrikan Arts Ensemble, or the Black/Latino AIDs

[Campus Life]

Page 11 Winter 2014

Quiz: beyond the “Big Three” Elyssa Schlossberg

Which Jewish org should you join?

Business Manager/Copy Editor

When a UCLA student thinks of Jewish organizations, Hillel, Chabad, and JAM come to mind. Don’t get us wrong, Ha’Am loves and supports these three, but there are many smaller Jewish orgs that don’t always get the attention they deserve. This quiz highlights the smaller groups, one of which might just catch your eye. win! o t e c n a h c a lts for u s e r r u o y l i E-ma

Do you want to get involved in something Jewish?

Show me the world!

How policitally oriented are you?


Then why are you taking this quiz? You obviously do.

What scope do you most care about?

I stick to the streets of Westwood (aka campus)

Umm, not really

Social or academic setting?



How interested in Israel are you?

Not really

Do you like receiving or giving info?

It’s cool I guess

It’s the only reason why I do anything!

Has Jews in it, but is not inherently Jewish

Do you like hanging with the coolest people ever?

What type of Jewish experience do you want?

Inherently Jewish




Do you love UCLA?

Do you like to party?



Obvi Duh






Turn the page to find out the results! Then e-mail your results to to receive a free Ha’Am pen, and be entered in a raffle to win a free Ha’Am sweatshirt!

Quiz: beyond the “Big Three” Elyssa Schlossberg

Which Jewish org should you join?

Business Manager/Copy Editor

To take the quiz, turn to page 11. Then e-mail your results to to

automatically receive a free Ha’Am pen, and be entered in a raffle to win a free Ha’Am sweatshirt!





Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC)

Ha’Am: UCLA’s Jewish Newsmagazine

Andrew Rosenstein is a third-year Film and Television major and president of the Center for Jewish Studies Student Leadership Council at UCLA. “As part of the council, I enjoy helping create events and projects that are a meaningful part of the community. We create an educational, creative, and collaborative environment for students on campus, whether they are Jewish or not.”

Gil Bar-Or is a first-year Electrical Engineering major and co-chair of J Street U at UCLA. “I love being part of J Street because it allows me to actively support my homeland while advocating for a better future for all people of the region. Through my involvement I feel connected to my Israeli background and it helps me keep up with current events in Israel.”

Avi Oved is a third-year Economics major and Global Studies minor, and currently serves as the USAC Internal Vice President. “I love USAC and representing 28,000 Bruins because it’s through hard work that we can institutionalize change on our campus and better the undergraduate experience at UCLA for everyone!”

Yona Remer is a fourth-year History major and content editor of Ha’Am: UCLA’s Jewish Newsmagazine. “Ha’Am offers its members a great opportunity to stay attuned with campus happenings and hone one’s journalism skills, and also offers its members a place to engage in an open and analytic dialogue with events, problems and topics of interest that are resonating on campus.”

Rachel Frenklak is a second-year Physiological Sciences major and the president-elect of Sigma AEPi. “I love Sigma because it gave me a family of Jewish girls who are truly like sisters to me. We have so much fun together, support each other, and love each other. Being a Sigma sister also gives me opportunities to lead an environment that supports Jewish values.”

So you like learning about Jewish intellectual and cultural topics, but you don’t want to take the plunge into majoring in Jewish Studies? Luckily for you, the Center for Jewish Studies founded its Student Leadership Council in 2008 to get undergraduate students, just like you, more involved. Council members get to plan and put on their own events (but don’t worry, each individual only needs to do one event per year, though you could totally do more if you want). Now, I know what you’re thinking… what kind of events do they put on? Well, past programs have included the likes of a Yiddish movie night, a Passover lunch and learn with Rabbi Chaim, a Bearing Witness art exhibition, and a Judaic Collections Library Tour, to name a few. Basically, conceive of a program, then make it happen! You’ll also get information of all the other CJS programming, to expand your knowledge even further. It’s that simple. Oh, and it helps that there’s a stipend involved.

No matter how or why you love Israel (or what your thoughts on her policies are) there is an Israel organization for you! Bruins for Israel, the pro-Israel group on campus, is apolitical in nature — meaning that its members have differing views on specific Israeli policies. BFI has weekly general meetings and hosts several insightful speakers and fun socials throughout the year. J Street, a student-driven network of activists on campuses across North America, has a specific political leaning; they support peace, security and social justice in Israel while advocating for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Olive Tree Initiative works toward promoting peace in the Middle East, including between Israelis and Palestinians. The Olive Tree Initiative hosts general meetings, thoughtful programs, and lively debates. Check out these three organizations to see which one best fits your personal sentiments regarding how you relate to Israel.

OK, so USAC isn’t exactly Jewish, and it also isn’t exactly small. But, it is swarming with young Jewish student politicians. Jewish Bruins are currently in charge of finances and allocating SOOF funding, organizing advocacy in the External VP office, and working toward creating a UCLA-specific safety app and live-streaming council meetings, to highlight just a few projects in which Jewish students are involving themselves for their respective offices. Not to perpetuate that age-old stereotype about Jewish in politics or anything, but let’s just say that at UCLA, there are a lot of Jews involved. So if you care about UCLA and improving it, USAC is a great organization that allows you to represent student interests by advocating on behalf of the student body to bring students what they need (or want). Sounds like a very worthwhile and rewarding choice, especially since you’ll be meeting and connecting with fellow Jews on this campus at the same time.

Shameless plug here... If you’re taking this quiz you clearly already support Ha’Am. So you like being a little brainy in your relationship to Judaism, but you also want to be a part of a close knit group of really cool people? Ha’Am is obviously the best choice out there. Let your creativity flow! Writing, illustrating, photography, editing, social media management, business management — we have it all! Not to mention so much amazing free swag (have you seen our sweatshirts?), a cozy office, and access to all of student media. That’s right, I waltz through the Daily B like it’s nobody’s business! Also, our Editor-in-Chief tries to keep in on the DL, but if you make a case for yourself (aka self-appoint) you can have unofficial titles too (mine are Quiz Master and Spiritual Guide)! Basically, what I’m saying is Ha’Am is the best, and I’m surprised you didn’t stop reading this halfway through to fill out the application, but then again I’m a really good writer. And yes, I did just break that fourth wall.

So you want to be involved in a Jewish org that’s social. You want to have fun — to party! But you also want to make lasting connections and friendships with an amazing group of men or women. Well, if that’s the case, Jewish Greek life is the place for you! Men, you should consider pledging for AEPi, the Jewish IFC frat. AEPi caters to both the social and cultural desires and needs of its brothers; through Shabbats and cultural events, sorority exchanges, and house dinners, among many other events, AEPi bridges the gap between social fraternity atmosphere with the culturally Jewish atmosphere. And ladies, Sigma (standing for sisters of AEPi, how cute!), the Jewishinterest sorority on campus could just be the sisterhood you’re looking for. Be it a sisterhood movie night, a Valentine’s Day date party, various community service and philanthropy events, religious events like Shabbat dinners and holiday activities, or an annual winter retreat to Lake Arrowhead, Sigma has everything you could want from a Jewish sorority.

Center for Jewish Studies Student Leadership Council

Bruins for Israel / J Street / Olive Tree Initiative


s r e w ns E.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi / Alpha Epsilon Pi

Photos by Talia Kamdjou

Hamantaschen Recipe Nicole Rudolph

App Manager/Copy Editor/Layout Editor

In honor of the upcoming holiday of Purim, learn to make your own hamantaschen....

Makes about 36 cookies Kosher Parve

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups margarine, softened 1 cup white sugar 2 eggs 6 tablespoons orange juice 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 2 teaspoons baking powder 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 (12 ounce) can poppyseed filling

1. In a large bowl, blend together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the orange juice and

vanilla. Mix in the baking powder, then gradually stir in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. 3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass.

Place circles on the prepared cookie sheets. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling onto the center of each circle. Pinch the sides of each circle to form a triangle, covering as much of the filling as possible. The cookies may be frozen on the cookie sheets if desired to help retain their shape while baking.

4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light golden brown. These are best undercooked slightly. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Ha'Am Winter 2014  
Ha'Am Winter 2014  

Ha'Am's Winter 2014 issue seeks to tackle what it means to be a Jew in different spaces around the world.