Page 1




Wall of Sh

x Polar vort e



39 Steps


Construct io


The Boiling Point Shalhevet High School • Los Angeles, CA • January 2014 - Shevat 5774 • Volume 13, Issue 3 •

Students study Middle East at local mosque


By Alexa Fishman, Community Editor

BP Photo by Ezra Fax

DWARFED: You’ve driven by it a thousand times but probably never been inside. The Annenberg Space for Photography, a free museum at the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars in Century City, is dwarfed by the skyscrapers around it, but the photographs inside evoke feelings on a much more human scale. The latest exhibit features six photojournalists and revolves around five different themes. For a review, see page 15.

Little worry as colleges reject Israel ‘boycott’ By Sarah Soroudi, Editor Emeritus The UC system, USC and 157 other U.S. colleges and universities have spoken out against the American Studies Association’s academic boycott of Israel, though most of them have not withdrawn their membership from the organization. UC President Janet Napolitano, like others in similar positions around the country, condemned the boycott in a statement. “The University of California prides itself on a rich tradition of free speech and diversity of thought,” President Napolitano’s statement said. “An academic

boycott goes against the spirit of the University of California, which has long championed open dialogue and collaboration with international scholars.” It’s not clear exactly what effect the boycott will have, but preambles to the resolution — which passed with 66 percent of 1,252 votes cast — contain lengthy criticisms of Israel. The tally was announced Dec. 4. According to the ASA’s website, the boycott is “a refusal on the part of the ASA in its official capacities to enter into formal collaborations with Israeli academic institutions, or with scholars

who are expressly serving as representatives or ambassadors of those institutions (such as deans, rectors, presidents and others), or on behalf of the Israeli government, until Israel ceases to violate human rights and international law.” It goes on to say that individual professors may handle their own relationships with Israeli universities and scholars as they see fit. “We are expressly not endorsing a boycott of Israeli scholars engaged in individual-level contacts and ordinary forms of academic exchange, including presentations at conferences, public lec-

Continued on Page 6

EXODUS: Post-apartheid, South African Jews still in LA By Eric Bazak, Staff Writer lthough Shalhevet did not formally commemorate the passing of legendary human rights leader and statesman Nelson Mandela, the five minutes in between class and Town Hall Dec. 5 were particularly quiet, as everyone was fixed on iPhones learning the news . The former president of South Africa, known for his leadership against the apartheid regime and for guiding a peaceful transition to full democracy, had died at age 95 from a respiratory Infection. “I grew up in our family home near the Atlantic Ocean and it overlooked Robben Island, so I was always aware of home and what he meant,” said History


Seven juniors spent an afternoon looking at Middle Eastern culture through the lens of a local mosque on a field trip last month to Culver City that was part of their Modern Middle East class. Jewish History teacher Mr. Jason Feld brought the students to the King Fahad Mosque, located on Washington Boulevard, Dec. 20 to observe afternoon prayers, called dhuhr. They watched from the back of the room as hundreds of Muslims listened to the imam’s sermon and took part in their holiest prayer of the week -- Friday being the Muslim “gathering day” when congregational prayer is required. “As a Zionist, I believe before one can appreciate the potential for going home, one has to actually experience feeling at home,” said Mr. Feld. “The best way to do that is to peel away the veneer of cultural differences that separate us from the broader Middle East.” The class has spent the year learning about Zionism and the many diverse cultures within Israel and the Middle East. Mr. Feld hopes that his students will spend a year in Israel after high school, and that they will understand the culture when they are there. “My hope is that when my students spend time in Israel, they experience first-hand a lot of the crazy stuff we learn about in Modern Middle East, and that they do so with confidence and respect,” said Mr. Feld. Mr. Feld contacted one of the directors of the mosque, Nour al Rayes, to arrange the visit. When it was time for dhuhr, students removed their shoes according to the rules of the mosque. The girls went upstairs to the women’s balcony, and the boys remained downstairs. Nelson Mandela had recently died, and before the prayers began, the imam spoke about Mandela’s emphasis on peace, telling the congregants that they should never rely on vengeance. Once upstairs in the women’s section, some of the Muslim women criticized the Shalhevet students’ lack of long skirts, and handed them

Continued on Page 3

teacher Dr. Michael Yoss. “One of the greatest experiences in my life was witnessing Mandela getting the keys to Oxford, because I realized just exactly why I had left South Africa and what he meant and stood for. I was standing there with people all over the world, and one doesn’t have to be South African to appreciate him. His values are universal.” Dr. Yoss left South Africa in 1978 because he was opposed to the apartheid regime. s Dr. Yoss asserted, Nelson Mandela was revered not only by the blacks he emancipated from strict rules that forbade them from liv-


Continued on Page 8

BP Photo by Mohammed Akbar Khan

CULTURE: Students of Mr. Feld’s Modern Middle East class stand in the prayer space of the King Fahad Mosque in Culver City.