Growing Up Jewish: Learning to live without religion in a religious environment

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By Katherine Zhang

For the seven years up until his bar mitzvah, Alex Aibel’s childhood schedule had revolved around a fixed religious routine. Sundays were reserved for Hebrew school and Fridays for the shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, while temple visits, Jewish holiday celebrations and trips to Israel to see relatives were sprinkled throughout the rest of the year. And through all of it, he felt neither particularly enthusiastic nor especially resentful – just detached.

Aibel’s Hebrew school took a wide variety of approaches to teaching its students about Judaism, from reading prayers and stories to watching videos about Jewish history. But for Aibel, none of it really clicked. Whether he was sitting in a small classroom or staring at the expansive ceiling of a temple, he always found himself slumped over with his head propped up on his fist, anticipating the time school gave him to bond with friends rather than appreciating the religious meaning.

Profile on Jessa Glassman

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By Linnea Foote

For Jessa Glassman, a trip to the dog and cat mural covered walls of the hospital isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it could mean the difference to dozens of kids on the pediatric unit of Providence Tarzana Medical Center.

With 17 family members being either born or cared for in the hospital, Glassman became interested in a volunteering opportunity that would involve playing and interacting with patients.

Charitable Travels: Ariela Rosenzweig reaches zen through exploration of various countries

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By Jenna Sadhu

Squatting over a hole in the ground, gazing at the sky, hearing the voices of the people, seeing the water and the food as they hang low, Ariela Rosenzweig,16, found herself at ease with having no toilet paper in the hot Papua New Guinea air.

“I accepted this hole in the ground in Papua New Guinea over the roadside bathroom in South Africa, the clogged airport toilet in Bhutan, the floor with a drain in Singapore, the mud pit in Vietnam, the breakup in the fourth stall to the left in Myanmar,” Rosenzweig said.

Going Faure in Music

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By Woo Lee Han

Compared to performing in front of tens of thousands at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, or MetLife Stadium, performing in front of 50-60 people may not seem like a big deal. But for Jamie Lim, it was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of her life.

At the age of 13, having just graduated middle school, Lim embarked on her first solo performance, Elegie by Faure, on the cello at her summer orchestra camp, Korean American Youth Orchestra.To make matters worse, she was not alone on the stage. She had a whole orchestra accompanying her, which augmented the tension and anxiety in Lim.