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“WHEN I WAS a kid, that phrase was my older brother’s sneaky way of securing his place as the coin-flipping champion. After months of never winning, I involuntarily secured my place as the coin-flipping loser. Until…. One day, I took the time to think about the meaning of my brother’s phrase. Then, I realized with satisfaction that I had not ... Read More »


WOW! IT’S ALREADY Rosh Hashana. Another start to a fresh new year. Really? How can it be? It’s still so hot. In fact, it continues to feel like summer. Don’t the High Holidays normally come in the Fall? In Bereishit, Genesis, The Torah tells us that, “The Lord took man and put him in the Garden of Eden, to tend ... Read More »

A Shabbat of Heights

EACH SPRING, the Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) hosts “Shabbat in the Heights,” a weekend retreat in Crown Heights, New York, the hub of the worldwide Chabad Lubavitch movement. This year, the Chabad of Laguna Niguel community decide to take the plunge. Twelve of us headed across the country for what participant Naftali Kotler termed “a weekend… on a cloud.” “Shabbat ... Read More »

Securing the Future

“IF YOU WANT Jewish grandchildren and great grandchildren, you need to work on it now,” says Allen Alevy, long time supporter of the Hebrew Academy and several other Jewish organizations. Mr. Alevy’s over 40 year relationship with the Hebrew Academy began in 1975, when then director Rabbi Gershon Schusterman reached out to him for help. Allen jumped right in. That ... Read More »

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