Friday, September 29, 2006

Mazel Tov to the Libicki's: It's a boy!

A great big Mazel Tov to former UCSC grad-jew-slug Daniel Libicki and his wife Faina (now in Palo Alto) on the birth of a baby boy this past Thursday!

May he be a great source of joy and blessing for all of Klal Yisroel!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Some of you have noticed our beautiful new Jewnification Project banner at the top of the blog. I would like to thank Natasha Sherwood de Hale, a fellow UCSC student, who actually drew that trippy design by hand especially for the JewniProj, after which it was scanned and incorporated into the design.

Thank you Natasha. Your creativity has brought the blog to a whole new level.

Things to Consider for YKYK6

It is curious that we are privileged to welcome the beginning of the academic year with the beginning of the Jewish year. And on top if it all, the interim chancellor is Jewish! Coincidence? I think not. Perhaps this is a clever scheduling kuntz (yiddish - meaning joke or trick) from our brothers at the association of the Elders of Zion. But alas, if only it were so!

As both the academic and Jewish years begin, we all have the opportunity to truly reflect on ourselves as students, as people. Where else in the world do the pressures of alcohol and sex and violence and especially gossip come into play more than the college campus? Sad but true, the dorms are breeding grounds for drama drama drama!

So now not only do we have the ability but more so the obligation to take a good look at ourselves and decide how we are going to act this year. We should ask ourselves how we can do our parts to fix this broken world.

As Yom Kippur 2006, or what I'd like to call YKYK6, draws near (Sunday night) we are amidst what the tradition calls Yamim Nora'im, the terrible days. We are encouraged to confront everyone that we have wronged this past year and beg for forgiveness. We are to contemplate the fragility of life, and hope that this year we will be written in the book of life, and not that other scary codex (check out

But have no fear, hopefully you will be exonerated this year! (....Unless you've been'd better watch out, you'd better not cry, you'd better not pout, I'm telling you why, the Lord Almighty's writing you down!)

So I figure ... if we're going to have a clean slate come Monday night ... why not live it up a little in the meantime?

Ever wondered what lobster tastes like?
Ever felt the thrill of drinking milk straight from the carton?
Ever had the urge to push all the buttons in the elevator?
Or to leave the toilet seat up?


So ... in conclusion ...
To all I have wronged this year, please forgive me. I have times when I am an asshole, and I regret my mistakes, and seek to change my ways this coming year.

Gmar Tov Yall!
Have an easy fast!
Happy YKYK6

New Learning Opportunity in Santa Cruz

by Amittai Moshe

Thursday nights 9pm beginning Oct 5th @ The Bochur Pad
"Kashrut Basics Made Easy"
featuring your neighborhood Hassid, Rav Shlomie Chein.
Anyone interested in the how-to's of keeping a kosher kitchen is welcome.

WARNING: Learning Torah with the chevrah at nighttime may lead to serious farbrengening and in certain cases l'chaims; caution is advised.
For location details, email JewniProj [at]

Hip Hop for Rosh HaShana

by Amittai Moshe

Yo, JewSlugs in the hood. The JewniProj came across this video not too long ago, turns out it's featuring a friend of mine from Yeshivah, Ori. Word up to you Ori, keep busting rhymes and most of all Keep it Kosher!!!!!!


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Leviathan is back, and better than ever (probably)

UCSC's premier student-produced Jewish mag/newspaper is getting ready for another year of drunken shenanigans scholarship and literary and cultural accomplishments.

No, but seriously, if you're interested in writing for UCSC's best and longest running Jewish publication, our first meeting is tomorrow, Thursday September 28th at 7pm in the Press Center, which is kind of near the Media Center, directly next to the ARC (known more commonly, and incorrectly, as the "ARC Center"). And according to our new Editor in Chief, Ari Breakstone, "there will be some tasty treats [on hand]- ohhhh yeah."

If you're thinking, "Oh man, why would I even want to write for a dorky Jewish publication," let me give a sample list of some of the titles of articles from our last issue: 420 on Passover, "The apartheid state of Israel," Hassidic Trance Party, Israeli punk??!?!... you get the idea. Come check it out.

And word on the street is Leviathan is going to have a website up and running sometime this year, so keep your eyes and ears open.

Friday, September 22, 2006

L'shana tova u'm'tuka!!!!!

Yesterday, September 21st, I had the pleasure of participating in a uniquely Santa Cruzian Jewish event, a fusion between an appreciation for nature and a call to the yiddishe neshama to wake up at this time of entering a new year.

Eitan Altshuler, with Rabbi Shalom Bochner of Hillel, organized a hike to Tree Nine (the legendary climbing tree behind Colleges 9 and 10), where we were to climb to the very top and blow the shofar (it is a widely practiced Jewish custom to blow the shofar every day starting at the beginning of the month of Elul, in order to arouse oneself to soul-searching and self-betterment).

In my eyes, the event was a huge success. Me and Eitan climbed the tree, shofar in hand, and belted out the traditional order of blasts from among the treetops, and Shalom echoed with his shofar at the base of the tree. Blowing a huge shofar while sitting on top of a huge tree in the forest, looking down at a cloud-filled bay in the afternoon light, was moving to say the least.

Two other students, Josh and Pepper, joined us at the top, and this fact is of particular importance. Not only did they seem genuinely appreciative of the whole event, but apparently they actually found out about it from the JewniProj, which, as far as I know, was the only online resource to have listed it. Yasher koach again Eitan for organizing this event. I hope it becomes a Santa Cruz tradition.

I personally want to ask forgiveness from anyone I may have offended this past year, and I wish everyone a sweet, happy, and healthy new year! L'shana tova u'm'tuka!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Website Updates Galore!

Other than the Jewnification Project, two of the most important online resources for UCSC Jewish students are and, which have both been updated recently.

The Hillel website got a major face-lift and now features a decidedly more user-friendly interface and two calendars, one for "Hillel events" and one for "community events." Otherwise, there is still the requisite list of student groups, a page of birthright info, and a page to donate money to Hillel. More updates are in the works, according to Shalom Bochner's message on the Hillel homepage.

In addition to the updates to reported previously, now there is a free interactive classifieds section which is sort of like a Jewish (in the rough) where you can hook up housing, rides, and buy and sell stuff, all in the Santa Cruz Jewish community. There is also now a section called "In my humble opinion," which is supposed to be "a forum for locals to comment on local and international events." If the commentary is as colorful as that on the articles on, it will be well worth reading (e.g., see the commentary on this article, which had been linked to in a e-mail... sometimes the comments are more interesting than the article itself).

My heart is full to see our campus Jewish orgs seriously using the internet as a tool to improve our community. Your efforts should be fruitful in the new year.

Shabbat Report: Matisyahu Revisited

One week ago during Shabbat, September 8-9, eight students from UCSC came to Berkeley to spend some time with Matisyahu and family. It was a beautiful Shabbat overall, and I personally want to send a special thanks to the Ferris family for hosting us, and to the Chein family for organizing it on the UCSC side.

Also in attendance was my friend and Bay Area blogmeister himself Oyster (formerly TAltman) from Oy Bay!, Laura from The J-Life, and of course the Chein family from the Chabad Student Center at UCSC (

In the midst of the lavish Friday night dinner, Matisyahu himself was mixing drinks for students over at my end of the table. After dinner, Talia Miller gave a valuable shiur/Q&A on Jewish intimacy.

Saturday our own Rabbi Shlomie Chein gave a d'var Torah about the time he met Bill Clinton when he was still the Prez (and when Shlomie was still the Bochur). The whole story was an analogy for Rosh HaShanah, when we need to prepare ourselves to meet with the King of kings; and hey, even though we might not be "dressed" for the occasion, and even though we might feel like we're just too distant spiritually for approaching G-d at this awesome time, we need to keep in mind that all that doesn't matter. Whatever we can offer is enough, and we have a whole new year to improve ourselves.

So Oyster got some pretty sweet pics and wrote a couple informative posts about the weekend; Click here to check it all out.

Shofar, so good

As everyone knows, Rosh HaShanah is right around the corner. Like, in a few days.

To get us in the Rosh HaShanah spirit, this Thursday at 6:15pm, there will be a phatty hike to the ever popular Tree Nine, which will include a shofar blowing in the woods.

This is what it's all about my friends; going out into nature, hearing the call of the shofar and looking inside yourself, trying to find paths to grow in the new year.

Of course, if you just like hiking and climbing trees, then this is also right up your alley.

We will be meeting at the Bay Tree Bookstore at 6:15pm and then walking to Tree Nine.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Shofar, [not] so good

Here's an alert sent out by Rabbi Shalom Bochner (thank you sincerely for the heads-up):
A Christian man who is involved with a "Judeo-Christian" group is doing a public shofar blowing at 7:30 pm on the first day of Rosh HaShanah (Saturday 9/23) at the clock tower downtown. He came into Hillel today and asked me to hang up one of his fliers, which I obviously didn't do. We spoke for about 1/2 hour and he was respectful but still didn't seem to understand why Jewish organizations won't / can't support messianic Jews for Jesus events. Anyway, in case anyone is interested, they are doing this event and I am sad to think there might be Jews who will be tempted to get involved with this church when they hear the shofar. Anyone wanna go down there and put on a real Rosh haShanah event?

These missionizing types really bug me.
Yasher koach Shalom. What chutzpa, to try to put up a Christian missionary flier in Hillel. Keep us updated.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

She remembers her roots

As some of you may or may not know, Talia Coutin, the former Editor-in-Chief of our hip UCSC Jewish rag, the Leviathan, has been interning the past few months in New York for the Jewish Telegraph Agency.

In her most recent article, Talia describes the "webbe rebbe" phenomenon, whereby Jews around the globe pose their Jewish-themed questions to live Jewish scholars over the internet, and she wonders what far-reaching affects this phenomenon has facilitated, if any at all. The piece is well written and researched, and probably has all the elements of a good article that Talia always used to talk about (back in the Leviathan days) but that I always forget.

One of the websites that she mentions is, which UCSC's own Rabbi Shlomie Chein participates in. I used to use the site pretty often, and I definitely recommend it for any basic questions about traditional Judaism or a Chassidic lifestyle.

Now, you may remember that a number of months ago, a certain JewniProj contributor was very disappointed with a certain telegraph agency over certain editorial choices, but I'm extremely pleased to note that in this most recent article, the JewniProj was actually mentioned (in passing) and even linked to.

Yasher koach to Talia for her accomplishments these last few months, and you should have continued and increased successes b'ruchnius v'b'gashmius in your upcoming East Coast endeavors.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Israel Workshop in San Francisco

Friday, September 8th

11:00 am - 2:00 pm

SF Jewish Community Federation / Israel Center
2nd floor board room
121 Steuart Street
SF, CA 94105

The workshop will focus on the current situation in Israel, its effects
on campus, identifying pressing needs and how to respond to them, and
also better understanding the available resources in Northern California.

*We will also be hearing from Gil Tamari from Israel TV Channel 10*

For more information, speak to Lital Carmel at 415-512-6425 or e-mail Shalom at:

JSN SC Shabbaton Sept. 8th-9th

Rabbi Grossman & the Gordon family invite you to join us for this Shabbos!

Here's the schedual for the JSN Shabbat at 120 West Cliff

Friday Night, Sep. 8th:
Kabbalat Shabbat: 7:00pm

Davening followed by Friday Night Dinner - space is very limited -
please reserve your spot by emailing

Shabbat Day, Sept. 9th:
Lunch: @12:45 (after davening at Chabad by the Sea)

Shabbat afternoon learning with Rabbi Grossman: 2:30pm

"Let the Talmud prepare you for Rosh Hashanah"

Mincha: 6:30pm , followed by Seudat Shelshi, Maariv & Havdalah

Questions? just email

Another unforgettable Shabbat is in the works... See you there!

Special thanks to Leon Kaplan and Eli & Angela Eisenpress

The Jewish Study Network
*** Raising the level of Jewish literacy in the Bay Area ***

Monday, September 04, 2006

Hostage Ehud Goldwasser's Family in L.A.

This just in for those of you currently in the L.A. area:

Hostage Ehud Goldwasser's Family to meet with Los Angeles Community.

Join Los Angeles Jewish Leaders as we meet in solidarity with Karnit and Omri Goldwasser, wife and father of Ehud Goldwasser --- KIDNAPPED BY HEZBOLLAH.


This evening's presentation will be made on behalf of all three
abducted soldiers: Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit.

Admission: FREE
Seating is on a first come first served basis.

The Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, American Jewish Congress, Simon Wiesenthal Center and StandWithUs.

Valid photo ID required.
Please allow extra time for parking and security check in