SMILE! IT'S FREE:: Students gather for a Friday night dinner at the University of Southern California, sponsored by the campus Hillel.

Staple of Campus Life Now Comes at a Price

On a rainy Friday night, nearly 100 Jewish students — and a handful of non-Jewish ones — gathered at the University of Southern California’s Chabad house to get their weekly dose of Jewish nourishment. And while the nourishment came in the form of a free meal, including homemade chicken soup, it was, by all accounts, also spiritual.

LOOKING FOR LOVE: Ziva Kramer (right), a ?relationship expert,? offered advice to women at a recent event.

Make Me a Match

In a dark Manhattan bar one evening last month, the eyes of about 70 young women and one young male hairdresser were focused — dubiously and tipsily — on Ziva Kramer, headliner at Jewish International Connection’s “How To Get Quality Guys To Commit To You and Stay Married! Ladies only” event.

FAMILY MATTERS: Elias Koteas (left), Gwyneth Paltrow and Joaquin Phoenix star in ?Two Lovers,? a new film by James Gray.

Brighton Beach on the Big Screen

Director and screenwriter James Gray has steadfastly avoided the Woody Allen playbook of Jewish filmmaking in his work. His previous films, crime pictures such as “Little Odessa” and “The Yards,” feature scrappy, resilient Jewish men played by the likes of James Caan and Mark Wahlberg. In his new movie, “Two Lovers,” a romantic drama, the Jewish mother is reasonable, the protagonist is actually a bit hip and the young Jewish romantic interest is as pretty as the shiksa alternative.

Ralph Kaplowitz, 89, Original Member of the Knicks

Ralph Kaplowitz, an original member of the New York Knickerbockers who played in basketball’s first professional game in 1946, died at his home in the Floral Park section of Queens on February 2. He was 89.

New Chief for West Coast Activist Group

The West Coast’s leading Jewish social justice organization has named a former corporate litigator turned legal activist for the poor as its new executive director.