Jewish Journal

Gaby Friedman

  • UCLA Hillel rabbi apologizes, settles 2003 case with woman journalist

    February 15, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    A UCLA Hillel rabbi accused of accosting a freelance journalist in October 2003 has sent the writer a letter of apology as part of a court settlement. Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, UCLA Hillel director, was accused by Rachel Neuwirth of verbally and physically assaulting her outside...
  • Books: Ruth’s Garden of Secrets

    February 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Eva Etzioni-Halevy, a Viennese-born Holocaust survivor, wants everyone to enjoy Bible stories as much as she does.

    "At a certain stage in my life I became religious, and I wanted to bring the Bible close to people's hearts," said the 72-year-old Israeli academician turned...

  • Steve Reich’s non-requiem for Daniel Pearl

    January 25, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    When Judea Pearl asked composer Steve Reich to create a piece of music that would commemorate the life of his son, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, he knew what he did not want the music to be.

    "We did not want it to be a eulogy or a requiem," said Pearl, whose son was...

  • Imaginative menorahs give new twist to ancient tradition

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Moses made the first menorah. God commanded him to hammer out an ornate, free-standing, seven-branched candelabrum, replete with cups, knobs and flowers, from a solid piece of gold.

    Back then, in the desert tabernacle, and later in the First and Second Temple, the menorah fulfilled...

  • Batsheva Dance Company reads between ‘Three’ dances

    November 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Ohad Naharin, choreographer of Israel's Batsheva Dance Company credits a back injury with helping him develop a new language of dance.

    "I started relating to my body differently," he told the Web site culturekiosque.com in 2004. Naharin's innovations mean that for the dancers in...

  • ‘The End’ is nigh for Lemony Snicket

    October 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    What will Lemony Snicket do now? And who is Beatrice? These are the questions that are setting children abuzz -- a word which here means "something that everyone is talking and guessing about," -- now that "The End" (Harper Collins), the final, 13th book of 13 chapters in Snicket's...
  • Order Up—One ‘Dreamcoat,’ Extra Cheeze

    June 15, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    When Dallet Norris signed on to direct Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" for the fourth time in his career, he decided that the classic Bible tale turned classic musical needed some updating.

    So, for the new touring production, which...

  • Spectator - What It Looks Like From Here

    May 4, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Biting off more than most of us can chew, husband and wife authors Joel R. Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams have taken on the enormously ambitious task of tackling that age-old question: How did the world get here, and does our existence really matter? Primack is a professor of physics...

  • Spectator - Young Historians Find Their Genre

    February 16, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    When Erica Silverman was looking for a subject for her latest children's nonfiction book, she decided to seek inspiration from one of the most famous Jewish writers of all time, Sholom Aleichem.

    With pathos and humor, Sholom Aleichem amused generations of fin-de-siecle Jews with his...

  • Spectator - Fiddle Dee Dee and Oy Vey!

    February 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Like any good Southerner, Brian Bain eats moon pies and punctuates his sentences with "y'all." But Bain is also Jewish, which colors his experience as a third-generation Southerner in a unique way.

    In his documentary film, "Shalom Y'all," Bain set out to explore exactly what being...

  • The Sabbath Rap

    January 26, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The service begins with "Shalom Aleichem," but there's a twist: Injected between the traditional verses are some fast-talking, spoken-word interludes with messages for those entering into the ritual. "So recline, right after you drink this wine/ See this time is a gift from the mind...

  • Television - Bruce Feiler’s Biblical Road Trip

    January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    For anyone who's forgotten that the events of the Bible happened in real places, Bruce Feiler is on hand -- and on location -- to remind them otherwise. He's also there for those who haven't forgotten -- for those who find joy, entertainment or even enlightenment in visiting these...

  • Illuminating Tales of Modern Maccabees

    December 22, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    In Myra Goldberg's short story, "Who Can Retell," reprinted in the National Public Radio anthology, "Hanukkah Lights, Stories of the Season" (Melcher Media, 2005), a young girl is concerned that her school's holiday glee club is singling out all the Jewish students to sing Chanukah...

  • Fifty Nifty Tribemembers

    December 8, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    The weather may be warmer, the people more laid-back, and it may be several-thousand miles away from the larger Jewish communities of New York and Chicago, but that apparently doesn't stop Los Angeles from having a big toothy influence on national Jewish affairs.

    There are,...

  • Spectator - It’s Hip to Be Chutzpah

    December 8, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    When you think of hip-hop or rap, you don't generally think of jowl-necked septuagenarians or skinny, psyched-out white guys rapping about the tsuris their mother gives them, but then again, you don't generally think of Jews either.

    Enter Chutzpah, or the new "Jewish Hip-Hop...

  • The New ‘King’ of KROQ

    December 1, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Could you name the No. 1 requested song for the past three weeks at L.A. rock station KROQ (106.7 FM)? If you're thinking about current hits like "Dance Dance" by Fall Out Boy or "Hypnotize" by System of a Down, guess again.

    The most requested song features these lyrics:

    "Sing to my...

  • Madonna and the Elusive Isaac

    December 1, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Madonna and scandal have been virtually synonymous from the start of the pop star's career more than 20 years ago. There were songs about being like virgins touched for the very first time and girls getting pregnant and telling their fathers that they wanted to keep the babies. There...

  • A Small Man With Big Dreams

    December 1, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Thirty-seven year old Ami Ankilewitz weighs just 39 pounds; he suffers from a rare disease called spinal muscular atrophy, which has prevented his muscles from growing and functioning. As a result, his body is skeletal; his small, fragile bones seem mangled and twisted, thinly...

  • Enter Three Little Maidelehs

    December 1, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    For strictly observant women, being Orthodox can often mean putting a kibosh on artistic aspirations. Halachic prohibitions against singing and dancing in front of men means that many women who enjoy those art forms find they have little opportunity to perform.

    Enter Margy Horowitz,...

  • The Bighearted Showbiz Dealmaker

    November 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Once, when Bernie Brillstein's career as a Hollywood manager was already so well established that people tried to hustle him, rather than the other way around, Lorne Michaels sent Bernie a gift.

    The present was a Langdon Clay photograph of Broadway near 42nd Street in New York, a...

  • New Setting Could Bring New Faces

    November 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    There is an old Jewish saying that if you change your place, you change your luck. The organizers of the 21st annual Israel Film Festival are putting it to the test.

    Which means that this year, if you head out to Laemmle's on Fairfax hoping to see a new crop of Israeli films, as in...

  • Sher Cohen’s Law & Order: Justice Unit

    October 27, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Don't call Nancy Sher Cohen at home after 8:30 p.m. "One of two things is usually true," the 54-year-old-litigator said. "Either I am asleep, because I am exhausted [from all the work], or I am out because I am working."

    For other, less-energetic people, an 8:30 nightly collapse from...

  • Q & A With Bruce Feiler

    October 20, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "Where God Was Born: A Journey by Land to the Roots of Religion" by Bruce Feiler (William Morrow, $26.95).

    With daily reports of suicide bombings in Iraq, never-ending violence between Israelis and Palestinians and Iran's nuclear threat, it can be hard to imagine the Middle East as...

  • Kabbalah and the Modern Shrink

    October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "Connecting to God, Ancient Kabbalah and Modern Psychology" by Rabbi Abner Weiss (Bell Tower Books, $24).

    It was Rabbi Abner Weiss, in psychologist mode, who "Jerry" went to see after his wife, "Sandy," found him in bed with another woman. Although Jerry and Sandy seemed like the...

  • West Hollywood Lauds Ladies of Lit

    September 29, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Take some chick lit, throw in a dash of mystery and political awareness -- plus some first-timer nervousness -- and you have the makings for some thought-provoking panels at the fourth annual West Hollywood Book Fair.

    On Sunday, Oct. 2, scores of writers, readers, children and...

  • Mamet Serves Feast of Foul Language

    September 29, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    When actor Steven Goldstein started reading David Mamet's new play, "Romance," he was thrown by the relentlessly foul language.

    "I read it, and I thought, 'Ohmygod,'" said the actor who plays the role of a defendant in a court case. "At first, I didn't know what to make of it. I...

  • Spectator - Lessing’s Shots of Liberty

    September 22, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Erich Lessing received his first camera when he exited the synagogue from his bar mitzvah in Vienna in 1936.

    "There was no idea of taking up photography as a profession," said Lessing, 82, from his house in Austria. "In a good Jewish family in Vienna you would only be a lawyer or a...

  • Many Factors Enter Into Temple Choice

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    When Mark Firestone was searching for a shul to join, he didn't look for a shul that had a nursery school or Hebrew school attached. Nor did he fret about the services he'd be getting for his membership fee. Instead, he wanted a shul that was quiet.

    "I wanted it to be very quiet, so...

  • Between the Pages for Young, Young-at-Heart

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Let's face it. Many people go to synagogue on the High Holidays because they have to. A feeling of poorly understood and unappreciated obligation can pervade this time of year. But it doesn't have to. You can put yourself or your children in the spirit and in the know with help from...

  • More Love and Lust From the Bible

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "The Song of Hannah" by Eva Etzioni-Halevy (Plume, $14).

    Biblical fiction is enjoying a renaissance. Some say it began in 1998, with Anita Diamant's "The Red Tent" -- a fictionalized account from Jacob's daughter, Dinah, of daily life with her aunt Rachel and mother Leah. For the...

  • Spectator - The Great ‘Wall’ of Israel

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Simone Bitton's new documentary, "Wall," opens with long, meandering shots of the Israeli security fence, the great concrete and barbed-wire structure that straddles more than 450 miles of land in Israel's disputed territories.

    As the camera lingers on the wall, the disembodied...

  • Spectator - A Hand in Global Harmony

    August 18, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The Middle Eastern fusion music on "Hamsa" is so insidiously infectious and rhythmic that you will not only be humming along but tapping your feet, as well.

    "It was never intended to become an album," said Carvin Knowles, the CD's creator. "It was how I felt at the time. But I kept...

  • Ragen Novel Blends Intifada, Intrigue

    August 11, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "The Covenant," by Naomi Ragen (St. Martin's Press, 2004).

    Nineteen-year-old Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Cpl. Nachshon Waxman was off duty when Hamas operatives kidnapped him in October 1994. In the aftermath, 50,000 Israelis gathered at the Western Wall along with Waxman's parents,...

  • Historically Sacred L.A.

    July 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Robert Berger is a third-generation Angeleno who dares to do the unthinkable in Los Angeles.

    He actually gets out of his car and studies old buildings.

    Berger, an architectural photographer with Berger/Conser Architectural Photography, is interested in historic Los Angeles....

  • To Simcha, With Love

    July 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The very word Siberia evokes a cold, distant place -- it's so, well, Soviet. But Siberia just got a little warmer and a little more Jewish because of San Fernando Valley resident Elaine Berke, who arranged for the b'nai mitzvah of 61 Siberian Jews ranging in age from 12 to 26.


  • Spectator - Sephardia Secrets

    July 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Elaine Romero experienced "a cool fusion of art and life" when she wrote the play "Secret Things."

    The play tells the story of Delia, a Latino journalist, who goes to New Mexico to investigate the origins of an anonymous package she received postmarked from there containing articles...

  • When Sad Things Happen to Good Kids

    June 2, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "The Boy Who Didn't Want To Be Sad" by Dr. Rob Goldblatt (American Psychological Magination Press, 2004).

    After taking his children to see a pleasant Disney cartoon, Dr. Rob Goldblatt thought there would some animated chatter about the film during the drive home.

    Instead, there was...

  • It’s Not Your Zayde’s Klezmer Anymore

    May 19, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Musician Eric Stein felt disillusioned with rock 'n' roll. He spent years slogging away in a band without "making it," so he started looking for something else.

    He considered being a history professor, but then, a new instrument and an old style of music changed his mind.