Jewish Journal

Diane Arieff

  • Diaspora Diversity Focus of ‘Portraits’

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    An Argentine gaucho lounges near his horse. A Bombay bride displays her upturned palms, filigreed entirely with henna. An Ethiopian boy lights candles with a classmate. A woman poses stiffly in her kitchen in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. What unites these disparate images is that the people...

  • L.A.‘s ‘New Jew’ Hits First Birthday

    May 22, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    In the Valley suburb of West Hills, a small bit of history is being made: It's home to the first and only all-Jewish lacrosse team at any school in the country. The sport's newest fans are the ninth-grade boys at the New Community Jewish High School (NCJH).

    When history teacher...

  • Not Just for Kids

    March 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Purim may conjure up visions of kiddie games, sugar-addled toddlers and homemade noisemakers, but it lends itself just as well to adult forms of celebration. The Talmud instructs us to drink and make our hearts merry with wine on Purim until we cannot tell the difference between...

  • High Time

    November 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    For the past three years, in meetings that often go toward midnight, a handful of local parents, educators and community leaders have been coming together to plan Los Angeles' next non-Orthodox Jewish high school.

    Now it has come to pass. Late last month, the Core Group, as the...

  • Beyond Day School

    November 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Put off by the embattled public school system and intrigued by a combined secular-Jewish program, parents with very young children are opting for private Jewish schools in increasing numbers. This is no longer news. While the majority of non-Orthodox kids still receive their Jewish...

  • A Lesson Plan From Israel

    October 26, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    In our hardwired global village, the old curse "May you live in interesting times," has particular resonance. For local educators, the recent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians have made these past few weeks interesting times indeed. As events continue to unfold thousands of...

  • Learning From Loss

    September 23, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    When painful loss occurs in our lives, we want to make some sense of it: Why did she get so sick? Why did I lose my livelihood? Why can't we conceive a child? Why did he die? In his new book, "Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times" (Riverhead Books, $23.95), David...
  • Literary Lives

    May 27, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    A play with both wit and heart is a compelling combination, and it's one that playwright Donald Margulies' pulls off in his mostly rewarding "Collected Stories."

    "Stories" drew critical praise and a 1997 Pulitzer Prize nomination following it's world première at Costa Mesa's South...

  • Judaism Between the Sheets

    March 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    In these scandalous times, is there anything left to say about sex?

    TV offers us All-Monica all the time. The globally accessible Internet offers its own virtual red-light district. Surrounded by wall-to-wall visuals and 24-hour media blather, we're inundated with sexual information....

  • An Empress of the Air

    March 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    It's a sunny Santa Monica afternoon, and Ruth Seymour, station manager and program director of KCRW, is sitting in the Rose Cafe, neatly turned out in a dark pant suit. She's sixtyish and slim, with angular, clean features, a square, prominent jaw and a short, stylish haircut. A...

  • ‘Lolita’ Revisited

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Paula Vogel's "How I Learned to Drive" has come to the Mark Taper Forum, and one wonders if it has lost something in its trip across country. Despite an arresting performance by Brian Kerwin, its male lead, this Los Angeles production doesn't live up to the high expectations that...
  • Movie Memoirs

    February 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Some of the best recent American documentaries are nonfiction, highly subjective narratives that explore the Sturm und Drang of family relationships. Filmmaker Ira Wohl calls this kind of up-close cinematic memoir "first-person documentary."

    It's an apt description for his latest...

  • Culture, High and Low

    December 3, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    It isn't as though you exactly need a reason to visit the Getty Center. But for those in search of one, we can recommend a gem of an exhibition: the display of works by the famous Russian Jewish artist El Lissitzky (1890-1941).

    Lissitzky was a major figure in the explosion of Russian...

  • A Cinematic Look at Israel

    December 3, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    The Israeli Film Festival, now in it's 15th year, has, in many ways, come of age -- in subject matter, directorial style and sensibility. Some offerings are powerful, lyrical, unflinching. Others are self-conscious, slight, even silly.

    Film festivals, after all, by their very...

  • The Anti-Seinfeld Comes to L.A.

    November 12, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    A few years ago, at the age of 24, Brooklyn-born Danny Hoch got the kind of phone call most struggling actors dream of. It was his agent, telling him that the people from "Seinfeld" had called: they wanted Hoch to get on a plane the next morning to tape a guest-starring role on the...
  • Jewish Life on Film

    November 5, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    For those Angelenos looking for a respite from million-dollar hype and "Happy Meal" tie-ins to studio blockbusters, late autumn is also a time when a flurry of small, offbeat film festivals grace local movie screens. Among them is the modest but engaging, Cinema Judaica: The Los...
  • Recognizing Ourselves on Film

    October 29, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    For those Angelenos looking for a respite from million-dollar hype and "Happy Meal" tie-ins to studio blockbusters, late autumn is also a time when a flurry of small, offbeat film festivals grace local movie screens. Among them is the modest but engaging, Cinema Judaica: The Los...
  • A Multimedia Birthday Party for Israel

    October 15, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    There may not be much to celebrate in the news headlines these days, so what better time to throw a birthday party? In this case, it's a celebration of Israel's 50th year -- an elaborate, multimedia event slated for Thursday, Oct. 22, at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.


  • A Room of Their Own

    September 17, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    It's Friday night in Westwood, and the room is packed. It's a stylish, attractive crowd -- lawyers, entertainment executives, marketing analysts and other professionals who look like they had a chance to stop off at home after work and freshen up before coming. The buzz is happy and...
  • Spectator

    March 12, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Attorney GerrySchubert may be a relatively familiar face in Orange County; alongtime resident of Yorba Linda and a member at Mission Viejo'sCongregation Eilat, Schubert is actively involved in JewishFederation projects. But, soon, he may become better known for therelease of his...

  • Multimedia Ode to Jerusalem

    February 12, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Asaf Medina, one of the members of theKeshet Chaim Dance Ensemble

    Local dance ensemble Keshet Chaim willtake the stage for Israel's 50th

    By Diane Arieff Zaga,Arts Editor

    The mood in the Jewish state may not be one ofcelebration at the moment, but plans to commemorate the...

  • The Chief of Staff

    January 22, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Abraham Joshua Heschel said that he prayed for one thing: the giftof wonder. He prayed for astonishment, for the capacity to besurprised. As he wrote, "I try not to be stale. I try to remainyoung. I have one talent, and that is the capacity to be tremendouslysurprised at life and at...

  • PhotographyImages from the Territory of Belief

    January 22, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Top, "Encampent in the Wilderness of Paran, Sinai," circa 1875.Above, "Moses' Well, Jebel Musa," 1868-69. Below "Arab Man inProfile," from the 1850s. Photos from "Revealing the Holy Land,"1997.


    In the company of his friend, fellow world traveler andphotographer Maxime du Camp, French...

  • The Chief of Staff

    January 22, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Abraham Joshua Heschel said that he prayed for one thing: the giftof wonder. He prayed for astonishment, for the capacity to besurprised. As he wrote, "I try not to be stale. I try to remainyoung. I have one talent, and that is the capacity to be tremendouslysurprised at life and at...

  • Canadian Corn

    January 15, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Author Mordechai Richler

    Barney's Version' by Mordechai Richler, (Knopf, $25)

    Like some of his Jewish contemporaries to the south, Canadiannovelist Mordechai Richler has mined a literary career from thefertile terrain of assimilationist Jewish culture, most notably inbooks such as "The...

  • A Hole in Kosher L.A.

    December 11, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    A Hole in Kosher L.A.

    By deciding to introduce meat products into itsformerly all-dairy outlets, Noah's Bagels has provoked a strongresponse from observant Jewish noshers

    By Diane Arieff Zaga, Arts Editor

    You can tinker with the "classic" Coke recipe, add color to thegray New York...

  • Jewish Life on Film

    December 11, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    Sabrina Boudot is Rachel in "Nick and Rachel."
    If Los Angeles is the nation's undisputed film capital, in recent months it also seems eligible for the title of the Jewish film capital, and that is largely because of the efforts of the Laemmle Theatres organization. Laemmle's played...
  • Haute Kosher

    December 4, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    Chef Paul Prudhomme stepped up to the kosher challenge,creating an elegant couscous dish.

    Combine ancient laws of kashrut with the finest chefs from Europeand the United States. Mix well. Stir in a couple of Israelimashgiachs and a liberal splash of French artistic temperament.Season...

  • Tummeling

    December 4, 1997 | 7:00 pm


    Toward the Millennium

    The 2000 Year Old Man is alive, well and still doesn't touchfried food

    By Diane Arieff Zaga, Arts Editor

    Before Carl Reiner invented the "Dick Van Dyke Show" and thetemperamental, toupee-clad Alan Brady, before Mel Brooks was aYiddish-spouting Indian chief...

  • Spectator

    November 27, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    "Milk and Honey: A Year of Jewish Holidays" (G.P. Putnam, $21.95)by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Louise August

    Apples and honey, a spinning dreidel, a Red Sea parted -- all thevivid highlights in the Jewish holiday cycle -- get their due in thislively assemblage of poems, fables,...

  • The City by

    November 20, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    Once-sleepy Haifa is now a tourist mecca, and MayorAmram Mitzna is spreading the word

    By Diane Arieff Zaga, Arts Editor

    It's a long road from the West Bank to Beverly Hills, but ifthere's anyone equipped to navigate it gracefully, it's Amram Mitzna.

    In 1987, near the end of an...

  • Spectator

    November 20, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    "Matchmaker" (left) and "Wedding," from Beth Grossman's"Passage" series on display in "Women of the Book."

    When you think of "art books," a thick, slickly produced tomecomes to mind -- the kind of immovable slab meant to sit on anexpensive coffee table. "Artist books," however, are...

  • And I Still See Their Faces: Images of Polish Jews

    November 13, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    Polish Jewry before the war is the subject of a powerfulphoto exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance

    By Diane Arieff Zaga, Arts Editor

    Photo from "And I Still See Their Faces: Images of PolishJews"

    Anyone who has ever gazed at a worn sepia-toned family photographwith a mixture of curiosity,...

  • Philosophers and Fools

    November 6, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    Above, Suheil Hadad (left) and Muhamed Bakri (right) in "TheMilky Way"; Below, Arik Sharon in Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda.


    'The Milky Way'

    This earthy, lyrical film by writer-director Ali Nassar is easilyone of the festival's brightest highlights. Fresh, impassionedperformances...

  • Spectator

    November 6, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    Stefane Zamarano and Jeff Lewis in a skit from "Acme inthe Sky with Diamonds," in Hollywood.


    Acme Comedy Theatre's Skit and Miss

    By Diane Arieff Zaga,

    Arts Editor

    The Acme Comedy Theatre's new main-stage show is entitled "Acme inthe Sky with Diamonds," and while some of these skits do...

  • This Week’s Burst of Mideast Diplomacy

    October 30, 1997 | 7:00 pm

    This week's burst of Mideast diplomacy, which included the first face-to-face meetings between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in almost a year and an impromptu Oval Office summit, reflected a shift in tactics in the U.S. effort to break the...

  • Bittersweet Melodies

    October 16, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Teacher and student: Hal Robinson and Justin Kirk (atpiano).

    The Geffen Playhouse's new season opens on a memorable note withJon Marans' intelligent and bittersweet two-character drama, "OldWicked Songs," a finalist for the 1996 Pulitzer Prize. This WestCoast production features...

  • L.A. Sukkot Confidential

    October 9, 1997 | 8:00 pm


    Etrog Container. Augsburg. c.1670. Photo from"Jewish Art" 1995, courtesy of The Skirball

    Cultural Center

    During the last days of summer, Iconfess that our most focused family activity seems to be the annualpilgrimage to Target for new lunchboxes. All of that changes whenSeptember...

  • A Window to the Soul

    September 25, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Laila Robins and Brian Cox in a scene from "Skylight"by David Hare


    A romantic might regard a skylight as a window facing the sun --evidence of the universal but private human impulse to reach up, todream. But seen through a different lens, a skylight is a dangerouskind of artifice --...

  • Jewish Values That You Can Dance To

    September 25, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    As long as there have beenfamilies, campfires and stories to tell, there have been songs thatchildren love. But it's only in recent decades that "children'smusic" has mushroomed into a separate growth industry, complete withits own concert tours, TV tie-in shows and recognizable...

  • Our Message to Israel

    September 18, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Just hours after the news broke that an elite Israeli commandounit had been wiped out in Lebanon, Shula is sobbing over thetelephone from her apartment in Givatayim. Her son -- a paratroopernow in Lebanon -- is due to finish his army service in November. "Ican't take it anymore,"...

  • War Stories

    September 11, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Like any other visitor to Israel, Stephanie Liss has apretty collection of souvenirs from her travels. Jerusalem potteryand metal Judaica decorate her comfortable San Fernando Valleyapartment. But appearances can be deceiving.

    The true breadth, depth and danger of her forays into...

  • A Bridge Over Troubled Water

    September 4, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    As Israel nears its 50th birthday, events have shifted attentionaway from the stalled peace talks. What dominates the headlines nowis the warlike rhetoric among Jewish factions -- both within Israeland in the Diaspora -- as they clash over the issue of religiouspluralism.

    Gideon Patt...

  • Read Me a Story

    July 31, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Sure, the children's shelves at bookstores are crowded with schlocky merchandising tie-ins and humorless "P.C." stories that groan under the weight of their own environmental and multi-culti lessons. But look a bit more carefully; you'll find the kinds of books that create those...
  • Straight Talk About Blacks and Jews

    July 24, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Issac Bitton meets Peter Noel, the man who saved his life during the Crown Heights riots.
    Among Jews, the subject of black-Jewish relations inevitably brings to the surface two impassioned, if not unrelated sentiments: a liberal nostalgia for the integrated social activism of days...
  • On Rubber Bullets, Love and Satire

    July 10, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    "Rubber Bullets: Power and Conscience in Modern Israel," by Yaron Ezrahi (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997, $25.00)

    In this masterfully written, illuminating book, the rubber-coated steel bullets the IDF used to quell the intifada embody the dilemmas of power and conscience in the...

  • Daring To Be Different

    June 26, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    As any parent will tell you, shepherding girls over the treacherous bridge of adolescence is no easy task. Making sure that there is a Jewish dimension to the journey adds other challenges. There are no easy answers. But a conversation with Tamar Frankiel seems a good place to begin....

  • Art as History’s Witness

    June 26, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Left: "Competitors for Potatoes" by Eli Leskley. "Many [paintings] ... are like ghoulishly bright cartoons in which the subject matter is anything but funny.'"

    Art as History's Witness

    Paintings from Terezin are on exhibit at the Jewish Federation Building

    By Diane Arieff Zaga, Arts...

  • Spectator

    June 26, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Elizabeth Rodgers, co-director of the documentary, "Exodus 1947."

    In July 1947, a Chesapeake Bay steamer loaded with 4,500 Holocaust survivors was attacked by the British navy on its way to Palestine. The ship was called Exodus 1947, and its aborted voyage galvanized world opinion...

  • Voices of Hope

    June 19, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Chances are, there are not many singer-songwriters whose oeuvre contains subjects as disparate as the "Shecheyanu" and a visit to the dentist. But such is the nature of Craig Taubman's career.

    As founding director of Yad B'Yad, the Jewish Federation Council's teen performing arts...

  • America, Set to Music

    June 19, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Coalhouse Walker Jr.
    (Brian Stokes Mitchell),
    a ragtime pianist brimming
    with confidence and plans
    for the future

    America, Set to Music

    By Diane Arieff Zaga, Arts Editor






    into the

    heart of


    novel and

    pulls out

    a rousing,

    epic musical

    After the...

  • Families, Then and Now

    June 12, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Joel Grishaver. The Bible is rich in stories of passion, plagues, miracles and betrayals, but what about good parenting?

    "In truth, there is no good fathering in the Bible," said author and Jewish educator Joel Grishaver.

    Grishaver, who was asked by the Skirball Cultural Center to...

  • Spectator

    May 29, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Israel Through an Artist's Eyes

    By Diane Arieff Zaga,

    Arts Editor

    If you didn't know that David Rose was one of our priceless assets, proceed to his pen and ink drawings on exhibit at the University of Judaism's Platt Gallery. A look at this lively body of work suggests that virtually...

  • Lovers and Others

    May 29, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Tuck Milligan as Man and Tracey Ellis as Woman in "Swan Song," one of the short plays by Debbie Pearl in "Sex."
    Like the uneven romantic fortunes of a veteran dater, "Sex" plays like a series of disparate encounters that range from memorable to better-off-forgotten. Playwright...

  • Family Business

    May 22, 1997 | 7:59 pm

    Seated, the late Max Laemmle, founder of the theater chain, with son Robert, left, and grandson Greg.
    Back in the heyday of the self-made Jewish movie moguls, the studios were, to a certain degree, family businesses. For Louis B. Mayer, Jack and Harry Warner, and others, nepotism...

  • In Defense of Evil

    May 15, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Wendy Collins (left) plays a legal secretary for Madonna Magee (right), who plays a Jewish attorney defending the free speech rights of a man who denies that the Holocaust took place, in "Denial," an Actors Alley production, at the Storefront Theatre in North Hollywood.

    In 'Denial,'...

  • the Spectator     With Reprise, Marcia Seligson banks on the public’s desire for the return of the

    May 15, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Marcia Seligson is the prime mover and shaker behind Reprise, a new theater organization determined to mount local, first-class revival productions of Broadway musicals.

    Marcia Seligson is a self-described "musical theater fanatic" and the prime mover and shaker behind Reprise, a new...

  • Innocence Lost

    May 1, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    -- Richard Rodriguez, in the afterword to "Fast Forward"

    From top: book cover, Photojournalist Lauren Greenfield; photo from exhibit "Ashleigh, 13, with her friend and parents, Santa Monica." Signs of the times: At an upscale bar mitzvah party in Santa Monica, 13-year-old boys in...