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Jewish Journal

Ryan Torok

  • Moving and shaking: A fabulous night, Sunday shvitz and Andrew Hoffer

    2 days ago

    Beverly Hills real estate magnate Stanley Black and Temple of the Arts Rabbi David Baron were honored on Oct. 12 during “A Fabulous Night” at the Saban Theatre. 

    The event featured comedian Rita Rudner and Beatles tribute band The Fab Four in concert while also spotlighting the...

  • L.A. Rabbis seeking to reassure mikveh users of facilities’ privacy

    2 days ago

    In the wake of a scandal in which a Washington, D.C., Modern Orthodox rabbi was arrested for allegedly spying on women undressing before immersing in a mikveh connected to his synagogue, Los Angeles-area rabbis are calling the situation a “unique case” and taking steps to put the...

  • Back to school, sort of: Shalhevet students start their year under unorthodox conditions

    5 days ago

    Chaos has brought community to the Westside Jewish Community Center (JCC), where Shalhevet High School is operating for its 2014-2015 school year as construction proceeds on its actual campus.

    Rabbi Ari Schwarzberg, a Shalhevet Judaic studies teacher, dryly remarked that sharing...

  • L.A. rabbi says mikveh at AJU is secure, calls Freundel scandal a ‘unique case’

    1 week ago

    In the wake of a scandal in which a Washington, D.C. Orthodox rabbi was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 14, for allegedly spying on women undressing at a mikveh connected to his synagogue, Rabbi Richard A. Flom, a Los Angeles authority on the mikveh [ritual bathhouse] and a member of the...

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  • Moving and shaking: Doc Rivers, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the ADL

    1 week ago

    “The city rests on a foundation of public safety,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at the fourth annual Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) Los Angeles dinner honoring both the mayor and businessman Mitch Julis on Oct. 2 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  

    HSAC is a...

  • Reporting anti-Semitism: There’s an app for that

    2 weeks ago

    Campus hate has a new enemy that fits in the pocket of your pants. 

    CombatHateU, a new smartphone app for Apple iOS and Android developed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, is intended to allow Jewish college students to immediately report and confront anti-Semitism. 

    The app aims...

  • Congressional and Senate candidates debate at University Synagogue

    2 weeks ago

    University Synagogue was the host Oct. 12 for debates in two races for the Nov. 4 election — one between Elan Carr and Ted Lieu, running for the 33rd Congressional District seat, and another between Sandra Fluke and Ben Allen, who are vying for the California 26th state Senate...

  • A Yom Kippur forum on anti-Semitism

    2 weeks ago

    Is the recent uptick in anti-Semitic incidents in Europe due, in part, to the distance in time from the Holocaust and a fading memory of the 6 million Jews who perished in it? 

    This was among the topics of a panel discussion titled “Anti-Semitism in Europe: Crisis or Challenge?”...

  • Moving and shaking: From AmeriCorps to the One Wish Project

    3 weeks ago

    The Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles (VPC) honored Union Bank; ABC Family’s “The Fosters”; and Patti Giggans, executive director of nonprofit Peace Over Violence; during its Angel of Peace Awards on Sept. 30.

    The event, which took place at the LA Plaza de...

  • Moving and shaking: Tour de Summer Camps, Woman to Woman Conference and more

    3 weeks ago

    The moon was still visible at 5 a.m. on Sept. 21 as cyclists registered at Camp Alonim in Simi Valley for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ second annual Tour de Summer Camps.

    More than 450 cyclists participated in the event, including Jay Sanderson, Federation...

  • Moving and shaking: JCFLA’s Marvin Schotland honored, SOLA celebrates

    September 24, 2014 | 1:17 pm

    The most moving part of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles’ (JCFLA) 60th-anniversary celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills Sept. 19 had to be when CEO Marvin Schotland’s father, Lou Schotland, sang to his son.

    The event honored Marvin for his 25 years...

  • Elliot Brandt named AIPAC-national managing director

    September 23, 2014 | 5:04 pm

    Elliot Brandt, 45, the Western States director for AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee ) since 2002, will become managing director at the pro-Israel organization’s Washington D.C headquarters.

    Brandt’s promotion to the organization’s national staff becomes effective...

  • Will the summer of war affect High Holy Days sermons?

    September 23, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    Every year, synagogue rabbis face the often-daunting task of coming up with compelling High Holy Days sermons.

    This summer’s 50-day Israel-Gaza conflict, during which 66 Israeli soldiers and six Israeli civilians were killed, and more than 2,100 Palestinians died, could make this...

  • Moving and shaking

    September 18, 2014 | 11:26 am

    Friendship Circle of Los Angeles celebrated its annual Walk 4 Friendship LA at Rancho Park on Sept. 14. Under a scorching sun, with highs in the mid-90s, completing the 3K was a definite feat for the more than 400 participating families.

    Instead of a foghorn, Friendship Circle...

  • Moving and shaking

    September 10, 2014 | 3:01 pm

    The beach-adjacent intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Sunset Boulevard was a festive atmosphere of Chabadniks and their supporters on Sept. 7, when Chabad of Pacific Palisades marked the launch of a major fundraising campaign.

    The goal of the first phase of the effort,...

  • ADL briefs groups on online security

    September 10, 2014 | 2:50 pm

    With the cyber era comes cyber threats. 

    That’s why the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) used its annual pre-High Holy Days security briefing to bring together more than 30 people from local synagogues and Jewish organizations to listen to law enforcement leaders and ADL leaders...

  • Married couples’ contract ensures they can divorce fairly

    September 10, 2014 | 2:28 pm

    "I don’t get a rose until I sign,” Esther Macner said, as she and her husband, Chaim Plotzker, sat with a notary and reviewed a two-page postnuptial agreement document that set rules for them in the event of a future divorce.

    Macner and Plotzker were among the 82 couples who...

  • Bullets and Bagels: The Jewish shooting club

    September 10, 2014 | 1:55 pm

    "Ready, Aim, Schmear.” 

    That was the banner hanging in the lobby of Orange County indoor shooting range FT3 Tactical, as members of Bullets and Bagels, a Jewish shooting club, turned out to try firing automatic Colt pistols, semi-automatic rifles and an assortment of other...

  • Ms. Senior California Pageant: Where age is beauty

    September 10, 2014 | 11:46 am

    There was hardly anyone left in the audience at the Rose Center Theater in Westminster, as the 14 contestants of Ms. Senior California 2014 stood in a long line on the stage and posed for photographs. 

    Sandra Erkus, 80, a Granada Hills resident and member of Temple Ahavat Shalom...

  • Ryan Kavanaugh, Relativity Media CEO, donates to four pro-Israel organizations

    September 3, 2014 | 4:03 pm

    Ryan Kavanaugh, the 39-year-old CEO and founder of Relativity Media, is, to borrow the cliché, putting his money where his mouth is.

    On the heels of an Aug. 13 op-ed in the "Hollywood Reporter", in which he expressed support for the Jewish state while Israel was waging war with...

  • Moving and shaking

    September 3, 2014 | 2:02 pm

    More than 1,000 people attended the fourth annual Shabbat at the Ford with Craig Taubman and the Pico Union Project on Aug. 29. 

    Rabbis, cantors, pastors, guitarists, back-up singers, a choir and even a sign-language interpreter participated. The event kicked off at 6 p.m. with...

  • Chabad Telethon: 50 years of Chasidic movement on West Coast

    September 3, 2014 | 12:49 pm

    When Chabad holds its 34th annual “To Life” telethon on Sept. 7, it also will mark 50 years since the movement launched its operations on the West Coast.

    Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin, the prolific West Coast Chabad leader who turns 74 on Sept. 17, expressed enthusiasm about Chabad’s...

  • Esther Macner: Agunah advocate promotes post-nuptials

    September 3, 2014 | 12:40 pm

    At 62, Esther Macner radiates feistiness and confidence. 

    During a recent interview at the Journal’s headquarters, she described herself as an “Orthodox Jewish feminist, which I’ve been all my life, before the word became a label.” 

    A former prosecutor and trial attorney in New...

  • David Getman, a 2010 Milken graduate, dies in San Francisco collision

    August 29, 2014 | 3:26 pm

    A funeral service for David Getman, 22, a 2010 Milken Community Schools graduate who was killed in a traffic accident in San Francisco earlier this week, will be held at 3 p.m. on Aug. 31 at Hillside Memorial Park.

    Shiva information is not yet available, according to a Milken...

  • Synagogue parodies Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”

    August 27, 2014 | 4:01 pm

    What would Pharrell Williams think?

    Temple Judea, a large Reform shul in the San Fernando Valley, has parodied the singer’s hit song, “Happy,” in a new web video.

    The four-minute video features singing, dancing and great sportsmanship by the temple's clergy, staff and others....

  • Moving and shaking

    August 27, 2014 | 12:55 pm

    Dikla Kadosh has been appointed to the top leadership position of the Los Angeles chapter of the Israeli-American Council (IAC). Effective Aug. 25, Kadosh will succeed the IAC’s new national CEO, Sagi Balasha, as the L.A. regional director.

    The IAC, a national organization with...

  • Latino population welcomes Hebrew-language charter school in L.A.

    August 27, 2014 | 11:41 am

    How do you say “ironic” in Hebrew? 

    Latinos account for 65 percent of the student population at the new Hebrew-language Lashon Academy Charter School — just a year after critics were saying the elementary school was too much like a Jewish day school to be receiving charter status...

  • Moving and shaking

    August 20, 2014 | 2:33 pm

    Jewish education organization ORT America has appointed Igal Zaidenstein, an attorney, veteran fundraising executive and resident of Los Angeles, as the director of its West Coast region. 

    “I am excited to be taking the helm of this extraordinary organization with its long...

  • Flier with swastikas found in Westwood

    August 20, 2014 | 12:57 pm

    When a Jewish storeowner found a flier with swastikas on it underneath the door of his Westwood business on Aug. 12, it marked the third time this year that hateful fliers have found their way into public settings across Los Angeles, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

    ...
  • Event celebrating Max Steinberg draws nearly 1,000 to Saban Theatre

    August 14, 2014 | 6:23 pm

    A memorial service for fallen Lone Soldier Max Steinberg at the Saban Theatre on Aug. 12 painted the area native as both a normal young adult and a hero, one who loved having fun, formed easy connections with others and whose quest to find himself took him to the Jewish homeland.

    ...
  • Moving and shaking

    August 13, 2014 | 2:06 pm

    American Friends of The Hebrew University (AFHU) has promoted Sheri Kaufer, 54, to the position of executive director of its Los Angeles region.

    Kaufer, who formerly served as AFHU associate executive director of the L.A. region, succeeded Matthew Ross as of June 30. She said she...

  • Demonstrations over war on Gaza shut down Wilshire (video)

    August 10, 2014 | 3:52 pm

    Pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched on Wilshire Boulevard today, closing down the street. Their ultimate destination was the headquarters of the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles.

    The Aug. 10 rally drew pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist demonstrators. Photo by Ryan...

  • Moving and Shaking: University Synagogue hires new cantor, Rabbi Michy Rav-Noy’s half marathon

    August 6, 2014 | 12:25 pm

    University Synagogue recently hired Cantor Kerith Spencer-Shapiro as its new cantor. 

    Spencer-Shapiro, who succeeds Cantor Jay Frailich, has big shoes to fill. Frailich served 40 years at the Brentwood Reform synagogue before retiring in June.

    Spencer-Shapiro, 44, said she has...

  • Los Angeles City Hall supports Israel

    August 5, 2014 | 4:27 pm

    During a press conference at Los Angeles City Hall on Aug. 5, the city’s top leadership expressed solidarity with the State of Israel.

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; City Controller Ron Galperin; City Attorney Mike Feuer; City Council President Herb Wesson and President Pre...

  • Pro-Palestinian protest in Westwood draws thousands, causes Wilshire to shut down

    August 2, 2014 | 3:05 pm

    [UPDATE – Aug. 4] Law enforcement made one arrest in connection with "sexual battery," according to LAPD-West L.A. Division Officer Hornback. No further details were available.

    Los Angeles County Sheriff Department estimated 1,500 people turned out to the event.

    [Aug. 2] On...

  • L.A. community marks 30 days since burial of Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifra and Naftali Fraenkel

    July 31, 2014 | 4:54 pm

    Prayer, reflection, advocacy and song marked the shloshim – the 30-day mourning period – of kidnapped and murdered Israeli teenagers Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifra and Naftali Fraenkel, when, on Wednesday night, Stand With Us, Temple of the Arts and the Israel Institute co-sponsored a...

  • Moving and shaking

    July 30, 2014 | 1:30 pm

    Herb Schultz has been named chief executive officer and president of Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center. With this hiring, effective Aug. 18, he leaves his position as regional director of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

    Herb Schultz. Photo...

  • Conflict in Israel heightens local security concerns

    July 30, 2014 | 1:12 pm

    Israel’s Gaza War has some Los Angeles Jewish institutions addressing security concerns. 

    At Adat Ari El, a Conservative congregation in Valley Village, Executive Director Michal Lesner said the institution is “boosting” security. This includes increasing the visibility of...

  • Two Los Angeles rallies held criticizing Israeli response in Gaza

    July 30, 2014 | 12:15 pm

    Yossie Khen, an Israeli based in West Hills, served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) decades ago during the Israel-Egypt War of Attrition, but he doesn’t believe the current conflict in Gaza can be solved with military action.

    “A viable Palestinian state in alongside [updated...

  • Anti-Semitic voicemail targets far-left Israel group

    July 28, 2014 | 3:48 pm

    L.A. Jews for Peace – a far-left organization that criticizes Israel’s policies toward Palestinians – has received a voicemail in which members of the organization are referred to as, “Jew traitors, filthy Jew traitors, bastard Jew traitors.”

    L.A. Jews for Peace representative...

  • Jewish groups denounce Israel during Friday rallies

    July 25, 2014 | 6:07 pm

    Jewish community members who are critical of Operation Protective Edge, an Israel military offensive in the Hamas-controlled enclave of Gaza that has claimed approximately 800 Palestinians lives and that of more than 30 Israeli soldiers, were among those who turned out to two Los...

  • Obama makes surprise visit to Canter’s Deli

    July 24, 2014 | 12:53 pm

    President Obama made a surprise appearance today at family-owned Fairfax district restaurant, Canter's Deli, where he took a break from fundraising.

    Obama arrived in Los Angeles yesterday and is here raising money for the Democratic party. 

    Apparently, he needed a matzah ball fix. During his visit to the L.A. landmark, the President "sat with a teacher, a wounded veteran and two women entering the job market," the Jewish Daily Forward reported.

  • Los Angeles’ reaction to Gazan fighting ranges from anxiety to empathy

    July 23, 2014 | 5:59 pm

    Rabbi Eliyahu Fink of Pacific Jewish Center in Venice was at a loss over how to respond to the latest crisis in Israel, namely, the country’s current war with the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave of Gaza.

    Then he found out about the Shmira (“Guarding”) Project, an initiative that...

  • Moving and shaking

    July 23, 2014 | 2:57 pm

    The University of California Board of Regents on July 16 approved pro-Israel UCLA student Avi Oved as its student regent-designate, a nonvoting position. 

    As a result of the vote, Oved will serve as student regent in 2015-16. In that capacity, he will hold “a student vote on the...

  • LAPD investigating robbery in Pico-Robertson

    July 17, 2014 | 4:47 pm

    The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is investigating an incident involving a stolen pickup truck and a stolen purse in the Pico-Robertson area. 

    Around 12:30 pm, a suspect, who LAPD described as a "black male, six-feet-tall and weighing 180-lbs, wearing blue jeans and a dark...

  • Avi Oved confirmed as UC student regent-designate

    July 16, 2014 | 4:30 pm

    The University of California Board of Regents July 16 approved pro-Israel UCLA student Avi Oved as its student regent-designate, a non-voting position.

    As a result of the vote, Oved will serve as student regent in 2015-2016. In that capacity, he will hold “a student vote on the...

  • Moving and shaking

    July 16, 2014 | 11:48 am

    Stephen S. Wise Temple’s Freedom School has, in part, the Los Angeles Dodgers to thank for $30,000 it received from businessman Howard Sherwood on June 29.

    “For Thirty Home Runs in May,” read a giant replica of a check from Sherwood, awarded during the Dodgers’ Jewish Community...

  • Violence at pro-Israel rally underscores passion over Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    July 16, 2014 | 11:11 am

    A sea of bodies jumped up and down to the beat of Israeli dance music. Tiny Israeli flags flapped in the sky. 

    On July 13, an Israel solidarity event organized by Stand With Us and the Israeli American Council (IAC) drew between 1,200 and 2,000 people — depending on who’s...

  • Pro-Israel rally at Federal Building to begin at 4 p.m.

    July 13, 2014 | 1:36 pm

    A pro-Israel rally at the Wilshire Federal Building, located on Wilshire and Sepulveda Boulevards, on Sunday, kicks off at 4 p.m. Click here for more information. Organizations 30 Years After; Stand With Us; and Israeli American Council; and others are sponsoring the event, and if...

  • Moving and shaking

    July 9, 2014 | 12:32 pm

    Five years after merging with Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center (PJTC), former members of Congregation Shaarei Torah in Arcadia were among those who took part June 22 in a symbolic Torah scroll procession from their old building to their new home.

    Since merging in 2009, PJTC has...

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