Jewish Journal

Anita K. Kantrowitz

  • Sacvan Bercovitch, American Studies scholar, Yiddish translator, 81

    January 14, 2015 | 10:17 am

    Sacvan Bercovitch, an influential scholar in the field of American studies and a translator of Sholem Aleichem and other Yiddish writers, died Dec. 9 at 81. 

    Bercovitch’s early works — “The Puritan Origins of the American Self” (1975) and “The American Jeremiad” (1978) — quickly...

  • Mark C. Levy, prominent philanthropist, Jewish leader; 88

    March 5, 2014 | 10:00 am

    Mark C. Levy, prominent philanthropist and Jewish leader, died Feb. 18 at 88. Levy was involved with numerous Jewish communal, humanitarian, religious and cultural organizations, including the Skirball Cultural Center, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, Leo Baeck Temple, Hillel...

  • Finding jewels of Judaism on Italy’s Adriatic coast

    March 28, 2013 | 4:28 am

    It’s a foggy fall morning, and standing atop Mount Cardeto on the east coast of central Italy, I can barely make out the deep blue of the Adriatic Sea. As I look out toward the cliff’s edge, what I do see is a vast, grassy slope dotted with gravestones. Most of the stones are...

  • Listener, advocate for the dying

    January 5, 2012 | 4:32 pm

    Getting old, as Bette Davis famously said, is not for sissies. And developing a terminal illness, as Davis later learned, is no picnic either. Yet while most of us fear sickness, aging and the end of life, hospice volunteer Michael Curtis finds solace and purpose — pleasure, even...

  • Ted Kanner, communal leader, dies

    November 16, 2011 | 4:17 pm

    Ted Kanner, who served as an executive vice president of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, died Nov. 14, following many years of painful incapacitation. 

    He arrived at Federation in 1971, was appointed its associate executive director in 1973, and in 1978 was named...

  • To each his own… Ketubah

    May 10, 2011 | 5:20 pm

    For Rabbi Mike Comins and his bride-to-be, Jody Porter, the decision to commission a custom ketubah was a no-brainer. Comins, who had advised many couples about matrimonial matters over the course of his career, firmly believed in the centrality of a ketubah to the covenant of...

  • C’est magnifique: Manuscript exhibition vividly illuminates the art of Medieval France

    November 23, 2010 | 11:05 am

    The development of manuscript illumination is perhaps one of the lesser-known chapters in the history of French art, largely overshadowed by the popularity of later — especially Impressionist — painting in France. But, as a new exhibition at the Getty Center shows, artistic...

  • Soldiering On: Iraq War veterans inspire new career for psychiatrist

    March 23, 2010 | 6:35 pm

    Judith Broder felt ready to enter a new phase of her life in 2004. The Studio City resident had devoted more than 30 years to a private psychiatric and psychoanalytic practice, working primarily with teens and young adults. As a volunteer, she counseled teenage mothers and taught,...

  • Charlie Hess: Illustrating Community Service

    January 6, 2010 | 2:03 am

    To look at the logo for Big Sunday — a child’s handprint with a heart-shaped center — is to see Charlie Hess’ artful presentation of the community service weekend’s raison d’etre: to lend a helping hand. Since Hess created that logo nine years ago, pro bono, he has...

  • Q & A With Entertainer Debbie Allen

    December 9, 2009 | 1:48 am

    Emmy Award-winning choreographer and actress Debbie Allen, also a prolific producer/director of television, film and stage productions, is bringing her latest show, “Oman ... O Man!” to the stage at UCLA’s Royce Hall this week.

    Since 2001, Allen has also operated the Debbie...

  • Economy forces tough dues decisions for congregants, synagogues.

    September 2, 2009 | 4:13 pm

    With Rosh Hashanah 5770 fast approaching, the synagogue membership renewal season is in full swing. Throughout the summer months, billing statements with letters explaining dues, fees — and often increases — arrive in congregants’ mailboxes.

    But many congregants affected by...

  • Westside JCC Opens New Aquatic Center

    July 2, 2009 | 3:43 am

    After an eight-month, $4 million “green” renovation of its pools, the Westside Jewish Community Center (WJCC) this week opened its new Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Aquatic Center. Children’s swim lessons resumed Monday, and other aqua programs will be phased in over the course...

  • If I had just one Jewish book to read . . . .

    November 7, 2008 | 4:04 pm

    The Jewish Journal asked several authors appearing at Sunday's Celebration of Jewish Books to answer a question that, at least for writers, has existential overtones: "If you were stranded on a deserted island, what Jewish book would you want to have with you, and why?"

    The answers...
  • Resurrected Westside JCC gets a major facelift

    September 24, 2008 | 11:06 pm

    The Westside Jewish Community Center (JCC) has announced plans for an Oct. 29 groundbreaking on its Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Aquatic Center, a $4 million renovation of the center's pools and related areas. Four-time Olympic gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg, who operates a swim...
  • Photo exhibition reveals challenges, dreams of teen immigrants

    September 11, 2008 | 3:13 am

    Arsim Mustafa, a 14-year-old boy who immigrated with his parents from Kosovo to the United States, is leaning against a paint-spattered wall, arms loosely crossed as they rest on the oversized T-shirt he is wearing. He looks like any American teen, wearing baggy pants and high-top...
  • Tale of the ‘Stranger’ leaps from book to musical

    May 29, 2008 | 2:30 pm

    It was 1985, and many of the Ethiopian Jews who'd been airlifted from Sudan were being housed in a hotel in Netanya, Israel. When writer Sonia Levitin entered the temporary nursery, she was particularly struck by all the babies and toddlers who'd been born since their families had...
  • How Hollywood’s Hunt ‘Found’ Elinor Lipman’s novel

    April 24, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Elinor Lipman, writer of smart and often hilarious modern-day social satire, considers herself "the luckiest writer." Her first novel, "Then She Found Me," well-received when it was published in 1990 and selling steadily ever since, has inspired the film of the same name -- starring,...
  • Authors explain Jewish influences on their works

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    The Jewish Journal invited writers who will be featured at Sunday's Festival of Books to answer the simple, essential question that every Jewish writer is often asked: "What Jewish sources -- ideas, writings, traditions -- inspire you, and how do they show up in your work?"


  • Concierges help families sort through education options

    November 1, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Barbara Luboff and her husband were thrilled that their young granddaughters would be staying with them for six weeks over the summer. The family -- parents and grandparents -- wanted to give the girls "a good dose of Judaism while they were in L.A.," Luboff said, in large part to...
  • Books: Land of ‘Golden’ dreams and tarnished identities

    September 8, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    When Jews at the turn of the last century wistfully spoke of the goldene medina (golden country), they meant just one place: America. The phrase evoked images of a land of "freedom, justice, opportunity -- and protection against pogroms," wrote Leo Rosten in his 1968 classic, "The...
  • Can we can the homework, please?

    August 16, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Homework can be frustrating, even for 4-year olds A second grader was bent over her worksheets at the kitchen table, long past her bedtime on a school night, and she still hadn't finished her six-page weekly spelling book.

    The girl was enrolled at Maimonides day school, where her...

  • Sulam Summer Service Corps puts Jewish learning into play

    August 2, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Above the din of screeching shoes, cheering kids and the staccato reverb of every sound, there was a buoyant excitement on the basketball court at Robertson Recreation Center.

    But when the calls from the sidelines morphed into panicked directives -- "Wait, run that way! No, THAT...

  • The Skirball brings critters closer to the people at its new ‘Noah’s Ark’

    March 29, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Where can a family go in Los Angeles -- with toddler, tweener and grandparent in tow -- to whip up a huge storm, repair leaks, build nests, feed animals, climb ropes and resolve to improve the world, all while being inspired by artistry both grand and fanciful?

    Beginning June 26,...

  • Theater: ‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’—populism through a post-punk prism

    January 17, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    "Populism, yea, yea!
    Populism, yea, yea!"
    Sung to an urgent pop beat, this rousing refrain from "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" is bound to stick in your head. Not just because it's so catchy, but because the show gets you thinking about populism -- what it meant to early 19th...
  • Affluent Teens: Do polished exteriors hide impoverished interiors?

    January 4, 2007 | 7:00 pm


    The mere thought of it strikes fear in the heart of many a parent. A tumultuous time of intellectual, physical and moral growth, adolescence can be wondrous, exciting ... and terrifying. Teens and their parents find themselves negotiating every rule -- "Sara's mother...

  • Take a stroll down memoir lane with the family

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Somewhere between the frenzied search for that perfect gift, entertaining out-of-town guests and feasting on latkes and soufganiot, perhaps this year we might slow down just long enough to blissfully watch the glow of the chanukiah candles reflected on our children's faces.


  • I bet you can’t nosh that bagel in Ladino, bubbaleh!

    November 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Noshing on a bagel while shlepping his groceries, the klutz fell on his tush.

    Need a translation? Probably not.

    A majority of Americans not only know exactly what that sentence means -- including the four Yiddish words it contains -- they've even noshed on quite a few bagels...

  • It’s Pat—South African queen of kosher cuisine

    November 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Smoked duck with papaya salsa. Wild mushroom turnovers. Chicken roulade with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. Sushi. Hungry yet? Good.

    You keep kosher? Not a problem.

    These are just a few of the elegantly presented gourmet dishes created by Pat Fine, of Pat's Restaurant and Pat's...

  • 51 Birch Street: House of Blocks . . . House of Cards?

    October 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    We all know about "the generation gap." The "mother-daughter bond." Turgenev's "Fathers and Sons." Shakespeare's "King Lear," or any number of his plays for that matter. Our literature and our language are rife with expressions of the struggles inherent in that most primal bond...
  • Bedouin life from a child’s eye view through a camera

    September 21, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    A young Bedouin boy casually leans against a rough-hewn wooden table, his kaffiyeh blowing in the wind. Laid before him are some of the traditional tools of Bedouin coffee-making, essential to their culture of hospitality. A mortar and pestle for grinding the beans, a large cast-iron...
  • Su temple es mi casa

    September 21, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    It's 103 degrees in Hollywood, and I'm schvitzing. As I head up the stairs at my synagogue, Tony Guerrero and I exchange greetings.
    As usual, he's looking sharp: pressed slacks, a clean white button-down shirt, and today -- a tie and a kippah. "Tony," I ask incredulously, "how...