Jewish Journal

Orit Arfa

  • Getting into the spirit of the games

    4 days ago

    As the sun began to set over a Tel Aviv sports field, six athletes wrapped up their training session and gathered near the bleachers for their final pep talk.

    Glistening in the hot, humid air at Israel’s National Sport Center, the men and women of the country’s Special Olympics...

  • Learning Hollywood in the Holy City

    5 days ago

    Rita (Yijing) Zhang, 22, of Beijing is navigating several historic “walls” as she builds her career as a filmmaker. 

    It started in China, where Zhang recently worked as an assistant on the set of Matt Damon’s upcoming film, “The Great Wall.” Now, the international student at...

  • To animal kingdom come

    March 11, 2015 | 11:40 am

    “I miss Billy Bob,” Los Angeles native Tali Samson Slifkin said as she looked at a glass cage housing a bright-green iguana with a wrinkled, gleaming chin. “He’s really, really old.”

    The YULA high school alumnus recalled how Billy Bob used to perch on the windowsill of the home...

  • My death letter: On freedom of expression

    January 12, 2015 | 1:31 pm

  • Rabbi Menachem Gottesman, educator and builder of Modern Orthodox life in L.A., 84

    December 30, 2014 | 12:56 pm

    Rabbi Menachem Gottesman, longtime dean of Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy in Beverly Hills and the school’s heart, mind and soul for 42 years, died on Dec. 25, 2014, at 84. An inspiring, pioneering Jewish educator and institution-builder, Gottesman touched and influenced thousands...
  • Should Chanukah in Israel be more commercialized?

    December 12, 2014 | 10:50 am

    I have a confession to make. (Well, maybe “confession” isn’t exactly the best word to use.) Forgive me, Jewish mother, for I have sinned. When I was 8, I hid a plant in my closet. No one knew about it — not my sisters, not my parents. It was my makeshift Christmas tree. 
  • Non-Jewish L.A. Zionist John Henry Patterson buried in Israel

    December 9, 2014 | 5:10 pm

    Days after announcing the dissolution of his coalition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu closed a circle in modern Israel’s history, and his own family’s history, when he fulfilled Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson’s final wish to be buried among his Jewish comrades in Israel...

  • Modeling volunteerism in Israel as an observant Zionist

    November 20, 2014 | 2:33 pm

    This year, Jay Shultz won’t be making a Thanksgiving dinner for the hundreds of American olim (immigrants) he has managed to unite in Tel Aviv through his Am Yisrael Foundation. He did serve one last year, when America’s holiday of gratitude coincided with Chanukah, as a way to...

  • Why the FAA banned flights to Israel

    October 14, 2014 | 10:57 am

    On Sept. 11, 1969, Israeli flying ace Giora Romm parachuted into the Nile Delta, badly wounded. Months later, he became the first Israeli prisoner of war in Egypt whose life was spared by a POW exchange between the two countries. Romm recounted his tale of captivity and heroic...

  • A new look in Israel for Shmita, the year of rest

    September 24, 2014 | 11:15 am

    More than 2,000 years ago, when ancient Israel was an agrarian society, the shmita year was a huge national happening. Commencing with Rosh Hashanah, the people of Israel would gather in the fields to partake of the produce left “ownerless” by farmers who, heeding the biblical...

  • Introducing…The Settler

    July 24, 2013 | 12:33 pm

  • About

    July 17, 2013 | 12:24 pm

  • JNF pays tribute to Sderot through song

    January 16, 2013 | 1:09 pm

    Ethiopian-Israeli and Sderot resident Hagit Yaso sang only one song in English as she vied to win “A Star Is Born,” Israel’s version of “American Idol.” It was “Killing Me Softly,” composed by Songwriters Hall of Famer Charles Fox, a tune first made famous by Roberta Flack. The...

  • Welcome to the zAngel

    December 17, 2012 | 3:51 pm

  • About

    November 10, 2012 | 12:53 pm

  • Gypsy 05

    September 16, 2011 | 5:29 pm

    Inside the waiting area of Gypsy05’s solar-powered plant in downtown L.A., walls are decorated with brightly colored dresses and T-shirts alongside decorative hamsas, fashion magazine clippings, a “blessing of the business” in Hebrew, a picture of the Rebbe and certificates of...

  • Israeli inventiveness gets local spotlight

    June 7, 2011 | 6:02 pm

    When Noam Bardin demonstrated how Waze — a Twitter-infused GPS — got him from LAX to the Luxe Hotel on Sunset in 26 minutes during rush hour, several attendees at the third annual Israel Conference immediately took out their phones to download his app.

    “The closing of the 405...

  • Eat pray love, Israel style

    October 19, 2010 | 11:55 am

    Admit it, ladies. When you read Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir, “Eat Pray Love,” there were moments when you wanted to trade places with Gilbert as she gorged herself on Italian yummies, mined her soul in an Indian ashram and fell in love with a strapping Brazilian in...

  • Art house bucks multiplex trend in Herzliya

    October 19, 2010 | 10:52 am

    It’s not easy to find the Cinematheque Herzliya. The name is written in simple block Hebrew letters over the awning of an indoor strip mall located on Sokolov Street, the main artery in this central coast town. The obscurity is a sharp contrast from the American-style multiplexes...

  • You Don’t Have to Be Jewish to Need Pickup Advice

    May 11, 2010 | 5:22 pm

    Neil Strauss has a Jewish name: Tuvia, from the word tov, meaning good. It was given to him by a college buddy, Dustin, who became a religious Jewish mouthpiece in “The Game,” Strauss’ best-selling book about his exploits as a pickup-artist-in-training and bible to sexually...

  • Mining salt's potential

    January 29, 2010 | 3:56 pm

    The Dead Sea has some competition — in Encino. Salt Chalet, the first wellness center of its kind on the West Coast, has brought the healing properties of the Dead Sea within reach of Southern California residents in the form of rooms coated and infused with Dead Sea salt.


  • Israeli ‘Poison’ Wraps Up Fashion Show

    November 5, 2009 | 1:41 am

    When the Israeli electro-rock-pop band Terry Poison strutted onto the stage at the Hollywood Playhouse as the headliner act of the after-party for Israel’s debut at LA Fashion week on Oct. 14, most audience members — largely Israeli ex-pats — got up to dance, though some stayed...

  • Thinking Outside the Matzah Ball Box

    March 25, 2009 | 9:47 pm

    When the Israelites rushed out of Egypt, Pharaoh’s men on their heels, they hurriedly bundled their belongings, food included, to carry as much as they could on their backs and donkeys. Seeking to nourish themselves throughout their desert journey to the Promised Land, they rolled...

  • The Making of ‘The Chosen Dish’

    March 25, 2009 | 9:34 pm

    Prior to becoming a food writer and restaurant reviewer for The Jerusalem Post, I always thought of kosher food as limited and bland. But Israel demands competitive kosher cuisine — hotels generally adhere to kashrut laws; corporate lunch meetings must often accommodate observant...

  • Israel’s Melting Pot Is on The Stove, in the Oven

    March 25, 2009 | 6:45 pm

    Just want the recipe? Click here.

    As the melting pot of the Jewish people, Israel has produced a melting pot of Jewish and world cuisines. Through historical narratives, vibrant illustrations of local eateries and practical recipes, Janna Gur’s recent “The Book of New Israeli...

  • Songwriter Solomon Finds Depth, Soul in Jewish Roots

    January 29, 2009 | 2:27 am

    Songwriter Sheppard Solomon won’t be watching the eighth season of “American Idol” now in full swing, even though the singing contest has gotten him a lot of work. His latest single, “Feels Like Tonight,” performed by “Idol’s” fifth-season finalist, Chris Daughtry,...

  • Circumcision—the Ed Hardy way [VIDEO]

    December 18, 2008 | 3:54 am

    Adam Saaks doesn't consider himself particularly religious, except when it comes to custom "cuTour," his term for circumcising T-shirts. For Saaks, custom designing T-shirts by nipping and tucking the hems, cutting and lacing-up the sides, and netting and looping the front -- using...
  • Britney repents for Rosh Hashanah [VIDEO]

    October 13, 2008 | 2:13 am

  • The Land of Hollywood—Eretz Hollywood

    August 14, 2008 | 4:36 pm

  • I remember Gush Katif

    August 10, 2008 | 3:58 pm

  • Extra Extra: How to get a SAG voucher

    August 5, 2008 | 5:16 pm

  • Go ahead, gogle me

    July 30, 2008 | 4:30 pm

    I'd like to introduce a new verb to the dating lexicon: "Gogle," a combination of the words Google and "ogle."

    One online dictionary defines "oglers" as those who ". . . look at especially with greedy or interested attention."

    "Gogle" means to look up a person you want to date...

  • Dating dramas

    July 16, 2008 | 11:35 pm

    I've decided to embark on an acting career, so I signed up for acting classes. Given that acting is such a competitive business, I comfort myself in the idea that I can also treat acting class as a form of therapy and thus gain added, nonprofessional value. So far, playing characters...
  • The industry, Israel and idealism with Danny Sussman

    July 11, 2008 | 3:56 pm

    I managed to crash (with advance approval) an exclusive event for Birthright Israel alumni at a sushi restaurant in Westwood this week. For Jews who live on another planet, Birthright Israel is program that gives Jews ages 18-26 a free educational trip to Israel. It’s not my fault I...

  • Israeli and Palestinian shed their armor in ‘Desert Sunrise’

    July 9, 2008 | 7:49 pm

    Even as a Hollywood vision of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict plays with much farce and caricature in Adam Sandler's "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," a more serious and tragic look at the situation will grace the smaller stage at the Lillian Theater in Hollywood, with the West Coast...
  • You don’t mess with the Orit

    June 24, 2008 | 5:52 pm

  • Sex and the column

    June 5, 2008 | 2:29 pm

    One of the first things I did when I arrived in my hometown of Los Angeles for the summer was to rush with my friend Lori to see "Sex and the City" on opening night.

    We weren't the only ones.

    The movie was sold out all over Los Angeles, but as committed fans, we made the trek to...

  • 10 dating tips for men

    May 29, 2008 | 2:30 pm

    I don't think I've enjoyed enough successful relationships to justify my doling out advice to men about how to sweep a woman off her lonely sofa and into a date with him.

    But maybe that's because I haven't enjoyed enough successful dates. Dating is not only an art, but a skill, and...

  • Sabra love

    May 15, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    I've been considering giving up on Israeli men, at least the purebred Israeli men, the sabras. What's painful is that I say this as someone who has made my home in Jerusalem, and I am hesitant to make harsh generalizations about Israeli bachelors, especially as Israel celebrates its...
  • Leave Israel alone!

    May 11, 2008 | 6:18 pm

    Inspired by Chris Crocker’s infamous and passionate YouTube appeal for people to leave Britney alone in the wake of her failed performance at the MTV 2007 Music Video Awards, Orit from Israel has created a passionate appeal to the world community to LEAVE ISRAEL ALONE!


    This is directed to anyone who dares bash Israel and demand she make concessions.

  • ‘The Comfort Girls’ satisfy in three part harmony

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    The desert air was balmy and hot. The almost-full moon hung over palm trees and the fireflies glittered amid a spotlight's beam. More than 1,000 people sat on the blanketed stone bleachers of the outdoor amphitheater at Mineral Beach for the Passover Dead Sea Music Festival, waiting...
  • Debra Winger explores Jewish/Arab day schools

    April 24, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Students at the Hand in Hand Max Rayne Bilingual School in Jerusalem didn't know they were meeting a celebrity. They weren't born when the films "Officer and a Gentleman" and "Terms of Endearment" garnered Debra Winger her Oscar nominations.

    But Winger's tour last month to the Hand...

  • No food will be wasted if Joseph Gitler has his way

    April 10, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    In the city of Ra'anana, in the center of Israel, the corporate cafeteria at the publicly traded Amdocs high-tech company is full of young executives and IT specialists finishing up their lunch break.

    The cafeteria is the size of a fancy Las Vegas hotel buffet, with countless stalls...


    March 20, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Recently, I met a guy at a friend's party. He had blond, spiky hair and an intellectual's goatee. He was a European student in Israel for the year working on his master's degree researching Palestinian security. While I realized I couldn't count on him for a serious romantic...