Jewish Journal


Orit Arfa

  • Rental properties in U.S., landlords in Israel

    January 6, 2016 | 11:10 am

    Three years ago, Dana Lebel, a marketer of health supplements, bought her first apartment in Rishon Lezion, a city just south of Tel Aviv. Over time, with equity in her apartment and some disposable income, Lebel became interested in purchasing investment property to leverage her...

  • House of Wheels: Helping those with impaired mobility integrate

    November 24, 2015 | 11:13 am

    With her black skin; jeans and T-shirt; and long, wiry, black hair not covered by a hijab, it was hard to tell that Shariyan Alkmlat, 22, is Bedouin, unlike the staffers around her clad in Bedouin robes. She later admitted she is often mistaken for an Ethiopian Israeli, but it...

  • Top Israeli composer takes a ‘Journey’ to Los Angeles

    November 12, 2015 | 12:47 pm

    Israeli urban legend has it that great musicians from the former Soviet Union who made aliyah first had to pick up brooms instead of instruments, working as street sweepers as they sought work in their talents. The story of Josef Bardanashvili’s rise to become one of Israel’s...

  • Ready, set, Goa in India

    October 29, 2015 | 11:47 am

    Rabbinic tradition has it that Hodu (“India” in Hebrew) is the word Yehudi (“Jew” in Hebrew), without the letter yod, which signifies the one God — suggesting that India possesses kindred spirituality to Judaism, minus the monotheism. Perhaps that is why the predominantly Hindu...

  • Boycott or buy Israeli etrogim during shmita year?

    September 24, 2015 | 1:57 pm

    At a citrus farm near Rehovot in Israel, a fifth-generation etrog grower is upset about a boycott, of sorts, of Israeli goods. He’s not referring to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that seeks to boycott any and all Israeli products. This “boycott” is one practiced by...

  • Gush Katif: Rebuilding and healing 10 years later

    August 4, 2015 | 5:42 pm

    A drive through the Israeli city of Nitzan tells the story of the slow, painful rehabilitation of the communities of Gush Katif, the former settlement bloc known as the “harvest belt” of Gaza before Israel’s withdrawal 10 years ago. Located between Ashdod and Ashkelon, about 45...

  • Getting into the spirit of the games

    July 24, 2015 | 12:45 pm

    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

    July 23, 2015 | 4:18 pm

    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...
  • A letter to my secular friend in Tel Aviv

    March 13, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    This letter is directed to a friend of mine in Tel Aviv and to all those who can relate to what she said to me.

    I know you didn't mean to be insensitive. I know that you seek to be a good person and to improve yourself and the world in your own way.

    I'm no angel, either. I admit I...

  • Coming soon—a Jewish liberal arts college

    February 28, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    This is one in a series of articles on myriad topics related to Israel that will run weekly as we approach the Jewish State's 60th anniversary on Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day, in May.

    Dr. Daniel Gordis At a time when most Israeli university professors were on strike, Dr. Yoram Hazony,...

  • They’re saving me from ‘spinsterhood’

    February 14, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    A girlfriend and I decided to meet at a mega-bar in Jerusalem to catch up -- and not to pick up or be picked up; I've long abandoned the prospect of meeting my prince charming at a bar, particularly this one, which isn't known for its intellectual clientele.

    Sitting at the bar, my...

  • Los Angeles area interfaith clergy visit Rome, Israel

    February 7, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    Late last month, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 delegates of a weeklong interfaith mission from greater Los Angeles gathered in a circle at Yad Vashem's Valley of Communities, a monument carved out of bedrock to honor Jewish communities obliterated in the Holocaust....
  • I am not a fixer-upper!

    January 3, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    Do I have a sign on my forehead that says, "Fix me up"? I hope not, because then I'd really have a hard time meeting guys.

    But every so often I get a phone call from a friend or relative, or my mom's friend or co-worker, and even from people I meet on the street: "Orit, I want to...

  • Culinary and cultural riches await visitors to the Galilee

    September 8, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    I have to admit, although I run the risk of being politically incorrect, whenever I'd drive through Galilean roads and pass Arab towns or villages, a slight fear sometimes gripped me. Since the level of distrust among Jews and Arabs has increased since the intifada, I suspect most...
  • Women: Put down your swords!

    August 2, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    "I let men be men, and I give up the right to castrate men forever."

    Do I really have to say this? I wondered to myself as I tried my best to participate without skepticism in a relationships seminar I'd signed up for not long ago. Do I really "castrate" men? Do I expect them to...

  • Where to party in Haifa, ‘the city that works’

    July 5, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    It's said that Haifa works, Jerusalem prays and Tel Aviv parties. But even people who work need to party -- maybe even more so.

    Locals might groan that Haifa's nightlife consists of a few landmark establishments, and while it's true that the city's nightlife selection is sparse...
  • Combining fact and fiction confuses peace event

    June 14, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    On June 5, the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War, two years after standing side-by-side with friends in Gush Katif in an attempt to ward off the evacuation of Gaza, I attended an Israeli-Palestinian peace event marking "40 years of war and occupation" at the Tel Aviv Cinemateque.
  • Israelis develop a taste for goats’ and sheep’s milk cheeses

    June 14, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    The people of Israel have a long history as shepherds. Many of our forefathers, among them Abraham, Moses and David, took care of their herds with the nurturing qualities that later proved crucial for leading the burgeoning Jewish nation.

    While modern Israel today may lack the...

  • History and trends blend in Jerusalem as deluxe mixed-use center opens in historic area

    June 7, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Click to take a video tour with Orit Arfa With style, fanfare and fireworks, the $400 million Mamilla Alrov commercial and residential quarter opened its Jerusalem stone doors to the public on May 28.

    The only completed portion is a small section of the outdoor mall, but among...
  • Rita, Israel’s reigning diva,  plays intimate evening in L.A.

    May 31, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    The Rita show in Rio de Janeiro this February
    Only Rita could have pulled it off. Her famous "One" concert was the first time any Israeli recording artist has attempted such an extravagant, multimedia performance. With its crew of 50 tumbling dancers, grandiose costumes,...
  • Rockets raining on Sderot take physical and mental toll on city

    May 24, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    It's a smooth car ride to Sderot.

    There's very little traffic on this Sunday between Jerusalem and the battered city. Sunflower fields line the road and then the vast prairies of the Negev; it's difficult to fathom that only a few kilometers away rockets are raining.

    We stop for...
  • High-tech company offers portable solutions for Israel’s shelter shortage

    May 24, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Click on the BIG ARROW for Orit Arfa's video showing the inside of the portable shelter
    On May 20, Operation LifeShield, a nonprofit organization founded to provide emergency relief from missile attacks in Israel, unveiled in Jerusalem its transportable bomb shelters, dubbed...
  • ‘Love 101’ from the teachers at Tel Aviv’s dating school

    April 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Michal's story of dating frustration is undoubtedly common among singles living in Tel Aviv, or any major population center of the United States.

    "I'd often go out on dates and meet guys hoping to create a relationship. I'm good-looking, smart, fun, communicative, but I'd end up...
  • Building a matzah pyramid for fun and Pesach

    April 12, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    By the sixth day of Passover, some devoted matzah eaters might look at the bread of affliction as just that -- an affliction of their taste buds and digestion.

    Members of the Moveable Minyan, a Westside lay-led, egalitarian congregation, freed themselves from enslavement to matzah...
  • Closing the curtain

    April 12, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    In March, I had the privilege of co-starring in the Jerusalem premiere of Neil LaBute's play "Some Girl(s)" at the Center Stage Theater at Merkaz Hamagshimim Hadassah. The play follows Guy, an about-to-be-married 33-year-old American writer, as he tracks down his ex-flames to "right...
  • Barry Frydlender: from camera obscurity to MOMA

    March 15, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Barry Frydlender greets a reporter at his apartment in southern Tel Aviv with gentility and reticence. In his spacious living room, a sofa set rests on old, cracked, Arab-style tiles that block a studio nook containing a computer set-up. A window overlooks the Tel Aviv beach...
  • Reality radio goes kosher

    February 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Reality in Israel can be tough, especially for very religious families. In many ultra-Orthodox (Charedi) communities, Torah study for men is more highly valued than work. As for the women, if they are not working to support their husband's learning or to add to their husband's...
  • Uri Geller bends self into Israel ‘reality TV’ stardom

    December 21, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Israel is no stranger to reality TV. Knockoffs -- or shall we say adaptations -- of popular American TV talent shows, like "American Idol" and "The Apprentice," have become hits. But recently, Israel has developed its own inimitable, highly successful talent contest in which Uri...
  • Sheinkin Street meets superhighway

    October 5, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Sheinkin Street is not what it used to be. At least that's the common sentiment among those who remember the street's heyday in the late 1980s to mid-'90s, when the neighborhood was Israel's bohemian center -- hip, funky, free-spirited, and on the vanguard. It is often dubbed the...
  • New book tries to keep Orthodox, well, Orthodox

    September 21, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "Off the Derech: Why Observant Jews Leave Judaism; How to Respond to the Challenge," by Faranak Margolese (Devora, 2005).
    Several years ago, I received an online questionnaire asking things like: "If you had to attribute your not being observant to one thing, what would it...
  • Public Reactions Are Strong to A Personal Journey

    August 31, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Los Angeles photographer Naomi Solomon capped off her informal summer presentation series "Settlers: A Photographic Journey of the Life and Disengagement of the Jews Living in Gaza" at Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills last week, drawing more than 150 people.

    Her evocative...

  • A Celestial Tour

    June 1, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    If "American Idol" runner-up Katherine McPhee can enjoy even half the success achieved by Shiri Maimon, runner-up of the first season of Israel's version of the show -- dubbed "A Star Is Born" -- then she will be lucky.

    With a powerful voice and Britney-esque looks and videos,...

  • Sweet Sixteen and Ready to Rise

    May 18, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Even though 16-year-old singer Liel Kolet was born on a kibbutz in northern Israel, she'd prefer to be called an international artist rather than an Israeli one. That largely explains why many of the younger generation of Israeli rock/pop buffs would know little about her. Nor is she...

  • Wandering Jew - Blue ‘Oranges’

    May 11, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Last year at the Israel Independence Day Festival in Woodley Park, anti-disengagement activist Shifra Hastings of Los Angeles was clad all over in orange, the color of protest, right down to her painted fingernails. She tirelessly handed out free orange ribbons, bracelets and...

  • Pride of the Zionists

    February 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Surrounded by seven young children, Yehuda Richter tells me over Shabbat lunch how he decided to move from Los Angeles to

    Elon Moreh, a settlement on the outskirts of the place Jews call Shechem and the Arabs call Nablus.

    He was 14 years old and playing basketball with some black...

  • U.S. Studios Court Israeli Programmers

    December 22, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Danna Stern, head of acquisitions at YES, Israel's only television satellite company, was surprised to see that Mark Burnett, reality TV guru and producer of hit shows like "Survivor" and "The Apprentice," had only one framed press clipping in his office: a feature on him that had...

  • The Married Charedi and Me

    December 22, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    I met Oren after watching "Kol Nidrei," a new play by Israeli playwright Yehoshua Sobol. The play is about Charedi (ultra-Orthodox)

    Jews who lead double lives -- as Bnei Brak yeshiva bochers by day and Tel Aviv bar-hoppers by Friday night. "Kol Nidrei" is inspired by real life, and...

  • Oy Veygas

    November 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Forget low-season hotel packages. Forget high-roller comps. Forget time sharing. The best deal for me in Vegas was not at the

    Venetian, Bellagio or Caesar's Palace. It was in Desert Shores, about 12 miles from the strip, in the fast-growing Vegas Jewish community.

    Luckily -- since...

  • Celebs Stick to Their Tzedakah Box Job

    October 13, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Frankie Muniz, star of the TV show, "Malcolm in the Middle," had little idea what he was making as he glued colored cotton balls and beads onto a metallic container with a slot on top.

    Muniz, who isn't Jewish, knew it had something to do with "Living Generously," the theme of a...

  • Tsfat Nourishes the Spiritually Hungry

    August 4, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    As I climbed the green Galilean hills of Tsfat to reach the family hosting me for Shabbat, I wondered how it had changed since the last time I was in Israel's mystical city.

    I was here to visit with the Lipshutz family. They had moved here 12 years ago and are currently active in...

  • End of Sanity

    July 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The orange ribbon was tied neatly around my rearview mirror.

    Through the mirror I saw the face of an acquaintance in the backseat. I was giving her a ride from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    When she noticed the color of my political views above the dashboard, she offered her own: "We...

  • Laser Heart Surgery

    May 26, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    My only decent pair of glasses broke en route from Los Angeles to Israel, and I took it as a sign -- it was time to for corrective laser surgery, a.k.a. LASIK.

    "Make sure on the day of surgery someone comes with you," the Israeli receptionist said to me after I set my appointment.

  • A Traveler’s Guide to Tel Aviv Nightlife

    May 19, 2005 | 8:00 pm


    If the Cinderella story had been set in Tel Aviv, her raggedy slipper would have turned into a magical glass pump at the witching hour, instead of the other way around.
    New York may be the city that never sleeps, but life in Tel Aviv begins at midnight. There are dozens of...

  • Enemy Ties

    March 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    I hadn't been to a Tel Aviv bar for a while, and I was craving one. I had recently returned from a vacation to Los Angeles, where there were no worthwhile singles bars. Last call for alcohol in Los Angeles is 2 a.m., and a good Jewish girl like me prefers to pick up and be picked...

  • Israel Morals Match Rand Ideology

    May 9, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    If an individual, and a fictional one at that, can be a microcosm of a state, then Israel and Howard Roark, the legendary architect of Ayn Rand's classic "The Fountainhead," may have a lot in common.

    Sound far-fetched? Not according to the Ayn Rand Institute, which ever since Sept....

  • In the Name of Love

    March 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    I was looking through my closet this morning for a spring outfit to match the warmer weather, and I found his T-shirt. It's a red T-shirt with the Fox label -- Israel's closest version of the Gap. Once I had laughed that I'd dismissed him from my love life before I had a chance to...

  • A Place to Call Home

    October 25, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    On his first day of work in 1985 as executive director of the Hillel Foundation at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Rabbi Stephen Cohen received a telling welcome.

    Cohen, a former New Yorker, stepped off the plane and took a cab straight to the University Religion...

  • Young Standouts

    October 4, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    These days Benhaz Eshrat Zaghi doesn't like talking about the hardships she faced as a Jew growing up in Iran. After the terrorist attacks on America, she says, it's not the time to draw attention to the struggles between Jews and Islamic governments. Yet, it is precisely the...

  • Go East, Young Jew

    August 23, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Yael Barzideh applied to two colleges last year: University of Pennsylvania because she wanted to go there, and UCLA because that's where her parents wanted her to go.

    But when she received an acceptance letter from Penn, she immediately withdrew her

    UCLA application, because she...

  • Valley Community Resources

    July 19, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    According to The Jewish Federation/Valley Alliance, 43 percent of the total estimated Jewish population of the greater Los Angeles area live in the San Fernando, Conejo, Simi, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.

    The following is a partial list of Jewish organizations, schools and...

  • The Rebbetzin

    June 21, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Didi Carr Reuben was not keen about the idea of dating a rabbi, and on her first official date with Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, she was desperate for a way to get out of it.

    "He's a cute guy, but I couldn't see cuteness," says Didi in her husky voice and Bronx accent. "All I [imagined]...

  • Seniors 2001: Our Future

    June 14, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    As the school year comes to a close, The Jewish Journal profiled eight outstanding graduating seniors from a cross section of high schools in Los Angeles. An examination of their dreams, their hopes, their personal and professional goals -- as well as what has shaped them in the past...

  • Peace of Mind

    May 3, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Dawn Eliashiv was checking in her luggage at LAX when she and the group participating in the recent Family Solidarity Mission to Israel heard about the April 20 bombing in Kfar Saba that left two dead and 40 injured. At that moment, she asked herself the question that had many a time...

  • Israel vs. ‘Ally McBeal’

    March 15, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    When the new intifada first began, a few Israeli men I dated could not figure out why I wanted to remain in Israel considering the "situation." They barraged me with comments and questions like, "Don't you want to go back to Los Angeles?" and "If I had an American passport, I'd be...

  • Israeli-Style Fitness

    August 24, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Maybe it's no Sports Club/LA in its luxury and beauty, but the Elite Sports Center at Tel Aviv University is one of the best sports clubs in Israel, with facilities and services that may make even the premier sports club in L.A. a little envious.

    The Elite Sports Center runs all of...

  • Worshipping at Haoman 17

    June 22, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Jewish tradition mandates that on Shavuot, men, women and children should celebrate the anniversary of the giving of the Torah by staying up into the morning praying and studying the holy books. At about 3 a.m. in Jerusalem, the most devout begin a pilgrimage to perform this sacred...

  • Bodyguard

    May 11, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Who would have thought that living next to the prime minister's house would be such a good move for a single Jewish woman? Maybe it's Ehud Barak's less-than-comely appearance that drove him to hire such gorgeous guards to protect his domain - and I do mean gorgeous. I noticed them...

  • Party for Peace

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    On green grass, overlooking the lush trees of Kibbutz Yakum just outside Netanya, young Israelis and Palestinians are dancing together. They are eating hamburgers and hot dogs, holding hands in circles and waving to their friends who are happily splashing in the nearby pool. The...
  • Single in Sinai

    January 20, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    I was having a really bad week, a likely occurrence for a recent olah. As a newly-arrived immigrant to Israel, it took me about three weeks to figure out where and how to start a bank account and get a call back from the Ministry of Interior telling me that I had to come back...
  • Sweet Sixteen and Ready to Rise

    November 29, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Even though 16-year-old singer Liel Kolet was born on a kibbutz in northern Israel, she'd prefer to be called an international artist rather than an Israeli one. That largely explains why many of the younger generation of Israeli rock/pop buffs would know little about her. Nor is she...

  • Sweet Sixteen and Ready to Rise

    November 29, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Even though 16-year-old singer Liel Kolet was born on a kibbutz in northern Israel, she'd prefer to be called an international artist rather than an Israeli one. That largely explains why many of the younger generation of Israeli rock/pop buffs would know little about her. Nor is she...

  • Officials Visit Israel

    November 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Andrew Carter, a participant of Operation Unity, a program that brings minority Los Angeles high school students to live on an Israeli kibbutz for six weeks, never felt as accepted as he did in Israel. No one treated him differently because of his color, he said, and the minute he...

  • “Anne Frank” for Teens

    August 5, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Contemporary Holocaust literature for young adults seems to favor a theme: transport unaware teenagers to German-occupied Europe and, together with the characters, the readers will emerge as more sensitive, aware young adults.

    The book, and recent Showtime drama, The Devil's...

  • Protest for Labor Rights

    July 29, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    For the past four years, the predominantly Latino hospitality and housing employees at the University of Southern California have been fighting for a written guarantee of job security. Now, union leaders representing the workers have turned to Jewish leaders to support what they...
  • A Parent’s Guide to a Jewish Summer

    July 1, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Hebrew school is out. Day school is over. The High Holidays are off in a distant time called fall. Hey, even most rabbis take July off. But all this doesn't mean children and teens -- and their parents -- can't find a way to make Judaism and summer fun go hand in hand. Besides,...
  • Making History

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Only eight men and women stepped up to the podium in front of the ark at Valley Beth Shalom on Monday to receive their smicha (rabbinical ordination) from the University of Judaism's Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies, but the event resonated with historical and religious...
  • Discovering Morocco

    May 6, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    If you think that with the tense climate in the Middle East no Muslim country would warmly welcome, let alone happily invite, Jewish visitors, then you haven't been to Morocco. Ever since Jews first arrived on Moroccan soil approximately 2,000 years ago, they have, for the most part,...

  • Noa’s Universal Appeal

    April 22, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    When Achinoam Nini was growing up in the Bronx with her Yemenite-Israeli parents, her different name, exotic looks and diverse heritage made her feel out of place among her schoolmates. Now the qualities that alienated her as a child give her good cause to say to them, "I knew you...
  • Gordis, Alexander Leave UJ for Posts in Israel

    January 28, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Dr. Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism, has good reason to believe that the spirit of Zionism is alive at the institution.

    Recently, two prominent school administrators, Dr. Hanan Alexander, vice president of academic affairs, and Rabbi Daniel Gordis, dean of the...

  • A New Lease on Life

    November 5, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    About two-and-a-half years ago Michael Goldberg's life was on the line. A diabetic since he was a teen-ager, his kidneys began to fail him at 36. The only hope for Michael's survival was a kidney and pancreas transplant. Due to a shortage of organ donors throughout the country,...
  • Taking the Peace Movement by Storm

    October 15, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Not long before Hurricane Georges churned up the southeast, Hurricane Galia slammed into Los Angeles. And advocates for Middle East peace couldn't have been more relieved.

    It may be overstating the case to call Galia Golan, a founder of Peace Now -- the Israeli peace movement -- a...

  • Soulful Sounds

    October 15, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    The sounds of heaven and earth merge when David De'or and Shlomo Bar, two internationally acclaimed Israeli artists, combine their musical talents.

    De'or captivates his listeners with an astounding vocal range that covers 3 1/2 octaves. His voice, which plunges to the depths of a rich...

  • Mideast

    August 20, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Senior executives in Israeli companies are getting a lesson in managerial strategy with the hope of bolstering Israel's standing in the world market


    Management Makeover

    By Orit Arfa, Contributing...

  • A Drink from the Same Cup

    July 16, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    If the pursuit of peace in the Middle East will not unite the parties concerned, then one life-sustaining element may. Israeli, Arab and American researchers and engineers have come together to find ways to produce more potable water for agricultural...

  • The Soundtrack for Life and Love

    May 21, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    That fact alone could explain David Broza's swiftrise to the top of Israeli pop charts in the 1970s and '80s, whenBroza could not walk in the street without being mobbed by swooningfans.

    But Broza is also a richly talented singer/songwriter. If his looks are Baldwin-esque, his music...

  • Three’s Company

    April 9, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Perli Pelzig first knew he had talent at the ageof 5, when he would chalk life-size figures of animals on thesidewalks in his native Germany. These figures attracted attentionfrom passers-by, and, not long after, Pelzig was named "wunderkind"for his dazzling artistic capabilities.