Jewish Journal

Melissa Minkin

  • The Identity Dance

    October 10, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Four years ago, Sherman Alexie's film, "Smoke Signals," became the first movie written, produced and acted by Native Americans. Today, Alexie's new film, "The Business of Fancydancing," might be the first to feature a character who is both Native American and Jewish.

    Written and...

  • Celebration of ‘Life’

    June 27, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    The year was 1972. Sally Preisand became the first woman rabbi, the Lakers won their first national championship, and the most welcoming congregation for gay and lesbian Jews ... was a church.

    But that changed when four people attending a rap group at Metropolitan Community Church --...

  • Trading Up

    May 16, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Investment banker Adlai Wertman was fed up with Wall Street -- so he moved to Los Angeles, took an 85 percent pay cut and got a job on Skid Row. Two years later, he says he's never been happier.

    Wertman, 42, is the president and CEO of Chrysalis, a nonprofit organization that helps...

  • Training for Life

    February 21, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Dave Rabb is a personal trainer with a few secrets: bring balloons to class, reward genuine efforts with cookies and make sure all clients use the potty before climbing the equipment.

    "Oh, no. It might be too late," yells Rabb one afternoon, as his client Matthew, 3, runs down the...

  • Where Worlds Collide

    February 7, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    There were no books about Jewish children when writer Lesléa Newman was growing up.

    "I was hungry for a book with characters like [me] to make me feel valid and normal, and to make me think there wasn't something wrong with my family," because it lacked Christmas trees and Easter...

  • The Rav Revs Up

    January 24, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    If you missed the alternative-fuel vehicles at the L.A. Auto Show -- and with just a dozen exhibited, they were hard to find -- don't despair. Check out the one on display at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, in Rabbi Harvey Fields' parking space.

    For the last five months, Rav Fields has...

  • Torch Song Trilogy

    January 17, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Linda Gach Ray has been carrying the torch for years.

    This week, she made it official by running the Olympic flame down a stretch of Figueroa Street as the torch was relayed through Southern California on its way to the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, which begin Feb. 8.


  • Open Door

    June 14, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    UCLA Hillel recently held one of its first gay-themed programs in years. But with the initiator of the program about to depart, the effort to reach out to gay students may lose steam.

    The program, Trembling Before God, presented a panel of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis to...

  • In Search Of Home

    June 14, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    When 20 artists with developmental disabilities began talking about the idea of home and community, they never expected to land their first major exhibition. But the Skirball Cultural Center is now featuring their work in an exhibit called "In Search of Home."

    For the next two...

  • California’s New Energy Chief

    May 10, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    The day after Vice President Dick Cheney said the best way to meet the country's energy demands was to increase fossil fuel production, reconsider nuclear power, and soften environmental laws, S. David Freeman went to Sacramento to prove him wrong.

    Freeman, who left the top post at...

  • Jewish Giving is Still Looking Good

    May 3, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    When the stock market entered bear territory last month, individual investors weren't the only ones taking note. The continued softening of the market can also have a major effect on nonprofit organizations, many of which have benefited greatly from an exceptional run during the past...

  • Young Hero Sets Example

    February 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Nothing seemed unusual to sixth-grader Alexandra Coffey when she and nearly 300 classmates filed into the auditorium at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy last week. But then she spotted her parents. Next, she recognized a uniformed police officer. And before she knew it, she was called...

  • Connecting Generations

    January 25, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    When Florence Hoffman, 76, says, "my children are very well-behaved and very intelligent," she sounds like any other Jewish grandmother, brimming with pride. But the children who call her Grandma are not related. They're fifth-graders from Wilshire Crest Elementary School, just a...

  • Care for the Soul

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    "Medicine itself has fallen ill," Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, warned a crowd of Jewish caregivers last week. "Doctors nationwide say their work has lost its meaning," she reported, adding that a great majority have considered leaving the profession in the last year, and that 40 percent...
  • Personal Exodus

    March 30, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    When Evan Ross hosted his first Seder five years ago, his headaches had already started. He was growing concerned about other things he couldn't explain: bottles fell out of his hand and sometimes he couldn't hold down the clutch of his car with his foot. "I thought I was just being...
  • Higher Ground

    February 24, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Take nearly 100 people training to be rabbis, priests, pastors, ministers, nuns and religious educators. Put them together for 24 hours at a Jewish summer camp. Add a torrent of rain, and stir in several inches of thick mud. What do you get? You never know.

    For 25 years, the National...