Jewish Journal

Danielle Berrin

  • JDate study claims more Jewish marriage matches than its competitors

    October 26, 2011 | 4:07 pm

    The Jewish dating Web site JDate recently announced results from a study that claims the site is responsible for facilitating more Jewish marriages than all other dating Web sites combined. The study, commissioned in-house by JDate’s parent company, Spark Networks, and conducted by...

  • For the love of Israel, health care and ‘Power Rangers’

    November 10, 2010 | 10:57 am

    Haim Saban is sitting at the head of the table in his conference room on the 26th floor of his Century City tower offices. Here, he is kingpin, an image strongly reinforced by where he sits, as well as the attentiveness of his traditionally dressed office butler, who ducks in and out...

  • Israelis in Hollywood

    October 13, 2010 | 10:32 am

    Jews are always talking about how Israel needs better PR — in Hebrew, hasbara, a term that connotes something between promotion and propaganda — so it’s worth asking, with so many Israelis working in Hollywood, what are they doing about it?

    Some of Israel’s best exports...

  • How can Hollywood help Israel?

    September 28, 2010 | 6:57 pm

    If you want to pack a ballroom full of Jews, try this theme: Hollywood and Israel.

    It’s a relationship the Jewish community never tires of exploring,

    no matter how fraught or flimsy or confounding the connection.

    An event organized by the pro-Israel World Alliance for Israel...

  • Living in limbo

    August 17, 2010 | 7:19 pm

    One day last spring, Jill Schary-Robinson Shaw was walking through a quiet, darkened corridor in the long-term care unit at The Motion Picture Home, the iconic Woodland Hills nursing home for entertainment industry veterans and their families. Hardly anyone was around — lights were...

  • Shmuley Boteach’s 18-Hour Day

    June 15, 2010 | 7:49 pm

    It is 7 a.m. on a Friday, 12 hours before Shabbat, and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has a dozen meetings ahead of him — an office Torah study, lunch with a network head, coffee with a potential employee, a new book to promote, a few TV shows to pitch and several family errands that will...

  • Shabbat With Shmuley

    June 15, 2010 | 4:44 pm

    Shabbat dinner with Shmuley Boteach and his family in Los Angeles is called for 8 p.m. But since I’ve spent all day with him and am, frankly, exhausted, I find myself power walking through Pico-Robertson 40 minutes late and absolutely petrified that I’m about to open the door and...

  • David Lonner’s Israel

    May 28, 2010 | 12:34 pm

    Every year, one of Hollywood’s top talent representatives invites a group of industry executives and tastemakers to visit Israel for the first time. Although it’s nearly impossible to get on David Lonner’s guest list, you can get a taste of his trip as he shares his favorite,...

  • Stars Shine at Wiesenthal Center Tribute

    May 11, 2010 | 5:08 pm

    The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance (MOT) once again proved that flaunting a cuddly relationship with Hollywood helps boost its cause. This year’s national tribute dinner, honoring director-producer team Ron Howard and Brian Grazer along with three recipients of the...

  • To Nudge and to Support

    April 27, 2010 | 10:49 pm

    Doreen Seidler-Feller is in her kitchen fetching a glass of water as her husband, in the living room, is mulling over what might be most difficult about being married to her.

    “What’s hard is what you would expect — she’s a demanding person,” Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller...

  • TreePeople Gets $50,000 for Reforestation

    April 27, 2010 | 7:57 pm

    TreePeople, the environmental nonprofit committed to greening Los Angeles with trees, received a $50,000 donation on Feb. 24 from the Sempra Energy Foundation for reforestation efforts in the San Bernardino Mountains. TreePeople plans to restore more than 185,000 acres that were damaged by wildfires in 2003 and 2007.

  • TreePeople Gets $50,000 for Reforestation

    April 20, 2010 | 7:30 pm

    TreePeople, the environmental nonprofit committed to greening Los Angeles with trees, received a $50,000 donation on Feb. 24 from the Sempra Energy Foundation for reforestation efforts in the San Bernardino Mountains. TreePeople plans to restore more than 185,000 acres that were damaged by wildfires in 2003 and 2007.

  • Hillel 818 Salutes Educators

    April 20, 2010 | 7:27 pm

    Hillel 818 held its ninth annual dinner celebration at Valley Beth Shalom on Jan. 28, honoring professors Donald Bleich, Zev Garber and Rita R. Werner with Distinguished Educator Awards. The dinner centerpieces, filled with needed school supplies, were donated to Community Build, an organization that helps at-risk youth. Hillel 818 represents more than 8,000 Jewish students at Pierce and Los Angeles Valley colleges and CSUN.

  • Steinem Celebrated for Reproductive Rights Support

    April 13, 2010 | 6:06 pm

    Gloria Steinem, the world-renowned feminist activist, writer and founder of Ms. Magazine, received an award from the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP) during a sold-out fund-raiser at the home of Eric Shore and Fred Paul in Beverly Hills on March 16.


  • Beth Am Honors Rabbi Emeritus Rembaum

    April 13, 2010 | 6:02 pm

    Temple Beth Am and Pressman Academy celebrated Rabbi Emeritus Joel Rembaum for his 25 years of leadership and service to the Conservative synagogue at a gala dinner at the Universal Hilton on Jan. 30. Rembaum has served as Temple Beth Am’s senior rabbi since 1985 and will soon...

  • AJC Fetes Wayne Barsky

    April 13, 2010 | 5:59 pm

    American Jewish Committee (AJC) feted litigator Wayne Barsky, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, with the 30th annual Learned Hand Award on March 17. Barsky is considered a leading figure in intellectual property law, and the dinner attracted many of Los Angeles’ top attorneys,...

  • Jewish Sensibility, Not Practice, Rules in Hollywood

    March 1, 2010 | 12:08 pm

    It’s tough to be religious in Hollywood.

    How could it be otherwise, since the industry itself demands absolute devotion? Ask anyone how they got their start, and they’ll tell you amusing stories about early bosses who treated them like indentured servants.

    They’ll tell you...

  • IKAR’s Brous Tapped as ‘Woman to Watch’

    February 10, 2010 | 3:23 am

    Jewish Women International celebrated their 12th annual group of “Women to Watch” by honoring IKAR’s Rabbi Sharon Brous with one of its 10 national awards.

    The event, held in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 7, recognizes “exceptional Jewish women” who are “inspiring...

  • Q & A With Lori Gottlieb

    February 3, 2010 | 5:37 pm

    Essayist and novelist Lori Gottlieb, who has written a great deal about her own life, including her choice to become a single mom, has a new book out with some tart advice for picky single women: “Settle!” She talked with The Journal about the importance of shared values, why...

  • Beit Issie Shapiro Honors Producer Avi Lerner

    January 20, 2010 | 2:56 am

    More than 300 entertainment executives and supporters of West Coast American Friends of Beit Issie Shapiro gathered to honor Avi Lerner, independent film producer and co-chairman of Nu Image and Millennium Films, for his support of special-needs children. The annual West Coast gala...

  • Bryan Berkett: Financial Stability for Jews and Arabs in Israel

    January 6, 2010 | 5:15 pm

    While visiting Israel with The Jewish Federation’s Real Estate and Construction Division last November, Bryan Berkett snuck away from the group to check on a little project he had going.

    At a cafe in Jaffa, Berkett, 28, arranged a meeting with two impoverished Israeli women, both...

  • Hillel, City Year Join Forces for Community Service

    January 6, 2010 | 12:58 am

    Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life has formally partnered with City Year, the national service corps organization, to promote civic engagement among young Jewish adults. The move, which affects Jewish students from more than 25 college campuses, represents a rare...

  • Q&A With Heeb’s Josh Neuman

    December 9, 2009 | 3:32 am

    Josh Neuman is the publisher of Heeb magazine, which offers an irreverent and often satirical take on the intersection of American Jewish life and popular culture. He talks here about the rumors that Heeb is folding, what sort of Jews you find in Hollywood and why he once dressed...

  • L.A. Holocaust Museum Gets Large Turnout to Fundraiser

    December 2, 2009 | 12:38 am

    Despite a tense giving environment, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust reported a 50 percent increase in attendance at their second annual fundraising dinner, which took place at The Beverly Hills Hotel on Nov. 8.

    Apropos of the event, “Schindler’s List” producer Branko...

  • AICF Celebrates its Comeback

    November 24, 2009 | 7:13 pm

    The America-Israel Cultural Foundation (AICF) may not be the biggest or best-known Jewish philanthropy in the United States, but on the Israeli creative arts scene it is one of the most influential players.

    Some 250 local AICF supporters gathered last week at the Bel Air home of Art...

  • Vista Del Mar Throws Jazz Fest Fundraiser

    November 17, 2009 | 11:22 pm

    Grammy-nominated artists attracted 800 music lovers to Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services’ first annual jazz festival. The Oct. 18 fundraiser brought in $50,000 to support Vista Del Mar’s many programs for children with mental health, behavioral, emotional or social...

  • B.H. Education Board Teams With MOT for Character Education

    November 17, 2009 | 11:18 pm

    Nooshin Meshkaty, Beverly Hills Board of Education president, and Beverly LeMay, program manager for the Museum of Tolerance’s Tools for Tolerance, are working together to expand character education for elementary and middle school students. Meshkaty championed a new Character Education and Ethics Program with a Holocaust piece that is now required for all ninth-grade students at Beverly Hills High School. The women recently met with Myra Lurie, B.H. school board vice president, and MOT Director Liebe Geft to discuss implementing the program on a broader scale.

  • One Man’s Illness Works to Myeloma’s Benefit

    November 16, 2009 | 2:34 am

    “Tonight we’ve heard from a small Jew, a medium-sized Jew, and now we’re about to hear from the world’s biggest Jew,” comedian Ray Romano cracked to an auditorium full of Hollywood bigwigs.

    Brad Garrett, who is a striking 6 feet 8 1/2 inches tall, sauntered onto the...

  • Jewish Screenwriter Pens ‘Kosher’ Vampires for ‘Twilight’

    November 11, 2009 | 8:32 pm

    Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter of “The Twilight Saga,” is 6 feet tall with straight blonde hair, a pale complexion and a long, slim nose. Not exactly the most ethnic mien imaginable.

    “I don’t look particularly Jewish,” she says sheepishly, half wondering why she’s...

  • Disco Rabbi, Colin Powell Among Caring Institute Honorees

    October 20, 2009 | 11:22 pm

    A diverse group of do-gooders, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Israel’s “disco rabbi,” Yitzhak Dovid Grossman, were among those honored on Oct. 13 by the Caring Institute, the Mother Teresa-inspired nonprofit, which promotes the values of caring, integrity...

  • Swingin’ CD Release Soiree for Corky Hale

    October 6, 2009 | 11:27 pm

    Corky Hale, a Jewish jazz musician, who turns out tunes on the piano and harp, celebrated the release of her new CD, “Corky Hale and Friends - I’m Glad There Is You,” during a swingin’ soiree held at Bel Air’s Vibrato on Sept. 21.

    Rabbi David Baron,  Priscilla Presley and...

  • Dentist Fetes Sharon Stone

    October 6, 2009 | 11:15 pm

    Dentist to the stars Dr. Jay Grossman attended A Smile for Every Child, a Sept. 10 gala for his nonprofit Homeless Not Toothless. The local organization has brought together nearly three-dozen Los Angeles-area dental offices to provide free care to the homeless and underserved.

    At the event, held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Santa Monica, actress Sharon Stone was honored alongside author/producer Antwone Fisher — whose book “Finding Fish” was the basis for the 2002 film “Antwone Fisher” — and USC School of Dentistry’s Dr. Charles Goldstein.

  • Dems for Israel Fete Pols, Former Pres

    October 6, 2009 | 11:10 pm

    Democrats for Israel (DFI) gathered at a private Beverlywood home on Sept. 13 for its annual Garden Party fundraiser. Honorees included former state Sen. Sheila Kuehl and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Andrew Lachman, past DFI president and a Democratic National Committee member, was the inaugural recipient of the Hersch Rosenthal Volunteer Award, named for the late California state senator who was a tireless Jewish community advocate.

  • A self-respecting Jew in Hollywood

    September 9, 2009 | 7:59 pm

    Rob Kutner is a veteran comedy writer for “The Daily Show” and author of the tongue-in-cheek “Apocalypse How” (Running Press, 2008). Having just returned to Los Angeles to work for “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien,” he talks about being an observant Jew in...

  • Howie Mandel Heads to Chabad

    September 9, 2009 | 7:28 pm

    Howie Mandel, host of “Deal or No Deal,” paid a visit to the Chabad Drug Treatment Center in Los Angeles, where director Kevin Bright, co-creator of “Friends,” filmed a documentary of his visit. The short segment, which includes Mandel putting on tefillin with Rabbi Chaim Cunin, will air during the upcoming 29th annual Chabad “To Life” Telethon. The telethon airs Sept. 13.

  • 2 Days in Bethlehem

    July 29, 2009 | 9:50 pm

    Daoud Nassar is talking to a large group of Jews gathered on his 100-acre farm in the West Bank, which lies southwest of his native Bethlehem. Nassar explains that his property has no running water, no electricity, and he’s forbidden from building on it. An Arab-Christian...

  • Gunther Debuts Book at Peace Now Party

    July 2, 2009 | 3:06 am

    L.A. peaceniks turned out in force to honor one of their own, Dick Gunther, on the publication of his book “How High Is Up?” (Emerald Book Company). The June 18 evening event was hosted by Lee and Luis Lainer, sponsored by the local Americans for Peace Now chapter and featured a...

  • Now It’s J.J. Abrams’ Turn to ‘Trek’

    May 6, 2009 | 8:06 pm

    J.J. Abrams is responsible for some of the most beloved entertainment of the past two decades. He is the writer/creator of the television dramas “Felicity,” “Alias,” “Lost” and “Fringe.” He directed the feature films “Mission: Impossible III,” starring Tom Cruise;...

  • Now Anyone Can Have ‘Fifteen Minutes’ of Fame

    April 23, 2009 | 12:56 am

    Among Hollywood’s most sought-after publicists, Howard Bragman, 53, has a celebrity clientele that includes Stevie Wonder, Ricki Lake, Mischa Barton and Ed McMahon. In 1989, he founded Bragman Nyman Cafarelli Public Relations and Marketing (BNC), which became one of the premier PR...

  • For Kauffman, Making ‘Match’ Was a Blessing

    January 16, 2009 | 5:00 am

    On a rainy December morning at Marta Kauffman’s office at Warner Bros. Studios, the producer’s assistant brought in some good news: Of the 15 films on the short list for an Oscar nomination in the documentary category, the Los Angeles Times had praised “Blessed Is the Match:...

  • Jewish World Watch discusses state of humanity; Panel explores Iranian Jewish community

    December 11, 2008 | 7:21 pm

    Jewish World Watch Discusses State of Humanity, Screens Documentaries

    For every 100,000 babies born, 6,500 mothers die in the Badakhshan region of Afghanistan due to unavailable or inadequate medical care. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, violent conflicts over control of its...
  • Rabbi Jacob Pressman takes a bow

    December 3, 2008 | 7:54 pm

    Rabbi Jacob and Marjorie Pressman with Michele Lee. Photo by Maxine Picard

    Rabbi Jacob "Jack" Pressman has always been an entertainer. He's charming and funny -- quite the talented singer -- and possesses a flare for stage drama so becoming that at times it seems as if his persona as...

  • Doing Jews right on TV—for better or worse

    November 20, 2008 | 3:47 am

    In the AMC drama "Mad Men," about the male-dominated advertising world of 1960s New York, an early episode features Jewish heiress Rachel Menken soliciting the services of ad firm Sterling Cooper to boost sales for her family-owned department store.

    Eager to secure her business, the...

  • Rahm Emanuel’s brother, Ari Emanuel, is a Hollywood superagent

    November 6, 2008 | 9:32 pm

    Up until Rahm Emanuel was offered the Chief of Staff position in Barack Obama's cabinet, his younger brother Ari, the cantankerous Hollywood talent agent, was considerably better known. Most famously -- or perhaps infamously -- Ari Emanuel is said to be the inspiration for the...
  • Just a nice Jewish director: Public and private images of Brett Ratner clash in swirl of contradictions

    October 22, 2008 | 8:40 pm

    I've been cornered downstairs in the gold lamé disco basement at Brett Ratner's house and he's hitting on me.

    His insistence suggests he's accustomed to getting his way with this, and I'm trying not to think about the surroundings -- a wealthy bachelor's lavish playpen, which quite...

  • Torah Slam: Post-denominational, multi-rabbi Bible salon draws overflow crowd [VIDEO]

    September 25, 2008 | 6:35 pm

    Watch the Torah Slam in this video from our friends at the Jewish Television Network

    "Cheat on your rabbi" was the winning ad slogan that attracted an overflow crowd of 500 to what was billed as Los Angeles's first-annual cross-denominational public Torah study.

    In preparation for...

  • They also serve:  Rabbis’ spouses prove as diverse as roles they fill

    September 11, 2008 | 2:15 am

    Just before the High Holy Days last year, I was sitting in synagogue when I was struck by the star power of its rabbi. When he spoke, everyone listened, transfixed, as if the words he offered were revelations -- inspiring, challenging and healing all at the same time.

    At the end of...

  • Q&A with Rhoda Weisman -- Jewish woman on top

    September 3, 2008 | 11:59 pm

    Rhoda Weisman, executive director of the Professional Leaders Project, which is designed to engender and support a new generation of leaders in the Jewish community, talks about why the Jewish establishment needs to change, why young leaders are just as crucial as big donors and what...
  • Hyler begins to heal

    August 23, 2008 | 7:56 pm

    Talent Manager and producer Joan Hyler is on the slow road to recovery.

    After a devastating accident that nearly killed her last Friday Aug. 15, Hyler has undergone multiple surgeries to assess and repair damage to her organs, arms and legs. After being struck by a car on the...

  • Hyler condition stabilizes

    August 19, 2008 | 7:46 pm

  • Big AIPAC turnout signals newfound voice for Angelenos

    June 12, 2008 | 2:33 pm

    When the largest-ever Los Angeles delegation to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference swept into Washington, D.C., last week, excitement over an upsurge in Jewish Los Angeles' pro-Israel activism spread contagiously throughout the vast convention...
  • Judea Pearl gets Franklin Institute award; Beach services for Lag B’Omer

    May 29, 2008 | 2:30 pm

    Beach Mixer on Lag B'Omer

    A week after Israel's birthday, attention shifted to itchy beards. The seven-week counting of the Omer, which marks the period from Pesach to Shavuot, represents the time between the promise of freedom (Exodus) and being given the means to live with dignity...

  • Scene & Heard

    May 15, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Carmen Warschaw
    Inspired by an election season in which young, first-time voters are participating in record numbers, USC trustee Carmen Warschaw has pledged a $3 million gift to endow the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics. The goal of the new position is meant to encourage...
  • Maher and Snow spar at American Jewish University, Journal veteran Tugend praised as ‘Distinguished

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Maher, Snow Spar at American Jewish University

    Calling Bill Maher "politically incorrect" is too kind. Bitingly snide, bitterly sarcastic, at times crude, caustic and offensive, he is also horribly funny.

    Tony Snow declared himself "the sacrificial lamb" the moment he stepped on...

  • Books: It’s mom vs. daughter in Weiner’s latest novel

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    What bestselling author Jennifer Weiner remembers most about her bat mitzvah is her hair.

    "It was really unfortunate hair, really tragic -- like short and feathered and awful," said Weiner, author of "In Her Shoes," which was adapted as a 2005 film starring Cameron Diaz and Toni...

  • Jewish life in the City of Lights

    May 1, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Fortunately I traveled to Paris before Pesach, because missing buttery croissants and oven-fresh French baguettes would have been ruinous to my experience. Indeed, France is most famous for its delicacies -- wine, cheese, pastries, foie gras -- but it is also home to a vibrant Jewish...
  • Local students go to lobby in D.C., seniors party at ‘senior prom’

    April 24, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Local Students Lobby at the Capitol

    A group of University Synagogue religious school students paid a springtime visit to Washington, D.C., where they lobbied senior staff members of Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), as well as Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los...