Jewish Journal

Michael Aushenker

  • Vista Del Mar’s Grand Dame

    January 29, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Ruth Shuken's backyard is a floral wonderland. Shuken, who turns 94 on July 4, strolls through aisles of roses, lilacs and azaleas. Her green thumb has also served her well in cultivating a garden of mitzvahs.

    Shuken's Beverlywood manor, which she has called home for 55 years, is a...

  • Fred Kort

    November 6, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Fred Kort, Holocaust survivor, philanthropist and founder/CEO of Imperial Toy Corporation, died on Sept. 6. He was 80.

    Over the years, Kort had cultivated a reputation as one of the Jewish Los Angeles's most prominent and impassioned supporters. Like fellow philanthropists such as...

  • The Circuit

    September 25, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Gateways' 50th

    "Out of the Darkness.... Into The Light" was the official theme of the evening when the Echo Park-based institution Gateways Hospital & Mental Health Center celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Regent Beverly Wilshire. Since 1953, Gateways has helped thousands of...

  • Building the Perfect Painting

    September 25, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    For local artist Rebecca Levy, building a body of work literally begins with the building. "Each one is different and has a charm of its own," Levy said of her fascination with edifices from all over the world. "Rebecca Levy: A Visual Wanderer's Retrospective," a one-woman show...

  • Ethiopian Pied Piper Rocks Heartstrings

    September 18, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Flamethrowers, breakdancers, mimes and musicians all perform on the Third Street Promenade, but when Saturday night rolls around, the biggest draw seems to be coming from a gaggle of bearded Chabadniks dancing to Hebrew tunes.

    And the pied piper playing the keyboard is an Ethiopian...

  • The Circuit

    September 18, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Gee Force

    Community members turned out in full force when Geoffrey Gee, former Israel Humanitarian Foundation Chair and University Synagogue president, was honored at a Cure Familial Dysautonomia fundraiser at University Synagogue in Westwood. The luncheon event was graced by a...

  • Rhodesli Sefer Torah Visits Westwood

    September 18, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    An 800-year-old Jewish sage is coming to Westwood this week. One of the oldest biblical scrolls in the world, will be the center of a reception at Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel's Levy Family Exhibition Center on Sept. 21. The Sefer Torah's yearlong Los Angeles stay is a result of...

  • Valley Festival Draws Thousands

    September 11, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    It was a sunny day in Woodland Hills -- perhaps a little too sunny -- but the heat did not stop the 11th biennial Los Angeles Jewish Festival from creating some heat of its own.

    "More booths, more vendors, more of everything" is how festival co-chair Nancy Parris Moskowitz described...

  • The Circuit

    September 11, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Teen Tidings

    A reception at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles' headquarters brought together Jewish Community Youth Council (JCYC) high schoolers with the visiting Tel Aviv Teen Forum. The project is a byproduct of the Education Committee of the Tel Aviv-Los Angeles...

  • Fred Kort

    September 11, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Fred Kort, Holocaust survivor, philanthropist and founder/CEO of Imperial Toy Corporation, died on Sept. 6 at the age of 80.

    Kort, like fellow philanthropists Jona Goldrich and Max Webb, survived the Holocaust to become one of Jewish Los Angeles' most prominent and impassioned...

  • True Tales of the Tribe’s Rockers

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    For young American males of a certain generation, catching a Van Halen concert was a coming-of-age experience. So imagine Scott Benarde's surprise when he learned firsthand that the band's iconic lead singer shared his rite of passage -- in the cultural sense.

    Backstage at a 1986...

  • The Circuit

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Juniors Rule!

    Rachel Firestone and Michel Grosz, both juniors at Milken Community High School, were among the 26 teenagers across North America to receive 2003 Bronfman Youth Fellowships that entitled them to spend five weeks in Israel this summer. Firestone and Grosz were chosen...

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Rules at 2003 Valley Fest

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The 11th biannual Los Angeles Jewish Festival, co-sponsored by The Jewish Federation and a host of Jewish organizations, synagogues and corporate sponsors, promises an eclectic lineup of rock and rock hybrids.

    The Main Stage, sponsored by Countrywide, will include rockers Rick Recht...

  • The Circuit

    August 28, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Recall Revelry

    It's odd to find a Republican event where the only wasps are the ones buzzing around the fruit salad and lemonade, but such was the case at the Republican Jewish Coalition of Southern California's (RJCSC) third annual summer barbecue at the Old West-themed Paramount...

  • The Circuit

    August 21, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Gonna Fly Now!

    Zubin Mehta, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO)'s music director for life, announced that the orchestra's first performance of its 2003 American tour will be a gala IPO fundraiser at the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles on Dec....

  • Big Apple Of His Eye

    August 21, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    He was the guy with all the good lines. The late Saul Steinberg helped establish The New Yorker magazine as a purveyor of visual excellence. "Art of the Spirit," an exhibit at The Jewish Federation running through Dec. 15, is a welcome reminder of the late illustrator's visual wit.


  • Milking The Peace Cow

    August 14, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    A year and a half ago, Woodland Hills resident Steve Handelman believed he had a novel idea: merchandise bearing the slogan "Got Peace?"

    Before long, the writer got his wife, Trudy Handelman, a medical dental consultant; and his children, Alexandra, 13, and Gabriel, 9, on board. He...

  • Habush Wrapped Life in L.A. History

    August 7, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Jerry Freedman Habush led excursions through historic Jewish Los Angeles as vice president of tours at the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California (JHS) for more than 20 years. In recent months, Habush's commitment slowed, but not from a waning passion. He was receiving...

  • Writers: Redd Still Gold on TV Land

    July 31, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Fred calls Lamont a "big dummy." Aunt Esther warns Fred to "Watch it, sucka!" Fred fakes a heart attack, crying out heavenward, "Elizabeth, I'm comin' to join you!"

    Thirty years ago, when few representations of blacks appeared on television, "Sanford & Son," starring Redd Foxx,...

  • Japanese Youngsters Sing Shalom

    July 31, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    When Temple Beth Am of Los Angeles extended a konnichi wa during Saturday services to its Japanese visitors, they answered "Shabbat shalom."

    Small Hands, a group of Japanese goodwill ambassadors, ages 12-18, offered a cultural exchange on its July 26 visit. The Conservative synagogue...

  • Ariel Avrech

    July 24, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Ariel Avrech died of complications from severe pulmonary fibrosis on July 1. He was 22.

    "He was incredibly learned," said Avrech's father, Emmy-winning screenwriter Robert Avrech ("The Devil's Arithmetic"). "I always learned from him. Our roles were reversed. He was also very funny...

  • The Circuit

    July 24, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Research and Rescue

    If you yell "action" for a living in Hollywood, you have no doubt visited the Beverly Hills Hotel. But if it's "Women of Action" you want, then the Beverly Hills Hotel would once again be your destination. The home of the Polo Lounge welcomed Israel Cancer...

  • A Graphic Anniversary

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    During the Golden Age of comic books of the 1930s-1940s, cartoonist Will Eisner broke ground, both commercially (by founding the first comics production studio) and artistically (with his cinematic storytelling). When San Diego ComiCon 2003 convenes July 17-20, the industry's most...

  • The Circuit

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Master Mined

    The Walt Disney Concert Hall has not opened yet, but, no doubt, you will point out the downtown Los Angeles edifice to your out-of-town visitors when you play tourist guide this summer. That's because the hall's colossal, flowing panoply of flapping pantiles -- based...

  • The Madman of Montparnasse

    June 26, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Before his life was tragically cut short in 1920 at the age of 35, Amedeo Modigliani left an impression on every person he met. Take fellow artist Jacques Lipchitz, whom the possessed Italian Jew liked to visit at 3 a.m.

    "We were suddenly roused from our sleep by a terrific pounding...

  • The Circuit

    June 26, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Dinners Party

    Literary Odyssey Dinners, a unique fundraiser which arranges 50 dinners with renowned authors in private homes to benefit the Los Angeles Public Library's Reading Programs for Children and Teens, held its kickoff party at The Peninsula in Beverly Hills.

    Speakers Larry...

  • The Circuit

    June 12, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Power Lunch

    "One land, one people, one bond."

    A powerful slogan for any organization, but all the more powerful coming from State of Israel Bonds, which held its "Women of Power" annual spring luncheon, organized by Israel Bonds' Golda Meir Club, at the Four Seasons Hotel.


  • The Circuit

    June 5, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Film Fest Fun

    The succession of subtitles onscreen was riveting and jarring: "The biggest singer in France is Israeli.... Mike Brant looked relaxed and beautiful, except his head was lying in a pool of blood."

    The text flashed across the screen during a teaser for "Mike Brant: Laisse...

  • The Circuit

    May 22, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Family Man

    "There are three major religions and they all say the same thing: 'You honor others and you will have others honor just as you do.'"

    So sayeth Spartacus himself -- Kirk Douglas -- during a one-on-one discussion with Rabbi David Wolpe following a benefit screening on...

  • Realty’s Fealty for Jewish Los Angeles

    May 22, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Jewish philanthropy in Los Angeles can be summed up in three words: "Location, location, location."

    "Real estate gives far more with respect to Jewish causes," said Mark Karlan, chairman of the Real Estate and Construction (REC) Division of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los...

  • The ‘Bogey’ Man

    May 15, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Even though he promises to be a kinder, gentler version of himself, his raspy growl is -- and will be -- unmistakably unchanged.

    After a 19-month hiatus, in-your-face consumer advocate Mike "Bogey" Boguslawski is returning to the tube to do a softer version of his KCBS News segment,...

  • The Circuit

    May 15, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    HEEB Goes Deep

    Call it the "Brooklyn Invasion."

    All traces of the solemnity and sadness of Holocaust Remembrance Day were gone by nightfall when the gang from New York-based Heeb Magazine threw their first West Coast party at the Hollywood-and-Vine hotspot Deep. Palm Pictures,...

  • The Circuit

    May 8, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Keepin' it Real Estate

    Becker General Contractors' Sandy Becker was happy to be at what is known in the real estate and construction business as a "sunriser" -- an early morning get-together. With a 4-month-old baby at home, Becker has, in recent weeks, been out of the loop...

  • Thursdays With Pini

    May 8, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The moment you enter Tempo restaurant in Encino on a Thursday night, you realize that it's Pini Cohen's town, and we just dance in it.

    The local Israeli singer knows how to attract and work a crowd. First, Cohen packs them in so tightly that the waitresses navigating through the...

  • Foundations Try to Stop a Jewish Killer

    April 30, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Imagine a disease that strips a child of the routine autonomic and sensory abilities that we take for granted. A disease that affects a child's nervous system to such a degree that he or she cannot feel pain or produce tears, even when seriously wounded. The child becomes plagued...

  • Minority Retort

    April 30, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    A war is brewing. A minority in our midst is being actively persecuted. Society fears and loathes them. The government is using legislation to identify them and the military to hunt, contain and kill them. This is not Nazi Germany. This is America.

    If the plot of "X2: X-Men United,"...

  • Bonded by Ghetto

    April 24, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Irene Gutovicz remembers the days when members of the local group of philanthropic Holocaust survivors, known as The Lodzer Organization of California, would donate a bowl of borscht or a plate of kugel.

    "We started from nothing, having lunches. People would bring something,"...

  • Kosher Pig-Out

    April 24, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Imagine if hitting the restaurants was a mitzvah. For one day, at least, it will be. Finally, the guilt-free excuse to overeat you've been looking for. On May 4, the Sunday before Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day), Eat-4-Israel, a campaign created by yeshiva high schoolers,...

  • Clay Feat

    April 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    It may have been a silent film, but Paul Wegener made an international noise with "Der Golem." The 1920 German Expressionist classic -- screening April 21 at the Skirball Cultural Center -- remains a popular incarnation of the Golem. But it was not the first, nor the last,...

  • A Pass-SOVA Tradition

    April 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    A jar of gefilte fish, a bottle of Tzali's grape juice, Manischewitz matzah ball soup mix, Streit's macaroons, Trader Joe's horseradish, matzah, Sun-Maid raisins. All the makings for a Passover seder -- even if you're homeless.

    On a sunny Friday morning in March at SOVA's humble West...

  • Courting New Blood

    April 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Perhaps a cliché, but it may well be the mantra of local Jewish institutions struggling to attract new blood, as organizations and synagogues revamp their young professional divisions in an effort to distance themselves from...

  • Loco for Local Art

    April 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    In January, the Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) ended its international search for an executive director and picked an Angeleno: UCLA professor Peter Tokofsky.

    What sold CAFAM on Tokofsky was his suggestion that the museum buck the tradition of looking outward to...

  • The Circuit

    April 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Family Footsteps

    Zachary Phillip Eisenberg has donated $1,000 in gift money from his recent bar mitzvah to John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, in memory of his late grandfather, philanthropist Juels Eisenberg, who succumbed to cancer three years ago.

    Top Bill-ing

  • Citizen Canine

    April 3, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Stephanie Poretz brings Sasha, her 13-year-old cocker spaniel, to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center twice a week. Mark Ferber comes in with his beagle Miss Daisy. Beverly Byer brings down Brailley, her black lab who was rejected from guide dog school because of her bad hips.

    Since 1995,...

  • From Blaxploitation to ‘Booth’

    April 3, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    On Nov. 15, 2002, filmmaker Larry Cohen should have been at the multiplex, gauging opening day reaction to the film he wrote, "Phone Booth," about a man who must outwit a sniper while trapped in the eponymous telephonic cabin. But the Washington Sniper changed all that.

    No, Cohen...

  • Made in Israel

    March 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    On a typically bustling weekday morning at Elat Market on Pico Boulevard, regular shopper Boris Sinofsky was at the fish counter, ordering several pounds of tilapia. He had seen a pamphlet for Fine Foods From Israel -- a campaign to support Israel through the purchase of its goods --...

  • Irwin Goldenberg,

    March 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Irwin Goldenberg, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles past president and an active community leader, died on March 20. He was 85.

    Goldenberg was born in Chisholm, Minn. -- population 8,000, which included about 35 Jewish families. His father had moved there from Minneapolis....

  • Queen of Laughter

    March 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Imagine emceeing an event following Sept. 11. Rhea Kohan knows that feeling. The mistress of ceremonies for countless local Jewish organizations hosted Friends of Sheba Medical Center's annual Women of Achievement Luncheon just 48 hours after the terrorist attack.

    "I was dreading...

  • On With the Show

    March 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    So how will this year's Academy Awards differ from previous Oscar outings? One word: War.

    For entertainment reporter Sam Rubin, the issue will loom large on March 23, when, as of press time, he plans to cover the preshow on his nationally syndicated television broadcast, "Live From...

  • Janet Williams

    March 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Janet Williams, a past president of City of Hope's auxiliary  division, Gems of Hope, died on Feb. 9, 2003. She was 84.

    Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Williams attended the same grammar school as her husband, Bernard. Her sister, Roslyn, and Bernie were in the same class....