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Jewish Journal

Jared Sichel

  • L.A. grad Max Levin survives attack in Gaza by ‘a quarter of a millimeter’

    1 week ago

    At 2 a.m. on July 23, Bud and Judy Levin were awakened by a call from Israel to their home in Los Angeles. It was their son, Max, a 21-year-old paratrooper in the Israeli army — calling from a hospital.

    Just a few hours earlier, he had been securing a three-story home in Gaza...

  • As calls for cease-fire intensify, top Israeli official says IDF prepared to 'recapture Gaza' if necessary

    1 week ago

    Even as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry intensified efforts for an immediate cease-fire, top Israeli minister and Likud Knesset member Yuval Steinitz said Thursday that Israel’s army is prepared to dramatically expand its ground operation in the Gaza Strip and even “recapture...

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  • L.A. grad Max Levin wounded in Gaza, recovering in Petah Tikva hospital

    1 week ago

    Max Levin, a 21-year-old New Community Jewish High School (NJCHS) graduate and Israeli soldier, is recovering in a central Israel hospital following injuries he sustained Wednesday in the Gaza Strip, when a booby-trapped house collapsed, killing three members of his paratrooper...

  • When your child fights in Gaza, this is how it feels

    1 week ago

    Jonathan and Daphne Orenshein do not like when an unknown number pops up on their cell phone. 

    Their son, Kevin, 21, operates a tank in the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Givati unit and, as of his last report to his parents, was likely headed into a dense Gaza City neighborhood,...

  • A fallen soldier, Max Steinberg found his purpose in Israel

    2 weeks ago

    Just over two years ago, two brothers and a sister – Max, Jake and Paige Steinberg – returned to Los Angeles from a whirlwind tour of Israel.

    The trip, which was sponsored by Taglit-Birthright, impacted all three. But none more than Max, who was 22 at the time, and the trio’s...

  • Max Steinberg, L.A. native and IDF volunteer, killed in Gaza

    2 weeks ago

    Max Steinberg, a Woodland Hills native and volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was killed Sunday along with 12 other soldiers in the Gaza Strip, amidst an Israeli operation to quell rocket fire and destroy underground smuggling tunnels.

    [Related: A fallen soldier, Max...

  • UC Regents plan to confirm pro-Israel UCLA student

    3 weeks ago

    The University of California’s Board of Regents announced on July 9 that it will move forward with its confirmation of Jewish pro-Israel student Avi Oved as student regent-designate, even as the student association that previously supported him recently voted 10-0 to delay Oved’s...

  • Student committee votes 10-0 to delay confirmation of Jewish UCLA student to Board of Regents

    July 4, 2014 | 12:48 am

    A group that represents the University of California’s student body further highlighted how this state has become the flashpoint for the Israeli-Palestinian debate on American campuses when it requested that the powerful UC Board of Regents delay its confirmation of Avi Oved, a...

  • Tensions flare on UC campuses amid allegations against Jewish, pro-Israel student

    July 2, 2014 | 3:56 pm

    The University of California Student Association (UCSA) held an emergency public teleconference on July 1 to consider allegations by the former leader of a pro-Palestinian student group that call into question the relationship between a pro-Israel UCLA student, who was recently...

  • How does Israel know Hamas is responsible for the kidnappings?

    July 1, 2014 | 5:14 pm

    In the weeks since the Israeli government learned of the kidnappings of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, its military and intelligence sources have worked tirelessly to piece together the puzzle of what happened, where it happened and precisely how it happened.

    One...

  • Aunt of murdered Israeli teen mourns: ‘His sisters don’t have a brother anymore’

    June 30, 2014 | 5:09 pm

    Lihi Shaar, aunt of the murdered teen Gilad Shaar, struggled to hold back tears as she spoke on the telephone, still absorbing the shocking news.

    She spoke slowly as she said she was holding a picture of her 16-year-old nephew, whose body was discovered today, 18 days after he...

  • An app that brings music to our eyes

    June 25, 2014 | 12:59 pm

    Amir Amedi, a neurologist at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is certainly happy about his team’s recent breakthroughs, but that’s not why he was doodling on a notepad during a recent interview.

    He was trying to demonstrate how his work could revolutionize the way neurologists...

  • Does the Presbyterian divestment have widespread support among pastors? ‘Hell no’

    June 24, 2014 | 4:42 pm

    In Rev. Drew Sams’ Sunday sermon before his congregation at Bel Air Presbyterian Church on June 22 — just two days after the national umbrella organization of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) endorsed divestment from three companies that do business in Israel — Sams registered...

  • Hundreds gather in L.A. park for vigil for 3 kidnapped Israeli teens

    June 20, 2014 | 11:37 am

    As Israeli forces continued the search for three kidnapped Israeli teenagers taken on June 12 from a West Bank bus stop where they were hitchhiking, hundreds of Los Angeles Jews gathered Thursday evening at Pan Pacific Park for an emotional candlelight vigil and prayer service.

    ...
  • Lihi Shaar, kidnapped teen’s aunt, describes her nephew

    June 18, 2014 | 1:50 pm

    When Lihi Shaar awoke on June 13 to the news that three Israeli students had been kidnapped the night before near the town of Alon Shvut, she had a sinking feeling — her nephew, Gilad Shaar, was studying at Yeshivat Mekor Chaim, a high school in Alon Shvut.

    She also knew that...

  • As rescue is planned, security ramps up

    June 18, 2014 | 11:10 am

    Shortly after the June 12 kidnapping of three Israeli teens  — Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel — Palestinian security forces found a torched Hyundai i35 with Israeli license plates near Hebron, just a few miles south of the Highway 60 junction where the teens were...

  • In a country struggling with its past, a young Austrian bears witness

    June 18, 2014 | 10:08 am

    As she described how amazed she sometimes feels at no longer being afraid of Germans or Austrians, Holocaust survivor Dana Schwartz apologetically patted George Stoellinger — her 22-year-old Austrian driver — on the shoulder.

    Schwartz acknowledged how far Germany has come in...

  • With aunt of kidnapped yeshiva student in attendance, hundreds of L.A. Jews pray for safe return

    June 15, 2014 | 11:17 pm

    Hundreds of Jews gathered in Los Angeles Sunday evening at Beth Jacob Congregation for a communal prayer service in response to the Jun. 12 kidnappings of three Israeli yeshiva students by Palestinian terrorists near the West Bank towns of Gush Etzion and Alon Shvut.

    As the aunt...

  • A man developing a plan: Micah Hyman

    June 11, 2014 | 1:13 pm

    YULA Boys High School

    Going to: Yeshivat Sha’alvim; New York University

    This summer, Micah Hyman will be doing precisely what many unemployed teenage boys will be doing — playing video games. 

    Except Hyman will be doing it as an intern at Treyarch, the Santa Monica-based...

  • The giver: Rachel Brunelle

    June 11, 2014 | 1:04 pm

    YULA Girls High School
    Going to: Midreshet HaRova seminary; New York University

    When Rachel Brunelle was in 10th grade at YULA Girls High School, she took one look at the list of approved community service projects and immediately was disappointed.

    She already had been...

  • Jewish Beverly Hills couple robbed at gunpoint

    June 2, 2014 | 2:37 pm

    A quiet Shabbat dinner at the Beverly Hills home of Samuel and Diana Hirt was interrupted May 30 when, after answering knocks at their front door, the couple were overrun by three masked intruders, one of whom shot Diana Hirt in the leg, according to police and a family friend.

    ...
  • Local Iranian-American convicted of defrauding former NBA, NFL exec in Ponzi scheme

    May 30, 2014 | 1:46 pm

    Shervin Neman, the Los Angeles man arrested last year after allegedly targeting Iranian Jews and other investors in a Ponzi scheme, was found guilty on May 16 of defrauding two people out of a total of $3 million — one of the victims being a former NBA and NFL executive, according...

  • Battleground California

    May 28, 2014 | 4:42 pm

    If only Lauren Rogers had known what she was getting herself into when she signed up to go to Israel.

    During UCLA’s winter break in December 2013, the rising senior and outgoing financial supports commissioner for UCLA’s Undergraduate Students Association (USAC) took an...

  • Hans Zimmer: Proud to say ‘My people’

    May 28, 2014 | 12:55 pm

    When Hans Zimmer stepped up to the podium during a press conference at the Berlin Film Festival in 1999 to discuss his score of “The Last Days,” a Holocaust documentary produced by the Shoah Foundation, he was asked why he chose to work on the movie.

    And that’s when Zimmer...

  • UCLA student judicial board defeats SJP complaint, rules that sponsored Israel trips do not constitute conflict

    May 21, 2014 | 6:18 pm

    UCLA’s undergraduate judicial board — the student government’s equivalent of the Supreme Court — ruled Wednesday in a 4-0 vote that student government officers may take sponsored trips to Israel without it constituting a conflict of interest. Two of the judges abstained.

    The...

  • What’s a boycott worth?

    May 21, 2014 | 12:17 am

    If you walk up the red carpet and into the Beverly Hills Hotel on a Friday evening or Saturday morning, at the left side of the lobby, inside the Sunset Room, you’ll find an Orthodox Jewish prayer service.

    You’ll see the standard mechitzah dividing male and female worshippers,...

  • UCLA student court hears case against students who accepted Israel trips

    May 15, 2014 | 11:04 pm

    The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) campaign against UCLA’s pro-Israel movement became even more heated last week as the school’s undergraduate judicial board heard arguments in a case brought by SJP against two members of UCLA’s student government who had taken sponsored...

  • Fast cash from Israel Bonds

    May 14, 2014 | 1:09 pm

    The next time violence erupts between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East, Israel Bonds CEO Israel “Izzy” Tapoohi is not going to run to major banks and mutual funds if the government needs emergency cash.

    Forgoing Wall Street in favor of the likes of “Mr. Cohen” — his...

  • UCLA pro-Palestine groups gain ground with pledge signings

    May 14, 2014 | 10:38 am

    The pro-Palestine campus movement flexed its muscles again last week as 18 of 30 candidates for positions in UCLA’s student government signed a pledge to not take trips to Israel that are sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League...

  • Birthright to bring Israeli-American kids to their homeland

    May 14, 2014 | 10:27 am

    As the sun dipped below the horizon on the evening of May 6, nearly 100 local supporters of Birthright Israel gathered under a massive tent in the backyard of the Encino estate of philanthropists Adam and Gila Milstein.

    Two hours later, Adam Milstein had announced a new...

  • Sultan’s new Sharia laws prompt Jewish groups to shun Beverly Hills Hotel

    May 8, 2014 | 4:31 pm

    Some of Southern California’s largest Jewish organizations plan to stay away from the Beverly Hills Hotel, suspending future events at the landmark venue owned by the state-run Brunei Investment Agency.

    Their boycott was spurred by recent Sharia additions to the tiny Muslim...

  • Alan Dershowitz’s secret weapon

    May 7, 2014 | 12:32 pm

    World-famous lawyer, best-selling author, Harvard professor — Alan Dershowitz’s list of accomplishments is very, very long. And the number of controversial topics that he feels comfortable weighing in on — J Street, George Zimmerman, Jonathan Pollard, Donald Sterling — has made him...

  • Milken conference explores Israel-California tech partnership

    May 7, 2014 | 10:46 am

    When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an agreement in March to boost economic cooperation between Israel and California, positive feelings were high, but details were few and far between.

    Plans became clearer — if only a little bit...

  • Kiyaaa! – Joaquin Phoenix and girlfriend attend Jewish-Muslim karate workshop

    May 6, 2014 | 10:50 am

    About a dozen Jewish and Muslim high school students participating in a martial arts workshop in Los Angeles got a pleasant surprise Sunday – Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix showed up to watch with his girlfriend and renowned DJ, Allie Teilz.

    Only...

  • Candidates for Waxman seat focus on Israel

    April 30, 2014 | 11:17 am

    Although numerous topics — health care, housing and the controversy over Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling — were touched upon at the April 28 congressional candidates’ forum staged by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Israel dominated the conversation.

    The...

  • BDS widely debated in SoCal campus halls

    April 30, 2014 | 10:59 am

    The movement on Southern California campuses to pressure university administrators to divest from Israeli companies and many non-Israeli businesses that contract with Israel’s government scored a victory on April 23 with a resolution at University of California, Riverside.

    Two...

  • Ditmas Kitchen & Cocktail: Kosher fare with flair

    April 30, 2014 | 10:56 am

    Chef Alex Reznik wants to be very clear: He did not just open a new kosher restaurant on Pico Boulevard.

    He opened a contemporary American restaurant that just happens to be kosher.

    The irony is palpable. Here’s a Jewish former “Top Chef” contestant who, after years of saying,...

  • Elie Wiesel talks passing the torch

    April 23, 2014 | 3:12 pm

    As the author and renowned Holocaust speaker Elie Wiesel concluded an April 11 roundtable at Chapman University, Justine Volkman, a senior at the school, shed a few tears. Asked why, she didn’t mention any of Wiesel’s dozens of inspiring works or the fact that his health today is a...

  • Jewish genetic testing offered

    April 23, 2014 | 11:22 am

    Tammy Rubin wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of getting blood drawn by a phlebotomist. At least there was apple juice — and the prospect of life-changing knowledge — afterward.

    The UCLA junior was sitting at a table outside of the campus’ Kerckhoff Hall on April 9, where the Los...

  • DNC chair: Perception of division on Israel within Democratic Party is totally untrue

    April 18, 2014 | 1:24 pm

    Jewish values and Democratic Party values are in sync; there is no split among elected Democratic officials when it comes to Israel; the rise in anti-Israel movements on American campuses must be fought; and the Republicans are going to give Democrats a run for their money in...

  • Tijuana to Tefilah

    April 17, 2014 | 5:19 pm

    As I stepped out of the van into the chilly, pre-dawn Tijuana air, I could just barely make out the shadows of the pedestrians nearby, all of them stepping over puddles and street trash, walking in the same direction. 

    I watched as two girls, Chaya Leibkinker, 16, and her sister,...

  • One man’s mission to end modern slavery

    April 9, 2014 | 12:39 pm

    Aaron Cohen resists the label “slave hunter.” It smacks of Civil War-era racism, the name used for people who tracked down runaway slaves and returned them to their owners. They were the bad guys in a very dark time, as Cohen wrote in his 2009 memoir, “Slave Hunter: One Man’s...

  • Does it matter if Jews are in politics?

    April 4, 2014 | 12:47 pm

  • Halachic hockey:  A league of their own

    April 2, 2014 | 1:24 pm

    As a buzzer sounded one recent Sunday at the Los Angeles Kings Valley Ice Center in Panorama City, nearly a dozen children glided — or attempted to — toward the bench as another dozen stumbled onto the rink. They lodged their blades into the frozen surface and assembled at center...

  • As prisoner release fell through, Danon stood front and center

    March 28, 2014 | 11:41 am

    In recent months in Israel, one star in Israel’s ruling Likud Party has been making headlines for his outspoken demeanor and unapologetic one-liners.

    No, it’s not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    It’s one of Netanyahu’s main political rivals — Deputy Defense Minister Danny...

  • Aboard the S.S. Jewlicious

    March 6, 2014 | 1:00 pm

    Slave hunters, reggae stars, cabaret, slam poetry — it was just another weekend at Jewlicious Festival, the eclectic, diverse Jewish festival put on by Rabbi Yonah Bookstein.

    Jewlicious is a grass-roots organization based in Los Angeles whose aim is to unite Jews of every...

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