Jewish Journal

Jared Sichel

  • One man’s mission to end modern slavery

    1 week ago

    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...

  • Halachic hockey:  A league of their own

    2 weeks ago

    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

    3 weeks ago

    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...

  • Netanyahu’s parting remark to LA: ‘Cannot be tolerant to the intolerant’

    March 6, 2014 | 10:53 am

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu closed the final leg of his three-day trip to California on Thursday, March 6, with a message for Iran and its proxy terrorist groups: “We will expose, and we shall fight them. And I’ll tell you the other thing: We shall beat them.”


  • Matisyahu on music, religion and life in L.A.

    March 5, 2014 | 1:58 pm

    Less than 24 hours after performing with the Moshav Band at the Jewlicious Festival in Long Beach late on March 1, musical artist Matisyahu (aka Matthew Miller) was sitting in the bleachers of the frigid L.A. Kings Valley Ice Center in Panorama City, watching two of his sons, Laivy...

  • Reaching out to Ukrainian friends during crisis

    March 5, 2014 | 11:08 am

    Two years ago, on a visit to Kiev, following a trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg, I had the privilege of spending a weekend with an amazing Jewish family in the center of what I otherwise remember as a somewhat dark, depressing city.

    Although they are foreign-born, they are major...

  • As Netanyahu arrives in L.A. for show premiere, Israeli consulate’s absence is felt

    March 5, 2014 | 9:37 am

    On the morning that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due in Los Angeles for the beginning of a three-day trip to California, Israel's Foreign Ministry labor union went on strike to protest its wages, shifting management of Netanyahu’s trip, at the last minute, from the...

  • 7 answers to tough questions about Russia, Ukraine and Crimea

    March 4, 2014 | 5:28 pm

    As dinner conversations, news shows, and water-cooler talk have turned from Oscar selfies to, well, real news, one topic has dominated  the Twitterverse and the airwaves (Russia! Ukraine! Russia invaded Ukraine!). 

    As often happens, though, with complex stories that become part...

  • Ex-Westboro Baptist Church daughter: ‘I love them Jews’

    March 4, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper have come a long way since they left their family — which also happens to be one of America’s most controversial — in November 2012.

    For one, the two former Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) sisters have now attended a Southern California Jewish festival,...

  • Eden Memorial Park settles lawsuit in $80.5 million deal

    February 27, 2014 | 5:17 pm

    A massive four-year, 25,000-person class action lawsuit against Eden Memorial Park came to an end on Feb. 27, when the Jewish cemetery in Mission Hills agreed to a settlement worth an estimated $80.5 million, according to documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

    The legal...

  • Q&A with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

    February 26, 2014 | 4:18 pm

    Jewish Journal: What are you able to do differently now that you are no longer Chief Rabbi?

    Rabbi Sacks: My first passion has always been teaching and rabbi means, “my teacher,” and although I did a fair amount of teaching as Chief Rabbi I didn’t have the chance to really focus...

  • Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks spends a weekend in L.A. envisioning the Jewish future

    February 26, 2014 | 4:07 pm

    Swiping his finger to the left, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s now-former chief rabbi, and arguably the world’s most prominent religious Jewish leader, was looking for a text he felt might show how Orthodox Jews can spread a Jewish message to the Western world.

    He wasn’t...

  • Palestinian SFSU student no longer enrolled at school

    February 19, 2014 | 6:16 pm

    [UPDATE #2: 4:00 pm on Fri., Feb. 21] According to Peter Lee, a spokesman in the FBI's San Francisco office, the FBI did at one point question Mohammad Hammad, but determined that he did not pose any criminal or national security threat.

    [UPDATE: 4:10 pm on Thu., Feb. 20]...

  • Eden Cemetery trial begins

    February 11, 2014 | 6:02 pm

    The trial in the $90 million lawsuit against Eden Memorial Park, a Jewish cemetery, began Feb.11 at the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse downtown.

    The class action suit, filed in September 2009 by attorney Michael Avenatti of the Newport Beach law firm Eagan O’Malley & Avenatti,...

  • AIPAC says ‘no’ to vote on Iran sanctions bill

    February 7, 2014 | 9:35 am

    AIPAC, the main pro-Israel lobby on Capitol Hill, broke with its allies in the Republican Party, and came out against holding a vote on a new Iran sanctions bill until there is clear bipartisan support, The Hill reports.

    Here's a crash course on the last few months of...

  • WeHo display equates Putin to Hitler, disturbs survivors

    February 6, 2014 | 2:29 pm

    Since Monday, Feb. 3, the storefront window at LA Jock’s on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood has displayed a mannequin wearing a striped concentration camp-style uniform adorned with an inverted pink triangle – the symbol used by the Nazis to identify homosexuals.


  • Charged with $33 million in fraud, two LA Jews flee to Israel

    February 5, 2014 | 5:30 pm

    Two former residents of the Fairfax District have been indicted by a federal grand jury for committing more than $33 million in fraud, following an investigation during which the FBI says they fled to Israel. 

    The Jan. 30 indictment against Aviv Mizrahi (aka Aviv Shoham...
  • An Israeli ‘Apollo Effect’?

    February 5, 2014 | 3:57 pm

    The schoolchildren hung on Daniel Saat’s every word as he spoke about orbits, atmospheres, propulsion and moon hopping — not the same as moonwalking.

    As the director of business development for SpaceIL — Israel’s project to send a micro-spaceship to the moon — Saat and founder...

  • Israeli teen rhythmic gymnasts visit L.A.

    February 5, 2014 | 2:49 pm

    Standing straight, arms behind their backs, military style, the two young rhythmic gymnasts answered questions monotonously, with as few words as possible — disciplined, like the routines they were about to perform.

    In Los Angeles for the annual L.A. Lights Rhythmic Gymnastics...

  • Update: The eruv is up for Shabbat

    January 31, 2014 | 11:01 am

    [1:55 pm] Update: According to an email sent by the LA Community Eruv, the eruv is up and will be functioning for Shabbat this week.

    [12 pm] Hold those strollers.

    A community-wide email sent out Thursday evening by Howard Witkin, the lead organizer of the Los Angeles Community...

  • 5 Jews, 5 opinions

    January 31, 2014 | 10:50 am

    Before any members of the recent TED-style panel at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles spoke even one word, the expectations for what the panelists would accomplish were great. Emcee Andrew Cushnir, Federation’s executive vice president and chief programming officer,...

  • Orthodox community gathers in Pico Robertson in wake of three tragic deaths

    January 30, 2014 | 3:05 pm

    Mourning a recent spate of tragic deaths in the Pico-Robertson community, hundreds came together on Jan. 30, for an evening of tefilah at Young Israel of Century City (YICC).

    Filling every seat and much of the standing room at the synagogue on West Pico Boulevard, adults and...

  • The Super Bowl Will Last 16 Minutes

    January 28, 2014 | 1:15 pm

  • Illegal? Just a bit(coin)

    January 27, 2014 | 4:25 pm

  • Jonathan Medved: The venture activist

    January 23, 2014 | 2:55 pm

    When it comes to Israel, Jonathan Medved has no interest in watching from the sidelines. 

    A former political activist and UC Berkeley alum, Medved, a Los Angeles native and Jerusalem resident, was named by The New York Times in 2008 one of the most influential Americans impacting...

  • Holocaust in North Korea

    January 23, 2014 | 10:13 am

    As Shin Dong-hyuk crawled over his friend’s lifeless body, the 23-year-old North Korean could feel the electric current shooting through him. 

    Luckily, for Shin, the two pairs of pants he was wearing, coupled with his friend’s corpse, shielded him for the most part from the...

  • 북한 내 대학살 Holocaust in North Korea (translation)

    January 22, 2014 | 10:57 am

    신동혁이 그의 친구, 23살의 북한 사람의 죽은 시체를 기어 올랐을 때, 그는 그를 관통한 전기 총격의 전류를 느낄 수 있었습니다. 

    운이 좋게도, 신씨는 그가 입고 있던 바지로 그의 친구의 시체를 연결 시켜, 가시 철사 울타리를 통한 치명적인 전압의 흐름의 대부분으로부터 그를 보호할 수 있었습니다.

    이 울타리는 그가 수용소, 수도 평양시로부터 북쪽으로 약  50마일 떨어진 언덕에 있는 태동강에 있는 북한 수용소 내에서 태어났을 때부터 그를  억류한 울타리었습니다.

    그러나 가혹한 오후,...

  • Caught at the yeshiva

    January 15, 2014 | 5:08 pm

    Ben Forer was breaking curfew. 

    A student at the Melrose District Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon, the 16-year-old had sneaked into the yeshiva’s library with some friends at 1 a.m. on Jan. 17. 

    Unlike most high-schoolers, Forer and his friends had left their dorms not on a prank, but to...

  • The hard-hat earthquake prep

    January 15, 2014 | 4:16 pm

    It was an odd sight inside the Shoff family’s home in Santa Monica — a television.

    Growing up in an Orthodox home, Elchanan Shoff’s parents didn’t own a television. But in the weeks following the Northridge earthquake, they set up a small black-and-white television to follow...

  • Northridge quake felt like a rollercoaster ride

    January 15, 2014 | 4:10 pm

    Just off a trip to the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia, 11-year-old Elliott Samson was sound asleep in his Pico-Robertson home at 4:30 a.m. on the morning of the Northridge earthquake.

    In his dream, he was bouncing up and down and being tossed from left to right —...

  • Hatzolah at the ready

    January 15, 2014 | 4:04 pm

    When the Northridge earthquake struck 20 years ago, emergency city services — ambulance, fire, police — were under heavy strain, with extremely high call volume. As in any disaster, many people in need of assistance simply could not be helped quickly.

    And when the next big one...

  • Cedars-Sinai preps for next disaster

    January 15, 2014 | 2:36 pm

    On the evening of Jan. 17, 1994, Dr. Joel Geiderman, co-chair of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s department of emergency medicine, hailed a taxi at Los Angeles International Airport and headed straight for the hospital. 

    He’d been at his aunt’s funeral in Chicago, took the first...

  • USC’s Jews, Muslims unite in quest for meat

    January 10, 2014 | 1:27 pm

    A common quest to answer the question “Where’s the beef?” has brought together Jews and Muslims at the University of Southern California (USC).

    Until recently, junior Mushfiqur Chowdhury was forced to rely on Muslim Student Union (MSU) events or rides from friends to off-campus...

  • I Forgot My Phone

    January 7, 2014 | 12:46 pm

  • North Korea, Rodman, and Jews

    January 6, 2014 | 1:07 pm

  • David Pregerson - A full 23 years

    January 3, 2014 | 3:13 pm

  • Jacob Segal: The matchmaker

    January 2, 2014 | 4:07 pm

    For a moment, it seemed like Jacob Segal was the interviewer.

    Walking into Delice Bakery on a recent Monday morning, the 67-year-old businessman was already there, sitting by the window facing Pico Boulevard, huddled over the Los Angeles Times.

    He stood up energetically, gave a...

  • Armin Szatmary: Person of the Book

    January 2, 2014 | 3:30 pm

    Armin Szatmary takes his membership in the “People of the Book” very seriously.

    So seriously, in fact, that once per week, for 15 years, the 73-year-old retired salesman has set aside time to help illiterate kids in Los Angeles’ public schools learn to read.

    Sitting in the...

  • Finer Things: Rocky Patel 1961 Corona

    December 31, 2013 | 3:15 pm

  • UCLA alum dies, hit-and-run driver still at large

    December 31, 2013 | 2:05 pm

    David Pregerson, the 23-year-old struck by a hit-and-run driver in Pacific Palisades in the early hours of Dec. 27, died Tuesday morning, Dec. 31.

    After being found at around 3:20 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 27, Pregerson was transported to the UCLA medical center for surgery, where he...

  • Amazing Conan bit on TV news

    December 30, 2013 | 10:46 pm

  • Praying for anti-Semitism

    December 30, 2013 | 5:39 pm

  • Jewish UCLA alum in critical condition after hit-and-run

    December 30, 2013 | 5:29 pm

    [UPDATE: UCLA alum dies, hit-and-run driver still at large]

    Law enforcement officials are still searching for the hit-and-run driver who struck David Pregerson, 23, and left him on the side of Chautauqua Boulevard in Pacific Palisades in the early hours of Dec. 27.

    Lt. Andrew...

  • Delta screwed up. Should Jews take advantage?

    December 27, 2013 | 10:42 am