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Jewish Journal

Kylie Jane Wakefield

  • A Jewish conversion, three generations in the making

    1 day ago

    During World War II, Mileva Popovic hid four Jewish families from the Nazis in her home in the former Yugoslavia, now Montenegro. After Mileva’s son Vladimir found out about his family history, he started to learn about Judaism and became fascinated by its teachings.

    Vladimir...

  • Want a massage?  There’s an app for that

    1 day ago

    Los Angeles is a stressful place. Heavy traffic is unavoidable, costs of living are high, and the air quality is abysmal. 

    After dropping the kids off at school, driving to and from work, running errands and maybe rushing to the gym, many people don’t exactly feel like getting...

  • Lawyer uncovers her roots in debut novel ‘City of the Sun’

    1 week ago

    In 1956, during the Suez Crisis, a young Juliana Maio and her family were kicked out of Egypt and forced to flee to France. All her life, she was curious about her background and her roots, and as she grew older, she started to research her personal history. 

    “I had a question,...

  • Sharing wisdom of the elders through USC’s Zekenim Project

    1 week ago

    Seniors have a lifetime of experience behind them, but too often we don’t take the opportunity to learn from them and apply that wisdom to our own lives.

    Now, thanks to a dedicated team at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and a three-year, $250,000 grant from the Jewish...

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  • Pro-Israel campus groups actively stand up for Israel

    2 weeks ago

    From last year’s boycott of Israeli academic institutions by the American Studies Association to protests at campuses across the country, it’s apparent that colleges are not the friendliest places for pro-Israeli students and advocates these days. 

    Even before this summer’s...

  • Teaching Torah with videos to appeal to younger students

    August 6, 2014 | 3:46 pm

    Rabbi David Fohrman has a passion for teaching Torah to the Jewish people. He has taught at Johns Hopkins University, written a book about narratives in the book of Genesis, and was a lead writer and editor for ArtScroll’s Talmud translation project.

    But after a while, he...

  • Tel Aviv now the global leader in app startups

    July 9, 2014 | 11:55 am

    Silicon Valley may be known as the hotspot for tech, but halfway across the globe, Tel Aviv is making its mark. According to Forbes, Tel Aviv has more startups per capita than anywhere else in the world. 

    App startups make up a large portion of this growing tech community. One in...

  • Generation inspiration: Emma Bloom

    June 11, 2014 | 12:59 pm

    Milken Community Schools
    Going to: Skidmore College

    When Emma Bloom sat down to talk with Holocaust survivors at her school as part of the Righteous Conversations Project, an organization that connects teens with survivors, she was inspired to think about what she could do to...

  • Plenty of clowning around at Lag b’Omer parade

    May 21, 2014 | 11:37 am

    Clowns, chickens, children and thousands of Chabad Chasidim crowded West Pico Boulevard on May 18 for the Great Parade, an annual celebration of Lag b’Omer in Pico-Robertson. 

    The event, which was made up of floats from Chabad schools and synagogues around Los Angeles, local...

  • Sharing his love of Judaism through Jubilation’s music

    May 21, 2014 | 11:22 am

    When singer-songwriter Bill Burnett converted to Judaism in the early 2000s, he resolved to teach others about his new religion through the power of music, and over the years he’s put together a wide repertoire of songs that speak to children and adults about the Torah and its...

  • A novel idea: A mitzvah project started 15 years ago continues to spread the joy of reading

    May 16, 2014 | 12:19 pm

    When Robyn Strumpf was a child, she had trouble learning how to read. But with a little time, patience and help from her parents, she excelled and became an enthusiastic lover of literature. Her personal experience encouraged her, at the age of 12, to start Project Books and...

  • ADL creates bias-education curriculum for schools

    May 7, 2014 | 11:37 am

    The controversy surrounding L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been the talk of the town since racist comments attributed to him were released at the end of April, so the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) thought it should be the responsible talk of schools as well.

    To educate...

  • Vermont Avenue communities on display in Santa Monica

    May 7, 2014 | 11:00 am

    Nearly every day for a year and a half, Pamela Mayers-Schoenberg woke up at 7 a.m. and traveled along one of Los Angeles’ longest streets, Vermont Avenue. She’d snap photos of the people on the street, capturing scenes from the various distinct neighborhoods. These photos are on...

  • Local mom-athoner pounds pavement for a cure

    April 17, 2014 | 2:57 pm

    Shannon Griefer ran a 135-mile ultramarathon in Death Valley in the middle of July, across the scorching hot terrain in the glow of the fiery sun. 

    And on April 13, she was slated to run 135 miles, this time to benefit reserch into a condition she was diagnosed with in 2005:...

  • Birthright initiative keeps seders on next gen’s tables

    April 9, 2014 | 11:17 am

    This Passover, hundreds of young Birthright alumni will be hosting seders — many for the first time — thanks to an initiative from NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation.

    Adam Pollack, senior director of NEXT’s Western region, said the Passover project encourages young...

  • Make your Seder pop

    April 2, 2014 | 3:08 pm

    Every year, millions of men, women and children gather at the seder table and read from the haggadah in what seem to be a million different ways.

    Some use the familiar Maxwell House version; others find the Four Questions in “The Family Haggadah.” Recent years have offered...

  • Conversion: George Guzman

    April 2, 2014 | 1:50 pm

    George Guzman, 45, grew up in a Catholic home in Corona, Calif., and though he served as an altar boy at his local church, he never felt connected with the religion. In 1995, he turned his back on Catholicism forever.

    It happened when Guzman, who now lives in Long Beach and works...

  • Jewish cookbook project wins national prize

    March 28, 2014 | 3:31 pm

    A cookbook that started as a pay-it-forward project has won first place — and a $5,000 prize — in a national contest for one local Jewish women’s group.

    “Try It, You’ll Like It” is a cookbook by the Jewish Women’s Initiative (JWI), a division of Aish Los Angeles, featuring more...

  • Courtroom mavens give back on temple boards

    March 19, 2014 | 3:40 pm

    One Century City law firm has assembled a dream team of high-powered leaders — in more ways than you might expect.

    Three partners at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP do much more than work long hours; they are, or recently have been, presidents at prominent local...

  • ‘Boyle Heights Heroes’ remembers L.A.‘s Jewish roots

    March 5, 2014 | 2:34 pm

    As the granddaughter of a rabbi who was also the first president of the Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights — the center of Los Angeles Jewish life in the first half of the 20th century — Annette Shapiro knows the importance of remembering your roots. 

    During a Feb. 23 event at...

  • Jerusalem film program focuses on young, aspiring cineastes

    March 5, 2014 | 1:42 pm

    Los Angeles may be the home of filmmaking, but Israel isn’t far behind. In recent years, movies made in Israel have been nominated for Oscars in the foreign-film category, and works coming out of that country are being included in film festivals worldwide. 

    This summer, young...

  • Melissa Rivers’ business of guilty pleasures

    February 18, 2014 | 1:32 pm

    Eighteen years ago, Joan Rivers and her daughter, Melissa, had an idea: Red carpet entrances at awards ceremonies could be as exciting as the event itself. Melissa would play the “straight man” role, while Joan made snarky comments about the best and worst attire worn by actors,...

  • From disable to enable: Summer camp shifts focus

    February 12, 2014 | 4:43 pm

    The positive impact that summer camps have on Jewish identity is no secret, but a report released last year by the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) found that much progress remains in making this a viable opportunity for young people with special needs. 

    To help move things...

  • Cantors unite in song

    February 12, 2014 | 3:33 pm

    Cantor Samuel Cohen understands that music has the power to unite people from every walk of life. That’s why this month he’s holding a cantorial concert at his synagogue for the Jewish community. Unlike the standard cantorial show, however, his event, called “Guys & Meidels: A...

  • Teaching tech in day schools

    January 9, 2014 | 11:20 am

    Four teenage girls huddled around a laptop computer in their brightly lit classroom. They were working on small circuit boards, known as Arduino boards, learning the mechanics and inner workings of electronic systems. 

    On this day, they were trying to write code that would turn...

  • After much searching, she finds hope in adopted faith

    January 3, 2014 | 3:20 pm

    Growing up in Colorado, Laura Waller wasn’t raised with a religion. She knew nothing about Judaism, save for the Torah — which she read as a teenager — and her community’s negative attitudes toward it.

    “I didn’t exactly grow up in a town where being Jewish was acceptable,” she...

  • Christmas a time for tikkun olam

    January 3, 2014 | 2:55 pm

    While some teenagers hit the slopes or the beach over their winter break, dozens of high-schoolers from across the continent recalled the Jewish value of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and traveled to Los Angeles to perform volunteer work instead.

    From Dec. 22 to 27, more than...

  • Federation project helps educators teach about Israel

    November 13, 2013 | 2:36 pm

    For the past 10 years, the Holy Land Democracy Project, sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, has been taking educators from Catholic, charter and Protestant high schools throughout the Los Angeles region to Israel. While there, teachers and members of the group see,...

  • How to buy the best diamond wedding ring for your buck

    October 23, 2013 | 4:50 pm

    When Jeremy Ziskind of Pico-Robertson proposed last year to his then-girlfriend, Allyson Marcus, he had a basic idea of what kind of engagement ring he would give his future wife.

    “Allyson told me pretty early on in our relationship that she loved the idea of a heart-shaped...

  • Lewis Black’s ‘Rant’ is due in Thousand Oaks

    October 23, 2013 | 10:34 am

    It’s been a great year for Lewis Black. There was the budget sequestration, the government shutdown and the fierce debates once again over Obamacare. Politicians left and right have been acting like nitwits, and Congress has proved its incompetence over and over again.  

    The...

  • Teen trio wins anti-bullying contest

    October 16, 2013 | 1:26 pm

    Bullying occurs regularly in classrooms and on playgrounds to children and teenagers throughout the world. Cyberbullying on smart phones and social media is more hidden and harder to detect. But for those experiencing bullying, the effects can be devastating or, in the worst-case...

  • Conversion: Erica Hooper

    October 9, 2013 | 11:53 am

    Falling in love with a Jewish man was Erica Hooper’s introduction to Judaism, but the religion’s ideals were ultimately what made her want to embrace it for life. 

    Hooper, 30, grew up in East Los Angeles in a Catholic home. She attended Catholic school and considered herself...

  • Conversion: Kimia Sun

    September 4, 2013 | 11:56 am

    Kimia Sun was born a refugee. 

    Her parents were survivors of Cambodia’s Khmer Rogue, which claimed nearly 2 million lives in the late 1970s. The couple was among the lucky ones and escaped to a refugee camp in Thailand, where Sun was born and spent her first months. Next, the...

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