Posted by Ryan Torok
The arrest of Ron Hirsch, the man local authorities believe was behind the bombing outside the Chabad of Santa Monica, has prompted responses from the Anti-Defamation League and individuals involved with the case.
“We thank and commend our partners in law enforcement – Santa Monica Police Department, FBI, ATF and other law enforcement agencies – for their diligence in investigating this crime and for taking a potential threat against area synagogues seriously,” said Amanda Susskind, ADL Pacific Southwest Regional Director, in a statement released earlier today.
On Monday, ADL put out an alert to synagogues and Jewish centers nationwide after it was reported that Hirsch had fled Los Angeles.
Rabbi Sruly Wolf, a Cleveland-based rabbi who was notified that Hirsch was in the area prior to his arrest, said that his community reacted calmly to Hirsch’s presence.
“People are fine,” Wolf, a chaplain for the Cleveland police and FBI, said, speaking of those in his community. “I don’t think there was ever a threat from him, [given] the fact that police responded immediately and handled it.”
Wolf was notified about Hirsch’s presence in Cleveland by a rabbi in the Cleveland Heights orthodox community, after Hirsch sought out shelter at a private charity known in the neighborhood. This rabbi, who has asked not to be identified, consulted with Wolf before notifying local authorities about Hirsch.
Wolf said that Hirsch, prior to his arrest, was in the Cleveland-based synagogue Agudath Israel.
“He was sitting in the shul, with a yamacha and he had a book open and he was soliciting donations,” Wolf said.
For more on Hirsch’s arrest, click here.
Kelly Hartog of MarVista Patch has written an intersting opinion piece about Hirsch and the Chabad explosion.
The entire handling of the explosion at the Chabad Lubavitch synagogue in Santa Monica on Thursday is what we would call in Israel a fashla. A fashla is best translated as a screwup, and we have receive more contradictory statements from the authorities on this case every day.
To read more, click here.
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April 10, 2011 | 9:09 pm
Posted by Ryan Torok
On Sunday, April 10, Los Angeles Jewish LGBT synagogue Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC) celebrated its relocation to a new building by holding a march on Pico Blvd. Led by BCC’s Rabbi Lisa Edwards and Cantor Juval Porat, more than 100 BCC congregants participated.
The march, taking place around 2 p.m., started at the synagogue’s old location at 6000 W. Pico Blvd., near La Cienega Blvd., and ended at the new location at 6090 W. Pico Blvd.
Watch footage of the march, which had temple members carrying the synagogue’s Torahs under a chuppah, as well as an interview with longtime BCC congregant Harriet Perl, below.
April 9, 2011 | 11:00 pm
Posted by Tom Tugend
Director Sidney Lumet, who started his career as a child actor in the Yiddish theater and whose films examining social justice in America stand as landmarks of his craft, died Saturday of lymphoma at his New York home. He was 86.
Both his parents were veterans of the Yiddish stage, father Baruch Lumet as actor and director and mother Eugenia Wermus as dancer. In later years, Sidney Lumet attributed his films’ emphasis on conscience and struggle for justice to his Jewish upbringing.
Moving with his parents from one New York borough to another, often in anti-Semitics neighborhoods, the small-statured Sidney early learned to fend for himself.
One of his early acting gigs was in Ben Hecht’s 1946 pageant, “A Flag Is Born,” which rallied American public opinion in support of a Jewish state in Palestine.
After serving as a U.S. army radar repairman in Burma and India during World War II, Lumet got his start in television and hit it big with his first feature film, “12 Angry Men.”
The 1957 movie, starring Henry Fonda as a hold-out juror, earned Lumet the first of five Oscar nominations.
During a 50-year career, Lumet directed 43 feature films and hundreds of television episodes. Among them were such memorable movies as “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Serpico,” “The Verdict” and “Running on Empty.”
In 1976, his “Network,” about a disaffected TV news anchor, immortalized the phrase “I’ mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.”
Lumet repeatedly returned to Jewish themes and characters, first in “The Pawnbroker” about a haunted Holocaust survivor, followed by “Bye Bye Braverman” about Jewish intellectuals in New York, “Daniel” about the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg spy case, and “A Stranger Among Us,” unfolding in a Hassidic community.
Most of his films were set and filmed in New York City. He did not hate Hollywood, but disliked the studio system and avoided what he described as “a company town…there is no real world there outside of filming.”
Lumet was admired for bringing in his films on schedule and under budget by carefully rehearsing his actors for weeks in advance and then wrapping up the actual shooting in one or two takes.
Lumet was eulogized as “the last great movie moralist” and by fellow New Yorker Woody Allen, who observed, “Knowing Sidney, he will have more energy dead than most live people.”
April 7, 2011 | 4:17 pm
Posted by Ryan Torok
For the complete story on the explosion near the Chabad of Santa Monica, click here.
[UPDATE] On Saturday, April 9:
Thursday, April 7:
April 6, 2011 | 2:38 pm
Posted by Jay Firestone
Be fruitful and multiply.
That’s the gist of Glenn Beck’s new creative venture.
According to a press release issued by Fox News and Beck’s production company, Mercury Radio Arts, the network star plans to “transition off his daily program” later this year and work with Fox “to develop and produce a variety of television projects for air on the Fox News Channel as well as content for other platforms including Fox News’ digital properties.”
Either way, it’s clear that this not goodbye for the controversial newsman.
The Glenn Beck show is currently ranked as the third highest rated program in all of cable news, according to the press release. He has recently been the center of controversy among many Jewish groups for comparing reform Judaism to radical Islam (He later apologized.)
Here’s a fun list of programs I’d like to see Glenn Beck host:
1) Cooking with Glenn.
2) Survivor: Republican Primaries
3) Conservative Eye for the Liberal Guy
April 6, 2011 | 2:31 pm
Posted by Susan Freudenheim
It is a huge loss to our world, better luck, we hope should there be another world.
Nobel prize winner Barry Blumberg died suddenly yesterday, while attending a meeting on, appropriately, “how to move humanity off this world onto others,” according to Keith Cowing, writing on the NASA Lunar Science Institute site. Blumberg was a biologist awarded the Nobel prize in 1976 for discovering the Hepatitus B virus and later developing the diagnostic test for it and the vaccine. He saved innumerable lives for this work, but went on to participate in many other areas of science, including the consideration of life in universes beyond our own.
I did not know him well, but I met him a few times a couple of summers ago in a magical part of Maine, where he and his artist wife, Jean, summered every year. Barry was part of a minyan that also includes my sister, Jo Freudenheim, and her husband, Mike Frisch, and a group of friends who enjoy coming together to celebrate Shabbat. Most of the participants are scholars, and the level of intellect is very high among this group, but when Barry would talk about God, the universe, and beyond, attention was paid. He was extremely kind in manner, spoke plainly and with great curiosity about subjects beyond my understanding, instantly making me want to know more. His spirituality was apparent and inspirational. And he spoke of his family with extraordinary pride.
Barry was a Nobel Laureate and was the first director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. NASA has never enticed anyone finer to join its ranks. Barry’s choice for NAI went vastly beyond the norm – and Dan Goldin was the one who made that choice. Goldin entered into another realm of inspiration when he picked Barry to run NAI (Barry had a habit of doing that to people) and that decision will affect the course of Astrobiology for decades to come.
I managed to reach Dan Goldin on Barry’s passing. He told me “The world has lost a great man. Barry saved lives through his research on the Hepatitis B virus. He also inspired a whole generation of people world wide through his work in building the NASA Astrobiology Institute. On a personal level, he improved my life through his friendship. Our planet is an improved place as a result of Barry’s few short days in residence.”
Sean O’Keefe told me this morning that Blumberg “impressed me as a man whose humility was only surpassed by his capacity to inspire a new generation of scientists to pursue the human passion to want to learn from everything around us. He truly was a remarkable man.”
NASA is placing the work of another Nobel Laureate (AMS) on-orbit in a few weeks. Maybe something reminiscent of Barry Blumberg could be placed on it … it would be fitting since Barry truly did know something about everything and yet still sought to learn more up until his last moments on this planet.
May the memory of Baruch Samuel Blumberg be a blessing.
Video courtesy College of Physicians
April 4, 2011 | 3:14 pm
Posted by Lauren Bottner, Hollywood Jew contributor
Warning: not suitable for the faint-hearted in need of a self-esteem boost.
For those secure in their own hotness and/or know beauty lies within, the Top 30 Hottest Jewish Women Under 40 are now available for drooling and envy. In a comedic flavor, Ranker.com posts this list of sexy women in all shapes and sizes, including the most riske images of each winner along with links to their info on their birthdays and more importantly, measurements. Topping the list is Natalie Portman, “as not only is she one of the sexiest women in the world, but also one of the smartest actresses around.”
She is followed by Allison Brie, known from Mad Men as Trudy or as Annie from Community, and Bar Refaeli, Sports-Illustrated cover model. Jennifer Connelly falls at #19, just below Amanda Bynes and Sarah Silverman, possibly the most well-known Jewish comedian and entertainer in show business today. Alyson Hannigan brings up the rear as one of the few moms in the group. From the CBS hit sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother” and the American Pie movies, Hannigan just makes the cut as a true Jewish hottie.