Posted by Ryan Torok
[UPDATE: FRIDAY, DEC. 9, 11:50 A.M.]
Landazuri’s status update on Facebook that her brother-in-law, Adi Zinder, 32-year-old undocumented Israeli native, is coming home to Los Angeles - following his year-long custody with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) - has prompted a stream of positive replies on her Facebook page and on the pages of people who appear to be Zinder’s friend. “My great friend 20 years has been locked away for over a year…He’s finally coming home!” said a friend of Landazuri.
ICE declined to confirm that Zinder is being returned home, in a call placed by the Journal. ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said the agency might issue a statement soon regarding Zinder.
[UPDATE: FRIDAY, DEC. 9, 11:30 A.M.]
Adi Zinder is returning home, according to a Facebook post. The post was written as a status update on the Facebook page of Carolina Landazuri—yesterday, L.A. Weekly reported that Landazuri is Zinder’s sister-in-law. The publication quoted an email from Landazuri saying that Zinder, an undocumented Israeli living in Woodland Hills who has been in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was being transported from El Paso to New Orleans and might be deported back to Israel. But it looks as though Zinder’s coming back to Los Angeles. More details to come.
Read below for a story posted last night.
Thirty-two-year-old Adi Zinder, an Israeli native who has been living in the U.S, might be deported back to Israel.
Zinder is in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and is currently being held at an El Paso processing center, the ICE Web site confirms.
Zinder has been held by ICE since last fall, according to an article by the L.A. Weekly, which cited reports from Zinder’s sister-in-law.
ICE officials raided Zinder’s home and detained him in the middle of the night, the L.A. Weekly story says, adding that Zinder was living in Woodland Hills and has been living in the U.S. since he was 10-years-old, and though he is undocumented, has a clean record.
Zinder is married to a U.S. citizen and currently in the process of applying for citizenship through marriage, the L.A. Weekly reported.
Citing an email she says Zinder’s sister-in-law sent today, the Weekly reporter, Simone Wilson, wrote that Zinder is being transported from El Paso, to New Orleans.
No information was immediately available about when ICE officials relocated Zinder from Los Angeles to El Paso, and the Weekly story does not provide that information.
Zinder was being held in the Mira Loma Detention Center in W. Lancaster, California, according to L.A. Weekly.
A review process regarding the possibility of granting citizenship to Zinder began in April, L.A. Weekly reported.
Zinder was put into solitary confinement in Mira Loma after complaining about not receiving kosher meals: “... they threw him in the hole,” Zinder’s sister-in-law is quoted as saying.
In a call today, an ICE spokeswoman declined to comment on Zinder’s situation. The spokeswoman requested that The Journal email her, saying she would provide information about Zinder as soon as possible and that the agency cannot provide specifics on individual detainee cases.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) spokesperson Mariana Gitomer did not know about Zinder’s individual case, but if Zinder is seeking legal status through marriage, he is required to return to Israel and be subject to processing by the U.S. consulate there, Gitomer said. If Zinder has been living here illegally all this time and was deported back to Israel, he might be barred from returning to the U.S., Gitomer added.
ICE and USCIS are agencies of the Department of Homeland Security.
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December 8, 2011 | 4:50 pm
Posted by JewishJournal.com
This past Tuesday, Rick Perry released a controversial new campaign video, apparently reaching out to Conservative Christian voters. Since its release, several video spoofs have been popping up around youtube. Here’s one by a Rabbi.
Watch the original video here.
This man is not ashamed to admit he’s an atheist.
December 6, 2011 | 12:08 pm
Posted by Ryan Torok
Standing in groups around dozens of tables, hundreds of people at Sinai Temple prepared to spin plastic dreidels. While the mood was festive: face painting, pizza, donuts and other celebratory fare kicking off the occasion - the reason everyone gathered together was more serious: trying to break the Guinness World Record for the amount of people spinning dreidels at the same time.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t so serious.
The synagogue, ultimately, did not break the previous record, 541 dreidels, set by a New Jersey synagogue, but the event organizers insisted the day was a success. Before everyone spun their dreidels, Sinai Temple’s Rabbi David Wolpe, addressing the crowd, who assembled in Sinai Temple’s parking lot on Sun., Dec. 4 for the event, emphasized Dreidelmania’s community-building result.
“Sometimes the least impactful thing that we do during the week turns out to be the most important. So even though all we’re doing is spinning dreidels, look around you: there’s young, there’s old; there’s members, non-members; people who work in security and maintenance. It’s wonderful to see you all,” Wolpe said.
More than 700 people participated in Dreidelmania, and the promising turnout gave hope that they could in fact break the previous world record. But it’s not so easy as getting large numbers to spin. A dreidel needs to spin for more than 10 seconds to count toward the record (the reason is to ensure that the dreidels are spinning simultaneously).
Howard Lesner, executive director of Sinai Temple, has ambitious plans for next year: “We’re going to break the record for eating the most latkes.”
Watch below for Video Jew Jay Firestone’s coverage of another attempt at this Guinness record in 2008.
December 5, 2011 | 11:23 am
Posted by Tom Tugend
Was Yossarian, the central character in Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22,” Jewish?
It may be late in the day to explore that literary question, but to adherents of the 1960s counter-culture, who regarded reading “Catch-22” as a rite of passage and Yossarian as an icon, the answer was of some import.
Author Heller did not make the search for clues any easier by having Capt. John Yossarian of the U.S. Army Air Force claim to be an Assyrian in “Catch-22,” and an Armenian in the sequel, “Closing Time.”
However, thanks to a private letter auctioned off last month (November) in Los Angeles, Heller himself clarified the point, though in his characteristically ambiguous style.
In the postscript to a 1972 letter, addressed to Prof. James Nagel at Northwestern University, Heller wrote, “Yossarian isn’t Jewish and was not intended to be. On the other hand, no effort was expended to make him anything else.
“He is largely an extension of my own sensibility and I am [Jewish].”
Heller, like his fictional alter ego, was a B-25 bombardier in World War II and stationed on an island off the Italian coast.
As the squadron’s missions escalated in numbers and death toll, one of Yossarian’s crewmates seeks to be relieved of flying duty and sent home on grounds of insanity. But making such a request to escape likely death was obviously a rational move, so he was diagnosed as sane and told to keep flying.
The book’s title quickly entered the general and psychological vocabulary to denote a no-win or double bind situation, and the term was considered a close relative to George Orwell’s “double think” in his novel “1984.”
Heller’s 1972 letter to Nagler, together with a later note to the same academic, was put up for bids by the Nate D. Sanders auction house and sold for $4,884.
In the second letter, written in 1974, Heller reflected on the mood of the early World War II years. “How did I feel about the war when I was in it?” he wrote. “In truth, I enjoyed it, and so did just about everyone else I served with, in training and even in combat.
“What is hard to get across to younger people today is that after the attack on Pearl Harbor, there was virtually no opposition to the war in this country…I was young, it was adventurous, there was much hoopla and glamour.”
Heller, born in Brooklyn, started writing “Catch-22” in 1953 under the original title of “Catch-18.” But shortly before its publication in 1961, “Milo 18,” Leon Uris’ novel about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, reached book stores, and Heller changed his title to avoid confusion.
He died in 1999 at 76.
December 2, 2011 | 12:51 pm
Posted by Jonah Lowenfeld
Writing this week’s cover story was a reminder of how much people who love bookstores really love them. And checking my messages at the office today showed me that at least one reader was inspired by what he read—although incensed might be a better word for it.
“I think somebody should do an “Occupy Barnes & Noble” and do something that lets people know what they’re about to lose,” said Steve, who didn’t leave his last name on my voicemail.
Steve said he had called Barnes & Noble and the Westside Pavilion to hear for himself why the bookstore at the corner of Pico and Westwood would be closing on December 31—and what he learned was identical to what I reported in this week’s cover story, “The Bookstore Is Dead.”
A representative from the bookseller told him that the Westside Pavilion was asking for double the existing rent; the landlord’s rep said that they had done all they could to keep the bookseller in place, but that Barnes & Noble had ultimately made the decision to leave.
In addition to the “Occupy” idea, Steve did suggest that perhaps a strong power broker from the one percent might be able to help keep the Barnes & Noble from closing.
“They should get the Westside Pavilion people and the Barnes & Noble people together in a room and make them an offer they can’t refuse,” he said.
December 1, 2011 | 1:56 pm
Posted by JewishJournal.com
Produced by: Hora Jerusalem
Choreographer: Adi Gordon Rawlings
Hora Jerusalem Manager: Shai Gottesman
General Artistic Director: Shai Gottesman
Artistic Director ordered youth: Elad Schechter
Artistic Director ordered Har Adar, Zeev Summit: Adi Cohen Eliasi
Administrators Repeats: Harel Yitzhaki, Liron Bosch, Gilad Hlwah, Avital Gabbay
Isis featured band led by Dorit yin
School Principal: Leanne beautiful Zligfld
Video by Jerusalem Hora
December 1, 2011 | 11:36 am
Posted by JewishJournal.com
Last night, Santa Ana winds delayed flights, felled trees, toppled power lines, and knocked out power all over the LA area. Homes and cars in Pico Robertson and Pasadena sustained wind damage. How bad did your neighborhood, synagogue, or school get hit? Send us your pictures here and we’ll share them on our site! Please send us only your original photographs and include your name for photo credit.
Pasadena Jewish Temple and Center. Photo by Rabbi Joshua Grater
A fallen tree in Pico-Robertson neighborhood. Photo by Julie Gruenbaum Fax
A tree in Pico-Robertson neighborhood. Photo by Julie Gruenbaum Fax
A fallen tree on Rim Road in Pasadena on Dec. 1. Photo by Barry Hensiek
Photo by Rabbi Joshua Grater
Downed tree on Highland by the Hollywood Bowl. Photo by Michael Lira
Photo by Michael Lira
December 1, 2011 | 2:51 am
Posted by Ryan Torok
It was shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning when it happened. Occupy L.A. was shut down. Given that L.A. was one of the last active occupations in a major city, the Occupy movement – at least in encampment form – seems to be dying down.
Despite the string of Occupier evictions in multiple major cities, conversation about Occupy continues.
That’s because everybody has an opinion about the Occupy movements. It’s just one of those things. A co-worker, following an office birthday party, said that she believed in what the Occupiers were doing.
Another co-worker said he was bothered by what happened at UC Davis, where, in mid-November, a police officer used an obscene amount of pepper spray on college students who were demonstrating peacefully in solidarity with the nationwide Occupy movements.
My doctor said a couple of weeks ago that Occupy was by far the most exciting thing happening in this country.
An employee at 24 Hour Fitness told me she thought that the Occupiers weren’t accomplishing anything and needed to find jobs.
My favorite – and I don’t mean that sarcastically – commentary was from writer Matt Taibbi, who wrote in Rolling Stone that he didn’t understand the Occupy movement at first, but he eventually realized that the people camping out were showing that it’s possible to drop out of society for a little bit.
Dropping out of society – if only for a little bit. Reminds me of the 1985 Albert Brooks film, “Lost in America,” in which Brooks plays an advertising guy who is overlooked for a promotion he feels he deserves and decides to drop out of society – if only for a little bit. He convinces his wife it’s a good idea, and they take off in a camper across the country. The idea’s cute, only until it isn’t. Their first stop is Vegas, where Brooks’ wife loses all their money in a blackjack game.
There are probably plenty of people who believe - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa apparently one of them - that the Occupy Los Angeles movement was a good thing when it first sprang up at the beginning of October, starting with a march that took off from Pershing Square. The protestors’ ideals, slogans– “We are the 99%” being the most famous – were catchy and spoke to the hearts of people making up the 99%—everybody except the uber-wealthy in this country. Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution, in fact, in support of the Occupy L.A. movement, and Villaraigosa was quoted in support of it. That’s why Occupy L.A. supporters have filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming it’s their right to be there, following the mayor’s announcement that the site must be cleared. On Wednesday, LAPD evicted all of the L.A. Occupiers, making 200 to 300 arrests, a few hours after police in Philadelphia shut down the encampment there. (The Occupy camps in New York, Oakland, Detroit and St. Louis were also recently shut down, according to the New York Times.)
What changed? Why did city officials suddenly decide they didn’t want Occupy L.A. around? Why did the movement’s idea of dropping out seem sweet at the beginning and become tiresome to city officials as it continued on for eight weeks?
According to the Los Angeles Times, the mayor decided to close the camp when learning there were children sleeping there; the Times also reported that the camp’s method of reaching decisions – by unanimous agreement – made it impossible to negotiate with them.
The police showed restraint during an early morning raid on Monday, Nov. 28, but Ben Zandpour, a spiky-haired and friendly Occupy L.A. participant, said it was only because the mayor has post-mayoral political ambitions.
Maybe the trajectory of the city’s response - first love, then hate – was calculated.
On Nov. 9, I went to a rally at Occupy and had the fortune of meeting Sam Slovick, who has written for the L.A. Weekly and lived at Occupy L.A. for weeks, writing about it at samslovick.com). Slovick said that LAPD’s initial “love-fest” were a “tactic” and they would eventually turn on the activists.
It looks like Slovick’s prediction - nearly three weeks before the shut-down - was dead-on. Why exactly it happened this way, I don’t have the answer—but the way it went down reinforced what Brooks’ character learned: dropping out ain’t easy.