" . . .The separation of church and state is the foundation for religious freedom in our great country. Shame on you Rabbis for Obama . . ."
With apologies to MAD Magazine
They only want the best for me.
" . . .If insulting community organizers, making snide remarks about Sen. Barack Obama's popularity and mocking the location of Obama's acceptance speech make her [Palin] presidential material, then America is in serious trouble . . ."
There's nothing better than coming home from a bad date and shopping for someone else.
Our heroine decides she has no choice but to return to online dating . . .
Can the history of a nation be told through its music? If that nation has only been around for about 60 years, it's conceivable.
Updates. Pluralistic Rabbinical Court Seeks New Funding. InterfaithFamily.com Celebrates 200th Issue. OU Offers $20,000 Award for Best Unaffiliated Outreach.
The question of whether Talmud is indeed part of Jewish learning for girls and women in traditional Orthodox education has come under debate in the last two decades in Orthodox circles.
Israel's Sephardi Chief Rabbi Amar to visit Los Angeles; Ask A (Different) Rabbi; Inquiring Minds Want to Know.
The wait is finally over for members of Young Israel of Century City, who were eagerly anticipating the theme of the annual program "brochure," which was kept secret until its publication last week. It's ... Old West
Bibliographical guide for the perplexed compiled by Amy Klein.
The complicated process that bees go through to make honey and the complex operation that people go through to get that honey to the table.
This year's 26th annual Chabad "To Life" telethon on Sept. 10 hopes to offer some real laughs, with host entertainer Shelley Berman (whose credits stretch from "The Ed Sullivan Show" to "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Boston Legal") and co-host comedian Elon Gold ("Stacked," "The In-Laws").
Why are there so many young, hip Jews writing fiction that irreverently pokes fun at their heritage?
I began my career in journalism at The Jerusalem Post, then the only English-language newspaper in Israel. It wasn't a Jewish newspaper per se; more than covering "Jewish news," its mission was to cover Israel as a country, and that included arts, business, science and technology, politics and crime -- which most often turned out to be Jewish.
"Wouldn't you rather I be happy than shomer Shabbos?" I asked. It was a seemingly ridiculous question because, of course, every father wants his child to be happy. "I think you should be shomer Shabbos," he replied; for him, it wasn't an either/or question. He lived in both worlds -- interacting with people from all walks of life in his dental practice, going to the movies, playing golf, reading news magazines -- so why couldn't I?
Relationships in my life never seem to end. Guys are always calling me back, weeks, months, years later. My life is like an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie: He'll be back. After a breakup I try to remember this, that there are never any goodbyes, just au revoirs. Trickle Trickle Drip Drip.
Questions, Prayers and Shabbat Lights.
Local reaction was positive -- with an element of wait and see -- to the choice of Stanford professor Arnold Eisen as the new, de facto leader of the Conservative moment. Eisen, who isn't a rabbi, will take over this summer as chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
Are there any women who were born with perfect bodies who are completely satisfied with those bodies? Women who only eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full? Who don't save up calories for a really big meal? Or go on juice fast days and cabbage soup diets or count calories or carbs or fats or oils or cholesterol or sodium?
56-year-old actor extraordinaire Streep of "Out of Africa," "Sophie's Choice," "Kramer vs. Kramer," "Postcards From the Edge," "Angels in America,"etc. and 13 Academy Award nominations fame has taken on the comi-tragic role of a Jewish mother.
As Hurricane Katrina barreled through the Gulf Coast, Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin got a frantic call from a woman in Long Beach who had lost touch with her brother, a Chabad rabbi in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans.
It was less than a month before the annual Chabad Telethon -- that quirky TV fundraiser studded with dancing rabbis and Jewish celebrities -- and Cunin, the director of West Coast Chabad, was busy scrambling to put together the program for the 25th anniversary show. For the last quarter-century, the telethon has raised millions of dollars each year to support the 200 Chabad centers, its schools and programs on the West Coast.
But when Rishi Greenwald called Cunin that Monday, he decided he had no choice but to drop everything and try to locate Rabbi Yossi Nemes, one of the five Chabad emissaries in Louisiana.
Goodbye summer; hello High Holidays. While Rosh Hashanah falls later in the calendar than normal this year (Oct. 3-5), it's never too early to get ready for the Jewish New Year. Besides, preparations traditionally begin in the Hebrew month of Elul, which started Sept. 4.
If you didn't know that -- and were too afraid, too preoccupied or too unknowing to ask -- then we have just the thing for you: this handy guide to get your mind, body and soul in the spirit, so to speak, for the Days of Awe.
We've included Frequently Asked Questions about the High Holidays; a how-to on finding a synagogue (no, it's not too late); a music and book list for inspiration and explanation; and a primer for those new to the faith.
We also have prepared our special Congregation Directory (pages 40-47), a comprehensive listing of Los Angeles congregations sorted by neighborhoods.
Jews aren't the only ones fasting this High Holiday season.
Two other religious organizations, one Christian, one Muslim, have joined with a Jewish one to call on Americans to take part in a nationwide fast of reflection, repentance, reconciliation and renewal from sunrise to sunset on Oct. 13.
After World War II, two Jewish GIs returned to Los Angeles and founded a synagogue in Westchester. Beth Tikvah, as it was called, finally found a permanent home in 1959 on the Westchester bluffs.
But last month, the Conservative congregation -- known since 1968 as B'nai Tikvah after merging with the nearby B'nai Israel in Baldwin Hills -- held its last service at the historic Westchester building, with its 204-seat sanctuary. On Aug. 20, about 100 people showed up for a final Havdalah service to say goodbye.
Because of dwindling membership and a lack of Jewish families in the area, the congregation decided to sell the property and look for a new location on the Westside.
The Other, Like A Virgin, Claim Won't Hold, Death By Oprah, Correction, Faith Remains, Terrorism Won, Junk Science, Gaza Sympathies,
It's not easy for a kid to find out that his parents are spies, and that he and his sister have to rescue them from evildoers.
But it's not as hard as trying to learn Hebrew from scratch in six months for a bar mitzvah -- especially when the spy scenario is fictional and the bar mitzvah is real.
So it was for Daryl Sabara, the cherubic red-headed star of three "Spy Kids" films. He and his twin brother, Evan, also an actor who appeared in "Spy Kids," were bar mitzvahed at Chabad of Brentwood last month after studying with the synagogue's rabbi, Baruch Hecht, for half a year.
As professional actors, it would have been a cinch for the Sabaras to memorize their Torah portion phonetically, just like many kids who don't know Hebrew. But the twins really wanted to learn Hebrew -- and about their heritage.
Professor Ron Folman leads me down a few staircases of the science building of Ben Gurion University (BGU) in the southern Israeli city of Be'er Sheva to show me his million-dollar, state-of-the-art nanotech laboratory.
It feels like we're descending to some basement bomb shelter of an old Israeli building. Actually, we are. Very recently, the laboratory was a bomb shelter. And despite the double doors leading to a white, clean room with an air-pressurized system to keep the expensive equipment immaculate, there is still a feel of the makeshift here, in the wall coverings, in the tiled ceilings, in the fact that it was formerly a bomb shelter before Folman came along.
"Building a lab was the condition for me to do my high-tech here," said Folman, a scientist in his 40s who is darkly handsome in a 1970s professorial way. Sometimes it's "frustrating," added the head of the Atom Chip Laboratory, to make do with a lab that's been improvised into a basement bomb shelter, "but in the big picture we're doing more than science. We're helping the Negev and making a difference. These are not just words for me."
Entering university can be a tough transition, especially for Israelis, who have probably spent the previous decade of their lives prepping for the army, serving in the army and recovering from the army.
"Once you get out of the army, everything you used to study, to stand for, is gone; religiously, Zionistically --any kind of idealism," says Tzvicka Deutch, a Ben Gurion University (BGU) grad student who won third place in the popular Israeli reality show, "The Ambassador," in which young Israelis competed to represent the Jewish state in its worldwide public relations efforts.
Hey, Jewish filmmakers! If you've done everything you can to try to get to Park City this week for the Sundance Festival, or its increasingly popular avant-garde cousin, the Slamdance Festival, but haven't made the cut, next year try the SchmoozeDance Festival. Created five years ago by film aficionado Larry Mark, a 44-year-old living on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, SchmoozeDance might not be the biggest Jewish film fest in the world, but it is the only one that takes place next to the most prestigious festival in the world.
A menorah is topped with candy canes, a mini Christmas tree adorned with a Jewish star and a spinning dreidel pictures Frosty the Snowman on one side and the tree on another: These are just some of the "interfaith" pictures featured on the mugs on the gift section of the Chrismukkah Web site (www.chrismukkah.com). Other images – which also adorn T-shirts and holiday cards – include a reindeer with a menorah for antlers, a zayde-slash-santa and other cute combo sayings like "Oy Joy" and "Merry Mazeltov," which get across the sentiment of both Judaism and Christianity.
Do you remember what it's like to be in your 20s?
It used to be that when I wanted to throw a party, attend a rock concert, go for a swim or even take a haircut, I stopped myself and thought: Wait. Can I do this? What month is it? Am I allowed to celebrate? Or is it a Jewish mourning period?
Jerusalem -- Half a dozen Israeli teens shouted like rock groupies and pressed up against the blue metal police railing in hopes of catching a glimpse of larger-than-life California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was in Jerusalem Sunday to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Museum of Tolerance's new $200 million museum here.
"Hey, Mr. Lowenstein, welcome to life."
That's the wakeup call that Jaron Lowenstein, half of the pop duo "Evan and Jaron," says that he got this last year as he and his brother plan their comeback -- without a major studio backing.
I'm standing in the foyer of the Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood talking to Bryan Fogel, the co-writer/co-producer/co-star of "Jewtopia" -- a play that parodies dating, JDating, interdating, rabbis, Passover seders, Purim, Chanukah bushes, bar mitzvahs, shofar blowing, other types of blowing, goyim, Asian fixations, synagogue memberships and, most of all, Jewish women and their overbearing mothers -- when this overbearing Jewish mother shamelessly accosts Fogel outside his dressing room to peddle her daughter to him.
So what exactly happened in Gaza this week? Did Israel strike indiscriminately in civilian areas in the strip, as Palestinians have proclaimed around the world? Or did the government surgically fire missiles to remove wanted terrorists?
There is a new High Holiday book on my shelf that I have been avoiding assiduously, if only for the exalted title: "This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared." Rabbi Alan Lew's book, subtitled, "The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation," reminds me that the summer is ending, and the time has come to prepare for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Vail, Colo., might seem like Siberia compared to the more established Jewish community of Los Angeles, yet here in Lionshead (elevation: 10,350 feet) there's some 75 Jews gathered for Shabbat morning services.
When I met with Andrew Jarecki, director of the disturbing new documentary, "Capturing the Friedmans," I was prepared to ask him dozens of questions about the Jewish aspects of the film: Does it make the Jewish community look bad? How does it relate to the community today? How does his own New York Jewish upbringing relate to the subjects of the film? After all, this film about pedophilia concerns a suburban Jewish family living in the very Jewish suburb of Great Neck, Long Island.
Back in November, when the war in Iraq was looming, Rabbi Elazar Muskin planned a Passover mission to Israel.
"Return from India" is one of the 18 new films, documentaries and TV dramas showing at the 19th Israel Film Festival, from May 28-June 8. Based on A.B. Yehoshua's best-selling book "Open Heart," "India," directed and co-produced by veteran filmmaker Menachem Golan, portrays a somewhat preposterous love story between the young Dr. Ben Rubin (Aki Avni) and the older Dori Lazar (Riki Gal) as they accompany her husband (Asi Dayan) to India to save their sick daughter. Golan was nominated for five Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film including "Entebbe: Operation Thunderbolt" (1977) and "Sallah Shabati" (1964); his film "The Assault" (1986) won the Oscar.
Here's what you miss when you go on an organized mission to Israel: You miss the closed-top market in Rosh Ayin, where sellers out-shout each other over megaphones, "Underwear, girls' underwear, three for 10 shekels."
I've always had an affinity for Esther, the Persian queen who saved the Jews and had an entire megillah named for her.