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  • A Rabbi’s Journey

    By Gaby Wenig

    May 30, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Rabbi Jacob Pressman decided to become a rabbi because he could not choose among all the career options that were available to him.

    "I was looking for direction, because unfortunately -- and this sounds self-serving -- I was outstanding in everything," says the current rabbi...

  • Shedding Some Light

    By Amy Klein

    May 9, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    "Everything Is Illuminated" by Jonathan Safran Foer (Houghton Mifflin, $24).

    Jonathan Safran Foer's new book, "Everything Is Illuminated" has garnered rave reviews everywhere, from The New York Times to Esquire, with front jacket quotes by Russell Banks, Nathan Englander and mentor...

  • The Heart and Marrow of a Century

    By Miriyam Glazer

    April 18, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    From the vantage point of our already traumatic new millennium, "Old Men at Midnight," celebrated author Chaim Potok's latest collection of three novellas, requires us to look back in anguish at a wrenching picture of the 20th century.

    "This America of yours is not a country that...

  • Sex, Lies and Audio ‘Tape’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 18, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Stephen Belber is sitting in a cafe next door to the Coast Playhouse, now showing his noir drama "Tape," charmingly professing he's not the world's greatest playwright. Never mind that "Tape" -- which was turned into a 2001 Richard Linklater film starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and...

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  • An Impostor Survivor

    By Baz Dreisinger

    April 4, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    In the 1948 film "Gentleman's Agreement," Phil Green, changing his last name to Greenberg, passes as a Jew in order to write a searing exposé of anti-Semitism. Over the course of the film, a strange thing starts happening: By merely passing as a Jew, Green starts identifying as one....

  • 7 Days In Arts

    By Solange Borna

    February 21, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    23/Saturday

    Three years ago, violinist Lynn Maxine's aunt died of Parkinson's disease. Maxine promised she would do everything she could to help others with this ailment. Today, she fulfills that promise by performing in a benefit concert for the Parkinson Institute, accompanied...

  • Spartacus’

    By Tom Tugend

    February 7, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    "My Stroke of Luck" by Kirk Douglas (William Morrow, $22.95)

    Five years ago, Kirk Douglas, the legendary tough guy of 84 movies, decided to end his life.

    A stroke had left him speechless -- an actor's worst nightmare. A painful compressed spine reminded him constantly of an earlier...

  • Bunny vs. Rabbi

    By JTA Staff

    January 3, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Lindsey Vuolo, Playboy bunny, met her match last month: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

    The two squared off in front of an audience of more than 150 people -- about three-quarters of them men -- at Makor, a Jewish cultural center in Manhattan geared toward 20- and 30-something Jews.

    The talk...

  • Diagnosis: Grandfather

    By Tom Tugend

    December 27, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    "The Grandfather Thing" by Saul Turteltaub (Tallfellow Press, $16.95).

    Saul Turteltaub, whom I've known for a good many years, is a funny man and a funny television writer. If you laughed at "The Carol Burnett Show," "The Jackie Gleason Show," "That Girl" or "The Cosby Show," tip...

  • Calendar & Singles

    By Solange Borna

    December 6, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Calendar



    SATURDAY/8

    Sinai Temple: 9:30 a.m. Shabbat services. 10400 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 474-1518.

    Barnes & Noble: 2 p.m. Author Peter J. Levinson discusses and signs "September in the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle," a book about the...

  • Southern Scandals

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    TV writer Loraine Despres dreamed up her award-winning debut novel, "The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc," (William Morrow, $24) after a creative writing class stirred her memories of growing up Jewish in Amite, La.

    Despres recalled the bullet holes in her bedroom wall, courtesy...

  • A Working Girl Can Win

    By Michael Aushenker

    November 15, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    "She was thinking about how, growing up, she'd force herself to look at the sun. Just because you weren't supposed to. Just to prove she could. Except she couldn't." -- Lucinda Rosenfeld, describing Phoebe Fine, protagonist of "What She Saw"

    Forgive Lucinda Rosenfeld if 2001 seems...

  • The Secret History

    By Ruth Andrew Ellenson

    November 15, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    "The Woman Who Laughed at God: The Untold History of the Jewish People," by Jonathan Kirsch (Viking Press, $14.95).

    Jonathan Kirsch lives a double life that many lawyers only dream of.

    An attorney specializing in the field of publishing law by day, he is also the best-selling...

  • Nice and Gruesome

    By Gaby Wenig

    November 15, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Perhaps the most disarming thing about Jonathan Kellerman -- best-selling author of gruesome crime mysteries that deal with the seedier aspects of human nature and society -- is that he is nice and charming.

    The pyschotherapist turned author has his 17th thriller "Flesh and Blood,"...

  • Locals on the Shelves

    By Dennis Gura

    November 15, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Moving out of formal academic writing, Steven M. Lowenstein, professor of Jewish History at the University of Judaism, has produced an interesting treatment of Jewish folkways, traditions and variant religious, culinary, sartorial, musical and linguistic practices. His presentation...

  • The Vatican and the Shoah

    By Aaron Leibel

    November 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    A boy goes missing on the grounds of a Jewish factory and his body is found riddled with wounds. "Science has established the time and the method.... It has indicated the goal ... the murder was committed by people who wanted to extract the blood. Now of such people one race alone is...

  • Wayward Son

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    "Shadows of Sin" began when Orthodox mystery author Rochelle Krich was chilled by a verse in Deuteronomy after the Columbine High School shootings in 1999.

    The passage described the "wayward and rebellious" son, who is condemned to death for crimes of theft, drunkenness and gluttony....

  • ‘Sea’ Changes Tide

    By Ruth Andrew Ellenson

    October 18, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    In recent years, Israeli writer Amos Oz has become as well-known for his liberal political views as for his fiction. In his newest book, "The Same Sea," he has created a novel infused with literary artistry that never directly addresses politics, but allows them to hover undiscussed...

  • Community Designs

    By Gaby Wenig

    October 18, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Although he owns more than 11 million square feet of office space, Charles S. Cohen is not your typical New York real estate mogul.

    For one, he spends a lot of time in Los Angeles -- calling it his second home -- and it seems clear why L.A. culture appeals to him. A lifetime film...

  • ‘Errors’ in Judgement

    By Nan Goldberg

    September 20, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    "Clerical Errors" by Alan Isler (Scribner; $24.)

    Aging priest, Father Edmond music is one of those people who puts off dealing with crises until it's just too late.

    The world of literature is rife with such people -- think of Hamlet; Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Grady...

  • A Citizen of Jerusalem

    By Ruth Andrew Ellenson

    September 13, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    In His New Book, "At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden" (William Morrow, 2001), Yossi Klein Halevi, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Jerusalem Report and The New Republic, chronicles his journey as a Jew searching for understanding of...

  • An Excerpt From “Eden”

    By Yossi Klein Halevi

    September 13, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    At the Entrance to the Garden of Eden

    by Yossi Klein Halevi

    William Morrow

    Pages: 336; $25.00

    Chapter One: Ramadan



    I lived on the border of Jerusalem. My apartment was in the last row of buildings just before the desert hills of the West Bank. In the distance lay the quiescent...

  • ‘Nap’ Time

    By Michael Aushenker

    August 16, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Raymond Chandler had "The Big Sleep." Now Ayelet Waldman has written her sunny slice of noir, "The Big Nap" (Berkley Prime Crime, June 2001).

    Waldman, who is married to Michael Chabon, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" will be reading...

  • Love Ain’t Moulin Rouge

    By Teresa Strasser

    July 5, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    I ironed my bed skirt this weekend. I got out the can of spray starch and lovingly pressed that thing for an hour in the sauna-like atmosphere of my tiny kitchen.

    That's how much I didn't want to read "Why Can't I Fall in Love? A 12-Step Program."

    The book, by best-selling "Kosher...

  • Author Mordecai Richler Dies at 70

    By Bram Eisenthal

    July 5, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Mordecai Richler, a Canadian Jewish literary giant, died of cancer Monday. He was 70.

    Richler was known for his stories about Jewish life in his native Montreal. "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" and "Joshua Then and Now" are among his most famous works.

    "The Apprenticeship of...

  • Rage Becomes Power in Writer’s Hands

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 3, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    "I still write a lot from anger," playwright Mark Medoff said. "I've wanted to flagellate the world."

    Medoff, 61, is the author of the smoldering plays "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?" "Children of a Lesser God" and "Road to a Revolution," now at Deaf West Theatre. His intense work...

  • Spellbound

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    "I was in all of one spelling bee in my life," confides Myla Goldberg, the author of "Bee Season," who'll read from her stunning debut novel at the Jewish Book Festival this week. The overachiever was in the fourth grade, and she smugly expected to win - until she was asked to spell...

  • Boys Wonder

    By Michael Aushenker

    October 26, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Joe [incredulous]: Jewish superheroes?

    Sammy: What, they're all Jewish, superheroes. Superman, you don't think he's Jewish? Coming from the old country, changing his name like that. Clark Kent, only a Jew would pick up a name like that for himself.

    A day after Yom Kippur, Michael...

  • 7 Days in the Arts

    By Mike Levy

    September 28, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    30Saturday

    The 50th anniversary revival of Arthur Miller's classic "Death of a Salesman" won four Tony awards on Broadway last year, including Best Revival, and Best Actor for Brian Dennehy's portrayal of Willy Loman. Now that Broadway production has come to the Ahmanson Theatre for...

  • Big-City Girl, Small-Town Crimes

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    August 24, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Author Delia Ephron was visiting her big sister, Nora, in "the country" (actually East Hampton) one summer morning when she glanced at the crime report in the local newspaper.

    Oh, how quaint, she thought. Five Dr. Peppers had been taken from the refrigerator at Corecelli's turkey...

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