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  • Terry Gross v. Howard Stern

    By Rob Eshman

    July 24, 2012 | 3:02 pm

    This is a blog post with an unfair headline.

    In her interview with Andrew Goldman in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, NPR Fresh Air host Terry Gross has very nice things to say about Howard Stern.  Here’s the good parts:

    AG: When you interviewed Gene Simmons in 2002, he said some...

  • David Geffen:  prickly and terse about his Judaism

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 23, 2012 | 4:01 pm

    David Geffen, the notoriously press shy billionaire Hollywood mogul, stared at me as if I had asked him to yank out a tooth.  The setting was PBS’ summer 2012 press tour on July 22, where he was promoting the American Masters documentary, “Inventing David Geffen.” I queried how...

  • Hollywood Horror Night: Responses to the ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ massacre

    By Danielle Berrin

    July 22, 2012 | 12:43 pm

    Whenever acts of terror and violence occur in ordinary settings, Israel floods to mind. It is a country that knows well the terrible confluence of routine behavior and devastation. Like the innocent setting of a cafe, nightclub or high school, where the Colombine Massacre occurred in...

  • Congressman: ‘Dark Knight Rises’ massacre caused by ‘ongoing attack on Judeo-Christian beliefs’

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    July 20, 2012 | 10:52 am

    I woke up this morning wondering what a blog about religion news could have to say about a gunman walking into a midnight showing of the “Dark Knight Rises” and stalking up and down the aisles, killing at least 12. I didn’t expect to be reporting on a politician who wasted little...

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  • On Nature, Beauty, and Gratitude—Rebbe Nachman of Bratzlav and the Psalms

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    July 20, 2012 | 7:48 am

    Below is an inspirational 11-minute TED talk and presentation by Louie Schwartzberg, photographer and film-maker, that is well worth watching:

    Rebbe Nachman of Bratzlav, one of Judaism’s greatest tzadikim, put it this way:

    “How wonderful it would be if we were worthy of...

  • Biblical politics

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    July 19, 2012 | 1:11 pm

    Michael Walzer frankly announces at the outset of “In God’s Shadow: Politics in the Hebrew Bible” (Yale University Press: $28.00) that he is approaching the Scriptures not as a biblical scholar but as a political thinker.  “The Bible is, above all, a religious book,” he...

  • Camp Newman Generates Jewish Joy

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    July 18, 2012 | 7:00 am

    I attended a secular summer camp as a child, and never expected to set foot in a Jewish summer camp. However, my rabbi invited me to Camp Newman last Shabbat for our synagogue’s annual visitor’s night, and it turned out to be an amazing experience.

    Within minutes of my arrival,...

  • The Western Wall at an anti-abortion monument? Good intentions, bad visual

    By Mark Paredes

    July 18, 2012 | 12:52 am

    In a case of using questionable means to achieve a noble end, pro-life pastors and activists in Kansas are planning to incorporate a full-size replica of the Western Wall in their proposed International Pro-Life Memorial and National Life Center. The wall will have 60 crosses in...

  • The War on Women or the Women on War?

    By Maya Paley

    July 17, 2012 | 1:48 pm

    Is there a war on women? Is this an exaggeration or is it reality? I wonder if I’ll ever know considering that most of the reporting about women in this world is conducted by men.

    Look at our US election coverage this year, for example. When it comes to print media (as published by...

  • The Woody Allen Israel Project: The Plot Thickens

    By Rob Eshman

    July 17, 2012 | 12:58 pm

    A man falls for a woman.  All he wants is to get her attention. His friends even try to get her to notice him.  The woman is a little flattered, a little perturbed—who IS this guy? And why do his friends CARE so much?  And then,  one day, she…

    That’s kind of where we are with the...

  • Anti-Semitism in Iran: Worse than you think [UPDATE: FARSI TRANSLATION]

    By Karmel Melamed

    July 17, 2012 | 10:00 am

    Read a translation of this article in Farsi here

    In Tehran last month, during a ceremony marking the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Iran’s current vice president, Mohammad-Reza Rahimi, launched an anti-Semitic tirade.

    I am fluent in Farsi and...

  • It’s Groundhog Day as Democrats like (but don’t endorse) Berman; Sherman talks up $$$ advantage

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    July 16, 2012 | 5:08 pm

    Is it just me, or does the Berman v. Sherman news from this weekend feel very familiar?

    Take news item number one, the somewhat confusing – and effectively meaningless – gesture of support the more senior Rep. Howard Berman received from the California Democratic Party this...

  • The lady’s guide to the TSA

    By Tamara Shayne Kagel

    July 16, 2012 | 10:01 am

    I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately; almost every weekend for a while now and in addition to a terrible case of jet-lag I have picked up some tips on how to approach the complications of the TSA without sacrificing your dignity.  With summer travels upon us, many of us are...

  • Taking Action, An exclusive with one of the Co-Founders from “Invisible Children”

    By Chava Tombosky

    July 16, 2012 | 9:18 am

    There are those times when we arrive at a crossroad in our lives when a particular place with a set of circumstances all point to a moment that we can decide to use our actions to set a course that has the power to make a difference beyond our wildest imagination.  When film student,...

  • Woody Allen Film in Israel: “Certainly a Possibility”

    By JewishJournal.com

    July 13, 2012 | 12:41 pm

    Woody Allen is open to the idea of filming a future movie in Israel.

    That’s the official response from a spokesperson for Woody Allen’s publicists, who responded to an inquiry from The Jewish Journal.

    “While it is certainly a possibility at some point,” wrote Ashton Fontana of...

  • Shifting Expectations: Women and Work

    By Rabba Sara Hurwitz

    July 13, 2012 | 10:41 am

    I love eating challah, but until recently, I refused to be a “challah baker.”  The term irrationally evoked an image of a woman chained to her kitchen,  slaving away for the sake of others, with no desire or choice to impact the world.  That is not who I am.  I am an Orthodox...

  • Dog bites man: American Jews vote (overwhelmingly) Democratic, says new study

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    July 11, 2012 | 2:59 pm

    With Republican leaders predicting a massive shift of Jewish voters away from President Barack Obama this November, a new study shows just how reliably Democratic Jewish voters are.

    The study, conducted by Democratic pollsters Mark Mellman and Aaron Strauss with University of...

  • Peres: Settlements bad for the Jews

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    July 11, 2012 | 10:10 am

    Israeli President Shimon Peres said Tuesday that the West Bank settlements are bad for the Jews. JTA reports:

    “It is doubtful that a Jewish state without a Jewish majority can remain Jewish,” Peres said, inferring that settlements would lead to the inextricable inclusion of the Palestinians living on the West Bank.

    Peres’ remarks were an apparent response to the Levy Committee report, released Sunday, which stated that the West Bank settlements were legal because Israel does not meet the definition, under international law, of a military occupation.

  • A Synagogue Isn’t a Market

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    July 11, 2012 | 7:00 am

    Noam Neusner thinks he has come up with the ideal solution to synagogue dues in “The Marketplace for Synagogues” at The Jewish Daily Forward. He suggests that we buy tickets from a Jewish Federation, which we would then turn in when we attend synagogue services. The synagogues,...

  • Why a Jewish Democratic leader attacked Sheldon Adelson

    By  Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

    July 10, 2012 | 9:50 am

    The most unpleasant people I have encountered in politics are those who put party before principle, partisanship before politeness, tribal political doctrine before common human decency. Since beginning my run for Congress I have been approached by Republicans convinced that Barack...

  • The uninteresting legality of settlements

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    July 10, 2012 | 6:00 am

    My co-blogger, Shmuel Rosner, mentioned in one of his latest posts, that the Israeli settlements are legal. “A judiciary committee has concluded that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are in ‎fact legal. The West Bank, the committee believes, is not occupied territory and...

  • The Road to New Jewish Cuisine

    By Michael Israel

    July 9, 2012 | 7:07 pm

    Discovering Encyclopedia of Jewish Food has changed my life as a cook. I have always wanted to explore classic Jewish cuisine and find ways to contribute to its modernization. I am a firm believer that any craftsman, whether carpenter or chef, must understand the classics before...

  • Simon Wiesenthal Center urges German Chancellor to pass law declaring circumcision legal

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    July 6, 2012 | 3:00 pm

    In the wake of a German court’s ruling in June that declared nonconsensual religious circumcision to be inflicting “bodily harm” on boys, Rabbi Marvin Hier and Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center have called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders...

  • Celebrity Schadenfreude: Hating on the stars

    By Danielle Berrin

    July 6, 2012 | 11:55 am

    On the flight back from a recent trip to Italy, I took a slight flight risk and decided to watch Madonna’s critically maligned movie “W.E.”  Since I had not heard a single positive thing about it (save for Andrea Riseborough’s performance as Wallis Simpson) I was not...

  • Brooke Shields, Richard Chamberlain and Teller on “Exorcist’s” demon [SLIDESHOW]

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 6, 2012 | 11:04 am

    What’s the character of the demon like in John Pielmeier’s “The Exorcist,” adapted from William Peter Blatty’s novel, opening July 11 at the Geffen Playhouse? “He’s actually rather inventive and playful, in the sense that he likes to play with people’s lives,” said...

  • Should Jews celebrate the Fourth of July?

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    July 5, 2012 | 10:36 pm

    If you’re an American, it would be just about impossible to miss the Fourth of July. I live in one of those parts of coastal L.A. that is a mecca for July Fourth revelers. And I’ve always taken for granted the celebration of this nation’s birth.

    Never have I stopped to think whether...

  • No business like the news business: Aaron Sorkin on ‘Newsroom’

    By Danielle Berrin

    July 5, 2012 | 3:38 pm

    Aaron Sorkin, the playwright, television writer and Oscar-winning screenwriter of “The Social Network,” is causing a stir with his new HBO series, “The Newsroom,” about the inside antics of a cable news show and its commentary on American journalism. Sorkin’s “The West...

  • Berman gaining pro-Israel, Jewish vote

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    July 5, 2012 | 11:30 am

    Eve Kurtin didn’t intend to take a side in the race between Rep. Howard Berman and Rep. Brad Sherman.

    In mid-2011, right around the time it became clear these two Jewish, pro-Israel Democrats would be running against one another for reelection in the newly drawn 30th...

  • Andrew Garfield:  The Jewish Spidey [SLIDESHOW]

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 2, 2012 | 5:49 pm

    While watching “The Amazing Spider-Man,” I was struck by how much Andrew Garfield-as-Spidey – or rather, his alter-ego, Peter Parker – reminded me of the kind of gangly geeky-cute guys you’d develop a crush on at Jewish summer camp. 

    And that casting perhaps makes sense,...

  • Israel’s ‘Matchmaker’ now at your service

    By  Tom Tugend

    July 1, 2012 | 3:30 pm

    Neil Friedman, the head man at Menemsha Films, e-mailed a reminder that “The Matchmaker,” one of Israel’s quirkiest and most memorable films, is now playing at Laemmle’s Music Hall in Beverly Hills, Fallbrook 7 in West Hills and Town Center in Encino.

    Whatever images come to...

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