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  • Herb Brin

    By Tom Tugend

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Herb Brin, one of the most colorful writers and editors in the annals of Los Angeles Jewish journalism, died of congestive heart failure on Feb. 6 at the Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda.

    His death came 11 days before his 88th birthday and shortly after he completed his...

  • ‘Girl Meets God’—Again and Again

    By Reeve Lindbergh

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "Girl Meets God: On the Path to Spiritual Life" by Lauren Winner (Algonquin Books, $23.95).

    Lauren Winner's spiritual memoir, "Girl Meets God," is a passionate and thoroughly engaging account of a continuing spiritual journey within two profoundly different faiths.

    Winner, the...

  • Russia Returns 16 Long-Sought Books

    By Lev Krichevsky

    December 26, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    The Lubavitch movement is celebrating the transfer of 16 more religious books to a Lubavitch-run synagogue in Moscow. But it is unclear when -- and indeed, if -- the balance of the thousands of books that make up the "Schneerson Library" will come into the ultra-Orthodox group's...

  • Check Out the Library’s New Digs

    By Michael Aushenker

    December 19, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Sally Hyam didn't mind working on her birthday. A librarian for the last 19 years at the Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles (JCLLA), Hyam was actually delighted that some 40 visitors were checking out books and videos at the opening reception celebrating the library's new...

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  • 7 Days In Arts

    By Keren Engelberg

    December 5, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Saturday



    Chin up, ladies. The Jerry Herman musical that gave Yiddish diva Molly Picon her debut on Broadway is playing this week in concert performances at the University of Judaism. That would be "Milk and Honey," the story of two American tourists in the Holy Land who keep...

  • Spicy ‘Shores’ of the Mediterranean

    By Judy Bart Kancigor

    November 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Celebrated cookbook author and chef Joyce Goldstein can trace her bloodline to a Russian shtetl, but her heart and soul lie in the Mediterranean.

    In "Cucina Ebraica" (Chronicle Books, 1998) and "Sephardic Flavors" (Chronicle Books, 2000) she explored Italian Jewish and Spanish...

  • Beyond Miracles and Maccabees

    By Denise Berger

    November 21, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    My mother was surprised when I said I was reviewing Chanukah books for kids. "Is there a lot out there?" she asked.

    I don't remember ever coming across a Chanukah book growing up. Now there are titles geared for all ages and interests -- historical accounts, folk tales, activities,...

  • The Downside to Literacy

    By Viva Hammer

    October 31, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    I honestly thought my daughter, Bruria, would never learn how to read. My nieces learned how when they were 3, and so I assumed that if I got in early, say around 2, Bruria would be in full swing by 3.

    So I dutifully started with letters and sounds, labeling every item in the house,...

  • Eulogies:Rabbi Stanley F. Chyet

    October 24, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Rabbi Stanley F. Chyet, professor emeritus of American Jewish history at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) campus since 1976, and assistant to the president and secretary to the board of trustees of the Skirball Cultural Center since 1981, died at the age of...

  • ‘Oleander’ Blooms

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    October 10, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    When Janet Fitch met Michelle Pfeiffer to discuss the film version of her debut novel, "White Oleander," last year, she felt like she'd stepped into an episode of "The Twilight Zone." "It was surreal," the affable Jewish author said.

    It was just two years since the 46-year-old...

  • Journalist ReturnsGestapo’s Booty

    By Tom Tugend

    September 19, 2002 | 7:59 pm

    It took close to 70 years, but the books that the Gestapo confiscated from Dr. Caesar Hirsch have been restored to his descendants and donated to the UCLA library, thanks largely to the persistence of a German journalist.

    Hirsch was a prominent otolaryngologist, a specialist in ear,...

  • A Matter of Crime

    By Teresa Strasser

    May 30, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Crime does pay. Wait, no. I pay for crime. That is to say, I pay for books about crime because I can't get enough of serial killers, crime profiling, unsolved murders, exonerating DNA evidence, assassins, date stalkers, maximum-security prisons and forensics.

    You know that...

  • The Man Who Knows Too Much

    By Jonathan S. Tobin

    March 21, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    "American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us," by Steve Emerson (Simon & Schuster, $26).

    It began by happenstance

    CNN reporter Steve Emerson was stuck in Oklahoma City on Christmas 1992 with nothing to do and wandered by the city's convention center, where a gathering of the...

  • Where Worlds Collide

    By Melissa Minkin

    February 7, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    There were no books about Jewish children when writer Lesléa Newman was growing up.

    "I was hungry for a book with characters like [me] to make me feel valid and normal, and to make me think there wasn't something wrong with my family," because it lacked Christmas trees and Easter...

  • Community Scholar

    By Andrea Adelson

    January 17, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Driven by a personal desire for intellectual growth, Arie Katz set out last year to attract to Orange County the sort of eminent Jewish scholars that few synagogues can afford to woo on their own.

    With little more than his own chutzpah and considerable networking skills, the Newport...

  • Anxiety about Jewish Literature

    By Ruth Wisse

    November 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    As long as the Jewish people lives, it will generate a living culture, and as long as that culture values the written word, Jews will write books.

    Individual genius notwithstanding, these books will reflect the Jewish culture of their time. The Talmud was argued and codified when the...

  • Terror, Grief and Awe

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    September 20, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    In past Yom Kippurs I've been known to bring a stack of books with me to synagogue, works both historic and intellectual, to focus on when neither prayer nor imagination can fill the time. Not this year.

    The terror, grief and awe of Sept. 11 will preoccupy my thoughts for many long...

  • The Other Sides

    By Rob Eshman

    August 2, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    There are weeks when history is written, and there are weeks, like this past one, when it is rewritten.

    On Thursday, July 26, The New York Times carried a two-page investigation into the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Three days later, the Los Angeles Times ran its...

  • Comic Book Central

    By Michael Aushenker

    July 12, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    The Jewish American contribution to the comic book world is so vast and invaluable it can fill a library. In addition to James Sturm, here's a look at some Jewish talent scheduled to appear at the July 19-22 San Diego Comic-Con 2001 at the San Diego Convention Center.

    • Brian Michael...

  • New Aspects of Anne

    By Tom Tugend

    May 17, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Let's say it right up front: The four-hour television miniseries "Anne Frank" is the most powerful film on the Holocaust in recent memory, not excepting the fabled "Schindler's List."

    The conclusion comes as a surprise, not least to this reviewer. Who would have thought that a...

  • Childhood’s Sweet Sharp Imprint

    By Gina Nahai

    May 17, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    It is summer, a long time ago, and I am lying on a terrace overlooking an ancient garden full of rosebushes and fruit trees. The days have been so hot, the asphalt on the sidewalk melts under my feet if I dare step out of the house. At night, the temperature drops. My sisters and I...

  • A Message From David Wolpe

    By David Wolpe

    April 19, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    It's a well-known fact that millions of Jews have doubts about the literal veracity of Bible stories. On April 8, 9 and 15, I gave a series of sermons that emphasized the following point: faith is independent of doubt. I wanted the millions of doubting Jews to know that they can...

  • Exploring the Inexplicable

    By Dennis Gura

    April 19, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    My mother and I have an ongoing dispute. Sometime in the late 1960s, she was given an oversized French photograph book about the Holocaust, titled "La Deportation." As an act of Jewish solidarity, she has at times prominently displayed it. I find the cover painfully disturbing. It is...

  • People of the Book

    By Judy Gruen

    March 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Just try to sidle your way to the counter at the 613 Mitzvah Store on Pico Boulevard to pay for your purchases. You'll have to be patient and agile, since the 1,300-square-foot store is neatly jammed from floor to ceiling with all manner of Judaica: kiddush cups, havdalah trays, a...

  • Words, Blessed Words

    By Gina Nahai

    March 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Every year for Women's History Month, I'm asked to address groups of people brought together to mark the occasion. Some years it's at a university, a museum, or a foundation. This year it's in the Milken High School library.

    I like the idea, of course -- to support the library and...

  • Reading for Chanukah

    By Rita Berman Frischer

    December 7, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    From demons to pious flying rabbis, from magic frying pans to runaway latkes, from hayfork menorahs (in Chelm, where else?) to a multilingual meditation on peace, you can find something for everybody in books available this holiday season. Enjoy.



    Good Stories



    "For Hope:...

  • The Fires This Time

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    September 21, 2000 | 7:59 pm

    If a book that confronts death head-on can be uplifting, Kate Wenner has done it in an auspicious first novel, "Setting Fires" (Scribner). The two fires referred to in the title offer unseen sparks, that, amid the danger of consuming flames, light the way to meaning for the main...

  • People Of The Book

    By Mike Aushenker

    June 8, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    On this last day of May, in the middle of Dodger Stadium, the sun is shining on dozens of students from Shalhevet High School and Carthay Center School as they shout their hero's name: "Shawn Green! Shawn Green!"

    In the center of it all, the celebrated left-handed right fielder -...

  • Be Happy, It’s Adar!

    By Rita Berman Frischer

    March 16, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Purim is upon us. Time to stock up on story books to share: Children's Books for Purim

    In "On Purim," Cathy Goldberg Fishman's fourth Jewish holiday story book (Atheneum, 2000, ages 5 up), a young girl tries to understand the deeper significance of the Purim masks her family is busily trimming.

  • Struggle on the Steppes

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    January 27, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Ruzena Berler wrote her memoir, "Cattle Car to Kazakhstan," to reveal a little-known chapter of World War II: The story of women who struggled on the freezing steppes of Asia and on the Russian front.

    She first began to write about her experiences in the late 1940s, to exorcise her...

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