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  • 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...

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  • 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...

  • Changed My Life

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    January 27, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    If you look really closely you can see me in the new movie "Isn't She Great?" the Jacqueline Susann biopic starring Bette Midler. It's the scene in Central Park when a young career woman on a bench near the lake is voraciously reading Harold Robbins' "The Carpetbaggers," nearly...
  • Four for Chanukah

    By Michael Aushenker

    November 25, 1999 | 6:59 pm

    When the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles celebrated the launch of its anti-illiteracy program KOREH Los Angeles in September, the focus was on educators and celebrities to read children's books to kids. Meanwhile, on the outskirts of the spotlight at that event were some...
  • Adrift in a World in Which God is Hidden

    By Rick Richman

    October 14, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    It is remarkable how many great Jewish American writers first came to the public's attention through a volume of short stories.

    Philip Roth's first book was "Goodbye, Columbus." Allegra Goodman's was "Total Immersion." Earlier this year, Nathan Englander published "For the Relief for...

  • Nation Briefs

    August 12, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    If Jonathan Kirsch's purpose in writing "Moses: A Life," was to offer the reader a mightily researched, comprehensive chronicle of midrashic, scholarly, secular, Christian and even some Muslim commentaries about Moses and the events immediately surrounding his life as told in the...
  • A Dog Tale

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 1, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Author Paul Auster and his daughter, Sophie, were strolling on Seventh Avenue in Brooklyn one day when they spotted a woman standing beside a skinny, scruffy, fearful, "completely ravaged" golden-yellow dog. Around its neck hung a sign: "Please adopt me. I need a home."

    The mutt was...

  • Community Briefs

    July 1, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    While cities such as Detroit and St. Louis were holding major Jewish book festivals year after year, drawing celebrity authors such as Saul Bellow and Philip Roth, observers here asked, Why isn't there a Jewish book festival in Los Angeles?

    Seville Porush and her colleagues at the...

  • Have Library, Must Travel

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    June 17, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    To reach David Hirsch's narrow, cluttered office at UCLA, you traverse bare, labyrynthine corridors in the basement of the University Research Library.

    Hirsch, the Jewish and Middle Eastern studies bibliographer at the library, supervises a collection of treasures that range from a...

  • Separate And Unequal

    By Yehuda Lev

    June 10, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    In the Museum of the City of Jerusalem, in David's Citadel, which purports to present the history of Israel's capital, the word "Arab" does not appear. A few hundred yards away in the Museum of Islam, on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, which purports to tell the history of Islam's third...
  • Haggadah

    By Beverly Gray

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    A 1998 article about Chicago collector Stephen Durschslag's haggadah collection set the number of different haggadot on his shelves at 4,500, increasing almost daily.

    It's probably impossible to know how many haggadot exist, but it's obvious that for every Jew, there should be a...

  • Books to Read or Give on Passover

    By Rita Berman Frischer

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    For promoters and lovers of Jewish books, now is the season of our deep content. Not all the following books are specifically about Passover and not all of them bear a 1999 publication date, but all of them are worth considering, whether to keep or to give as gifts when attending...
  • Making It: Max Frankel and Henry Kissinger

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    I have been reading two books lately, sort of shifting from one to the other -- a bad habit, I know, but it has been with me too long to correct at this point. The books are Henry Kissinger's "Years of Renewal," an indecent 1,151 pages, all about foreign policy during Gerald Ford's...
  • Art Imitating Life for Mystery Writer

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The idea for Rochelle Majer Krich's new mystery, "Blood Money," goes back to the day she discovered some startling photographs in her parents' china closet.

    Krich, then 13, saw her father with an elegantly dressed woman beside a baby carriage holding a baby girl. "'That's Gusta,...

  • Something for Everyone

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    December 10, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Some years ago, the American Booksellers Association's holiday advertising theme was the phrase: "Give a gift of love; Give a book." Jewish Book Month, scheduled in November, anticipated the gift-giving season. This year, as always, a fresh crop of children's books appeared for the...
  • Kosher Feng Shui

    October 22, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Last Tuesday evening, we had dinner with Dick Morris. Can youthink of a more fitting person to dine with during these days ofatonement? Dick Morris: one-time adviser to the president of theUnited States. Widely credited with winning President Clinton'sre-election. Caught on a tabloid...

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