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  • Death by Fire

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    April 20, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The Torah sometimes gives us verses that shock us. You know, the kind that wake us up, make sure we are paying attention. This week, in Parshat Sh'mini, we find such a verse. The story of Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron who die a tragic death at the hand of God for supposedly...

  • Food for Thought

    By Rabbi Daniel Greyber

    April 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Vica is tall, blonde and Jewish. She is my interpreter.

    It's February 2005 and I am in Vilna, Lithuania, at the Baltics Limmud Conference. I am here as part of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles' strategic partnership with the Baltics communities to teach subjects as...

  • Competing Moments of Truth on Schools

    By Howard Blume

    April 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    On Tuesday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is expected to lay the groundwork for the most defining initiative of his term in office: his attempt to take control of Los Angeles' schools. But the day before he does, opponents of his plan will beat him to the microphone. The L.A. teachers...

  • Competing Moments of Truth on Schools

    By Howard Blume

    April 9, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    On Tuesday April 18, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is expected to lay the groundwork for the most defining initiative of his term in office: his attempt to take control of Los Angeles' schools. But the day before he does, opponents of his plan will beat him to the microphone. The L.A....

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  • Olmert Receives U.S. Thumbs-Up

    By Ron Kampeas

    April 6, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Low-key, detail-oriented, a master of the backroom deal: The same qualities that make Prime Minister-elect Ehud Olmert uninspiring for some Israelis are the ones that Americans who deal with him find exciting.

    Olmert's attention to the fine print and his less-than-mythic status in...

  • Oy, Baby!

    By Amy Klein

    March 30, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The New York Times Magazine doesn't want single women my age to enjoy their weekends.

    A few months ago it was Maureen Dowd with "What's a Modern Girl to Do?" on how men don't like smart, independent women, and now this: "Wanted: A Few Good Sperm," a March 19 cover story about older...

  • Palestinians Unimpressed With Kadima Win

    By Uriel Heilman

    March 30, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The day after an historic election that realigned Israel's political landscape, little has changed at the Kalandia Checkpoint on the outskirts of Ramallah.

    Palestinians still file past well-armed Israeli soldiers, bulldozers still work on closing gaps in the 20-foot high concrete...

  • A School or a Shul?

    By Julie G Fax

    March 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Administrators at Yeshivat Yavneh knew that the "No Trespassing" signs wouldn't go over well with neighbors, especially the ones who used to run their dogs on the plush green stretch that fronts the Third Street main entrance to the Orthodox day school.

    But about two years ago they...

  • Relationships 101

    By Mark Miller

    March 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Why is finding and sustaining a successful romantic relationship so difficult? I blame the American education system. It teaches us a world of information we most likely will never need unless we're either settling a bar bet, appearing on "Jeopardy" or helping our children with their...

  • AF Academy’s New Religion Rules Hit

    By Matthew E. Berger

    February 16, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The U.S. Air Force last week introduced revised guidelines on religious tolerance and practices at its training academy, and they are widely regarded as a step backward.

    A number of Jewish leaders say their efforts to change the Air Force Academy's position on Christian proselytizing...

  • Will Europe Back Hamas Sans Conditions?

    By Dan Baron

    February 16, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Cracks are showing in the international demands on Hamas to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism before it takes over the Palestinian Authority.

    Ignoring the preconditions, Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to host leaders of the radical Islamic group in Moscow,...

  • How Green Is My Shul?

    By Jane Ulman

    February 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    For 75-year-old Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock, it was the need to re-landscape that steered the synagogue in an ecological direction. The status quo was 8,000 square feet of unwatered, weed-ridden and rarely mowed grass, along with three palm trees, two citrus...

  • Midlife Reinvention Not So Uncommon

    By Ellie Kahn

    February 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    John F. Kennedy once said, "When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity."

    Life is full of change -- in fact, one of the only things we can predict and count on in life is that things won't stay...

  • Messianics Gather for National Meeting

    By David Finnigan

    January 26, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    A Christian megachurch whose clergy has worked with local Jewish leaders in recent years to support Israel gathered last weekend to celebrate Jews who proclaim Jesus as the messiah.

    About 1,100 people attended the Jan. 20-21 Road To Jerusalem conference, which took place at...

  • Negev + Galilee = Israel’s Future

    By Batsheva Pomerantz

    January 19, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    "The Negev and the Galilee comprise 70 percent of the area of the State of Israel with 30 percent of its populace, but they guarantee 100 percent of the future of the state," said Ron Pelmer, the director of Or National Initiatives, a nonprofit organization that helps to develop...

  • Olmert’s Conversion From Pol to Leader

    By Larry Derfner

    January 19, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    As far as personality goes, Ehud Olmert is not my kind of guy. He comes off like he thinks he's God's gift to humanity, riffraff that we are.

    I remember several years ago when as mayor of Jerusalem, he came to view the damage to a local Conservative synagogue that had been...

  • Brandeis-Bardin’s Changing Face

    By Jane Ulman

    January 12, 2006 | 7:00 pm

     

    Drive into The Brandeis-Bardin Institute, up the pepper tree-lined main thoroughfare and through the gates leading to 3,000 acres of rolling hills in the Santa Susana Mountains. Enter a setting so magnificent that it's easy to believe, as Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Valley...

  • Orthodox But Not Monolithic

    By Amy Klein

    January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The last place most people probably wanted to be on the morning of Dec. 25 was at a convention in a Beverly Hills hotel.

    But for Orthodox Jews the time and the place, the Crowne Plaza, worked fine for wrapping up the Orthodox Union's 15th Annual West Coast Torah Convention, called...

  • Poor, Darfur Lose in Budget, Israel Gains

    By James D. Besser

    January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Jewish agencies around the country could have to ante up tens of millions of dollars in the next five years, thanks to a year-end budget package approved by Congress.

    That assessment from a top Jewish activist here could be just the tip of the fiscal iceberg, as activists try to...

  • Nathan Takes a Bite Out of Boring Fare

    By Keren Engelberg

    December 8, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    "The New American Cooking" by Joan Nathan (Knopf, $35).

    A tempeh Reuben sandwich and guacamole made with mayonnaise may sound like sacrilege to food purists, but not to food journalist Joan Nathan. The author of 10 cookbooks, including the award-winning "Jewish Cooking in America"...

  • Interfaith Dialogue Can Bring Change

    By Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis

    November 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    "Teshuvah," turning, repentance, reconciliation, is a gift given to all people. People change, institutions change, policies change.

    Consider the largely unreported and unheralded change in the Presbyterian Church (USA). By a vote of 431 to 62 in July 2004, the church voted to begin...

  • Peretz Win Portends Political Shakeup

    By Leslie Susser

    November 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    The election of Amir Peretz, a 53-year-old underdog, as leader of the Labor Party is almost certain to change the face of Israeli politics.

    The result of the Nov. 9 Labor primary vote makes more likely the formation of a new centrist party led by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, backed...

  • Go Forth, Find You

    By Rabbi Toba August

    November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    "The longest journey is the journey inwards. Of him who has chosen his destiny...." -- Dag Hammarskjold, "Markings" (1964)

    I recently saw the film, "In Her Shoes," and was inspired by the personal transformation of the sister played by Cameron Diaz.

    This character had the courage to...

  • 78 and 79: A Matter of Life and Death

    By Idan Ivri

    November 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Like many California voters this week, Rabbi Hershy Ten, president of the Bikur Cholim Jewish Healthcare Foundation, is grappling with how to vote on the Nov. 8 ballot. Either Proposition 78 or Proposition 79 could directly affect his L.A.-based foundation's efforts to provide...

  • What’s So Special About the Special Election?

    By Raphael J. Sonenshein

    November 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    On Nov. 8, the voters of California will have the chance to vote in a special election most of them did not want. That's no reason to stay home. After all, whether we like it or not, the election will take place, and all of California residents will have to live with the...

  • Letters

    November 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Though I am somewhat ashamed to admit it, I had barely heard the name Rabbi Eliezer Silver (z"tl) before my arrival in Cincinnati, OH a little over seven years ago. As I quickly became more acquainted with the life of this great leader, I was awed by the extent of his service to...

  • 7 Days in The Arts

    By Keren Engelberg

    November 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Saturday, November 5

    Santa Monica Playhouse Youth Performers perform some tikkun olam and a musical show all at once. This weekend, the 10- to-14-year-olds present "Drempels, aka: The Short but Happy Life of the Drempel Hieronymus Aloisius Plonk." The musical comedy imagines a...

  • Panel Rejects Texts Over Religious Bias

    By Sue Fishkoff

    October 13, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    In a surprise move, an advisory body to the California Board of Education rejected a sixth-grade history program that Hindu and Jewish groups blasted as biased, erroneous and culturally derogatory.

    During a two-day late September hearing before the state's Curriculum Development and...

  • Change of Command on ‘Commander in Chief’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    October 13, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Was it sex, TV politics or controversial opinions about the Middle East? Or something else entirely?

    News reports and sources cite conflicting reasons why Israeli-born Rod Lurie was booted or departed as show-runner of the successful new ABC drama, "Commander in Chief," about the...

  • Tightrope of Life

    By Rabbi Moshe D. Bryski

    October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    In the days of communism's fierce grip on the Soviet Union, there lived a Chasidic Jew named Reb Mendel Futerfas. Reb Mendel repeatedly put his life at risk with his efforts to promote Jewish education behind the Iron Curtain and for some 14 years was incarcerated in prisons and...

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