Jewish Journal

Tag: Christmas

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  • Brotherly Love

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    December 13, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    With Chanukah recent history, I came across a fascinating review of a new book, "The Business of Holidays." The book's editor, Maud Lavin, notes that 81 percent of U.S. households celebrate Christmas with a tree in their homes, and not everybody is Christian. The line between...
  • Christmas in Sukkot?

    By Rabbi Stephen Julius Stein

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Last year we moved into a home large enough to build the sukkah we've been dreaming of for a long time. My partner, Stephen Ariel, designed a sturdy, easy-to-assemble structure, and with the abundant bamboo in our backyard we could harvest homegrown skakh (branches used for...
  • Saying ‘shalom’ to Santa Claus

    By Kathleen Vallee Stein

    December 21, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    I was very sad when I put an ad in the Recycler for my beloved Christmas dishes, but it was time to part with them. I had converted to Judaism two years earlier but kept the dishes stored in the back of the linen closet. I wanted them to go to a good home.

    The dishes represented...

  • Fry the latkes, try the gingerbread

    By Wendy Mogel

    December 21, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    In a second-grade classroom I visited recently, the children were comparing how many presents they were going to receive for Christmas. When they finished, Sarah announced, "I don't celebrate Christmas, I celebrate Chanukah. We get eight presents every night for eight nights."


  • It’s beginning to sound a lot like Tish Tones; Java Nagilla!

    By Keren Engelberg

    December 21, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Saturday the 23rd

    Chanukah's officially over, but it's not too late to catch Tobey C. Moss Gallery's exhibition, "Peter Shire -- The Creative Synapse: Fantasies, Drawings, Sculptures." Included among Shire's maquettes -- relating to his public artworks displayed as close as Los...

  • U.S. Jewish Population Rising; California and Israel Join in Tourism Pact

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    U.S. Jewish Population Rising?

    The new American Jewish Yearbook reports that there are 6.4 million Jews in the United States. That's significantly more than the 5.2 million figure provided by the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Study.

    The yearly survey, published by the...

  • No Rat King, no fairies—just one ‘MeshugaNutcracker’

    By Dan Pine

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Not long ago, Scott and Shannon Guggenheim's 4-year-old daughter, Lily, looked up at them and asked when Santa would be bringing her Christmas presents.

    "To say that we, as creators of a Chanukah musical, were shocked is an understatement," recalls Shannon Guggenheim. "[Lily] is...

  • The Greatest Game

    By Susan Freudenheim

    January 12, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    We sat at my sister-in-law's kitchen table, 11 of us from three generations of my husband's family, absorbed by a wicked game of dreidel on the fifth night of Chanukah, howling with abandon and anticipation at each seemingly endless spin. My 10-year-old daughter, the youngest...

  • Taking Winter Break on Jewish Time

    By Jennifer Garmaise

    December 29, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Francis Bilak and her extended family are taking a cruise this week, but to do so, Bilak's son, Michael, is missing a week of preschool at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy.

    Hillel, like two-dozen other Orthodox schools in Los Angeles, doesn't have the last two weeks in December off....

  • Did the Jews Kill Christmas?

    By Andrew Silow-Carroll

    December 22, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Last year's big holiday debate was whether the Jews had ruined Christmas. This year, with erev Chanukah coinciding with Christmas Day, people have begun asking how we can save it. The Wall Street Journal reports that retailers hope an unusually late Chanukah can boost holiday sales...

  • ‘Tis Never the Season for Chrismukkah

    By Jane Ulman

    December 22, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    On Dec. 25, Rod Shapiro and Pat Wong will exchange Christmas and Chanukah gifts spread under a seven-foot Christmas tree. They will listen to carols sung by Johnny Mathis and Chanukah songs by the Klezmatics.

    In the evening, this interfaith couple in their mid-50s, married two...

  • Battle Lines Emerge on Marking Holiday

    By Matthew E. Berger

    December 22, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    The sound of angry Christians railing against the marginalization of Christmas has become the new tune of this holiday season.

    Across the country, from department stores to town halls, battle lines have been drawn over how to mark the winter holidays.

    Led by evangelical groups,...

  • The Midnight Clear

    By Darcy Vebber

    December 22, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    When I light the first Chanukah candle this year on Dec. 25, the mid-winter moon will be waning. Every night, as I add candles to the menorah, the night sky will be darker until, on the last night when we put our chanukiah in the living room window with all nine candles burning,...

  • L.A. Enters the Season of Mitzvot

    By David Finnigan

    December 15, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Christmas Day is the day of the year which some Jews often fill by doing some mitzvah volunteer work, then enjoying Chinese food and a movie. But that annual mitzvah-Chinese food-movie ritual is being put aside this Dec. 25 for Chanukah.

    "Chanukah makes it a big deal because now Jews...

  • Cowboys & Indians

    By Rob Eshman

    December 15, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    One of the bizarre effects of the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001 is better holiday movies. I realize that sounds coarse and facile at the same time, but it's demonstrably true.

    The major Christmas releases in the 2000 holiday season -- the year before Sept. 11 -- were "Dr. Seuss' How...

  • There’s Some Good Music to Fill the Air

    By George Robinson

    December 15, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    I was sitting in a fast-food joint last week when they piped in a pop-salsa version of "Jingle Bells." If it had been Eddie Palmieri or Ray Barretto, I would have been fine, but this sounded like Menudo on crystal meth, and I decided I'd had enough Christmas music for the next...

  • Shticking It to the Classics

    By Nancy Sokoler Steiner

    September 29, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    My 5-year-old thinks "My Yiddishe Mama," the soulful ballad immortalized by Sophie Tucker in 1928, is a rock anthem. The version he learned didn't come from a dusty old record, but from a CD released in 2004 by the group, Yiddishe Cup, called "Meshugeneh Mambo."

    This is not your...

  • Letters to the Editor

    January 13, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    Darfur Crisis

    Thank you for your coverage of the peace deal between the Sudanese government and the people of southern Sudan ("The Graves of Sudan," Nov. 26). It is a relief to finally see a possible end to Africa's longest-running civil war.

    While the signing of this peace...

  • Yeladim

    By Abby Gilad

    January 6, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    I Have a Lesson For You

    Happy New Year!

    It is back to school and back to lessons. In this week's parshah, Pharaoh learns a few lessons, too – seven, to be exact.

    But, Pharaoh is a slow learner – and it will take three more lessons (in next week's portion) to make him finally...

  • A Holiday Redemption

    By David Finnigan

    December 23, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    When my wife left me last year, I was not prepared for how lonely Christmas could be, nor did I realize how Jewish it would become.

    Last Dec. 24, I was alone in the Sherman Oaks townhouse we once shared. I did not buy a Christmas tree; there was no joy in my home that such a tree...

  • Letters to the Editor

    December 23, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    Garbage Mouth

    I was surprised, astonished and shocked to read William Donohue's comments as reported in your editor's column last week ("Garbage Mouth," Dec. 17). In fact, I was unaware of Donohue's comments until I read them in The Jewish Journal. I unequivocally reject Donohue's...

  • When Xmas Enters the Classroom

    By Sharon Schatz Rosenthal

    December 16, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    Five days a week during this holiday period, Jodi Braverman sits in a room that conjures up images of the North Pole. The walls are covered with pictures of jolly old St. Nick, and not one, but two miniature Christmas trees serve as obstacles to the seating area. From time...

  • To Tree or Not to Tree

    By Seth Menachem

    December 16, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    For the first time in my adult life I'm dating a Jewish girl.

    Her father's Catholic -- an Italian -- but according to my

    rabbi, "She's all good."

    (Maybe he didn't use those exact words, but something to that effect.)

    Carrie and I bicker but never have any real fights; that is...

  • Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor

    December 16, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    Q: When does a Christmas tree become a Tu B'Shevat tree?


    A: When a Westwood church and a Santa Monica synagogue decide that having one tree do double duty is good both for the environment and the spiritual awareness of their congregants.


    After the hard-working tree has done its...

  • There’s No Santa, but Keep It Quiet

    By Julie M. Brown

    December 16, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    It was in 1998 that my son, Sammy, broke out of his cocoon and started kindergarten at our neighborhood school. Up until then, he had spent his entire tiny life surrounded by Jews.

    Having left his Jewish preschool behind only a few months prior, he had little knowledge of his own...

  • Chrismukkah Web site

    By Amy Klein

    December 9, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    A menorah is topped with candy canes, a mini Christmas tree adorned with a Jewish star and a spinning dreidel pictures Frosty the Snowman on one side and the tree on another: These are just some of the "interfaith" pictures featured on the mugs on the gift section of the...

  • Spend Chanukah Barenaked

    By Keren Engelberg

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    While naming your holiday album "Barenaked for the Holidays" is a pretty catchy way to get some attention, for the quirky pop band that calls itself the Barenaked Ladies, it made sense -- about as much sense as getting naked on "The Sharon Osbourne Show" last year, anyway....

  • December Dilemma: Distorting Chanukah

    By Gaby Wenig

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm


    At Temple Beth Hillel, Mark Singer teaches his third-grade Hebrew school class about Chanukah using all the usual props: he lights a menorah, spins a dreidel and throws a doughnut and latke party.

    However, considering that anywhere from 25 to 100 percent of his students come from...

  • Roth’s ‘Kranky’ Little X-Mas

    By Tom Tugend

    November 25, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Tom Lehrer once noted that there were no American pop Chanukah tunes because Jewish composers were busy writing the nation's sentimental Christmas and Easter favorites.

    The observation came to mind when we talked to Joe Roth, about his movie "Christmas With the Kranks," which opened...

  • Have a Very Jewish Xmas

    By Rabbi Daniel Greyber

    December 25, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Jewish law requires that we publicize the miracle of Chanukah -- both when we light and where we light. We light the Chanukah candles after dark when they are most visible and we light in the early evening when most people are still out and about. We place our chanukiot by the window...

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