What do the recent city elections that saw Jews step into the three top citywide offices — mayor, city attorney and city controller — mean for the role of the Jewish community in Los Angeles?
Blair Nosan grew up in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield, attended the University of Michigan and then, like thousands of other young Jews from the beleaguered state, moved away.
The sound of an apparent explosion was heard from Iran's Isfahan city on Monday afternoon, the head of the judiciary in the province said, but the province's deputy governor denied that there had been a big blast.
The U.S. Supreme Court was scheduled to hear arguments in a case that would allow American citizens born in Jerusalem to have their birthplace listed as Israel on their passports.
In a city where nothing ever seems to come easy, the arrival this summer of Jerusalem’s long-delayed light-rail Red Line was seen by some as nothing short of a miracle. At many points over the past 10-plus years of construction, it looked as though the Messiah would pass through the Old City’s Golden Gate before the train might arrive. And like many good land-use battles in Jerusalem, this one featured national political aspirations, terrorism concerns and the secular-religious divide, as well as conflicting views of fiscal and corporate accountability and arguments over the best transit solutions for a culturally and religiously diverse city of 800,000.
As I stopped at the sukkah in the Occupy L.A. encampment outside City Hall, I thought of the Jews’ role in the upcoming presidential election, which will be taking place amid a recession and doubts about President Barack Obama’s attitude toward Israel.
The battle for Jewish geographical supremacy goes back to talmudic times, when Jews of Babylon (Bavli) and Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) each asserted their city as the coveted center of Jewish life. In the Middle Ages, the battle took place between the Jews of Northern Europe (Ashkenaz) and the Jews of Spain (Sepharad), the repercussions of which are still felt today. In the 19th century, the worldly Jews of Berlin scoffed at the Chasidic Jews of Warsaw for what they considered a parochial religious worldview.
Tel Aviv is among the world's top 10 cities for 2011 listed by the popular Lonely Planet travel guide website.
For almost 12 years, Lucy traveled each day to University Synagogue in Brentwood with her owner, Rabbi Allen I. Freehling, then the synagogue's senior rabbi. The golden retriever mix soon became one of the most popular members of the Reform congregation.
Korobkin, the Yavneh spiritual leader, said he was very pleased with the mayor's recommendations and that the fault for last year's incident lay mainly in the way DBS was structured, as well as a certain lack of sensitivity.
Based upon Edward Hopper's famous painting of a late-night coffee shop on a desolate city street corner, Douglas Steinberg's new play, "Nighthawks," which is having its world premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theater, features a painter who says only one word in the entire first act.
Etz Chaim, for its part, is arguing that the settlement is valid, that it did not violate the settlement and, that, in any case, federal law exempts it from zoning regulations.
Anatoly Obermeister, president of the construction and development firm ASTRA, plans to offer the ground floor -- about 6,000 square feet -- of a new housing project in the center of town for use as a Jewish community center that could include a restaurant, clinic, school and other social services.
Here in Los Angeles, our services are more important than our dates. (I learned this the hard way by dating my mechanic's assistant -- a budding screenwriter -- and soon had to find a new mechanic. Not worth it.)
Chasidic Williamsburg, Roosevelt Island and Long Island City are easily navigable by bicycle, but given New York's frenetic pace, you might prefer an expert take you there.
7 Days in the Arts
A foursome was tramping the fairway toward the seventh hole at Hillcrest Country Club last Saturday when two coyotes appeared from out of the shrubs.
I've always kept a mental list of places about to disappear, such as the ruins of Angor Wat in Cambodia. Never -- ever -- was New Orleans on that list.
Stretching along the popular beachfront area of Miami, approximately 650,000 Jewish residents support more than 100 synagogues, several Jewish community centers and abundant kosher restaurants, including authentic Thai food. The South Florida city even employs a full-time kashrut supervision department.
Weather has always been an important determinant in Los Angeles' history. The twin effects of floods and drought from 1861-1864 completely finished off whatever remained of the rancho way of life, where dons reigned over thousands of acres of land and huge herds of cattle.
In 1773, when Capt. Alexander Graydon visited York, Pa., it was a married Jewish hostess who captured his attention.
Less well-known, according to a leading Israeli archaeologist, is that the Maccabees also were major builders who transformed the face of Jerusalem and restored the centrality of the Temple in Jewish life.
In March, City Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski will be termed out of office. Two well-connected front-runners, Bill Rosendahl and Flora Gil Krisiloff, are already battling for the prize of representing the quarter-million people -- including the sizable Jewish communities in places like Brentwood and Pacific Palisades.
The boulevard in the 1920s was the natural place for the institutions and their members to relocate. They saw that, in the future, downtown's narrow, congested streets would no longer be the center of the community. Los Angeles was turning into a driving city, and Wilshire became the nation's first Automobile Age thoroughfare. Religious establishments that wished to be part of the exciting future moved to Wilshire Boulevard.
Critics say Los Angeles is all image. The city, they claim, presents an illusion to the world much like the movies Hollywood projects on its big screens. The myth goes that it's a city of facades, with the favored tools are the editor's airbrush or the plastic surgeon's scalpel. There are no friendships here, only contacts and connections, they say.
It's been six months since I relocated for work, "taking a break" from the love of my life, Los Angeles.
Tel Aviv is one of the hippest cities in the world. Unfortunately, probably the only people who know this happen to live there. Tel Avivians are a breed unto themselves: cosmopolitan, fashionable, absurdist and cynical, these hipsters are so phat they make cool seem outdated. They are a new category of Israeli stereotype, different from the ones we are with: the kibbutznik, the Chasid, the settler, the soldier, etc.
"I wanted to capture the fact that we're not your typical city," said Larry Brownstein, and with that inspiration, he began his photo book of Los Angeles. Filled with vivid images, the book captures all things reminiscent of the city's vibe -- colorful people, bold architecture and, of course, its laid-back energy.
Molina, and his fellow cast members hit all the notes well, and meet the demands of Jerome Robbins' original choreography. For the most part, that is enough. It is easy to be charmed by Joseph Stein's book, Sheldon Harnick's lyrics and Jerry Bock's music, and some 40 years later, charm they still do.
"I came to klezmer quite by accident," said virtuoso clarinetist David Krakauer.
He was a noted classical musician around 1987 when a chance encounter on a Manhattan bus changed the direction of his career.
What brought the first, mainly Sephardic, Jews to Charleston was its remarkable religious tolerance, not to mention the economic prospects elevating them to a new aristocracy to which their Ashkenazi kinsmen who followed greedily aspired.
At the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, there are a host of trails -- including a three-quarters of a mile loop through picturesque Long Valley, just behind the Mountain Station that introduces visitors to regional plants and animals.
As our British Airways jet approached Vienna, we were able to make out the famous skyline of the Austrian capital.
Kalkilya is surrounded on all sides by what Israel calls the separation fence, a barrier the government says it must build to protect its citizens from suicide bombers, snipers and other Palestinian terrorists.
Residents of Kalkilya say it has turned their city into a ghetto.
But Kfar Saba residents are solidly behind the wall.
The UCLA Hillel rabbi who allegedly lost his temper and kicked a freelance journalist who called him a derogatory name could be required to undergo anger management training, counseling or worse for his reported actions.
On Dec. 1, Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller and Rachel Neuwirth will meet separately with a city attorney hearing officer in Los Angeles to try to sort through the facts of his reported physical assault on her. Afterward, the hearing officer will mete out the appropriate punishment to Seidler-Feller, if merited, said Eric Moses, the city attorney's director of public relations. It is possible the hearing officer could recommend that criminal charges be brought against Seidler-Feller.
Worried about getting a parking ticket while you're praying for your soul? Don't fret.
Jews have had a presence in Pasadena since the late 1800s, yet many of the few thousand who lived there preferred to go unnoticed.
At Ramirez Canyon Park in Malibu, Happy Trails offers an opportunity for city-dwelling kids to interact with nature.
Not very romantic? I was stunned. Did I miss something here? Is it our anniversary? It's our first meeting, for crying out loud!
The only store nestled in the verdant Laurel Canyon, Canyon Country Store, built in 1919, has served as a location for several films and is also a hangout for many artists, musician and actors.
Mark Karlan and other successful Jews in the business believe that realty's fealty to Jewish causes lies in factors unique to the nature of the business, which is driven by a generation profoundly connected to Jewish values and impacted by the Holocaust and the creation of Israel.
Until I started thinking about "Masked and Anonymous," I never realized how intertwined Bob Dylan is with Los Angeles.
In the hotly contested battle, each has accused the other of, among other things, lying, playing dirty and being beholden to special interests. Smith says Korenstein is tied to the unions, while Korenstein says Smith is hand-in-hand with developers.
The Federation raised more than $4 million this year on Super Sunday, $1 million less than last year's $5 million tally. But organizers say that a new fundraising strategy this year has rendered the single-day total superficial.
Like college graduates looking to make career contacts, many of the professional and lay day school leaders, major philanthropists, Jewish Federation leaders and Jewish endowment fund representatives attending the PEJE Leadership Assembly portion, the first of its kind in the United States, took time out to network.
"For bioterrorism, we're about as prepared as we are for snow," said City Councilman Jack Weiss, who has spent a year working with security experts and local officials to figure out what Los Angeles needs to do to prepare for and prevent terrorist attacks.
In the final days before the Nov. 5 election, secession supporters are facing a tough battle. The latest public opinion poll shows Valley voters backing Measure F, which would create a separate city, by a narrow margin.
A Los Angeles Times Poll earlier this month found only 42 percent of likely Valley voters in favor of secession. However, a more recent study by Survey USA for KABC-TV found Valley cityhood supported by 58 percent of likely voters in the Valley and 40 percent citywide.
For the Jewish community, like the rest of Los Angeles, the issue of Valley secession boils down to one key question: Will we be better off after secession than we are now?
Four downed planes. Three landmark buildings, two towers leveled. One nation under attack.
Several months before he publicly announced his candidacy, Jim Hahn and I met for lunch. As is typical of our conversations that have spanned the years I have lived and served here, we concentrated on what needs to be done to improve the lives of all our diverse peoples.
I first visited Jerusalem with an invited party of foreign journalists in 1966, when it was still a divided city at the end of the line. The nearest we got to a holy or historic site was Mount Zion, an Israeli outpost on the fringe of the Old City, and a scale model of the Second Temple at the Holyland Hotel.