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  • The Israeli Women Paradox

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    November 3, 2016 | 2:35 pm

    Israel is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to women's rights. Israeli women are integrated in meaningful roles on every field, from politics to science. While being surrounded by countries where women are being executed for cheating and are not allowed to...

  • Shiva Minyanim

    October 19, 2016 | 4:29 am

    Leafing through some old notebooks recently, I came across something I had written when living in Mt. Airy, a suburb of Philadelphia where I went to rabbinical school. The neighborhood is home to many rabbinical students and faculty, and other Jewish people, all within easy walking...

  • THE ACCOUNTANT *Movie Review*

    By Zoe Hewitt

    October 18, 2016 | 9:30 am

    This week I review THE ACCOUNTANT. THE ACCOUNTANT is about an accountant who is as brilliant with numbers as he is with discretion. Christian Wolff, played by Ben Affleck, has made most of his money as the trusted accountant to cartel leaders and other criminals. In the midst of...

  • A Passion for Religious Tolerance:  A Story of the Pope, a Jew and a Majority-Muslim Country

    By Milikh Yevdayev

    October 3, 2016 | 11:33 am

    It was truly a remarkable day, October 2. Who would have believed that on that day I would be watching the Holy Father Pope Francis, in a newly constructed mosque in Baku, standing arm and in arm with Muslims, Orthodox, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox Christians and other...

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  • The World’s Common Language

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    September 28, 2016 | 11:55 am

    The language in which the lyrics are written doesn't matter when it comes to beautiful tunes. That is why I believe music is the answer to everything, including world peace, if only we put politics aside.

    "Music is a world within itself with a language we all understand. With an...

  • QUEEN OF KATWE *Movie Review*

    By Zoe Hewitt

    September 27, 2016 | 2:58 pm

    QUEEN OF KATWE is based on the true story of a girl named Phiona from the slums of Uganda.  She learns to play chess and uses it as a means out of poverty. It stars Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o as her mother, David Oyelowo as her coach and introduces Madina Nalwanga as Phiona. It's...

  • Anti-Semitism Olympic Style

    By Diana Emuna

    August 23, 2016 | 7:12 pm

    Another Olympics is over.  Rio provided a beautiful backdrop for the event.  The games are supposed to be an example of using sport to foster brotherhood. It is a lofty ideal that athletes often forget.  Four randy members of the U.S. swim team decided to get drunk and make fools...

  • THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS *Movie Review*

    By Zoe Hewitt

    July 11, 2016 | 9:40 am

    THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, the latest animated offering from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment (MINIONS, DESPICABLE ME, THE LORAX) purports to answer the question "What do pets do when we're not at home?"  Bookended at the beginning and end of the movie are the (very...

  • 68 Years Old, and Still Fighting for Its Existence -This is Israel

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    May 18, 2016 | 8:33 am

    68 years old, still fighting for its existence, and not apologizing for it. This is Israel.

    In the past 68 years, in 7 wars, tens of operations and hundreds terror attacks, 23,447 Israelis lost their lives. Some were soldiers who died in combat, others were civilians who went...

  • Community vs. communism: A seder discussion

    April 20, 2016 | 10:36 am

    In anticipation of Passover this year, I resolved to explore the concepts of slavery and freedom. Personally, I have always struggled to find contemporary models to help me experience both slavery and freedom during the Jewish origins and identity crash course that drives our...

  • Four ways Jews and Arabs live apart in Israeli society

    April 12, 2016 | 1:58 pm

    Betzalel Smotrich, perhaps the most right-wing member of the current Knesset, caused a storm when he endorsed the idea that Arabs and Jew should be segregated in Israel’s maternity rooms.

    Smotrich was responding to a report on the Israel Broadcast Authority that several hospitals...

  • A Both/And Solution to the Addiction Epidemic

    March 3, 2016 | 11:06 am

    I have been in the addiction recovery “business” for thirty years (before it was a business), and have stood in the middle, watching the pendulum swing between extremes: no medication allowed in treatment programs; Alcoholics Anonymous-only; abstinence-based; moderation models;...

  • Meaningful and Useless

    By Noga Shlapobersky

    February 27, 2016 | 4:39 pm

    “Be yourself”. Ever since I was a little girl, I was always told to be myself. I heard it from my parents, my teachers, my friends, and in the world around me. My friend would come up to me and ask “how do I get this guy to like me?”, and I would automatically respond with “just be...

  • Honoring Native American Voices:  Recognizing Tragic History and Praising Brave Spirits

    By Lia Mandelbaum

    February 25, 2016 | 10:00 am

    In 2013, while watching the film Broken Rainbow at a film festival, I learned something shocking as they talked about the Long Walk of the Navajo, which was the 1864 deportation and attempted ethnic cleansing of the Navajo people by the U.S. government.  I learned that Hitler had...

  • Lives Lived/Lessons Learned

    By Craig T.

    February 17, 2016 | 12:55 pm

    Lives Lived/Lessons Learned


    Most things in life start off small, and a grow bigger. Babies, love, seedlings.  Grief is different, it starts off immense, often overwhelming; and with time ever so gradually eases, becoming smaller.
     
    It’s been a challenging time for our family....

  • I don’t know how we got here… but I’d sure like to move on!

    By Craig T.

    January 31, 2016 | 11:48 am

    I don’t know how we got here… but I’d sure like to move on!

    Multiple Choice – Please Choose ONE! Achinoam Nini, better known as Noa:

    ____ Represents the Palestinian people, and is not a true Israeli.

    ____ Is a supporter of right wing Israeli settlement politics.

    ____...

  • Ben Yehuda’s nightmare

    January 25, 2016 | 12:14 pm

    In Israel, every crappy situation can be turned into an opportunity.  A gunman on the loose in central Tel Aviv allows me to spend several extra hours at home with my three kids, only one of whom demands to return immediately to the U.S., where the shootings in our neighborhood are...

  • Remembering Azerbaijan’s Black January:  An Intersection of Tragedy and Inspiration

    By Milikh Yevdayev

    January 21, 2016 | 4:21 pm

    On January 19, 1990, friends were scheduled to visit us to celebrate my daughter’s birthday in Baku, Azerbaijan. But our plans were suddenly changed by the news of massacres taking place in different parts of the city. We urgently sent messages to our friends to stay home, for the...

  • Madame Tussauds Museum in London Removed Hitler Figure

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    January 6, 2016 | 8:31 am

    Until recently, the Madam Tussaud's wax museum in London was home to an Adolf Hitler statue. The Hitler figure was placed in the wax museum "World Leaders" display, positioned in a victorious posture next to a defeated Churchill, and had a plaque next to it calling Hitler a...

  • Torah and The LGBT Community: Why Prager is Wrong!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    December 10, 2015 | 10:33 am

    Dennis Prager’s column “The Torah and the transgendered” is flawed from the start.  Most Jews DO believe that the Torah is a Divine document- but not one written entirely by God.  Most Jews believe that the Torah is a holy guide, one that was written by some inspired interaction...

  • Thanksgiving Hints

    November 19, 2015 | 9:26 am

    With Thanksgiving just a week away, Auntie has been asked to offer up some of her Helpful Hints for getting along with odd duck family members during the holidays. Who determines which relative is the odd duck/turkey is up to you. In any case, Auntie has some extremely helpful and...

  • Bubblehood vs. Peoplehood

    By David Suissa

    September 10, 2015 | 11:18 am

    The most overused and abused word in the Jewish world must surely be “community.” Here in Los Angeles, we’re often told that we’re all part of some grand “Jewish community,” but deep down, we know better. If by community we mean a group of like-minded people whose company we enjoy,...

  • The shirkers in our midst

    September 4, 2015 | 9:54 am

    Puppet masters. Shirkers.  Schemers. You know who Auntie is talking about—those dear souls who manage to get so very much done simply by being clever, controlling manipulators. We all know a few. Most of the time they are quite good at sitting back and letting someone else do their...

  • On Starting a Synagogue and Balancing a Life

    By Craig T.

    September 3, 2015 | 1:50 pm

    Two and a half years ago my wife and I purchased the oldest synagogue building in Los Angeles, founding the Pico Union Project: a multi-faith cultural arts center and house of worship dedicated to the Jewish principle to “love your neighbor as yourself.” We are home to four faith...

  • When Your Child Isn’t on the Guest List

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    August 25, 2015 | 5:38 pm

    Jewish schooling is a huge investment.  We spend a large portion of our after tax money to belong to a community that is loving, nurturing and all inclusive.  The school constituents become our family. 

    For years, I heard the complaints of friends with older children attending...

  • The Day Anger Broke Me.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    August 20, 2015 | 12:13 pm

    It’s been eight years.  I still have nightmares about what I had become. 

    My wife and kids are scared in a room.  Sitting on the floor, they are trembling.  She is hugging them protectively, crying.  They are rolled up in fetal position, sobbing.  All I hear is nothing.  I am...

  • Emergency room: A city, in all its cruelty and kindness

    August 11, 2015 | 2:06 pm

    Mr. Twenty-Something is obviously in pain.  His face is contorted and his right shoulder doesn’t look like his left. He’s wearing a tank top, and the complex and colorful tattoos across his upper torso don’t conceal the deformity of the top of his right arm. Where the left shoulder...

  • Conversation drives community

    By Zev Hurwitz

    July 6, 2015 | 5:11 pm

    One of my favorite Torah lectures from my time in middle school at Maimonides Academy, (okay, the only one I remember) was where our principal delivered an address entitled “If Jews had a Christmas Tree.”

    The concept for a shiur on Christmas Trees in Judaism seems comical at...

  • Jerusalem of the Caucasus: The Legend of the Red Village

    By Milikh Yevdayev

    June 30, 2015 | 9:58 am

    It is just before Shabbat in the Red Village, and sunset will be coming soon. I walk from the New Shul back to my house, and watch as young boys and girls run home to wash up before their meal and call shalom to each other. On Friday of each week, late in the day, I see the sun...

  • On loss: Ten lessons from Sheryl Sandberg’s Facebook post

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    June 3, 2015 | 5:46 pm

    Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg marked the 30th day (sheloshim) of her husband's passing in a moving and gut wrenching post on her Facebook page. I have read it over and over again, and cried, as should you.  She is a poignant teacher who turns her loss into...

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