Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his one-hour, late-night phone call with President Obama was "a good conversation."
Last month, I was eating dinner alone at a neighborhood pizzeria when I overheard a conversation that made me stop mid-tongue burn.
How much more interesting the first date would be if we both were to communicate our true emotions. Still, those actual thoughts and feelings are definitely present, whether uttered or not. They're simply bubbling under the conversation's surface; biding their time until we feel more comfortable and trusting with one another.
Claire Luce Booth, the wife of the owner of Luce Publications, reported a frank conversation with a Jewish friend. Booth said, "I must admit being positively bored by all this talk of the Holocaust and its constant repetition of Jewish suffering." The Jewish friend replied, "I know just how you feel. I feel exactly the same way about the Crucifixion."
Each would like to see the other's story go away. But neither will go away. Golgotha and Auschwitz, the Crucifixion and the Holocaust, remain the dybbuk of our culture. They must both be confronted and understood.
It's a Friday night and an overflow crowd is jammed into the penthouse of the former May Co. store on Wilshire Boulevard -- now Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) West -- to hear a conversation between French journalist and philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy and The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik.
Presiding over this abundance of intelligence is Paul Holdengräber, the founder and director of LACMA's Institute for Art and Cultures (IAC). Holdengräber is erudite, worldly, self-deprecating and all the more charming for being so, equal parts Joel Grey in "Cabaret," and Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca."
When Yale Strom was growing up in a traditional, socialist-Zionist home in Detroit, he was riveted by his father's tales of a Jewish state founded 20 years before Israel in a Siberian swamp.
The haggadah speaks of the Four Sons: the wise, the wicked, the simple and the one who doesn't know how to ask. And on a good night in Hollywood, you can pick up all four. The first Saturday in March is a girls' night out (with the understanding we intend to pull men). Elizabeth, Sasha, Sarah and I throw on low-cut tops, low-rise pants and do the L.A. barhop thing.
Israel may suffer from a lot of shortages -- oil, water, new immigrants -- but it has an astounding abundance, an endless supply, of opinions.
I recently participated in two dialogues about the crisis in the Middle East. One was with Palestinian Arabs at a local university. The second was with Jews who have been longtime supporters of the Oslo accords. The dialogue with the Arabs took place in a large college gym. Some 2,000 students filled the stands expecting some kind of vicious spectator sport. Instead of two sides coming out fighting, they witnessed a strange conversation.
Not long before Leonard Bernstein died, in 1988, the ebullient conductor and composer approached pianist Jeffrey Siegel backstage at Lincoln Center. His business was urgent. He wanted to discuss Siegel's "keyboard conversations," concerts with commentary pioneered by Siegel and based on Bernstein's TV performances of the 1950s and 1960s.
I visited Los Angeles recently and learned thattwo of those dialogues, in which I had been active, had expiredwithout ceremony. The Cousin's Club, which survived eight years oftension, argument and even, on occasion, genuine dialogue, was nomore. And the Arab-Jewish Speakers Bureau, born of the famoushandshake joining Rabin and Arafat in the White House Rose Garden,has likewise departed from the scene.