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  • Groups, Shuls Fundraise for Tsunami Aid

    By David Finnigan

    November 13, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Cantor Alison Wissot of Temple Judea felt the pull of the Asian tsunami at a Friday morning meeting of the women's group at her Tarzana Reform shul.

    "There was an outpouring of, 'This is so awful,' 'How do we deal with this event?' 'How do we not feel helpless?' 'How do we just do...

  • Wonderful World of Weird

    By David Finnigan

    November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    It was at the end of Yom Kippur services in North Hollywood that comic actor Larry Miller explained to a Journal reporter his new role on ABC's eye-winking drama, "Desperate Housewives."

    Said Miller, smiling broadly: "I play the neighborhood pornographer!"

    Not quite. Miller and...

  • Seniors Seek Loving Hands, Home

    By David Finnigan

    November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    When Arden Realty Chairman and CEO Richard Ziman's elderly father was beginning to fade about 10 years ago, the father made a simple request.

    "'If I begin to lose it, take me there,'" said the father, as recounted by his son. "'I will never be in better hands and with better people...

  • Community Briefs

    By Idan Ivri

    October 27, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Israel Travel Penalty Ends

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill that seeks to bar life insurance companies from penalizing travelers who visit Israel and other countries commonly perceived as dangerous.

    The states of Washington, New York and Illinois have similar legislation...

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  • Community Briefs

    By David Finnigan

    September 29, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Soulful 'Hatikvah' Ends Wiesenthal Farewell

    It was an unscripted, final moment that may have best captured the Monday memorial at the Museum of Tolerance for Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, who died last week at age 96.

    The ceremony had been held outside. As long lines of mourners...

  • Holidays, Arrests Add to Terror Fears

    By David Finnigan

    September 22, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    When she looks out from the bimah, Rabbi Zoe Klein of Temple Isaiah sees mostly known faces, but occasionally there is the odd or unknown person who could be trouble.

    For such an occasion, Temple Isaiah and other Southern California synagogues have installed panic button-style...

  • Going in After Katrina

    By David Finnigan

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    After a catastrophe like Hurricane Katrina, sometimes an aid worker helps by delivering a baby, sometimes the job is just delivering a cheeseburger -- or perhaps a thousand cheeseburgers. And sometimes the simple act of providing a yarmulke to an old man can provide solace.

    So it was...

  • Southland Responds to Relief Needs

    By David Finnigan

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Prominent rabbis have been urging their congregations to give generously to Hurricane Katrina relief funds, the most prominent being one set up by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, which had raised more than $500,000 by early this week.

    The scope of the disaster is...

  • Service Reaches Out to Jews by Choice

    By David Finnigan

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    It fit somehow that this recent Saturday service for converts to Judaism took place in a synagogue library. Because this gathering, at Temple Beth Am near Beverly Hills, was both an exercise in worship and in teaching. Maybe it even fit that this was a children's library, because...

  • Exodus of Family Hits a Low Note

    By David Finnigan

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Earlier this summer, Shana Leonard gave up her Fairfax District apartment to move to New Orleans and be near her 82-year-old father, legendary jazz photographer Herman Leonard. But late last month, the 33-year-old single mother, who also cares for her wheelchair-bound 10-year-old...

  • Torah by Numbers

    By David Finnigan

    August 25, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Long before "The Da Vinci Code" dominated bestseller lists, a cluster of Jewish mathematicians were promoting "The Bible Codes," the deeply mathematical interpretations of the five books of Moses which may, vaguely, predict some future events.

    And yes conspiracy theorists, the...

  • Community Brief

    By Bobbi Murray

    August 4, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Discrimination Suit Tossed Out

    A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit in which tenants alleged a Jewish landlord evicted them for sharing their apartment with a non-Jew. U.S. District Court Judge Gary Allen Feess threw out the lawsuit on technical grounds, saying the tenants should...

  • Gaza Settler Pullout Protest Draws 500

    By David Finnigan

    July 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    More than 500 demonstrators, mostly Orthodox Jews, gathered in front of the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles last weekend to oppose Israel's planned, upcoming pullout of settlers from Gaza.

    The two-hour Sunday afternoon rally drew the largest gathering yet of several recent...

  • Community Briefs

    By Tom Tugend

    July 21, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Possible Terror List Contains Israeli Consulate, 2 Temples

    FBI counterterrorism agents are investigating whether two American Muslim converts planned to attack the Israeli consulate general, two synagogues and other targets in Los Angeles.

    Yariv Ovadia, Israeli consul for public...

  • Unspeakable Acts, Incredible Pictures

    By David Finnigan

    July 14, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    A large, striped blue-and-white flag bearing the phrase, "Liberation!" greets visitors at the Museum of Tolerance exhibit, "Liberation! Revealing the Unspeakable," about the Allied soldiers and the starved, dying and dead Jews they discovered while liberating concentration camps.

    In...

  • Real Early Retirement

    By David Finnigan

    June 30, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    TV comedy writer Rodney Rothman spent six months as the youngest resident of a largely Jewish retirement community in Florida, gaining insight into his own aging process for his book, "Early Bird: A Memoir of Premature Retirement."

    "I'm Jewish. I'm gonna end up in Florida anyway ......

  • Community Briefs

    By David Finnigan

    June 23, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Decoding a 'Right' Supreme Court

    Two prominent federal judges presented different portraits of the U.S. Supreme Court's future to an audience of several-hundred Jewish lawyers at the Beverly Hills Hotel last week.

    The June 15 forum, titled, "Where Will Another Right Turn Take Us?"...

  • Camp Adjusts to Life Away From Parent

    By David Finnigan

    May 26, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    This will be Camp JCA Shalom's first summer away from home. For the first time in its 54-year history, the Malibu camp is independent, having broken away from the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Los Angeles (JCCGLA) in January.

    Life after the centers crisis hasn't been easy for...

  • L.A.‘s ‘Big’ Sunday

    By David Finnigan

    May 19, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Between 35,000 and 40,000 people spent Sunday, May 15 at Woodley Park in Van Nuys for the annual Israel Independence Day festival.

    The festival's early afternoon main event featuring pro-Israel speeches and politicians lasted exactly one hour; on the last note of "The Star-Spangled...

  • Holiday of Freedom Spent Behind Bars

    By David Finnigan

    April 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The high concrete walls of the little-used cafeteria at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles hardly spoke to Passover’s concept of freedom found and bondage ended. But this is where a dozen inmates gathered for their seder, in a setting that cried out Egypt rather than the...
  • Artists Converge After ‘The Passion’

    By David Finnigan

    March 31, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Christian children wearing their Sunday best for last week's Easter services understandably could forget, amidst their Easter egg hunts, that the Last Supper of Jesus was a Passover seder.

    But in this season of Easter and Passover, connections between the holidays has inspired...

  • Briefs

    By Kelly Hartog

    March 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Shabbat Across America Returns

    For Lynne Sturt Weintraub, Friday evening is the perfect time for friends and family to get together "and show warmth and love and find out what's going on in other people's lives," she said.

    Weintraub, president of Temple Beth Zion in West Los...

  • Super Sunday Calls Raise $4.6 Million

    By David Finnigan

    February 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Frank Ponder put in a long, fruitful day at the Feb. 13 Super Sunday annual fundraising campaign, helping gather the phone-driven dollars that became part of more than $4.6 million pledged that day for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

    Last year, the Federation raised...

  • Down Terror’s Deadly ‘Road’

    By David Finnigan

    February 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Portland author Anne Marie Oliver has seen suicide bombers and other Palestinian extremists up close, and she says the cultish world of the terrorist group Hamas has "its own momentum and driving force and it has nothing to do with almost anything else."

    Oliver and co-author Paul...

  • The Paintbrush as Sword

    By David Finnigan

    December 9, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Samuel Bak's first art exhibit was in the Vilna ghetto when he was 9 years old. While the Nazis killed 75,000 Vilna residents, he and his mother emerged as just two of 200 survivors.

    Some of that young boy's artwork, which depicted a culture that once was called "the Jerusalem of...

  • No Stranger to Strange

    By David Finnigan

    November 18, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    From call girl to Trump girl, actress Lisa Edelstein has played myriad parts on stage and off. Now she's landed a plum role, starring on the Fox TV series "House," an "E.R."-meets-"CSI" drama. The Boston native heads the fictional teaching hospital that houses strangely ill...

  • Briefs

    By David Finnigan

    October 14, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Christopher Reeve, 'Superman' Star and Hero in Israel, Dies

    With his death Sunday night, actor Christopher Reeve of "Superman" fame ended his valiant fight against paralysis at the age of 52.

    Reeve, who became a hero to Israelis during a visit last year, fell into a coma at his New...

  • Quiet Debut for ‘Passion’ DVD

    By David Finnigan

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    When Rabbi Harold Shulweis learned that the DVD of "The Passion of the Christ," which debuted on Aug. 31, would be just a bare-bones, no-frills copy of Mel Gibson's controversial movie, the spiritual leader of Encino's Valley Beth Shalom said, "That's very good. I don't think the...

  • Polito-tainment: Movies as Diatribes

    By David Finnigan

    August 26, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    When Canadian Jewish filmmaker Mark Achbar decided which talking heads would discuss business history in his new, capitalist-critiquing film, "The Corporation," the lineup was a quartet of four Jewish left intellectuals, including Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn.

    "And that wasn't done...

  • Israeli Fest Crowd Feels the Heat

    By David Finnigan

    May 6, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Brutal heat was the dominant feature of the May 2 Israel Independence Day Festival in Van Nuys, as 99-degree temperatures kept thousands indoors and away from the sprawling Woodley Park celebration.

    "I think it was the heat," said festival organizer Jerome Goodman, who added that...

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