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  • Interviewing Joan Rivers

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 4, 2014 | 3:28 pm

    In May 2013, I was more than a tad nervous when asked to conduct a 45-minute Q&A with Rivers following a performance of her act at the American Jewish University.  Rivers, after all, was the notorious fashion polista of the red carpet awards scene, so ruthless that she once...

  • No-holds-barred comedian Joan Rivers dies at age 81

    September 4, 2014 | 12:04 pm

    Joan Rivers, the pioneering comedian known for her acerbic wit, classic put-downs and for asking "Can we talk?," died on Thursday at the age of 81 in a New York hospital a week after her heart stopped during an outpatient medical procedure.

    Melissa Rivers, the comedian's only...

  • Robin Williams found dead in apparent suicide

    August 11, 2014 | 4:43 pm

    Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead on Monday from an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63.

    The sheriff's coroner's division said it suspects the death was a suicide due to asphyxia, but the...

  • Hollywood legend Eli Wallach dies at age 98

    By Ryan Torok

    June 25, 2014 | 2:25 pm

    Eli Wallach, the star of classic films “The Magnificent Seven” and “The Good, the Bad and The Ugly,” has died.

    The child of Polish Jewish immigrants, Wallach was 98-years-old. Married to actress Anne Jackson, he leaves behind three children

    I am not enough of a cinephile to...

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  • Longtime Washington power broker Robert Strauss dies at 95

    March 19, 2014 | 7:26 pm

    Robert Strauss, who once headed the Democratic National Committee, served as U.S. trade representative and ambassador to Moscow, and advised presidents from both parties, died in Washington on Wednesday at age 95.

    "We can confirm that Robert Strauss passed away peacefully on...

  • Comic great Sid Caesar of ‘Your Show of Shows’ dies at 91

    February 12, 2014 | 1:15 pm

    Comic showman Sid Caesar, a pioneer of American television sketch comedy as the star and creative force of "Your Show of Shows" during the 1950s, died on Wednesday at age 91, according to his friend and former collaborator Carl Reiner.

    Reiner told Reuters he learned of Caesar's...

  • Former Israeli PM And military commander Ariel Sharon dead at 85

    January 11, 2014 | 8:56 am

    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the trailblazing warrior-statesman who transformed the region and was reviled by Arab foes, died on Saturday aged 85, after eight years in a coma caused by a stroke.

    Sharon left historic footprints on the Middle East through military...

  • Palestinian teenager shot by IDF dies of wounds

    January 3, 2014 | 11:45 am

    A teenager shot by Israeli troops in Gaza died of his wounds, Palestinian medical sources said.

    The 16-year-old died Friday afternoon from gunshot wounds sustained Thursday after he and several other Palestinians approached the security fence separating Israel from the Gaza...

  • UCLA alum dies, hit-and-run driver still at large

    By Jared Sichel

    December 31, 2013 | 2:05 pm

    David Pregerson, the 23-year-old struck by a hit-and-run driver in Pacific Palisades in the early hours of Dec. 27, died Tuesday morning, Dec. 31.

    After being found at around 3:20 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 27, Pregerson was transported to the UCLA medical center for surgery, where he...

  • Nelson Mandela remembered by L.A.‘s South African Jews

    By Ryan Torok

    December 5, 2013 | 2:54 pm

    Anti-apartheid activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela — a hero to many Los Angeles Jews, including a large number with ties to that country — died Dec. 5. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was 95.

     “I think the important thing is Mandela’s great gift to the...

  • Nelson Mandela, apartheid fighter and former South African president, dies at 95

    December 5, 2013 | 1:58 pm

    Nelson Mandela guided South Africa from the shackles of apartheid to multi-racial democracy, as an icon of peace and reconciliation who came to embody the struggle for justice around the world.

    Imprisoned for nearly three decades for his fight against white minority rule, Mandela...

  • Walking on the wild side and returning to the sacred side: Or becoming a rabbi because of Lou Reed

    October 29, 2013 | 1:40 pm

    Word of Lou Reed walking beyond the wild side, never to return, reached me as I was leaving campus, having just finished teaching a class on Modern Jewish Philosophy. As I recovered my copy of Take No Prisoners on my i-Phone and flicking to his 1978 strung-out rendition of “Sweet...

  • The night Lou Reed came to my house

    October 29, 2013 | 10:33 am

    Lou Reed’s death on Sunday has made me think not just of his music but of his life, and specifically about when his life and mine briefly intersected, back when my brother Frank and I entertained him at our parents’ Philadelphia home, unbeknownst to mom and dad.

    It was 1969 and...

  • Lou Reed dies at 71

    October 27, 2013 | 3:02 pm

    Musician Lou Reed, the frontman for the band Velvet Underground as well as a solo artist, has died.

    Reed, who was born to a Jewish family, died Sunday at 71. A cause of death was not made public.

    He had a liver transplant last year after years of alcohol and drug abuse.

    Reed,...

  • Rav Ovadia Yosef: A personal eulogy

    By Daniel Bouskila

    October 7, 2013 | 5:42 pm

    It was early Monday morning here in the Old City of Jerusalem. We had just finished our minyan in the Rabban Yohanan Ben Zakkai synagogue, the same synagogue where generations of Sephardic Chief Rabbis have been crowned as the Rishon L’Zion. I walked over to the bookcase, and my...

  • Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, founder of Shas and Sephardic sage, dies at 93

    October 7, 2013 | 9:52 am

    Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the Israeli sage who founded the Sephardic Orthodox Shas political party and exercised major influence on Jewish law, has died.

    Yosef died Monday at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. He was 93.

    He served as Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi from 1973 to...

  • Thousands of kapparot chickens die in New York heat

    September 13, 2013 | 9:33 am

    Thousands of chickens designated for the pre-Yom Kippur kapparot ritual died in New York due to unseasonable heat.

    An estimated 2,000 chickens died Wednesday in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park on Wednesday, when temperatures climbed into the mid-90s, the New York Daily...

  • Last Hitler Bunker witness Rochus Misch dies at 96

    September 7, 2013 | 5:18 pm

    Rochus Misch, the last surviving witness of Adolf Hitler's final days in the Berlin bunker who always referred to the Nazi dictator as "the Boss," has died in his home at the age of 96, his book agent said on Friday.

    Misch, who told Reuters in a 2007 interview at his home that...

  • Obituaries

    August 21, 2013 | 4:47 pm

    David Davis died June 27 at 87. Survived by wife Arlene; daughter Andrea (Philipp) Bowman; son Greg; 2 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren. Hillside

    Ebi Gabor died June 29 at 86. Survived by daughter Erika Baum; son Ron (Elsie) Monitz; 7 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; 1...

  • Obituaries

    August 1, 2013 | 10:19 am

    Helen Abrams died June 11 at 94. Survived by daughters Marilyn Cohen, Lanette Finn, Anna Helfman, Candy Sieroty; sons Bert, David; 8 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren. Hillside

    Selma Baraz died June 11 at 94. Survived by daughter Susan; son James; 3 grandchildren; 5...

  • Ossie Schechtman, scored first basket in NBA, dies at 94

    July 30, 2013 | 3:31 pm

    Ossie Schectman, who scored the first basket in the league that would become the NBA, has died.

    Schectman, a New York native who made the historic layup while playing for his hometown Knicks, died Tuesday. He was 94.

    The Knicks were playing the Toronto Huskies on Nov. 1, 1946...

  • Obituaries

    July 24, 2013 | 3:19 pm

    Jack Adelman died June 6 at 89. Survived by sister Sybil (Martin) Sage; brother Joseph; 1 niece; 1 nephew. Hillside

    Joseph Beveniste died June 7 at 83. Survived by wife Sally; daughter Grace (Joel Grodstein); son Morris (Gabriella Siegel); 5 grandchildren; brother Isaac (Donna)....

  • RIP Dennis Farina, aka Cousin Avi

    July 22, 2013 | 2:05 pm

    To most people, Dennis Farina, who died Monday at age 69, may be best remembered as a tough-talking Chicago cop (which he actually was, for 18 years, before becoming an actor) or as a tough-talking New York City police detective, which he ably played for two seasons as Joe Fontana...

  • Obituaries

    July 17, 2013 | 11:49 am

    Bertha Abrams died May 30 at 99. Survived by daughters Terry (Harvey) Goldbaum, Arleen (Stanley) Kaller; 6 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren. Malinow and Silverman

    Gloria Arbiter died May 31 at 83. Survived by husband Stanley; son Ross; 7 grandchildren. Mount Sinai

    Elsie...

  • Obituaries

    July 10, 2013 | 12:19 pm

    Natan Cole died May 16 at 70. Survived by wife Alex; sons Daniel (April), Joe; 2 grandchildren; brother Pinchas Zukierkop. Mount Sinai

    Vicky Doryon died May 17 at 75. Survived by daughter Debora; sons Elyah, Jeremiah; 6 grandchildren; sister Lucy Bates. Mount Sinai

    Barbara...

  • Obituaries

    July 2, 2013 | 11:01 am

    Lillian Alschuler died May 10 at 85. Survived by daughters Teresa Gindi, Barbara (Joseph) Rhoades, Donna; brother Morrie Fields. Hillside

    George Aronow died May 7 at 88. Survived by sister Bernice Pitler; nieces Janice Pitler, Robin (Mark) Pitler-Cohen. Mount Sinai

    Morris Bayer...

  • Gary David Goldberg, creator of ‘Family Ties,’ dies at 68

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    June 26, 2013 | 11:48 am

    Gary David Goldberg, the Emmy Award-winning writer-director-producer who created the iconic 1980s sitcom “Family Ties,” which made Michael J. Fox a star, as well as the semi-autobiographical CBS series “Brooklyn Bridge” — one of the most Jewish comedies ever to grace the small...

  • Herb Citrin, a.k.a. Mr Valet,  dies at 91

    June 26, 2013 | 11:37 am

    Herb Citrin, who pioneered valet parking in Los Angeles and was known to many as Mr. Valet, died on June 15 at the Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda following a long illness. He was 91.

    Born in 1922, Citrin grew up in Boyle Heights and then Glassell Park, where his mother kept...

  • Gary David Goldberg, in memoriam

    June 24, 2013 | 2:06 pm

    There is popular culture that is explicitly Jewish, and there is popular culture that is implicitly so.

    “Family Ties,” the iconic 1980s show about onetime hippies grappling with their Republican preppie kid, was of the latter variety. I don’t remember explicit references...

  • Yoram Kaniuk, Israeli author and journalist, dies at 83

    June 12, 2013 | 10:49 am

    Yoram Kaniuk, an acclaimed author and journalist who had the designation Jewish removed from his Israeli identification card, has died.

    Kaniuk died Saturday night after fighting cancer for many years. He was 83.

    Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Kaniuk wrote 17 novels, including...

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