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Jewish Journal

Tag: Identity

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  • Learning to err on the side of compassion

    April 27, 2016 | 1:58 pm

    This was rage — I had no doubt about that. The fire exploding upward from my chest, consuming me from the inner reaches of my core was pure, unbridled fury, the sort that I hadn’t encountered in some time.

    Silence choked the operating room as every eye fixed upon me. My own...

  • Back to school: A bittersweet visit to my alma mater

    By Danielle Berrin

    April 14, 2016 | 12:45 pm

    Last week, I went back to school. 

    Not for an additional degree, but for a visit to my alma mater, the University of Florida, which is located in Gainesville, a strange, small town in north central Florida best known for worshipping a predatory swamp creature and football. 

    UF...

  • Of meat and metaphor: An almost-vegetarian makes brisket

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    April 13, 2016 | 10:56 am

    I’m not a vegetarian, but since I moved to Los Angeles seven years ago, I’ve been eating less and less meat. Many of my friends are vegetarian or vegan, and cooking in either of those styles avoids a lot of food issues for people. 

    But around holidays, the expectation around meat...

  • Will We Be Having Matzo Ball Soup Again?

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    March 30, 2016 | 1:00 am

    I work in a relatively small company where I am the only Jewish person in the office. Recently, people have been talking about the Easter weekend, and a colleague suddenly said, “When is Passover? Is it over already?” I told her it starts April 22, and she said, “Isn’t it usually...

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  • Parents, past and prejudice

    March 10, 2016 | 4:06 pm

    When our youngest son was in 2nd grade, he came home from school one day to let us know that his class was preparing for Multicultural Week. In an effort to embrace diversity, students share about their nationality, ethnicity, or culture with the week culminating in a multicultural...

  • Combating an Israeli-American identity crisis

    By Ayala Or-el

    October 14, 2015 | 2:44 pm

    A year after Irit Bar-Netzer arrived in Los Angeles from Israel, she had her first son. That was 37 years ago, and that’s when the dilemma began.

    “I wondered back then: How am I going to raise my children? As Israelis? Americans? Who is going to help us raise our kids? We didn’t...

  • The Pleasures of Staying Home

    By Mindy Leaf

    September 7, 2015 | 7:12 am

    I was never known to be a "homebody." Home was merely the place where I fell asleep, kept my clothes and took my daily shower. Work, focused activity, real conversations and daily living were reserved for "the outside."

    I was known to employ a fierce dedication at the office,...

  • Who Are YOU?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    December 3, 2014 | 2:33 pm

    By Rabbi Paul Steinberg

    “‘Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar...
    ‘I – I hardly know, Sir, just at present – at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’
    ‘What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar...

  • Happy 66th birthday, Israel! Forever yours, Noga.

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    May 6, 2014 | 8:36 am

    After spending Friday nights in Tel-Aviv and calling each other “brother” or “sister,” comes the most recent Israeli trend: leaving Israel.

    It is now THE Israeli thing to do: pack, fly, start anew abroad. This phenomenon is not new, but it has recently become impossible to...

  • Anat Kamm wants compensation from Haaretz for revealing identity

    February 4, 2013 | 12:27 pm

    Anat Kamm, who was jailed for turning classified military documents over to a reporter, is seeking compensation from Haaretz for revealing her identity.

    Kamm, a former Israeli soldier, is asking the newspaper for more than $540,000, according to Haaretz.

    “Kamm views you and...

  • It’s official: Jewish camp strengthens Jewish identity

    March 1, 2011 | 3:17 pm

    Hundreds of thousands of Jewish camp alumni—and their parents—have long known that those halcyon weeks spent at Jewish summer camp don’t just cement lifelong friendships, they strengthen Jewish identity.

    Now they have it in writing.

    A new study on the long-term impact of Jewish...

  • Novelist A.B. Yehoshua raises the question: Can Jewishness be shed?

    November 26, 2008 | 4:21 pm

    A.B. Yehoshua, long recognized as one of Israel's best novelists, has in recent years also emerged as one of its most prominent scolds. On Tisha B'Av this year, he published an op-ed in the Guardian deploring the "moral deterioration" of Israel's public life. Contrasting...
  • No healing the world here—Humanistic Jews are ‘building’  the world

    By Tom Tugend

    September 25, 2008 | 2:53 am

    Rabbi Greg Epstein, the young Humanist chaplain at Harvard University, maintains that the question "Do you believe in God?" is totally meaningless and that "tikkun olam," to repair the world, is the wrong concept.

    But he also affirms that religion will never disappear and that the...

  • The dream of a beautiful bat mitzvah—but whose dream would it fulfill?

    September 11, 2008 | 4:20 am

    For my daughter to have a bat mitzvah would be a dream come true -- but for whom, for her or for me? Throughout my life, people have told me that I am only half Jewish, as my father is Jewish and mother is Japanese Buddhist, although Reform Jews now recognize children of Jewish...
  • Extending the Birthright privilege

    By Julie G Fax

    July 17, 2008 | 12:06 am

    Sophie Ambrose grew up without religion on a hippie commune near Jerusalem, Ark. Her mother had rejected Judaism, her father had rejected his Christian background. Ambrose explored churches on her own as a teenager, took a world religions class in college, and as a graduate student...
  • Defending Identity

    By Rob Eshman

    July 16, 2008 | 11:28 pm

    Natan Sharansky's previous book, "The Case for Democracy," changed the world. It inspired a generation of U.S. policymakers and influenced President George W. Bush in his decision to go to war against Saddam Hussein.

    So when Sharansky's second book, "Defending Identity," came out...

  • Israel faces challenges on three fronts

    By Sergio DellaPergola

    May 15, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Israel at 60 faces three major challenges: identity, technology and politics. The future Israel will have to strive and struggle to maintain a credible role as the cultural and spiritual center of Jewish peoplehood. Demography will continue to play a fundamental role here, but the...
  • Briefs: Methodists don’t ‘divest,’ Jewish groups mobilize for Myanmar, Reno TV anchor sues

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Methodists Reject Divestment Proposals

    Methodists overwhelmingly defeated measures calling for divestment from companies that allegedly enable Israel's "occupation" of the West Bank. The resolutions, targeting companies like Caterpillar, which manufactures tractors, and Motorola,...

  • Program helps grandparents nurture interfaith grandkids

    By Sue Fishkoff

    January 17, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    Bettina Kurowski is the chair of the 2008 fundraising campaign of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and active in her Conservative synagogue.

    She's also a grandmother of three young grandchildren. They give her great naches, or joy, she says, but she's also worried -- the...

  • It’s not camp, but it’ll do

    By Shayna Freisleben

    September 8, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Camp Hess Kramer broke my young and fertile heart. It was an instance of pubescent love that evolved into unrequited passion. For eight years, I frolicked in the crisp Malibu breeze, danced maniacally to Israeli folk songs and celebrated the Sabbath each Friday at dusk. It was eight...
  • Dual Identity, Double the Questions

    By Sarah Price Brown

    July 13, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Chinese villagers found the baby, abandoned by her birth parents, in a basket on a riverbank.

    "Just like Moses," the child's adoptive mother, Terri Pollock, says. Today, Leah Hua Xia Pollock, 14, lives in Seattle and plays the flute in her temple's klezmer band.

    Last year, Leah...

  • Becoming American

    By Gina Nahai

    April 5, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    She comes up to me through the crowd -- designer clothes and Tahitian pearls and that I-know-I'm-gorgeous confidence that makes her impossible to look away from -- and hands me one of my own books. We're at a writers' conference in Long Beach. I'm scheduled to speak later in the day,...
  • Stop sugarcoating intermarriage

    By Steven M. Cohen

    March 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Not many years ago, it was taken as axiomatic that intermarriage constitutes a significant threat to Jewish continuity. For individual families, we understood that more often than not, the children of the intermarried would be raised as non-Jews. And since intermarrying Jews have...
  • Assume everyone is Jewish

    By Tom Teicholz

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    A couple of weeks ago I found myself in a seminar room at UCLA's Royce Hall attending a presentation by professor David Shneer of the University of Denver concerning Jewish museums in Los Angeles, a city he calls, "The Newest Jewish City in the World."

    As someone who has argued that...

  • Gangs of N.Y.—and L.A.

    By Rob Eshman

    January 25, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    The gang violence that has recently wracked parts of Los Angeles compels me to ask this question: Where are all the Jewish gangs?

    I'm not being cute.

    There was a time in history when America's worst gangs were Jewish. From 1880 through the dawn of Prohibition, New York's Lower East...

  • Discovering the Name

    By Rabbi Mordecai Finley

    January 11, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    The first Torah portion in Exodus is Shemot, Hebrew for "names." "These are the names of the Israelites coming to Egypt..." (Exodus 1:1).

    That might be where we got the name of the parsha, but that is not where the parsha takes us. Namings take place throughout Shemot. Moses gets a...

  • Second-class Conservative citizens

    By Jeff Bernhardt

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    When I first read that there would be a vote by the Conservative movement's Committee on Law and Standards regarding homosexuality and Jewish law, I was of course interested.

    I'm a gay man, and I have had both personal and professional ties to the Conservative movement since I was...

  • Films: The trials and tribulations of fathers and sons

    By George Robinson

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    For so many Jewish men, it always comes back to fathers and sons, despite what Philip Roth might think. Look at the films of Daniel Burman, the rising young star of the New Argentine Cinema. "Waiting for the Messiah," "Lost Embrace" and his latest, "Family Law," which all revolve...
  • Rainbow-haired couturier takes fashion fun seriously

    By Keren Engelberg

    November 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Her natural hair color is brown, but Nony Tochterman hasn't shown her roots in about 20 years. These days it's a bubblegum pink, and in the past she's tressed herself in Skittles hues, including green, blonde, orange, purple, fuchsia and lavender. Color, after all, is a lot of what...
  • Trading in happy meals for real happiness

    By Rocky Salomon

    November 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Living a life of dual identity is no simple task. On one hand, my peers and I are told to live up to the expectations of being Modern Orthodox teens, but on the other side of the spectrum we are tempted by the culture of the secular world on an everyday basis.

    How then is it remotely...

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