In what was anything but a typical Yom HaShoah assemblage, more than 300 people — including two rabbis, a Methodist preacher, a Catholic priest and a U.S. congressman — packed into Temple Ramat Zion in Northridge on April 7 for an interdenominational observance titled “Remembering the Past, Securing the Future.”
There has long been an unwritten covenant between the Jewish establishment and Christian leaders when it comes to interfaith dialogue: “We can talk about any religious issues we like, but criticism of Israel’s human rights violations is off limits.”
Sometimes, only a period of separation will save a troubled marriage. That is why the Simon Wiesenthal Center and other Jewish groups are pulling out of the Christian-Jewish Roundtable. Fifteen liberal Protestant leaders, including those of the Presbyterian, Lutheran and Methodist denominations, chose the Jewish High Holiday season to urge Congress to curtail U.S. aid to Israel.
It’s not often that a rabbi’s High Holy Days sermon is interrupted by a standing ovation. But that is what happened — twice — when Rabbi John Rosove, senior rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood, dedicated his sermon on the first day of Rosh Hashanah to explaining why he was changing a long-held position and would from now on officiate at interfaith weddings.
David Katz knew minutes into watching Bryan Fogel’s “Jewtopia,” a star-studded independent film adapted from the hit comedic play about interfaith dating, that it would anchor his Malibu International Film Festival. Unfortunately, Katz had his epiphany at 3 a.m.
Since it opened in 2011, the Interfaith Center of Beverly Hills has been sitting mostly empty.
Danny Richter and his fiancée, Lauren Perkins, have never been to a Jewish wedding, yet this fall, the interfaith couple is planning to be married in a Jewish wedding ceremony.
Several Jewish groups joined an interfaith coalition calling on presidential candidates to refrain from using religion as a political wedge issue.
Jewish, Christian and Buddhist religious leaders discussed their respective faiths’ support for reproductive choice during a recent program at the National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles’ (NCJW/LA) Fairfax headquarters on July 28.
A project to help interfaith families connect Jewishly will launch soon in Chicago.
Volunteers from Valley Beth Shalom (VBS) in Encino and Family of Faith Christian Center (FFCC) in Carson fed 150 homeless people from the Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission in North Hollywood in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the National Day of Service on Jan. 17. This is the second year the church and synagogue have come together to feed the homeless on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a tradition they plan to continue. “Our tradition is as much about action as belief,” VBS Rabbi Noah Zvi Farkas said.
In 2008, Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation donated $100,000 to the Library Foundation of Los Angeles to buy a collection of Jewish books for the Los Angeles Central Library.
On Dec. 1, the first night of Chanukah, Jewish and Christian clergy came together for a one-hour service to kick off the Festival of Lights and celebrate World AIDS Day.
Conductor Daniel Barenboim was awarded a German peace prize for his efforts to bring Israelis and Palestinians together.
I wanted to elope. He didn't. Actually, toward the end of our wedding planning, he did -- but his family, which is much larger than mine, was expecting a big fat Orthodox Jewish wedding. What they weren't expecting was a big fat Dominican Orthodox Jewish wedding.
Starting next week, 50 synagogues and 50 mosques throughout the United States and Canada will get together for three days of "twinning" and intensive discussions.
So here we are seven years later, about to enter the Jewish year 5769. The deaths of Sept. 11 have been compounded by more deaths in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. In many ways our world is more violent and certainly more fearful than it had been. Evidence of evil abounds.
In 2000, the pope undertook a pilgrimage to and formally recognized the State of Israel, inserting a note between the stones of the Western Wall.
When I look at my daughters, I see their faces as both azoy shayne and uruwashii, "so beautiful" in Yiddish and in Japanese.
The highest authority in the very heartland of Islam has taken a lead in interfaith outreach, whatever his motives might be, with the declared intention of addressing contemporary challenges and resolving conflict. This offers Israel, the Jewish people and the West a significant opportunity that must be seized
In "David and Fatima," the Montague and the Capulet clans become the Aziz and the Isaacs, setting the stage for a battle of the two faiths
Sure, no group has proven more essential to American support for Israel than evangelical Christians, but the relationship between Jews and their apostate neighbors -- or vice versa depending on the perspective -- has been filled with many more moments of tension than transcendence: the Crusades, countless expulsions from European countries, passion plays and blood libels and pogroms, not to mention the Holocaust
A rockin' good time
Divorce, dissolution, divestment: These are words that spell the end of a relationship and of what might have been -- through time and patience -- a meaningful and inspiring marriage.
Hillel centers on university campuses were viewed not long ago as little more than the local Jewish hangout, a place where students could come for kosher meals or socialize with other Jews. But in a move that Hillel leaders say has been forced upon them by this generation's altered social landscape, the organization is throwing open its doors to everyone, designing programs that appeal to Jews and non-Jews and hyping its contribution to university -- not only Jewish -- life.
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 children's father is not Jewish, the kids are being raised in an interfaith home and Kurowski, for all her Jewish involvement, is not sure what role she should play in passing on the Jewish heritage that is so dear to her.
In many respects, judging from "David & Layla," Kurds are not unlike Jews in their hospitality, love of food, vigorous wedding dancing, and various mishegoss.
In the past decade, as Jewish leaders grapple with how assimilation and intermarriage have affected the numbers of Jews, many Jewish organizations, temples and synagogues are increasing efforts to reach out to teach Judaism -- both to secular and unaffiliated Jews, as well as to interfaith families.
Charles Dickens' classic, "A Tale of Two Cities," begins with the famous line: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Sociologist Steven Cohen's new study on intermarriage has a similar title but a different spirit.
Picks and Clicks
Many interfaith couples are raising their children to be Jews, even without conversion of the non-Jewish parent.
Is it possible for Los Angeles Jews and Muslims to talk to one another, to share peacefully at the table?
This is the question that some leaders of both groups locally are asking themselves.
Updates. Pluralistic Rabbinical Court Seeks New Funding. InterfaithFamily.com Celebrates 200th Issue. OU Offers $20,000 Award for Best Unaffiliated Outreach.
Rosenfield started out collecting donations for one caseworker from the Department of Children and Family Service, and found she was so successful at motivating people to give that she adopted another caseworker a year later. Before long the former personnel manager had adopted the entire North Hollywood office.
"Eve is the soul of the Food Pantry. She just knows that people cannot be hungry and we need to do whatever is necessary," said Joy Grau, a member of St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church in Studio City and a 15-year volunteer.
The mysterious billboards went up across the Los Angeles area just after the High Holidays. Each used a variation on the same theme, juxtaposing illustrations: Latkes or fries? Bagels and lox or sushi? Yarmulke or cap?
Israel's Sephardi Chief Rabbi Amar to visit Los Angeles; Ask A (Different) Rabbi; Inquiring Minds Want to Know.
The JOI presented results from "The Jewish Outreach Scan of the West Valley/Conejo Valley" during a well-attended Jewish Federation/Valley Alliance board meeting at The New JCC at Milken in West Hills on Oct. 4. The survey was funded by the United Jewish Communities' Emerging Communities Project.
"One Night With the King," which, despite its somewhat titillating title, contains nary a hint of sexual abandon or even suggestive cleavage, opens Oct. 13 at close to 1,000 theaters across the United States.
The decision by the L.A. County Commission on Human Relations to give its John Allen Buggs Humanitarian Award to Muslim leader Dr. Maher Hathout and the vitriolic rhetoric from a segment of the Jewish community.
Music was Daniel Pearl's avocation, but journalism was his profession. In pursuit of a story on Al Qaeda's financial ties, the then-38-year-old Wall Street Journal reporter was kidnapped in early 2002 in Pakistan and beheaded by Islamic extremists.
The difficulties of being in an interfaith family.
Overall, though, Jewish-Muslim relations are strained, and tensions will likely worsen before getting better, predicts Rabbi John Rosove, senior rabbi at Temple Israel of Hollywood.
An Open Letter to Ramona Ripston.
Letters to the Editor
Unity is a collaboration between Jewish and Muslim high schools and focuses on interfaith studies, taught by educators of both religions.
Letters to the Editor