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  • Dirty Harry is Iranian

    By Gina Nahai

    July 30, 2014 | 10:25 am

    Yeah, I didn’t know it either. I only found out 10 years ago when a friend who lived in Iran came to L.A. for a visit. Just like I didn’t know, till I was in my mid-20s, that I’m not Iranian. 

    I found that out from a random caller to a Persian-language television program produced...

  • Locals celebrate Norooz

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 20, 2013 | 10:11 am

    Fast-paced Persian dance music and the aroma of beef kebabs filled the Arena Nightclub in Hollywood on March 16 as nearly 1,000 local Iranian-Americans and their young children gathered to celebrate the upcoming Persian new year of Norooz. 

    The Norooz Festival was the first in a...

  • Iranian diplomat in Brazil: Soon there will be no place for Zionists

    September 14, 2012 | 9:15 am

    A Brazilian newspaper has published an opinion article by an Iranian diplomat asserting that “there will soon be no place for Zionists in the Middle East.”

    Ali Mohaghegh, first secretary of the Iranian embassy in Brasilia, made the asertion in article published last month in the...

  • Lebanese judo team refuses to practice next to Israelis at Olympics training facility

    July 27, 2012 | 12:01 pm

    The Lebanese judo team at the 2012 London Olympics refused to practice next to the Israeli team.

    The Jordanians even erected a makeshift barrier to split their gym into two halves, according to the Times of Israel.

    The two teams were scheduled to train inside London’s ExCel...

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  • Reluctant hero Lalezary honored by L.A.‘s Iranian Jews

    By Karmel Melamed

    June 20, 2012 | 12:20 pm

    In the early hours of Jan. 2, Shervin Lalezary was on only his fourth solo patrol as a Los Angeles reserve sheriff’s deputy. Driving on Sunset Boulevard near Fairfax Avenue in West Hollywood, he spotted a minivan that fit the description of one believed to be used by an arsonist who...

  • SEC halts Ponzi scheme targeting Persian Jews in L.A.

    April 16, 2012 | 10:02 am

    A Ponzi scheme targeting the Persian-Jewish community in Los Angeles was shut down by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The SEC obtained an emergency court order on April 13 to stop the scheme.

    According to the SEC, Shervin Neman, also known as Shervin Davatgarzadeh,...

  • The myth of the Iranian-American Jew

    April 4, 2012 | 1:55 pm

    This one’s for our children — the teens and 20-somethings who were born in this country or who’ve lived here most of their life, who have no memory of Iran except what’s been passed on to them or what they’ve constructed with their imagination. The kids who speak Persian...

  • Giving hope and help to L.A.’s Iranian Jews

    By Karmel Melamed

    January 5, 2012 | 5:09 pm

    Earlier this year, after nearly two decades of providing counseling and psychological help to local Iranians for free or at reduced rates, Shadee Toomari, a local Iranian-Jewish licensed clinical psychologist, formally established the community’s first nonprofit mental health...

  • Opinion: Oh, to be young and stupid again

    By Gina Nahai

    November 2, 2011 | 3:45 pm

    I was 21 years old, a first-year law student at USC, when I walked by a trailer parked on an empty lot off McCarthy Way on the downtown campus. It was late afternoon, and I was on my way home; I only noticed the trailer because it was such an anomaly among the red brick buildings...

  • For downtown’s Persian Jews, work plus worship equals success

    By Karmel Melamed

    October 26, 2011 | 5:24 pm

    Fast-paced techno dance music blasts through Chikas, a retail clothing store off Santee Street in the heart of downtown Los Angeles’ Fashion District, which many call the Garment District. Robert Mahgerefteh, the store’s owner, helps the dozen or so young women looking for great...

  • Author promotes moderate faith for Iranian Jews

    By Karmel Melamed

    October 25, 2011 | 7:46 pm

    After their immigration to Southern California more than 30 years ago, the majority of the area’s Iranian Jewish community poured their energies into re-establishing themselves financially. Following their success, some Iranian Jews have turned their attention to promoting...

  • Iranian plot included Israeli embassy in Argentina

    October 14, 2011 | 11:34 am

    An Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States, thwarted earlier this week, also involved an attack the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Buenos Aires. 

    American-Iranian Manssor Arbabsiar, arrested Oct. 11in the Saudi ambassador murder plot, was also planning an...

  • Mossad killed Iranian scientist, Der Spiegel reports

    August 2, 2011 | 10:31 am

    Israel is responsible for the assassination last week of an Iranian nuclear scientist, the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported.

    The assassination of Darioush Rezaei is the first “serious action” taken by new Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, an unnamed Israeli source told the news outlet,...

  • Ban Iranian Olympians, World Jewish Congress urges IOC

    July 27, 2011 | 10:39 am

    The World Jewish Congress called on the International Olympic Committee to bar Iran from the 2012 Games until the country allows its athletes to compete against Israelis.

    The WJC’s complaint comes in the wake of a withdrawal by an Iranian swimmer, Mohammed Alirezaei, from a race...

  • Staying true to our own heritage

    By Gina Nahai

    June 1, 2011 | 10:22 am

    I once wrote a novel about an Iranian Jewish woman who grows wings and flies away from her husband’s home. She escapes because she’s in love with another man, and she believes it’s better to abandon her family than to stay and shame them by having an illicit affair. A few...

  • Bolivia boots Iranian defense minister over ‘94 bombing

    June 1, 2011 | 10:08 am

    Iran’s defense minister left Bolivia following complaints from Argentina over his alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Jewish community center.

    Ahmad Vahidi reportedly left Bolivia late Tuesday night under a cloud of secrecy, Reuters reported, after arriving the...

  • Financier Namvar’s conviction reveals community wounds

    By Karmel Melamed

    May 24, 2011 | 5:43 pm

    Once a pillar of the local Iranian Jewish community, businessman and philanthropist Ezri Namvar was a trusted friend to whom many in the community loaned money freely and without fear. Namvar’s reputation, which has been tarnished during the last several years, was dealt another...

  • Iranian Jewish investor guilty of fraud

    May 23, 2011 | 10:35 am

    An Iranian Jewish real estate investor in Los Angeles was found guilty of fraud after he was accused of stealing $21 million from clients.

    Ezri Namvar, 59, was convicted May 19 in Los Angeles federal court on four counts of wire fraud and faces up to 80 years in prison. Sentencing...

  • Israel watching Syria-bound Iranian warships

    February 16, 2011 | 2:06 pm

    Two Iranian warships have left for Syria and plan to sail through the Suez Canal, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said.

    Lieberman in a statement released Wednesday called the move a recurring Iranian “provocation.” His statement suggested that Israel would not ignore...

  • [UPDATE] Iranians demonstrate in support of Egypt

    February 15, 2011 | 9:00 am

    One protester was killed and dozens were injured as thousands of Iranians demonstrated in support of uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

    Dozens of opposition protesters were arrested in the central Iranian city of Isfahan, and Iranian security forces fired tear gas at protesters...

  • Iranian Jewish banker Ezri Namvar indicted on federal fraud charges

    By Karmel Melamed

    September 27, 2010 | 11:47 am

    Los Angeles Iranian Jewish banker and real estate investor Ezri Namvar, 59, was indicted on Sept. 21 by a federal grand jury on five counts of fraud. The charges allege he failed to return $23 million given for safekeeping to his company, Namco Financial Exchange Corp. (NFE), and...

  • IRANIAN ELECTION ANALYSIS: All Iran candidates will bolster Hamas, Hezbollah ties

    June 12, 2009 | 2:29 pm

    One winner has already been declared in the Iranian elections: The Internet, used by more than 23 million Iranians, or 34 percent of the population. But that figure alone cannot be used to determine which of the four candidates will win. At the very most, one can assume most Web...

  • Car Wash Brothers Face Labor Abuse Charges

    By Karmel Melamed

    April 23, 2009 | 1:13 am

    Since two local Iranian Jewish brothers were charged with a 176-count criminal complaint by the L.A. City Attorney’s Office in February for alleged labor law violations at their car washes, many area Iranian Jewish business owners are quietly expressing support for the pair. And...

  • Roger Cohen’s Dialogue with the Iran Jewish Community

    By Tom Tugend

    March 16, 2009 | 4:49 pm

    For video footage of the dialogue, click here.

    There was no clean knockout when New York Times columnist Roger Cohen faced off against some 400 members of the local Iranian Jewish and Bahai communities last week, but spectators were treated to some vigorous rhetorical sparring and...

  • LIVE VIDEO TONIGHT: A Dialogue with Roger Cohen and the Iranian Jewish Community

    By Jay Firestone

    March 12, 2009 | 4:36 pm

    [UPDATE] This is a replay of LIVE broadcast from Thursday, March 12, 2009. 

    JewishJournal.com presents a LIVE broadcast of a dialogue with Roger Cohen (New York Times) and the Los Angeles Iranian Jewish Community, moderated by Rabbi David Wolpe and hosted by Sinai Temple in Los...

  • L.A.'s Top Ten Mensches: Our fourth-annual salute to big-hearted Angelenos

    December 31, 2008 | 7:44 pm

    "It is hard to convey the special sense of respect, dignity and approbation that can be conveyed by calling someone 'a real mensch,'" writes Leo Rosten in "The Joys of Yiddish."

    The Yiddish word infuses the basic German denotation -- "person" -- with an almost indefinable...
  • Iranian Jewish community split as creditors force Ezri Namvar into bankruptcy

    By Karmel Melamed

    December 30, 2008 | 4:46 pm

    Businessman and philanthropist Ezri Namvar was once a pillar of the local Iranian Jewish community, a trusted friend to whom many in the community loaned freely and without fear.

    Now Namvar and his investment company, Namco Capital Group, Inc., are accused of losing as much as $400...

  • Thousands protest Ahmadinejad in New York—no Clinton, no Palin [VIDEO]

    By Ben Harris

    September 22, 2008 | 9:33 pm

    NEW YORK (JTA)—Thousands of protesters filled Dag Hammarskjold Plaza opposite the United Nations for a rally against Iran’s president, who came to town to address the General Assembly.

    “The message to him is please go home,” Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel said at Monday’s...

  • Nessah Young Professionals party like Paris Hilton; New VP for Masorti women

    By Danielle Berrin

    September 18, 2008 | 10:52 pm

    Nessah Young Professionals Party Like Paris Hilton

    Dubbed the "Glamour Summer Night," the Nessah Young Professionals' Aug. 26 annual gala drew more than 600 local Iranian Jewish young professionals and college students to the Area nightclub in West Hollywood, where they danced the...

  • Who you calling rebbetzin, why you dissing Palin, what college anti-Semitism?

    September 17, 2008 | 11:31 pm

    The Rabbi's Spouse

    In her recent story, Danielle Berrin contemplates the role of the clergy's spouse ("Who You Calling Rebbetzin?" Sept. 12).

    It seems that one of the downsides is being misunderstood.  
     
    I repeatedly emphasized to Danielle that my voluntary role in our...
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