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Tag: Iranian Jews

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  • Delshad reflects on his year as B.H. Mayor

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 27, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Mayor Jimmy Delshad was surrounded by nearly two dozen local Iranian Jews at his Beverly Hills City Hall office on March 10. Holdings hands, they recited a prayer of thanksgiving and he personally thanked his supporters in the community for backing his efforts as mayor.

    "I really...

  • Podcast: Iranian Jewish professionals make waves with new mentoring program

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 25, 2008 | 3:04 am

    Nearly two dozen Los Angeles area successful Iranian Jewish professionals in their 20’s and 30’s are turning heads in their community by participating in a new program matching them as mentors with Iranian Jewish teenagers. Specifically, the new Thirty Years After organization’s...

  • Kudos to the Jerusalem Post for covering Iranian Jews

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 23, 2008 | 6:31 pm

    Aside from the L.A. Jewish Journal’s editorial staff which has been tremendously wise and kind to permit my coverage of the influential Iranian Jewish community in Los Angeles in their publication, very few other Jewish publications anywhere in the world have given regular coverage...

  • Purim is perfectly Persian Jewish!

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 20, 2008 | 6:37 pm


    Purim has always had a special place in my heart as it is perfectly Persian Jewish. As a young person of Iranian Jewish background living in the U.S. and attending Jewish grade school among Ashkenazim, I was always exposed to the Ashkenazi traditions for each holiday. When Purim...

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  • Iranian Jewish activist Nikbakht speaks out on the condition of minorities in Iran

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 19, 2008 | 4:45 pm

    Frank Nikbakht is perhaps among the country’s top experts when it comes to issues of religious minorities living in Iran. Based in Los Angeles, Nikbakht, an Iranian Jewish activist, heads the Committee for Religious Minority Rights in Iran. Whether it’s Jews, Zoroastrians, Bahais,...

  • Exclusive Podcast: out-going Beverly Hills mayor Delshad

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 18, 2008 | 4:20 pm

    Today will mark the final day for Iranian Jewish City Council member of Beverly Hills, Jimmy Delshad in his post as mayor of the city. In March 2007 he made history by narrowly winning re-election to the City Council and became the first Iranian American Jew to serve as mayor of a...

  • Photo essay: A.R.M. is removing stigma of disabilities among Iranian Jewry

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 17, 2008 | 8:49 pm

    Some of the country’s top medical researchers were honored at a gala event on March 16th held at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott, for their work by the Advancement of Research for Myopathies (ARM), a non-profit based in Encino. Close to 600 guests from various countries and...

  • Photo essay: Eretz-SIAMAK celebrates Purim in the Iranian American way!

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 17, 2008 | 1:07 am

    There were live animals in a petty zoo, a pony for little kids to ride, face painting, costume contests, carnival games, older Iranian Jewish men playing backgammon, with the scent of chicken and beef kebab in the air, ...a true mix of the Iranian and American Jewish traditions of...

  • Iranian Jewish clothing designer helping L.A.‘s homeless

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 12, 2008 | 6:07 pm

    Recently I had a chat with Bob Roofian, one of the many accomplished Iranian Jewish businessmen in the garment industry here in Southern California. Roofian and his brother when into business with their father straight out of high school in the early 1980’s. They both started their...

  • Podcast & photo essay: Boteach vs. Prager at Nessah

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 8, 2008 | 11:32 am

    The theme from the movie “Rocky” blasted through the main sanctuary at the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills on Thursday March 6th with nearly 600 local Iranian Jews who came to witness a heated debate between author and television personality Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and syndicated...

  • Jewish member of Iranian parliament “condemns” Israel

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 4, 2008 | 10:35 pm

    Recently a non-Iranian Jewish reader of this blog e-mailed me regarding this story put out by the Iranian state-run news agency about Maurice Motamed, the Jewish member of the Iranian Parliament along with Iran’s Jewish leadership condemning Israel for it’s Gaza operations...

  • Yet another anti-Semitic program on Iranian state-run TV

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 2, 2008 | 12:11 pm

    It’s simply amazing how truly hypocritical and idiotic the current Iranian government is when it comes to their messages put out in the media regarding Jews. Day in and day out the Iranian regime goes to great lengths to differentiate how they hate Israel and the “Zionist” enemy...

  • Anderson introduces new Iran divestment resolution

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 28, 2008 | 10:29 pm

    California State Assemblymember Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon) made national headlines last year by introducing a landmark state legislation signed into law late last year that required state pension funds to divest an estimated $24 billion from nearly 30companies doing business with...

  • Iranian Jewish author Nahai to give new insights about the community

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 26, 2008 | 10:38 pm

    As a journalist and writer, I have a special respect and admiration for individuals that are in my same shoes—especially those who share the stories of the unique Iranian Jewish community with the rest of the free world. Gina Nahai , an Iranian Jewish author based here in Los...

  • Our podcast remembers Dr. Amnon Nezter

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 24, 2008 | 10:04 am

    Several days ago this blog reflected on the incredible contributions of the late Iranian Jewish historian Dr. Amnon Nezter following his passing on February 15, 2008. An obituary on Nezter appeared in the L.A. Jewish Journal website this week, but our podcast recently interviewed...

  • Young Iranian Jews get primed for politics, Isreality rocks the Avalon

    By Danielle Berrin

    February 21, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    Young Iranian Jews Get Primed for Politics

    Election night energy was vibrant on Feb. 5 when more than 100 young Iranian Jewish professionals gathered at the Brentwood residence of the Cohanzad family to mingle and watch the 2008 primary election results. Community leaders in...

  • Mullah’s offer to welcome Jews back to Iran is a joke!

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 20, 2008 | 4:56 pm


    Iran’s radical fundamentalist Islamic leaders never cease to make me laugh nowadays with their almost daily ridiculous news releases to the Western media concerning Jews and Israel. This is one of their latest asinine news releases put out by the Iranian government’s state-run...

  • Iranian Jews mourn passing of Dr. Netzer

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 17, 2008 | 11:46 pm

    On Sunday February 17, 2008 roughly 500 Los Angeles area Iranian Jews bid a final farewell to the late Iranian Jewish historian Dr. Amnon Netzer during his memorial at Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills. He had died a few days earlier at the age of 73 at UCLA Medical Center while...

  • Local Iranian Jew boycotts an L.A. Iranian market for anti-Semitic comments

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 14, 2008 | 4:35 pm

    Angela Cohan is a Los Angeles area Iranian Jewish mom, writer, community activist and a friend of mine who recently shared with me an incident last year in which anti-Semitic remarks were made at a local grocery store own by Iranian Muslims in the Westwood area. Her outrage over...

  • Iranian gov’t news makes bogus claim that Iranian Jews in U.S. support the regime

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 12, 2008 | 1:40 pm

    It simply baffles my mind how officials in Iran’s radical fundamentalist Islamic government still continue to put out totally bogus press releases, news reports and information about Jews and other religious minorities of Iranian decent. The regime’s claims and statements about...

  • New Iranian Jewish podcast on this blog!

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 9, 2008 | 2:11 pm


    It is with great honor and pleasure that I announce the launching of the first podcast on this blog that will literally give new voice to Iranian Jews living in the U.S. The new podcast can be found here:

    http://www.jewishjournal.com/audio/karmelmelamedpodcast.mp3

    Since 2000, as...

  • Photo Essay: Super Tuesday excites young Iranian Jews to get politically active

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 6, 2008 | 11:48 pm

    Election night energy was vibrant on February 5th when more than 250 young Iranian Jewish professionals gathered at the Brentwood residence of the Iranian Jewish Cohanzad family to mingle and watch the 2008 primary election results. Organizers of the event, “Thirty Years After...

  • Iranian Jews in New York still keeping a low profile

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 3, 2008 | 11:49 pm

    The Iranian Jewish community living in Long Island, New York is primarly concentrated in the area known as Great Neck and is roughly 15,000 strong today. The community in Great Neck is by far wealthy, educated and quite observant of Jewish religious practices. With all of their...

  • American author recalls Iranian Jewish response to Shah leaving Iran

    By Karmel Melamed

    January 31, 2008 | 9:39 pm

    I am always intrigued to read or hear what perspectives other Jewish groups have when it comes to Iranian Jews. An article this week by Jewish anthropologist and author Karen L. Pliskin in the Forward newspaper particularly caught my attention as she shares her memories of Iranian...

  • This being Los Angeles . . .

    By Gina Nahai

    January 31, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    Last Thursday night at LACMA, I was treated to a reading of my own works by the very talented and beautiful actress Bahar Soumekh, and by UC Irvine professor Nasrin Rahimieh. Outside the Bing Theater, rain poured in sheets, and traffic on Wilshire was at a standstill because all the...
  • U.N. finally holds Iran accountable for human rights abuses

    By Karmel Melamed

    January 28, 2008 | 9:30 pm

    For nearly six decades the United Nations General Assembly has been notorious for passing ridiculously anti-Israel resolutions condemning supposed human rights violations by Israel. This is accomplished with the help of a large group of Arab and Islamic member countries such as...

  • French philanthropist aid to Iranians comes full circle

    By Karmel Melamed

    November 29, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Philanthropist Hubert Leven, a French Ashkenazi Jew who recently visited Los Angeles, has ties to the close-knit Iranian Jewish community that go back four generations.

    More than 100 years ago, the Alliance Israelite Universelle (AIU), a nonprofit educational organization his...

  • Hebrew course piques Iranian Jews’ interest

    By Karmel Melamed

    November 15, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    "You teach me Persian, and I'll teach you Hebrew," quipped Rabbi Hillel Benchimol to the crowd. Nearly 150 Iranian Jews of various ages had gathered at the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills on Oct. 29 for the third session of a free five-week crash course in Hebrew.

    Also known as...

  • Kidnapped Iranian Jew’s family finds closure

    By Karmel Melamed

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    On a spring morning in 1980, following the turbulent Islamic revolution in Iran, Isaac Lahijani, an affluent Jewish architect and real estate developer, said goodbye to his wife, Farzaneh, and his children, and left his home in Tehran for another routine day at work.

    Soon after, he...

  • Iranian couples trapped by six-figure party dilemma

    By Karmel Melamed

    October 11, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Sam Cohan recently completed his residency. As he looked for a job locally, his student loans weighed on him. The 30-something Iranian Jew had grown up middle class in the Valley and had to take out the loans to pay for his education at a prestigious medical school.

    With no immediate...

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