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Jewish Journal

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  • L.A.-Eilat task force kicks off with water meeting at City Hall

    By Jared Sichel

    23 hours ago

    On the heels of a cooperative agreement signed in March between the governments of Israel and California, the cities of Los Angeles and Eilat built on a 55-year sister-city relationship, holding an inaugural task force meeting Oct. 20 at Los Angeles City Hall. 

    The gathering,...

  • Final Kindness: Honoring K’rovei Yisr’ael

    Rick Light

    1 day ago

    An important question arose during a series of talks on Jewish death practices about the beauty and power of Jewish burial and mourning practices. After the formal presentation, a Jewish woman explained that her husband was not Jewish, but they were both very active in the local...

  • The Heschel Exchange, part 3: On Kaplan and the God of the Bible

    By Shmuel Rosner

    2 days ago

    Rabbi Shai Held is Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar. Before that, he served for six years as Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in New York City, and taught both theology and Halakha at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also served as Director of...

  • Preparing for the worst: A Q&A with Cedars-Sinai’s director of epidemiology on Ebola

    2 days ago

    Ebola.

    The dreaded word is all over the news and causing a flurry of activity at hospitals across the nation as officials scramble to prepare for the possibility of new cases of the West African disease in the United States. So far, just three cases of Ebola have been diagnosed...

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  • ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ and civility

    By  David A. Lehrer

    2 days ago

    Yesterday saw the premiere of The Death of Klinghoffer at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The media have been fascinated by the opera, the demonstrations outside the opening, the spokesmen for the various positions, and the high profile politicians who participated.

    Not...

  • Jews at the helm of U.S. Ebola response

    By Tom Tugend

    2 days ago

    The United States’ two main point men in dealing with the Ebola crisis, Ronald (Ron) A. Klain and Thomas (Tom) R. Frieden, have some things in common.

    Both are 53, high achievers and Jewish.

    Each is well-known in his professional circles, and now as both men find themselves in...

  • Power to the table

    By David Suissa

    3 days ago

    While we were having our meals in the sukkah this year, I kept thinking about another holiday. This is odd because Sukkot has a strong and distinctive personality. The very idea of building a sukkah is unusual. For eight days, this little hut is the center of our lives, which, in...

  • A better Orthodox reaction to the mikveh, East Ramapo scandals

    3 days ago

    Three groups of Orthodox Jews have made several prominent appearances in the media over the last few weeks: The East Ramapo Central School District was profiled on National Public Radio because Chasidic Jews living in the district have wrested control of a majority vote on the...

  • No magic bullet: Technology has much to offer in the classroom, but it can’t fix everything

    3 days ago

    I’m sold on technology in the classroom. I really am. I mean, books, paper and pens are a form of technology — they’re just a comparatively inert and messy form. 

    I’m not sentimental about physical books. I’m sure when they came around, some poor slob was sitting in a corner...

  • The ‘B’ Word: Jewish day schools take steps to prevent bullying

    3 days ago

    It’s tempting to think bullying would never happen among nice Jewish kids at a nice Jewish day school. But the statistics tell another story. 

    More than one-third of all youths overall have been bullied, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And a 2010 study...

  • Net gains: Sports programs can score big for Jewish day schools

    3 days ago

    To understand the place of athletics at a Jewish day school, attend a recruitment open house and watch the children’s eyes. As they listen to the descriptions or tour the stations set up to display the school’s programs and activities, look for the moments when the spark of...

  • Sunday Reads: How popular is ISIS in the Middle East?, On the world’s first woman rabbi

    By Shmuel Rosner

    4 days ago

    US

    Joshua Keating writes about why the UN Security Council is no longer a factor in the US campaign against ISIS –

    It’s possible to imagine a scenario under which the U.S. would promise to limit its airstrikes to ISIS, rather than Syrian government targets—as it is actually...

  • Top U.S. Ebola point men are Jewish

    By Tom Tugend

    6 days ago

    Any mother, Jewish or otherwise, would kvell over the accomplishments of her three sons, although at the moment she might wish that the youngest one weren’t constantly in the news.
     
    That would be Thomas (Tom) R. Frieden, director of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and...
  • Here I Am. Where Are You?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    6 days ago

    By Rabbi Mark Borovitz

    As my first blog of the new year, 5775, I want to talk about hiding. For me, this is the original sin in the Bible. Whenever we feel less than, whenever we feel wrong, we hide. God is calling out to us every hour of every day the same word God called out to...

  • Biographer for a Day

    Rabbi Karen B. Kaplan

    1 week ago

    Think about it. Most of the time what people say to each other points just to the surface of the intense and conflicting emotions roiling below. Writers use that fact to create tension between what the characters in a story are chattering about and what they really feel and think....

  • Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Vezot Habracha with Rabbi Brian Zimmerman

    By Shmuel Rosner

    1 week ago

    Our guest this week is Rabbi Brian Zimmerman of the Union for Reform Judaism. Rabbi Zimmerman, a 12th-generation rabbi, was ordained by the Hebrew Union college in NY in 1993 and served as the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Am in Tampa, FL for seven years. In 2006 he was...

  • Letter from Dijon, France

    1 week ago

    On my first day traveling in Dijon this past spring, I bounded into the hotel lobby and casually reached for a newspaper lying on the reception desk. The front-page headline of Le Figaro riveted my attention. Quickly, I devoured the story. It described an unprecedented upsurge in...

  • The few. The proud.
    The Jewish Marines.

    By Jared Sichel

    1 week ago

    Sitting at the front of a small room inside a nondescript building at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Navy Lt. Aaron Kleinman was dressed in a uniform rarely seen on these grounds: On top of his gray suit, dress shirt and tie, Kleinman’s head was covered by a kippah and his...

  • L.A.’s Iranian Jews must launch new Iran advocacy campaign

    By Karmel Melamed

    1 week ago

    Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to speak to a Southern California Christian group about the significant human rights violations that the Iranian regime has waged against the Christians, Jews and other religious minorities living in Iran today. While this congregation was...

  • Max Webb, one second at a time

    By David Suissa

    1 week ago

    It’s hard to imagine how, or why, a wealthy 97-year-old man would make the effort to go through hundreds of invoices for his building company and sign all the checks himself. It’s even harder to imagine him catching mistakes and telling his bookkeeper things like, “I think this one...

  • ADL alerts U.S. synagogues to protect against online hackers

    1 week ago

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has issued a security alert to Jewish institutions across the country concerning a potential uptick in the number of online attacks by foreign hackers targeting the websites of synagogues and other Jewish organizations, which could compromise...
  • Why even call it art?

    By Milad Doroudian

    1 week ago

    How many times must we get into discussions with people on what qualifies as art? Some say that there are a great deal of many things that do, but really are there? The classifications today have unfortunately widened beyond incomprehensibility, or really any rationality.

    People...

  • Israel prepares to fight Ebola in West Africa

    By Jeffrey Hensiek

    1 week ago

    Even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced new measures on Oct. 12 to screen for Ebola cases at Israel’s points of entry, officials from the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Health had worked over the weekend to put in place an emergency response program to...

  • In a week of shacks, a missing L.A. woman found destitute in one

    1 week ago

    While during Sukkot Los Angeles’ Jews were dwelling in their temporary shelters, a continent away, the story of Sarah Cheiker, an elderly victim of a con that took her Fairfax District home – was demonstrating just how fragile a home can be in the City of Angels.

    Cheiker, 91,...

  • How to Choose a Lifetime Partner

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    1 week ago

    When asked about a potential lifetime partner, I always offer the same litmus test:  “Is s/he kind?”

    The most important aspect of a person’s character is kindness, the filter through which all acts of love and courage are expressed.

    “How do I know if he is kind?”  The question...

  • The Heschel Exchange, part 2: On the rabbi’s provocative rhetoric

    By Shmuel Rosner

    1 week ago

    Rabbi Shai Held is Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar. Before that, he served for six years as Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in New York City, and taught both theology and Halakha at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also served as Director of...

  • Sunday reads: Does Syria matter to the US?, Israel’s regrets about the Gaza blockade

    By Shmuel Rosner

    2 weeks ago

    US

    According to Michael Weiss, the US and the anti-ISIS coalition don’t intend to do anything to help Syria –

    But now that the air forces of Sunni-led Arab nations are flying alongside US F-16 and F-22s, the actual US policy has come into the clear; it’s suddenly permissible...

  • What’s Your Sukkah?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    2 weeks ago

    By Rabbi Paul Steinberg

    Jews argue.  It’s written into our history; it’s written into how we approach life.  Why is that? Well, Judaism wisely understands that the truth is manifold.  A does not have to equal A.  A can be B, A can be C, or any other number of possibilities, and...

  • Modigliani: The Life of An Artist

    By Milad Doroudian

    2 weeks ago

    Posing in his studio with a cigarette dangling between his fingers, his cold and staunch stare right at the camera peeping into your soul, sloppy clothes, half-finished paintings behind him, a messy used desk, and paint brushes everywhere. Modigliani wasn’t just an artist, but he...

  • Meet the Fokkens: Amsterdam’s septuagenarian Jewish prostitutes

    By tessc

    2 weeks ago

    Like many Jewish grandmothers, Martine and Louise Fokkens enjoy talking about their grandchildren in language laced with Yiddish.

    At 71, the twins from Amsterdam also paint, think often about the Holocaust and attend synagogue on Jewish holidays.

    But the Fokkens are not like...

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