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Jewish Journal

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  • Obama: I have same high expectations of Israel as I do of U.S.

    11 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (JTA) – President Barack Obama has a message for American Jews: I don’t shy away from disagreeing with Israel publicly, because I care about Israel and our shared values.

    The president marked Jewish American Heritage Month with a speech Friday at Washington’s oldest...

  • My dad was in the Army

    1 day ago

    My dad was like no other. 

    He was an accomplished CPA. That in itself might not seem so unusual, but how many accountants do you know who are also adept at wilderness survival? He could identify all of the animal tracks and scat. He knew the differences between poison ivy and...

  • Heroes to Heroes helps U.S. soldiers heal their psychic wounds

    1 day ago

    With his two kids out of the house, retired Army Sgt. Harrison Manyoma planned to commit suicide on Aug. 10, 2012. But a Jewish mother from New Jersey derailed his plans. 

    Judy Schaffer started Heroes to Heroes after meeting wounded war veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center...

  • A German Jew who served the U.S. at Utah Beach

    1 day ago

    “Col. James Van Fleet took me aside and said, ‘Bodlander, since you speak both French and German, I want you on my boat when we go ashore. And, incidentally, I will be the first person to step onto land; you’ll be the second,’ ” Walter Bodlander said in a recent interview.

    ...
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  • URJ and NFTY sued over sand fly bites on Israel youth trip

    By Jared Sichel

    1 day ago

    Parents of four Jewish high school students in Los Angeles County filed a lawsuit on May 4 alleging that the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and its youth movement, the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), did not adequately warn and protect their children from infected...

  • Moving and Shaking: Celebrate Israel Festival

    1 day ago

    Finished projects in the festival’s arts and crafts area. Photo by Siara Groch

    Israeli Scouts parade with American and Israeli flags during the May 17 Celebrate Israel Festival, organized by the Israeli-American Council. Photo courtesy of IAC

    Miri Shepher, chair of the...

  • Arms open wide to embrace everything Israel

    1 day ago

    The smell of schnitzel was in the air. The sounds of Israeli music and Hebrew were, too. But love … that remained firmly earthbound at the Celebrate Israel Festival, held May 17 at Rancho Park.

    That’s where a giant, 12-foot-tall replica of the Ahava (“love” in Hebrew) sculpture...

  • Car accident puts inventor on his life’s path

    By Ayala Or-el

    1 day ago

    Josh (Yehoshua) Shachar’s resume is impressive: more than 160 patents on innovations he has helped develop, founder of more than 10 high-tech companies and author of countless research papers. A typical day for him could mean working on multimillion-dollar aircraft and missiles for...

  • Talmudic temptation

    1 day ago

    From a glass-enclosed cabinet in her Westchester home office, historical novelist Maggie Anton removed a small clay pot. Indicating the Hebrew characters inscribed on the pot in the same Aramaic text as in the Talmud, she noted the rough outline of a demonic form inside the...

  • A message to centrist American Jews: Time to speak out

    1 day ago

    We’ve just celebrated Israel’s 67th Independence Day —– a remarkable achievement that makes us proud. But more and more American Jews worry that the sharpening divisions in our community are hampering our efforts to help Israel achieve long-term security and peace.

    And...

  • The trauma of privilege

    1 day ago

    I have been in the center of the swirl of awareness about the unintended consequences of affluence and privilege on our children. I meet these youngsters and their families when crisis penetrates the denial system and they arrive at Beit T’Shuvah, the recovery community I founded...

  • Letters to the Editor: Israeli-Americans, Hussein Aboubakr Mansour and Pamela Geller

    1 day ago

    How Jewish Are They?

    There is one question not addressed in the article (“The Israeli-Americans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where They’re Headed, Why They Matter, May 15): How Jewish are they? I didn’t read anything (perhaps I read too fast) about celebrating Jewish holidays,...

  • The authenticity of anonymity, the absurdity of fame

    1 day ago

    It starts with that moon. That haunting, mystical full moon that rises over erev Passover, the brightest of the year. The same moon that accompanied our ancestors as they committed the most courageous, terrifying, faithful act of our history. This was their light. It is our light.

    ...
  • From a Romanian village to Jewish Los Angeles

    By Avishay Artsy

    1 day ago

    The journey to Judaism was a long one for Kinga Dobos. She grew up in a poor village in Romania and struggled to fit in as a teenager in Hungary. She worked for years as an au pair in Great Britain and the United States, and it was the Jewish families that took her into their homes...

  • She followed her heart to her true faith

    By Kylie Jane Wakefield

    2 days ago

    I’m sitting in a plush rocking chair underneath a large painting of Jesus in my grandma’s living room. My grandma is across from me, smiling, her hands linked. Danny Lobell, my fiancé, is next to me.

    “So, what’s your background?” she asks Danny.

    “I’m Scottish and Jewish,” he...

  • Blintzes and beyond for Shavuot

    By Judy Zeidler

    2 days ago

    The holiday of Shavuot marks the receiving of the Ten Commandments by Moses, but it’s also a kind of Jewish Thanksgiving, when farm bounty and grains — “first fruits” — were brought to the temple. These often included wheat, barley, grapes, figs and dates.

    In modern times,...

  • Bar Mitzvah in Baku

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    2 days ago

    I recently traveled to Azerbaijan to speak at the 6th International Conference on Multiculturalism at Baku Slavic University. Azerbaijan is a developing country in the Caucuses on the Caspian Sea, rich in oil and agricultural resources, and committed to building a secular Muslim...

  • JQ International opens its WeHo doors

    By Tess Cutler

    2 days ago

    It was 9 p.m. on a Thursday and Asher Gellis, founder of the out-and-proud nonprofit JQ International, was sitting on a barstool at Revolver, a West Hollywood hot spot, as scantily clad performers shimmied on tabletops. 

    Earlier that evening, his blooming organization had hosted...

  • Fond farewell to leader and teacher at Stephen Wise Temple

    By Aron Chilewich

    2 days ago

    Two senior rabbis representing 51 years of leadership at Stephen Wise Temple joined for Kabbalat Shabbat services on May 14, along with the congregation’s incoming senior rabbi, to celebrate retirement and a transition. The trio represents the entire history of the synagogue.

    For...

  • The UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, Judea Pearl and Cornel West

    By Dennis Prager

    2 days ago

    Last month, the Jewish Journal published a plea from Judea Pearl, Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science and Statistics at UCLA and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation. Daniel Pearl was the writer for the Wall Street Journal who was murdered by Islamists in Pakistan. Judea...

  • Hebrew word of the week: avaTiyyiaH

    2 days ago

    One of the most popular summer fruits in modern Israel, watermelon appears only once in the Bible, as the favorite fruit of the slaves in Egypt, which they missed a lot in the Sinai Desert, where their throat “was dried away,” (Numbers 11:5-6).

    The famous French medieval...

  • A Lollipop for E.P.

    2 days ago

    Stuck a Chupa Chup into the ground

    Beside the grave of Ezra Pound

    Then jumped aboard the vaporetto

    To lose myself in the Jewish ghetto

    Looking for the synagogue

    That kept moving in the Venice fog

    Like an apparition in the crowd

    Where Jews were sometimes allowed.


    Joshua Weiner is the author of three books of poetry; his most recent book is “The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish.”  He lives in Washington, D.C.

  • Maybe I’m just Jew-ish

    By Tess Cutler

    2 days ago

    In Jewish tradition, a child inherits her father’s tribe and her mother’s religion. 

    My father’s not a Cohen or a Levi. He’s not a highborn priest with a fancy title. He’s an Israelite. His ancestors built pyramids and golden calves. They were soldiers, outcasts, and dwellers....

  • Witnesses to Iraq’s Farhud

    By Jane Ulman

    2 days ago

    Over the first two days of June 1941, countless numbers of Jewish women in Baghdad were raped, more than 2,000 Jews were injured — many of them mutilated — and 900 homes, as well as 586 Jewish-owned businesses, were looted. All told, according to Iraqi-born historian Elie Kedourie,...

  • Franklin Graham wants Ginsburg and Kagan — and all the Supremes — to think as he does

    3 days ago

    The Washington PostRaw Story and other outlets are reporting on preacher Franklin Graham’s appeal to followers to pray that the eyes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg “be opened to the truth of Scripture” when she considers the gay marriage case currently under consideration by the Supreme...

  • Effy (Efraim) Pfeffermann

    By Jane Ulman

    3 days ago

    On a December day in 1941, 9-year-old Effy Pfeffermann, along with his stepfather and mother, Jacob and Rachel Singer, each carrying a small suitcase, quietly slipped out of their two-bedroom apartment in Timisoara, Romania, deliberately leaving the lights on. They boarded a train...

  • Reflections on life and death

    By David Suissa

    3 days ago

    Is there anything in life more dramatic than death? Can anything, in fact, be more dramatic than absolute finality? We experience many deaths in life — the death of a marriage, a friendship, a business, a dream — but it’s the loss of life itself that holds maximum drama. A life...

  • Missionaries invade 2015 Israel festival in Los Angeles

    3 days ago

    I have attended Jewish/Israeli festivals in Los Angeles for almost 30 years.

    What I witnessed this year was unprecedented.

    Dozens of missionaries descended on —– or invaded — the Celebrate Israel Festival in ways that I never thought possible.

    Based on the number of...

  • Is Shavuot dead?

    By Rob Eshman

    3 days ago

    If you’re like most Jews, chances are you looked at the title of this piece and asked yourself one of two questions: either “Who cares?” or “Shavu-what?”

    Shavuot is the Jewish holiday that begins at sundown on May 23. Religiously speaking, it is one of the three major festival...

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