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Jewish Journal

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  • World Zionist Congress elections: A voter’s guide

    3 days ago

    World Zionist Congress elections began earlier this month and run through April 30. Here’s a primer on what the congress is, how (logistically) to vote, who’s on the ballot, and why you just might want to sign up for PayPal before casting your vote.

    What is it?

    The World...

  • On Martin Luther King Day, Jews must acknowledge their privilege

    2 weeks ago

    The events of the last few weeks have shaken me to the core. Beyond the devastation I felt over the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, I was heartbroken to learn that the police officers involved would not stand trial. “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” and “I can’t breathe” have...

  • French Jewry 101: From Rashi to Dreyfus to Hyper Cacher

    2 weeks ago

    Last week’s deadly hostage siege at a kosher supermarket in Paris has French Jews (and some non-Jews) proclaiming “Je suis juif,” or “I am Jewish,” in solidarity with the four people killed in the attack.

    Who are the Jews of France? Here’s a primer.

    How many Jews are there in...

  • After Paris, reassessing how nations thwart attacks

    2 weeks ago

    These are the lessons of the Paris attacks for American Jews and U.S. law enforcement: Keep calm and cooperate.

    Enhanced communication between governments has been a key element of America’s counterterrorism successes since 9/11, experts say, and more is planned in the wake of...

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  • Bring your gun to synagogue

    2 weeks ago

    Last week’s attacks in France should be ample evidence that the late Rabbi Meir Kahane was right when he popularized the slogans, “Every Jew a .22” and “Never Again!” 

    Since 2008 I have been carrying a Glock 19 with me virtually everywhere it’s legally permitted – including the...

  • Does Circumcision Cause Autism?

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    3 weeks ago

    Circumcision in boys leads to higher chance of developing attention spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism by age 10, according to a new controversial study in  Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 

    The Statens Serum Institut study observed that in a cohort of all children born...

  • 30 Years flying under the radar: My interview with Ron Solomon

    3 weeks ago

    Once or twice a week, every week, I have the honor of having lunch with a close friend, Ron Solomon.  I met Ron more than a decade ago as we were both working as organizational leaders in the Jewish community.  I, like most professionals, had moved a few times between...

  • Nira Sayegh: Lifelong love of Jewish education began in childhood

    3 weeks ago

    For most people, working full-time plus overtime hours as vice president of finance at a property management firm would be enough to stay busy.
     
    But for Nira Sayegh, 52, of Beverly Hills, helping run NPS Realty & Management Corp. with her husband, Pinny, is only a fraction of...
  • Prophets and mensches; Remembering Rabbi Schulweis and Rabbi Beerman

    By Rob Eshman

    December 30, 2014 | 10:25 am

    I’ve only fallen in love with two rabbis in my life. One I married. The other was Harold Schulweis. 
     
    He had been ailing for months, so his death Dec. 18 at the age of 89 was not unexpected.
     
    So, too, the passing of Rabbi Leonard Beerman, who died Dec. 24 at 93.  
     
    ...
  • What Chabad needs to do now

    By Dennis Prager

    December 30, 2014 | 9:53 am

    It is evident to most Jews who care about the Jewish future that, individual exceptions in every movement notwithstanding, the one successful movement in contemporary Jewish life is Chabad.
     
    So, then, what is Chabad to do now?
     
    I ask this question because Chabad is...
  • Don’t blame the USY’ers – blame the adults

    December 24, 2014 | 3:23 pm

    On Monday, the international board of United Synagogue Youth (USY) voted to junk the Conservative teen group’s requirement that its top leaders date only Jews. Instead, the leaders are supposed to “strive” to “model healthy Jewish dating choices” (whatever that means). A number of...

  • Judaism is the particular language through which Jews address humanity

    December 19, 2014 | 5:35 pm

    RABBI HAROLD M. SCHULWEIS was the spiritual leader of Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, and author of many books, including For Those Who Cant Believe, In Gods Mirror, Evil and the Morality of God, and Approaches to the Philosophy of Religion. He was the founding chairman...

  • An instrumental leader

    December 17, 2014 | 11:44 am

    Howard Banchik will tell you there’s a lot more to music and learning to play an instrument than meets the ears.

    The co-founder of real-estate investment firm Westwood Financial Corp. in Los Angeles and member of University Synagogue in Brentwood credits learning to play music as...

  • Jewish community responds to release of Alan Gross

    December 17, 2014 | 10:03 am

    Cuba has released American aid worker Alan Gross after five years in prison in a reported prisoner exchange with Havana that the United States said on Wednesday heralds an overhaul of U.S. policy toward Cuba. Below are reactions from the Jewish community:

    Simon Wiesenthal Center

    ...
  • Loss turns to gain with young at heart

    By Ayala Or-el

    December 17, 2014 | 9:54 am

    After her mother passed away a little over a year ago, Ofra Bennun watched her father slowly begin to decline. After 62 years of a loving marriage, it was hard for Israel Knan, 83, to be alone. 

    So Bennun made sure that he wasn’t, creating a 60-plus club for Israeli seniors like...

  • In football-crazed Alabama, a respite from the world’s ills

    December 2, 2014 | 2:57 pm

    On Thanksgiving at my son’s house, I found myself at the end of a long dinner table, some in-town family members on my left. They were chatting about college football, especially the Alabama-Auburn game that would be played two nights later.

    No surprise there — that’s what people...

  • Synagogue Slaughter Aforethought

    November 26, 2014 | 9:43 am

    Last Tuesday morning: five Jewish men head to synagogue in Har Nof—to pray for peace. Same morning: two Palestinians head to same synagogue—to murder them. It has been only one week since the tragic day. In fewer than 48 hours, supporters of the Har Nof community rallied online and...

  • Welcoming the stranger

    November 25, 2014 | 1:34 pm

    On almost every emerging issue of public policy, our community asks the same question, either in audible or hushed voices: “Is it good for the Jews?” In the matter of President Barack Obama’s recent decision to defer and sideline prosecutions that might have resulted in the...

  • Reframing the BDS debate at UCLA

    November 25, 2014 | 11:58 am

    We, the pro-Israel and Jewish student leaders of UCLA are extremely proud of our Jewish and pro-Israel student community. We stand strongly in support of Israel and against the BDS movement that is trying to delegitimize the Jewish state.

    Over the past few weeks a small group of...

  • L.A. Community Eruv facing dire financial crisis

    By Jonathan Maseng

    November 25, 2014 | 10:43 am

    Howard Witkin is something of an expert when it comes to things people don’t appreciate until they truly need them. When he’s not busy raising his children, or making a line of etrog liqueur with his wife, Marni, Witkin is a life insurance salesman. His other passion is the Los...

  • Letter to Japan: Why we mourn, what we lost

    November 24, 2014 | 10:07 am

    Many people I meet in Japan ask, why we Jews revere the memory of Chiune Sugihara. The obvious reason is that this man, along with his wife, through their bravery and steadfastness, saved thousands of Jews from certain death at the hands of the Nazis during the WWII Nazi Genocide,...

  • Death in a synagogue

    By Avi Davis

    November 20, 2014 | 1:17 pm

    They could hear the iron doors at the front of the synagogue clang shut behind them.  Crowded together with 2,000 other people inside the main sanctuary, the man and the woman looked at each other in panic. The woman gazed down at her five year-old-son and gripped the little boy’s...

  • Do Jews need more chutzpah? Does Judaism?

    By Michael Berenbaum

    November 19, 2014 | 1:46 pm

    I began reading Rabbi Edward Feinstein’s “The Chutzpah Imperative: Empowering Today’s Jews for a Life that Matters” (Jewish Lights) with two conflicting emotions — admiration and skepticism. Every time I have been in the presence of Feinstein, I have learned something — large or...

  • Special Needs Round Up:  Seinfeld, Inclusive Mommy &Me and Jobs for Adults with DD

    By Michelle K. Wolf

    November 18, 2014 | 4:17 pm

    Comedian Jerry Seinfeld recently said in an NBC interview with Brian Williams that while watching a play that had a character with autism, he found himself relating to some of the common traits of that developmental disability such as “When people talk to me and they use...

  • Finding Moishe House

    November 17, 2014 | 11:31 am

    When I was a kid, my parents decided to make a big move. My mother and father both left Iran at the age of 15 and settled in Los Angeles where they established their home over the span of 20 years. The Iranian Jewish community of Los Angeles—which had grown dramatically just before...

  • ADL notes accomplishments, road ahead, at annual meeting

    By  Tom Tugend

    November 12, 2014 | 2:58 pm

    Some 300 lay and professional leaders from across the United States gathered Nov. 6-8 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the annual Anti-Defamation League (ADL) national meeting, which offered both good and bad news, as well as an upcoming changing of the organization’s guard.

    ...
  • The shrinking Jewish Middle — and how to expand it

    November 10, 2014 | 2:42 pm

    As the Jewish Federations of North America holds its annual General Assembly this week, newly emerging evidence from the Pew Research Center’s 2013 “Portrait of American Jewry” points to enormous challenges facing federations, Jewish philanthropy and organized Jewish life, more...

  • Kristallnacht’s lessons for today

    November 7, 2014 | 1:51 pm

    Each year on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, we recall the opening salvo of the violent assault on Jews that foreshadowed the Holocaust and ask ourselves what should have been done at that moment.

    In thinking about Kristallnacht, we should also consider the outpouring of...

  • The diaspora debate: Is it good for the Jews?

    November 5, 2014 | 3:34 pm

    I’m 58, and I still don’t know what kind of Jew I am or really want to be.  I know that in spite of a complete lack of formal training, I remain a loyal Jew; devoted to Jews of all stripes everywhere.  I think I inherited this surety of feeling from my 90-year-old mother whose...

  • Ancient Russian synagogues rededicated

    November 4, 2014 | 11:16 am

    Two ancient synagogues that Soviet authorities confiscated in rural Russia were rededicated as Jewish houses of worship.

    One rededication occurred this week in Voronezh, in southern Russia, at a 110-year-old synagogue that was nationalized and turned into a textile factory. The...

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