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Jewish Journal

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  • Young Jewish life is alive and well in revamped Downtown L.A.

    By Kylie Jane Wakefield

    3 hours ago

    Downtown Los Angeles isn’t known for its abundance of Jewish life and culture. But, for the Jews living there, meaning can be found in many places.

    Ram Bilgrai, 44, who was born in Israel and has been in the States for 23 years, lives and works downtown as a photographer. Before...

  • Jerusalem of the Caucasus: The Legend of the Red Village

    By Milikh Yevdayev

    2 days ago

    It is just before Shabbat in the Red Village, and sunset will be coming soon. I walk from the New Shul back to my house, and watch as young boys and girls run home to wash up before their meal and call shalom to each other. On Friday of each week, late in the day, I see the sun...

  • In Israel, European Jews warn of growing anti-Semitism

    1 week ago

    This article first appeared on The Media Line.

    European Jewish leaders say there is more anti-Israel sentiment and more anti-Semitism in Europe today than at any time in the past 60 years. A new poll found that nearly 150 million Europeans think Israel is an apartheid state and...

  • Throughout Hillary Clinton’s life, U.S. Jews have been close at hand

    1 week ago

    From the man who married her grandmother to the man who married her daughter, from working a room full of bar mitzvah guests on behalf of her husband’s political career to headlining major pro-Israel events during her own, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s journey has never wandered far...

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  • Hebrew spoken by a rainbow of Young L.A. voices

    By Ryan Torok

    2 weeks ago

    It’s story time at Lashon Academy Charter School, and Hebrew teacher Ravit Shemesh is reading a Hebrew-language picture book about a grandmother to a group of students sitting at her feet on the classroom’s carpet. Among them is Veer Joshi, a non-Jewish Indian student.

    Ei-fo...

  • Placing a 9-11 call to G-D

    2 weeks ago

    If you watch or listen to the news it’s pretty depressing. Especially when it comes to what’s happening to the Jewish people. We have terrorist attacks in Paris and verbal attacks in the U.N. We have boycotting of Israeli goods and anti-Israel propaganda on college campuses. We...

  • What will the ADL lose when Foxman leaves?

    2 weeks ago

    If there’s one thing that can be said of longtime Anti-Defamation League leader Abraham Foxman, who is stepping down this month after nearly 30 years at the helm, it’s that he never holds back from speaking his mind.

    In an age of canned, anodyne statements from public figures...

  • Synagogues with predatory rabbis must protect their members, not their reputations

    3 weeks ago

    When I read the recent article in The New York Times detailing the accusations against Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt of the Riverdale Jewish Center, I was deeply saddened.

    This is the synagogue and community where I grew up. My parents moved to Riverdale in the 1950s and are among...

  • Congregations fight in court for ownership of historic Rhode Island synagogue

    3 weeks ago

    A long-running dispute over the ownership of the oldest U.S. synagogue played out in court on Monday as leaders of the New York congregation that holds the deed to the historic Rhode Island house of worship said they were horrified that local congregants had tried to sell valuable...

  • Thanks for what?

    June 3, 2015 | 11:43 am

    Rob Eshman, the Jewish Journal’s Editor-in-chief, would like to thank President Obama on behalf of the Jewish people. I do not want to be ingrate but an examination of the historical record leads me to a completely opposite conclusion. Starting at the beginning of the Obama...

  • Obama and Israel: rationality, self-interest and hatred

    By Michael Berenbaum

    June 1, 2015 | 11:44 am

    This past week President Barack Obama went on a Jewish offensive trying to gain support for the forthcoming agreement with Iran by giving an interview to Jeffrey Goldberg, the wise and deeply committed Jewish writer for The Atlantic, and by speaking at Adas Israel Congregation, the...

  • Who are Turkey’s Jews?

    June 1, 2015 | 9:40 am

    For centuries, Turkey served as a safe haven for Jews fleeing anti-Semitism.

    The earliest records of Jews in Turkey date back to 220 B.C.E., but the area saw a major Jewish influx in the early 14th century, when Jews expelled from Hungary, France, Sicily and elsewhere migrated...

  • Bridging the gap: A new paradigm for change

    May 29, 2015 | 9:30 am

    I had occasion recently to revisit the Masters Thesis I wrote in 1972 for my degree in Contemporary Jewish Studies from Brandeis University. I needed to reference it for an article I’m writing… and I was curious to see whether I would have been able to pass the Zelikow School’s...

  • Rapper Ice Cube melts down, beats up rabbi

    May 28, 2015 | 4:24 pm

    Ice Cube has never had the most cordial relationship with the Jewish community. In 1991, the Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned his album “Death Certificate,” noting that many lyrics were racist and one of the songs called for the murder of a Jewish music industry figure. His song...

  • When the persecution comes from within our community

    May 26, 2015 | 11:39 am

    Jewish people are very familiar with the experience of persecution.  It’s a significant part of our history, and it’s part of what defines us as a people.  Prejudice, fear, and hatred proliferate when groups of people make assumptions and have false beliefs about “others” who are...

  • Fifteen answers for Dennis Prager

    May 18, 2015 | 1:39 pm

    All right, I’ll admit it. I believe I’m a progressive, and I’m proud of it. I define “progressive” as “advocating inclusivity and being ready to adapt to changing world conditions.” If that is different from the idea Dennis Prager had in mind, stop reading right now. From my point...

  • Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz: A different type of philanthropist

    May 12, 2015 | 11:33 am

    There are many young men like myself that face an ongoing struggle of committing to our careers while trying the best we can not to sacrifice our religious responsibilities. Large portions of time that we would normally devote to acts of chessed and to learning sometimes go toward...

  • Unity Day to mark anniversary of abduction, murder of 3 Israeli teens

    April 29, 2015 | 9:10 am

    Jewish communities will mark the first anniversary of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens by Palestinian terrorists with a Unity Day.

    The commemoration, set for June 3, was developed by the parents of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shear and Eyal Yifrach in conjunction with...

  • Why racial issues matter to the Jewish community

    April 28, 2015 | 11:35 am

    My brother-in-law is from Mexico and he jokes with his brothers about the “crime” they commit when getting in the car: they call it DWB, driving while brown. They have all been pulled over a variety of times for no apparent reason. My brother-in-law has never been ticketed in any...

  • A Mishkan for all: A communal approach to mental illness

    March 26, 2015 | 10:46 am

    I grew up with my younger brother, Zack Thomas, who has struggled with bipolar disorder since he was a very young child. 

    What it has taught me is that as individuals, and as a community, encountering mental illness is a blessing and a challenge — and one that we need to do a...

  • What is SEDER2015?

    By Ryan Torok

    March 25, 2015 | 10:26 am

    Passover is the most family-oriented of the Jewish holidays, the ultimate dinner party, the Thanksgiving of the Jewish community. 

    That is the belief, anyway, of Michael Hebb, creator of Seder2015, an interactive smorgasbord of Passover-related audio clips of famous thinkers...

  • Baseball and ‘bat’ mitzvah

    March 18, 2015 | 12:52 pm

    A few weeks prior to his wedding last June, Jeremy Oberstein looked at his calendar and foresaw the possibility of a dangerous doubleheader: should his Adat Ari El team from Valley Village be fortunate enough to qualify for the championship of the Los Angeles Synagogue Softball...

  • With Barbara Mikulski departing, Senate losing pro-Israel stalwart

    March 16, 2015 | 1:49 pm

    The pending departure of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) has the Jewish community wondering who will fill the vacuum left by the fiercely pro-Israel liberal leader.

    Mikulski’s announcement on March 2 that she would not seek re-election in 2016 triggered fond memories for...

  • My son’s encounter with anti-Jewish hatred

    March 16, 2015 | 9:07 am

    Last summer our family went to southern Europe on holiday. During our stay at a hotel, our son Dylan went to the swimming pool. A short time later he came running back to the room, upset. A man at the pool had started hurling insults at him.

    My first instinct was to ask, “Were...

  • Anti-Semitism at UCLA – Let’s make it a truly teachable moment

    March 13, 2015 | 9:03 am

    The recent anti-Semitic incident on the UCLA campus is as outrageous as it is troubling:

    The Judicial Board of UCLA's Undergraduate Students Association Council, which reviews cases of actions taken among the officers and commissioners to ensure compliance with the governing body...

  • Escorting a Soul

    By Diana Emuna

    March 9, 2015 | 11:30 am

    My friend’s mother died this week.  The world is a little less friendly, less warm and less kind without her.   She was a lady who had a warm smile and was lovely to talk to.

    When a parent of a friend dies, I think of my own experience.  My dad died when I was a teenager.  He...

  • What billionaires owe the Jewish community

    March 5, 2015 | 12:16 pm

    In the past decade, a new class of Jewish mega-givers has emerged, reshaping the Jewish philanthropic landscape.

    This has been, without a doubt, a tremendous boon for Jewish life. Super-donors are facilitating the expansion of the Jewish enterprise. With their largesse, more...

  • Is a new Jewish Portland rising in the east?

    March 5, 2015 | 8:59 am

    Until recently, Jo Borkan was thinking about leaving Portland.

    She had lived in the city almost her whole life and owns a house on the city’s east side. But Borkan craved a connection to Judaism, and she couldn’t seem to find one that fit with her spiritual explorations into yoga...

  • Note to Netanyahu: Stop destroying the US-Israel relationship

    February 26, 2015 | 12:10 pm

    By now it is clear that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s disastrously-timed speech to Congress has seriously damaged the US-Israel relationship – but the danger is that he has embarked on a course that will make that damage much worse and perhaps permanent.

    Countless...

  • How Jewish Students Abroad Can Face Rising Anti-Semitism: Coming Together

    By Alex Jakubowski

    February 20, 2015 | 10:44 am

    Despite rising anti-Semitism across the European continent, over the past few weeks nearly 10,000 American-Jewish students arrived in London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and other cities across the European Union to begin their study-abroad experience. For many students, their time abroad...

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