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Jewish Journal

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  • Welcoming the stranger

    20 hours ago

    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...

  • Jewish life at UCLA

    22 hours ago

    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

    23 hours ago

    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

    2 days ago

    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,...

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  • Death in a synagogue

    By Avi Davis

    6 days ago

    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

    1 week ago

    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

    1 week ago

    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

    1 week ago

    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

    2 weeks ago

    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

    2 weeks ago

    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

    3 weeks ago

    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?

    3 weeks ago

    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

    3 weeks ago

    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...

  • Collaboration at its best

    3 weeks ago

    Reinventing. Rethinking. Rebranding. Innovating.

    They’re all buzzwords we hear today - whether talking about education, healthcare, product marketing, or Jewish communal work. We’re living in a time in which endless access to information and 24 hour communication is challenging...

  • Jews in the Anthropocene Epoch

    By Rob Eshman

    October 23, 2014 | 10:44 am

    I was at a screening last week for a new documentary on Zionism. A good-sized crowd of donors, activists and people concerned with Israel’s present and future turned out. There were speeches, the doc, more speeches, a Q-and-A. Then, just as the director thanked everyone for coming,...

  • Born with religion in my blood

    October 20, 2014 | 8:59 am

    I wish I could tell the story of someone who struggled to find their footing in the Jewish community. Of someone who was stuck to fight a battle between religion and popular belief; forced towards a subject they simply were not passionate about. But that, while it may seem a more...
  • Study: Miami Jewry sees first growth since 1975

    October 13, 2014 | 1:30 pm

    For the first time in four decades, Miami Jewry is growing.

    That’s the official finding of the new Miami Jewish population study released Monday by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

    The Jewish population of Miami-Dade County increased 9 percent over the last decade, to...

  • At Yom Kippur, dreaming of a white yontif

    October 3, 2014 | 2:08 pm

    These days, more people are wearing white after Labor Day, especially on Yom Kippur. Last year, to keep up with the trend, I looked to buy a white suit to wear during my yearly battle of spirituality vs somnambulism. I had heard that everyone else in my congregation was going to...

  • Giant Ukraine JCC provides shelter from the storm — in style

    October 3, 2014 | 1:42 pm

    Five months into the war that turned him into a refugee in his own country, Jacob Virin has already attended 20 Jewish weddings — including those of his son and two other relatives — at the $100 million JCC of Dnepropetrovsk.

    Towering over the skyline of this industrial...

  • My Yom Kippur Lesson

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    October 2, 2014 | 8:48 am

    Yom Kippur is our time to reflect, think and ask for forgiveness. Not because we have to, but because we want to. It is our time to look back at all the times we were so convinced we’re right that we let our fingers type or our mouth speak harsh words towards others. Sometimes, it...

  • 5774, the year of communal concerns

    By Shmuel Rosner

    September 23, 2014 | 3:36 am

    Almost a year ago, not long after Rosh Hashanah, I wrote an article under the catchy headline: "Are We All Jewish, Or Are We Just a Bunch of People Bundled Together By a Poll?"

    It was an article about the just-released Pew study of American Jewry – this seems now like decades ago...

  • Renaming of Fla. bridge for Henry Ford nixed over ‘dark history’ with Jews

    September 16, 2014 | 12:52 pm

    Officials in Fort Myers City, Fla., withdrew a proposal to rename a bridge for Henry Ford after residents raised concerns about his anti-Semitic publications.

    A vote on the proposal had been scheduled for Monday evening but was withdrawn, according to WZVN, the local ABC...

  • We need to understand hatred better if we’re serious about fighting anti-Semitism

    September 12, 2014 | 1:09 pm

    The recent surge in antisemitic hate crimes in Europe was, unfortunately predictable.  This much we know about antisemitism: since the collapse of the Camp David peace talks in 2000, whenever violence in the Middle East involves Israel, hate crimes against Jews and Jewish-linked...

  • Jewish groups launch fair trade network

    September 5, 2014 | 12:46 pm

    A new partnership has launched to enable the purchase of kosher “fair trade” coffee, tea and chocolate while supporting Jewish communal efforts on human trafficking and worker justice.

    The Jewish Fair Trade Partnership allows individuals and Jewish institutions...

  • Keeping Jewish young adults engaged in Judaism

    By Elyse Glickman

    September 3, 2014 | 12:03 pm

    Heading off to college is usually seen as an exciting, colorful rite of passage. But, as rabbis at several local synagogues have observed, those steps toward adult independence often come with uncertainty and a need for an additional support system beyond Mom and Dad.

    That, they...

  • Israel is: A departing reflection

    August 26, 2014 | 2:43 pm

    Israel is…

    Where I visit once a year even though I have no family there. Where I found myself. Where I went from being Jew(ish) to a proud Jew. Where those around me share a similar family past of pogroms, emigrations, anti-Semitism, and perseverance.

    Where I ate my first Bamba...

  • Ukrainian court nixes controversial Jewish heritage projects in Lviv

    August 15, 2014 | 1:38 pm

    A Ukrainian supreme court forbade the Municipality of Lviv from going ahead with controversial plans for commemorating Jewish heritage sites.

    The Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine issued its ruling Wednesday against the city’s plans to design and build projects that would...

  • The Ebola-like plague of anti-Semitism sweeping the West

    August 4, 2014 | 10:30 am

    My parents, who have lived in Jerusalem for 22 years, recently met their new neighbors.  They are French Jews from Paris who describe themselves as refugees. " We came to the conclusion that there was simply no future for us in France.  Jews are targets there and the government...

  • European anti-Semitism exploding: It’s not just about Hamas

    August 1, 2014 | 9:54 am

    Conventional wisdom would have us believe that the current explosion of anti-Semitism across Europe is caused by the war with Hamas in Gaza. But it’s not that simple. The riots on the streets of Paris, the vicious anti-Jewish graffiti defacing the ancient streets of Rome, the...

  • Learning to argue on Tisha b’Av

    July 31, 2014 | 11:20 am

    As we approach Tisha b’Av, the State of Israel is at war. The day’s commemoration of sorrow and pain, and urgent calls for introspection and reflection, couldn’t be coming at a more needed time.

    On Tisha b’Av we take upon ourselves the burden, and the grace, of our connection to...

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