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Jewish Journal

Tag: Jewish History

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  • This week in Jewish history: March 7-13

    March 5, 2014 | 2:26 pm

    1421

    March 12: More than 200 surviving Viennese Jews were burned to death after a year of persecution, forced conversion, expulsion, imprisonment in their synagogue and mass suicide. Contemporary reports described the Jews as singing songs and dancing before the pyres.  All...

  • UNESCO halts Israel’s Jewish history show after Arab nations protest

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    January 17, 2014 | 10:34 am

    [For documents related to this article, see below]

    UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, abruptly and indefinitely postponed the Jan. 20 opening of an exhibition in Paris on the 3,500-year history of Jews in the land of Israel, after a...

  • What if Cyrus had not freed the Jews?

    By Roger Price

    September 24, 2013 | 9:01 am

      Over twenty-five centuries ago, Cyrus II, founder and ruler of the Persian Empire, freed the Jews who had been transported forcibly to Babylon and facilitated the reconstruction of their Temple in Jerusalem. Without the intervention of Cyrus, the Jewish People and Judaism as we...

  • An encore tour of Jewish-designed buildings

    September 4, 2013 | 2:45 pm

    Los Angeles’ Jewish architects built palaces and shrines, and temples, too, and not just the kind you pray in. Downtown, many of these structures still stand, and are close enough together that you can easily stop by and pay homage.

    In the 1920s, if you wanted to sink into your...

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  • Jews share a sense of place in L.A. history

    May 1, 2013 | 11:25 am

    Coinciding with the run of the “Jews in the Los Angeles Mosaic” exhibition at the Autry National Center — and we hope, continuing well beyond — this issue of the Jewish Journal marks the beginning of a new monthly feature showcasing various aspects of Los Angeles’ Jewish history.

    ...
  • “Polish assholes” in Auschwitz

    Jewrnalism reporter

    April 18, 2013 | 1:15 am

    Finally, we got to the March of the Living. A group of young Jews from several cities in Poland who decided to take part in this enormous and powerful way of remembering the ones who perished in the Shoah. We were accompanied by several non-Jewish people, life partners and friends...

  • Was Slavery Really That Bad?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    March 27, 2013 | 6:16 pm

    By Ben Spielberg

     

    During a Conservative Political Action Conference last month, an attendee presented a controversial view of African-American slavery. It went like this:

    K. Carl Smith: 10-20 years after Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery, he wrote a letter to his...

  • Shimon Peres remembers Ben-Gurion

    November 3, 2011 | 11:41 am

    The overly creased and still tender face of Shimon Peres looks like he has always been crying; he seems to carry centuries of Jewish suffering upon his strong shoulders. Still, there is some flicker of hope in the old man’s eyes; a stubbornness and a determination that his life’s...

  • With the Center for Jewish History debt free, its founding chairman steps down

    May 24, 2011 | 2:44 pm

    One night back in 1985, businessman Bruce Slovin was walking home from a corporate board meeting with a lawyer named Joe Greenberger when Greenberger asked him about his involvement in the Jewish world.

    Slovin responded that he wasn’t at all active, so Greenberger invited him to...

  • The forgotten miracle: Nov. 29, 1947

    By Judea Pearl

    December 18, 2008 | 3:47 am

    I originally planned to write a column about the flood of condemnations that Muslim leaders issued following the massacre in Mumbai, and how disappointed I was not to find a single fatwa in those texts, nor a mention of any religious offense: no "sin," no "hell," nor "apostasy."

    I...

  • Survivors’ stories create fabric of Shoah quilt

    By Rachel Heller

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Twelve months after her concentration camp was liberated, Ann Spicer, newly married, was leaving Germany for good. It was May 21, 1946. Her husband's little brother was the first to board the train in Stuttgart that would take the makeshift family to the first ship out of Hamburg...
  • Our place in this world

    By Rabbi Mordecai Finley

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    The ancient rabbis were astute psychologists. They reflected on the inner life, not through theories, but through narratives, especially their analyses of and speculations on the narratives in the Torah.

    Let's take a look at a bit of rabbinic commentary on one brief, strange and...

  • From generation to generation

    By Arthur Cohn

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    The first chief rabbi of the Jewish community of the Swiss city of Basel was my grandfather, Arthur Cohn, after whom I was named and whom I know only through hearsay and stories told by my father.

    For 40 years, my grandfather held the office of chief rabbi of Basel, a city to...

  • Demonization—or peace talks?

    By Arthur Cohn

    April 17, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Throughout Jewish history, it has been necessary, time and again, to fight prejudice and false accusations. To mention just one notorious example, there is the blood libel of Pesach, which accuses the Jews of using the blood of Christian children for the baking of matzot -- a blood...
  • Scholar explores ancient Jewish reactions to ancient pagan statues

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 20, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Imagine a rabbi encountering a statue of Zeus in Roman Palestine, circa 70 to 300 C.E. -- a monotheist's nightmare.

    "The myth is that he would have uttered something like the Yiddish 'gevalt,'" said professor Yaron Z. Eliav of the University of Michigan, who recently spoke about...

  • Israel and its relationship to the Shoah

    By Michael Berenbaum

    March 20, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    What can we learn from the history of the establishment of the State of Israel as to its relationship to the Shoah?

    Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer argued, "The reason why survivors turned to Zionism is not hard to understand. The murder of the European Jews seemed to vindicate the...

  • Rabbi’s novel idea draws inspiration from geniza

    By Amy Klein

    February 21, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    Some people cap a career by writing a memoir or an exhaustive magnum opus based on a lifetime of research.

    But after eight books and 30 years at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York as rabbi and professor, Burton L. Visotzky decided to write a novel. A work of Jewish...

  • LimmudLA: Chance encounters, many choices

    By Julie G Fax

    February 21, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    LimmudLA - By the Numbers

    Participants:* 634
    Sponsors: 14
    Presenters 133
    Sessions: 262
    Films: 21
    Artists: 23
    On-site volunteers: 227
    Steering committee: 14
    Chairs: 2
    Executive director: 1
    *Participants for the entire conference. An additional 16...
  • A different attic’s holocaust secrets

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    December 27, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Joseph Hollander left the untold story of his life packed up in a suitcase, waiting to be found.

    His son, Richard Hollander, found the suitcase in the attic of his parents' Westchester house in 1986, after they were both killed in a tragic car accident. The younger Hollander...

  • KCRW’s gift—five days of ‘Only in America’  Jewish history

    By Tom Tugend

    November 29, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    For a certain nostalgic segment of the Jewish community, Chanukah wasn't official until KCRW-FM general manager Ruth Seymour narrated her lively "Philosophers, Fiddlers and Fools" program at this time of the year.

    This noble tradition has now come to an end, but KCRW (89.9) has come...

  • Chanukah and adult faith

    By Danya Ruttenberg

    November 29, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    A lot of people have trouble with Chanukah. I did, for years. I'd go to parties and nibble on my latke or sufganiyot while grumbling under my breath about how there was nothing here to celebrate. I'd light my Chanukiyah, but I'd only do the bare minimum needed to fulfill the mitzvah...
  • Meet the multitalented, endlessly energetic Zane Buzby

    By Jane Ulman

    November 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    There are not enough hours in the day for Zane Buzby.

    At 5:30 a.m., fully awake, she sits in her home office atop Mount Washington, with a view of downtown Los Angeles' skyscrapers, checking the news and drinking from a large mug of coffee. Her husband, Conan Berkeley, and their...

  • Stuck in the middle

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    My name is Isaac. You think you know me, but you really don't. I am stuck in between two generations, constantly overshadowed by my father, Abraham, and my son, Jacob. If you ask anyone to name the nation that eventually came from my family, they either refer to them as "the...
  • Authors explain Jewish influences on their works

    By Anita K. Kantrowitz

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    The Jewish Journal invited writers who will be featured at Sunday's Festival of Books to answer the simple, essential question that every Jewish writer is often asked: "What Jewish sources -- ideas, writings, traditions -- inspire you, and how do they show up in your work?"

    The...

  • Congregations, rabbis try to stop the ‘Big Day’ from becoming the last day

    By Michele Alperin

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    The bar and bat mitzvah is traditionally viewed as an entry point into the adult Jewish community, but for many, it's also seen as the door out of both Jewish education and the synagogue.

    Among those who believe, however tenuously, that a b'nai mitzvah ceremony is de rigeur, some...

  • Rescuing Torah scrolls—I guess it runs in the family

    By Brooks Herman

    November 1, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    With hurricane-force winds blowing a wall of flames in from the desert, I received a phone call from Rabbi Mathew Earne early the morning of Oct. 22. My wife, Joanna, and I were quickly packing up our most valuable belongings. Our 16-month-old son, Jacob, was running a fever of 103...
  • Visiting Israel brings feeling of really coming home

    By Ariel Cohen

    November 1, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    This past summer, I stepped off the plane and felt my feet touch the ground of our homeland for the first time. I was home. For 12 days in Israel, my family and I explored the land, went to museums and had a chance to connect with our spirituality and Judaism.

    This trip was...

  • We have the right to an indivisible Jerusalem

    By Rabbi Dov Fischer

    November 1, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky invites a forthright open dialogue, a conversation about Jerusalem. Contemplating Israeli talks with those governing the autonomous Arab enclaves of Judea and Samaria -- Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestine Authority -- Rabbi Kanefsky writes that it is time for us to...
  • Agnon puts ‘awe’ in services with inspiring anthology

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    September 13, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    "Days of Awe: A Treasury of Jewish Wisdom for Reflection, Repentance, and Renewal on the High Holy Days" by S.Y. Agnon, (Schocken Books, 1995).

    Is literature penned by a Nobel Prize-winning author appropriate reading material during High Holy Days services?

    I am not sure how your...

  • Lecturer’s Shoah ‘revisionism’ angers Conejo residents

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    July 19, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    The way Jews in the Conejo Valley describe it, Joseph Goebbels would be proud of the propaganda proffered as academic discourse at the Goebel Senior Adult Center last month. That's when John Bravos, a commissioner of the publicly funded facility, focused a lecture in his comparative...
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