Jewish Journal

Tag: Jewish Life

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  • Why I’m moving my family to Israel

    December 18, 2015 | 11:13 am

    I can tell that some of my friends and relatives think my decision to move my family to Israel for a year is, well, questionable. “So you’re really gonna do this?” one friend asked recently over coffee, eyes widening.

    My father suggested over the phone that we might consider...

  • What does God Judge

    September 16, 2015 | 3:17 am

    In the Yom Kippur liturgy, many of us recite a familiar phrase — ‘on Rosh Hashanah it is written and on Yom Kippur it is sealed’ — but how many of us believe the literal meaning? So much seems random and unknowable that we really have no idea whether anything we do or say can...

  • The Cultural Jew exchange, part 3: ‘Israel’s secular Jews are still steeped in Jewish tradition’

    By Shmuel Rosner

    August 5, 2015 | 4:07 am

    Roberta Rosenthal Kwall is the Raymond P. Niro Professor at DePaul University College of Law. An internationally renowned scholar and lecturer, Kwall has published books and articles on a wide variety of topics including Jewish law and culture, property law, and intellectual...

  • Spiritual authenticity and the circumcision decision

    July 8, 2015 | 10:52 am


  • Constitution and torah

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    July 6, 2015 | 12:31 pm

    In his speech that became known as “The Spirit of Liberty,” delivered in New York City’s Central Library, in the midst of World War II, the preeminent judge and judicial philosopher, Learned Hand, asked, “What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty?  I often...

  • ‘It’s a Girl Thing!’ helping to develop Jewish pride, identity

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    June 3, 2015 | 1:57 pm

    It’s a precarious world for Jewish girls — in addition to the angst of adolescence, they are at risk for depression, eating disorders and risky behavior. And Jewish girls, post-bat mitzvah, also often drop out of Jewish life.

    But, for 3,500 Jewish girls across North America, a...

  • 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...
  • What will New Republic exodus mean for American Jewish thought?

    December 9, 2014 | 3:57 pm

    Last week’s departure of most of the editorial team at The New Republic — including Franklin Foer, Leon Wieseltier, Judith Shulevitz and Julia Ioffe — didn’t just blow a hole in the landscape of American journalism. It also threw into doubt the future of what has long been...

  • Jewish Life—Life!—in Krakow.

    By Ruth Ellen Gruber

    April 18, 2012 | 3:16 am

    I’ve written a lot about the Jewish scene in Krakow over the years— the “virtually Jewish” side of both homage to and nostalgic exploitation of the past—but also the new Jewish life. (See, for example, my long piece in Moment Magazine where I view the city, the scene, and the changes...

  • The end of Jews “distancing” from Israel? (Yeah, right)

    By Shmuel Rosner

    February 14, 2012 | 3:41 am

    Steven Cohen, the father of “distancing” – a much talked about theory according to which young American Jews of the current generation are moving away from Israel – appeared two weeks ago before the Knesset Committee for Diaspora and Absorption, headed by MK Einat Wilf (you can...

  • Photos capture remnants of Jewish life in Poland

    February 22, 2011 | 6:26 pm

    The Jews of Poland may be mostly long gone, murdered by the Nazis or escaped to the safer confines of Israel or America, but the echo of their civilization remains, frozen in time for all to see. Jonathan Webber, a British social anthropologist and a professor at the Institute of...

  • Harvard Hillel accountant accused of stealing $780,000

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    July 8, 2009 | 3:21 pm

    Good for the Jews? Maybe not William O’Brien, an accountant charged last week with stealing $780,000 from the Harvard Hillel. From the Crimson:

    The statement released on Monday by the Attorney General’s Office said that O’Brien, a 58-year-old resident of Framingham, Mass., allegedly...

  • The fake Israel—post-Zionism in the Valley

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    July 7, 2008 | 12:34 pm

    We’ve already identified that there are a lot of Israelis living in Los Angeles. Just how many, though, is a source of heated debate among community leaders; it’s somewhere between 50,000 and 250,000. (Of course, there are those who claim that émigrés who have spent the past two...

  • Chai five: Atlanta Jews thank David Duke

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    June 19, 2008 | 4:49 pm


    How many stories about Jewish life begin with the words “David Duke,” a name unparalleled in its association with racism and anti-Semitism? I’m sure this article from the Atlanta Jewish Times was a first:

    David Duke is a former Ku Klux Klan leader and neo-Nazi. He also played an...

  • The lost members of the tribe in Cuba

    By Brad A. Greenberg

    May 12, 2008 | 5:08 pm

    I think there are less Jews in Cuba than at Langer’s at any given time, but this small community (it’s actually numbers about 1,500) has spent the past decade on the rebound. Here’s what led to the decline in numbers so small that the synagogue, which still has no rabbi, couldn’t...

  • Fending off the end of aliyah

    By Dina Kraft

    April 3, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Founded with the express purpose of "ingathering of the exiles" -- but with no more large groups of Jews to save -- Israel is facing the end of the era of mass aliyah.

    Recent reports that the Jewish Agency for Israel was considering shutting down its flagship aliyah department have...

  • Hillel opens doors to non-Jews, campus at large

    By Ben Harris

    April 3, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Hillel centers on university campuses were viewed not long ago as little more than the local Jewish hangout, a place where students could come for kosher meals or socialize with other Jews.

    But in a move that Hillel leaders say has been forced upon them by this generation's altered...

  • Glass ceiling

    By Shifra Bronznick

    April 3, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Can we talk about gender? Again? Or maybe not.

    We have been having a conversation in the Jewish community about gender for more than three decades.

    During that time there have been some remarkable changes: the ordination of women rabbis, the proliferation of egalitarian prayer...

  • Fear over intermarriage is overblown

    By Leonard Saxe

    March 27, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Purim is a time to dull our senses with drink and cloak our identity by dressing in costume. We do so in order to confront a troubling part of our history and the threats to Jewish life and continuity in the Diaspora.

    In our retelling of the Purim story, we sometimes forget that our...

  • Intermarriage reports urge understanding and openness

    By Sue Fishkoff

    March 13, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Three new scholarly reports on intermarriage argue for increasing Jewish educational opportunities, encouraging Jewish behaviors among both intermarried and inmarried Jews and opening the doors even further to intermarried couples and their children.

    One report, the result of a new...

  • ‘Generation Next’  powow at Professional Leaders Project parley

    By Danielle Berrin

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Generation Next

    By the end of the Professional Leaders Project gathering in Santa Monica, I walked away with three things: a stack of business cards, some good stories and a condom from KinkyJews.com in a package that featured an Israeli flag on the front and an off-color, yet...
  • ‘Mazel Tov’: Lifecycles of the rich and famous

    By Jay Firestone

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Whether it's a powerfully uplifting ceremony, a wicked disco-themed party or a bagels-and-lox Sunday brunch, the b'nai mitzvah experience is a multifaceted event that has the potential to greatly affect a person's life.

    For one weekend, an acne-plagued kid is transformed into an...

  • 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...

  • Books: The anti-Chagall offers a field guide to the shtetl

    By Gabriel Sanders

    November 8, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    "They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland Before the Holocaust" by Mayer Kirshenblatt and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett (University of California Press, $39.95).

    Mayer Kirshenblatt was born in 1916 in the Polish town of Apt. In 1934, when he was...

  • South African Jews grapple with semigration and emigration

    By Moira Schneider

    November 1, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Marlene Abitz can barely hold back the tears when she looks around her synagogue in Cape Town, particularly during the High Holy Days.

    Pews that once were filled with her children are empty, and it's getting harder and harder for Abitz, 57, to go see them in Australia.

    "We don't have...

  • Cafe Hillel marks new tactic to reach out to young people—in Odessa

    By Matt Siegel

    November 1, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Ambling down one of the many picturesque side streets of crumbling copper and golden-colored slate that lend the old quarter of Odessa an aura of decaying grandeur, Kiril Alexandrovich was reminded of a famous Russian adage.

    "He who doesn't take risks," the 22-year-old Jewish...

  • Conservatives’ New Dish

    By David Suissa

    September 20, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    I read a remarkable quote a few days ago from a prominent member of the Conservative movement: "We've been searching for an identity for a hundred years now."

    A hundred years?

    In the business world, products can fail in a year or two if they don't have an identity. But in religion,...

  • Journey of a Lifetime

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    September 2, 2007 | 6:00 pm

    After serving as a weekend scholar-in-residence in Indianapolis, I was about to begin the first leg of a trip back to Los Angeles. I shared the aisle with a friendly fellow who introduced himself by extending his hand and giving me a strong shake. Noting his crew cut and strapping...
  • A Big Giver

    By Rob Eshman

    March 22, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Anyone who cares about the future of Jewish life in Los Angeles eventually explodes in frustration over the community's inability to tap its own enormous wealth.

    On one hand, we see Jewish gazillionaires pour the vast majority of their donations into non-Jewish institutions. Just...

  • The righteous doctor of Ethiopia—healing suffering in the world heads this Orthodox physician’s

    By Roberto Loiederman

    March 22, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    When Dr. Rick Hodes prepares a to-do list, it doesn't look like anybody else's.

    It includes checking someone's MRI for severe scoliosis, discussing someone else's false positive HIV test, paying boarding school fees for his Ethiopian-born sons, preparing heart patients to be...

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