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  • 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...

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  • 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...

  • Shimon Peres offers a taste of history, positivity

    By Ryan Torok

    February 18, 2015 | 3:42 pm

    Shimon Peres, Israel’s former longtime president and two-time prime minister, appeared at a gala for top funders of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles Feb. 11 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. In an onstage conversation with Federation board member Sharon Nazarian, Peres was...

  • What the EU talks about when it talks about hate

    February 10, 2015 | 10:02 am

    Alarmed by the worsening of Europe’s anti-Semitism problem, European Union leaders are speaking out more forcefully than ever before against the phenomenon.

    Following the slaying of four Jews last month by an Islamist near Paris, the first vice president of the European...

  • Le’Or aims to put marijuana legalization on the Jewish agenda

    February 9, 2015 | 10:30 am

    “You know, it’s a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob, what is the matter with them?”

    That was President Richard Nixon speaking to his top aide, H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, during a...

  • Are voluntary dues enough to get people to join synagogues?

    February 9, 2015 | 9:31 am

    Michael Paulson reported in The New York Times on the “Pay What You Want” model that some synagogues are implementing to reduce the financial barrier to membership. Paulson estimated that about 30 synagogues across the United States are trying voluntary dues.

    These changes,...

  • New Jewish dating app keeps the campfire burning

    February 4, 2015 | 2:17 pm

    For many Jews, nothing cooks up piping-hot nostalgia quite like reminiscing about summer camp. Adults who recall those times may think back to pounding on tables during birkat (grace after meals), intense and often heated Maccabiah competitions or “color wars” and musical theater...

  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz takes back critique of intermarriage

    February 3, 2015 | 11:44 am

    U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz rescinded comments she made about the problems that intermarriage poses for the Jewish community.

    “I do not oppose intermarriage; in fact, members of my family, including my husband, are a product of it,” Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the head of...

  • Islamic radicalism poses dilemma for Jews in interfaith dialogue

    February 3, 2015 | 10:39 am

    After the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last month, Kari Alterman heard from every one of her Detroit-area Muslim dialogue partners, all of them calling to express their sadness and concern.

    They just didn’t do so publicly.

    Statements condemning violence are normally made...

  • World Zionist Congress elections: A voter’s guide

    January 26, 2015 | 11:49 am

    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

    January 15, 2015 | 9:16 am

    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

    January 13, 2015 | 1:10 pm

    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

    January 13, 2015 | 10:35 am

    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...

  • Bring your gun to synagogue

    January 13, 2015 | 9:36 am

    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

    January 11, 2015 | 11:33 am

    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

    January 8, 2015 | 10:54 am

    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

    January 5, 2015 | 4:25 pm

    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...

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