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  • With Special Olympics underway, L.A. Jews rally behind Israel

    4 days ago

    Stevie Wonder performed a song, late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel told jokes and First Lady Michelle Obama gave a passionate and inspiring speech. But on the evening of July 25, the A-list celebrities gladly ceded the spotlight to thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities...

  • The Dichotomy and Merger of the Traditional and Modern: Eugeniusz Zak

    By Milad Doroudian

    6 days ago

    It is rather difficult to imagine the crossroads which art takes at times through its progress, yet it is even more so to understand it as a fluid and often complex road towards dichotomies and mergers of styles, forms, and periods. If there is one artist that helps us understand...

  • For black Orthodox Jews, constant racism is exhausting

    2 weeks ago

    When I was 24, an Orthodox matchmaker tried to set me up on a date with a man older than my parents. When I objected, she told me, “Stop being so picky. Not many guys are willing to consider a black girl.”

    As an African-American Orthodox Jew, this was hardly my first encounter...

  • The Federation situation: The good, the bad and the ugly collide in online debate

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    3 weeks ago

    Last week, as the world wondered if an Iran nuclear agreement would be reached, the online Jewish world was being consumed by a different, but no less passionate debate: the role of Jewish Federations in today’s world.

    The conversation began with an online post in...

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  • Jewish community reacts to the Iran nuclear deal

    3 weeks ago

    The Jewish community in Los Angeles and nationwide reacted to the news the Iranian nuclear deal had been reached:

    RABBI DAVID WOLPE / SINAI TEMPLE

    This agreement liberates resources to a regime whose core anti-Semitic and declaredly genocidal ideology is manifest. I fear that...

  • Who should define anti-Semitism?

    3 weeks ago

    “Anyone who does not recognize the Jewish people and the State of Israel — and their right to exist — is guilty of anti-Semitism”  - Pope Francis

    "I think a good baseline [for when anti-Zionism becomes anti-Semitism] is: Do you think that Israel has a right to exist as a...

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

    By Kylie Jane Wakefield

    July 2, 2015 | 1:59 pm

    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

    June 30, 2015 | 9:58 am

    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

    June 24, 2015 | 9:36 am

    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

    June 23, 2015 | 1:12 pm

    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...

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

    By Ryan Torok

    June 17, 2015 | 4:02 pm

    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

    June 16, 2015 | 1:52 pm

    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?

    June 16, 2015 | 11:32 am

    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

    June 9, 2015 | 1:38 pm

    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

    June 8, 2015 | 3:03 pm

    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...

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