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Jewish Journal

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  • IKAR announces its move to Shalhevet

    By Ryan Torok

    6 hours ago

    Egalitarian spiritual community IKAR announced on Aug. 26 that it is relocating to Shalhevet High School’s new building near Olympic Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, following its 11 years operating out of the Westside Jewish Community Center (JCC). 

    “We are thrilled to announce...

  • For aliyah promoters, Ukraine’s troubles provide a boost

    2 days ago

    Until April of last year, Julia Podinovskaya felt like she had a pretty good handle on where her life was going.

    Born to a middle-class Jewish family in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, Podinovskaya, who is in her 20s, was volunteering with the local Jewish community while...

  • Facing declining numbers and a bad economy, Italian Jews stay upbeat

    3 days ago

    Whenever Georges De Canino worries about the future of Italian Jewry, he looks at the bricks in the building across the street from his apartment in the center of this city’s old Jewish ghetto.

    A painter who sometimes stares at the stones for inspiration, De Canino claims that...

  • Natalie Portman should be commended, not criticized

    6 days ago

    Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman clearly hit a nerve when, in a recent interview with the British newspaper, The Independent, she questioned the validity of the type of Holocaust education she had received growing up.

    “I think a really big question the Jewish community needs...

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  • New director for Hillel 818

    1 week ago

    Hillel 818 has undergone a major facelift in the past year, culminating in the April arrival of executive director David Katz, who trekked across the country from Pittsburgh with the hope of bringing a fresh start to Jewish life on three Valley college campuses. 

    Hillel 818 works...

  • Why join a synagogue?

    1 week ago

    Why join a temple? When a b’nai mitzvah or a funeral comes along, why not just “rent a rabbi”? After all, you save the dues and you “pay only for what you need.” The problem, of course, is that in this complex world, troubling news and a search to find meaning, “what we need” is a...

  • More than 900 rabbis sign letter opposing Iran nuclear deal

    By Aron Chilewich

    1 week ago

    Over the past three weeks, more than 900 rabbis across every major denomination have signed an open letter calling upon the United States Congress to reject the proposed Iran nuclear deal. The letter was written by two Los Angeles rabbis, Kalman Topp of Beth Jacob Congregation and...

  • Response to Rabbi Fine

    1 week ago

    Less than half a century ago, the vast majority of Conservative congregations in the US were non-egalitarian. There were no rabbis who were women. Lots of synagogues refused to allow a woman even to step onto the bimah. Baby girls got a cursory naming at which they were rarely...

  • Don’t make me shlep my heart: Breaking down the Jewish dating scene

    1 week ago

    Dating. It’s like going out for ice cream. That’s right, ice cream, the official food of heaven (idk probably). Sometimes you’re craving a certain flavor, sometimes it makes you sick, other times it’s too much like “Whoa these are the size of your scoops, how does anyone ever...

  • Seder lessons for the High Holy Day services

    1 week ago

    For the greater part of the last decade, my wife Rachel and I have led communal Passover sedarim and services, as well as High Holy Days Services for both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, in Manhattan. The first seven years of leading services were geared towards unaffiliated young...

  • Cutting Edge Grants from the Jewish Community Foundation

    By Aron Chilewich

    2 weeks ago

    The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles has named nine initiatives the recipients of its annual Cutting Edge Grants program, intended to support creative thinkers, social entrepreneurs and innovative organizations in the local Jewish community. 

    This year’s winners will...

  • ADL preps community for High Holy Days security demands

    By Ryan Torok

    2 weeks ago

    The three silent surveillance videos showed an all-too-disturbing sequence of events: First, a shooter carries a rifle into a supermarket in broad daylight; people flee the store and run for their lives. The shooter begins firing at people inside the market before struggling with a...

  • The real story of immigration in the Dominican Republic

    3 weeks ago

    Recently, Ruth Messinger wrote an op-ed about the immigration and citizenship policies of the Dominican Republic and how they affect people of Haitian descent.  

    While I  agree with Ms. Messinger that we should care for and support those of Haitian descent in the Dominican...

  • Response to Ruth Messinger

    3 weeks ago

    I have just read the article posted by Ruth Messinger titled “American Jews Must Speak out for Haitians in the Dominican Republic”. It is obvious that Ms. Messinger has never been to the Dominican Republic, knows nothing about the Dominican Republic and is totally ignorant on the...

  • Love each other

    August 6, 2015 | 9:53 am

    We are different.
     
    We don’t dress the same (although we both wear kippot around town and tallitot when we pray). Our accents are different (in 60 seconds you’ll be able to guess who is from Brooklyn and who, from Omaha). More significantly, we don’t understand Judaism or...
  • With Special Olympics underway, L.A. Jews rally behind Israel

    July 29, 2015 | 3:21 pm

    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

    July 27, 2015 | 3:32 pm

    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

    July 20, 2015 | 9:19 am

    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

    July 15, 2015 | 3:25 pm

    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...

  • Jewish community reacts to the Iran nuclear deal

    July 14, 2015 | 7:49 am

    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?

    July 13, 2015 | 11:24 am

    “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 Ora Lobell

    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...

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