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Jewish Journal

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  • Be Not Afraid

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    April 29, 2013 | 7:26 am

    When I was 9 years old my father died, and my world suddenly changed. Overwhelmed by loss and grief, only the support of family and friends helped me move through that dark period.

    What was clear was that I had no control over the ultimate questions of life and death. In the...

  • After Russian exodus, Jews rebuild communities

    March 13, 2012 | 11:05 am

    While Saddam Hussein’s forces shelled Israel during the Gulf War, 12-year-old Alex Kalmikov arrived at Ben Gurion Airport from Soviet Georgia. “Three days later we had our first gas mask alarm,” he recalled.

    In what is considered by many to be the second major Jewish exodus...

  • The Jewish World: there’s an app for that

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    October 3, 2011 | 6:40 pm

    TRIBE Media Corp., parent company of The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, has launched the first Jewish news app designed specifically for the iPad.

    The Jewish Journal app, which became available for download from Apple’s app store on Oct. 2, offers readers a new way of...

  • Books: Identity search comes from a familiar place

    By Cindy Mindell

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Nora Raleigh Baskin's fifth novel for middle-graders is her first "Jewish" book. Her books are the kind that draw young readers with the simple truth all good writers seem to share: Write what you know.

    This is something Nora Baskin's newest heroine, Caroline, knows: Her mom is...

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  • Kosher water makes a splash in the market

    By Jay Firestone

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Whether you're drinking filtered, spring or mineral water, purity has long been considered a desired element in bottled water. But when it comes to purity, only one word can truly capture it all -- kosher.

    And with a certification from the Orthodox Union, Mizmor Kosher Water is...

  • A beautiful shiva

    By William Goldstein

    May 8, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    My mother, Sylvia Goldstein, Sura Malka bas Yeshiya, passed away on March 11, the fourth of Adar II. She was 92 and had the full use of her mind and wit all of her years.

    Sensing that after six months of hospital and rehab, back and forth, Mom was nearing the end of her journey I...

  • The message

    By Rob Eshman

    February 21, 2008 | 5:00 pm

    Thank you.

    That's the profound message of this column: Thank you. The instigators, organizers and volunteers who brought Limmud to Los Angeles last weekend deserve our gratitude for challenging one of the long-held orthodoxies of the L.A. Jewish community: There is no Jewish...

  • Changing the playing field

    By David Suissa

    November 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    What do Jews do when they seriously disagree with one another? Sometimes they hold their noses, other times they do worse -- they disconnect. Over the past few weeks I've seen a nice sampling of Jewish disagreements, and it's made me think about the value of occasionally changing the...
  • The light of Jewish culture shines

    By Danielle Berrin

    November 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    I don't often cry, but tears streamed down my cheeks throughout "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly."

    In an ArcLight theater filled with filmmakers, industry players and others at the American Film Institute's "AFI Fest 2007," I was not alone in my grief. When the Q-and-A session...
  • 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...

  • 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...

  • A pioneering minyan celebrates double chai birthday

    By Amy Klein

    November 1, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Back in 1971, a group of young married rabbinical school graduates with small children requested a meeting with Rabbi Jacob Pressman of Temple Beth Am. Many of them had just moved back to Los Angeles after graduating the Jewish Theological Seminary, and they were looking for a...
  • The secret life of etrogs

    By Julie G Fax

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Ari Greenspan and his wife, Shari, had been walking through a vast and dense citron orchard carved into a lush valley in Morocco's arid Atlas Mountains for several hours when they happened upon a small house. A Berber tribesman emerged and signaled to the Greenspans to wait a moment...
  • The Shabbat the lights went out in Calabasas

    By Rabbi Paul J. Kipnes

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Our synagogue's name, Or Ami, means "Light of My People." The name reflects our hope to shine brightly the values and lessons of Torah and Jewish spirituality into our little corner of the world. We are a community of individuals who each carry the light as far as they can.

    But a...

  • Christmas in Sukkot?

    By Rabbi Stephen Julius Stein

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Last year we moved into a home large enough to build the sukkah we've been dreaming of for a long time. My partner, Stephen Ariel, designed a sturdy, easy-to-assemble structure, and with the abundant bamboo in our backyard we could harvest homegrown skakh (branches used for...
  • Sukkahs are for sleeping

    By Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    We were all refugees from New York, where shivering in the sukkah made global warming seem like an attractive alternative. Taking up residence in California conferred some advantages -- and responsibilities. We were intent on doing what our Ashkenazi forebearers, who lived in...
  • Sukkahs become ‘Artful Dwellings’ in a holiday exhibit at the Skirball

    By Robert David Jaffee

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Wearing matching light-green pants and jacket and a white hat, Marlene Zimmerman sits on one of the wooden benches of "Joyful Visions: An American Sukkah," her installation currently on view at the Skirball Cultural Center. The artist looks contemplative and at peace under...
  • One man’s sukkah is another man’s shack

    By Jacob Neusner

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Let me tell you about my Brazilian song. I heard many songs in Brazil, surely the most musical of all countries. The power of dance and music shapes few worlds so forcefully as Brazil's.

    I heard a song for Sukkot in Brazil. It is a song of the shacks in the slums -- that is to say,...

  • Listen, kids, and you shall hear—it ain’t gonna be easy

    By Ted Roberts

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Listen my children, and you shall hear
    The bar mitzvah course that we shall steer.
    The purpose of this speech is to prepare you for your bar mitzvah. And to let you know -- as Noah thought when he received the blueprints from the Master Shipbuilder -- this ain't gonna be easy....
  • It’s the mitzvah, not the bar, that counts

    By Sharon Duke Estroff

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    It's been said that when it comes to raising children, the days go slow and the years go fast. As I find myself in the thick of planning my second son's bar mitzvah, these words ring all too true. But who has time for sentimentalism when you've got to pull off a colossal bar mitzvah...
  • Theater: Sax on the mic molds music into ‘Clay’

    By Karla S. Blume

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Since the beginning of human history, man has struggled to figure out the meaning of life. This struggle has often been associated with a feeling of pain; a hurt often felt in real life and expressed many times through art. An idea of this magnitude is not lost on writer and solo...
  • UCLA takes Yiddish to the next level—a Japanese accent

    By Tom Tugend

    September 13, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Like many children of East European immigrants, Miriam Koral was "totally ashamed" that her parents spoke only Yiddish at home, but now she wants to teach the mameloshen to everyone within reach.

    So she's understandably upbeat that UCLA is adding a second year of Yiddish studies to...

  • ‘Heritage’ guide reflects European Jewish revival

    By Dinah Spritzer

    May 24, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    When she set out to write the first comprehensive Jewish travel guidebook on the countries of the former Eastern bloc, Ruth Ellen Gruber might as well have been documenting the secret life of a New Guinea tribe of cannibals.

    Seventeen years ago, not much was known among mainstream...
  • The Next (book) conversation

    By Tom Teicholz

    April 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Can a conversation inspire a city? A people?

    Nextbook, an organization devoted to Jewish literature, culture and ideas (www.nextbook.org) came to L.A. last weekend, staging a full day festival at UCLA's MacGowan and Freud theaters called "Acting Jewish: Film, TV, Comedy, Music," the...
  • Curtains open on bigger and better Jewish Film Festival

    By George Robinson

    April 19, 2007 | 8:00 pm


    Click the BIG ARROW for the Festival trailer: 'Rosemary's Bubbaleh'
    Trying to encapsulate the Jewish experience in a single film is like pouring Lake Michigan into your bathtub. And it wouldn't be any easier with a dozen films. So you can forgive Hilary Helstein, the director of...
  • Nextbook cuts wide swath in Jewish cultural world—from dot-org to real life

    By Saul Austerlitz

    April 19, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Just four years ago, Nextbook got its start as an organization committed to promoting public library programs dedicated to Jewish topics. In short order, the ever-evolving nonprofit has conquered a swath of territory in the contested realm of Jewish arts and ideas, steadily...
  • Plan 9 from La Belle France

    By David Suissa

    January 11, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    If I were the boss of L.A. Jewry, I'd make it easier for French Jews to move to Los Angeles. Why? Because many of them would love to live here. And judging from those that have already settled here, they boost the local economy, they enhance our quality of life, and they love their...
  • A kiss on the hand may be so Continental, but diamonds aren’t forever anymore

    By Amy Klein

    January 11, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    "No one would want a diamond on their finger if they knew it meant another person lost a hand." -- Jennifer Connelly in "Blood Diamond.

    When I turned 18 years old, my parents gave me a pair of diamond earrings. Later that same night at a comedy club, when a comedian on stage asked...

  • Moral Diet

    By Rob Eshman

    January 4, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    The holidays are over, and I'm full.

    I spent a week with family in Manhattan, eating.

    And when I wasn't eating, I was reading a landmark book -- about food.

    And when I wasn't eating or reading about food, it was food that provided, literally, food for thought.

    I was raised in a...

  • Who needs law school? Just marry a lawyer!

    By Jane Ulman

    January 4, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    First, let me say that by the time I announced to my family that I was actually getting married, at the already questionable child-bearing age of 34, they would have been ecstatic had I said I was marrying a Martian.

    The fact that Larry was a lawyer, on the partner track at a...

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