Jewish Journal

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  • From fear to elation: My mother’s love wins

    18 hours ago

    The phone began ringing early this morning. Friends and family wanted to make sure that I had heard about the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states. I was elated. I picked up the phone to call my mom and realized that I could not reach her because she was on...

  • Netanyahu faces political crisis over Israel’s natural gas monopoly

    21 hours ago

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday faced his first major coalition crisis since his re-election, with ministers withholding support for government plans for developing Israel's natural gas fields.

    At least three cabinet members cited conflicts of interest -...

  • Jewish community reacts to the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage

    4 days ago

    The news Friday that the Supreme Court of the United States had issued a 5-4 ruling making same-sex marriage legal nationwide prompted both tears and enthusiasm from many in the Los Angeles Jewish community.

    “Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same...

  • Hebrew word of the week: abba, imma

    5 days ago

    In many languages, the words for father and mother — being the first words a baby utters — are quite similar, and they include the labial consonants b, p, m; or dental d, t, n; as papa, dad, (Czech) tata, mam(m)a, mommy, nanny; similar words are used in Chinese, French, Italian,...

  • How a bunch of Hollywood Jews saved little league baseball in South Los Angeles

    By Jared Sichel

    5 days ago

    “Oh! Oh! That’s my baby! Right there! He’s catching it!” Bridgette Harper called out as her son, Dillen, 11, stood at shortstop, glove in the air, his eyes on the baseball plummeting toward him. Notwithstanding his mom’s confidence, it was evident Dillen had misjudged the pop fly...

  • Should the UC define anti-Semitism? No, protect free speech

    6 days ago

    Should a major university system have a particular definition of anti-Semitism?

    That’s what is being asked of the University of California’s Board of Regents. Two dozen groups, led by the AMCHA Initiative, want the regents to adopt the definition used by the U.S Department of...

  • Should the UC define anti-Semitism? Yes, adopt the State Dept. version

    6 days ago

    Dear Honorable Members of the University of California Board of Regents:

    We are 32 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of supporters who are deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of Jewish students at the University of California. In light of the alarming...

  • Expired and Inspired On the Road

    By Rabbi Joe Blair

    6 days ago

    Recently, for several weeks, I published this blog from ‘on the road’. The reason for the travel is related to the blog, and I thought it might be worthwhile to let readers know, because some of the upcoming entries in the weeks ahead will be as a result of that travel.

    If you...

  • Charleston church gunman Dylann Roof’s manifesto calls to ‘destroy the Jewish identity’

    1 week ago

    Dylann Roof, the alleged Charleston church gunman, said in a racial manifesto that the Jewish “problem” would be solved “if we could somehow destroy the Jewish identity.”

    Roof, 21, who has been charged with killing nine worshipers last week in the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in the...

  • ‘Titanic’ composer dies in California plane crash

    1 week ago

    Hollywood composer James Horner, who scored the Oscar-winning film "Titanic" and its mega-hit theme song "My Heart Will Go On", died in a plane crash in southern California on Monday, U.S. media reported.

    The aircraft came down in the Los Padres National Forest, north of Los...

  • Father’s Day: The allure of fishing

    2 weeks ago

    My father and I were fishing a snowmelt lake in the High Sierra, and I was on the shore, deciding whether I should throw back the little trout I’d just caught. 

    It was something my father and I had always wanted.

    We had vacationed in the woods every summer since I was 3 years...

  • Israeli killed, another wounded in West Bank shooting

    2 weeks ago

    An Israeli hiker was killed and another wounded in the West Bank on Friday in an attack apparently carried out by a Palestinian gunman, a hospital spokeswoman and security forces said.

    Police and the military said the attack took place near the Jewish settlement of Dolev in the...

  • WATCH: Jon Stewart delivers joke-less monologue on Charleston shooting

    2 weeks ago

    As Jon Stewart said Thursday night, his job for the past 16 years has been to deliver jokes based on the news.

    On Thursday, however, he simply could not do his job – the killing of nine at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina had left him, for the first time, unable to write jokes.

    Below is video of Stewart’s joke-less monologue, in which he delivers one of the most impassioned segments of his career.

  • Me, naked at a Berlin spa

    By Rob Eshman

    2 weeks ago

    When I was in Berlin last year, I decided to go to a spa.

    My entire life, I’d read how famous Europeans “took the waters” to restore their health and psyches. Kafka recuperated at Marienbad, Goethe at Franzensbad, Dickens at Harrogate. Herzl summered at Altaussee, as did many...

  • The Recipe for Cheese Pie

    2 weeks ago

    Shavuot had me in the mood for a good cheese pie. Not a NY cheesecake, but an old fashioned cake my mom used to make with cake on top and bottom and a cottage cheese filling in between. I haven't made one for years, having long ago mastered the art of the cheese blintz.


  • A Father’s Day gift of justice

    By David Suissa

    2 weeks ago

    If you ever visit the Vienna campus of Wirtschafts University Wien (WU), one of Europe’s most prestigious universities, you will see a translucent metal sculpture in the shape of a globe, which prominently features the names of 150 Jews. I got to hear the story of that dramatic...

  • Hebrew word of the week: eqsit

    2 weeks ago

    Trendy American words are quickly incorporated into Israeli Hebrew and cherished by the media gossips. They are taken from the English, as seleb (בלס) “celeb,” or selebrita’it for “female celebrity;” a formal Hebrew synonym is yedua’nit (less common).

    Eqsit takes informal English...

  • Jewish community reacts to the Charleston shooting

    2 weeks ago

    Please join in the comments section below to share your thoughts.

    Rabbi Sharon Brous / IKAR

    It is beyond belief that in the year 2015 we wake up to headlines reading: Nine Dead as Gunman Strikes a Black Church… Police Call Attack a Hate Crime. 2015. Sixty years after Emmett...

  • A father’s love

    By Ellie Kahn

    2 weeks ago

    My father, Bob Goldhamer, passed away two years ago, a week after his 94th birthday. When he died, my sister, Sue, and I each inherited a large box containing all of our childhood drawings and every letter we sent to Dad from camp or college. 

    Dad had apparently lugged these...

  • Father’s Day: A model of involvement

    By Ellie Kahn

    2 weeks ago

    Marcia Berman grew up in Boyle Heights, as did her father, Isadore Berman. Although he graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from Caltech, the Depression prevented him from having a career in that field. So, with his brother and father, he opened and ran a chain of movie...

  • Father’s Day: Down-to-Earth role model rabbi

    By Ellie Kahn

    2 weeks ago

    Rabbi David Vorspan is the founding rabbi of Congregation Shir Ami in Woodland Hills, and rabbi-in-residence of New Community Jewish High School in West Hills. His father, Rabbi Max Vorspan, was a scholar, historian and community leader, and vice president at the former University...

  • Father’s Day: The lesson of free speech

    By Ellie Kahn

    2 weeks ago

    Dean Okrand is an Emmy-winning sound re-recording mixer, husband and father of two adult daughters. His own father was Fred Okrand, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California for more than 60 years, and its first legal director. Fred, born in...

  • Frank talk about end-of-life decisions at Cedars-Sinai

    2 weeks ago

    “You should know this was my wife’s idea, since I don’t really care to talk about this.” 

    The words came from Dr. Daniel Stone of Cedars-Sinai Medical Group as he role-played with Dr. Jonas Green of Cedars-Sinai Medical Care Foundation, but they could have come from any aging...

  • Central American immigrants’ story reflects Jews’ past

    2 weeks ago

    I recently was part of a small group of lawyers given the opportunity to tour the family immigration detention centers in southern Texas. The purpose of the trip was to introduce us to the facilities and the detainees and to urge us and our law firms to contribute our time and...

  • Torn between two loves

    By David Suissa

    2 weeks ago

    A plate of cheese and crackers served to hungry Israeli officials at the White House is one of the many images that lingered after I read Michael Oren’s riveting new book, “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide.” The book is an insider account of Oren’s tenure as the...

  • The original Rachel Dolezal was a Jew named Mezz Mezirow

    2 weeks ago

    [Forward] As we all know, Rachel Dolezal was by no means the first white American to take on aspects of African-Americanness in her persona — calling Elvis, is anybody home? — although she will go down in history as one of the all-time champions of the syndrome based on the sheer...

  • Jenna Jameson has company: 7 of the most famous Jews in porn

    2 weeks ago

    Last week the news surfaced that “Queen of Porn” Jenna Jameson is converting to Judaism. Jameson, who has been married twice before, is engaged to Israeli Lior Bitton (who works in L.A.’s diamond business and has been charged with stealing merchandise from his stores). Jameson’s...

  • Jenna Jameson is converting to Judaism

    3 weeks ago

    It appears Jenna Jameson is considering joining the tribe.

    This week, Jameson—the Zombie Strippers star, MILF School executive producer, and fierce Obama critic—has been tweeting and Instagramming excitedly about her to-be husband (“my man Lior”), cooking kosher food (including “Israeli salad and yummy challah!”), and switching faiths.

    Read more at The Daily Beast.

  • Hebrew word of the week: Daf

    3 weeks ago

    Some words have been around thousands of years, and their various meaning reflect cultural history. Daf is traced all the way to Sumerian (about 5,000 years ago). Its original meaning was “clay tablet,” which was the first “paper,” then later became “board, wooden panel,” to a ...

  • Outstanding Graduates 2015: Profiles on leadership, philanthropy and education

    3 weeks ago

    In recent weeks, we invited all of you to nominate graduating high-schoolers who exemplify excellence. The result was an amazing group of innovators, artists, leaders and agents of social change. We had a hard time narrowing the field to the 11 included here — and many more could...

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