Jewish Journal

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  • Elio Toaff, rabbi who hosted first pope visit to synagogue, dies at 99

    8 hours ago

    Elio Toaff, the chief rabbi of Rome for half a century and a pivotal player in Christian-Jewish reconciliation, has died at the age of 99.

    Toaff, who a spokesman said died on Sunday night, was Rome's chief rabbi in 1986 when then-Pope John Paul II made the first visit by a Roman...

  • Israel and Apartheid

    By LiAmi Lawrence

    3 days ago

    Everyday I open the internet to read that Israel is an apartheid country. Although the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is very small in number, it is getting a lot of press and its lies are repeated everywhere.  Left wing radical politicians all over the world  are...

  • Moving and Shaking: AFHU award dinner, TRZ Yom HaShoah event and fire safety at B’nai David-Judea

    By Ryan Torok

    3 days ago

    American Friends of The Hebrew University’s (AFHU award ) Harvey L. Silbert Torch of Learning Award Dinner on April 13 honored attorneys Jonathan Anschell and Dick Volpert while raising more than $1 million to support the prominent Israeli university.

    “Hebrew University is a...

  • Four rabbis on Parashat Shemini

    3 days ago

    In this Torah portion, God commands Aaron and his sons to make the burnt and sin offerings at the Tabernacle. When God accepts the offerings, the people shout with joy. But when two of Aaron’s sons make an offering that was not commanded of them, they die. God describes to Moses...

  • Rabbi Sarah Bassin on Parashat Shemini (Leviticus 9:1 11:47)

    3 days ago

    If you have spent any amount of time with a 3-year-old, you know this age comes coupled with a barrage of “why” questions: Why do you stop at red lights? Why do you put milk in your coffee?  Why do birds chirp?  

    These questions can be exhausting for parents, but they represent...

  • Rabbi Jonathan Hanish on Parashat Shemini (Leviticus 9:1 11:47)

    3 days ago

    We are all human, so we all stumble at some point in our lives. If and when our stumble is discovered, we pay the price for our actions through repentance and transformation, and then, hopefully, we move forward and leave the past behind.  But, on occasion, our actions come back to...

  • Rabbi Chaim Mentz on Parashat Shemini (Leviticus 9:1 11:47)

    3 days ago

    In the early years of American Jewish history, there was a debate about whether American life was different from the shtetl life of Europe. Many embraced the idea of assimilation and secularization, yet others held strong and kept their traditional religious practices in this...

  • Rabbi Edward Feinstein on Parashat Shemini (Leviticus 9:1 11:47)

    3 days ago

    Americans have an infatuation with leaders. The English philosopher Thomas Carlyle believed that history is propelled by “the great man” (Carlyle’s phrase), whose values and energy animate our institutions. For Americans, “leadership” is a sacred word. 

    The success or failure of...

  • Two survivors speak out on the anniversaries of the Armenian Genocide and the liberation of Auschwitz

    3 days ago

    This article is being jointly run with Asbarez — a publication serving the Armenian-American community.


    This year marks the passage of two major anniversaries that reveal man’s unbelievable capacity for cruelty and evil. It has been 100 years since the outbreak of the...

  • Hebrew word of the week: Kvish

    3 days ago

    What is the connection between kvish “highway” and kibbush, which means “conquest, occupation”; kvushim “pickles; occupied (territories)”; kevesh “movable stairway (for descending off an airplane)”; kivshan “kiln, furnace (where material is heated or smelted)”; makhbesh “(press,...

  • Passing an art legacy on to the next generation

    3 days ago

    During the lengthy visits she would have with her great-uncle and great-aunt, David and Rivka Labkovski, at their home in South Africa, Leora Raikin — who was a young girl at the time — recalls these relatives being a bit eccentric.

    David owned one pair of shoes, and Rivka — the...

  • L.A. Jewish Film Festival will showcase Shoah-themed movies

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    4 days ago

    In 1978, the groundbreaking NBC miniseries “Holocaust,” starring Meryl Streep, thrust the topic of the Shoah into the popular culture: “The series was high-profile, it was in English, it had star power, and it basically covered the waterfront of every type of possible survivor’s...

  • Ice scream, you scream, we all scream for kosher ice cream

    4 days ago

    Los Angeles is going through an ice cream renaissance. And while it’s hard to cheer warming winter months, given global climate predictions, the new reality may be what led to more high-quality frozen foods that are ready to meet a growing public appetite. This expanded market also...

  • Bible Marathon retraces path of 12 Tribes

    4 days ago

    Drumming Charedi musicians and uniformed soldiers are not the typical fans to pack an Israeli sporting event. Nor are clean-cut men with handguns tucked into in the back of jeans. But the Bible Marathon held April 9 was not an ordinary race. It was the first major Israeli athletic...

  • Israeli man killed after Palestinian drives car into Jerusalem bus stop

    4 days ago

    A Palestinian man from eastern Jerusalem drove his car into two Israelis waiting at a bus stop, killing one and critically injuring the other.

    Police are investigating whether the late Wednesday night incident in the French Hill neighborhood, near the border of eastern and...

  • Is the Obama administration making nice with Israel?

    4 days ago

    On Monday, President Barack Obama met with two sets of Jews, and from what we were told, essentially wondered aloud each time why his love for the Jewish people and for Israel is not more widely known.

    The second group comprised donors and strategic advisers, and their answer,...

  • He witnessed — and filmed — the horror of the Holocaust

    By Roberto Loiederman

    4 days ago

    In early April 1945, Arthur Mainzer, barely 22, was a United States Army Air Forces cameraman assigned to documenting the war in Europe; he’d been serving for three years, and, so far, World War II had not been a horrific experience for him. In fact, it had been exciting. He’d had...

  • Argentina’s Senate approves one-time payments to AMIA bombing victims

    4 days ago

    Argentina’s Senate unanimously approved a bill that offers one-time compensation to the families of the 85 people killed in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center.

    Under the bill approved Wednesday without debate, the compensation will be about $170,000 for each fatality in...

  • Thousands march at Auschwitz to remember the Holocaust

    4 days ago

    Thousands of young people from at least 45 countries participated in the March of the Living in Poland at the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex of concentration camps.

    The 27th International March of the Living took place Thursday on Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Each...

  • West Coast Jewish Theatre takes the stage

    By Tom Tugend

    5 days ago

    Last year, Howard Teichman, the artistic director of the West Coast Jewish Theatre (WCJT), stood before the audience applauding the final performance of “The Whipping Man” and sorrowfully announced there would be no future plays — there simply was no more money in the kitty.


  • Conductor Joshua Weilerstein to debut with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

    By Rick Schultz

    5 days ago

    In the old days, the conductor was king. Fritz Reiner, George Szell and Arturo Toscanini, for example, were leaders in the style of the film “Whiplash,” notorious for abusing musicians who didn’t meet their demands. But Joshua Weilerstein is one of a new breed of gentler, kinder...

  • Josef Kreitenberg

    By Jane Ulman

    5 days ago

    As the transport from Tacova, Czechoslovakia (then called Tecso, Hungary), pulled up to the Birkenau platform in late May 1944, the doors of the cattle cars slammed open. “Raus, raus,” the SS shouted, directing those fit for work into separate men’s and women’s lines. The others,...

  • At Auschwitz-Birkenau, the silence and the song

    5 days ago

    Snow brings a strange silence. No more so than in the vastness of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where on Jan. 27 we all began several months of remembering the unfolding of the liberation of the Nazi camps 70 years ago. That day, I walked alongside Los Angeles resident Dario Gabbai in the...

  • Stanford student accuses group of anti-Semitic question

    5 days ago

    A junior at Stanford University who is running for the student senate says she faced anti-Semitic questioning from a student group whose endorsement she was seeking.

    During a March 13 interview in front of eight members of the university’s Students of Color Coalition, Molly...

  • Rethinking the ‘Birthright’: A trip to the Israel for adults

    By Elyse Glickman

    5 days ago

    Birthright trips to Israel are the ultimate opportunity for young Jewish adults to get face-to-face with the places and history that shape their Jewish identity. But what about more mature adults who never got that chance?

    Stacy Wasserman believes she has the answer in her L’Dor...

  • V. Stiviano to appeal order to return $2.6 million to Donald Sterling

    6 days ago

    V. Stiviano, the former companion of Donald Sterling, will appeal a Los Angeles County judge’s tentative decision that she return more than $2.6 million in cash and gifts to the former NBA team owner, her attorney said.

    On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin Jr. ruled a...

  • Terrible Taharah

    6 days ago

    [Editor's Note: This was written some time ago, looking back. It reflects on a past experience and the author's response to it then.  The phrase 'comedy of errors' seems to float into conciousness as it unfolds. This entry is intended for amusement, with an aspect of satire. Enjoy....

  • Take a walk on the autism side

    By Michelle K. Wolf

    6 days ago

    “A giant whirlpool of hope enveloped me” is how Matt Asner, son of famed TV star Ed Asner, described his first Autism Speaks Walk experience seven years ago at the Pasadena Rose Bowl. Now Director of Corporate Development for Autism Speaks, Matt is the father of a 12-year-old son...

  • Herman Katz, Educator, dies at 82

    6 days ago

    A beloved husband, father and grandfather and teacher, Herman Katz died peacefully at his home in Sherman Oaks on April 12, 2015.  Katz’s greatest joy and satisfaction came from family, friends, colleagues and students who admired and treasured him. The son of a Russian Jewish...

  • An update on a brave dead IDF soldier from Los Angeles and his six dead friends

    By Shmuel Rosner

    1 week ago

    In one of the most powerful moments in Omri Assenheim’s documentary about the battle of Shejaiya – a battle in which seven Israeli soldiers died last summer – Nir Holtzman, a survivor of that battle, doesn’t hesitate much when he says “yes, I would do it again.” Assenheim’s...

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