Jewish Journal

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  • Former NYC Mayor Bloomberg says he is eyeing 2016 run for president

    9 hours ago

    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he is considering running for president in 2016, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

    The billionaire media mogul said he was "looking at all the options" when asked whether he was considering a run, the newspaper said.

  • Thank you for not dying

    By Marty Kaplan

    11 hours ago

    David Wichs was walking to work in TriBeCa last Friday morning when a 565-foot construction crane toppled onto Worth Street and killed him. He was 38.

    I didn’t know him – I saw it in the paper.  Workers had been lowering the crane as a precaution from wind gusts when it crushed...

  • Jewish man, 38, killed in Manhattan crane collapse

    3 days ago

    A 38-year-old Jewish man was killed when a construction crane collapsed on his car in Manhattan.

    David Wichs, an immigrant from Prague, in what is now the Czech Republic, was standing outside his parked car on Friday morning when the giant crane collapsed, crushing him to death,...

  • Israel without Hebrew

    4 days ago

    Israel, like the United States, was a nation founded by immigrants. To this day Jews from around the world (or certain parts of it, more precisely) continue to ‘make aliyah’ (immigrate) to begin a new life in the Holy Land.

    A number of challenges await the new immigrant. Brits...

  • The Kotel compromise: Recognizing there is more than one way to be a Jew

    By Rabbi Laura Geller

    5 days ago

    Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” In the case of the recently announced historic victory regarding egalitarian prayer at the Kotel (the Western Wall), it was...

  • Mixed emotions about the Kotel compromise

    5 days ago

    What’s the definition of mixed emotions, asks the old gag line: Finding out that your business competitor and rival has just driven off a cliff — in your new Lamborghini. 

    The Orthodox community has to greet news of the Kotel agreement similarly. We can hope that it will bring...

  • The Kotel decision: A Sephardic Jew responds

    5 days ago

    Once upon a time, not so long ago, the Kotel had no barrier separating the sexes. It was an open place of prayer, spirituality and meditation for all Jews. Those were the days when Jews were not branded by denominations. Somehow, this ancient, sacred space was transformed into a...

  • At the Kotel, at last

    5 days ago

    I’m one of those fortunate people who gets to be in Israel for 10 days each year. I meet with the Ziegler rabbinical students studying there during their third year of our program, teach at various yeshivot, interview prospective students and meet with Masorti (Conservative)...

  • WATCH: Jewish jokes dominate New York magazine’s top 100 list

    5 days ago

    New York Magazine’s culture section, Vulture, this week published a mega-listicle, “The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy.” With the help of comedians and historians of comedy, the magazine’s editors picked the most important jokes ever uttered — from Charlie Chaplin making...

  • Blitzer asks Sanders if being Jewish complicates relationship with Muslim world

    5 days ago

    CNN host Wolf Blitzer suggested on Wednesday that Bernie Sanders becoming the first elected Jewish president may complicate the U.S. relationship with Muslim and Arab leaders in the world. 

    “You, of course, are Jewish. Do you think that potentially could be a problem, working...

  • Lakers make Jewish youth wish come true

    6 days ago

    Despite being in last place in the NBA’s Western Conference and on pace to eclipse last season’s franchise-record loss total of 61, the Lakers had a reason to smile Jan. 31, thanks to a surprise free-agent signing. 

    Yitzi Teichman, 18, joined the team just months after undergoing...

  • Chaim being Chaim

    By David Suissa

    6 days ago

    My friend Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller is a nutty-professor type who is impossible to describe. One reason is that he has a mix of traits that don’t usually go together.

    For instance, he’s a book junkie as well as a people junkie. He has so many books in his UCLA Hillel office that...

  • Everybody deserves a death ritual

    6 days ago

    Everybody deserves a death ritual, especially given the negativity placed upon death in the Western world. Memorial services and, for the most part, funerals, are for the living.  Taharot are for the ones whose bodies have recently died. Judaism declares that a taharah is a way for...

  • San Diego settles sexual harassment suit against ex-mayor Bob Filner

    6 days ago

    San Diego on Tuesday agreed to pay $667,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit against former Mayor Bob Filner.

    The suit filed by Benelia Santos-Hunter, who had worked as the mayor's executive assistant, described more than two dozen incidents in which Filner allegedly grabbed her buttocks, asked to hug and kiss her and tried to touch her breasts.

    Read more at Los Angeles Times.

  • Bernie Sanders dominates social media conversation on Iowa

    1 week ago

    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders dominated overall conversation about the Iowa caucuses on Facebook Inc. on Monday, the social network said. 

    From midnight to noon CST, 42.2 percent of conversations about the caucuses was about the senator from Vermont, compared...

  • US Jews Lack in Spirituality

    By Pini Herman

    1 week ago

    Only about a third of Jews (39 percent)  report to "feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least once a week" in 2014 while generally Americans report at something approaching two-thirds (59 percent) to "feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being at least...

  • Sharansky applauds ‘One Kotel for One People’

    By Ryan Torok

    1 week ago

    In the wake of the Israeli government’s historic announcement on Sunday, Jan. 31, that a new, expanded egalitarian prayer space would be opened up at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, spoke to the press from Pasadena.  The new...

  • I don’t know how we got here… but I’d sure like to move on!

    By Craig T.

    1 week ago

    I don’t know how we got here… but I’d sure like to move on!

    Multiple Choice – Please Choose ONE! Achinoam Nini, better known as Noa:

    ____ Represents the Palestinian people, and is not a true Israeli.

    ____ Is a supporter of right wing Israeli settlement politics.


  • Under ‘The Skinny’: Sundance introduces new comedy about bulimia

    By Melissa Weller

    2 weeks ago

    When someone mentions eating disorders, what comes to mind? 

    Is it salads? Laxatives? Karen Carpenter? Maybe a high-cheeked supermodel walking the runway for New York Fashion Week? Or Victoria’s Secret’s youngest set of bony hips, lying on the shores of Ibiza in a low-rise...

  • What Matters Most.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    2 weeks ago

    Remember when life was simply beautiful?

    Children didn’t get cancer.  No one filed bankruptcy.  Marriages were mostly… good.  Hospitals were places young women went to deliver babies.

    I yearn for that innocent past- fruits that tasted like grandma's love, friends more loyal...

  • Unveiling a Monument, Building a Memory

    2 weeks ago

    Although I am a rabbi now, I did not grow up in a family that practiced. My first experiences with unveilings were ones I did myself, following what I had learned in rabbinical school and from Rabbis Manuals.

    Now, I am a hospice chaplain, and a few weeks ago, I accompanied a...

  • Obama: ‘We are all Jews’

    2 weeks ago

    President Barack Obama honored International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday by declaring, “We are all Jews.”

    Addressing the Righteous Among Nations Awards Ceremony at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, the President said, “We are all Jews, because anti-Semitism is a...

  • Gallup poll: Jewish approval of Obama stabilizes at 55%

    2 weeks ago

    President Barack Obama’s approval rating among Jewish Americans has slightly improved, ultimately stabilized, in 2015 after a 13-percentage point drop between late 2012 and 2014, a new Gallup poll released on Tuesday showed.

    According to the poll, 55 percent of U.S. Jews...

  • Calling out anti-Semitism

    By David Suissa

    2 weeks ago

    If you discriminate against the only Jewish country in the world, is that anti-Semitism?

    Let’s take the European Union (EU), which routinely discriminates against the Jewish state. Among the numerous “occupied territories” around the world, for example, the EU has singled out...

  • Remembering Azerbaijan’s Black January:  An Intersection of Tragedy and Inspiration

    By Milikh Yevdayev

    3 weeks ago

    On January 19, 1990, friends were scheduled to visit us to celebrate my daughter’s birthday in Baku, Azerbaijan. But our plans were suddenly changed by the news of massacres taking place in different parts of the city. We urgently sent messages to our friends to stay home, for the...

  • To Plan, or Not to Plan…  by Rabbi Laurie Dinerstein-Kurs

    3 weeks ago

    I have no idea if my e-mail box being inundated with various and sundry Insurance companies trying to sell burial insurance to me means they know something I don't - or is it merely the season for such advertising?

    The proposals to sell their product all seem to offer valuable...

  • Spiritual farming with Steven Wynbrandt

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    3 weeks ago

    In Los Angeles, Tu B’Shevat, the agrarian festival also known as the new year for trees, can easily pass unnoticed; after all, the time when the holiday falls — this year on Jan. 25 — is not one of seasonal change here. Some Jews will plant a tree or lift a ceremonial date or fig...

  • Evans and Clarke: The brain trust that educates modern food pantries

    By Tess Cutler

    3 weeks ago

    University of Southern California research scientist Susan Evans and professor Peter Clarke have visited more American cities than most people.

    For 20 years, the two have traveled professionally, city by city, visiting food banks and pantries nationwide. “Eventually 160 places in...

  • Branding Conservative Judaism

    By David Suissa

    3 weeks ago

    In the marketing world, being “in the middle” can be a curse, because it’s too easy for people to perceive that middle as wishy-washy. That’s why good advertising agencies are so valuable-- they know how to position brands for maximum appeal. Often, the difference between a curse...

  • Mercedes Shows a Stone Heart to Abused Wife

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    3 weeks ago

    Caution: the following story may make you think twice about supporting Mercedes.

    Rebecca (a pseudonym) was swept off her feet by a prince charming from a wonderful and wealthy family. She thought all her prayers were answered, until soon after they were married he started beating...

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