Jewish Journal

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  • Garry Marshall wasn’t Jewish — except when he was

    4 days ago

    If there were a competition for the most Jewish-seeming non-Jew, the late Garry Marshall would have topped the podium (or sat on the bimah).

    The director, writer and actor, who died Tuesday at age 81, was so often mistaken for a Jew that the misconception was mentioned in one of...

  • “Tough” Taharah

    5 days ago

    I am what you would call a professional Taharah person. I am part of a team that performs most if not all of them for our community Chevrah Kadisha; I can’t recall the last time I was unable to participate in one. And I do receive compensation for my involvement, a modest stipend,...

  • Ivanka: Israel’s Chief rabbinate is similar to Iranian Mullahs and does not represent us!

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    2 weeks ago

    I’m a proud Jew who loves to shine the Jewish light onto the nations.

    But today, the Israeli Chief rabbinate rejection of this remarkable woman, Ivanka Trump, makes me put my head down in shame.

    Rabbi Lookstein who performed the conversion is a former Rabbi of one of the...

  • Israeli religious court goes off the deep end

    By David Suissa

    2 weeks ago

    Why would a rabbinic court in the world’s only Jewish state do something that would blatantly turn off most of the world’s Jews?

    That’s what I asked myself today when I read that Israel’s top religious court rejected the validity of a woman’s conversion from one of the leading...

  • Jensen Karp survives to write his own ending

    By Kylie Ora Lobell

    2 weeks ago

    When Jensen Karp was 29 years old, his doctor discovered three white spots in his brain. He was informed that these tumors could not be removed, and to start thinking about the possibility of dying. 

    “They told me to get all my things in line, and to prepare my tombstone,” Karp...

  • ‘March of the Living’ documents kinship between teens, survivors

    By Evan Henerson

    2 weeks ago

    Oscar-nominated filmmaker Jessica Sanders went to Brazil to document Carnival and samba music. After unexpected detours to Auschwitz and Israel, however, she ended up making a movie about something much more serious: an event that exemplifies survival and affirmation. 

    All told,...

  • Mourning Jewishly for a parent as a convert

    2 weeks ago

    Jewish tradition holds that converts are not obligated to mourn for their biological parents—even though the weight of honoring one’s parents is considered second only to fear of God on the scale of mitzvot.[1] So, when their parents die, Jews-by-choice feel themselves placed into...

  • Pokémon Go invades Auschwitz, U.S. Holocaust Museum and more

    2 weeks ago

    The Pokémon craze is back — and you can apparently “catch ’em all” at your local former concentration camp.

    Pokémon Go, a smartphone version of the popular late 1990s video and trading card game, has become an omnipresent phenomenon since its release last week. To put it in...

  • Family of slain Palestinian teen asks Israel’s Supreme Court to raze Jewish killers’ homes

    2 weeks ago

    The family of a Palestinian teen killed in a revenge attack by three Jewish extremists has asked Israel’s Supreme Court to order the demolition of the murderers’ homes.

    “The state needs to operate in the same way against Jewish terrorists as it does against Palestinians,” the...

  • Elie Wiesel’s generous soul: ‘Of course I remember you’

    By Eitan Arom

    3 weeks ago

    Brian Ducoffe was the president of the Jewish student organization Hillel at Chapman University in Orange County while Elie Wiesel was a visiting scholar there. The second time the college junior encountered the Holocaust luminary, he expected Wiesel wouldn’t remember him. He was...

  • Elie Wiesel, the moral force who made sure we will never forget the evil of the Holocaust

    By Michael Berenbaum

    3 weeks ago

    Elie Wiesel, the world’s best-known and most-influential Holocaust survivor, is no longer. His death at 87, announced July 2, makes us ever more acutely aware that we are coming to the end of an era. Soon, all too soon, there will be no survivors.

    Elie Wiesel was a unique figure...

  • Hancock Park’s Korean councilman jumps into role of Jewish ally

    By Eitan Arom

    3 weeks ago

    The fact that David Ryu, the first Korean American elected to the Los Angeles City Council, serves under Mayor Eric Garcetti, the first Jew elected mayor, seems to be no coincidence.

    As the councilman explained during a recent interview at his City Hall office, the two diasporas...

  • A Very Brief Manual on Visiting the Terminally Ill

    3 weeks ago

    Perhaps because we are directly and actively involved with after-life ritual we do NOT shrink from connecting with people who are terminally ill.  We continue to speak and behave as we always have.  And we don't describe time spent with a terminally ill friend as a visit to “the...

  • Dutch Jewish woman evicted after anti-Semitic abuse, threats by neighbor

    3 weeks ago

    A Dutch court reviewing a neighborly dispute ordered the eviction of a Jewish woman whose neighbor reportedly threatened to kill her and used anti-Semitic insults against her.

    The court ruled in favor of the Ymere housing corporation, which asked the court to evict the woman,...

  • Elie Wiesel — the Jew who taught us melancholy

    By David Suissa

    3 weeks ago

    Of all the contributions Eli Wiesel made to humanity as a global humanitarian, prolific author, Nobel laureate, proud Zionist, Judaic professor and Holocaust memoirist, maybe the least-talked about is his embracing of melancholy.

    It’s rare to see a laughing picture of Wiesel, who...

  • Quotes from Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel

    3 weeks ago

    As a survivor of the Nazi death camps, Elie Wiesel saw mankind at its worst. He wrote about it in some 50 books, starting with the powerful "Night," and made it his life's mission to ensure it was never repeated.

    Following are quotes from Wiesel.

    "Indifference, to me, is the...

  • Trump tweet attacking Clinton employs image of Star of David

    3 weeks ago

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted an image of rival Hillary Clinton alongside hundred-dollar bills and a Jewish star bearing the words "most corrupt candidate ever!", prompting outrage and bafflement on social media.

    Two hours after his initial...

  • Istanbul and Hallel

    By Rob Eshman

    3 weeks ago

    After the Istanbul airport terror attack that left 49 dead and hundreds wounded, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement, “Make no mistake, for terror groups, there are no differences between Istanbul, London, Berlin, Ankara or Chicago.”

    Too bad he left out...

  • What Touched Me

    By Rabbi Joe Blair

    June 29, 2016 | 4:22 am

    [Ed. Note: On June 5th, 2016, at the 14th annual Kavod v’Nichum Chevrah Kadisha and Jewish Cemetery Conference, the Gamliel Institute, the leadership training arm of Kavod v’Nichum, celebrated the graduation of the first class of graduates of the Gamliel Institute course of...

  • My visit to the Broken Wall

    By David Suissa

    June 24, 2016 | 12:37 am

    I could never have imagined that I would find something missing in the Western Wall, that epic monument to Jewish suffering and collective memory that I have been visiting for decades.

    It would never have occurred to me that something was limiting my experience as I faced those...

  • Jewish progressive org invokes Freedom Summer murders to protest Trump

    By Eitan Arom

    June 22, 2016 | 3:31 pm

    The heat wave had broken by the time Pastor Cue Jn-marie stood up June 21 at the auditorium of Pan Pacific Park in the Fairfax District before a mostly-Jewish audience of about 40. But as he spoke, his anger seemed to boil over.

    The Skid Row pastor delivered a fiery speech at the...

  • Rabbi Laura Geller moves from senior rabbi to study of aging

    By Danielle Berrin

    June 22, 2016 | 1:10 pm

    Leaning against the chair at a small glass table in her office, Rabbi Laura Geller exudes the energy of a meditative state. Aided by a stream of afternoon light, she is the picture of equanimity: relaxed, well postured, comfortably adorned in a coral cotton dress that sits pillowy...

  • Gamliel Institute Celebrates its First Graduating Class

    June 22, 2016 | 4:35 am

    [Ed. Note: The following is a report about the graduation of the first class from the Gamliel Institute, the leadership training arm of Kavod v’Nichum. The graduates all completed the five semester-long core courses, as well as accomplishing a significant project that makes a...

  • Jewish community on alert as fires rage in Azusa and Duarte

    By Ryan Torok

    June 20, 2016 | 5:31 pm

    Jason Moss, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, said Monday that no synagogues are located near the fires raging in Azusa and Duarte, which erupted Monday morning.

    He is, however, concerned about nearby community members.

  • Saturday night with Yitz Greenberg

    By David Suissa

    June 16, 2016 | 4:27 pm

    It’s tempting in our modern world to go broad with Judaism. Since the vast majority of Jews have no training in the study of ancient texts, it’s a lot easier and more empowering to engage with Judaism through familiar and relevant themes such as repairing the world, social justice,...

  • The Hottest Summer in Baghdad: 75th anniversary of the Farhud

    June 16, 2016 | 11:52 am

    The festival of Shavuot, which this year took place June 12-13, commemorates a time when Jews received the Torah at Mount Sinai. It also marks the beginning of a new agricultural season, Chag Hakatsir (The Harvest Holiday). It comes seven weeks after Passover.

    Shavuot in Baghdad...

  • The hate narrative and Muslims in America

    June 15, 2016 | 3:23 pm

    On the sixth night of Ramadan, June 11, I broke my fast at a synagogue during a Havdalah-Shavuot celebration. Around 10:30 p.m., at almost the same time that Omar Mateen opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., I called an Uber to get from the Westwood synagogue to my...

  • Near Here Are Buried British Soldiers

    June 15, 2016 | 4:57 am

    On June 5 through 7, Kavod v’Nichum held its 14th annual North American Chevrah Kadisha and Jewish Cemetery Conference in Lexington, MA. Just up the street from where we stayed was the Minute Man National Historic Park, so of course I took some time to walk the trail there, which...

  • On Michael Feige – a colleague and a victim of the Tel Aviv terror attack

    By David N. Myers

    June 10, 2016 | 2:47 pm

    We live in a very violent world, marred by state-sponsored murder, horrifying acts of terrorism, and a gun epidemic in our own cities.   For most of us, this violence is an abstraction about which we read—until it hits close to home.  

    My sense of vulnerability and loss was...

  • An ‘Israeli-Palestinian life’

    June 10, 2016 | 2:39 pm

    Sayed Kashua fooled me at first.  He convinced me he was an advocate for social change who used his column in Haaretz to show Israelis the unfair indignities he suffered as an Israeli Arab living in Jerusalem.  Many Israelis were seduced by his irony and wit and irreverent take on...

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