Jewish Journal

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  • Hebrew word of the week: Kippah

    34 minutes ago

    Kippah is from the root  k-f-f, which means “to bend,” as in zoqef kfufim, “(God) raises those who are bent” (Psalms 145:14), and “prayer,” closely related to k-f-y “to compel, force, invert, subdue.” So, kippah is “a bent shape, dome,” as in kippat shamayim “celestial sphere.”

  • When is the right time for a senior to change residences?

    34 minutes ago

    As a geriatric social worker for more than 11 years, Renee Gates has seen the psychological and practical issues at play in a move from one’s permanent residence — especially when it involves transitioning into a retirement community. 

    “It’s actually a medical issue called...

  • The Miracle of the Oil for Ida

    7 hours ago

    [Editor’s Note: Merle Gross has submitted two entries that appeared in Expired and Inspired previously. This story refers to one of those pieces, and the publication of that piece sets the stage for this one. JB]

    Please note that, despite its “Web” address, Kavod v’Nichum is...

  • A Jewish ‘thank you’ to President Obama

    By Rob Eshman

    18 hours ago

    I’ve held off writing about President Barack Obama’s speech at Adas Israel Congregation late last month, but I’ve certainly read everything we Jews have written about it.

    And here’s my conclusion: We can really be a bunch of ingrates.

    To quickly recap: On May 21, The Atlantic...

  • Los Angeles Summer Events: May 30 – August 30

    By Laura Donney

    19 hours ago

    SAT | MAY 30


    In addition to two major premieres commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic from Bryce Dessner (half of indie rock favorite The National) and minimalist composer Philip Glass, there will be two string quartets and a performance of the...

  • Israeli Air Force, front and center on film

    By Tom Tugend

    20 hours ago

    The vaunted Israeli Air Force is flying high with two documentaries screening on television and at film festivals, while a feature movie waits in the wings.

    However, the focus is not on today’s highly professional air force, or on its astonishing exploits during the Six-Day War...

  • Pork-eating Israeli soldier spared detention after secular outcry

    20 hours ago

    An Israeli soldier was spared 11 days in detention for eating pork, a non-kosher food, the military said on Tuesday, after a public outcry.

    Secular standards sometimes clash with conservative Jewish law in Israel.

    Local media said the soldier, an American immigrant, was not...

  • Obama talks on Israeli TV about Netanyahu, Israel and David Blatt [TRANSCRIPT]

    21 hours ago

    Below is a transcript of an interview between President Barack Obama and Israel Channel 2's Ilana Dayan on May 29 released by the National Security office of the White House 


    Ilana Dayan: Mr. President, thank you so much for having us at the White House.

    PresI.D.ent Barack...

  • Obama awards Medal of Honor to Jewish World War I hero

    23 hours ago

    A Jewish World War I veteran was posthumously awarded the nation’s highest military honor 97 years after his heroic actions against the Germans.

    Sgt. William Shemin, who is Jewish and died in 1973, was awarded the Medal of Honor in a ceremony led by President Barack Obama on June...

  • Summer film preview: Art, identity, violence and heroism

    2 days ago

    This summer’s film offerings are heavily sprinkled with foreign fare, much of it dealing with issues of ethnic identity, fundamentalism and genocide.

    But art is the focus of the Russian movie “Chagall-Malevich,” a work of magical realism by filmmaker Aleksandr Mitta that...

  • Five books you should read this summer

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    2 days ago

    Among the most emblematic figures to emerge in Southern California in the 1960s was Sister Mary Corita, a “rebel nun” whose exuberant artwork captured the spirit of that lively era. Her story is told with both compassion and critical skill by biographer April Dammann in “Corita...

  • Life of the ‘Party’

    By Tom Tugend

    2 days ago

    The poster for the film “The Farewell Party” shows three senior citizens, two male and one female, sitting together, smiling and stark naked, their private parts strategically covered.

    Contrary to this teaser, the Israeli film is not about some kind of post-menopausal orgy. It...

  • ‘Bent’ but not broken

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    2 days ago

    After Martin Sherman granted The New York Times an interview about his 1979 play, “Bent,” a groundbreaking drama that for the first time spotlighted the Nazi persecution of gays onstage, the Times reporter phoned Sherman three separate times to confirm whether the author truly...

  • Good Jews? ‘Bad Jews’? It’s all relative

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    2 days ago

    In Joshua Harmon’s scathingly funny play “Bad Jews,” opening at the Geffen Playhouse on June 17 (previews begin June 9), two cousins clash ferociously over who has the right to inherit the chai necklace that belonged to their beloved grandfather “Poppy,” which Poppy had preserved...

  • ‘In Focus: Animalia’: Creatures featured at the Getty

    By Avishay Artsy

    2 days ago

    Images of animals are everywhere these days. Pictures of our friends’ fluffy pets fill our social media feeds. Cuddly cats and baby animal photos serve as websites’ clickbait. While in the Internet age, we may well take these alluring photographs of our four-legged friends for...

  • Child Holocaust survivors get $60 million – in a single day

    2 days ago

    The Claims Conference sent out payments totaling about $60 million in a single day last week – the first of an estimated 70,000 one-time payments of approximately $2,750 to child survivors of the Holocaust.

    The payments follow the creation last year of a new $190 million Child...

  • ‘Spring Awakening’ finds a voice at Deaf West Theatre

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    5 days ago

    At the beginning of Deaf West Theatre’s reimagining of the rock musical “Spring Awakening,” set in 1890s provincial Germany, a naïve deaf teenager, Wendla, begs her prudish mother to tell her how babies are born.  

    “I’m an aunt for the second time now, and I still have no idea...

  • How good is good enough?

    By Ellie Herman

    5 days ago

    Embarrassing confession: I am addicted to inspirational teacher movies. You know what I’m talking about. Hilary Swank in “Freedom Writers,” Michelle Pfeiffer in “Dangerous Minds,” Edward James Olmos in “Stand and Deliver,” Sidney Poitier in “To Sir, With Love.”  

    Those teachers...

  • Family legacy continues at Yeshiva, times five: A story of Modern Orthodoxy in America

    By Simone Wilson

    5 days ago

    Two columns of Yeshiva University graduates — one of young women, in blow-outs and stilettos; and one of young men, the knots of their skinny ties peeking out above their robes — filed into Prudential Center, home arena of the New Jersey Devils, on May 17. They whooped and hooted,...

  • Family’s link to VBS is all relative

    By Ryan Torok

    5 days ago

    Sometimes the old adage really is true: The family that prays together stays together. The Braun family, whom Valley Beth Shalom is honoring at its June 7 “Living Our Legacy: Celebrating the Best of Valley Beth Shalom” ceremony, is a family whose relationship with VBS spans five...

  • Obituaries: Week of May 29-June 3

    1 week ago

    Joan Adelman died May 5 at 72. Survived by daughter Lisa (Charles) Oxman; son David (Sheri); 3 grandchildren; sister Sandra Zivick. Hillside

    Valerie Bass died April 30 at 77. Survived by daughter Deborah (Richard) Brada; son Daryl; sister June Allen; 2 grandchildren. Hillside


  • Anne Meara, TV and stage actress, dies at 85

    By Tom Teicholz

    1 week ago

    Anne Meara, an Emmy- and Tony-nominated actress, who with her husband, Jerry Stiller, performed as one-half of successful comedy duo Stiller and Meara, died May 23. She was 85.

    Meara was born in 1929 in Brooklyn, N.Y., to an Irish-Catholic family. She met Stiller in 1953 at a...

  • Holocaust lessons brought live to classrooms

    By Avishay Artsy

    1 week ago

    “When you see injustice, stand up.” 

    That’s the message Paula Lebovics wants her audiences to remember. On May 13, the 81-year-old survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp shared her story in person with three young students at USC, but their discussion went much further — it...

  • Wanted: More women in Los Angeles City Hall

    By Bill Boyarsky

    1 week ago

    What Los Angeles City Hall needs is a strong Jewish woman.

    Nothing against the three Jewish men who occupy citywide offices — Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer and Controller Ron Galperin. But they’re so quiet, so devoted to working behind the scenes that it’s easy to...

  • Tribute to the man reviving the Breed Street Shul

    By Ryan Torok

    1 week ago

    Stephen Sass wiped tears from his eyes as he took the stage May 17 to receive an award recognizing his leadership toward the renovation of the century-old Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights. 

    Although his work over about the past 15 years has been tough going at times, he said...

  • Do Paths Diverge? Is there a Fork in the Road? or Do Paths Run Together Again?

    1 week ago

    Now in my early 50’s, I’ve lived longer than either of my parents did.  My dad died at 44 and my mom died at 48, just before my 20th birthday.

    Over the years, particularly on those challenging parenting days, I often thought about how my parents managed family, work, life.  I...

  • Obama loves the wrong Israel

    By David Suissa

    1 week ago

    Every time I hear President Barack Obama tell us how much he loves Israel, I feel like asking him: Which one?

    Apparently, he’s not too crazy about the current Israel. The Israel that owns his heart is the one from before 1967, when the Jewish state was a noble little nation...

  • Obama: I have same high expectations of Israel as I do of U.S.

    2 weeks ago

    WASHINGTON (JTA) – President Barack Obama has a message for American Jews: I don’t shy away from disagreeing with Israel publicly, because I care about Israel and our shared values.

    The president marked Jewish American Heritage Month with a speech Friday at Washington’s oldest...

  • My dad was in the Army

    2 weeks ago

    My dad was like no other. 

    He was an accomplished CPA. That in itself might not seem so unusual, but how many accountants do you know who are also adept at wilderness survival? He could identify all of the animal tracks and scat. He knew the differences between poison ivy and...

  • Heroes to Heroes helps U.S. soldiers heal their psychic wounds

    2 weeks ago

    With his two kids out of the house, retired Army Sgt. Harrison Manyoma planned to commit suicide on Aug. 10, 2012. But a Jewish mother from New Jersey derailed his plans. 

    Judy Schaffer started Heroes to Heroes after meeting wounded war veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center...

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