Jewish Journal

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  • Welcome the refugees

    1 week ago

    In the 1940s, politicians and the State Department saw the war ravaging Europe and said only Christians could enter this country as refugees, and only a select few at that. No Jews welcome here. A favorite argument for turning away Jews fleeing Europe was that they somehow had been...

  • Your Reaction to Islam Will Define Who You Are.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    1 week ago

    Your relationship with Islam will define you as a person.

    Once, as a child, I asked a poor gardener who lived in a neighbor’s garage with three sick children and an ailing wife, why he always smiled. I loved his wisdom. I saw him daily, and he never complained. “My son, Allah is...

  • More than four decades on, Jewish dialogue with Orthodox Christians still fragile

    2 weeks ago

    For two days, 38 leading Jewish and Orthodox Christian clerics and scholars sat in a hotel outside the Greek capital for a rare dialogue on relations between the two ancient faiths.

    The talks, held last month, were only the eighth round since formal interfaith dialogue...

  • No, there are still two pro-Israel parties

    3 weeks ago

    Last week, Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) head Matthew Brooks told The Hill, “We as a Jewish community have to take a long, hard step back and acknowledge the reality … that today there is one pro-Israel party and that is the Republican Party.”

    What a boneheaded thing to...

  • Most religious Zionists want Arabs out of Israel, study finds

    October 22, 2015 | 3:18 pm

    During the previous wave of terror in Israel, 11 months ago, Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett said in a speech, “99.9 percent of Arab-Israelis are loyal to the State of Israel, and there’s a very small minority that acts against it.”

    Apparently, his religious Zionist...

  • My Grandpa Aghajan.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 21, 2015 | 4:58 pm

    Habibollah.  A beloved of God.  Beloved by Allah.  That was my grandfather’s name.  Each time I hear of trouble in Israel, I reach out for his memory as a sinking man to a buoy.

    Habib- the beloved, as his friends referred to him- and Aghajan to me- an endearing name given to...

  • Nine more Jewish symbols UNESCO should claim for other religions

    October 20, 2015 | 12:44 pm

    On Monday, news broke that UNESCO, the United Nations cultural agency, is to vote on a Palestinian-backed proposal declaring the Western Wall a Muslim site.

    The last remnant of the long-destroyed Jewish Temple, the Western Wall is hands-down Judaism’s holiest site and arguably...

  • The New York Times’ ‘Big Lie’ about the Temple Mount

    October 13, 2015 | 1:55 pm

    Last week, I opened The New York Times to Rick Gladstone’s article, “Historical Certainty Proves Elusive at Jerusalem’s Holiest Place,” happy that the newspaper of record would explain to its audience the historical context of this embattled piece of real estate.

    As I read on, I...

  • Did Jewish visitors to Temple Mount spark current tensions?

    October 9, 2015 | 2:47 pm

    A leading Sephardic rabbi who advises the haredi Orthodox Shas party criticized Jews who have been visiting the Temple Mount, saying they “sparked all the current tumult.”

    Rabbi Shimon Baadani, a member of Shas’ Council of Torah Sages, said Thursday on a Shas radio program,...

  • Muslims, Christians Should Celebrate Genesis as do Jews.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    October 7, 2015 | 9:05 am

    In Eden, there was God, Adam and Eve and no religion!

    Genesis begins with a wide angled view of diversity:  God creates a vast range of living things—fish, birds, cattle, wild animals “of every kind” and repeats “of every kind” with each living thing.

    When it comes to the...

  • Sukkot and Fifty Shades of Kosher.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    September 29, 2015 | 6:41 pm

    We love people who sin like us and judge harshly those who sin differently.  Jews quarrel so much over how to approach God that we end up pushing God out to win an argument.  There are so many shades of Kosher.  On Sukkot, we are told “come together.”

    A friend told me that he...

  • Should Europe take in a million Muslim refugees?

    By Dennis Prager

    September 24, 2015 | 10:29 am

    Should Europe take in about a million Syrian and other Muslim refugees? Should America take in tens of thousands? 

    In a recent column in the British newspaper The Guardian, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the distinguished former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, argued passionately in...

  • Bubblehood vs. Peoplehood

    By David Suissa

    September 10, 2015 | 11:18 am

    The most overused and abused word in the Jewish world must surely be “community.” Here in Los Angeles, we’re often told that we’re all part of some grand “Jewish community,” but deep down, we know better. If by community we mean a group of like-minded people whose company we enjoy,...

  • Iran deal may transform American Jewry

    By Steven Windmueller

    August 12, 2015 | 11:21 am

    One of the significant elements to this story involves American Jews opposing the president of the United States that they had helped to elect. One can define this moment as transformational, as it may lead to the redefining of how Jews understand and employ their political power....

  • 50 LA Rabbis Call to Congress: “A Responsibility to do Better”

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    July 31, 2015 | 5:39 pm

    Fifty of the most prominent Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Independent rabbis in Los Angeles have signed this letter to congress and the senate. Please read their letter and share it with your friends. They are unified on this issue:  "we strongly support and heed the Jewish...

  • Never Stay Indifferent, Never Stop Caring

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    July 29, 2015 | 8:27 am

    I remember the first anti-Semitic remark I received. It was a comment to one of my posts here, and it said "What a shame Hitler didn't finish what he started." That night, I couldn't sleep. I was concerned and bothered, but most of all- I was horrified. Later, as I became more...

  • Arab-Israeli lawmaker: Jews have no religious ties to Temple Mount

    July 27, 2015 | 7:48 pm

    An Arab Knesset member claimed that Jews have no religious ties to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

    On Monday, Masud Ganaim of the Joint Arab List told Israel Radio that “historically, religiously, it is a Muslim site, period,” the Religion News Service reported.

    The remarks came a...

  • Temples in Time.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    July 24, 2015 | 8:43 am

    It's Shabbat, before fast of Av.

    Iran Deal sizzles inside all Jews.
    German ovens’ stench, we sing the blues.
    Our temple remains shattered- atone .
    All in post traumatic mode, none alone.

    They say we control the world, its wealth,
    in small numbers win large prizes, stealth....

  • The Torn Iranian American Jew

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    July 17, 2015 | 8:30 am

    My father served the ‪‎Iranian‬ government for over thirty years.

    With the majority of his friends and colleagues ‪Muslim‬, few ‪‎Persian‬ Jews know of him now.

    He pulled himself out of poverty, away from the misery of losing his own father at a young age. He reached one of the...

  • Ramadan tours promote coexistence between Israeli Arabs and Jews

    July 14, 2015 | 2:10 pm

    The group of Jewish-Israelis sat in a semicircle on the thick, red carpet of the mosque. The women wore headscarves; everyone’s feet were bare.

    They had come to this Arab town in central Israel to experience a slice of Ramadan, the monthlong daytime fast...

  • Wrapped up in Rainbows, but consumed by hate.

    By Diana Emuna

    July 9, 2015 | 8:09 am

    When I started writing this blog, I gave the relationship with my relative.  It was too hard. It was suggested I make it more generic and I have done that.  I also apologize for the length of this blog, but I felt the details were important.

    Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court...

  • Shabbat, Brokenness and Light:  My Reflections at an Interfaith Event

    By Lia Mandelbaum

    July 8, 2015 | 2:19 pm

    In addition to how I've found that interfaith relations boldly and beautifully reveals the interconnectedness of all of humanity, I certainly agree that there is nothing like interfaith work to really inspire you to actively deepen your own understanding and connection to your...

  • Azerbaijan, Israel, Sporting Excellence and Universal Friendship

    By Milikh Yevdayev

    July 7, 2015 | 1:57 pm

    The first ever European Games were just completed in Azerbaijan and it is such a source of pride for me as a Jew and as an Azerbaijani. For over two weeks in June the world witnessed what a welcoming and tolerant country we are. We opened our arms to the world. As an Azerbaijani...

  • Conversation drives community

    By Zev Hurwitz

    July 6, 2015 | 5:11 pm

    One of my favorite Torah lectures from my time in middle school at Maimonides Academy, (okay, the only one I remember) was where our principal delivered an address entitled “If Jews had a Christmas Tree.”

    The concept for a shiur on Christmas Trees in Judaism seems comical at...

  • Amid their country’s financial crisis, Greek Jews struggle and brace for more turmoil

    July 6, 2015 | 3:51 pm

    For 55 needy Jewish families, a cash welfare payment is the only thing that gets them through the month. But when they came to the Athens Jewish Community last week for their July assistance, they were given only a portion of the payment in cash — the rest was in supermarket food...

  • Your Jerusalem, my Jerusalem

    July 6, 2015 | 1:03 pm

    This article first appeared on The Media Line.

    Jerusalem is a dream and a vision, and at the same time a city where garbage needs to be collected, children go to school, and roads need to be fixed. For some of the 800,000 people living inside the city’s municipal boundary,...

  • Israeli president calls on P.A. to act against terrorism surge

    July 6, 2015 | 9:14 am

    Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin at a Ramadan break-fast meal with Arab leaders called on the Palestinian Authority to act against a recent surge in terrorism.

    Addressing the uptick in attacks by Palestinians against Jewish targets since the start of the holy month of Ramadan,...

  • Muslims and Jews forge friendships over dinner

    July 1, 2015 | 2:37 pm

    Some Jews wore kippot, while Muslim fellows wore hijabs and niqabs as 300 members of the two religious communities came together over an iftar dinner June 25 during Ramadan at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. 

    The break fast — which featured kosher and halal foods — was much more than...

  • Ukraine office to help prospective immigrants to Israel prove Jewishness

    June 30, 2015 | 11:35 am

    Rabbis from Israel and Ukraine opened an office in eastern Ukraine that will help prospective immigrants to Israel prove they are Jewish.

    The office, which opened last week in Dnepropetrovsk, aims to facilitate the process for those seeking to immigrate to Israel under its Law of...

  • Muslim and Jewish Jerusalemites break bread together

    June 25, 2015 | 8:55 am

    This article originally appeared on The Media Line.

    As the call to prayer marking the end of the day-long Ramadan fast echoed from a nearby mosque, the two dozen people sat down and began eating. There were many traditional Arab foods, and conversation flowed easily. It looked...

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