Jewish Journal

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  • Auschwitz Talks to Resume

    By James D

    June 3, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Negotiations over the future of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps in Poland could begin in a matter of weeks now that hundreds of crosses planted by Polish Catholic extremists have been removed, according to Miles Lerman, chair of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council and the head of the...
  • Taking the Middle Road

    By Julie Wiener

    June 3, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The Reform movement's much-anticipated "Statement of Principles" may rival the Torah for most carefully scrutinized text in Jewish history.

    The two-page statement, which seeks to spell out just exactly what Reform Judaism is about, was discussed for close to two years, underwent six...

  • Toward Tradition

    June 3, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The way Rabbi Eric Yoffie figures it, that new "statement of principles" adopted by the Reform rabbinate last week in Pittsburgh, calling for a return to tradition, isn't going to make his job any easier.

    Not that Yoffie is against urging Reform Jews to study Torah and bring ritual...

  • Striking a Discordant Note

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    June 3, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Gottfried Wagner was only 9 when he stole a key his father had hidden and slipped into the Festspielhaus, the shrine to his great-grandfather, Richard Wagner.

    With his heart pounding, he sneaked into the dusty, dirty rooms above the old set-painting workshop and made a startling...

  • Jewish Short Stories: A National Public Radio Series

    June 3, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    When she was 16, KCRW General Manager Ruth Seymour was captivated by her studies with the Yiddish scholar Max Weinreich. "Yiddish is magic," he told her. "It will outwit history."

    Seymour took his words to heart. Of late, she has been doing her part to help the mamaloshen survive. In...

  • Open Discussions

    By Tom Tugend

    May 27, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Los Angeles, as always, attracted a variety of interesting visitors in recent days. The Jewish Journal couldn't meet all of them, but we made contact with a group of German journalists and government officials, the former executive editor of The New York Times, and the Israeli...
  • Rabbi, I’m gay

    By Julie G Fax

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Rabbi Steven Greenberg usually kept quiet through the gay jokes. After all, he had been in the closet in the Orthodox community for 20 years, so he was used to smiling through the ridicule, through tirades about same-sex marriage.

    But not that day last year around the Shavuot table....

  • The Local Reaction

    By Tom Tugend

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    There were decorous cheers and scattered thumbs-up signs as Ehud Barak's projected victory was announced at 12:30 p.m. Monday to some 20 people gathered in Sherman Oaks for an hour-long video conference with pundits in Israel, Washington and New York.

    There was another small stir when...

  • Torah For Torah’s Sake

    By Beverly Gray

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The Jewish Federation's Westside facility was transformed into a beit midrash, a traditional Jewish study hall, last week when more than 250 people of all denominations gathered to study Torah together.

    "There were people sitting and standing in every crevice of the two rooms and...

  • He Was No Saint

    By Rabbi Marvin Hier

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    On Thursday, May 13, Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, delivered an address at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. The speech, entitled "The State of the Jews," touched on many issues, including the need for Holocaust memorials, the lack of funding for Jewish...
  • Time With Zeffirelli

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    "There is something special about Jews," the famed Italian director Franco Zeffirelli says, not disingenuously. "They have an instinctive compassion for their neighbor."

    The 76-year-old auteur illustrates the sentiment in his latest and most personal film, "Tea With Mussolini," which...

  • Hitler Viewed in an ‘Empty Mirror’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 6, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    When the Dalai Lama visited Israel several years ago, the story goes, someone asked him whether Hitler had possessed "Buddha nature." The Tibetan holy man nodded. Every person possesses Buddha nature; it's our attachments and delusions that result in our suffering and in behaviors...
  • Fly in the Vote

    By Tom Tugend

    May 6, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Phone Chai L'Yisrael in Brooklyn and the recorded greeting tells the caller, "Your vote will help keep Israel safe and secure."

    The Web site for KesherUSA urges the visitor's electoral participation to assure an Israel "committed to democracy."

    The code words need no translation for...

  • Norway to Pay Shoah Victims

    May 6, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Norway has begun accepting applications for the approximately $60 million fund it created in March for Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Applicants will be eligible for as much as $25,500. Further information is available from: The Ministry of Justice, Civil Department, P.O. Box 8005...

  • California Pressures Insurers to Settle Holocaust-era Claims

    By Tom Tugend

    May 6, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    California's top officials, legislators and private organizations are throwing their collective weight behind a series of measures aimed at pressuring European insurance companies into settling claims from the Holocaust era.

    The charge is being led by Gov. Gray Davis and state...

  • Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs lobbies for the release of three captive Americans

    By Tom Tugend

    May 6, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    When Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs was received at the White House on Monday, together with other members of the Rev. Jesse Jackson's mission to Belgrade that successfully lobbied President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia for the release of three captive American soldiers, he passed on a...
  • Questions for the Board Room

    April 29, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Let me share with you three scenes.

    Last Sunday, I spent part of a pleasant afternoon at Pan Pacific Park, site of the Israel Independence Day Festival. Those who tally the numbers estimate that 40,000 people turned out for the celebration. There were booths staffed by Jewish...

  • Making a Case for Victims of the Holocaust

    By Professor Burt Neuborne

    April 22, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    What progress have American courts made in bringing legal closure to some of the appalling evils perpetrated by the Nazis during their reign of terror?

    First we have to understand what is actually going on. There are five sets of cases currently pending: The first was filed in 1996...

  • The Warrior and Witness

    By Eric Silver

    April 15, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Ben-Zion Blustein, the teen-age lone survivor of a White Russian Jewish family, spent most of World War II on the run, hiding in the forest, fighting with the partisans against the German occupiers and their local collaborators.

    In July 1944, when the Russians liberated the area near...

  • A Reason for Remembrance

    April 15, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Once upon a time, we celebrated holidays and honored men and women and moments from our past as though they were charged with meaning. Armistice Day, Independence Day, Lincoln's birthday. I remember a Memorial Day, in 1976, when everyone marched through the six-block town to the...

  • A Journey into the Heart of Darkness

    By Michael D. Braun

    April 8, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    There was something haunting about taking the train. The aged boxcars on a parallel track seemed frozen in time. I quieted my thoughts. After all, the train was a necessary evil. This bitter irony was not lost on me as the train sped from Munich to Dachau on probably the very same...
  • Pesach on the Autobahn

    By Marvin J. Wolf

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    It was nearly midnight when Louis Roth's seder ended and we packed ourselves into my old Bug. My wife, Kyongcha, rode shotgun; Steve, my 12-year-old brother, shared the cramped back seat with a case of matzo and boxes of kosher-for-Passover canned goods from the chaplain's office. It...
  • On the Rise

    By Julia Goldman

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Vandalism against Jewish institutions and property rose slightly in 1998, ending a three-year decline in reported anti-Semitic incidents, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

    In 1998, 1,611 acts of vandalism and harassment directed against Jews were reported in 42 states and the...

  • Laborers File Suit for Wartime Injustices

    By Tom Tugend

    March 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Jews who worked as slave laborers during the Nazi era are one step closer to receiving some measure of compensation for their ordeal.

    After months of torturous negotiations, an agreement has been reached to establish a $5.2 billion fund for these victims of the Holocaust, according...

  • He Said, She Said, We Said

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    "Two Jews, Three Opinions" (Berkeley, $24.95) is the kind of book you assume has been around for centuries, if only because the concept has. But it's new, and well worth picking up. The brainchild of Sandee Brawarsky and Deborah Mark, it is a thick and juicy compilation of...

  • Going After Generation Next

    By Ruth Stroud

    February 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    There's a bit of dialogue that Ben Younger wrote for his first film, "Boiler Room," that sums up the slippery morality of the hotshot young stockbrokers whose world he examines:

    "My father once asked me where my work ethic is. Looking back now, I realized that wasn't the problem. I...

  • Terms of Endearment

    February 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    With everything going on lately -- the royal demise, the presidential trial, Mike Tyson's latest bust -- you may have missed the big legal story out of Israel last week.

    That's a pity. Besides being a blockbuster news event, this story tells you a lot about Israel today. It also...

  • The Ghosts of ‘Riga’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    January 28, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    While writing an aria based on a speech by Joseph Goebbels, for his 1991 opera, "The Ghosts of Versailles," William M. Hoffman was visited by ghosts of his murdered family.

    "I started to wonder what I would be doing if I were at that moment in Auschwitz," says the award-winning...

  • Complaining the Jewish Way

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    January 14, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Schwartz, a wealthy Jew, took ill in Boston. The medics rushed him to the best hospital, Mass General, where he received VIP treatment. But, after one week, he requested to be transferred to Beth Israel, a much smaller and less prestigious hospital.

    At Beth Israel, an intern gathered...

  • Linking Up Our Community

    By Joel Kotkin

    November 19, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    For much of their history, Jews have been the masters of networking. Even before the destruction of the Second Temple, far-flung Jewish communities, usually through itinerant traders traveling precariously across the Mediterranean and land routes, maintained sophisticated...
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