Jewish Journal

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  • Inside Out

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    February 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    When I first started out as a journalist, fresh from graduate school, I thought of my profession as that of the perennial outsider, a stranger who would pack up and leave the next day. "Objectivity" was my watchword. I had a friend who did not take a cup of coffee at a press...

  • Complaining the Jewish Way

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    January 28, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Who are these men perpetually hovering outside the doors of the yeshiva? Who are these children, this gaggle of goslings, and these women, seemingly dutiful and unfazed as they stroll toward their place of prayer? Who are they?

    Sometimes, when the light on the corner of La Brea Avenue...

  • Papal Tiger

    January 28, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    When the pope came to Missouri this week, the St. Louis archdiocese made sure to include several dramatic gestures of Catholic-Jewish friendship in his schedule. They were the sort of breakthrough events John Paul II has prized through 20 years of papacy.

    But it's wearing thin.


  • Committed to Community

    By Shlomit Levy

    January 28, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    When 17-year-old counselor-in-training Frayda Breverman fell for a 20-year-old staff member at Camp Ramah, their romance became the scandal of the summer of '63. Fast forward. The scandal was short-lived, but Fredi and Joel Rembaum, after 33 years of marriage, are still quite an...

  • Gordis, Alexander Leave UJ for Posts in Israel

    By  Orit Arfa

    January 28, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Dr. Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism, has good reason to believe that the spirit of Zionism is alive at the institution.

    Recently, two prominent school administrators, Dr. Hanan Alexander, vice president of academic affairs, and Rabbi Daniel Gordis, dean of the...

  • Northridge Renewal

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    January 14, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Over at Temple Ramat Zion in Northridge, they've planted a small garden. It's just a few flowers now. Adjacent is a patio that will one day hold benches, a place where Hebrew-school students can come study or where people can take...

  • Like Blood for Words

    By Susannah Heschel

    January 14, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    "He who publicly shames his neighbor is as though he shed blood."

    -- Talmud Baba Mezia 58b

    Americans have been discussing the moral issues of the Starr Report in terms of Christian values. From the perspective of Judaism, however, the terms of the discussion change. Unfortunately,...

  • Our Birthright

    January 14, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    If you are between the ages of 15 and 26, you should pay attention to this particular column. Actually, if you are the parent of anyone 15 to 26, you should read what follows, on the theory that you are likely to be the person paying the bills.

    "The bills" in this instance concern a...

  • A Better Strategy

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    January 7, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    History never precisely repeats itself. I was cleaning up after dinner the other evening when I heard my daughter, Samantha, now nearly 17, on the phone; she was talking with a guy named Vinnie.

    "Vinnie?" I said, as she hung up. "I think we should be focusing on Jewish guys now, don't...

  • Do you want your grandchildren to be Jewish and other wrong questions.

    January 7, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    My maternal grandfather was an educated man, and cultured too. He had planned on a career as an opera singer in Europe -- he had a wonderful voice -- but his bride-to-be feared that he would stray while performing on the road (for good cause, I was told after his death) and insisted...

  • Season’s Gratings

    December 10, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Seventeen-year-old Ben Ereshefsky, a senior at Health Careers High School in San Antonio, says the Christmas season is a difficult time for him. Here in the shadow of the Alamo, holiday cheer is everywhere. "You go to every store in the mall and all you hear are Christmas songs," he...

  • The Young Leaders

    By David Margolis

    December 10, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Israel is on its way to becoming a back-burner issue in much of the American Jewish community. Studies show that the younger the Jew, the less connection he or she feels to what is, let's try to remember, the Jewish homeland. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, which used...
  • Of Chanukah, Grandfathers and the Real Meaning of the Light

    By Judy R. Gruen

    December 10, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    My two grandfathers held one another in respectful, yet distant regard. My mother's father, a Polish-born, Conservative rabbi, devoted his life to Jewish education and study. He had little use for popular entertainment, and, despite his keen intelligence, rarely appreciated the jokes...
  • Staying Active at 50

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    December 10, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    The state of Israel isn't the only Jewish institution celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. On Sepulveda Boulevard, in West Los Angeles, the renowned Leo Baeck Temple is celebrating its Jubilee, commencing with a series of events Dec. 11-13.

    And like Israel, many temple members...

  • Educating American Jewish Families

    By Beverly Gray

    December 10, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Risa Gruberger, whose children are 8 and 9, hopes they will both grow up loving the Jewish holidays as she does. "When the weather's crisp out," says Gruberger, "I want them to feel they can smell it, they can taste it, that Chanukah's coming." At her house, decorations are homemade,...

  • Homage for the Holidays

    December 3, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Don't call her the "Jewel" of Jewish preschool.

    Sure, Pearl B. sings to the accompaniment of her acoustic six-string. And she does lean professionally on her gem-like first name. But that is where any similarity to the chirpy pop star ends.

    "There are so many levels of Judaism -- from...

  • Secular and Sacred

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    December 3, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Recently, an analysis appeared in the press about the Jewish elements in American popular music. Discussing musicians such as Gershwin and Berlin, the author noted that these composers included melodies from synagogue and Jewish folk music in their compositions.

    The interaction of...

  • Climbing Jacob’s Ladder

    By Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben

    November 26, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    When I was 16, my family picked up and moved from Santa Monica, where I had been born and raised, to Sacramento. The move came on the heels of the best and most exciting year of my life. My first year of high school had been an amazing whirl of new and old friends, educational...

  • A Talk About Death

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    November 26, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Leon Wieseltier did not want to talk about death. I, of course, wanted to talk about nothing else.

    "It's over for me," the tall, lanky, white-haired professorial-looking author told me of his new book, "Kaddish." "I did it already."

    Well, not quite. "Kaddish" is a 588-page journal of...

  • For the Sake of Fun

    By Beverly Gray

    October 22, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Lisa Stern, a Hancock Park attorney and mother of three, has identified a syndrome afflicting women that she thinks is just as real as postpartum depression -- post-Yontiff exhaustion.

    As the Days of Awe come to a close, women who have spent a month entertaining are feeling the wrath...

  • Kosher Feng Shui

    October 22, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Last Tuesday evening, we had dinner with Dick Morris. Can youthink of a more fitting person to dine with during these days ofatonement? Dick Morris: one-time adviser to the president of theUnited States. Widely credited with winning President Clinton'sre-election. Caught on a tabloid...

  • The Adoption Challenge

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    October 22, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Ellen Sloan met her husband-to-be, Will Hoffman, at an Ivy League cocktail party on Nov. 13, 1992. Sloan, then 36 and never married, attended the party because "I had heard it was a good place to meet smart guys," she says, with a laugh.

    She was a successful financial planner with an...

  • Nick’s Bris—A True Story

    By Margo Kaufman

    October 22, 1998 | 7:59 pm

    Nicholas was 7 months old when we adopted him in Siberia. Though he was born near Birobijan, the Jewish colony set up by Stalin, it only took one diaper change to see that he wasn't a member of the tribe. "We must to do something about this," I announced to my husband, Duke, who was...
  • The Healing Power of Judaism

    By Julie G Fax

    October 15, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    When Merryl Weber lights Shabbat candles Friday night, she also kindles the flames on several yahrzeit candles. One to remember her mother, one for her father. And one for her son, Adam.

    "I sit and meditate on the candles, and it brings the presence of the people I've loved and lost...

  • The Problem with Sainthood

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    October 15, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    The canonization of Edith Stein, a Jewish intellectual who became a Carmelite nun and died in Auschwitz, hits a raw nerve. A Jew, a nun, a martyr, a saint: How to respond to each of these links in the chain?

    The Polish-born John Paul II, who has visited synagogues, recognized Israel...

  • Berlin Diary

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    October 8, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    In Berlin, one learns to mark the approach of the Jewish New Year by the annual reception given by the Central Council of Jews in Germany. This year, President Ignatz Bubis recounted blessings and disappointments of the outgoing year, 5758, while surrounded by journalists, invited...
  • Conservative Conversions

    October 8, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Reuven Hammer is an American-born Conservativerabbi who has lived in Jerusalem since 1973, working as a writer andteacher -- Conservative rabbi is not much of a career option inIsrael -- and raising five kids along the way. Among variouspart-time jobs, he heads the bet din, or...

  • Keeping Score

    By Rabbi Steven Z. Leder

    September 24, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Most of us do a pretty good job of keeping score. We know how to tally the insults, gossip, infidelities, meanness, foolishness and anger of the past year. We know where we went wrong. We know how to be honest and even tough on ourselves. Like the cartoonist Jules Feiffer's character...
  • Kenneth Bob

    September 24, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Kenneth Bob, a software executive from Long Island,N.Y., is registered to vote in this month's World Zionist Congresselections, but he's having a hard time deciding how to cast hisballot.

    His vote, along with those mailed in by 149,370other registered voters, will determine the...

  • Divisions between Orthodox and Conservative Jews in the US

    September 17, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    My grandparents were Orthodox Jews. They arrived on these shores shortly before the onset of the first world war and had four children, two sons and two daughters. Two of the children were artist-intellectuals, somewhat on the bohemian side (a musician and an artist) and quite...
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