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  • My Passover lesson: Don’t wait for God

    By David Suissa

    April 8, 2015 | 1:57 pm

    The Jewish people didn’t bring down the Ten Plagues on Pharaoh, nor did they split the Red Sea, which enabled them to escape Pharaoh’s soldiers some 3,300 years ago. These were God’s miracles, which we all celebrate during Passover.

    This year, I found those miracles a little...

  • Let my people stay

    By Rob Eshman

    April 2, 2015 | 7:44 pm

    It’s spring, and fear is busting out all over.

    In the past three weeks, I’ve been to two events memorializing the Holocaust. The speakers alternated between the necessity of remembering the Nazi genocide even as its last surviving victims die, and confronting the current rise of...

  • Redemption: The good, the bad and the ugly

    April 2, 2015 | 7:41 pm

    It should have been that our ancestors’ redemption from slavery meant they were finally free. That was what they had cried out for, after all: freedom from their enslavement. 

    Nothing else bad should have happened. They had suffered for years, but finally, God liberated them with...

  • Aaron M. Cohen

    By Jane Ulman

    April 2, 2015 | 5:23 pm

    “Get your things. Let’s go,” the policemen ordered. Aaron (then Henri) Cohen, his parents and his younger brother gathered some belongings from their apartment in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and began walking toward the Jewish school, about a mile away. There, about 600, Aaron estimates, of...

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  • Jews combating modern slavery, and an anti-trafficking bill that stalls in the Senate

    By Jared Sichel

    April 2, 2015 | 4:37 pm

    Rabbi Debra Orenstein’s seder this Passover will look and feel somewhat different from those in most Jewish homes in America. As one of the leading figures in American Jewry raising awareness about modern slavery and trafficking, Orenstein and thousands of other Jews are making...

  • On Pesach, to resort or not to resort?

    By Jared Sichel

    April 2, 2015 | 3:13 pm

    God miraculously rescued the Jews from Egypt — so the old joke goes — only to see Jewish mothers slave around the house cleaning and cooking in preparation for eight days of Passover.

    Or not. 

    At least not anymore, not for the many Jewish families who can afford to have someone...

  • Pew study: Muslims to overtake American Jews by 2050

    April 2, 2015 | 2:26 pm

    In 20 years, there will be more Muslims in North America than Jews, according to a new Pew Research Center report.

    The report, which was released Thursday, also found that more American Jews are leaving Judaism than non-Jews are joining the Jewish people.

    According to “The...

  • Bringing new questions to the seder table

    April 2, 2015 | 1:57 pm

    With Passover upon us, an almost universal association with the biblically based holiday is the reciting of the four questions, commonly chanted by the youngest person seated at the seder table. Our tradition has long emphasized the importance of asking good, probing questions. The...

  • Pharoah said ‘no.’ You won’t believe what God did next.

    By Marty Kaplan

    April 2, 2015 | 12:22 pm

    Once, at our seder, our friend Ira gave a running commentary on the haggadah, offering a scientific explanation for every miracle and wonder in the Exodus story.    

    The parting of the Reed Sea was a meteorological event. The burning bush was a glowing carbonized acacia bramble...

  • Preserving Yiddish in the seder

    By Avishay Artsy

    April 1, 2015 | 4:41 pm

    Nowadays, it’s rare to find a Passover seder that doesn’t deviate from the traditional haggadah. But the Erev Shabbos Discussion Group, formed in the San Fernando Valley about 50 years ago, has been doing it its own way for decades — keeping the story secular, social...

  • The Rational Emotions exchange, part 3: Between Jewish stories and behavioral economics

    By Shmuel Rosner

    April 1, 2015 | 3:41 am

    Eyal Winter, is the Silverzweig Professor of Economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Professor of Economics the University of Leicester. His research interests include microeconomics, finance, game theory, and behavioral economics.

    This exchange focuses on Winter's...

  • Tending the roots: Making meaning of the heritage of the Holocaust in my family

    March 25, 2015 | 4:56 pm

    I am the grandchild of Holocaust survivors on my mother’s side. Both her parents survived with one sibling. The rest — brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles — did not survive. On my father’s side, though his parents and grandparents immigrated to Israel before...

  • Easy floral arrangements for your Passover table

    By Jonathan Fong

    March 25, 2015 | 2:33 pm

    You’ve been cooking for days. You got the good dishes out of storage. The silver is polished. And in the midst of getting all the preparations ready for the big seder dinner, the last thing you probably want to think about is a floral centerpiece. 

    The reality is, centerpieces...

  • Cantor Rebekah Mirsky releases album ‘Who is Like You?’

    By Lia Mandelbaum

    March 25, 2015 | 8:11 am

    One of the greatest constants I have experienced is that music acts as an incredible bridge between the body and soul, and so it is of no surprise that music has played a major role in helping me to deepen my connection with Judaism.

    It is such a blessing when you come across a...

  • At a breaking point in Turkey: Should Jews stay or should we go?

    By Simone Wilson

    March 18, 2015 | 3:55 pm

    The gold and gray city of Istanbul spent Valentine’s Day bracing for snow. Under angry clouds, Turkish couples huddled around tabletops in the cafe quarter of Ortakoy, a historically posh neighborhood along the Bosphorus Strait. Jewelry-makers had set up stands along the alleyways...

  • Israel’s Arab Spring

    By Rob Eshman

    March 18, 2015 | 2:49 pm

    What made this election different from all other elections? The Arab vote.

    As the polls closed Tuesday on Israel’s national election, one of the most striking stories was how Israeli Arabs broke a pattern of disengagement from the electoral process and voted en masse.

    The...

  • My son’s encounter with anti-Jewish hatred

    March 16, 2015 | 9:07 am

    Last summer our family went to southern Europe on holiday. During our stay at a hotel, our son Dylan went to the swimming pool. A short time later he came running back to the room, upset. A man at the pool had started hurling insults at him.

    My first instinct was to ask, “Were...

  • Recipe: How to make harira

    By Rob Eshman

    March 12, 2015 | 4:23 pm

    When you learn to make traditional Moroccan harira from Meme Suissa, you're not learning to make harira from Meme Suissa. You're learning to make harira from her mother, from her grandmother, and so on. You're learning a recipe that goes back centuries.

    But of course Meme uses no...

  • Giffords finds strength, direction in Judaism

    By Aron Chilewich

    March 12, 2015 | 10:36 am

    Invoking a commitment to public service as an example of tikkun olam, or “repairing the world,” former astronaut and U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Kelly told a large, captivated audience at USC about the journey he and his wife, retired U.S. Rep. Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords (D-Ariz.), have...

  • Escorting a Soul

    By Diana Emuna

    March 9, 2015 | 11:30 am

    My friend’s mother died this week.  The world is a little less friendly, less warm and less kind without her.   She was a lady who had a warm smile and was lovely to talk to.

    When a parent of a friend dies, I think of my own experience.  My dad died when I was a teenager.  He...

  • You haven’t seen a Bar Mitzvah invite video quite like this

    March 6, 2015 | 10:33 am

    This bar mitzvah invite really raises the bar.

    Brody Criz and his family parodied five Top 40 hits for an epic bar mitzvah invitation that has since gotten 800,000 hits on YouTube.

    Criz riffs on "Happy," "All of Me," "Royals," "Let It Go" and "Blurred Lines" in the four-minute clip, subbing song lyrics for jokes that reference rabbis, the Old Testament, and Manischewitz.

    Read more at Daily News.

  • Remembering Leonard Nimoy – eulogy

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    March 2, 2015 | 11:24 am

    The following is an edited version of the eulogy for actor-director-artist Leonard Nimoy given by Rabbi John L. Rosove of Temple Israel of Hollywood at the family’s private funeral on March 1. Rosove was not only Nimoy’s longtime friend and rabbi, but also is a cousin to Nimoy’s...

  • 10 Hours of Walking in Paris as a Jew - Watch the Video

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    February 25, 2015 | 8:47 am

    At times when it's best to hide your Jewish identity while in Europe, Israeli-Jewish journalist Zvika Klein marched for 10 hours in the streets of Paris, wearing tzizit and a yarmulke. "Go f*** from the front and the back," "Viva Palestine," "What are you doing here?" were only a...

  • Seder2015 hopes to bring millennials to the Passover table

    By Ryan Torok

    February 23, 2015 | 12:07 pm

    Millennials, what are you doing this Passover? If you’re not sure, perhaps look to Seder2015.

    Seder 2015 is the latest brainchild of Michael Hebb, 39, a self-described “food provacteur” who last grabbed national attention for launching “Death Over Dinner,” a movement that brought...

  • The Hasidim Exchange, part 1: What can Americans learn from ultra-orthodox Jews?

    By Shmuel Rosner

    February 18, 2015 | 4:01 am

    Joseph Berger has been a New York Times reporter, columnist, and editor for thirty years. He is the author of numerous books including Displaced Persons: Growing Up American After the Holocaust, which was a New York Times Notable Book; The World in a City: Traveling the Globe...

  • With Europe anti-Semitism on the rise- is encouraging immigration to Israel really the answer?

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    February 17, 2015 | 9:42 am

    Since Operation Protective Edge in Gaza came to a conclusion, it seems as if all Europe-related news is of anti-Semitic attacks and incidents. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) the high number of anti-Semitic incidents in the past few months continues the dramatic surge...

  • New rabbi to bring community organizing heft to influential Brooklyn congregation

    February 10, 2015 | 3:28 pm

    One of the top agenda items these days for Rachel Timoner, associate rabbi at the Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, is trying to get a train built along the 405 freeway stretching from the North San Fernando Valley to the city's international airport.

    It's the community project...

  • Are anti-vaxxers’ religious exemption claims grounded in actual religious laws?

    February 5, 2015 | 1:37 pm

    As the debate on vaccination heats up again in the U.S., some anti-vaxxers are requesting exemptions from vaccinating their children on religious grounds. But what do their faiths, including Judaism, actually say about the issue?

    The recent outbreak of measles that began in the...

  • The dynamic world of Yavneh’s Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn

    By Avishay Artsy

    February 4, 2015 | 2:51 pm

    On a late December night in Pico-Robertson, about 30 people crammed into the back tasting room of The Cask. Employees of the liquor store poured kosher wine and glasses of whisky, as a man in a suit and yarmulke addressed the crowd.

    L’chaim, everybody, l’chaim,” Rabbi Shlomo...

  • The King David exchange, part 2: A politician, not a priest

    By Shmuel Rosner

    February 4, 2015 | 4:10 am

    Joel Baden is Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Yale Divinity School. He holds degrees in Judaic Studies (BA, Yale), Semitic Languages (MA, University of Chicago), and Hebrew Bible (PhD, Harvard). He specializes in the literary history of the Hebrew Bible, particularly of the...

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