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  • Make your Chanukah party one for the ages with these recipes

    By Judy Zeidler

    December 5, 2014 | 1:48 pm

    Chanukah is not just for children, but usually they have most of the fun. They open presents, light candles during the eight days of the holiday and get more than their share of cookies and potato latkes. Our Chanukah party will be shared by four generations this year because our...

  • Franklin Graham: America’s failure to understand religion foils cogent Mideast policy

    December 4, 2014 | 9:50 am

    This story originally appeared on themedialine.org.

    Franklin Graham, the son of legendary evangelical preacher Billy Graham and heir to the religious empire his father built has worked extensively in the Middle East and has watched America’s Mideast policies evolve over the years...

  • ZOA supports Israeli bill affirming Israel as Jewish State

    By Morton A. Klein

    December 3, 2014 | 4:36 pm

    Legislation is under consideration in Jerusalem that formalizes Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. We support it. Why?
     
    Because it is historically, legally, politically and religiously the case that Israel is the Jewish nation-state. The Balfour Declaration,...
  • Why Judaism needs journalism

    By David Suissa

    November 20, 2014 | 12:28 pm

    There’s a tendency in the Jewish world to look for big solutions to big problems. One of those problems is the disheartening fact that most Jews today are simply not that interested in Judaism.

    This problem isn’t made up — it’s real. We live in a world where the options are so...

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  • Israelis, Palestinians look to personal safety in holy city on edge

    November 19, 2014 | 12:31 pm

    On edge but faithful to their religious routine, worshippers returned on Wednesday to the Jerusalem synagogue where four rabbis and a policeman were killed in a Palestinian attack a day earlier.

    The bloodstains had been washed away. But four memorial candles burned as about a...

  • The 1967 explanation of why Jews can’t pray at their holiest site

    November 19, 2014 | 10:21 am

    Why did Israel gain control over the Temple Mount in 1967 and not establish any religious or cultural presence on Judaism's holiest site? 

    Like many conflicts in Israeli society, this intriguing conundrum involves a mix of Jewish legal disputes, politics, and the ongoing...

  • The shrinking Jewish Middle — and how to expand it

    November 10, 2014 | 2:42 pm

    As the Jewish Federations of North America holds its annual General Assembly this week, newly emerging evidence from the Pew Research Center’s 2013 “Portrait of American Jewry” points to enormous challenges facing federations, Jewish philanthropy and organized Jewish life, more...

  • British lawmaker calls for labeling of non-stunned animal’s meat

    November 4, 2014 | 10:48 am

    Meat sold in Britain should be labeled if the animal has not been stunned before slaughter, a British lawmaker said.

    Neil Parish, who heads the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beef and Lamb, made the call on Monday for the increased stunning of animals undergoing ritual...

  • Healing: Where religion and science meet

    November 3, 2014 | 12:17 pm

    What does Judaism have to do with healing?  This was the topic of the lively conference, "Healing: The Interplay of Religion and Science," October 26 and 27, 2014 at Arizona State University.  Three local attendees were Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Rector and Distinguished Professor of...

  • Poll: Majority of Denmark citizens want circumcision banned

    October 22, 2014 | 3:23 pm

    A new poll indicates that 74 percent of Denmark’s citizens believe circumcision should be fully or partially banned.

    The survey was released Tuesday, the day before a parliamentary hearing believed to be a potential first step in implementing a circumcision ban. Two Danish...

  • Power to the table

    By David Suissa

    October 20, 2014 | 5:59 pm

    While we were having our meals in the sukkah this year, I kept thinking about another holiday. This is odd because Sukkot has a strong and distinctive personality. The very idea of building a sukkah is unusual. For eight days, this little hut is the center of our lives, which, in...

  • Born with religion in my blood

    October 20, 2014 | 8:59 am

    I wish I could tell the story of someone who struggled to find their footing in the Jewish community. Of someone who was stuck to fight a battle between religion and popular belief; forced towards a subject they simply were not passionate about. But that, while it may seem a more...
  • Is Pope Francis a model for our rabbis?

    October 15, 2014 | 9:39 am

    The shift in tone that Pope Francis is bringing to the Catholic Church has serious repercussions for people who follow that religion – and those of other faith systems. As the most prominent religious figure in today’s world, the actions, ideas, and approach of the pontiff...

  • What’s Your Sukkah?

    By Beit T'shuvah

    October 10, 2014 | 9:47 am

    By Rabbi Paul Steinberg

    Jews argue.  It’s written into our history; it’s written into how we approach life.  Why is that? Well, Judaism wisely understands that the truth is manifold.  A does not have to equal A.  A can be B, A can be C, or any other number of possibilities, and...

  • Remembering Four Women of the Holocaust

    By Ilana Angel

    October 9, 2014 | 3:42 pm

    I worked at Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation for many years. It is now the USC Shoah Foundation and continues to do important work. I am very proud to be have been a part of this organization and look back on my years there with laughter, tears,...

  • Beyond book smarts: What this international medical school gives future doctors

    October 7, 2014 | 3:08 pm

    For most pursuing a career in medicine, the long-haul investment in studying, training and preparing to become a physician is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Others have personal goals too, whether it’s to explore their Jewish backgrounds or spend time in a new location. Some...

  • Living with birth and death in the balance

    October 7, 2014 | 1:48 pm

    This summer did not turn out like I imagined it would.  I know that life rarely does. 

    I imagined that my summer would be filled with preparations for the baby that my wife Rook and I are expecting in November.  And, it was.  We created a baby’s room in our home, took birth...

  • Guide for the Jewplexed: Ashamnu for computer users—a keyboard confession

    October 3, 2014 | 2:39 pm

    It is customary to pound one's SHIFT Key as we recite each line:

    We know our Apple better than the apple of our eye.

    We think that Backspacing will fix everything.

    We seek Control too often.

    We Delete the good with the bad.

    We have traded in our feelings...
  • Can’t make it to shul for Kol Nidre? Join us LIVE online!

    October 2, 2014 | 5:10 pm

    On Oct. 3rd, Yom Kippur Eve, Rabbi Naomi Levy and Nashuva will lead a virtual congregation of over 100,000 people in the world’s largest Kol Nidre service being streamed live over the web at kolnidrelive.com.

    [RSVP for the FREE service here]

    Kol Nidre is the evening service of...

  • How Jewish ritual helped me find my way through loss

    By Danielle Berrin

    October 2, 2014 | 11:06 am

    I had to press my lips closed, the day after it ended.

    The ritual was no longer mine. My duty was complete. But the words, with their cadences and rhythms, their alliterative twists — yitgadal v’yitgadash — had become my anthem. For 11 months, I had owned these words, claimed...

  • My Yom Kippur Lesson

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    October 2, 2014 | 8:48 am

    Yom Kippur is our time to reflect, think and ask for forgiveness. Not because we have to, but because we want to. It is our time to look back at all the times we were so convinced we’re right that we let our fingers type or our mouth speak harsh words towards others. Sometimes, it...

  • The Heschel Exchange, Part 1: A great Jewish thinker and a victim of his own eloquence

    By Shmuel Rosner

    October 1, 2014 | 4:12 am

    Rabbi Shai Held is Co-Founder, Dean and Chair in Jewish Thought at Mechon Hadar. Before that, he served for six years as Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in New York City, and taught both theology and Halakha at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He also served as Director of...

  • Should rabbis talk about Israel during the High Holy Days?

    By David Suissa

    September 23, 2014 | 4:43 pm

    On the eve of the biggest sermon days of the year, a brouhaha has erupted in the Jewish world over whether rabbis should weigh in about Israel.

    “Don’t talk about Israel,” my friend Peter Beinart wrote this week in Haaretz, addressing rabbis across America. Why? Because American...

  • Now there’s an app for atonement – meet eScapegoat

    By Tess Cutler

    September 23, 2014 | 2:56 pm

    The confessions come flooding in at this time of year to the Twitter feed of the atonement app eScapegoat:

    I told him the cupcake was gluten-free.

    I always use my roommate’s bathroom so I don’t have to clean my own.

    I’ve spent all my mother’s money since she died.

    Sarah...

  • Compassionate kapparot: use coins, not chickens

    September 23, 2014 | 2:16 pm

    How does one remove sin and guarantee one’s name in the Book of Life during the Ten Days of Repentance? Here’s one way that does not work: Take a factory-farmed white hen out of a battery cage in the sweltering heat, wave it over your head, say “This is my exchange, this is my...

  • Rosh Hashana: Embracing our elders

    By David Suissa

    September 23, 2014 | 11:59 am

    We are spiritually ambitious at this time of year. We reflect, we repent, we make resolutions. We study our faults and mistakes of the past year and commit to being better people in the coming year. We ask for forgiveness and forgive in return. We listen to brilliant sermons that...

  • You graduated, but your spirituality doesn’t have to

    September 10, 2014 | 2:42 pm

    In college, all sorts of resources are accessible at your fingertips. You can create a club, join an organization, attend a rally or listen to a lecturer all so easily. Everything is right in front of you, catering to you and your peers — until you leave. 

    After graduation, that...

  • Gwyneth Paltrow reportedly converting to Judaism

    September 8, 2014 | 10:47 am

    Actress Gwyneth Paltrow reportedly is converting to Judaism.

    The New York Post reported that Paltrow, the daughter of a Jewish father, was converting, citing “sources.”

    Paltrow has been following the Kabbalah movement for several years and is friends with Michael Berg,...

  • Statement of Principles: Ve-ahavta le-re`acha kamocha: Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself

    September 5, 2014 | 4:11 pm

    1)    We, members of the Los Angeles Jewish community, write to express our anguish and sorrow over the loss of life and scale of destruction in the recent conflict between Israel and Gaza.   We condemn Hamas’ war-time tactics, especially its disregard for the residents of Israel,...

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