Jewish Journal

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  • Celebrating a Shpiel-Good Holiday

    By Jane Ulman

    March 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    "Ramvetlh QonglaHbe' voDleH," Beth Chayim Chadashim congregant Maggie Anton Parkhurst will say as she begins Chapter 6 of the synagogue's Megillah reading on Erev Purim.


    It's Klingon, the invented language of the "Star Trek" TV series and films, for "That night the emperor...

  • A Definite Maybe

    By Jill Stewart

    March 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    As Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa swirled through both Washington and Los Angeles this year, a media darling wherever he went,

    I contemplated a core mystery: Can Los Angeles' schools be fixed by a man who loves to be loved, who with his union allies opposed education reform...

  • Where in the World Is ‘Paradise’?

    By Tom Tugend

    March 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    When the controversial film "Paradise Now" is introduced at the March 5 Oscars ceremony, the live and television audiences may wonder not just whether it will win, but exactly where it came from.

    In the listing by countries of the five nominees for foreign language film honors, the...

  • Nonverbal Baby Talk a Sign of the Times

    By Sharon Schatz Rosenthal

    February 23, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    While other infants and young toddlers let out a howl when they are hungry, 14-month-old Emmet Weisz simply brings his hands together at the heel and rotates the right hand over the left, making the hand-sign for his favorite food: cheese.

    "He has a great love for dairy," laughed...

  • Spectator - A Night at the Hebraic Opera

    By Amy Klein

    February 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Opera fans don't mind watching theater unfold in a foreign language. So perhaps Molière fans will enjoy seeing his work performed in Hebrew.

    That's one of the hopes of Ori Dinur, director of "The Imaginary Invalid," Molière's 17th century comedy about a hypochondriac and his...

  • There’s the Rub—in Tel Aviv

    By Howard Blume

    February 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Tierra couldn't be more Los Angeles. But for this nouveau combination of mostly organic restaurant, massage parlor and oxygen bar, you'll have to go to Tel Aviv, where this combo venue clearly out-Hollywoods Hollywood.

    The only thing missing -- so far -- is a Hollywood-style patron,...

  • Spectator - A Poet’s Slam-Dunk

    By Robert David Jaffee

    January 12, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Jewish summer camp introduces young Jews to many things -- sports, arts and crafts, drama classes; Eitan Kadosh, a 1999 National Slam Poetry champion, "learned that sex isn't always like pizza."

    He also learned how to entertain people, playing one of the brothers in "Joseph and the...

  • The Lost Words

    By Esther Hecht

    November 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    "Yitgadal v'yitkadash shmei." Three words into Kaddish, the mourner's prayer, Yoni stumbled on an unfamiliar vowel. Then, again and again, as he continued reciting the traditional prayer at his mother's funeral in Jerusalem, he twisted and mangled the words. He frowned in...

  • Ancient Texts Could Unlock Persian Past

    By Karmel Melamed

    November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    It took Iranian Jews in the United States nearly three decades in exile from the land their ancestors called home for 2,700 years to appreciate the rich history and culture preserved in their literature.

    Considered one of the oldest but least- studied Jewish writings in the world,...

  • Tribe

    By Julie G Fax

    October 6, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Back when I was working at a newspaper in New York, my editors and I tried to come up with a teen-sounding headline for a story on voting for our new teen section.

    "How about 'Gettin' Out the Vote'?" my editor offered.

    As if dropping a "g" off the end of the word is all one needs to...

  • A Bissel ‘Kvetch’ Goes a Long Way

    By Allan Nadler

    September 29, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods" by Michael Wex (St. Martin's Press, $24.95).

    If you asked me whether I enjoyed Michael Wex's hilarious and learned book, "Born to Kvetch," I would find myself in an impossible quandary. To admit the rare pleasure I...

  • Levy Sings What Her Father Saved

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    August 18, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    When singer Yasmin Levy was 8, she helped destroy hundreds of tapes her late father had recorded of songs in Ladino, the ancient language of Spanish Jewry.

    Yitzhak Levy had published a pioneering anthology of these songs, which had been passed down aurally since the Jews were...

  • People, Motifs Blend at The Shul

    By Lisa Alcalay Klug

    April 14, 2005 | 8:00 pm


    At the crossroads of four Miami Beach communities is a thriving Chabad synagogue that welcomes Jews of all stripes. The Shul of Bal Harbour -- locally known as The Shul -- is a thriving community, which draws an unusual blend of Jews from around the world.

    A significant number of...

  • All Hebrew, All the Time

    By Julie G Fax

    March 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    Morah Safi Netter turns up the volume on her cellphone speaker. Twenty-two kindergartners stifle giggles and bounce expectantly on their knees as a distinctive foreign-sounding ringtone fills the room at Temple Beth Am's Pressman Academy in Los Angeles.

    Netter's father,...

  • Where Is the Woo?

    By Mark Miller

    March 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    I wish I lived 200 years ago so I could woo a woman the way single men did back then. Who even uses the word "woo" anymore, much less knows what it means? Who even gives much thought at all to what they say to the opposite sex?

    The media and the MTV generation and life's...

  • Annulla Has Her Say

    By Keren Engelberg

    January 27, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    For a one-person show, what you need foremost is a character. Meet Annulla. A warm, spirited older woman with an energy that belies her years and her difficult past, and the eponym of the Eclectic Company's new production, written by Emily Mann.

    "Annulla: An Autobiography" tells...

  • The ‘L’ Word

    By Teresa Strasser

    January 20, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    How do you spell crippling inability to connect?


    That's how I spelled it. After months of trying to

    make myself say the "L word," I finally managed only three of the letters. And I wish I could say it was on a handwritten note or even e-mail, but no. It was the lowest...

  • ‘Toddler’ Guide for Tantrum-Free Kids

    By Marc Ballon

    September 16, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" by Harvey Karp and Paula Spencer ($22.95, Bantam).

    Three-year-old Freya Wood wanted a Hershey's Kiss. And she wanted it now.

    "Mommy, I want chocolate! I want chocolate! I want chocolate!" said Freya, hurling herself to the floor and shrieking at...

  • Little Miss Shmutzy

    By Gaby Wenig

    July 8, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Anne-Marie Baila Asner was concerned that Yiddish words were disappearing from the vernacular. After all, she only knew about 30 words, and most of her peers knew even fewer.

    So she decided that she was going to reinvigorate Yiddish by writing and illustrating cute, brightly colored...

  • For Many, Israeli Life Just a TV Set Away

    By Idan Ivri

    April 29, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    In Haifa, the smell of frying falafel balls competes with the din of Israelis eating, yelling and slapping each other on the back. Every few seconds, they'll glance sideways at the television screen, watching the nightly Israeli news report that is also vying for their attention.


  • Lovin’ the

    By David Finnigan

    December 11, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    For playwright Miriam Hoffman, Yiddish is hardly a dying language. "It just doesn't want to die," said Hoffman, who will teach Yiddish at the Dec. 14-20 intensive language/culture immersion courses at UCLA and the University of Judaism.

    "Yiddish was always a problem since its...

  • Janet Polyak

    By Ilana Polyak

    November 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Janet Polyak was born in 1937 in Odessa, Ukraine. She came to the United States with her family in 1977 and first settled in Portland, Ore. From the start she was eager to adopt the language and customs of her new land. She learned English quickly and one of her proudest...

  • No Outrage Over Race Card?

    By Joe R. Hicks

    October 16, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Californians have reached new levels of accommodation for cultural and other differences, but some of our officials still speak unashamedly in stark racial and ethnic terms. In some cases these officials are politicians "of color," which seems to act as a buffer against the charge...

  • Divining Prayer

    By Amy Hirshberg Lederman

    September 25, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    I have had a love affair with words ever since I can recall. As a little girl I would whisper words to myself just to hear the sounds of them; magical words like canopy, arithmetic and Ethiopia. As an adult, I have relied upon words as the tools I use to make meaning in my world. In...

  • Orthodox Mother Opens New Opera

    By Ellen Jaffe-Gill

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    File under Incongruities, Major: One of the latest luminaries in the world of grand opera is an Orthodox mother of four from Brooklyn.

    In the male-dominated world of opera composition, Deborah Drattell is a rarity, but from childhood she never doubted she would excel in the world of...

  • The Core of Judaism

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    June 12, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Each year, Rabbi Leib Saras made a pilgrimage to see Rebbe Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezrich. When asked what Torah he went to learn, Leib Saras answered: "I do not go to learn interpretations of Torah. I go to watch the way he ties his shoes."

    Try this experiment: Put your hands in...

  • NPR Israel Coverage Sparks Protests

    By Gaby Wenig

    May 8, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    "The Palestinian uprising and subsequent Israeli offensive in the West Bank stirred enormous sympathy for the Palestinians throughout the Arab world.... Over the past year, scores of Egypt's top singers have come out with songs about the Palestinian uprising. Most are accompanied by...

  • L.A. GOAL Opens ‘Doors’ at Skirball

    By Ellie Kahn

    April 24, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Sherrie has cerebral palsy, which causes her hands to tremble. So when she was hired to work as an artist for L.A. GOAL in Culver City, she was concerned.

    "I can't paint a straight line, because my hands shake," Sherrie told Susan Wilder, L.A. GOAL's art director.

    "Well, then...

  • On The Road

    By Amy Klein

    April 24, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Here's what you miss when you go on an organized mission to Israel: You miss the closed-top market in Rosh Ayin, where sellers out-shout each other over megaphones, "Underwear, girls' underwear, three for 10 shekels."

    If you participate in an "emergency weeklong mission" -- where...

  • A Hero for Seder

    By Si Frumkin

    April 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    I don't remember how long ago it was that Michael visited Los Angeles. Fifteen years? Twenty? I do remember that I was driving him around the city when he said, "Could you stop the car for a moment? I would like to photograph this."

    I was puzzled. "Photograph what?" I asked.


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