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  • My Yiddische Papa

    By Michael Aushenker

    October 24, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Educator Yakob Basner will tell you that if you want to learn about a people, study their language.

    "You cannot learn or know the history of the Jewish people without learning Yiddish," Basner said. "There are words you can not translate into English."

    "Yiddish is our language;...

  • Jewish Groups Back U.S. Stand on Iraq

    By Matthew E. Berger

    October 17, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Jewish groups are supporting a resolution from their umbrella organization backing the Bush administration's use of force against Iraq "as a last resort."

    The resolution from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, released Oct. 12, expresses support for...

  • Mainstreaming Makes a Difference

    By Sharon Schatz Rosenthal

    July 18, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Eight-year-old Tamar's fingers dance across a set of harp strings like small waves rhythmically pounding the surf. While the large instrument dwarfs her, she doesn't seem to mind as she sits and plays a complicated classical tune. After the musical interlude, she hops onto her living...

  • The Nachas of Books

    By Amy Sara Clark

    June 27, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Until recently, it seemed you could find Yiddish books only in obscure libraries or in the attic of the house of someone's grandparents. But recently, the National Yiddish Book Center launched the Steven Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library, an online bookstore that makes more than...

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  • The Ear of the Beholder

    By J. D. Smith

    October 25, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    When I worked for Warner Bros. Records, I spent a good deal of my time trying to calibrate, coordinate and prognosticate the exact moment the headlining artist would take the stage. This involved calls to the manager, the road manager, the box office, the artist and spiritual...

  • Assembly Yiddish

    By Tom Tugend

    June 21, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    For the benefit of the 90 percent of Assembly-members who are not Jewish, and for other Yiddish-challenged lawmakers, Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) has published a 36-page booklet, appropriately titled "Yiddish for Assemblymembers."

    It contains a selection of words...

  • Grammar Police

    By Teresa Strasser

    April 12, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    My name is Teresa Strasser and I've made grammatical errors.

    My story begins with a piece I wrote several months ago. Give me a second, I need to compose myself.

    It's hard to admit this, even to a group as supportive and nurturing as you. Let me just take a deep breath. Okay, here...

  • Mitzvah Day

    By Jane Ulman

    November 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Imagine the possibility of having restricted access to your own religion and culture without even realizing it, whether you attend synagogue and study sessions faithfully or not. Such a phenomenon actually exists, and it's doing its disturbing work in our own Jewish community. I am...

  • Disseminating Distortions

    By Ellen Sandler

    September 21, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The Internet may prove a valuable tool for preserving a language spoken by Jews for 500 years. Sephardi Jews from around the world could help compile a dictionary of Ladino by providing their input via the Internet, according to Winfried Busse, a professor of philology at the Berlin...

  • Building a Ladino Dictionary

    By Vlasta Kovac

    September 14, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The Internet may prove a valuable tool for preserving a language spoken by Jews for 500 years. Sephardi Jews from around the world could help compile a dictionary of Ladino by providing their input via the Internet, according to Winfried Busse, a professor of philology at the Berlin...

  • A Scholar Who Lacks Sense

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    August 10, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    In Hebrew, a "scholar who lacks sense" reads as talmid chacham b'li sechel. In any language, it sounds like an oxymoron. I first heard this in reference to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the former chief Sephardic rabbi of Israel, who this week called Holocaust victims "reincarnated sinners,"...

  • Alive and Well

    May 11, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Aaron Paley, Los Angeles' impresario of Yiddish, finds his job is easier these days. He no longer has to work quite so hard to prove that Yiddish is not dead."Two years ago, it was like pulling teeth to convince people why Yiddish language and culture is important," says the director...

  • Moral Quandaries

    By Tom Tugend

    March 30, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Bernhard Schlink is not what you would expect in a German judge and professor of constitutional law. He is a tall, sparse man of 55, dressed in an open-necked shirt and devoid of the traditional Teutonic self-importance bestowed by rank and title.

    He enjoyed his guest stint on "Oprah...

  • Speaking One Language

    By Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer

    October 14, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    What kind of Jew are you? Reform? Conservative? Orthodox? Secular? Cultural? Reconstructionist? With whom do you identify? With whom do you disagree? What kind of Jew is so different that you would have nothing to share?

    Somehow, we can't resist the urge to put labels on ourselves, to...

  • Dance With Them That Brung You

    November 5, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Abe Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, says that he's opening up a new front in his organization's 85-year campaign to protect Jews from defamation. This new fight is a little different from battles past, though, because its target is other Jews.

    Foxman wants...

  • Alive and Kicking

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    October 8, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Aaron Paley, 41, grew up living and breathing Yiddish.

    His world was a community of leftist Jews who considered the radical Workmen's Circle the reichte, the right wing. Paley attended the collectively-run Yiddish Kindershule and Mittelshule in Van Nuys, where he studied labor history...

  • Learning ‘Romance’ Language

    By Stephen A. Simon

    July 16, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Learning 'Romance' Language

    Berlitz won't help. You can't listen to tapes in the car. And the Foreign Service programs ignore it completely.

    It's a "romance" language, but the subjunctive is the least of your problems.

    ...

  • Watch Your Language

    By Charles Marowitz

    June 18, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Jewish Journal theater critic Charles Marowitz writes from Malibu.

    Watch Your Language

    In the late 1940s and early 1950s, with front-runners such as T.S. Eliot, Christopher Fry and Archibald Macleish, there was a...

  • Language Barrier

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    May 28, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    One thing is clear: The Jewish community can no longer be assumed to take a cohesive, liberal stand on political issues. Although Jewish organizations continue to oppose measures such as Proposition 227 (along with Propositions 187 and 209, ending...

  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    April 9, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    An unusual Buddhist-Jewish dialogue took place inSeptember 1989, when the Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama, metwith a group of six Jewish leaders. The Dalai Lama requested themeeting, not because of an academic interest but, rather, because ofa practical need. He wanted to...

  • A Survivor’s Tale

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    October 23, 1997 | 8:00 pm

    Rose Freedman is 104 and, by any account, a remarkable woman.

    She speaks German, Polish, Ukrainian, French, English and Spanish.In her 90s, she earned straight A's while studying various languagesat New York University. She kept an apartment in New York and one inBeverly Hills and...

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