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  • The Case Against A Kosher Casket

    David Zinner

    July 30, 2014 | 3:04 pm

    Kosher means fit or proper for ritual use, but unlike the biblical delineation of which foods are kosher, there are no biblical rules to give guidance regarding manufacture of kosher caskets. The Talmud contains dozens of occurrences of Hebrew words that are translated to English...

  • Florida State U. prof Dan Markel slain in home shooting

    July 21, 2014 | 12:03 pm

    Dan Markel, a law professor at Florida State University, died after being shot in his home.

    Markel died Saturday morning, a day after being discovered shot in the back in his home and taken to the hospital, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. He was 41.

    No suspects have been...

  • DOMA and same-sex marriage- why Israel is not next in line?

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    June 27, 2013 | 12:30 pm

    A few months ago, I read that a group of MK's from the coalition calls for a bill to determine Israel as Jewish first, and democratic second. Now the vote is closer than ever, as newspapers in Israel are filled with opinion columns and updates, and the fear of the bill's passing is...

  • The queerness of love: A Jewish case for same-sex marriage

    January 24, 2013 | 4:17 pm

    Last year, I officiated at the first same-sex wedding in the 145-year history of my synagogue.  For a Conservative congregation, this was quite a break with tradition.  Nevertheless,  I was proud to stand beneath the wedding canopy with this couple, who affirmed the sacredness of...

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  • Jewish pot activist Mason Tvert hits new high with marijuana legalization vote in Colorado

    November 12, 2012 | 9:42 am

    Say what you will about Mason Tvert, the Jewish activist behind the marijuana legalization campaign that passed in Colorado, the man clearly has a sense of humor.

    Some years ago, in his efforts to persuade the public that marijuana is far less of a health menace than alcohol,...

  • Anat Hoffman’s arrest at Western Wall galvanizing liberal Jewish groups

    October 22, 2012 | 9:18 am

    Last week’s episode was hardly the first time Israeli police stopped activist Anat Hoffman while she was leading a women’s prayer service at the Western Wall in violation of Israeli law.

    But this time, police actually arrested Hoffman -- a first, she says -- and the incident...

  • Israeli law making it tougher for athletes to shine, report claims

    August 16, 2012 | 11:13 am

    Israel’s sports law significantly reduces the chances for its athletes to excel, a new study concluded.

    The study by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies was released Tuesday.  Israel failed to win any medals at the recently completed London Olympics—the first time in 24...

  • N.J. Gov. Christie signs law imposing Iran sanctions

    August 1, 2012 | 10:44 am

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed into law new sanctions against Iran that prohibit public contracts with any company or person that invests in Iran’s energy and finance sectors.

    Christie shared the announcement of the new legislation in remarks at a gala in Whippany on...

  • Calif. Supreme Court upholds lawsuit against Jewish cemetery firm

    July 25, 2012 | 4:41 pm

    The California Supreme Court upheld class-action status for a lawsuit alleging gross misconduct by a Jewish funeral services provider that had paid a $100 million settlement over similar misconduct.

    On July 23, the court upheld a lower-court ruling on the suit against Texas-based...

  • Who will protect us from the NRA?

    By Rob Eshman

    July 25, 2012 | 11:50 am

    The National Rifle Association (NRA) claims it exists to protect our rights. My question is this: Who will protect us from the NRA?

    The gun lobby is not responsible for the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colo., last week that has so far claimed 12 victims. 

    But its consistent and...

  • The modern Jewish law

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    May 30, 2012 | 10:49 pm

    The Israeli government will soon start paying non-Orthodox rabbis. This news, as it appeared in bold letters in my morning paper, literally put a smile on my face. Not because I am Reform or Conservative, or anything, but because I am really proud of my Israel finally growing up.

    ...

  • Israeli law pushes rabbinical courts on Jewish divorce decrees

    March 21, 2012 | 10:55 am

    Israel’s Knesset passed a measure requiring rabbinical courts to follow up on divorce cases to ensure that the husband gives his wife a Jewish writ of divorce.

    According to the law enacted Monday, a husband must give his wife a get, a religious divorce, within 45 days of the court...

  • Bibi bypassing Cabinet on extending yeshiva students’ military service law

    January 26, 2012 | 10:37 am

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will bring a vote on extending a law that allows yeshiva students to delay their military service directly to the Knesset floor, bypassing his Cabinet.

    Netanyahu’s office said Thursday that the Cabinet will not vote on extending the Tal Law at its...

  • Picks for rabbinical judges’ panel riles Israeli women’s groups

    November 23, 2011 | 11:00 am

    Women’s and human rights groups in Israel criticized the Israel Bar Association’s decision not to appoint any women to a committee that appoints rabbinical judges.

    In its selections Tuesday for the Appointments Committee for Rabbinical Judges, the bar association for the first time...

  • Bill would cut U.S. funds to backers of Palestinian state

    August 31, 2011 | 9:08 am

    Legislation that would cut off U.S. funds to countries that support granting the Palestinians a state unilaterally was introduced in the House of Representatives.

    Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the United Nations...

  • The aftermath of the proposed circumcision ban

    August 8, 2011 | 2:57 pm

    With the latest turnaround by a San Francisco court removing the anti-circumcision measure from its city’s upcoming ballot, all of us who advocate circumcision on religious grounds can breathe a sigh of relief.  Gone, 6 weeks ago, from the ballot in Santa Monica proposed for this...

  • ON TRIAL: John Galliano’s sloshed defense over anti-Semitic remarks

    Lauren Bottner

    June 22, 2011 | 4:31 pm

    If he walks like an anti-Semite, rants like an anti-Semite, looks like an anti-Semite, then maybe…

    John Galliano, former Dior Fashion Designer, went on trial in Paris today for anti-Semitic and racist remarks to local café patrons earlier this spring. Charged with “public...

  • Obvious vs. the-Not-So-Obvious!

    By Julia Bendis

    May 31, 2011 | 1:18 pm

    Lately I’ve been thinking about the many jobs I have had, all through my teenage years and adulthood.  The reason I started thinking about them is simple: every time my children talk about what they want to do when they grow up, and it changes daily, I usually have a funny anecdote...

  • Supreme Court upholds state tuition tax credit program

    April 6, 2011 | 3:34 pm

    The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to an Arizona tuition tax credit program that benefits parochial schools, with all three Jewish justices dissenting.

    The court on Monday threw out a lawsuit against the program, which provides tax credits to those who donate...

  • LAUSD schools accountable to new law

    By Rachel Heller

    April 5, 2011 | 6:50 pm

    Los Angeles public schools could be poised for revolution due to a controversial state law gaining momentum locally.

    The landmark “Parent Trigger” law, passed by the California government in January 2010, grants parents at failing schools the power to force their district to...

  • Katsav sentencing shows Israeli leaders not above law

    March 22, 2011 | 12:52 pm

    Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav’s sentence to prison on rape and sexual assault convictions shows that not even the country’s leaders are above the law, Israeli leaders stressed.

    A panel of three Tel Aviv District Court judges on Tuesday sentenced Katsav to seven years in...

  • The Joys of Car Dealerships!

    By Julia Bendis

    January 10, 2011 | 12:57 pm

    Being at a car dealership this weekend, to finally get the recalled part on my car fixed, reminded me how much I truly enjoy car dealerships.  Not only do I NOT mind haggling with the salesmen on a price, I look forward to it.  After all, I am my father’s daughter.  That same father...

  • What is western society’s place in determining halachah?

    December 22, 2010 | 3:54 pm

    The Orthodox community is rapidly approaching a moment of truth. The many issues that the Orthodox community is debating internally are rapidly collapsing into one overarching issue, one macro-question, with which it must grapple head-on. And this is: whether the ethical norms of...

  • Lawmaker: Knesset will consult with Diaspora on conversions

    March 16, 2010 | 3:26 pm

    An Israeli lawmaker told a delegation of American Jewish leaders that he would consult with Diaspora Jewry on issues involving conversion.

    David Rotem, the author of a bill that will allow local rabbis in Israel to perform conversions to Judaism, made his comments Monday during a...

  • The Four Big Madoff Questions:
    Who's to blame, how much is lost, where's the money, will it occur again?

    By Dean Rotbart

    December 24, 2008 | 2:33 am

    Why is this fraud different from all other frauds?

    The Bernard L. Madoff Ponzi scheme will definitely rewrite the record books when it comes to its dollar size, duration, number of victims, concentration within the Jewish community and, yes, the mountain of legal fees it generates....

  • New Conservative seminary leader outlines goals

    By Ben Harris

    September 8, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Long before he emerged as a leading scholar of American Jewry, and decades before he would be looked to as the potential savior of the Conservative movement, Arnold Eisen was gunning for a journalism internship at the Washington Post.

    As an undergraduate at the University of...

  • Ugly ties bind genocide past and present

    By Amy Klein

    March 15, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Genocide.

    The word evokes different, powerful references, depending upon who hears it.

    For Jews, the primary thought is the Holocaust, officially recognized in the United States as the first genocide.

    For Armenians, it refers to mass killings by the Ottomans in Turkey in 1915,...

  • Putting a question mark on Jewish earmarks

    By Matthew E. Berger

    January 25, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    This year's loss of earmarks, the spending amendments lawmakers attach to larger bills, has cost Jewish federations millions of dollars, officials say. And earmark-reform proposals could present even more headaches in coming years.

    The new Democratic majority in Congress, backed by...

  • R.E. Hard Crash? Soft Landing? Bursting Balloon? Leaking Balloon?

    By Marc Ballon

    August 31, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Mark Cohen thinks those doomsday scenarios about an impending Southland housing crash miss the mark. And the founder and president of Beverly Hills-based Cohen Financial Group has learned a thing or two about real estate over the last 20 years.

    With an MBA from USC and a law...

  • Circuit

    August 24, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The Reagan Library was the setting when more than 500 Jewish Republicans gathered to pay tribute to U.S. and Israeli armed forces. RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, and Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) set a powerful model of the necessity for firm resolve at this time of international crises....

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