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  • At Auschwitz-Birkenau, the silence and the song

    April 15, 2015 | 2:24 pm

    Snow brings a strange silence. No more so than in the vastness of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where on Jan. 27 we all began several months of remembering the unfolding of the liberation of the Nazi camps 70 years ago. That day, I walked alongside Los Angeles resident Dario Gabbai in the...

  • L.A. Times Festival of Books is back for its 20th year

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    April 15, 2015 | 1:40 pm

    The publishing landscape has changed in ways that would not have been dreamed of back in 1996, when the Los Angeles Times invited readers and writers to gather for its first Festival of Books. But one thing remains the same — the Festival of Books is still going strong, still...

  • A taste of Morocco without leaving town

    By Tess Cutler

    April 15, 2015 | 11:32 am

    I remember six years ago being in Tarifa — on the southernmost coast of Spain, a 30-minute ferry ride to Tangier, Morocco — and being tempted to cross continents. The port was so close to Africa, I could nearly taste it. The cloth was brighter, the spices more aromatic, the sea...

  • Herman Katz, Educator, dies at 82

    April 14, 2015 | 10:07 am

    A beloved husband, father and grandfather and teacher, Herman Katz died peacefully at his home in Sherman Oaks on April 12, 2015.  Katz’s greatest joy and satisfaction came from family, friends, colleagues and students who admired and treasured him. The son of a Russian Jewish...

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  • Real estate scion Robert Durst indicted on weapons charges in New Orleans

    April 8, 2015 | 9:55 am

    Robert Durst, the real estate scion awaiting extradition to California to face a murder charge, was indicted on weapons charges in New Orleans on Wednesday, the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office said.

    Durst, recently featured in the HBO documentary "The Jinx: The Life and...

  • Many Iranian expats in California have doubts about nuclear deal

    April 6, 2015 | 10:52 am

    Many members of the Los Angeles-area Iranian community, the largest in the United States, are skeptical about a preliminary nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, even though a pact could end decades of international isolation for their homeland.

    The prevailing sentiment...

  • Moving and Shaking: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Harvey Weinstein, Rabbi David Wolpe and more

    By Ryan Torok

    April 2, 2015 | 7:32 pm

    As the night’s master of ceremonies at the Simon Wiesenthal Center/Museum of Tolerance annual national tribute dinner, Jeffrey Katzenberg had two big jobs — to keep the presentations to heroes who’d risked their lives to save others moving along like clockwork and to convince the...

  • Imagining a seder in my home a century ago

    April 2, 2015 | 7:14 pm

    With 30-minute seders, food drives for the hungry and boxes of perfectly baked matzah, we like to think that in 2015 we have finally achieved a modern, socially relevant and easy-to-observe Passover. But in Los Angeles, if we were to travel back 100 years to 1915, in any way-back...

  • Stop waiting for the bus

    April 2, 2015 | 6:58 pm

    So much of the discussion about mass transit in Los Angeles is about the future. And it is true that Los Angeles is aggressively building out its transit system to make up for past neglect and to help meet the region’s profound growth and urbanization. It seems every other day...

  • Jewish community reacts to Iran nuclear deal

    April 2, 2015 | 3:38 pm

    The Jewish community in Los Angeles and nationwide reacted Thursday to the news that the framework of an initial deal on limiting Iran’s nuclear program had been set:

    Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Los Angeles):

    “The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has embraced the...

  • JFS expands its own heart in the heart of L.A.

    By Ryan Torok

    April 1, 2015 | 2:30 pm

    Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) is in the midst of what leadership is describing as a “new era,” a $36 million capital campaign that will result in the renovation of its Freda Mohr Multipurpose Center and the relocation of its headquarters there.

    JFS plans to take the...

  • At historic L.A. synagogue, songwriter pushes interfaith harmony and urban renewal

    April 1, 2015 | 2:13 pm

    On the first floor of the Pico Union Project, members of the Women’s Mosque of America are preparing the historic sanctuary for prayers, spreading long bolts of cloth on the floor, hanging a banner from the organ loft and placing an open copy of the Koran in the just-vacated Holy...

  • LGBT Persian Jews live in changing times

    By Ryan Torok

    March 26, 2015 | 1:08 pm

    Although attitudes are becoming increasingly accepting toward homosexuality in the Jewish community, prejudices remain in the typically more conservative Persian community. To help bridge the gap, JQ International — a nonprofit, Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to...

  • Suge Knight bail set at $25 mil. in fatal hit-and-run case

    March 20, 2015 | 11:44 am

    A judge set bail on Friday at $25 million for Suge Knight in a murder case, agreeing on the amount requested by prosecutors who had described the rap mogul in court papers as being "incapable of stopping his violent criminal behavior."

    Knight, 49, is accused of running down two...

  • Satisfaction over prospect of accused U.S. killer Durst facing justice

    March 18, 2015 | 11:15 am

    With accused murderer Robert Durst set to spend at least six days in a Louisiana jail awaiting extradition to California, law enforcement officials and friends of possible victims expressed satisfaction on Tuesday over the prospect of the real estate scion facing justice.

    Durst,...

  • Accused murderer Robert Durst deemed ‘suicidal’

    March 18, 2015 | 10:57 am

    Robert Durst, the real estate scion charged with first-degree murder, is suicidal, according statements by Louisiana authorities released on Wednesday after they moved him to a facility for inmates suffering from acute mental illness.

    Awaiting extradition to California, the...

  • Durst charged with murder, movie confession likely admissible

    March 16, 2015 | 4:38 pm

    New York real estate scion and accused murderer Robert Durst's bathroom muttering that he "killed them all" would likely be admissible evidence in a murder trial, legal experts said on Monday.

    Durst, the subject of a six-part HBO documentary series called "The Jinx: The Life and...

  • L.A.’s financial support of Israel’s election

    By Jared Sichel

    March 16, 2015 | 4:04 pm

    The Los Angeles dollars—or shekels—spent may not have approached the amount Hollywood throws around for U.S. elections, but Jews in Los Angeles nevertheless managed to funnel about $175,000 into Israel’s party primaries this election cycle.

    Israel’s primaries ended in January...

  • Win-win with the Special Olympics World Games in L.A.

    By Michelle K. Wolf

    March 11, 2015 | 11:24 am

    You may not know it, but the world’s biggest sports and humanitarian event is coming to Los Angeles this summer, and its impact will be felt locally long after the medals are handed out. In just a few months, the World Games of the Special Olympics will launch at the Los Angeles...

  • Life is #PrettyGreat at Embassy Suites Anaheim South

    By Lisa Ellen Niver

    March 10, 2015 | 10:29 am

    Experience Embassy Suites Anaheim South February 2015: What a great place to stay! Two room suites, free made-to-order breakfast and complimentary drinks! The Embassy Suites Anaheim South is literally walking distance to Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney as it is only...

  • The art, science and history of the Dead Sea Scrolls

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 4, 2015 | 3:53 pm

    When “Dead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition” opens March 10 at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, it will be the largest display of its kind ever shown outside of Israel, spotlighting 20 scrolls in two rotations, more than half of them never before seen in the United States,...

  • Why Santa Barbara Hillel’s largest donor is the Jewish Federation of … Boston

    By Jared Sichel

    March 4, 2015 | 3:24 pm

    Rabbi Evan Goodman, executive director of UC Santa Barbara’s Hillel, was concerned when annual funding allocations from The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles were cut year after year, beginning in 2011. But he wasn’t surprised.

    After all, officials from the two...

  • What San Gabriel’s Padres taught William Mulholland 

    February 28, 2015 | 10:04 am

    On a hot August day in 1816, waves of heat shimmered off of the dusty plazas and red tile roofs of the San Gabriel Mission community. The surrounding valley and foothills were brown and dry, and the nearby arroyos hadn’t run with water since March. But the town was a verdant oasis,...

  • Reflecting on my trip to Birmingham with The Temple

    February 27, 2015 | 4:44 pm

    “You’ll be the first in our family to set foot in Alabama,” my mom half-joked over the phone from L.A., when I told her where I was going. “Well, I was the first one to set foot in Tennessee,” I quipped back.

    Before moving to Nashville two years ago to pursue my music career,...

  • L.A. city charter amendments aim to increase voter turnout

    By Aron Chilewich

    February 26, 2015 | 5:42 pm

    Two Los Angeles city charter amendments on the March 3 ballot would align city and school board elections with national and statewide races in the hopes of increasing voter turnout.

    Charter Amendment 1 pertains to city elections and Charter Amendment 2 pertains to Los Angeles...

  • Yizkor for Khojaly: Sharing Sorrow and Hope

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    February 24, 2015 | 3:21 pm

    On February 21-22, Pico Shul, our newly established spiritual community in Los Angeles, organized a “Solidarity and Commemoration Weekend” with local Azerbaijanis and the Consulate of the Republic of Azerbaijan. These are some of my reflections.

    On the world stage, Jews and...

  • Q&A with David Cronenberg: ‘Maps to the Stars,’ Julianne Moore and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

    February 24, 2015 | 11:24 am

    Director David Cronenberg has always made a point of staying outside of the American film industry. But his newest film, Maps to the Stars (opening February 27th) dives headfirst into Hollywood, in all its glory and grossness. The product of a long-developing collaboration with Los...

  • A Faceless World.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    February 19, 2015 | 7:31 am

    In the exam room, I sat holding her hand.  She stared into my eyes until I saw her inner child begging for love.  Her tears fell, as did mine, inside.  For a moment, I was her buoy in the rough seas of life.

    You never forget the face of the person placing Godly responsibilities...

  • Shimon Peres: A taste of history, thoughts on staying positive

    By Ryan Torok

    February 12, 2015 | 4:48 pm

    Shimon Peres, Israel’s former longtime president and two-time prime minister, appeared at a gala for top funders of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles on Feb. 11 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. In an onstage conversation with Sharon Nazarian, Peres did not talk about...

  • 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...

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