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  • A Weekend of ‘Kosher Sex’

    By Michael Aushenker

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    In these scandalous times, is there anything left to say about sex?

    TV offers us All-Monica all the time. The globally accessible Internet offers its own virtual red-light district. Surrounded by wall-to-wall visuals and 24-hour media blather, we're inundated with sexual information....

  • My Mental Celebrity Database

    By Teresa Strasser

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Sandra Bullock, get out of my head.

    Look, it's nothing personal. I'm sure you're a really nice person, and it's not like you're untalented. And despite the fact that I'm not particularly a fan of yours, I seem to know everything about you. The other day, your name came up by the...

  • Matzos and Mitzvahs

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Shoshanna Levi* identifies with the Passover story of Jews traversing the "narrow place," yetziat mitzrayim.

    Last Pesach, her Orthodox family celebrated a plentiful seder in their spacious home in the West Valley. But then Levi's husband, David,* lost his job of many years; the family...

  • Iranian Jews Recall Own Exodus

    By Julia Goldman

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The Israelites fled Egypt in haste, but well packed: They began their exodus with their flocks, herds and unleavened bread dough, as well as the jewels and garments of the Egyptians.

    When Soraya Masjedi Nazarian left Iran in 1979, she left behind almost all of her possessions.

    "I...

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  • Passover vs. Easter

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    If you want proof that the communion wafer is just a matzo knockoff, or if you wonder where eggs really belong (seder plate? White House lawn? Omelette?), check out "The Jews vs. Christians" on April 3 at bang. Improv Studio on Fairfax Avenue.

    Twenty-four Jewish and Christian members...

  • Principal Targets

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    March 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    August's North Valley Jewish Community Center shooting is still on the minds of parents and educators.

    That was the feeling one got attending a recent panel on violence in schools, held at Westwood Charter Elementary School, where members of the community gathered to air their...

  • The Day the Music Stopped

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    On a warm summer day last year, Marc Alexander stood before a plaque on the old apartment building at 49 Smoke Street in Berlin, thinking of his grandfather.

    The plaque announced that here, in a garret flat in 1927, a drama student conducted auditions for what would become the sassy...

  • ‘Cabaret’s’ Dim Light

    By Michael Aushenker

    March 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Something has happened to "Cabaret" on its way to the Wilshire Theatre in Los Angeles.

    The award-winning musical -- eight Tony Awards after its 1967 Broadway opening with Joel Grey and Jill Haworth, followed by eight Academy Awards for the dazzling 1972 film adaptation with Grey and...

  • Community Briefs

    March 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    When Roberto Benigni won the grand prize at Cannes for his Holocaust tragicomedy, "Life is Beautiful," he rushed to the stage and kissed the feet of juror Martin Scorsese.

    The Italian comedian couldn't resist playing the clown, either, when his Holocaust fable recently screened for...

  • An Empress of the Air

    By Diane Arieff

    March 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    It's a sunny Santa Monica afternoon, and Ruth Seymour, station manager and program director of KCRW, is sitting in the Rose Cafe, neatly turned out in a dark pant suit. She's sixtyish and slim, with angular, clean features, a square, prominent jaw and a short, stylish haircut. A...

  • ‘Lolita’ Revisited

    By Diane Arieff

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Paula Vogel's "How I Learned to Drive" has come to the Mark Taper Forum, and one wonders if it has lost something in its trip across country. Despite an arresting performance by Brian Kerwin, its male lead, this Los Angeles production doesn't live up to the high expectations that...
  • The High Cost of Jewish Living

    February 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Weekday mornings at 8:20, Judy Penso sets out for her office at a Jewish Community Center just outside San Francisco, where she runs the Marin County region of the Bay Area Jewish Community Relations Council.

    Before heading across the bridge from her Berkeley home, though, she drops...

  • Movie Memoirs

    By Diane Arieff

    February 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Some of the best recent American documentaries are nonfiction, highly subjective narratives that explore the Sturm und Drang of family relationships. Filmmaker Ira Wohl calls this kind of up-close cinematic memoir "first-person documentary."

    It's an apt description for his latest...

  • Valley Briefs

    February 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    When Roberto Benigni won the grand prize at Cannes for his Holocaust tragicomedy, "Life is Beautiful," he rushed to the stage and kissed the feet of juror Martin Scorsese.

    The Italian comedian couldn't resist playing the clown, either, when his Holocaust fable recently screened for...

  • Answering the Call

    By Eric Silver

    February 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Anne Roberts is passionate about the idea of tzedakah, a concept she has diligently instilled in her son Spencer Nieman.

    A second-grader who is not quite 8 years old, Spencer has managed to save up $120 this year and will donate it in a small ceremony that has become an annual...

  • Teachers and Technology

    By Rebecca Kuzins

    February 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    A parent in North Hollywood is appalled by what passes for religious-school education: His child has a terrible teacher. A parent in Brentwood is ecstatic: Her child's current teacher is outstanding. Marcy Goldberg, director of education at Temple Aliyah of Woodland Hills, sums up...
  • Federation Matters

    By Rabbi Paul J. Kipnes

    February 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    It is hard to say where it is more frightening to be a Jew today, in Iran or Russia. In both countries, anti-Semitic activity is escalating to chaotic levels. In Iran, 13 Jews, including several rabbis and a 16-year-old boy, sit in jail facing possible execution, falsely accused of...

  • Having Tea with Hussein

    By Tom Tugend

    February 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    While the leaders of nations eulogized King Hussein for his statesmanship and advocacy of peace, one Los Angeles couple remembered the Jordanian monarch for his human and social touch.

    Edward Sanders, one of the most senior Jewish leaders in the United States, and his wife, Rose, were...

  • You’re on Candid Dating

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    After 13 years in Hollywood, Myles Berkowitz didn't have a film deal. Or a girlfriend.

    "So I decided to combine my two biggest failures: my personal and my professional life," says Berkowitz, now 36.

    The struggling director hired a cheap cameraman and clandestinely videotaped himself...

  • A Call for Support

    By Ruth Stroud

    February 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Few people look forward to being asked for money. But Super Sunday, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles' largest single day of fund raising each the year, is the exception.

    "It's the one time of the year when people say, 'I was waiting for your phone call,'" says David...

  • ‘Three Stories’: From Krakow to L.A.

    By Michael Aushenker

    February 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The world was a different place for writer-director Pavel Vogler when he arrived here from Poland six years ago.

    "It was very hard," Vogler says. "There were no friends or family or supporting circle.... I started from zero.... A couple of years ago, I decided to start to make my own...

  • A Hero’s Welcome

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The cover of film director Paul Mazursky's first book, "Show Me the Magic" (Simon and Schuster, $25) offers book-jacket browsers a list of all the famous names to be found inside. There's Danny Kaye, whose television show a young Mazursky helped write, Natalie Wood, Bette Midler and...
  • His ‘Friend Was Peace’

    By Rabbi Marvin Hier

    February 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    It was my privilege to know His Majesty King Hussein in connection with our work, but more so, to know him personally as a human being. Undeniably, he was a king, and most certainly entitled to wear his crown, but, instead, he preferred to act "kingly" and walk humbly.

    The most...

  • An Advertising Tale

    By Rob Eshman

    February 11, 1999 | 6:59 pm

    When Spectator caught up with Monique Powell, lead singer of the pop sensation Save Ferris, she was wandering around Anaheim, tired, displaced and searching for food.

    But this was no VH1 special in the making. After two years of nonstop global touring in support of her band's two...

  • Community Briefs

    February 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Even for an international film producer and inveterate traveler, Arthur Cohn has covered a lot of territory recently.

    During the last week in October, the winner of a record five Oscars and producer of "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis" and "Central Station" was feted in Shanghai at...

  • Shalhevet’s un-Orthodox Approach

    February 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    I don't know about you, but I am often drawn to men and women who are boldly stamped by commitment. What I like is that they pursue an idea no matter where it takes them, simply because of their belief or passion. The educators at Shalhevet High School, founded in 1992, are like...

  • 6505: Home for the Next Generation

    By Michael Aushenker

    February 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    For Federation executives and board members, 6505 Wilshire is more than just another building. It is a monument to years of memories; an edifice awash in nostalgic value. But does the Miracle Mile area headquarters hold any meaning for the new generation of Federation leaders? And...

  • Benigni in L.A.

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    When Roberto Benigni won the grand prize at Cannes for his Holocaust tragicomedy, "Life is Beautiful," he rushed to the stage and kissed the feet of juror Martin Scorsese.

    The Italian comedian couldn't resist playing the clown, either, when his Holocaust fable recently screened for...

  • Wanted: A Few Good Teachers

    By Beverly Gray

    February 4, 1999 | 6:59 pm

    A parent in North Hollywood is appalled by what passes for religious-school education: His child has a terrible teacher. A parent in Brentwood is ecstatic: Her child's current teacher is outstanding. Marcy Goldberg, director of education at Temple Aliyah of Woodland Hills, sums up...
  • Committed to Community

    By Shlomit Levy

    January 28, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    When 17-year-old counselor-in-training Frayda Breverman fell for a 20-year-old staff member at Camp Ramah, their romance became the scandal of the summer of '63. Fast forward. The scandal was short-lived, but Fredi and Joel Rembaum, after 33 years of marriage, are still quite an...

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