Jewish Journal

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  • Local Iranian-Americans respond to nuclear deal

    By Karmel Melamed

    July 15, 2015 | 9:40 am

    After the announcement July 14 that the United States and other world powers had reached an agreement with Iran that calls for limits on Iran’s nuclear program, Los Angeles-area Iranian Americans of various faiths expressed pessimism at the outcome and disappointment with the...

  • Jewish community reacts to the Iran nuclear deal

    July 14, 2015 | 7:49 am

    The Jewish community in Los Angeles and nationwide reacted to the news the Iranian nuclear deal had been reached:


    This agreement liberates resources to a regime whose core anti-Semitic and declaredly genocidal ideology is manifest. I fear that...

  • Nobody Turns 40 in L.A.

    By Marcus J Freed

    July 10, 2015 | 3:25 pm

    Years ago I met up with my father at a hotel in Eilat, after he crossed the Sinai Desert in a four day charity trek from Egypt to Israel. He cried with joy when we said hello. After four days of sandblasted hiking and star-filled camping, they made it to the Promised Land (albeit a...

  • Shabbat, Brokenness and Light:  My Reflections at an Interfaith Event

    By Lia Mandelbaum

    July 8, 2015 | 2:19 pm

    In addition to how I've found that interfaith relations boldly and beautifully reveals the interconnectedness of all of humanity, I certainly agree that there is nothing like interfaith work to really inspire you to actively deepen your own understanding and connection to your...

  • Drought leads to mass cutting of trees in Los Angeles

    July 7, 2015 | 12:57 pm

    Los Angeles city officials say they don't have enough water to irrigate all the trees in the city, so they are cutting down those that are dead or dying from drought.

    According to the city, roughly 14,000 trees have died in the last year alone from drought.

    The North Hollywood...

  • My First City Council Meeting

    July 6, 2015 | 4:17 pm

    I went to my first city council meeting on Tuesday, May 19th and it was an unexpectedly chaotic experience. We had to listen to the meeting in the overflow room because the room in which the meeting took place was full. Despite this disadvantage we still witnessed some exciting and...

  • An ‘island of spirituality’ in L.A.’s Fashion District

    By Avishay Artsy

    July 1, 2015 | 3:27 pm

    In an unexceptional strip of concrete warehouses, tucked amid the apparel stores and wholesale suit shops of downtown Los Angeles, a group of Jewish men meets several times a day — to pray.

    For 40-year-old Oded Somech, an Israeli textile importer, a midday daven is a welcome...

  • Comedy for Koby brings American comics to Israel

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    July 1, 2015 | 3:07 pm

    Like many Jewish comedians in Los Angeles, Avi Liberman books club gigs, occasionally auditions for TV work and does “Jewish gigs” at synagogues and elsewhere.

    But in recent years, Liberman also has been spending a lot of his time planning trips to Israel.

    What makes his tours...

  • Los Angeles: You’ve got #ClicquotMail

    By Lisa Ellen Niver

    June 27, 2015 | 9:15 am

    Last night I experienced #ClicquotMail at Shore Bar, one of the happening and welcoming bars in the H.Wood Group in Santa Monica. Tonight join in by mailing a postcard and tasting the 2004 La Grande Dame sourced from top 8 grand cru vineyards in the Champagne region of France at...

  • How a bunch of Hollywood Jews saved youth baseball in South Los Angeles

    By Jared Sichel

    June 25, 2015 | 12:44 pm

    “Oh! Oh! That’s my baby! Right there! He’s catching it!” Bridgette Harper called out as her son, Dillen, 11, stood at shortstop, glove in the air, his eyes on the baseball plummeting toward him. Notwithstanding his mom’s confidence, it was evident Dillen had misjudged the pop fly...

  • First AME Church Vigil marked by rousing sermons by L.A. clergy, civic leaders of all denominations

    By Aron Chilewich

    June 19, 2015 | 11:50 am

    On June 18, as the country began to mourn the nine African-Americans murdered one day before by a white gunman at a Bible study session at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, S.C., people of all faiths and races joined with congregants of First AME...

  • Moving and shaking: Ordination, graduation, The Learned Hand Award and more

    By Ryan Torok

    June 17, 2015 | 4:21 pm

    Local seminaries were in full ordination and graduation mode last month, celebrating a combined total of 30 new rabbis among them.

    For the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) Jack H. Skirball Campus in Los Angeles, this year’s ordination...

  • Father’s Day: The lesson of free speech

    By Ellie Kahn, Oral Historian

    June 17, 2015 | 3:24 pm

    Dean Okrand is an Emmy-winning sound re-recording mixer, husband and father of two adult daughters. His own father was Fred Okrand, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California for more than 60 years, and its first legal director. Fred, born in...

  • Kirk Kerkorian, casino tycoon, movie mogul, auto investor dies at 98

    June 16, 2015 | 9:25 am

    Kirk Kerkorian, the son of poor Armenian immigrants who used his gambler's instincts to become a multibillionaire Las Vegas casino tycoon, Hollywood mogul, airline owner and auto industry investor, died at age 98.

    Kerkorian, who founded MGM Resorts International and was its...

  • Saving the World—one painting (or sculpture) at a time

    By Mindy Leaf

    June 14, 2015 | 5:43 am

    Once I would have been called an "art groupie." From creating art as a kid to following in the footsteps of my favorite masters--both in technique and training--I allowed art to rule my life. At least for a time, before the hard knocks of reality took hold.

    But I never totally...

  • Outstanding Graduates 2015: Profiles on leadership, philanthropy and education

    June 10, 2015 | 5:02 pm

    In recent weeks, we invited all of you to nominate graduating high-schoolers who exemplify excellence. The result was an amazing group of innovators, artists, leaders and agents of social change. We had a hard time narrowing the field to the 11 included here — and many more could...

  • Building interfaith bridges

    June 10, 2015 | 3:06 pm

    Shachar Cohen-Hodos, 17
    Hamilton High School Humanities Magnet
    Going to: Columbia University and List College at the Jewish Theological Seminary

    Ask average teenagers about their ambitions for the future and most will turn into deer-in-headlights, flop-sweating wrecks or some...

  • Calendar: June 6–June 12

    By Laura Donney

    June 3, 2015 | 5:04 pm

    SAT | JUNE 6


    Is this grief big enough for the two of us? That’s the issue between a gay man and a straight woman who meet to tie up loose ends after the death of the man they both loved. Set in 1987, Harvey Fierstein’s one-act play, part of his “Safe Sex”...

  • Mixing cocktails and conversation

    By Avishay Artsy

    June 3, 2015 | 12:06 pm

    Jews and Muslims in Los Angeles don’t often get together for drinks. After all, religious Muslims don’t drink, and the two groups have had their differences. 

    But a new project aims to get individuals from both backgrounds talking to each other, while crafting simple yet...

  • Los Angeles Summer Events: May 30 – August 30

    By Laura Donney

    June 2, 2015 | 4:14 pm

    SAT | MAY 30


    In addition to two major premieres commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic from Bryce Dessner (half of indie rock favorite The National) and minimalist composer Philip Glass, there will be two string quartets and a performance of the...

  • Bridging the gap: A new paradigm for change

    May 29, 2015 | 9:30 am

    I had occasion recently to revisit the Masters Thesis I wrote in 1972 for my degree in Contemporary Jewish Studies from Brandeis University. I needed to reference it for an article I’m writing… and I was curious to see whether I would have been able to pass the Zelikow School’s...

  • Our moral obligation to be a voice for the homeless

    May 27, 2015 | 2:31 pm

    Apathy —  noun; absence or suppression of passion, emotion or excitement.

    I write this with a broken heart. I serve many roles in the community, including that of a county-appointed commissioner to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Today I write not as a commissioner —...

  • In a war against wage theft

    May 27, 2015 | 2:13 pm

    “At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it, for he is poor and his life depends on it. …” – Deuteronomy 24:15

    Last week, Los Angeles’ City Council voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020. The decision was greeted with...

  • Wanted: More women in Los Angeles City Hall

    By Bill Boyarsky

    May 27, 2015 | 10:41 am

    What Los Angeles City Hall needs is a strong Jewish woman.

    Nothing against the three Jewish men who occupy citywide offices — Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer and Controller Ron Galperin. But they’re so quiet, so devoted to working behind the scenes that it’s easy to...

  • Calendar May 23–29

    By Laura Donney

    May 21, 2015 | 2:45 pm

    SAT | MAY 23


    Sweet Caroline, we’re in for a treat! An inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an honoree at the Kennedy Center and a Grammy winner, Neil Diamond has been warming our hearts for decades. You know you love “Song...

  • Missionaries invade 2015 Israel festival in Los Angeles

    May 20, 2015 | 11:06 am

    I have proudly attended Jewish/Israeli festivals in Los Angeles for almost 30 years.

    What I witnessed this year was unprecedented.

    Dozens of missionaries descended on —– or invaded — the Celebrate Israel Festival in ways that I never thought possible.

    Based on the number of...

  • David Ryu wins city council race

    By Aron Chilewich

    May 20, 2015 | 10:11 am

    By 1,600 votes, health care center executive David Ryu defeated his opponent in the race to replace Tom LaBonge as Los Angeles City Councilmember for the Fourth District, which extends from Sherman Oaks to Miracle Mile.

    Ryu beat out Carolyn Ramsay, a former journalist and chief...

  • Los Angeles gives preliminary approval to $15 minimum wage

    May 19, 2015 | 4:13 pm

    The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to increase the minimum wage in the nation's second-largest city to $15 an hour by 2020 from the current $9, in a victory for labor and community groups that have pushed for similar pay hikes in several U.S. municipalities.


  • The perfect day is the perfect gift

    By Julie Bien

    May 19, 2015 | 11:57 am

    There are only so many chai necklaces a 13-year-old can wear at once. Next time there’s a special bar or bat mitzvah in your life, how about offering an experience instead? Spend the day together enjoying local Jewish flavors while creating memories you both can treasure forever.

  • TIMELINE: A history of the Israeli-American Council

    By Jared Sichel

    May 18, 2015 | 5:15 pm

    2006 — Israeli Consul General in Los Angeles Ehud Danoch invites two local prominent Israelis, Danny Alpert and Eli Marmour, to foster an Israeli-American community in Los Angeles, in part to show support and solidarity during times of war in Israel.

    2007 — The Israeli Leadership...

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