Jewish Journal

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  • Moving and shaking: USY convention, West Valley Eruv inauguration and more

    By Ryan Torok

    January 21, 2016 | 11:04 am

    United Synagogue Youth (USY) held its 65th international convention in Baltimore from Dec. 27-31. More than 700 teenagers, including 25 from Los Angeles, attended. The convention, themed “Think More, Do More, B’More,” focused on advocacy and included sessions on political activism...

  • Spiritual farming with Steven Wynbrandt

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    January 20, 2016 | 4:39 pm

    In Los Angeles, Tu B’Shevat, the agrarian festival also known as the new year for trees, can easily pass unnoticed; after all, the time when the holiday falls — this year on Jan. 25 — is not one of seasonal change here. Some Jews will plant a tree or lift a ceremonial date or fig...

  • No end in sight for victims of SoCal gas leak

    January 20, 2016 | 11:22 am

    The trouble in the Katz household started a few months ago, when 2-year-old Ava got sick and was hospitalized in the intensive care unit for respiratory issues. Around the same time, Christine Katz, 41 and a full-time mom, started having dizzy spells and feeling lethargic, and the...

  • Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak Glendale: Launching for Lunch

    By Lisa Ellen Niver

    January 15, 2016 | 3:36 pm

    Bourbon Steak is open for LUNCH! I loved it! My favorites were beets and burrata, the humus with everything and my amazing burger. The Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse dessert was so good--I am planning to return soon for another one!

    What is your favorite thing on the Lunch Menu?

  • El Chapo wears Jewish fashion designers, and you can too

    January 14, 2016 | 3:46 pm

    A schmatta, it’s not.

    The infamous Mexican cartel boss Joaquín Guzmán — better known as El Chapo — is in the news after a widely publicized interview with Sean Penn in Rolling Stone magazine led to his capture (again). In the days that followed, photos of the actor and the drug...

  • #myLAcommute My Russian wife loves menudo

    January 14, 2016 | 1:45 pm


    I work in transportation planning, so I take the Metro for efficiency. But I also take it to understand this city—so I can do a better job. I’m originally from Mexico City. I don’t go back as often now because I travel to other places, like Russia. My wife is Russian. But she loves menudo.

    Spring Street to Venice Blvd

    #myLAcommute is a project of Zócalo Public Square

  • #myLAcommute It’s great to be back home

    January 13, 2016 | 3:35 pm


    Boston was great, but I missed L.A. When I came back, someone told me to not be shocked that traffic had gotten worse. I thought: How could it be worse? And it’s worse! Oh my god, how is that possible? But it’s great to be back home. I’m happy and productive. I’m in a good place in life.

    Marengo Street to Duarte Road

    #myLAcommute is a project of Zócalo Public Square

  • 50 reasons why L.A. is America’s coolest Jewish city

    By Jared Sichel

    January 13, 2016 | 2:41 pm

    Three years ago, I left swampy New Orleans, and rather than return to my Maryland hometown, I found myself lured to Los Angeles. I was hypnotized by Southern California, and I moved here for its beautiful beaches, mountains and people (OK … girls). 

    It was also where I had the...

  • Channeling the spirit of Heschel to combat homelessness

    By Rob Eshman

    January 13, 2016 | 1:45 pm

    If you go to synagogue around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you will hear about Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.

    It was Heschel who walked with King across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., to demonstrate his solidarity with the civil rights movement. It was Heschel who said,...

  • Storms spark an abundance of caution in L.A. mountains

    January 13, 2016 | 12:01 pm

    During a lull in last week’s battery of El Niño storms, Jim Hardie stood in a freshly dug culvert in the TreePeople park, at the crest of Coldwater Canyon Avenue, and pointed up a steep trail.

    “You can imagine, when its really pouring, rain is just cascading down that trail,” he...

  • Israeli American Council plans Los Angeles facility

    January 11, 2016 | 3:43 pm

    The Israeli American Council plans to create a major hub for Israeli-Americans and American Jews in Los Angeles.

    At an event Sunday at the group’s Shepher Community Center, the council announced plans to build an office building on an existing structure for Israeli cultural...

  • #myLAcommute I sketch people on the train

    January 11, 2016 | 12:59 pm


    I’m a graphic designer, but I really want to be a children’s book illustrator. I didn’t go to art school so I’m teaching myself life drawing, figure drawing, perspective, that kind of stuff. I’m getting a lot better. When I’m on the train, I sketch the people in front of me. Sometimes they notice and I feel embarrassed, but I secretly wish they would ask me for their drawing.

    Halstead Street to Marmion Way

    #myLAcommute is a project of Zócalo Public Square

  • ….That week when two Mohels cancelled on me

    January 8, 2016 | 8:36 am

    Having called Los Angeles home for my entire life, I figured I had seen it all from the Jewish community over my thirty-five years:  I davenned at its synagogues, married a girl I first met in youth group, regularly spend my lunchtime at the best delis in the city, and have even...

  • #myLAcommute Aquafaba is magical

    January 7, 2016 | 3:21 pm


    I run my own vegan catering business. I like to cook curries. I make vegan sausages and cookies with chickpea brine—or aquafaba. It whips up like meringue. It’s so magical. I’ve been vegan for 11 years. I was in the punk rock scene and a lot of my friends were hippies. So I decided to try being a vegan. I lost a lot of weight. My skin cleared up. I felt amazing. I stick to what works!

    8th Street to Long Beach Boulevard

    #myLAcommute is a project of Zócalo Public Square

  • How to get L.A. to update its community plans—finally

    January 7, 2016 | 10:44 am

    Update the community plans now!

    That is the good government proposal of choice in Los Angeles, the recommendation that candidates, elected officials, and blue-ribbon commissions make over and over. The theory behind the recommendation is that, without thoughtful and up-to-date...

  • Hyla Frank’s pet project

    January 6, 2016 | 11:22 am

    It all started early last year when Hyla Frank’s best friend was moving from Los Angeles to New York and Frank made a goodbye gift: a pair of pillows, featuring sewn depictions of her friend’s two dogs, which she couldn’t take with her. 

    “After that, everything spread by word of...

  • Jewish leaders endorse, critique Obama’s actions to curb gun violence

    By Ryan Torok

    January 5, 2016 | 4:42 pm

    President Barack Obama’s announcement Tuesday of a series of executive actions to curb gun violence, including expanding background checks for people purchasing firearms on the private market, prompted an array of responses from leaders in the Los Angeles Jewish community.


  • Homeless in Koreatown

    By David Suissa

    January 5, 2016 | 1:56 pm

    You can’t knock on a tent, so I had to yell. I wanted to meet the people inside the blue tent and hear their story. I had seen several sidewalk tents on my way to the Jewish Journal offices in Koreatown, and the rain storm had made me especially curious about how the homeless were...

  • Heidi and Frank Shame the Homeless on 95.5 KLOS

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    December 29, 2015 | 11:54 pm

    Tuesday morning I was driving a homeless, Jewish, college-age young man to an agency to try to get him housing, Medi-Cal and other assistance. David (a pseudonym) likes hard rock, so we were listening to the Heidi and Frank Show on 95.5 KLOS. After a few songs the hosts, call-ins...

  • Make ‘Fiddler’ a Christmas Eve tradition

    December 28, 2015 | 10:21 am

    On Thursday night last week, 1,500 Los Angeles area Jews gathered in six Laemmle movie theaters in Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Encino, North Hollywood, Pasadena and Claremont for sold-out screenings at the eighth annual Christmas Eve “Fiddler on the Roof Sing-Along.” I was...

  • Los Angeles: Discovering Something Different

    By Lisa Ellen Niver

    December 27, 2015 | 9:24 am

    Do you always go to the same places? Are you ready to try something new? If you are looking for an adventure around the corner, I have a few ideas for you in Los Angeles.

    1. IPIC Movie Theater: I love the movies. I especially love action movies. But I would see any movie at IPIC....

  • #myLAcommute I hope I make my family proud

    December 18, 2015 | 12:51 pm


    I’ll be the first one in my family to graduate from college. I have all of this pressure on me. Everyone is looking at me to succeed. I hope I make them proud.

    Broadway to Vermont Ave.

    #myLAcommute is a project of Zócalo Public Square

  • #myLAcommute Sometimes I talk to pretty girls

    December 15, 2015 | 12:39 pm


    I’m a senior in high school. I usually ride my bike, so taking Metro is relaxing. I don’t have to worry about how heavy my backpack is or if I’ll make it to class on time. I listen to trash metal, speed metal, death metal, heavy metal, hard rock, classic rock. Sometimes I talk to pretty girls.

    Avenue 54 to Fountain Avenue

    #myLAcommute is a project of Zócalo Public Square

  • A man called Sheila Kuehl an anti-Semite, her response is awesome

    December 14, 2015 | 2:49 pm

    An angry speaker called Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, a Jew, a "scumbag" and an "anti-Semite" for the city's decision to allow Syrian refugees during a recent City Council meeting.

    Kuehl quickly shut him down – her response was awesome:

    Following the outburst, Kuehl allowed the man his full speaking time – even allowing him to start his time over.

    The lesson: Don't mess with Sheila Kuehl.

  • #myLAcommute I was a butler for 11 years

    December 14, 2015 | 1:05 pm


    I’ve always worked in the service industry. I was a butler for 11 years before I became a maître d’. My job is to make customers feel at home, to anticipate what they might need, to have empathy. I’m on my way home. My commute is a little bit over an hour, but I enjoy it. Being from the Netherlands, I’m used to trains.

    Del Mar Blvd. to Cahuenga Blvd.

    #myLAcommute is a project of Zócalo Public Square

  • #myLAcommute I never get bored in class

    December 11, 2015 | 12:03 pm


    I’ve been doing this commute since August 24th. I remember the exact date because it was the first day of school. I’m a kinesiology student—that’s the study of body movement. It’s so interesting. I never get bored in class. Today, I learned that once you get a concussion, you’re never the same again. You can actually lose a learned skill. So don’t play football or rugby! It’s bad for your head.

    Nordhoff Street to Normandie Avenue

    #myLAcommute is a project of Zócalo Public Square

  • Islamic extremists ignored contact attempts by wife in California shooting

    December 10, 2015 | 3:53 pm

    Islamic militant groups ignored contact attempts from Pakistan-born Tashfeen Malik in the months before she and her husband killed 14 people at a California holiday party, probably because they feared getting caught in a U.S. law enforcement sting, U.S. government sources said on...

  • #myLAcommute I drink Folgers all day

    December 8, 2015 | 9:37 am


    I pray for an open seat on the train so I can read the Bible and listen to music. I work as a telemarketer, so I talk to people all day long. When someone is angry, I don’t even try to diffuse the situation. I just wish them a nice day. I can’t turn their day around, and I don’t take it personally. To do my job, I need to have a lot of spontaneous responses, enthusiasm, and cheerfulness. I drink Folgers all day to get me hyper.

    88th Street to 6th Street

    #myLAcommute is a project of Zócalo Public Square

  • #myLAcommute My job brings out my inner detective

    December 7, 2015 | 11:29 am

    JEFF T.

    I monitor clients’ bank accounts. You know when you get that email about unusual activity in your account? That’s me looking out for you and making sure you’re not a victim of fraud. I really enjoy my job. It brings out my inner detective.

    Arroyo Parkway to 1st Street

    #myLAcommute is a project of Zócalo Public Square.

  • #myLAcommute My dream is open a Ramen restaurant

    December 4, 2015 | 2:07 pm


    My daughter goes to a Japanese immersion school. Sometimes I look at her homework and I think: That’s too hard! I came to L.A. to study art and graphic design. I liked it so much that I stayed. I go back to Japan once a year. I miss the food, especially ramen. The ramen in L.A. is similar, but it’s not there yet. My dream is to open a ramen restaurant.

    Grand Ave. to Lankershim Blvd.

    #myLAcommute is a project of Zócalo Public Square.

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