Anti-apartheid activist and former South African president Nelson Mandela — a hero to many Los Angeles Jews with ties to that country — died Dec. 5. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was 95.
There is nothing new under the sun,” Ecclesiastes tells us, but what about Los Angeles? In the city’s history, lost in the files of patents, oral histories and news stories, we find Jewish innovators — scientists and designers, who through their inventions, concoctions and designs have beamed lasers into our lives, fed the hungry and dressed us in both the latest and barest of fashion.
On a Saturday evening in downtown Los Angeles, as the somewhat surreal hush started to descend on Broadway following the weekend daytime hustle, diners gathered around an open kitchen at Umamicatessen, the flagship outpost of the reigning champ of nouveau burger chains.
Last Sunday, my job was to make stuffing for 400 people. I said I’d do it because there’s a part of me that prefers to forget that it’s been 25 years since I was a caterer, and I assumed it would be as easy now as it was then.
Finding space to move inside the tiny kitchen of The Kosher Palate food truck is tough, but that hasn’t stopped owner Michele Grant from using it to cook up plenty of creative meals for her menu.
Traveling through Hancock Park in a motorcade on Oct. 27, Janos Ader, president of the Republic of Hungary, visited Congregation Bais Naftoli, where he participated in a breakfast held in his honor. Rabbi Avi Leibovic, spiritual leader of Bais Naftoli and executive director of Aish Tamid, introduced the program.
We were sharing a pastrami sandwich and pickles at a Los Angeles landmark: Canter’s Deli on Fairfax. I was 24; she was nearly 50 years older, with a piercing voice as loud as her flaming red wig.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has earned a place on The Jewish Daily Forward’s annual list of 50 Jewish newsmakers of 2013.
Amid the international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, some national groups, as well as Los Angeles-based Jewish community organizations and other Iran human rights activists, have launched a new campaign calling for Los Angeles city officials to bar from the Port of Los Angeles ships that have docked in Iranian ports.
For the past 10 years, the Holy Land Democracy Project, sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, has been taking educators from Catholic, charter and Protestant high schools throughout the Los Angeles region to Israel.
About a mile north of Duke’s in Malibu, a right turn takes you up to a bluff with its own driveway, which leads to a large parking lot. There, on the day I visited, a tour bus was parked in front of a modest ranch house, alongside several other cars, none of them too fancy.
At first glance, Jews might appear to be enjoying a renaissance of political influence in Los Angeles. Eric Garcetti is the first elected Jewish mayor and the two other citywide elected officials — City Attorney Mike Feuer and City Controller Ron Galperin — are Jewish, too. So are three City Councilmembers.
New York law enforcement assumed custody of accused sex-offender Mendel Tevel late Thursday morning, Nov. 7, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Beverly Hills police arrested Tevel on Oct. 29 after receiving a warrant from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.
The recent Pew survey of American Jews caused a flutter in the organized Jewish community.
A provocative discussion on sex and spirituality. Whether you are single, married, have a great sex life, or want one — join the conversation as we talk about what sex means to a relationship and how it is reflected in our faith.
A gunman opened fire with an assault rifle in a terminal of Los Angeles International airport on Friday, killing a Transportation Security Agent and injuring at least six other people before he was shot and captured, authorities said.
On Thursday afternoon, Oct. 31, Mendel Tevel appeared in a Los Angeles Superior Court for the first time since his arrest two days earlier by Beverly Hills police acting on a warrant issued by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. Tevel, a rabbi and youth worker, is accused of 11 counts of alleged sexual abuse in New York.
Menachem Mendel Tewel, who goes by the name Mendel Tevel, remains in a Los Angeles jail awaiting extradition to Brooklyn. The rabbi and youth worker arrested Tuesday afternoon at the JEM Center in Beverly Hills is expected to be charged in New York with three counts of sexual abuse, according to officials in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and the New York Police Department.
Larger Than Life-L.A. Family, which supports cancer-stricken children from Israel and Los Angeles, celebrated its 10th anniversary Oct. 13 when more than 1,200 people gathered at the Beverly Hilton Hotel for an evening gala of music, awards and more.
The legendary Sunset Strip, traversing nearly 100 years of Los Angeles history, winds it way past three famous, even infamous, enterprises along its 1.7-mile length: the gangland offices of Mickey Cohen; the hotel of Alla Nazimova, a bisexual Jewish silent film star; and the nightclub of Alice Schiller, a Jewish woman whom The New York Times called in her obituary the “The Impresaria of Striptease.”
More than two dozen Jewish high school student journalists from Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco gathered on Oct. 24 for a four-day convention and Shabbaton that aimed to build students’ practical journalism skills while addressing the intersection of news reporting and Jewish ethics.
As the black SUVs pulled up to the Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy on West Olympic Boulevard in Beverly Hills, a star-struck reception began. More than 500 students waved miniature Israeli flags and sang “Hevenu Shalom Aleichem.”
Mendel Tevel, a local rabbi and youth worker accused by multiple people in the New York Jewish community of sexual abuse, was arrested Tuesday, October 29, at the JEM Center in Beverly Hills.
Four educators at area Jewish schools were awarded $15,000 Milken Jewish Educator Awards by the Milken Family Foundation earlier this month.
I first became aware of autonomous cars when I read of Google’s successful attempt last year to drive a Prius from San Francisco to Los Angeles without human intervention. To be clear, a human was in the car, but he was there only in case he was needed — and the need never came up.
Of the 3,977 angry e-mails I received last week, one stood out. “I am a Jew, a member of Temple Emanuel in Los Angeles, and the founder of the largest local, grass-roots Tea Party group in Los Angeles called the Hancock Park Patriots,” Mark Sonnenklar wrote.
For decades now, as Rabbi Jacob (Jack) Pressman celebrated a milestone birthday, there was a gala show and dinner starring Rabbi Jack and his myriad show-biz friends to manifest and celebrate the many talents and achievements of this extraordinary man. Five years ago, Temple Beth Am celebrated his 90th birthday when he turned 89, just in case.
When the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) performs Vivaldi’s evergreen “The Four Seasons” at a benefit at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Oct. 30, the orchestra won’t be made up of its 100-plus players.
Some brides look for the hottest new places for their wedding ceremonies and receptions. Others are interested in staging their nuptials at L.A. mainstays. There are places, however, that offer the best of both worlds — locations that are definitively part of the local DNA, yet have undergone renovations or added new spaces that make them modern and more relevant than ever for today’s brides.
One day in early March 1954, Uri Herscher, just 12 at the time, ran away from his parents. His father, Joseph, a cabinetmaker, and mother, Lucy, a laundress, were having trouble making ends meet living in Israel. Together with Uri and his younger brother, Eli, they were meant to leave from Haifa the next morning to travel to the United States. There, the family would find a new home in San Jose, Calif., a thriving middle-class community with very few Jews, where Joseph’s sister had already set down roots.
You would think that when the Polish edition of Forbes, the internationally respected financial magazine, publishes a front-page exposé on the disappearance of tens of millions of dollars of Holocaust restitution funds, Jews everywhere would be outraged and demand an immediate, independent investigation.
The signs of Richard Smith’s success precede him: His 25th-floor office on Santa Monica Boulevard overlooks Los Angeles Country Club’s golf greens to the north and the spread of the city’s business districts to the south.
A new initiative by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles aims to prove that it doesn’t take a lot of money to make a big difference.
As the executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation-The Institute for Visual History and Education, Stephen Smith is known for his work preserving the memory of the Holocaust.
Full disclosure: I have been thinking about the results of the Pew report for more than a decade. I understand that Pew didn’t release its results until last week, but these statistics and trends have been obvious to some in the Jewish community for a very long time.
Leon Benveniste died Sept. 3 at 91. Survived by wife Annette; daughter Dale; sister Shirlee Peha. Malinow & Silverman
Jewish high school journalists from around the country will meet in Los Angeles later this month at the Jewish Scholastic Press Association’s (JSPA) inaugural convention and Shabbaton.
Harry Lenzer’s massive headstone lay flat on his grave, fallen and cracked in three pieces, for who knows how long — maybe years.
It was early Monday morning here in the Old City of Jerusalem. We had just finished our minyan in the Rabban Yohanan Ben Zakkai synagogue, the same synagogue where generations of Sephardic Chief Rabbis have been crowned as the Rishon L’Zion. I walked over to the bookcase, and my heart was drawn to a large volume titled “Yabia Omer.” I sat over coffee studying, and when I turned on the radio, I heard that Rav Ovadia Yosef was in critical condition. I spent the morning immersed in “Yabia Omer,” until the bitter news was announced: “Rav Ovadia Yosef has passed on to heaven.” He was 93.
Philanthropist and community activist Joyce Black, wife of real estate magnate Stanley Black for 57 years, died on Oct. 4 after a prolonged battle with cancer. She was 75.
Shalom Hartman fellow Yossi Klein Halevi serves as Beth Jacob Congregation’s Shabbat scholar in residence. Author of the new book “Like Dreamers,” which explores the story of the soldiers who reunited Jerusalem and divided a nation, Klein Halevi will give the Shabbat morning drash and speak during a community lunch-and-learn as well as during a Melava Malka at a private residence. Thu. 9 a.m. (services), 11 a.m. (lunch), 8:30 p.m. (Melava Malka). RSVP required for lunch-and-learn: $35 (adults), $25 (children). Beth Jacob, 9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills. (310) 278-1911. bethjacob.org.
As states across the country prepare for the rollout of health insurance coverage the state of California has become a leader. While some states have chosen not to provide a system for their residents to access affordable health care, California has set up Covered California, a market place or exchange where eligible individuals, families and small businesses can choose from a selection of affordable health care plans.
Why do they call themselves Persian? The first time someone asked me this was during a Harvest Day at my kids’ school. I had just been introduced to a blond, green-eyed American Jewish woman. I didn’t understand her question.
Have you ever been lost on Ventura Boulevard, a street that’s long on history? One night, I found myself west of the 405 Freeway, searching for the street on which to turn left to pick up my teenage son and realized I’d totally lost my bearings.
Jews continue to be the single most targeted group of religiously motivated hate crimes in Los Angeles County according to the 2012 Hate Crime Report published by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations that was released on Oct. 2.
Twenty-five years after winning their most recent National League (NL) pennant, the resurgent Los Angeles Dodgers have their sights set on World Series glory to cap what has been an astonishing 2013 season.
The pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC “actively discouraged” an effort by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to reach out to Iranian-American Jews in Los Angeles, according to Sinai Temple’s Rabbi David Wolpe.
If you thought your beautiful new spouse was cheating on you, wouldn’t you create a disguise and test her fidelity? Ferenc Molnar’s comic game of love and marriage may or may not remind you of you and yours, but with wit and deception aplenty, it’ll certainly be fun to watch. Directed by Michael Michetti. Sat. 8 p.m. Through Nov. 30. $34-$54. A Noise Within, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. (626) 356-3100. anoisewithin.org.
Bet Tzedek, a nonprofit that provides free legal services for poor people, is locked in a dispute with the union that represents most of its workers, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (or AFSCME).
The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest public school district in the United States, has approved a plan that will provide every K-12 student and teacher in Los Angeles with an iPad by fall 2014.
In honor of 9/11, Israel Consul General in Los Angeles David Siegel took part in a private visit to Los Angeles Fire Station 88, where he met with officials from the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).
Written with honesty, curiosity and humor by Hélène Cixous, “Oy” follows sisters Selma and Jenny as they return home to Paris after a trip to their German hometown to testify about the horrors they endured during the Holocaust. Based on the experiences of the playwright’s family members, the piece works to untangle the memories and emotions of a shared journey. Sat. 8 p.m. Through Oct. 20. $34.99 (general), $30 (students, seniors). The Actors’ Gang, 9070 Venice Blvd., Culver City. (310) 838-4264. theactorsgang.com.
I want to tell you about a man I’ll call Jack. Jack was a man who slept under the 405 underpass that I cross on my walk to synagogue every Shabbat. For a long time, I didn’t really see him. He was tucked away in the bushes next to the on-ramp. But that’s not what kept me from seeing him.
For the first time since the Academy for Jewish Religion, CA (AJR-CA), was founded 13 years ago, the pluralistic institution that trains rabbis, cantors and chaplains has its own space. The school moved from Westwood into the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles earlier this month.
When it came time to choose a charity project for his September 2014 bar mitzvah, Ben Moody knew he wanted to support a cause close to his heart. “We’re always on our boat and at the beach, and we love the water,” Moody, 12, said of his Westlake Village family. He counts surfing and bodyboarding as some of his favorite activities. “I love the beach and everything about it,” he said.
The students glisten with youth. Every one of them is beautiful.