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  • JCRC’s Schwartz-Getzug picked to head Jewish World Watch

    By Marc Ballon

    October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Tzivia Schwartz-Getzug, a longtime Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles executive and director of the organization's Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC), has been named executive director of Jewish World Watch (JWW), a coalition of synagogues, schools and Jewish community...
  • Anti-Israel UTLA committee gets sent to the corner for a time out

    By Marc Ballon

    October 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The United Teachers Los Angeles committee that came under intense criticism for planning to host a gathering calling for economic sanctions against Israel, including a boycott and divestment, has shut down its Web site and agreed to undertake a monthlong "self-evaluation." The move...
  • United Teachers Los Angeles just says ‘no’ to Israel divestment push by union commitee

    By Marc Ballon

    October 5, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Under a tidal wave of pressure from the local Jewish community, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) has decided to deny use of its headquarters to a UTLA committee planning to host a meeting to discuss the launch of a local boycott of sanctions against and divestment from Israel....
  • Rabbinical marriage counseling works—up to a point

    By Marc Ballon

    October 5, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Rabbi Karen Fox remembers the moment when she decided she needed to pursue a master's degree in counseling psychology.
     
    In the late 1980s, Fox, a rabbi at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, decided to create a support group for several couples who had privately sought her out to discuss...
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  • Comedy director David Zucker goes to GOP?  You can’t be serious!

    By Marc Ballon

    October 5, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    David Zucker, the producer and director of "Airplane," "The Naked Gun" and "Scary Movie 4," embraced the Republican Party in 2004 and voted for President Bush, largely because of security concerns. Once a liberal activist and campaign adviser to President Bill Clinton, he made a...
  • The Maher Hathout brouhaha—what’s the end game?

    By Rob Eshman

    September 28, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Even a resolutely mediocre chess player like me knows it's not enough to have some good opening moves.
     
    To win, you need an end game.
     
    That's why this month's protest by some Jewish groups against the selection of a Muslim spokesman for a county human relations prize baffled...
  • Maher Hathout—partner for peace or anti-Semite in centrist clothing?

    By Marc Ballon

    September 14, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    To progressive Jews, he is a partner for peace and a moderate Muslim in a world darkened by Islamic extremism. To conservative Jews, he is a strident anti-Israel critic, perhaps even a closet anti-Semite, masquerading as a centrist.
     
    Dr. Maher Hathout, like no other local Muslim...
  • An Unexpected Love

    By Marc Ballon

    June 29, 2006 | 8:01 pm

    When I joined The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles in late 2002 after 3 1/2 tumultuous years at the Los Angeles Times, I expected to stay at the paper a maximum of six months. My plan was to use The Journal as a safe haven while I hunted for a prestige magazine gig. After all, I...

  • Time to Watch and Learn at the Zimmer

    By Marc Ballon

    May 11, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Clocks and watches can do far more than simply tell time. A new exhibit at the Zimmer Children's Museum shows that when sliced, diced and deconstructed by artists and humanitarians, timepieces can edify, entertain and even inveigh against social injustice.

    "Show & Tell: The Art of...

  • Community Briefs

    By Marc Ballon

    March 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Displaced Gaza Resident Raises $5,000 in L.A.

    A leader of the displaced Gaza settlers made an impassioned case for the hardships they're suffering before a sympathetic Los Angeles audience, which donated $5,000 on the spot.

    Last August, Dror Vanunu was among about 8,000 settlers in...

  • Cartoon Tension at UC Irvine

    By Marc Ballon

    March 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The showing of three cartoons of the prophet Muhammad at a conference last week on radical Islam at UC Irvine attracted a near-capacity crowd of about 400, including leaders of some local Jewish groups, while protesters demonstrated outside.

    A palpable tension descended on the...

  • Car Crash Claims Beloved Northridge Rabbi

    By Marc Ballon

    November 17, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    The beloved rabbi of a Northridge synagogue apparently committed suicide in the wake of personal disclosures that jeopardized his job. These disclosures had to do with allegedly "inappropriate" actions by the rabbi, but nothing that was criminal or illegal, said officials of Temple...

  • Groups Pitch in With Housing, Tuition

    By Marc Ballon

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Critics have long derided Jewish federations as functionally outdated and overly bureaucratic -- the organizational equivalent of dinosaurs on the brink of irrelevance, if not extinction.

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina's devastation, though, the array of Jewish organizations...

  • Community Briefs

    By Amy Klein

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Interfaith Fasting for Yom Kippur

    Jews aren't the only ones fasting this High Holiday season.

    Two other religious organizations, one Christian, one Muslim, have joined with a Jewish one to call on Americans to take part in a nationwide fast of reflection, repentance, reconciliation...

  • Q & A With Richard Z.Chesnoff

    By Marc Ballon

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    In his decades as a journalist, foreign correspondent Richard Z. Chesnoff has reported from around the globe, including the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Over the years, Chesnoff -- a contributing editor at U.S. News & World Report, columnist for the New York Daily News and...

  • Community Briefs

    By Marc Ballon

    September 1, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Fallout From Holy Day Ballot

    The Rosh Hashanah election fracas took another odd turn this week when Orange County officials placed the county's registrar of voters on paid administrative leave. Steve Rodermund, who has held the position since late 2003, was relieved of his duties...

  • Teaching in the Temple of Nature

    By Marc Ballon

    August 25, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Gabe Goldman wanted to believe in miracles, wanted to believe in the power of prayer, wanted to believe that God had spoken to prophets. But Goldman, an Orthodox Jew, felt burned out on Judaism. He would perform the rituals with perfect technique, but no heart. A change, he thought,...

  • Tentative Deal to Save Valley Cities JCC

    By Marc Ballon

    July 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The Valley Cities Jewish Community Center received a new lease on life late last week when its parent organization agreed in principle to sell the center property to a local partnership that will keep the JCC going. Without the agreement, the center could have shut down at the end of...

  • Tentative Deal to Save Valley Cities JCC

    By Marc Ballon

    June 30, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The Valley Cities Jewish Community Center received a new lease on life this week when its parent organization agreed in principle to sell the center property to a local partnership that will keep the JCC going. Without the agreement, the center could have shut down at the end of...

  • Bishop Helps Save Silver Lake JCC

    By Marc Ballon

    April 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    In the end, it wasn’t a Jewish organization that saved a valuable Jewish community center, but a forward-thinking Christian cleric.
    Bishop J. Jon Bruno, head of Los Angeles’ Episcopal Diocese, has stepped in with the money needed to rescue the Silverlake Independent Jewish...

  • Community Briefs

    By Tom Tugend

    April 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Court Dismisses Suit in Two Airport Shooting Deaths

    The families of two Israeli Americans killed by a terrorist at Los Angeles International Airport are not due any compensation from the city of Los Angeles, a federal judge has ruled.

    The victims, Yaakov (Jacob) Aminov, 46, and...

  • Friendships Add Life to Scholarships Role

    By Marc Ballon

    December 30, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    As a young man, Bernie Axelrad learned two invaluable lessons: family and education are everything.

    For him, education was nothing less than an escape from the tenements of the Lower East Side and the grinding poverty of meals fortified with lots of bread and potatoes. With a...

  • Agencies’ Funding Cuts Hurts Assistance for Southland Poor

    By Marc Ballon

    November 18, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Like their clients, several local Jewish agencies that serve the poor are struggling mightily.

    Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) and other Jewish nonprofits have recently lost millions in government funding at a time when demand for their services has skyrocketed. That has strained...

  • Bush Win Inspires Local GOP Leader

    By Marc Ballon

    November 11, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    George W. Bush wasn't the only Republican to win big on election night. Larry Greenfield, director of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) of Southern California, also fared quite well.

    Surrounded by a crowd of 250 Jewish Republicans partying at Beverly Hills' Level One club, a...

  • American Red Cross Seeks Image Rehab

    By Marc Ballon

    October 14, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Howard Parmet is on a mission.

    Parmet, community outreach consultant for the American Red Cross (ARC) of Greater Los Angeles, wants to build bridges to a Jewish community that has largely shunned the organization because of a belief that it is anti-Israeli at best and anti-Semitic at...

  • Father of the Leftist Guard

    By Marc Ballon

    September 9, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Stanley Sheinbaum is in his element. As 40 members of Americans for Peace Now and their allies sip white wine, nibble brie and heatedly discuss the economic and moral injustices of Israel's occupation, the éminence grise of liberalism watches and listens with the rapt attention of...

  • Civil Rights Goes Beyond Ethnic Lines

    By Marc Ballon

    May 6, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    When the nation's largest and oldest Mexican American civil rights group selected a new leader recently, the committee that recruited her included the organization's chairman, a man who is neither a Mexican American nor an immigrant. Meet Joe Stern.

    For Stern, the immigrant...

  • Trio Spearheads New Bid to Save JCC

    By Marc Ballon

    April 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    At the downtown YMCA on Saturday mornings, parents congregate at poolside tables to gossip, kibitz and trade jokes, while their children take swimming lessons. For the adults, these hour-long sessions represent nothing less than a much-needed respite from the grind of the work week....

  • Valley Cities JCC Slated to Shut Down

    By Marc Ballon

    March 11, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    For more than 50 years, Valley Cities Jewish Community Center (JCC) has served as a magnet for San Fernando Valley Jews, a one-stop shop that offers a panoply of services, ranging from nursery school for the young to lectures for seniors.

    Thousands of Jews have kibitzed, made...

  • Thriving Silverlake Faces Closure Peril

    By Marc Ballon

    March 11, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    As the Valley Cities Jewish Community Center slips into a coma and the health of other JCCs declines, the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center not only has survived but thrived. That makes it all the more strange the center is in danger of shutting down.

    Nearly two years...

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