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  • Creating Pariahs in the Jewish Community

    By Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Pity the children. Rabbi Simeon Bar Yochai declared "Throw yourself into a blazing furnace rather than shame a neighbor in public." (Talmud Berachoth 43b)

    Now consider Camp Ramah's "Statement of Religious Qualifications for Children." The recently floated statement ("Ramah's Policy in...

  • Fitting the Crime

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Eleanor Kadish had only returned to work for a couple of weeks when she learned that federal prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for Buford O. Furrow, Jr., the avowed white supremacist who is awaiting trial for allegedly shooting her son and four other people at the North...
  • Changing Places

    By Ellie Kahn

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    "I want to move back to Cleveland."

    It's my mother, calling from North Carolina.

    "I miss my friends," she says, tearfully. "I just can't stay here."

    "Here" is a cottage next to my sister's house, surrounded by trees, in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. A creek cascades by her door....

  • Seeking Forgiveness

    By Ruth E. Gruber

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Pope John Paul II will act this month on two prominent themes that have colored his papacy: seeking forgiveness for past Catholic errors, including the treatment of Jews, and his intense personal dream of making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

    But his actions on these issues are coming...

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  • Running Low

    By David Landau

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Prime Minister Ehud Barak is down on that commodity so essential to a politician -- luck.

    On Tuesday, in a screaming headline, the country's largest-circulation daily, Yediot Achronot, announced that an unnamed minister was under investigation for sexually molesting a staffer.

    Within...

  • Where the Heart Is

    By Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Take a minute and build your dream house. What does it look like? How big is it? What do the doorknobs look like? The staircase? How many bedrooms are there? What kinds of flowers are in the yard?

    Building, renovating or even just inhabiting a home requires that we pay attention to...

  • Election Reactions

    By Eric Roth

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Favorite sons George W. Bush and Al Gore scored their knockout victories Tuesday. CNN and NPR reported that insurgent Senators McCain and Bradley were preparing to exit the presidential election campaign following their disappointing results.

    Many Jewish activists, however, found the...

  • Strong Opinions

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Renowned Israeli director Amos Gitai acknowledges that his film, "Kadosh," raises ire in segments of the observant community. "It's critical of certain elements of Jewish tradition that I consider to be reactionary," says the filmmaker, whose movie tells of two oppressed Orthodox...
  • Put On Your Happy Hats

    By David Landau

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Sheri Schrier, the founder of Happy Hats for Kids, emerges from the hospital office/dressing room. She is ready to romp, decked out in a four-foot-high -- and almost equally as wide -- red and white striped stovepipe hat from Dr. Seuss' "Cat in the Hat." "Anybody want a hat?" she...
  • A Jaundiced Lens

    By Rochelle Krich

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    An edgy moodiness pervades "Kadosh," Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai's jaundiced examination of haredi Jerusalem women oppressed by religious extremism. There is little nuance in this uneven film or in Gitai's intentions: to expose the fanaticism of the haredi community and the misogyny...
  • Jews and the Death Penalty

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Many people assume that Jewish law unequivocally advocates capital punishment, because of frequent references to capital crimes and capital punishment in the Torah. But while Jewish law supports the death penalty in theory, the Oral Law makes it difficult, and in most cases...
  • Seltzer Story

    By Leilah Bernstein

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    When Julian Diamond was a boy, seltzer water was the traditional dinner drink at his family's table. The bubbly stuff came in old-fashioned glass bottles (called siphons), complete with chrome-plated pewter nozzle tops, inner glass tubes and decorative labels with distributors' names...
  • The Wines They are a Changin’

    By Eric Silver

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    When Martin Gerstel, a high-flying company executive from Silicon Valley, and his Israeli wife, Shoshana, refurbished a historic old house in Jerusalem's Ethiopia Street, they installed a wine cellar and shipped in 30-40 cases of Napa Valley's choicest.

    A decade later, he restocks...

  • The New Jewish “Vote” ?

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    The Super Tuesday election inspires these thoughts on what constitutes "The Jewish vote."

    It's no secret that Jewish voters are turned off to Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Now we know how turned off they are.

    Exit polling by the Field organization reported the voter breakdown among Jews...

  • Sound Advice

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    March 9, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Two recent conferences held in the Jewish community -- one on autism, the other on a wide scope of disabilities -- demonstrated the difficulties of reconciling research and reality when it comes to helping individuals with special needs.

    The University of Judaism (UJ) held its...

  • Washington Watch

    By James D

    March 9, 2000 | 6:59 pm

    Spending 90 minutes in a small room with Yasser Arafat doesn't quiet old qualms. In military garb and his trademark headdress, Arafat still evokes images of the stubble-bearded terrorist mastermind who caused so much misery and fear for Jews worldwide.

    But in person, it's also easier...

  • Why LAUSD Still Matters

    By Valerie Fields

    March 9, 2000 | 6:59 pm

    Over my 30-plus years of participating in Jewish organizations, I cannot begin to count the numbers of times I've heard the question, "...but is it a Jewish issue?" And of course, using Jewish logic one can, and the community does, find a way to make whatever is being discussed a...
  • Saving a Troubled Agency

    By Michael Aushenker

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    On a moody February morning, at his favorite Westside delicatessen, Ozzie Goren is picking at his scrambled egg whites as he issues another sound statement. When it comes to intensity, it really doesn't matter what the opinionated Goren is talking about -- the passion is always as...
  • Nation/World Briefs

    By Douglas Mirell

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    From the beginning, there were clear indications of the kind of year that lay ahead.

    As the Days of Awe approached last September, President Clinton reached for a High Holidays prayer book and turned to the Yom Kippur liturgy in his search for the right words of contrition following...

  • Youthful Predictions

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    When it comes to the Jewish vote in next Tuesday's 13-state primary, George W. Bush is a dead man. Don't take my word for it. Listen to Jacob Kupietzky for whom this campaign season marks a coming of political age. If you want to know how Jewish youths see the world, he's a good...
  • Theater’s Hall of Fame Inducts L.A.‘s Own

    By Tom Tugend

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    A few weeks ago, Gordon Davidson stood up in the Gershwin Theatre on New York's Broadway and, amidst the plaudits of his peers, was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame, in recognition of his lifetime achievement in the American theater.

    As speakers lauded his 33-year tenure as the...

  • An Attitude Problem

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    The personals sections in an Israeli newspaper contained the following ad:

    "Jewish man seeks partner who will attend shul with him, light Shabbat candles, celebrate holidays, build sukkah together, and go with him to brit milah and bar mitzvah celebrations. Religion not important."

    The...

  • Fighting Hate Groups

    By Tom Tugend

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Gov. Gray Davis has proposed far-reaching legislation to combat hate groups, which, he said, pose a "very serious threat to public safety."

    His omnibus bill would strengthen existing laws by expanding the definition of a hate crime, automatically lengthening by three years prison...

  • History’s First

    By Julie G Fax

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Since four women became Jewish history's first yoatzot, or female halachic consultants, a few months ago, they have been flooded with nightly calls with questions regarding everything from the laws of family purity to the ethics of prenatal testing to infertility treatments.

    "Women...

  • A Gentler Orthodox Feminism

    By Elicia Brown

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Where others saw three Orthodox women in groundbreaking careers and stylish hats, Rachel Pollack, 17, perceived something more. She had found role models.

    "This is something I might want to pursue," said the bright-eyed Ramaz senior after sitting through a session with the world's...

  • Courting the Bigot Vote

    By Douglas Mirell

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Earlier this week GOP presidential hopefuls John McCain and George Bush were speaking simultaneously on opposite coasts with seemingly opposite messages as they sought to drum up votes for the March 7 Super Tuesday primaries. Each is hoping to score a knock-out blow in the 13-state...
  • Flying Aces

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    If you closed your eyes and sat very still, you could almost feel history unfolding last week in Conference Room No. 1 at national United Jewish Appeal headquarters in New York. One of the most broadly representative parliamentary bodies in organized American Jewish life was gathered...
  • Knox vs. Kuehl

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Voters frequently complain about being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils when it comes to candidates for public office. But what's a voter supposed to do when given the choice between two good, solid politicians of virtually equal records?

    In the case of Assembly...

  • Israel to Release Eichmann’s Memoirs

    By Naomi Segal

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Israel has decided to release the memoirs Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann wrote prior to his execution in Israel in 1962.

    The decision followed consultations in the Justice Ministry on whether to make the document available for American scholar Deborah Lipstadt in the ongoing London...

  • Grand Illusion

    By Ruth E. Gruber

    March 2, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    Joerg Haider's unexpected resignation as head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party is widely seen as a strategic ploy that may ultimately win him more political power -- including the nation's leadership.

    "It is important not to overestimate" the move, Marta Halpert, director of the...

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