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  • Sticker Shock

    By Judy Gruen

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    After months of debate and deliberation, my husband and I decided to trade in the ocean breeze and proximity to the brand-new Starbucks on Lincoln Boulevard for the clogged air and congested streets of Pico-Robertson. I had toyed with the idea earlier, and had even lookie-looed my...
  • Eye of the Damn Tiger

    By Teresa Strasser

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Like most women, I had never punched anyone in the face. That is, until I socked Spar Pro, a plastic peach-colored torso on a stick. It was a totally foreign sensation, twisting into a right-handed uppercut and letting Mr. Spar Pro have it right on the chin, his beady eyes staring...
  • The Hart of the Matter

    By Beverly Gray

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The subject arose over dinner in a neighborhood restaurant. Have you heard, asked a friend who's generally up on current affairs, that the new governor wants to open the University of California system to the top 4 percent of every high school graduating class? The implications...
  • The Youngest Victims

    By Daphna Edwards Ziman

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    On May 3, filmmaker Daphna Edwards Ziman accompanied a delegation from United Jewish Communities on a humanitarian mission to help the Kosovar refugees. The group brought food and medical supplies to the refugees and airlifted mothers and children from the camps in Albania and...
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  • Barak’s Tough Choices

    By Larry Derfner

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The tens of thousands of happy secularists who danced Election Night away in Rabin Square may have thought they'd "taken back the country" from the right-wing and religious, but according to all the signs, incoming Prime Minister Ehud Barak has a surprise in store for them.

    Not only...

  • Pushing for Peace

    By Matthew Dorf

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The Clinton administration has a simple message for Israelis and Palestinians: The peace process must move forward without delay.

    As soon as Israel's new government is in place, the State Department plans to execute a Middle East plan that has been carefully crafted during the last...

  • News of the Week

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Most of the people I know in Israel voted for Barak; a few preferred Netanyahu. But on the part of almost everyone, outcome aside, there was a tremendous sense of excitement, of participating in what felt like an intense moment of change.

    In Israel, after all, 80 percent of the...

  • Torah For Torah’s Sake

    By Beverly Gray

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The Jewish Federation's Westside facility was transformed into a beit midrash, a traditional Jewish study hall, last week when more than 250 people of all denominations gathered to study Torah together.

    "There were people sitting and standing in every crevice of the two rooms and...

  • Hier Under Fire

    By Tom Tugend

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Some Catholic and Jewish leaders are denouncing a campaign by Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center against elevating wartime Pope Pius XII to sainthood.

    Describing Pius XII as "the pope of the Holocaust," the center's founder and dean charged last week that throughout...

  • Image Playing

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    In Eleanor Antin's filmic art installation, "Vilna Nights," ghostly images flicker in the ruined courtyard of a Jewish ghetto. In one window, a woman burns a passel of love letters; in another, a tailor sobs while mending the clothing of murdered children; in a third, hungry children...
  • Community Briefs

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Even for an international film producer and inveterate traveler, Arthur Cohn has covered a lot of territory recently.

    During the last week in October, the winner of a record five Oscars and producer of "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis" and "Central Station" was feted in Shanghai at...

  • Orna’s Jazzy Ways

    By Michael Aushenker

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Nocturnal in black, with an aura of cool magnified by her sexy South African accent, Orna sweeps through a set of jazz standards before a restaurant packed with twentysomething peers. Whether burning through "Fever" or coasting through "The Island" in Portuguese, the singer ensnares...
  • The Storyteller

    By Rob Eshman

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The cover of film director Paul Mazursky's first book, "Show Me the Magic" (Simon and Schuster, $25) offers book-jacket browsers a list of all the famous names to be found inside. There's Danny Kaye, whose television show a young Mazursky helped write, Natalie Wood, Bette Midler and...
  • Ties Still Bind

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    With Monday's victory of Labor candidate Ehud Barak as Israeli prime minister, we can once again put to rest the age-old stereotype that American Jews are disinterested in Israel. As this week's Gallop poll indicates, nothing could be farther from the truth. A full 82 percent of...
  • Teddy Bear Patrol

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Every time a Los Angeles police officer or social worker goes to a home with court orders to remove a child who has been subjected to abuse or neglect, a teddy bear goes along. In the four years since the "Teddy Bear Patrol" began, 18,000 teddy bears have been given to children at a...
  • A Survivor’s ‘Stories’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Linda Lavin has some advice for Ruth Steiner, the aging Jewish intellectual she portrays in Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama, "Collected Stories," at the Geffen Playhouse.

    Be wary of writers. They're always desperately looking for material. "If you don't want your...

  • Seismic Shift

    By David Landau

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Pundits everywhere are calling Israel's election results a "political earthquake." In fact, though, two distinct tremors have overturned the rules and realities that have governed the Jewish state and its policy-making these past three years.

    Labor Party leader Ehud Barak's 56 percent...

  • Making History

    By  Orit Arfa

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Only eight men and women stepped up to the podium in front of the ark at Valley Beth Shalom on Monday to receive their smicha (rabbinical ordination) from the University of Judaism's Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies, but the event resonated with historical and religious...
  • He Was No Saint

    By Rabbi Marvin Hier

    May 20, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    On Thursday, May 13, Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, delivered an address at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. The speech, entitled "The State of the Jews," touched on many issues, including the need for Holocaust memorials, the lack of funding for Jewish...
  • Stand Up To Be Counted

    By Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben

    May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    A young woman called, asking if I would be willing to visit with her 95-year-old grandmother. She seemed to be slipping away from life more and more each day, and had been asking to speak with a rabbi. I didn't know the woman or her family, but I figured anyone who lives to be 95...

  • Gemara Under the Sun

    By Julie G Fax

    May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    A pair of students -- a traditional chavruta study partnership -- grapple with a tricky piece of Gemara. Their heavy tomes rest not on a classroom desk top but on freshly mowed grass. And the tiny letters of the Rashi and Tosafot commentaries are illuminated by a blazing summer sun...
  • Discovering Zion

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    State Sen. Richard Alarcon, along with state Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa and 16 other guests of the Anti-Defamation League, spent the week of April 24-30 touring Israel. The trip ran simultaneously with that of Children of the Dream, an ADL project to foster mutual respect...
  • The Way We Live Now

    May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Two items in the news caught my eye this week. One of course was the wind-down of the bitter intramural elections in Israel, which has only nominally been concerned with the peace process and the next door Palestinians; voters go to the polls Monday, May 17. The second was the...
  • Defending Their Serbia

    By Tom Tugend

    May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    When Dusica Savic Benghiat makes her daily phone call to her mother in Belgrade, she can frequently hear the air-raid sirens as a backdrop to the 78-year-old woman's increasingly discouraged voice.

    "My mother tells me she doesn't care anymore. She just stays in bed. If the bombs miss...

  • Starting Over

    By Edward Serotta

    May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    On March 22, Aca Singer, 70, thin and silver-haired, picked up the telephone in his Belgrade office and dialed a number in Budapest, where he was connected with Gusztav Zoltai, a man 10 years his junior.

    Speaking in Hungarian, Singer told Zoltai that the plan they had laid out the...

  • Israel On Broadway

    By David Margolis

    May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Here are a few choice opinions about Reform Judaism in America:

    Generally speaking, American Reform Jews are lazy about religion and unwilling to disrupt their comfortable lives for the sake of keeping Judaism alive. Their rabbis, who learned from their teachers to legitimize...

  • Payback Time

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Hillary Rodham Clinton, on a swing through upstate New York last week while trying out a bid for the U.S. Senate, asked a crowd of women if they had trouble feeling good about the level of child care their children received. Jewish women could not in truth raise their hands at her...
  • Norman Lear on Comedy, TV and His Mother

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Norman Lear, who changed the face of American TV with landmark shows such as "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons," just wanted to talk about his mother.

    The legendary writer-director-producer was speaking at a program that was part of the Skirball Cultural Center's "Spotlight"...

  • Soy Vey! A Shavuot Without Milk

    By Rob Eshman

    May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    The Jewish holiday of Shavuot, on May 21, is about the last time of year you would want to talk to Beth Ginsberg or her boss, Michael Milken. Ginsberg is Milken's chef, and together they co-authored the best-selling "The Taste of Living Cookbook: Mike Milken's Favorite Recipes for...

  • Lessons From the Front

    By Eric Silver

    May 13, 1999 | 8:00 pm

    Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak fought side-by-side a quarter of a century ago in some of the most intrepid exploits of Israel's crack anti-terrorist unit, the Sayeret Matkal. They freed a hijacked Sabena airliner on a runway. They wrought havoc, on separate commando raids, in...

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