Jewish Journal

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  • The Finger of God

    By Rabbi Mimi Weisel

    February 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    One of my favorite questions to pose to a group of adults is "What was a spiritual moment for you?" Hearing the details of the responses is powerful; the room becomes silent as each person relays his or her experience. The listeners are moved, inspired, opened in new ways.


  • Fear & Duct Tape in Los Angeles

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    February 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    When the U.S. Homeland Security Advisory System was raised to Code Orange on Feb. 7, indicating a high risk of a terrorist attack, the anxiety level of the Jewish community in Los Angeles rose with it.

    "Our office staff was a lot more anxious that day, to say the least," said Rabbi...

  • New Jerusalem Mayor Causes Concern

    By Matthew Gutman

    February 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The appointment of an acting mayor in Jerusalem has provided a new source of religious-secular tensions in the sharply divided city.

    On Sunday, after Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert announced his resignation so he could take a seat in the Knesset, he was succeeded by Deputy Mayor Uri...

  • Preparing for War

    By Loolwa Khazzoom

    February 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "Hi, uh, I need to prepare for the war," I awkwardly told the clerk at the Tel Aviv branch of Home Center. Somewhere in my tree-lined Northern Califonia brain, I expected him to have no idea what I was talking about. Instead, he efficiently led me to a section replete with full...

  • Prozac Jewess

    By Lori Gottlieb

    February 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    When my therapist suggested that I consider taking antidepressants, I panicked.

    "But what about my dating life?" I shot back. Never mind that I rarely shower before dinnertime (which, come to think of it, might also be affecting my dating life). For the past several months, I've...

  • A Culinary Surprise

    By Judy Zeidler

    February 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Recently, my husband and I traveled extensively throughout Vietnam, where we took several cooking classes and met talented chefs in Saigon, Hoi An and Hanoi. We ate everything from fresh Spring Rolls to Banana Blossom Salad. But the chef that surprised us the most was Donald Berger...

  • Teach Our Children

    By Jane Ulman

    February 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "Why go to war?" Dr. Aryeh Cohen, chair of rabbinic studies at the University of Judaism, asks a group of teenagers at Milken Community High School.

    "To further your political agendas."

    "To help your allies."

    "To prove you're right."

    "To defend yourself."

    With a United...

  • Five Elements of a Fairy-Tale Marriage

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "The Committed Marriage" by Esther Jungreis (Harper San Francisco, $23.95).

    At first glance, the title of Esther Jungreis' new book, "The Committed Marriage," seems a bit redundant. After all, isn't commitment the whole point of getting married?

    But what Jungreis explains is...

  • A Single Problem

    By Amy Klein

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Look, I know you're busy. What with the spouse, the children, the job, the synagogue, the gym, the board meetings, the dinners -- it's hard to find a moment in your day, your week, your month, your life.  But allow me a moment of your time to point your attention to an issue...

  • Educating Rita

    By Amy Rosner

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Rita Milos Brownstein, author "Jewish Weddings" (Simon & Schuster, 2002) said she wishes she had known about yichud before she was married.

    Brownstein, 50, cited yichud -- the time after the ceremony that affords the bride and groom some privacy to share their first moments as...

  • Collaborating on Education

    By Sharon Schatz Rosenthal

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "It may be on the smaller side, and we do have a long way to go, but we definitely have a day school movement," said Rabbi Josh Elkin, executive director of Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE).

    The audience of 600-plus day school advocates responded with thunderous...

  • World Briefs

    By JTA Staff

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Ramon Memorial Service Held

    A state memorial service for Israel's first astronaut was held at an air force base near Ben-Gurion Airport. A plane carrying Col. Ilan Ramon's remains from the United States landed Monday and was taken to the base for the ceremony. Israeli President...

  • The Match Game

    By Buzzy Gordon

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    When B'nai B'rith International needs a headliner to attract people to a fundraising dinner, it knows where to turn.

    Los Angeles-based Celebrity Connection, founded 20 years ago by Barry Greenberg, is the exclusive coordinator for all of B'nai B'rith's fundraising dinners in the...

  • American Jews and Saddam: A Lesson from the 1930s?

    By Dr. Rafael Medoff

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Should American Jews support U.S. military action to remove Saddam Hussein from power? This question, which is the focus of so much discussion  in the Jewish community today, echoes a dilemma that wracked American Jewry during the 1930s.

    American public opinion during the 1930s...

  • Our Eternal Light

    By Rabbi Daniel Bouskila

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    In every generation, there is one special individual whose life and deeds are a living, shining reflection of the Torah's commandment to "bring clear illuminating olive oil to keep the lamp constantly burning." This generation's ner tamid (eternal light) is Col. Ilan Ramon, z"l. My...

  • Herb Brin

    By Tom Tugend

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Herb Brin, one of the most colorful writers and editors in the annals of Los Angeles Jewish journalism, died of congestive heart failure on Feb. 6 at the Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda.

    His death came 11 days before his 88th birthday and shortly after he completed his...

  • The Need for Campus Activism

    By Roz Rothstein

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The level of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments on our campuses has been hotly debated in recent months. Some see an alarming surge of pro-Palestinian prejudices that drown out and intimidate supporters of Israel -- and too often cross the line into anti-Semitism....

  • 7 Days In Arts

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm


    Nora Maccoby comes from a long line of rabbis on her father's side and a Celtic heritage on her mother's. She also tells us that her paternal grandfather was best friends with Mark Rothko; that her sister studied with De Kooning; and that her mother, once a champion figure...

  • The Sound Of Oscar

    By Tom Tugend

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    And the award goes to --The Holocaust! No, the Academy Awards have not been given out yet, but the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences nominated "The Pianist," a searing film of one Jew's survival during the doomed uprisings of the ghetto and city of Warsaw during the...

  • The Jews and Iraq

    By James D. Besser

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Pollsters didn't survey American Jews after last week's dramatic United Nations speech by Secretary of State Colin Powell, but if they did the results would probably show that the community is on the same wavelength as a confused, anxious American public.

    Ask any rabbi or community...

  • Your Letters

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Columbia Tragedy

    Your cover picture on Feb. 7 showing the breakup of the Columbia accompanied by the quote from Psalms 68 is the most beautiful, touching cover I have ever seen. It took my breath away. The scripture is a comfort for the tragedy and uplifting when thinking of the...

  • Ask Wendy

    By Wendy Belzberg

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    An Unreasonable Invite?

    Dear Wendy,

    My wife and I recently had a falling out with very close friends whom we've known for over 40 years. When their daughter became engaged, they told us early on that, for budgetary reasons, our children would not be invited to the wedding. We...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    One year ago, Kol Tikvah Religious School in Woodland Hills started a letter-writing campaign to Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. The students sent letters to him wishing him well and telling him how proud they were of his accomplishments, letting him know he was not only important to...

  • Don’t Judge aBook by Its Cover

    By Yosef Reinman

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The media has been busy for months with "One People, Two Worlds" (Schocken Books, 2002), the book I co-authored with Ammie Hirsch, and the promotional tour from which I withdrew after two appearances in deference to the Council of Torah Sages. Now that the dust has settled somewhat,...

  • ‘Image’ Is Everything

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Dara Horn wrote an exuberant scene in her stunning debut novel, "In the Image," upon returning to her dreary garret flat during a year abroad in 1999. "I'd been to this dismal British market in which an entire aisle was devoted to butter and fats," the ebullient Horn, 25, said...

  • Mazel Tov?

    By Rifka Rosenwein

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Step aside, gentlemen. You will have no interest in this column, I guarantee it.

    Okay, girls. It's about the wedding pages. Come on, admit it, how many of you turn to those pages in the Styles section of The New York Times every Sunday morning? No matter what else is going on in...

  • Not a Day Over 39

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    In one of his most famous bits, comic Jack Benny was held up by a thug who demanded, "Your money or your life." His response was silence. And more silence. Then, desperately, "I'm thinking, I'm thinking!"

    The fiddle-playing Jewish comedian (1894-1974) dominated radio and TV for...

  • Love Spelled G-O-L-D

    By Liz Harris

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine."

    This beautiful expression of commitment from Song of Songs, is for many Jewish couples the perfect way to say "I love you" every day -- without uttering a word.

    Called the "Ani l'dodi v'dodi li" in Hebrew, it adorns many a wedding...

  • Israeli Schools Prepare for War

    By Helen Schary Motro

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    My daughter's friend, Hilla, said her 11th-grade social relations class at Herzliya's Yovel High School normally focused on familiar adolescent topics: interpersonal problems, difficulties with exams, the dangers of drinking and driving.

    But this winter her class spent its time...

  • Ethical Considerations

    By Tom Tugend

    February 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "We will study death, but in the service of the Jewish future," said Dr. Michael Berenbaum, explaining the primary mission of a newly created institute at the University of Judaism.

    The mission is also implicit in the name of the Sigi Ziering Institute for the Study of Ethics and...

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