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  • World Briefs

    By JTA Staff

    January 16, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Report: Saudi Sponsorship Hidden

    Saudi Arabia's sponsorship of an anti-Israel radio campaign in the United States last year was reportedly hidden. The Saudi government, through a Washington public relations firm, Qorvis Communications, spent $679,000 alone on anti-Israel radio...

  • Plant a Tree, Save a Car

    By Rob Eshman

    January 16, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    When I was a kid in Hebrew school, all we did to celebrate Tu B'Shevat was send some money to Israel to plant a tree.

    Not unimportant, but hardly a High Holiday.

    These days, Tu B'Shevat, which begins on sundown Friday, is a much, much bigger deal. Jewish environmentalists have...

  • Two YULA Students Picked as Scholars

    By Sharon Schatz Rosenthal

    January 16, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Having a conversation with Yeshiva University of Los Angeles (YULA) students Debra Glasberg and Tzvi Smith is like chatting with two political experts being interviewed on CNN. These two high school students are among the five Jewish teens chosen for the exclusive Sen. Joseph...

  • Saving the South

    By Andrew Muchin

    January 16, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The huge sanctuary of Temple Mishkan Israel, a red brick architectural treasure that graces the main street of historic Selma, Ala., is used only on the High Holidays or for special occasions.

    The 20-family Reform congregation usually worships in a multipurpose room past the dais....

  • Fear and Loathing in ‘America’

    By Keren Engelberg

    January 16, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Iris Bahr is pretty, but you could watch her for the full span of her 54-minute one-woman production and still manage to miss that. 

    With the help of a masculine hairdo (she cut her hair for the show, and wears it slicked back) and some minimal wardrobe changes, Bahr morphs into...

  • A Writer, A Rabbi and a Connection

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    January 16, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Some synagogues want a rabbi who's a good sermonizer, others want a scholar; some want someone who relates well to their teenagers, others want a rabbi they can call by first name and play tennis or basketball with; some want an individual well known in the larger community, others...

  • Jewish Silence on Tax Plan Deafening

    By James D. Besser

    January 16, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Washington is buzzing about the Bush administration's huge new tax cut proposal, but the silence from Jewish groups is deafening -- and revealing.

    Many activists believe big, new cuts that don't immediately stimulate the faltering economy will have a devastating impact on...

  • Gay Halacha

    By David Bianco

    January 16, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Later this year, the Conservative movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards will most likely reconsider the subject of homosexuality. As in the past, the extremes in these discussions are not listening to each other, and there's been no mention of an obvious problem with the...

  • Food for Thought

    By Rachel Brand

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Maybe you've noticed that many of the bagel chains today are named after some of the most influential Jewish figures in history -- Einstein, Noah. But have you ever stopped to think that maybe it's the bagels that spurred all of this insight?

    Well, the creators of TheBagel.org, a new...

  • Your Letters

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Happy Minyan

    The opinion piece criticizing the Happy Minyan missed the story of what really went on that Shabbat ("Happy Minyan Hits a Sour Note," Jan. 3). First, the author of the piece was greeted at the door by someone who never met him, so that he would feel welcome. Then when...

  • Why Jews Don’t Accept Jesus

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Why don't Jews accept Jesus as the Messiah or son of God?

    Growing up in Philadelphia, I attended Akiba Hebrew Academy, a private Jewish school. In 11th grade, a Southern Baptist preacher came to speak to our class. He looked around the room, and with a kindly smile said, "You seem...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    And I don't mean the New Year that falls on Jan. 1. I mean the New Year of Trees. This year, Tu B'Shevat begins at sundown on Friday, Jan. 17 and ends Saturday, Jan. 18. This week's and next week's pages will be devoted to Tu B'Shevat.

    Tu B'Shevat is a time of renewal; the winter...

  • Send Troops

    By Rob Eshman

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    As the weather warmed this week, the yard signs protesting NO WAR pushed up like crocuses through lawns from Santa Monica to Hollywood.

    Not many, mind you -- but enough to signal that quite a few Americans are having second and third thoughts about a war against Saddam.

    Nobody likes...

  • 7 Days In Arts

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm


    At times heartbreaking in their candor, Lauren Greenfield's photo essay images and text reveal the not-so-cute-and-cuddly side of "Girl Culture." Subjects covered include body image, beauty and femininity, as this excerpt by Mary Cady, 18, of Chattanooga Tenn., demonstrates:...

  • Where Have All the Jews Gone?

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    It was one of those moments that capture a nation's interest. The Powerball Lottery reached $314.9 million and one person, Andrew J. Whittaker from Hurricane, W.Va., was the lucky winner. As the media descended upon him and his wife, Jewell, asking them about everything under the...

  • Romancing Religion in the City of Lights

    By Lisa Keys

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    In French director Pascale Bailly's latest film, "God Is Great, and I'm Not" ("Dieu Est Grand, Je Suis Toute Petite"), Michèle, a misguided 20-year-old, hates her family, has had an abortion and just dumped her loser boyfriend. In her despair, she asks God for help and turns to...

  • Meyer: Hero or Anti-Hero?

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "A Jewish friend of mine loves 'The Sopranos,'" Italian American actor Joe Bologna said with a groan. "I told him, 'How'd you like to see a show called "The Goldsteins" about white-collar criminals and the biggest shyster is Izzy Goldstein?"

    Bologna isn't about to play Izzy, but he...

  • Emanuel’s Impact

    By Eli Kintisch

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The subject of Monday afternoon's Democratic caucus meeting was crucial: On the eve of President Bush's release of his economic stimulus package, how could House Democrats make the public case that their package was better?

    By the end of the two-hour meeting, the more than 175...

  • Tel Aviv Bombing Lets Arafat Off Hook

    By Gil Sedan

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The bombs that ripped through crowds of Israelis and foreign workers in Tel Aviv this weekend may have saved Yasser Arafat from making some tough decisions.

    Internal and external pressures have been building on Arafat to allow comprehensive reforms of the Palestinian Authority --...

  • Terrorism Grows as Israeli Vote Issue

    By Leslie Susser

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    This week's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv has made terror even more of a central issue in Israel's upcoming election -- and highlighted the major parties' different prescriptions for ending the violence.

    For months, Amram Mitzna, the Labor Party's candidate in the elections, has...

  • Am I Annoying?

    By Teresa Strasser

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    I knew better. I had about as much business being there as an elderly tourist has of being on Skid Row after midnight with a map in his hand and a blank cashier's check taped to his forehead. I was in grave danger of a psychological mugging, and I knew it.

    I kept telling myself to...

  • Jewish History Draws in Bratislava

    By Curt Leviant

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Once we declared here that we would visit Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, we expected people to say, "How quaint! How interesting! What an unusual place to visit." Instead, we invariably heard, "Why Bratislava?" And in Prague, when we announced our next stop, the reaction was,...

  • Community Briefs

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Kahane Chai Claims Billboard Vandalsim

    "Jews for Kahane."

    That was the statement greeting the Pico-Robertson area on Sun., Dec. 29 after vandals defaced a Jews for Jesus billboard advertisement, replacing the word "Jesus" with "Kahane," and covering up a portion of the...

  • On Account of This

    By Rabbi Yitzchak Etshalom

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "I have a dream." With those magical words, the great leader of a generation began a speech that still quickens hearts today.

    This month, we will be celebrating the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose visionary leadership animated much of this country in years...

  • Jewish Vodka Rocks in Russia

    By Lev Krichevsky

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    As Russia celebratesthe 500th year of its unofficial national beverage, Yevreskaya Vodka -- or Jewish Vodka -- is succeeding with Russians by emphasizing Jewish religion and culture. Yevreskaya sells in Moscow at about $2 for a pint -- a medium-priced vodka by local standards. The...

  • Vista Leader Sets Sail for Retirement

    By Marc Ballon

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    After graduating from UCLA nearly four decades ago with a degree in psychology, Gerald Zaslaw thought about becoming a parole officer. But after briefly working alongside one, he had a change of plans. Rather than police children, Zaslaw decided he wanted to help them.

    And so he has....

  • A Growing Presence

    By Michael Aushenker

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    It has taken roughly three decades for L.A.'s community of Russian-speaking Jews to steadily, if incrementally, gain a foothold in Jewish American and mainstream American life.

    "In the Russian Jewish community, you didn't have, until the early '90s, any organization," said Miriam...

  • Where No Israeli Has Gone Before

    By Yitzhak Ben-Horin

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Ilan Ramon walks the pathways of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, slowed by the weight of the thick book under his arm. It's the bible of the "magnificent seven" -- the group of astronauts scheduled to blast off in the space shuttle Columbia Jan. 16 from the Kennedy Space Center....

  • Silence on Israel Is Not Golden

    By Rabbi Susan Laemmle

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    For Avi Davis, truth is a blazing light threatening to blind the unprepared.

    There are no moderating factors or gradations, just a division between those who can handle its assault and those who can't.

    In contrast to Davis' unitary absolutism, traditional Jewish wisdom tends to...

  • Chabad Case Closed, With Enmity

    By Gaby Wenig

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The Los Angeles Superior Court confirmed on Wednesday a controversial beit din (Jewish court of law) arbitration award that ruled that properties controlled by the Living Judaism Center (LJC) should be taken over by Chabad of California.

    The conflict between the two institutions...

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