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  • ‘Not Bad For a Goy’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    For many Jews watching the 71st Academy Awards last week, the telecast surely scaled new heights of Hollywood surrealism, as the ceremony seemed to honor an unusually disproportionate preponderance of films with Jewish content and their non-Jewish creators.

    Of course, you'd have to be...

  • ‘I Was Wrong about Netanyahu’

    By Eric Silver

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Of all the Likud loyalists who have walked out on Binyamin Netanyahu, last week's defection of Gen. Yossi Peled is arguably the most damaging. The short, crisp former chief of IDF Northern Command made a surprise appearance at Ehud Barak's campaign launch and starkly confessed to the...

  • A Natural History

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    It is a rainy day at the Jack Rutberg Fine Arts gallery on La Brea, but Ruth Weisberg, the artist and art educator, is gazing at a painting where it is perpetually summer.

    In her recent oil painting, "Natural History," otherworldly sunlight illuminates taxidermied monkeys that stare...

  • Barak Visits L.A., Saban

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Despite friction over Israeli sales of military technology to China, President Clinton had a "good, productive, serious discussion" with Israeli Prime Minister Barak this week.

    Clinton said he feels encouraged that there is renewed energy in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process....

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  • Web Hate Sites Proliferating

    By Lev Krichevsky

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The growth of hate sites on the World Wide Web is staggering, according to a report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

    On April 19, 1995, the day a truck bomb leveled the Oklahoma City federal building, there was only one Web hate site, run by the Ku Klux Klan. A year ago, there were 600...

  • Hungarian Haven

    By Michael J

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    In other circumstances, there would be nothing unusual about busloads of Yugoslavs visiting the capital of their northern neighbor, Hungary.

    But with NATO's daily assault on Kosovo and other locations throughout Yugoslavia, these are no ordinary "tourists." Roughly 200 Yugoslav Jews...

  • God Willing

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    My parents took a trip to Las Vegas, last month which meant they wouldn't be joining us for Passover.

    So I have four new questions for this year.

    "If you're not visiting now, when will you come to visit?" "Next year we'll come to you," said my father, adding the words, "God willing."...

  • Why Are We in Kosovo?

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    I always thought that historical perspective helped sharpen the mind by illuminating the choices that loomed ahead. But when I look at the awful state of affairs in Kosovo, I am not so certain that history offers much guidance. Maybe, though, if we try to look at the past freshly and...
  • An Extra- Ordinary Place

    By Ruth Stroud

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Mordecai Finley is no ordinary rabbi; nor an ordinary man either, for that matter. First there is his past as a former marine sergeant with a doctorate in religion from USC. You can still glimpse the sergeant in the ramrod straight posture when he stands among members of his...

  • Mr. Nobody

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    A senior colleague once told me that when he was a student in college, he took a creative writing course. One of his classmates could express himself beautifully but could not conceive any creative ideas on his own. He would always turn to my colleague for ideas and then proceed to...
  • Preserving History

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    In Persis Knobbe's sweet, semi-autobiogrpahical short story, "Highlights," Morris, an octogenarian, describes his exodus from the oppressive old country, on the holiday that commemorates the Jewish exodus from slavery in Egypt.

    Egypt for Morris, who is closely based on Knobbe's late...

  • Echoes from the Killing Fields

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    It's the festival of freedom, and, once again, Allied warplanes are flying the skies of Europe to stop tyranny and protect the oppressed. The bombers that failed to arrive in time to save the doomed Jews of Europe a half-century ago are now speeding hope to the threatened Albanians...

  • A Weekend of ‘Kosher Sex’

    By Michael Aushenker

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    In these scandalous times, is there anything left to say about sex?

    TV offers us All-Monica all the time. The globally accessible Internet offers its own virtual red-light district. Surrounded by wall-to-wall visuals and 24-hour media blather, we're inundated with sexual information....

  • My Mental Celebrity Database

    By Teresa Strasser

    April 1, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Sandra Bullock, get out of my head.

    Look, it's nothing personal. I'm sure you're a really nice person, and it's not like you're untalented. And despite the fact that I'm not particularly a fan of yours, I seem to know everything about you. The other day, your name came up by the...

  • Haggadah

    By Beverly Gray

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    A 1998 article about Chicago collector Stephen Durschslag's haggadah collection set the number of different haggadot on his shelves at 4,500, increasing almost daily.

    It's probably impossible to know how many haggadot exist, but it's obvious that for every Jew, there should be a...

  • Pass

    By Rabbi Steven Z. Leder

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    In the wake of the Littleton shooting tragedy, a nation of finger-pointers has rounded up the usual suspects: media violence, guns, video games, the Internet. But for Jonathan Kellerman, this laundry list -- inevitably brought out in the wake of such violence -- omits one major...
  • Has Anything Changed?

    By Avi Machlis

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Representatives of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Judaism in Israel have launched the country's first interdenominational conversion institute in the northern Galilee town of Carmiel.

    But this latest development in the ongoing battle over religious pluralism in the Jewish state...

  • Primakov’s Promise

    By Lev Krichevsky

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Russia's prime minister has condemned the recent rise in anti-Semitism in Russia and said that he would press for new hate-crimes legislation to combat the growing scourge.

    Yevgeny Primakov's statements, which he told to officials with the Anti-Defamation League and the Russian Jewish...

  • Matzos and Mitzvahs

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Shoshanna Levi* identifies with the Passover story of Jews traversing the "narrow place," yetziat mitzrayim.

    Last Pesach, her Orthodox family celebrated a plentiful seder in their spacious home in the West Valley. But then Levi's husband, David,* lost his job of many years; the family...

  • Comfort Women

    By Rob Eshman

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    During World War II, the Japanese army forced as many as 200,000 women and girls from mostly Asian countries to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers and officers. About 80 percent of these "comfort women," as the Japanese euphemism of the time termed them, were the daughters of...
  • Books

    By Beverly Gray

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    A 1998 article about Chicago collector Stephen Durschslag's haggadah collection set the number of different haggadot on his shelves at 4,500, increasing almost daily.

    It's probably impossible to know how many haggadot exist, but it's obvious that for every Jew, there should be a...

  • Why is This Seder Different From All Other Seders?

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Every seder presents its own challenges, whether it's in deciding which haggadah to use or how much wine to add to the haroset. But for families of people with special needs, the usual frenetic Passover planning can go into overdrive as they search for ways to make the seder...
  • Doing the Dirty Work

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Rabbi Safra roasted the meat. Raba salted the fish.

    According to the Talmud, this is what these two great sages did every Friday afternoon, in preparation for Shabbat. The Talmud regards this information as noteworthy because, although both sages certainly had others in their...

  • Iranian Jews Recall Own Exodus

    By Julia Goldman

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The Israelites fled Egypt in haste, but well packed: They began their exodus with their flocks, herds and unleavened bread dough, as well as the jewels and garments of the Egyptians.

    When Soraya Masjedi Nazarian left Iran in 1979, she left behind almost all of her possessions.

    "I...

  • Forgetting the Little Guy

    March 25, 1999 | 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...
  • Books to Read or Give on Passover

    By Rita Berman Frischer

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    For promoters and lovers of Jewish books, now is the season of our deep content. Not all the following books are specifically about Passover and not all of them bear a 1999 publication date, but all of them are worth considering, whether to keep or to give as gifts when attending...
  • Pesach on the Autobahn

    By Marvin J. Wolf

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    It was nearly midnight when Louis Roth's seder ended and we packed ourselves into my old Bug. My wife, Kyongcha, rode shotgun; Steve, my 12-year-old brother, shared the cramped back seat with a case of matzo and boxes of kosher-for-Passover canned goods from the chaplain's office. It...
  • Passover vs. Easter

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    If you want proof that the communion wafer is just a matzo knockoff, or if you wonder where eggs really belong (seder plate? White House lawn? Omelette?), check out "The Jews vs. Christians" on April 3 at bang. Improv Studio on Fairfax Avenue.

    Twenty-four Jewish and Christian members...

  • Passover Recollections

    By Merrill Shindler

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    I know it's getting really boring to talk ad infinitum about our dysfunctional families. But trust me, pilgrims -- when it came to the Passover seder at the Shindler homestead in the Bronx, dysfunction didn't even begin to describe the chaos and torments of Gehenna that afflicted my...

  • Making It: Max Frankel and Henry Kissinger

    March 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    I have been reading two books lately, sort of shifting from one to the other -- a bad habit, I know, but it has been with me too long to correct at this point. The books are Henry Kissinger's "Years of Renewal," an indecent 1,151 pages, all about foreign policy during Gerald Ford's...
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