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  • Gross’ release, and changes in diplomatic ties, signals new day for Cuban Jews

    2 days ago

    Alan Gross was imprisoned while trying to connect Cuba’s isolated Jewish community to the wider world. The deal that got him released five years later may do just that and much more.

    Gross’ flight home to suburban Washington on Wednesday with his wife, Judy, was part of a...

  • Norman Lear’s bright future

    By Rob Eshman

    2 days ago

    When I met Norman Lear at his spacious Beverly Hills office for an interview, he immediately told me, “The timing is good.” He didn’t say why — just that it has something to do with what he plans to do next.

    That’s right, next. At 92, an age when most of us would be content to...

  • Calendar: December 20 - January 2

    By Laura Donney

    2 days ago

    SAT | DEC 20

    SHABBAT EXPERIENCE FOR FAMILIES

    Finally, a Chanukah-themed Shabbat. This is truly a treat for families with school-age kids and crafty attitudes. Participants will get to enjoy crafts, songs, a cooking project and more, all relating to our favorite winter holiday....

  • Poem: Sticks and Stones

    2 days ago

    Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis wrote this poem about genocide on the eve of the High Holy Days earlier this year. He submitted it now as a reminder that "Never Again" should be pledged to halt the killings of unarmed Black men by police in New York and Ferguson, Mo., and many other...

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  • Letters to the editor: Barack Obama, Guy Davidi, happy Chanukah and more

    2 days ago

    Backing Barack

    Yes, finally a prominent voice from the Jewish community has spoken truth to fact (“Why Jews Still Back Obama,” Dec. 12). Kudos to Rob Eshman for stating facts, and not falling for the loud, anti-Obama voices on the right.

    Allan Kretchman via email

    Nice article...

  • Rage, tears and broken childhoods as Pakistan reels from massacre

    2 days ago

    Mehran Khan, a mild-mannered 14-year-old survivor of this week's massacre at a Pakistani school, says he will not rest until the meaningless deaths of his classmates have been avenged.

    Shot with three bullets – in the hand, leg and back – Khan said from his bed at Peshawar's Lady...

  • Who is Alan Gross and what did he do?

    2 days ago

    Alan Gross, a 65-year-old U.S. foreign aid worker freed from a Cuban prison on Wednesday, was arrested in Cuba in 2009 and sentenced to 15 years for importing banned technology and trying to establish clandestine Internet service for Cuban Jews.

    [Related: An in-depth look into...

  • Howard Stern Gets It So Right on Sony

    By Rob Eshman

    2 days ago

    Howard knows a thing or two about free speech.  Whether it's the FCC going after him with fines, or hackers going after Sony Pictures with computer viruses and threats, he knows how to fight back.   His rant on the subject inspired me to throw out the editorial I was going to write...

  • An instrumental leader

    2 days ago

    Howard Banchik will tell you there’s a lot more to music and learning to play an instrument than meets the ears.

    The co-founder of real-estate investment firm Westwood Financial Corp. in Los Angeles and member of University Synagogue in Brentwood credits learning to play music as...

  • Jews get into the Christmas spirit

    3 days ago

    Sonny Calderon still remembers the words his outraged 8-year-old son cried out when he learned Santa Claus wasn’t real, that his father had been perpetuating a myth: “I hate you, and I hate the way your farts smell.”

    Calderon relived this traumatic moment on Dec. 10 in front of a...

  • Freed prisoner Alan Gross loves Judaism

    By Ryan Torok

    3 days ago

    Alan Gross was freed from a Cuban prison on Wednesday after five years, much of that time in isolation. His release was part of a prisoner exchange deal between Cuba and the United States that President Barack Obama announced marks the start of improved relations between the two...

  • New York premiere of North Korea comedy canceled after threats

    3 days ago

    The New York premiere of "The Interview," a Sony Pictures comedy about the assassination of North Korean President Kim Jong-Un, has been canceled and a source said one theatre chain had scrapped plans to show it, after threats from a hacking group.

    The hackers, who said they were...

  • 12-year-old survivor: 'I witnessed the Peshawar massacre'

    3 days ago

    This is the testimony of 12-year-old Ali, survivor of the Peshawar massacre, as recorded by journalist Kiran Nazish. This transcription has been edited for clarity.

    In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Salam, my name is Ali. I am twelve years old. 

    We were...

  • It’s a spicy MatzoBall!

    By Ryan Torok

    3 days ago

    Jewish Angelenos looking for something to do on Christmas Eve need look no further than a singles party that has become a national sensation — the MatzoBall.

    Returning to Los Angeles for the first time in years, the event will take place in Hollywood at the historic Avalon on...

  • Jewish community responds to release of Alan Gross

    3 days ago

    Cuba has released American aid worker Alan Gross after five years in prison in a reported prisoner exchange with Havana that the United States said on Wednesday heralds an overhaul of U.S. policy toward Cuba. Below are reactions from the Jewish community:

    Simon Wiesenthal Center

    ...
  • Loss turns to gain with young at heart

    By Ayala Or-el

    3 days ago

    After her mother passed away a little over a year ago, Ofra Bennun watched her father slowly begin to decline. After 62 years of a loving marriage, it was hard for Israel Knan, 83, to be alone. 

    So Bennun made sure that he wasn’t, creating a 60-plus club for Israeli seniors like...

  • Survivor: Henry Oster

    By Jane Ulman

    3 days ago

    Achtung,” a German officer shouted. “Attention.” Fifteen-year-old Henry Oster, then called Heinz, lined up with his mother in a Lodz ghetto courtyard on a mid-August day in 1944. He and the others gathered there had been instructed to report for special permits to help harvest the...

  • Obituaries: Week of December 19, 2014

    3 days ago

    Barbara Sue Allen died Nov. 23 at 69. Survived by friends Douglas (Ronnie) Cohen, Larry Lederman, Diane Mink. Mount Sinai

    Ralph Altabet died Dec. 8 at 90. Survived by wife Sally; sons Michael, Keith (Laura) Small; daughters Susan (Steven) Altabet-Dydo, Karen (Michael)...

  • Where the olives grow

    3 days ago

    For Jews who came of age any time between the 1950’s and the 1980’s, there were plenty of reasons to take to the streets and demonstrate.  In addition to close-to-the-heart causes such as Israel’s very existence in two wars (1967 and 1973) and the effort to free our brothers and...

  • Anger and grief as Pakistan buries students massacred at school

    3 days ago

    A shocked Pakistan on Wednesday began burying 132 students killed in a grisly attack on their school by Taliban militants that has heaped pressure on the government to do more to tackle the insurgency.

    People across the country lit candles and staged vigils as parents bade final...

  • Israelife in the Far East

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    3 days ago

    What happens when you take an online pro-Israel, anti- anti-Semitism activist to a place where no one care about Israel? In one word- RELAXATION!

    After a very intense summer and a disturbing experience during what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation in London, I've decided to...

  • UK police ‘stop plane on runway’ to detain Syria-bound teenager

    3 days ago

    British counter-terrorism officers stopped a plane as it taxied towards the runway at Heathrow to prevent a 15-year old girl from traveling to Syria to join Islamist fighters, the Evening Standard newspaper said on Wednesday.

    The girl, from east London, had saved up and bought a...

  • Nightclub owner Sam Nazarian gives up control of Las Vegas hotel

    3 days ago

    Sam Nazarian made his name and his billion-dollar fortune creating L.A. clubs and restaurants that attracted the hippest young celebrities.

    He parlayed that fame into hotels in Beverly Hills and Miami's South Beach. This year, he looked to Las Vegas as the next step in a bold global expansion, opening the 1,600-room SLS Las Vegas hotel and casino in August.

    Then he ran into the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

    READ MORE ON LATIMES.COM.

  • Cuba releases American Alan Gross as U.S. prepares to overhaul Cuba policy

    3 days ago

    Cuba has released American aid worker Alan Gross after five years in prison in a reported prisoner exchange with Havana that the United States said on Wednesday heralds an overhaul of U.S. policy toward Cuba.

    A U.S. official said Gross was released on humanitarian grounds. CNN...

  • The Diaspora exchange, part 1: On early Zionist contempt for Jewish life abroad

    By Shmuel Rosner

    3 days ago

    Alan Wolfe is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. He is the author and editor of more than 20 books. Professor Wolfe attended Temple University as an undergraduate and received his doctorate in...

  • The Very Odd Couple

    3 days ago

    One circumstance even more intimidating for me as a chaplain than offering pastoral care to clergy is to do so for Holocaust survivors and their family members. I imagine it must be daunting for chevra kadisha  (Jewish burial society) volunteers as well. The “prime directive” for...

  • How to Determine What is Torture

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    3 days ago

    There has been a lot of talk lately about the so-called “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” used by the US in the wake of 9-11, and whether or not they were torture. The Geneva Convention, to which we agreed to comply, says “torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering,...

  • 15 Surprisingly Fascinating facts about Hanukkah [ Infographic ]

    By Tera Greene

    3 days ago

    15 Surprisingly Fascinating facts about Hanukkah [ Infographic ]

     

    Chanukkah 2014 is here!

    In case you weren't reminded by Google, Hanukkah 2014 has begun.

     

    To get you in the proper mindset for this minor holiday, here's an infographic for you to fact-check with friends and family to...

  • How to hack the Sony hackers

    By Rob Eshman

    3 days ago

    I know what I’m doing on Christmas Day: First Chinese food, then “The Interview.”

    I’ll be eating Chinese food on Christmas because I’m a Jew, and that’s tradition.

    Then I’m going to go to a theater to watch “The Interview” because I’m an American, and that’s patriotism.

    ...
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