Jewish Journal

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  • In California and Washington, a push to define and redefine anti-Semitism

    By Jared Sichel

    1 week ago

    In recent months new reports and allegations of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activity on University of California campuses appear to have died down — at least by comparison to the flurry of coverage from early 2014 to early this year.

    But that doesn’t mean American activists on...

  • Medication Nation

    By Mindy Leaf

    1 week ago

    You'd think we'd know better by now—or at least learn from our mistakes. But while first world problems concerning recreational drug use may have changed over time (both in purpose and side effects), the practice continues, and is likely more widespread than ever. Back in the...

  • Bar Mitzvah in Baku

    By Rabbi Yonah Bookstein

    1 week ago

    I recently traveled to Azerbaijan to speak at the 6th International Conference on Multiculturalism at Baku Slavic University. Azerbaijan is a developing country in the Caucuses on the Caspian Sea, rich in oil and agricultural resources, and committed to building a secular Muslim...

  • Univ. of California alumni call for steps to curb campus anti-Semitism

    1 week ago

    More than 500 alumni of the University of California called on the system’s president and Board of Regents to address the “rising tide of anti-Jewish bigotry at the UC.”

    The alumni wrote in the open letter published Wednesday in the Daily Bruin, the student newspaper of the...

  • JQ International opens its WeHo doors

    By Tess Cutler

    1 week ago

    It was 9 p.m. on a Thursday and Asher Gellis, founder of the out-and-proud nonprofit JQ International, was sitting on a barstool at Revolver, a West Hollywood hot spot, as scantily clad performers shimmied on tabletops. 

    Earlier that evening, his blooming organization had hosted...

  • Osama bin Laden’s reading list included book by Holocaust denier

    1 week ago

    Osama bin Laden had books by conspiracy theorists and one by a Holocaust denier in his Pakistan compound raided by Navy SEALs four years ago.

    They were among the details on hundreds of letters, books, magazine articles, reports and other materials found in the al-Qaeda founder’s...

  • Netanyahu renews support for two-state solution with Palestinians

    1 week ago

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renewed his commitment on Wednesday to a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after backtracking on that pledge during a heated campaign for a March election.

    Speaking as he met with European Union foreign policy chief...

  • Bamidbar: Centering in the Wilderness

    1 week ago

    This article originally appeared on Neesh Noosh.

    Bamidbar is both the name of the fourth book of the Torah (referred to in English as Book of Numbers) and this week’s portion. After receiving the 10 Commandments at Mount Sinai, Bamidbar/Numbers tells the Israelites journey...

  • White House assures Israel on nuclear conference

    1 week ago

    The United States will ensure that any text coming out of a conference reviewing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty meets Israel’s interests, the White House said.

    Suggestions to the contrary are “offensive,” the White House said in an email sent to JTA on Thursday.


  • Lieberman calls two-state supporters ‘autistic’

    1 week ago

    Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s former foreign minister, called supporters of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict “autistic.”

    Lieberman, who heads the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, made his remarks Thursday in an interview with Israel Radio.

    “Anyone who...

  • Islamic State says in full control of Syria’s Palmyra after westward advance

    1 week ago

    Islamic State fighters tightened their grip on the historic city of Palmyra in Syria, days after capturing a provincial capital in neighboring Iraq, suggesting the growing momentum of the group which a monitor says now holds half of Syrian territory.

    The twin successes pile...

  • Around-the-clock cleanup effort under way on oil-fouled California beach

    1 week ago

    Santa Barbara-- Cleanup teams labored on Thursday for a third day to remove patches of crude petroleum that stained a California beach and fouled offshore waters from a pipeline rupture that may rank as the biggest oil spill to hit the Santa Barbara coastline in more than four...

  • Reality Competition Shows:  When We All Become Critics.

    By Dr. Afshine Emrani

    1 week ago

    Troy was a couple of years older.  He was married with one child when we started medical school together.  We had similar interests-  less beer and sports, more art, music and philosophy.

    I experienced many firsts with him- from classic movies, to great operas, from staying up...

  • 3 short notes from NY: Iran, US-Israel, Israel-Diaspora

    By Shmuel Rosner

    1 week ago

    I spent the week in the US, discussing the “triangle” – The US, Israel, and the Jews – at a JPPI brainstorming conference and in several other meetings. Here are a couple of quick thoughts on things that were discussed and their implications:

    Iran: accept or fight to the (bitter)...

  • Houthis launch assault on critical media in Yemen

    1 week ago

    This story originally appeared on themedialine.org.

    An atmosphere of intimidation is silencing Yemen’s journalists. At least 100 media outlets have closed out of fear that they will be targeted by Houthi fighters who are waging a campaign to mute criticism of the Shi’ite Islamist...

  • Fond farewell to leader and teacher at Stephen Wise Temple

    By Aron Chilewich

    1 week ago

    Two senior rabbis representing 51 years of leadership at Stephen Wise Temple joined for Kabbalat Shabbat services on May 14, along with the congregation’s incoming senior rabbi, to celebrate retirement and a transition. The trio represents the entire history of the synagogue.


  • The UCLA Center for Jewish Studies, Judea Pearl and Cornel West

    By Dennis Prager

    1 week ago

    Last month, the Jewish Journal published a plea from Judea Pearl, Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science and Statistics at UCLA and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation. Daniel Pearl was the writer for the Wall Street Journal who was murdered by Islamists in Pakistan. Judea...

  • Hebrew word of the week: avaTiyyiaH

    1 week ago

    One of the most popular summer fruits in modern Israel, watermelon appears only once in the Bible, as the favorite fruit of the slaves in Egypt, which they missed a lot in the Sinai Desert, where their throat “was dried away,” (Numbers 11:5-6).

    The famous French medieval...

  • A Lollipop for E.P.

    1 week ago

    Stuck a Chupa Chup into the ground

    Beside the grave of Ezra Pound

    Then jumped aboard the vaporetto

    To lose myself in the Jewish ghetto

    Looking for the synagogue

    That kept moving in the Venice fog

    Like an apparition in the crowd

    Where Jews were sometimes allowed.

    Joshua Weiner is the author of three books of poetry; his most recent book is “The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish.”  He lives in Washington, D.C.

  • Argentina’s charming ‘The Film Critic’ has the write stuff

    By Tom Tugend

    1 week ago

    There are two main characters in the Argentine movie “The Film Critic.”

    One is Victor, the neurotic film critic of the title, who hates pretty much all contemporary movies, writes scathing reviews and loathes his work and himself.

    The other is Sofia, who races around Buenos...

  • Shalom Auslander and the pursuit of ‘Happyish’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    1 week ago

    “Happyish,” Showtime’s new half-hour series, focuses on one couple’s fraught struggle to create a measure of happiness — or at least, happyish-ness — in a crummy world. Shalom Auslander is especially qualified to write this story: He is not a happy camper.

    “We all have this...

  • Double exposures of Rachael Rifkin’s family resemblance

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    1 week ago

    Have you ever looked at your family photos — really looked at them, noticing dimples, smirks or furrowed eyebrows — and seen yourself in the sepia tones? Writer Rachael Rifkin did, and took the idea of family resemblance one step further: restaging old family photos using herself...

  • Israel ranked as 7th best country for gay men

    1 week ago

    Israel is the world’s seventh-best country for gay men, according to a poll of 115,000 gay men in 127 countries.

    The Gay Happiness Index, a collaboration of the gay dating network Planet Romeo and researchers from Germany’s Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, named Iceland...

  • Shavuot services throughout the Los Angeles region

    By Amanda Epstein

    1 week ago

    Sinai Temple will host a Tikkun leil Shavuot on May 23 at 7 p.m.; join the rabbinic interns for study and a dairy dessert. On the first day of Shavuot, May 24, there will be a service and adult b’nai mitzvah at 8:45 a.m. in the Ziegler Sanctuary. On the second day, there will be a...

  • Maybe I’m just Jew-ish

    By Tess Cutler

    1 week ago

    In Jewish tradition, a child inherits her father’s tribe and her mother’s religion. 

    My father’s not a Cohen or a Levi. He’s not a highborn priest with a fancy title. He’s an Israelite. His ancestors built pyramids and golden calves. They were soldiers, outcasts, and dwellers....

  • U.S. approves sale of $1.87 billion in munitions to Israel

    1 week ago

    The U.S. State Department this week approved the sale of $1.87 billion in munitions and precision guidance kits to Israel to improve the capability of existing systems and make it easier for U.S. and Israeli military forces to work together.

    The Pentagon's Defense Security...

  • Witnesses to Iraq’s Farhud

    By Jane Ulman

    1 week ago

    Over the first two days of June 1941, countless numbers of Jewish women in Baghdad were raped, more than 2,000 Jews were injured — many of them mutilated — and 900 homes, as well as 586 Jewish-owned businesses, were looted. All told, according to Iraqi-born historian Elie Kedourie,...

  • One year after attack, Brussels Jewish museum is drawing crowds

    1 week ago

    Although they now have to pass through a metal detector flanked by three armed soldiers, visitors to Brussels’ Jewish museum seem undeterred by the security arrangements that were introduced there last year, after the slaying of four people, allegedly by an Islamist fanatic.

  • Netanyahu tells EU’s chief diplomat he is committed to two-state solution

    1 week ago

     Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the European Union’s top diplomat that he was committed to finding a two-state solution with the Palestinians, as long as they recognize the Jewish state.

    “I don’t support a one-state solution – I don’t believe that’s a solution at...

  • Are entertainers and sports heroes emblematic of Jewish American heritage?

    1 week ago

    The 10th Jewish American Heritage Month is nearing its final week, with President Barack Obama set to mark the occasion with a speech at a Washington synagogue, and the celebration raises an interesting question:

    What is it about Jews and entertainment?

    That is, why does the...

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