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  • An instrumental leader

    13 hours 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

    14 hours 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

    14 hours 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

    14 hours 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...

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

    15 hours 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

    15 hours 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

    15 hours 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

    15 hours 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

    16 hours 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

    16 hours 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

    16 hours 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

    16 hours 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

    17 hours 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

    17 hours 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

    18 hours 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

    18 hours 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

    21 hours 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

    22 hours 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

    1 day 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

    1 day 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

    1 day 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.

    ...
  • Are Gluten-Free Matzo Balls a Thing? Yes they are!! [Recipe]

    By Elana Horwich

    1 day ago

    I will first address those of you who are sick of hearing about everything being gluten free:

    I know you think the rising hype of a “no gluten diet” that has taken our country by storm is some sort of psychological weakness emblematic of a consumer society that is easily seduced...

  • Judge fines Chabad of Calif. $845,000, says group misused federal grant with 'reckless disregard'

    By Jared Sichel

    1 day ago

    A federal judge ruled last week that Chabad of California intentionally misused $272,495 in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants it received in 2009 and must pay $844,985 in penalties, a portion of which will go to whistleblowers who brought the suit against Chabad.

    ...
  • A TV pilgrimage to Jerusalem and other holy sites

    By Tom Tugend

    1 day ago

    Every religion has its pilgrimage, and PBS’ “Sacred Journeys” provides a lively visual guide to six of the best-known destinations for the devout.

    On Dec. 23, series host Bruce Feiler visits Jerusalem, and while the date might indicate a link to Christmas, the focus is on Sukkot,...

  • Iraq war vet sought in stabbing, shooting deaths of his Pennsylvania family

    2 days ago

    The wife and infant child of an Iraq war veteran suspected of fatally shooting and stabbing six family members in Pennsylvania were safe on Tuesday as the second day of a manhunt prompted lockdowns and cancellations of area schools, authorities said.

    The search for Bradley...

  • En route to Lugansk, lies, bribes and high fives

    2 days ago

    In the backseat of a car headed to the rebel-held city of Lugansk, I was feeling confident about my plan for getting in and out safely to report an article about how the city’s Jewish community is coping with the war ravaging the area.

    I had a reliable route and crew, an Israeli...

  • Barney Frank on practically everything

    2 days ago

    Long a legislative lion for Democrats, Barney Frank retired from Congress two years ago. But he remains famously shrewd and caustic, feisty and funny, as well as the most prominent gay politician in the nation. With current roiling debate over the financial reform that Frank helped...

  • Hummus hits the headlines

    2 days ago

    According to a new report by the food and restaurant consulting firm Baum and Whiteman, hummus – the Middle Eastern spread that is central to both Israeli and Arab cuisine — is now more popular in the United States than salsa. Today, 20 percent of U.S. households have hummus in...

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