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  • Community Briefs

    March 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    When Roberto Benigni won the grand prize at Cannes for his Holocaust tragicomedy, "Life is Beautiful," he rushed to the stage and kissed the feet of juror Martin Scorsese.

    The Italian comedian couldn't resist playing the clown, either, when his Holocaust fable recently screened for...

  • An Empress of the Air

    By Diane Arieff

    March 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    It's a sunny Santa Monica afternoon, and Ruth Seymour, station manager and program director of KCRW, is sitting in the Rose Cafe, neatly turned out in a dark pant suit. She's sixtyish and slim, with angular, clean features, a square, prominent jaw and a short, stylish haircut. A...

  • Zen Rabbi

    By Tom Tugend

    March 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    There's a new singing cowboy in town, and his name is Ken Kunin.

    "I've been in this crazy industry for about 10 years," says the lead vocalist/songwriter. And he's about to turn up the heat.

    His band, davis waits, has been receiving radio airplay , including on local outlets KLOS and...

  • Laborers File Suit for Wartime Injustices

    By Tom Tugend

    March 11, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Jews who worked as slave laborers during the Nazi era are one step closer to receiving some measure of compensation for their ordeal.

    After months of torturous negotiations, an agreement has been reached to establish a $5.2 billion fund for these victims of the Holocaust, according...

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  • Hoffman on Hollywood, Judaism and the Holocaust

    By Ivor Davis

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    What moviegoer can forget the scene: a graduation party around a Beverly Hills swimming pool, where a callow, young graduate named Benjamin Braddock gets a little career advice -- one word: "Plastics."

    Plastics have done pretty well, and the young graduate (circa 1967) even better. So...

  • “He’s Hip!”

    By Michael Aushenker

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    A few years ago, at the age of 24, Brooklyn-born Danny Hoch got the kind of phone call most struggling actors dream of. It was his agent, telling him that the people from "Seinfeld" had called: they wanted Hoch to get on a plane the next morning to tape a guest-starring role on the...
  • Young Israel Matures

    By Julie G Fax

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Had Elazar Muskin not locked himself out of his uncle's house while on his honeymoon here 13 years ago, he might not today be rabbi of one of Los Angeles' most vibrant Orthodox shuls.

    Fortunately for Young Israel of Century City, Muskin didn't wait around for his uncle to return....

  • Having Fun Is No Picnic

    By Teresa Strasser

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    It is Saturday night, and I'm determined to have a good time.

    Realizing that I never have fun and thinking that it would probably be a good idea, I decide to go out to a bar with some friends. One shows up at my house, and since she's "out of gas," I offer to drive. On the way, she...

  • ‘Lolita’ Revisited

    By Diane Arieff

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Paula Vogel's "How I Learned to Drive" has come to the Mark Taper Forum, and one wonders if it has lost something in its trip across country. Despite an arresting performance by Brian Kerwin, its male lead, this Los Angeles production doesn't live up to the high expectations that...
  • On Winning the Terror War

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Readers' Quiz No. 2: Test your knowledge of Middle East terrorism. Simply identify the following incident:

    It was one of America's most controversial "victories" against international terrorism: a negotiated settlement with a gang of Arabic-speaking hijackers who were holding American...

  • Making the Cut

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Circumcision was Page One news in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday after a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics did all but call the ritual cutting medically meaningless. You didn't have to be a man to feel the cut.

    "Circumcision is not essential to a child's well-being at...

  • ‘My Judaism Is the Civilization’

    By Eric Silver

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Amos Oz, Hebrew novelist, secular prophet and self-proclaimed "non-synagogue" Jew, has joined his local Reform congregation in Arad, the Negev desert town where he has lived since leaving Kibbutz Hulda a decade ago.

    In reaction to last month's massive haredi demonstration in Jerusalem...

  • God’s Fingerprints

    By Rabbi Janet Ross Marder

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    It was a Saturday morning in the middle of winter -- bright and sunny and cold, with a sky washed clean by the wind. Outside, it was business as usual: the boulevard teeming with cars and pedestrians, thousands of plot lines stretching across the city. But inside the sanctuary, it...

  • He Said, She Said, We Said

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    "Two Jews, Three Opinions" (Berkeley, $24.95) is the kind of book you assume has been around for centuries, if only because the concept has. But it's new, and well worth picking up. The brainchild of Sandee Brawarsky and Deborah Mark, it is a thick and juicy compilation of...

  • A Modern Take on King Lear

    By Tom Tugend

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    "King Levine," a two-act comedy at the Odyssey Theatre, is propelled by a fairly ingenious concept. Playwright Richard Krevolin has transformed Shakespeare's King Lear into an elderly, self-made business tycoon, who reigns supreme as the frozen-bialy monarch of America.

    (Krevolin, who...

  • Comment

    March 2, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    A curious thing happened in the pages of The Jewish Journal the week of Nov. 20. During a period when a host of issues of major importance to the American Jewish community were occuring that commanded front page attention elsewhere, The Journal chose to devote the cover story and an...

  • Finding God Among the Ruins

    By Rick Richman

    February 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    "Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith" by Anne Lamott (Pantheon Books, $23.00).

    In "Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith" (Pantheon Books, $23.00), a gentle and touching memoir, Anne Lamott tells a variation of an old story:

    A man in a bar is telling the bartender that he...

  • Paula Vogel’s ‘Lolita’

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Playwright Paula Vogel grew up in suburban Maryland, where the country clubs did not accept her Jewish father. She endured genteel but unmistaken anti-Semitism at Bryn Mawr.

    "Because I am a Jew and a woman, I understand marginalization," says Vogel, author of the Pulitzer...

  • The High Cost of Jewish Living

    February 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Weekday mornings at 8:20, Judy Penso sets out for her office at a Jewish Community Center just outside San Francisco, where she runs the Marin County region of the Bay Area Jewish Community Relations Council.

    Before heading across the bridge from her Berkeley home, though, she drops...

  • Going After Generation Next

    By Ruth Stroud

    February 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    There's a bit of dialogue that Ben Younger wrote for his first film, "Boiler Room," that sums up the slippery morality of the hotshot young stockbrokers whose world he examines:

    "My father once asked me where my work ethic is. Looking back now, I realized that wasn't the problem. I...

  • Living Single in the ‘New Hollywood’

    February 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Dear Jewish Journal:

    About five years ago, I ended a very serious relationship. I was devastated, but knew that my life could not end over this. I did everything to try and resolve my pain but it was hopeless. I eventually moved to another city, started a new career, and got on with...

  • On Living with Tension

    By Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    February 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Once, a stranger approached Hillel and Shammai, the great sages of the first century, with a request: "Teach me the Torah while I stand on one foot."

    First, he brought the request to Shammai. According to the Talmud, Shammai picked up a builder's rule, smacked him along side his head...

  • The Jewish Community’s ‘Utility Infielder’

    By Tom Tugend

    February 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The world was a different place for writer-director Pavel Vogler when he arrived here from Poland six years ago.

    "It was very hard," Vogler says. "There were no friends or family or supporting circle.... I started from zero.... A couple of years ago, I decided to start to make my own...

  • Haggadah

    February 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...

  • The Mitzvah of Tzedakah

    By Barry A. Fisher

    February 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Last month, the major private Swiss banks signed an agreement to implement the $1.25 billion fund to pay to survivors of Nazi-era crimes or their heirs. So far, this is the only major settlement in the raft of cases -- some 28 to date, with more to be filed shortly -- that seek...
  • Old Friends

    February 25, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    I have just emerged from a four-day conversational jag with an old friend who was visiting me from New York. There is something intoxicating about such reunions -- a bit like a family gathering that suddenly and unexpectedly takes you back to an earlier and different life.

    My old...

  • Movie Memoirs

    By Diane Arieff

    February 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Some of the best recent American documentaries are nonfiction, highly subjective narratives that explore the Sturm und Drang of family relationships. Filmmaker Ira Wohl calls this kind of up-close cinematic memoir "first-person documentary."

    It's an apt description for his latest...

  • Valley Briefs

    February 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    When Roberto Benigni won the grand prize at Cannes for his Holocaust tragicomedy, "Life is Beautiful," he rushed to the stage and kissed the feet of juror Martin Scorsese.

    The Italian comedian couldn't resist playing the clown, either, when his Holocaust fable recently screened for...

  • Answering the Call

    By Eric Silver

    February 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Anne Roberts is passionate about the idea of tzedakah, a concept she has diligently instilled in her son Spencer Nieman.

    A second-grader who is not quite 8 years old, Spencer has managed to save up $120 this year and will donate it in a small ceremony that has become an annual...

  • Teachers and Technology

    By Rebecca Kuzins

    February 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    A parent in North Hollywood is appalled by what passes for religious-school education: His child has a terrible teacher. A parent in Brentwood is ecstatic: Her child's current teacher is outstanding. Marcy Goldberg, director of education at Temple Aliyah of Woodland Hills, sums up...
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