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  • World Briefs

    By JTA Staff

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Israel: P.A. Didn't Help Rescue

    The Palestinian Authority had no part in the rescue of a kidnapped Israeli taxi driver, Israeli officials said. P.A. Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas personally pledged cooperation in the efforts to locate and release Eliyahu Gurel, but a senior...

  • Righteous Indignation

    By Rabbi Debra Orenstein

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Last week's Torah portion ended with a dramatic cliffhanger. A plague was in progress, punishing the Israelites for worshipping the false gods. Despite earlier prohibitions and the snare of idolatry, an Israelite man openly brought a Midianite woman into the camp. (Commentators infer...

  • Faith in Travel

    By Amy Klein

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Vail, Colo., might seem like Siberia compared to the more established Jewish community of Los Angeles, yet here in Lionshead (elevation: 10,350 feet) there's some 75 Jews gathered for Shabbat morning services.

    Under the burning morning sun, the clouds feel close enough to touch as we...

  • 7 Days In Arts

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Saturday



    Hip hop hooray. All the young Jews find cause for celebration today as Latino-Jewish rappers, the Hip Hop Hoodios, grant a free concert at downtown's California Plaza. Blazers and East L.A. Sabor round out the eclectic Latin music show titled "Tres Sabores Latinos." 7...

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  • Open Debate Preferable to Blind Support

    By David N. Myers

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    A recent report in The New York Times captured almost perfectly the thorny questions that stand at the center of relations between the American Jewish community and Israel. Should one be permitted to criticize the government of a foreign country with which one feels a deep affinity,...

  • Contaminant Fouls Well at Brandeis

    By Rachel Brand

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has instructed Boeing to determine if high levels of a contaminant used in rocket fuel and found on property owned by the Brandeis-Bardin Institute (BBI) came from the company's Rocketdyne testing site located nearly a mile...

  • Signs of Thaw Seen in Israel-Europe Ties

    By Leslie Susser

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    After years of mutual distrust and periodic acrimony, there are signs of a thaw in relations between Israel and Europe.

    As Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was feted in London this week, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom pressed a new "friendship with Europe" initiative. Also, the European...

  • In Escrow

    By J.D. Smith

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    When you last left me, I had just proposed to my long-suffering girlfriend, Alison, while on the beach with a pimple. She said "yes," and we agreed to start fighting about the wedding plans as soon as possible.

    The day before I popped the question, my life was a relatively quiet...

  • L.A. Pageant Raised Curtain on Holocaust

    By Dr. Rafael Medoff

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Sixty years ago this week, many residents of Los Angeles became aware of the Nazi Holocaust for the first time, thanks to a dramatic pageant staged at the Hollywood Bowl by an alliance of Jewish activists and Hollywood celebrities.

    The pageant, called, "We Will Never Die," was the...

  • Diaspora Diversity Focus of ‘Portraits’

    By Diane Arieff

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    An Argentine gaucho lounges near his horse. A Bombay bride displays her upturned palms, filigreed entirely with henna. An Ethiopian boy lights candles with a classmate. A woman poses stiffly in her kitchen in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. What unites these disparate images is that the people...

  • Educator Retiring to Study in Israel

    By Sharon Schatz Rosenthal

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    As he watched his students play basketball, Rabbi Yochanan Stepen's eyes lit up.

    "I felt like I was at Staples Center watching the Lakers play, and I was sitting next to Jack Nicholson," Stepen told them.

    "That excited the kids, because names from the news make it relevant," Stepen...

  • A Guilty Pleasure Swings With Style

    By Tom Teicholz

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    "Mr. S, My Life With Frank Sinatra" by George Jacobs and William Stadiem is this summer's guilty pleasure. Jacobs was Frank Sinatra's valet from 1953 to 1968, and his memoirs are the excuse for a polished backstage tour of Sinatraland, a roller-coaster ride of the high life and the...

  • Turbulence Grows in Weinberg Case

    By Julie G Fax

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Former students and colleagues of Rabbi Matis Weinberg are wearily watching as events swirl around allegations that Weinberg sexually abused students at a California boarding school 20 years ago and more recently at a yeshiva in Israel.

    As alleged victims have come forward in the...

  • The Slow Revival of Siberian Jewry

    By Nathan Ezra

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    There is a cold chill inside the dingy Siberian synagogue in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, where 84-year-old Aron Broder sits telling his story.

    A veteran of the Soviet war against the Nazis and an internee in both Nazi and Soviet labor prison camps, Broder is trying to put together the...

  • Local Iranians Avoid Spotlight as Protests Sweep Homeland

    By Tom Tugend

    July 17, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    As student protests against the Iranian regime swept the streets of Tehran and other cities in the country, the large Iranian Jewish community in Los Angeles followed developments with fervent interest, while keeping a low public profile.

    Actively cheering on the protestors is Rep....

  • Shinui Weighs in on Releasing Prisoners

    By Leslie Susser

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Even after Shinui became the third-largest party in Israel in last January's Knesset elections, shrewd political observers tended to dismiss its electoral success as a flash in the pan.

    Not anymore. After months of being derided as a passing fad with little substance, Shinui, whose...

  • A Graphic Anniversary

    By Michael Aushenker

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    During the Golden Age of comic books of the 1930s-1940s, cartoonist Will Eisner broke ground, both commercially (by founding the first comics production studio) and artistically (with his cinematic storytelling). When San Diego ComiCon 2003 convenes July 17-20, the industry's most...

  • The Uris Inspiration

    By Aviva Kempner

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    I was saddened to hear author Leon Uris died. I regret never having the opportunity to tell him how "Exodus" and "Mila 18" had inspired my Jewish identity and filmmaking career.

    Born in Berlin after World War II, I was the product of a war marriage between a Polish Holocaust survivor...

  • Roadside Distraction

    By Teresa Strasser

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    I'm sitting at a Mobil station in Minneola, my feet propped up against the bottom frame of my car door. The door is swung open so I can take in the desert air, exhale my Camel Light into the breeze.

    I just bought a pack of gum and a green plastic lighter inside the store, where a...

  • From Punk Teen to Bet Tzedek Dream

    By Marc Ballon

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Mitch Kamin was a punk. As a teenager, he would don grubby jeans and an attitude and make his way to the Roxy, Madame Wong's or the Whisky A Go Go to listen to the sonic drum-and-guitar assaults of such bands as X and the Circle Jerks. Plowing his way through the mosh pit, the young...

  • Weil Delivers Bush Invocation

    By Adam Wills

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Friday-night fundraising dinner is the last place you'd expect to find an Orthodox rabbi. But Rabbi Steven Weil of Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills recently raced the clock in the hours before Shabbat to open for the president of the United States.

    Weil kicked off Bush's...

  • Director Cooks Up Anarchy in Debut

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    "I'm a 'Marx Brothers anarchist,'" filmmaker Jordan Susman said. "It's the sense of having a flower squirt water into the eyes of authority."

    The tone pervades his debut feature, "The Anarchist Cookbook," which revolves around a "latter-day Marx brother," Susman said. Puck Gold...

  • Briefs

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Family Service Cuts Staff, Programs

    In an attempt to balance its budget, Jewish Family Service (JFS) has scaled back counseling and other programs that serve some of the region's most vulnerable people.

    JFS slashed three part-time positions at both its Conejo Valley and Metro...

  • Father of the Bride

    By Yehuda Lev

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Other than paying his share of the bills, the father of the bride has two principal responsibilities when his daughter marries.

    The first is to stay out of the way of the womenfolk in the family while they make certain that the dress colors match (but not too exactly), the proper...

  • Your Letters

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    River of Hope

    Rob Eshman writes about the "River of Hope" (June 27) coinciding with my hope. I am happy that COEJL is working to revive the river and beautify our environment.

    How about a walk by the river, from the West Valley to the sea? My letter to you may encourage more...

  • Cracking the Dress Code

    By Amy Rosner

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    "Finding a dress was a lot more difficult than I ever thought it would be," Kimberly Larrick said. "But I knew that if I looked long enough, I would find it."

    The bride's patience paid off. Larrick's dream dress was about the 60th gown she tried on.

    "When I came out of the dressing...

  • When Bad Things Happen to Good Institutions

    By Gaby Wenig

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    When a University of Judaism (UJ) male administrator and a female student fell together from the second-story window of a Pico-Robertson apartment, hitting the concrete below and landing in the hospital, the story made the news and set community tongues wagging.

    At the time,...

  • Court’s Race Rulings Raises Deeper Issues

    By David A. Lehrer

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The United States Supreme Court has handed down its decisions on the issue of affirmative action. In the cases of Grutter vs. Bollinger and Gratz vs. Bollinger, the court has ruled on the constitutionality of race-conscious programs and their viability in educational institutions...

  • Pro-Israel: Solidarity or Retail Politics?

    By James D. Besser

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Pro-Israel lobbyists are patting themselves on the back these days for yet another congressional resolution declaring solidarity with the embattled State of Israel, and the kudos are justified.

    Pro-Israel resolutions these days are routinely passed with only token opposition;...

  • Simcha Stress and Bridal Blues

    By Elisa Albert

    July 10, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Whenever I tell someone about my impending nuptials, the reaction is the same. First come the whoops of joy and the chorus of "Mazel Tovs!"

    Then, invariably, the tone shifts. Faces fall.

    "How are you?" they ask, in much the same tone one might hear at a shiva call. "How are things...

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