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  • Passover Stories

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    On the first day of school, when Barbara Gindi escorted her children to Maimonides Academy, she was appalled by what she saw: Two security guards stood out front, a Sheriff's squad car was parked at the curb, and the administrative staff was on high alert.

    "It brought tears to my...

  • Best Interests

    By Michael J

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    When it first emerged in November that a Cuban boy named Elian Gonzalez had been fished out of the sea, Moises Asis relied on his lawyerly instincts.

    To the Cuban Jewish attorney, who immigrated to Miami in 1993, the case was a cut-and-dried legal issue: The boy must be reunited with...

  • An Unaccustomed Sound

    By Beverly Gray

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Today's schools tend to have only limited resources for music instruction, and Jewish day schools are no exception. And in an American Jewish community dominated by Ashkenazic-descended households, Sephardic culture remains a mystery to many Jewish children. Happily, the Maurice...
  • Deaf Synagogue Relocates

    By Wendy J. Madnick

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Temple Beth Solomon of the Deaf (TBS) has a new home. The congregation, which for 35 years was located in Arleta, is now renting space at Temple Judea in Tarzana.

    The congregation had been under pressure for several years to sell its Arleta property and finally had a buyer but no new...

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  • A Call to Action

    By Naomi Segal

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The approaching Passover holiday provided an appropriate backdrop for the Israeli interior minister's mission to Ethiopia, where he reviewed the situation of thousands who seek an exodus to Israel.

    Natan Sharansky, Israel's interior minister, said he empathizes with the suffering of...

  • Senior Seders

    By Leilah Bernstein

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The Passover holiday contains countless traditions. There's the matzah and the sweet wine, the charoset and haggadot, the gefilte fish and the good fortune we celebrate. But perhaps most importantly, there is the gathering together of family and friends -- the people who make the...
  • The Reality of Desert Life

    By Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Draped in a deep, earthen-red shukah, adorned with circles of brightly beaded necklaces and head-to-toe with body paint made from ochre and sheep fat, the Masai warrior keeps a silent vigil in the midst of the relentless equatorial heat of East Africa. His life is a mission from his...
  • A Modern Mom Confronts Passover

    By Jane Ulman

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Why is this night different from all other nights?

    This night is different because I, a person who equates working in the kitchen with working on a chain gang, cook most of the multicourse Passover meal. Singlehandedly and from scratch, I might add.

    While I know that Passover is not...

  • Bringing Seders to Life

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The difficulty with Passover -- all that hard work aside -- is that most of us come to it with such a bundle of expectations.

    We want authenticity, which I suppose means some connection to the idea of Passover itself (i.e. the haggadah: the recital of our heritage, a link to our past,...

  • The Striking Janitors—A Jewish Response

    By Rabbi Steven Jacobs

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Those of you who marched in the '60s for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam know what exhilaration there is in walking with thousands of people for a just cause. It is transformative.

    I have always felt a certain kinship with those who march for dignity and justice at great...

  • A Lifetime of Seders

    By Beverly Levitt

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    For someone whose mother says she had to coax him to eat, Mandy Patinkin certainly has a lot of fond memories about food.

    As Patinkin tells it, he'd wait impatiently at the Passover table for her chocolate sponge cake topped with raspberry sauce, and he'd sneak sugar cookies and...

  • Musical Matzah

    By Ruth Andrew Ellenson

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Craig Taubman is ready to celebrate Passover, and, as always, he's ready to express his joy through music.

    In recognizing the spirit of celebration around a holiday that focuses on the emancipation from slavery, singer-songwriter Taubman, who has set many passages from Jewish liturgy...

  • Chances for Peace

    By Michelle K. Wolf

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Signing a framework for a peace agreement with the Palestinians by the end of May will help Israel to reshape the strategic equation in the Middle East, according to Israel's deputy defense minister, Ephraim Sneh, who briefed 250 delegates and guests at the recent Labor Zionist...
  • Praying for Justice

    By Michael Aushenker

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    A vigil for the Iran 13 -- the Iranian-Jews who were arrested by the Iranian government on spying charges and are in the center of a controversial trial that began on Thursday in Tehran -- will be held at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance on Sun., April 16. The Jewish...
  • 50 Years and Counting

    By Ellen Jaffe-Gill

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The Academy for Jewish Religion, a transdenominational rabbinical seminary, will open its doors in Los Angeles this fall, giving formal expression to a longtime trend toward a more personalized, spiritually oriented, pluralistic Judaism, academy founders say.

    The branch in New York,...

  • Just the Facts

    By Douglas Davis

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    The verdict against Irving was significant because of his former status as a serious historian, said Omer Bartov, a history professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

    Irving was long highly regarded for his treasure trove of documents on Hitler and other Nazi officials, he said....

  • Truth Prevails

    By Douglas Davis

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    For much of the past five years, the lives of Deborah Lipstadt, doyenne of American Holocaust historians, and David Irving, doyen of Holocaust revisionists, have been locked in a grotesque legal embrace.

    That close encounter was finally ended on Tuesday, exactly three months after...

  • A Russian Pesach

    By Michael Aushenker

    April 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Cantor Svetlana Portnyansky, who left Russia in 1991, can relate to the celebration of freedom that the Passover holiday signifies. She remembers how difficult and dangerous it was to exercise religious freedom not so long ago.

    "Practically it was impossible because it was illegal,"...

  • Demonstrating Support

    By Michael J

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    After an appeal by Iran's chief rabbi, the Iranian judiciary has announced it will allow 13 Jews accused of spying for Israel and America to hire their own lawyers, said an American Jewish leader.

    The 13 will also get a few extra days to prepare their case, according to Malcolm...

  • Pilot Project

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    During a pivotal moment in Elan Frank's award-winning documentary, "Blue and White in Red Square," a Russian-Israeli looks about his old Moscow neighborhood with an expression of dismay. Eugene had excitedly made the trip home with fellow musicians in the Young Israeli Philharmonic,...
  • Preserving History

    By Bram Eisenthal

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Some five miles outside of Amsterdam, there is a site where a miracle took place during the Holocaust.

    Here, in this tiny town with quaint, pretty houses and narrow streets, the Nazis allowed Jewish history to survive. At a time when they were desecrating Jewish burial places all...

  • Party for Peace

    By  Orit Arfa

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    On green grass, overlooking the lush trees of Kibbutz Yakum just outside Netanya, young Israelis and Palestinians are dancing together. They are eating hamburgers and hot dogs, holding hands in circles and waving to their friends who are happily splashing in the nearby pool. The...
  • Challenging the Myth

    By Julie G Fax

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    By the time the transplant team approached Doris Ullendorf and Ken Gorfinkle, they had already talked about donating the organs of their first-born son.

    They knew that Ari, who until 48 hours before had been a perfectly healthy 16-month-old, was brain dead, killed by some mysterious...

  • Condemning the Vote

    By Julie Wiener

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    It's bad for Jewish unity, but not as bad as the decision to recognize the children of Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers as Jews.

    That's how Orthodox and Conservative rabbis are viewing the Reform movement's recent decision last week to affirm the right of its rabbis to officiate...

  • Endpaper

    By James D

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Long before last August, when he had his bar mitzvah at Santa Monica's Beth Shir Shalom, 13-year-old Alex Miller has practiced what he has been preached: charity and tikkun olam.

    For him, it all began in 1996, when Miller's third grade class participated in Super Sunday.

    "I really...

  • Beach Blanket Bar Mitzvah

    By Shirley Nigri

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    In a city where most people go to the beach on Saturday mornings, a new center has opened in an effort to connect the local Jewish community with its heritage.

    The center, run by the Lubavitch movement, includes two synagogues -- one with 400 seats and another for weekday services --...

  • Picture Perfect

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    A bubbie standing in front of the colorful mural on the Workman's Circle building in West Los Angeles. Shopkeepers on Fairfax Avenue. The Tel Aviv skyline lit by a thousand cars on a freeway at night. These are just a few of the images on display at the Finegood Art Gallery as part...
  • Coming Full Circle

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Before Robbie Baitz was Jon Robin Baitz, the playwright, he was, in his words, "a smart-ass little spoiled Beverly Hills snot" who worked as a gofer for a couple of Hollywood con artists. Rather than sensibly going East to college, he had elected to remain in Los Angeles to glean...
  • Torah Portion

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Unworthiness is not a quality that carries positive connotations. It's usually thought of as a state to be overcome, or a situation to be avoided. Perhaps, though, it has a redeeming feature. Perhaps feelings of unworthiness should actually be reveled in and appreciated -- at least...
  • Allegations at CSUN

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 6, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Jacquelyn Barnette received the news during a recent meeting with Cal State Northridge officials: A CSUN administrative review had concluded that she was not fired from her student health center job because of anti-Semitism or retaliation.

    Earlier this year, the medical records...

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