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  • Wanna drink? Think again!

    By Louis Keene

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    This Purim will be the first test of a new teen anti-drinking campaign adopted by Los Angeles' Orthodox rabbis after a Simchat Torah debacle in which more than 100 teens were seen drinking publicly or intoxicated.

    The plan was adopted Nov. 14 at a meeting convened by Jewish Family...

  • The whole megillah: Ten reasons to love Purim

    By Jane Ulman

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    So what is Purim about? This short guide explains the various holiday traditions and celebrations, as well as a few suggestions of unique and fun ways to partake in the festivities.

    1. Megillah Reading

    One of four mitzvot, or commandments, on Purim is listening to the reading of...

  • Purim books: A time to laugh, a time to grog

    By Jay Firestone

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    The central theme of Purim sometimes gets lost in the mix of loud singing, intense dancing and heavy drinking. You might even forget that the point of the holiday is not necessarily to get hammered, but to rejoice in the celebration of life.

    Keeping in mind that singing, dancing...

  • Your handy guide to performing at Jewish functions

    By Steve Mittleman

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm


    Click on the BIG ARROW to experience Mittlemania

    There are two things about being a comedian and doing Jewish events -- first, getting hired for the event and, second, everything else.

    The Jewish "Organization" becomes the Jewish "Dis-Organization."

    Getting hired usually...

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  • Undressed up

    By Rob Eshman

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    One day last month, Barack Obama was having dinner with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. Hillary Clinton was on the floor of the Senate. And Tom Vilsack? He was at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Burbank, with me.

    That's when I knew his campaign was in trouble.

    Vilsack entered...

  • What we need: Philanthropreneurship

    By Gary Wexler

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    When American Jewish leaders hear I'm consulting in Canada, they often comment that Canadian Jewry is years behind American Jewry. After several years of intensively working with the Toronto Jewish community, I'm not so sure. In fact, I see them as being ahead of us.

    Since 2001...

  • Choose Grrl Power over beauty pageants, grrlz

    By Rabbi Rona Shapiro

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    As children we loved to put on my mother's old nightgowns, makeup and heels and pretend we were Queen Esther. Somewhere around adolescence this became a little more uncomfortable.

    Why was Vashti banished for refusing to dance -- according to some, wearing only her crown -- for the...

  • Evangelical support for Israel—good for the Jews?

    By Tom Tugend

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Zev Chafets, a native of Pontiac, Mich., left for Israel in 1967 but arrived too late for the Six-Day War. Nevertheless, he stayed on for the next 33 years, served as director of the Government Press Office under Prime Minister Menachem Begin and was a founding editor of the...
  • Attention Israelis: Please stop kvetching

    By Larry Derfner

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm


    Excerpt from Israeli TV show "Ktzarim": some troubled people meet for group therapy.
    In Hebrew with English subtitles.
    Click on the BIG ARROW to view.

    ::::::::::::::::::::: Security in Israel now is about as good as it gets. Suicide bombings have become a rarity; just the threat...
  • Israel labor strike called off; U.S. Jews against Iraq war most strongly

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Israeli labor strike called off

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert summoned Histadrut labor federation chief Ofer Eini on Tuesday and persuaded him to call off the nationwide protest action, which had been slated to begin Wednesday. Previous strikes have frozen Israeli public services,...

  • Faith-based foreign policy faces perils ahead

    By James D. Besser

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Ideology is fine for campaigners, bloggers and talk show hosts, but it often wreaks havoc in the real world, where effective policy requires flexibility, not rules dreamed up in think tanks and advocacy groups.

    That lesson has defined Israeli policy for decades, but it is being...

  • Book review: Are Christian Zionists good for the Jews?

    By Steve Weinberg

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    "A Match Made in Heaven: American Jews, Christian Zionists, and One Man's Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Judeo-Evangelical Alliance" by Zev Chafets. (HarperCollins, $24.95)

    A book about the serious matters of religion and nationalism and politics and war is not usually...

  • Shutting Jewish mouths; A civil tone of voice

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    A Civil Tone

    Last week's Letters section offered a fascinating window on the views and feelings of our community (Letters, Feb. 23). Most of the letters were thoughtful, informative and passionate. Two stepped over the line.

    One nasty note was directed at Rob Eshman personally,...

  • Funding shortage and ignorance hurt pancreatic cancer fight

    By Julie G Fax

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    When Marilynn Lowenstein walked into shul on Rosh Hashanah two and half years ago, her friend, a doctor, took one look at her and sent her to the emergency room. Lowenstein's skin and eyes were yellow -- she was severely jaundiced.

    By the time the congregation got to the "who shall...

  • Interfaith and intercultural festival to benefit Darfur

    By Robert David Jaffee

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Craig Taubman hoped to draw maybe 5,000 people to last year's inaugural "Let My People Sing," a festival that featured basketball games, musical acts, stand-up comedy and a seder to benefit those living in Darfur. Much to his surprise, it attracted roughly 15,000 attendees and raised...
  • Briefs: L.A. Koreans and Jews protest anti-Semitic cartoons published in South Korea; Police Chief Bratton warns terrorism will be threat for the rest of our lives

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    L.A. Koreans and Jews protest anti-Semitic cartoons published in South Korea

    Leaders of the Korean and Jewish communities in Los Angeles have joined forces to vigorously protest anti-Semitic cartoons in a book published in South Korea and translated into English.

    A typical cartoon...

  • Assume everyone is Jewish

    By Tom Teicholz

    March 1, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    A couple of weeks ago I found myself in a seminar room at UCLA's Royce Hall attending a presentation by professor David Shneer of the University of Denver concerning Jewish museums in Los Angeles, a city he calls, "The Newest Jewish City in the World."

    As someone who has argued that...

  • Federation may face lawsuit over fundraiser Prizant’s firing

    By Tom Tugend

    February 26, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    A looming lawsuit is threatening to shake up The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles -- causing a blanket of silence to descend on the city's largest Jewish philanthropic organization.

    The former top fundraiser for The Federation is reportedly planning to file suit against the...

  • Oscar 2007: A good year for the Jews!

    February 25, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    After a slow start in the initial Oscar contests, Hollywood's Jews reaffirmed their tribe's historic resilience with a credible finish at Sunday's Academy Awards.

    Host Ellen DeGeneres set the stage by noting the diversity of this year's nominees, concluding that without "blacks,...

  • IFF: Engaging in disengagement—five horrible days in Gaza

    By Amy Klein

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    One of the first news stories I covered in Jerusalem 10 years ago was the excavation of holy artifacts by the city. Ultra-Orthodox Jews were protesting the excavations, because they said they were disturbing ancient Jewish graves upon which the entire city was built. It was a common...
  • Q&A with Reconstructionist Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz

    By Amy Klein

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz, president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) in Philadelphia, recently made one of his biannual visits to Southern California, which is home to the largest Reconstructionist synagogue in the world, as well as growing congregations from Irvine to...
  • Iranian Jews struggle with segregation, presumption and assimilation -- how the stranger became the Angeleno

    By Tom Tugend

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    A little historical anecdote tells much about the transition of Iranian Jews in Los Angeles over a 25-year span, from strangers to integral -- though distinctive -- members of the larger Jewish community.

    In the late 1970s and early '80s, following Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic...

  • My December visit with ‘lady’

    By Gina Nahai

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    "Agha isn't here," Khanum says as soon as I walk in through the door. "I don't know when he'll be back."

    Agha is her husband -- dead for 35 years and buried in Iran -- but she speaks about him as if he were just out running an errand.

    "No point waiting around for him," she tells...

  • A few Persian phrases that could come in handy, enshallah

    By Sara Shereen Bakhshian

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    These are expressions that might be used in conversation with Persian Jews:

    Salaam -- Hello

    Khodahafes -- Goodbye

    Kaheshmekonam -- Please

    Befarmeyeet -- Welcome (as a greeting)

    Haleh shoma chetoreh? -- How are you?

    Moteshakeram (alt. Merci) -- Thank you

    Khoshal shodam -- Happy...

  • The Departure

    By Shmuel Moreh

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    
    My mother told me: "They are persecuting us,
    We have no place in Iraq any more, my son!
    How long should we yield
    To their yoke, how much patience do we need?
    Let us depart on "Eagles Wings" indeed!
    When she realized my grief at the threshold,
    She said: "My son, don't grieve,
    Those...
  • Everybody’s kosher surfin’, surfin’ USA

    By Amy Klein

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Joe Veroba had a vision of starting a kosher surf camp for Orthodox teens, to teach them the beauty of surfing and of Judaism.

    A native of Long Island, he lived for surfing and for Judaism, and he traveled the world -- Hawaii, Costa Rica, France -- surfing the amateur circuit, but...

  • A free trip to Israel—custom-made for you!

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm


    Click on BIG ARROW for Taglit video

    What's more enticing than a free trip to Israel? A free trip to Israel tailor-made for your interests.

    Taglit-Birthright Israel, a partnership between the Israeli government, local Jewish communities, Jewish federations and philanthropists,...

  • Revised emblem of Israel

    By Steve Greenberg

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

  • Holidays not on the calendar

    By Shoshana Lewin-Fischer

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    JCLLA's Dog-Day Afternoon

    The Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles had a furry good time on Feb. 4 when Cantor Marcelo Gindlin, above, came by to sing and read a new book called "Alfie's Bark Mitzvah." The book, written by Shari Cohen, includes a CD with five of Gindlin's...

  • Syndicating Purim

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Television shows traditionally wait until their 100th episode -- usually in their fifth year -- to syndicate. Although The Shushan Channel hasn't reached 100 episodes, after five years of creating comedy sketches best described as "pop-culture-meets-Purim,"...
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