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  • Moving and shaking: Marriage equality rally, L.A. Press Club Awards, the Black Eyed Peas and more

    By Ryan Torok

    43 minutes ago

    Los Angeles clergy, city officials, same-sex couples and other supporters of gay marriage rejoiced in the Supreme Court’s decision to make same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states during a June 26 rally in West Hollywood Park.

    “Marriage, that peculiar and particular joining of...

  • Paul Rudd ponders how he will be remembered with Walk of Fame star

    1 hour ago

    As audiences gear up to see Paul Rudd become Marvel's smallest superhero in "Ant-Man," the actor candidly reminisced about the legacy he was leaving on Wednesday as he received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

    Rudd, 46, best known for films such as "This is 40" and...

  • Bibi’s Bakery is his newest production

    1 hour ago

    Since moving to Southern California in 1999 to become a writer and performer, Dan Messinger has acquired some L.A.-specific wisdom. “Being a producer, I would argue, prepares you for almost anything,” he said. 

    The affable, bearded and bespectacled owner of the kosher Bibi’s...

  • Rising number of local governments set targets to cut emissions

    1 hour ago

    Twenty local governments, representing areas producing 5 percent of global climate-changing emissions, have committed to targets to cut those emissions, with the majority also setting goals for renewable energy, a platform uniting them said on Thursday.

    The Compact of States and...

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  • In Paris, planned Jewish center touted as proof community is staying

    1 hour ago

    Elsewhere in the world, unveiling plans for a new Jewish cultural center might merit little more than a cocktail reception. But in this city, where Jews have been the target of rising anti-Semitic violence, the event was significantly more elaborate, with French-Jewish leaders...

  • Not a Fan—a declaration of independence

    By Mindy Leaf

    1 hour ago

    Superhero summer has blasted down among us once again. The past weekend saw some 43,000 Florida Supercon attendees at the Miami Beach Convention Center (established in 2006, it's the largest comic-con-like convention in South Florida). Next week's San Diego Comic-con (the original,...

  • New flooring leads to discovery of ancient bath in Jerusalem village

    1 hour ago

    A Jerusalem family has found a 2,000-year-old Jewish ritual bath under their house while renovating the living room floor, Israel's Antiquities Authority said on Wednesday.

    Pottery vessels inside the rock-hewn bath helped archaeologists date the discovery to the 1st century. The...

  • $1 coffee chain taps into Israeli anger over high cost of living

    2 hours ago

    With a $1 cup of coffee, Avi Katz is starting to do something Israelis have been demanding for years and politicians have failed to achieve – lower the cost of living.

    In 2011, hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets to protest against the high cost of essentials...

  • Orthodox groups brace for consequences of same-sex marriage ruling

    2 hours ago

    The name that keeps coming up when Orthodox Jewish groups consider the consequences of the U.S. Supreme Court decision extending same-sex marriage rights to all states has little to do with Jews or gays.

    Bob Jones University, the private Protestant college in South Carolina, lost...

  • Israel signs $111 million deal to upgrade Argentinean tanks

    2 hours ago

    Argentina’s army signed a $111 million contract with Israel to upgrade 74 tanks made in Argentina.

    The deal to upgrade the Argentinian Medium Tanks, or TAM, was signed in Buenos Aires by the Argentina’s Minister of Defense Agustin Rossi and Mishel Ben-Baruch, director of the...

  • Olmert appeals conviction, sentence in Talansky Affair

    2 hours ago

    Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appealed his conviction and prison sentence for accepting cash-filled envelopes from an American-Jewish businessman in the so-called Talansky Affair.

    Olmert asked Israel’s Supreme Court to delay the start of his eight-month prison term...

  • Alan Gross never debriefed after release from Cuba

    2 hours ago

    Alan Gross, the Jewish-American government contractor who was jailed in Cuba for five years as a spy, was never debriefed after his release from prison and return to the United States, according to a new report.

    No U.S. government official has debriefed Gross since his release...

  • Interacting with a ‘virtual’ holocaust survivor

    By Avishay Artsy

    3 hours ago

    Those dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust are facing a difficult deadline. Seventy years after the end of World War II, most of the Holocaust survivors still alive were children or teenagers during the war, and soon even they won’t be able to share their experiences...

  • Documentary traces the decline and fall of Amy Winehouse

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    3 hours ago

    “If I really thought I was famous, I would go and top myself,” the soulful British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse says in a media interview in Asif Kapadia’s acclaimed new documentary, “Amy,” which opens in theaters on July 3.

    Her words proved eerily prophetic. In 2011, just...

  • California adds new funding for nonprofit security

    By Aron Chilewich

    20 hours ago

    California’s budget, signed into law this week by Gov. Jerry Brown, includes roughly $2 million to help fund security at nonprofit organizations that are at risk of violent attack. 

    This new state grant program arrives at a time when many Jewish institutions are experiencing a...

  • Michael Oren wanted Obama to credit Israeli rescuers in Haiti — before they arrived

    20 hours ago

    UPDATE: This version of a blog post JTA sent yesterday updates with an interview with Amos Radian, who at the time was the Israeli ambassador to the Dominican Republic with responsibility for Haiti. Radian, now retired, arrived in Haiti overland with a security guard on Wednesday,...

  • An ‘island of spirituality’ in L.A.’s Fashion District

    By Avishay Artsy

    21 hours ago

    In an unexceptional strip of concrete warehouses, tucked amid the apparel stores and wholesale suit shops of downtown Los Angeles, a group of Jewish men meets several times a day — to pray.

    For 40-year-old Oded Somech, an Israeli textile importer, a midday daven is a welcome...

  • Ways of seeing: the sculptures of Arik Levy

    By Avishay Artsy

    21 hours ago

    Paris-based, Israeli-born sculptor and industrial designer Arik Levy makes sculptures that look like abstractversions of nature. His best-known pieces approximate contoured, reflective stainless steel rocks. The tension and harmony between the fabricated and the organic is at the...

  • I believe in torah, halachah and equality

    21 hours ago

    On June 26, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that it is unconstitutional for a state to ban same-sex marriage. The issue still divides America, though the latest Pew Research Center survey numbers say 54 percent of Americans favor gay marriage, and only 36 percent...

  • Comedy for Koby brings American comics to Israel

    By Esther D. Kustanowitz

    21 hours ago

    Like many Jewish comedians in Los Angeles, Avi Liberman books club gigs, occasionally auditions for TV work and does “Jewish gigs” at synagogues and elsewhere.

    But in recent years, Liberman also has been spending a lot of his time planning trips to Israel.

    What makes his tours...

  • Why we are crying

    By Rabbi Lisa Edwards

    21 hours ago

    I was reminiscing with a friend last night about my 21 years as rabbi of Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC), the first and oldest LGBT synagogue in the world (founded in 1972). I arrived in 1994, in the midst of the AIDS crisis, and my calendar filled immediately with death-bed...

  • Will love win?

    By David Suissa

    22 hours ago

    “Love wins” was a popular reaction throughout social media last week to the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage. I thought about that wonderful slogan as I attended two love-filled religious events — one connected to Islam and one to Christianity.

    The events made me...

  • Muslims and Jews forge friendships over dinner

    22 hours ago

    Some Jews wore kippot, while Muslim fellows wore hijabs and niqabs as 300 members of the two religious communities came together over an iftar dinner June 25 during Ramadan at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. 

    The break fast — which featured kosher and halal foods — was much more than...

  • Ex-Hadassah chapter treasurer sentenced for theft

    22 hours ago

    A suburban Chicago woman who stole $21,000 from a Hadassah chapter she served as treasurer was sentenced to two years of probation.

    Rozann Morowitz, 68, of Wheeling, Illinois, paid back the money she took from the Buffalo Grove Hadassah chapter when she was treasurer from 2011 to...

  • Lawyer in Bank of China terrorism lawsuit to guide Gitmo closing

    22 hours ago

    The Obama administration named as its official in charge of shutting down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility a lawyer representing the family of a teenager killed in Israel.

    Lee Wolosky “will assume lead responsibility for arranging for the transfer of Guantanamo detainees...

  • Male-female marriage remains the ideal

    By Dennis Prager

    22 hours ago

    Shortly before she was elected attorney general of California, Kamala Harris and I debated same-sex marriage on CNN. At one point, she asked me if I would prefer a child be raised by same-sex parents who have their act together (a paraphrase, but that was the gist) to being raised...

  • Survivor: Simone Richlin

    By Jane Ulman

    23 hours ago

    Just a minute,” Rebecca, the receptionist at the Laboratoire Rambouillet in Paris, told 5 1/2-year-old Simone Richlin (née Tolstonog) and her two cousins, Serge, 12, and Riton, 9. The children had come to visit their mothers, who worked at the suppository manufacturing company;...

  • Torah portion: Be prepared, Parashat Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9)

    23 hours ago

    I remember years ago being with Michael Meade, one of the greatest storytellers in North America, when he shared the Irish folk belief that before a raconteur can truly tell a story to a group, he must prepare for it by telling another, different tale. Judaism has always recognized...

  • Israel, top Latin American bank sign pact for R&D, trade

    23 hours ago

    Israel signed a cooperation agreement with Inter-American Development Bank, the largest investment authority in Latin America and the Caribbean Islands.

    The IDB funds some $12 billion in projects annually.

    “Implementing the agreement will give Israeli companies access to...

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