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  • Why bar mitzvah DJs charge the big bucks

    By Elyse Glickman

    23 minutes ago

    Even though weddings, corporate parties and birthday celebrations keep DJs busy throughout the year, a new study reveals that you’ll probably pay more for one to play “Hava Nagila”  — or anything else — at a bar or bat mitzvah.

    The national survey results, released earlier this...

  • Obama calls Ezra Schwartz’s family to offer condolences

    30 minutes ago

    President Barack Obama called the parents of Ezra Schwartz, the 18-year-old American student murdered last week in a Palestinian terror attack in the West Bank, to offer his condolences.

    In the telephone call Monday, the president said that Schwartz’s Israel studies had...

  • Beginners (Or “Famous In Lebanon”)

    44 minutes ago

    The last time I saw my first agent, he called me into his office to film a reality television pilot for the E! Network.  To protect the individuals involved, we’ll refer to this agent by the completely fictitious name, Hal Gazzar.

    Hal called me on a sunny morning, telling me to...

  • Amazon removing Nazi-symbol ads on NY subways for new TV show

    1 hour ago

    Amazon is removing its Nazi-symbol-laden ads for “The Man in the High Castle” television show from a highly trafficked New York subway line.

    A spokesman for New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority confirmed to Gothamist on Tuesday that Amazon was pulling the wraparound...

  • Apparent suicide attack on Tunisian presidential guard bus kills 12

    1 hour ago

    At least 12 people were killed on Tuesday when an explosion tore through a bus full of Tunisian presidential guards in an attack that one source said was probably the work of a suicide bomber.

    Ambulances rushed wounded from the scene and security forces closed off streets around...

  • My Spanish-Venezuelan Chanukah

    1 hour ago

    I never had a latke until I moved to the United States 24 years ago. Don’t get me wrong; I’m 100 percent Jewish — three-quarters Sephardic and one-quarter Ashkenazi, to be precise. However, I grew up with some different traditions.

    My paternal grandparents are from Melilla,...

  • The accidental brussels sprouts latkes

    By Hava Volterra

    2 hours ago

    A couple of years ago, just before Chanukah, I heard Akasha Richmond on KCRW describing how her kitchen manager had over-ordered Brussels sprouts (to the tune of 50 pounds). In desperation she decided to add the extra Brussels sprouts to her latkes.  That’s the way great inventions...

  • Christie: Using term ‘radical Islam’ is ‘clarifying’

    2 hours ago

    Referring to the U.S. war on terror as confronting radical Islamic terrorism is more helpful than refraining from using that term, Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said on Tuesday.

    Addressing the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington, DC, Tuesday, Christie...

  • Zengoula with lemon syrup: A new-old Chanukah treat

    2 hours ago

    The tradition of eating latkes during Chanukah is only half the story. Don’t get me wrong — I love crisp potato pancakes, but there’s so much more fried deliciousness to enjoy over eight days. I’ll explain.

    Latkes are traditional European fare, and a German potato pancake is...

  • Taking of hostages in northern France not linked to Paris attacks

    2 hours ago

    Armed men who took hostages on Tuesday in the northern French town of Roubaix appeared to have no link to the Nov. 13 attacks by Islamist militants in Paris but were probably planning a robbery, police sources said on Tuesday.

    "This is apparently not a terrorist attack, it's apparently a robbery," one police source said.

    France remains on high alert after the Nov. 13 attacks in and around Paris in which 130 people were killed.

  • Chanukah: Lior Hillel’s family pastry project

    2 hours ago

    Every year before Chanukah rolls around in Israel, everyone gets very excited. They can’t wait to start to enjoy the holiday spirit — and, of course, the food. In the past few years, talented pastry chefs in Israel have made very creative sufganiyot, the holiday’s traditional jelly...

  • Thanksgiving: Vegan and vegetarian dishes

    By Judy Zeidler

    2 hours ago

    In some ways, I’m pretty traditional when it comes to my family’s Thanksgiving Day meal: I like to plan a lot of old-fashioned farmhouse food for the holiday. 

    Who doesn’t enjoy a handsome bronzed turkey with lots of stuffing, an appealing array of relishes and a lavish dessert...

  • Hebrew word of the week: Lehitgarmen

    3 hours ago

    Many Israelis live in Germany these days, mostly in Berlin, and feel quite at home, it seems. Modern Hebrew has developed similar verbs for other national conversions, or acquiring a new nationality, such as: hit’amreq, “to become Americanized (in habits, behavior)”; hit’anglez,...

  • Poem: Jewish Holiday Tattoos

    3 hours ago

    The blue dove on my wrist — shadow of wing
    with an olive branch floating above:

    from the last night of Chanukah, when we used
    Jewish Holiday Tattoos to mark each other with
    flags of Israel, six-pointed stars, arks, torahs.
    They were funny, we thought, as we sat down

  • Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services CEO leaves post for Vermont

    3 hours ago

    After less than three years as president and CEO of one of L.A.’s most longstanding social service providers, Louis Josephson has announced he’s leaving Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services for a new job at a mental health center in Brattleboro, Vt. 

    “Vista is a very special...

  • House of Wheels: Helping those with impaired mobility integrate

    By  Orit Arfa

    4 hours ago

    With her black skin; jeans and T-shirt; and long, wiry, black hair not covered by a hijab, it was hard to tell that Shariyan Alkmlat, 22, is Bedouin, unlike the staffers around her clad in Bedouin robes. She later admitted she is often mistaken for an Ethiopian Israeli, but it...

  • Lisa Edelstein returns in ‘Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce’

    By Gerri Miller

    4 hours ago

    With its frank, funny dialogue and authentic take on adult relationships and life in Los Angeles, “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” returns Dec. 1 to Bravo for its second season, providing a plum role for “House, M.D.” and “The West Wing” actress Lisa Edelstein. Edelstein plays Abby...

  • Turkey downs Russian warplane near Syria border, Putin warns of ‘serious consequences’

    4 hours ago

    Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border on Tuesday, saying the jet had repeatedly violated its air space, in one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between a NATO member country and Russia for half a century.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said...

  • Theater, apartheid and a director’s Jewish roots

    4 hours ago

    “I’ve been very fortunate through most of my adult life to be able to have earned a living in the art form that I love,” Simon Levy, producing director of the Fountain Theatre in East Hollywood, commented during a recent interview. “And I’ve been in a very fortunate position...

  • News reports revive AJU environmental debate

    4 hours ago

    Nuclear activist Dan Hirsch made a promise in 1979 that would drag him into a three-decade fight he didn’t ask for, a fight that has since drawn in Boeing, an alphabet soup of regulators and, most recently, American Jewish University (AJU).

    Hirsch’s students at UCLA had dug up...

  • Poet ponders what transpired after photographer’s shutter clicked

    4 hours ago

    The 1913 photograph by August Sander on the cover of Adam Kirsch’s third book of poetry, “Emblems of the Passing World: Poems After Photographs by August Sander” (Other Press), shows two young women in high-necked blouses gazing at the camera over cups of morning coffee. One sits...

  • Jerusalem and L.A. join forces for Biennale

    4 hours ago

    When the Jewish Artists Initiative, the Los Angeles-based arts collective chaired by Ruth Weisberg, decided to participate in the 2015 Jerusalem Biennale, Georgia Freedman-Harvey knew she’d be accumulating a lot of frequent-flier miles. Along with co-curator Anne Hromadka, she has...

  • Calendar: November 27 - December 3

    By Amanda Epstein

    5 hours ago

    FRI | NOV 27


    Winner of the 2015 Ophir Award for Best Documentary, “Censored Voices” has its Los Angeles theatrical premiere. This Israeli documentary presents, for the first time, uncensored recordings of conversations between Israeli soldiers and renowned...

  • U.S. teen’s murder in Israel ripples among L.A. parents

    By Jared Sichel

    5 hours ago

    When Leat Silvera wakes up in the morning and sees alerts on her Facebook news feed for terror attacks in Israel — which is 10 time zones away — she quickly looks for words such as “Alon Shvut” or “Gush Etzion,” the area of the West Bank south of Jerusalem where her 18-year-old...

  • How one man's funny business is fueling the growth of streaming comedy specials

    By Jared Sichel

    5 hours ago

    “I just beg people. All day, all day,” Brian Volk-Weiss said only half-jokingly, as he hung up a phone that rang just as he began to describe what it’s like being one of America’s most influential (not his words) executives in the big — and growing bigger — arena of streaming...

  • Torah portion: Speeding up to slow down

    5 hours ago

    In one of my favorite essays by the humorist David Sedaris, he recounts his experience of chasing after his husband Hugh on their various vacations. Sedaris writes, “Most of Hugh’s and my travel arguments have to do with pace. I’m a fast walker, but he has longer legs, and likes to...

  • Letters to the editor: Islamic extremism, contamination at Brandeis-Bardin and more

    5 hours ago

    Hydra vs. Islam

    As a friend and fan of Rabbi Reuven Firestone, I was disappointed by “Heads of the Hydra” (Nov. 20). He writes: “Let’s be clear. This terrible violence is not about Islam. That accusation is a canard. It’s an excuse, a pitiful substitute for careful analysis and...

  • Obituaries: Week of November 27, 2015

    6 hours ago

    Gedalia Arditti, 87, was born March 29, 1928, in Salonika (Thessaloniki), Greece, the second of four children of Abraham Arditti and Sara Bar-Zion. His father was a cantor in one of Salonika’s largest Sephardic synagogues. In April 1943, the Nazis transported the entire family —...

  • The once great Los Angeles Times

    By Bill Boyarsky

    6 hours ago

    Talented, experienced journalists are now leaving the Los Angeles Times, and we alums feel depressed about the toll their departures will take on their lives and on Southern California.

    Kevin Roderick reported on his LA Observed website (to which I am a contributor) that more...

  • A Race to Space, Curing Baldness and More - This Week from the Startup Nation

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    6 hours ago

    Israeli Innovators Looking to Win Big at CES in Las Vegas

    CES is one of the biggest conferences of its kind in the world, drawing some 3,600 exhibitors and 150,000 people, with plenty of media coverage on the latest and coolest gadgets to hit the circuit. The Israeli delegation...

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