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  • Chanuka Dish #1:  The Lattke

    By Deena Greenberg

    2 hours ago

    The lattke is the first dish that I am presenting in my Take Back December campaign, my small but sincere attempt to take a part of December back for Chanuka from another holiday that shall remain nameless. (Although I did name it in my post from yesterday.) The lattke, a...

  • What Israeli election polls tell us this week

    By Shmuel Rosner

    2 hours ago

    We have a new feature for you. Until Israel's Election Day, we will share with you data from Nehemia Gershuni's wonderful data site, in which Israeli numbers, polls, compilations, and projections are king. Gershuni kindly agreed that we use some of his data to bolster our own...

  • Obama: I’m Jewish ‘in my soul’

    By David Suissa

    10 hours ago

    "What will you tell the President when you see him?" was my daughter Eva's first reaction when I told her I'd been invited to the White House Channukah party (Actually, it was her second reaction. Her first was, "Take me!"). Kids are innocent that way. They don't realize that when...

  • Punishing Bennett won’t bring peace

    By David Suissa

    13 hours ago

    People do crazy things when they get desperate and run out of ideas. That’s the first thought that came to mind after I read that a group of pro-Israel academics have decided that the best way to help the comatose Israeli-Palestinian peace process is to stop people like Naftali...

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  • In U.S. relations with Israel, context is key

    13 hours ago

    The strain in United States-Israel ties is a live issue in the Israel election campaign — and rightfully so. But if you glance at U.S. and Israeli media during the last couple of months, you’d think the relations have never been worse. Jeffrey Goldberg’s article in The Atlantic,...

  • A Moses named Christian and a Pharaoh named Turturro

    13 hours ago

    Generally speaking, Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings” is more biblically respectful than Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah,” which saw Russell Crowe performing a well-paid infomercial for Al Gore’s environmentalism. 

    Yet “Exodus” has been swarmed by critics accusing it of unchecked...

  • Six points on Alan Gross, ‘normalization’ of U.S.-Cuba relations and the American spy flying under the radar

    By Jared Sichel

    14 hours ago

    The news this morning about the massive thaw in diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana was so sudden and flooring that we really won't know for months or years to come what the impact will be—most importantly, what the impact will be for the millions of Cubans who have...

  • Moving and shaking: StandWithUs, Chanukah in Los Angeles and Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback

    By Ryan Torok

    14 hours ago

    Stephen Wise Temple has named Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback as its next senior rabbi.

    The senior rabbi-elect, who is currently the head of Wise School, the synagogue’s day school for kindergarten through sixth grade and early childhood center, succeeds Rabbi Eli Herscher, according to a...

  • Join globetrotter Bruce Feiler on a journey through Jerusalem

    By  Tom Tugend

    15 hours ago

    Every religion has its pilgrimage, and PBS’ “Sacred Journeys” provides a lively visual guide to six of the best-known destinations for the devout.

    On Dec. 23, series host Bruce Feiler visits Jerusalem, and while the date might indicate a link to Christmas, the focus is on Sukkot,...

  • A Jewish artist whose work is at heart of Our Lady Cathedral

    15 hours ago

    When Simon Toparovsky makes the rounds at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral downtown, he gets the rock-star treatment — handshakes and embraces from complete strangers who approach him to engage in conversation, pose for a photograph and tell him his artistic creations are amazing,...

  • U.S. to announce that North Korea behind Sony hack

    15 hours ago

    U.S. investigators have determined that NorthKorea was behind a cyber attack on Sony Corp's computers, U.S. government sources said on Wednesday.

    One of the sources described the attack as "state-sponsored" and several sources said that North Korea was the government involved.

    ...
  • Despite artistic and political license, ‘Exodus’ connects to contemporary Jews

    15 hours ago

    If you are going to see “Exodus: Gods and Kings” because it depicts an iconic cultural narrative that you want to better understand, I would caution against relying on director Ridley Scott’s version.  

    This epic adventure does offer an unparalleled work of digital art that...

  • ‘Interview’ writer: If they want to bomb somebody for free speech, I’d like to be at ground zero

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    15 hours ago

    On Dec. 17, eight days after my interview with screenwriter Dan Sterling of “The Interview” – the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy about goofy journalists who land an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and then are tasked by the CIA to assassinate him – Sony...

  • Norman Lear: ‘That’s Not the American Way’

    15 hours ago

    Following is an excerpt from Norman Lear’s autobiography, “Even This I Get to Experience”:

    The biggest next after my decade in network television was socio-political. It had begun brewing in me years earlier with the proliferation of fundamentalist TV ministries that perverted...

  • On campus sexual assault, Jewish groups have taken lead

    16 hours ago

    Jewish campus groups were ready for the painful national dialogue that took place in the wake of murky rape allegations at the University of Virginia.

    That’s because organizations such as Hillel and historically Jewish Greek houses, such as Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), Zeta Beta Tau...

  • Israel invites you to pedal with purpose, hike for hope

    16 hours ago

    Three years ago, Betsy Diamant-Cohen had a double knee replacement. Once healed, the Baltimore resident got on a bicycle and slowly built up her strength to the point that she recently flew to Israel to participate in a cycling fundraiser for the Arava Institute and Hazon Israel...

  • Sony Pictures CEO consulted U.S. State Dept on film, leaked emails show

    16 hours ago

    The head of Sony Pictures consulted with a senior U.S. official in June, days after North Korea threatened "merciless countermeasures" over the release of an upcoming film featuring a plot to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un, leaked emails show.

    In an internal June 26 email seen by...

  • Remarks by Obama at afternoon Chanukah reception

    16 hours ago

    AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Happy Hanukkah, Mr. President!  

    THE PRESIDENT:  Well, Happy Hanukkah to you!  You stole my line.   Happy Hanukkah, everybody. 

    AUDIENCE:  Happy Hannukah.

    MRS. OBAMA:  Welcome to the White House.  I want to welcome the members of Congress who are here...

  • Sony pulls release of ‘Interview’ as U.S determines N.Korea behind attack

    16 hours ago

    Sony Pictures on Wednesday pulled the theatrical release of its North Korea comedy "The Interview," hours before a U.S. government source said investigators determined that North Korea was behind a cyberattack on Sony over the film.

    Hackers attacked Sony Corp last month, leaking...

  • An open letter to Nobel Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai from a Palestinian Human Rights Activist

    16 hours ago

    Dear Malala,

    We see you have received the Nobel Peace Prize this week in honor of your activity for peace in Pakistan.

    We congratulate you for your courage and for not being afraid to fight radical Islam in your nation. 

    I write these words as a proud fellow Muslem.

    I know...

  • Alan Gross credits Jewish efforts for his release from Cuba

    17 hours ago

    Newly released from prison in Cuba, Alan Gross thanked his wife, his lawyer, the Jewish community, President Barack Obama and numerous others in helping secure his freedom.

    Speaking at a news conference Wednesday in Washington, Gross opened his statement with a Hanukkah greeting...

  • Poem: Small Antiques

    17 hours ago

    Once there were three girls beautiful as gold,

    who bragged about the rare antiques each of them did hold;

    “I have a little head scarf,” one boasted with pride —

    “From my great grandmother, with squares and flowers wide.” 

    “I have a jeweled needle” — the second proudly...

  • Torah portion: Economic, moral and ritual choices

    17 hours ago

    At the beginning of Parashat Miketz, Pharaoh dreams of cows and grain; the healthy, sturdy specimens are consumed by the thin and gaunt. Joseph is remembered as a dream-interpreter and released from prison in order to serve Pharaoh. 

    Joseph explains that seven years of abundant...

  • Gross’ release, and changes in diplomatic ties, signals new day for Cuban Jews

    17 hours ago

    Alan Gross was imprisoned while trying to connect Cuba’s isolated Jewish community to the wider world. The deal that got him released five years later may do just that and much more.

    Gross’ flight home to suburban Washington on Wednesday with his wife, Judy, was part of a...

  • Norman Lear’s bright future

    By Rob Eshman

    17 hours ago

    When I met Norman Lear at his spacious Beverly Hills office for an interview, he immediately told me, “The timing is good.” He didn’t say why — just that it has something to do with what he plans to do next.

    That’s right, next. At 92, an age when most of us would be content to...

  • Calendar: December 20 - January 2

    By Laura Donney

    17 hours ago

    SAT | DEC 20

    SHABBAT EXPERIENCE FOR FAMILIES

    Finally, a Chanukah-themed Shabbat. This is truly a treat for families with school-age kids and crafty attitudes. Participants will get to enjoy crafts, songs, a cooking project and more, all relating to our favorite winter holiday....

  • Poem: Sticks and Stones

    17 hours ago

    Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis wrote this poem about genocide on the eve of the High Holy Days earlier this year. He submitted it now as a reminder that "Never Again" should be pledged to halt the killings of unarmed Black men by police in New York and Ferguson, Mo., and many other...

  • Letters to the editor: Barack Obama, Guy Davidi, happy Chanukah and more

    18 hours ago

    Backing Barack

    Yes, finally a prominent voice from the Jewish community has spoken truth to fact (“Why Jews Still Back Obama,” Dec. 12). Kudos to Rob Eshman for stating facts, and not falling for the loud, anti-Obama voices on the right.

    Allan Kretchman via email

    Nice article...

  • Rage, tears and broken childhoods as Pakistan reels from massacre

    18 hours ago

    Mehran Khan, a mild-mannered 14-year-old survivor of this week's massacre at a Pakistani school, says he will not rest until the meaningless deaths of his classmates have been avenged.

    Shot with three bullets – in the hand, leg and back – Khan said from his bed at Peshawar's Lady...

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