I would like to offer a view on Jewish neighborhoods that is so contrary to accepted wisdom that I can only ask that people read this column with as open a mind as possible.
The Iranian nuclear issue and Palestinian peace talks may be dominating the news about Israel nowadays, but if discussions within the Jewish state focused on any social challenge this year, it was the question of how to integrate the Charedi Orthodox population into Israel’s workforce and military.
In a first-ever seminar organized by Project Interchange, an educational institute of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), leaders of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities from the United States and Israel met recently to explore possible collaborations and share knowledge.
For most Israelis in the Jewish state, there is one legal way to get married - God's way. Israeli law empowers only Orthodox rabbis to officiate at Jewish weddings, but popular opposition is growing to this restriction and to what some Israelis see as an Orthodox stranglehold on the most precious moments of their lives.
The twenty-second of November, 1963 was, as traditional Jews say, a "short Friday." At Rambam Torah Institute, the Orthodox day school on West Pico Boulevard at which I was a ninth-grade student, the day's teaching schedule had been compressed accordingly.
In my last column, I suggested a number of reasons for the rise of Orthodox Judaism and the decline in membership among non-Orthodox denominations.
A bill that would allow non-Orthodox Israeli parents to adopt non-Jewish children was sent to the Knesset.
“You are being relocated to a labor camp,” the Hungarian gendarmes, or police, announced to the Jews of Sopron, Hungary, who had spent the previous two weeks confined to a windowless tobacco factory. Edith Jacobs (née Rosenberger), her parents, three sisters and the other Jews were marched to the train station
Amid an escalation of signals that the Obama and Netanyahu governments are parting ways on Iran strategy, the White House called in American Jewish leaders for a briefing on short notice.
The Knesset approved the so-called Tzohar Law, which would allow couples to choose the city in which to register their marriage.
Four educators at area Jewish schools were awarded $15,000 Milken Jewish Educator Awards by the Milken Family Foundation earlier this month.
As almost every Jew knows by now, according to major reports on American Jewry — such as the most recent and most highly regarded Pew report — Orthodoxy is growing, while Conservative and Reform Judaism are shrinking.
There’s a nasty food fight going on right now in the Orthodox world between the stringent groups and the more open ones.
What’s considered “Jewish art” often includes a Marc Chagall print. Maybe some abstract metal sculptures resembling a menorah or Star of David. Or a painting of Orthodox Jewish men dancing with a Torah or playing klezmer music.
The FBI arrested two prominent Orthodox Jewish rabbis and two of their associates overnight Oct. 9 in New York. Allegedly, these rabbis arranged back-alley beatings for men who refuse to divorce their wives. Understanding their alleged crimes requires a short background in Jewish law.
The ink is barely dry on the latest Pew report on declining Jewish affiliation and concerned community leaders are quickly weighing in on what to do to attract the unaffiliated back under the tent. Notwithstanding all the good ideas, something, from my experience, is missing from the conversation.
Over the past week, I have seen a flurry of writing about Pew Research Center’s study on American Jews. Several scholars and communal leaders have taken an alarmist stance toward the findings, calling the increasing rate of intermarriage “devastating” and describing non-Orthodox Jews as “demographically challenged.” As an adviser to the Pew study and researcher of American Jewish communities, I would like to offer a more optimistic analysis.
Two Orthodox rabbis and two others were arrested for allegedly kidnapping and beating men in order to force them to grant their wives religious Jewish divorces.
Last week, the Pew Research Center released the first national demographic study of Jewish Americans in more than a decade. Like all such studies, there are disagreements at the edges about the accuracy of some of the results, but the study’s most significant findings have been generally accepted.
An Orthodox female Israeli soldier was called up to the Torah during holiday services on a military base in what was being called a first.
The Pew survey, reported last week in major news outlets, inadvertently mischaracterizes Orthodox demographic trends quite dramatically and necessarily undercounts us significantly, for the same reason that other random-digit-dialing and surveying techniques do. I previously have analyzed these statistical phenomena at such places as
The Western Wall rabbi requested that Charedi Orthodox girls not fill the plaza for the next Women of the Wall service.
The new Pew Research Center’s new study “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” offers a treasure trove of survey data on American Jewry. It’s a particularly valuable service since the Jewish Federations of North America opted not do a repeat of the decennial National Jewish Population Study to cap “the aughts.”
I got married June 30 at the Chabad Residential Treatment Center. Yes, you read that correctly. I didn’t get married at the Four Seasons but at a drug and alcohol rehab facility on the corner of Olympic and Hauser boulevards. It was the most un-orthodox Orthodox Jewish wedding a girl could have.
Located in the eastern Mediterranean, the island of Cyprus feels very familiar to Israelis, due to its warm climate, arid stretches of mountainous land filled with olive trees and beautiful beaches.
On Sunday, my wife and I drove out to the Valley to buy a new sukkah. It was time. I’d bought our old sukkah from an Armenian Catholic who supplied booths to vendors in farmers’ markets. When his orders began to spike in September, he realized he could have a good little side business selling these things to Jews for their holiday of Sukkot. Only in America.
For the second time in two months, the Orthodox Jewish community in Los Angeles has successfully pressured a major billboard company to take down what some considered offensive advertising.
When Allen Alevy was 12 years old, he was called to the Torah for the first time. Although he hadn’t yet had a bar mitzvah, his maternal grandfather’s Orthodox synagogue was one man shy of a minyan.
With chants of “Shonda,” and “Shame,” a group of around 75 protestors demonstrated on Sept. 8 in front of two sites on Pico Blvd where kaporot ceremonies were taking place.
The eastward expansion of Pico-Robertson’s Orthodox community hit a new milestone recently with the Aug. 24 opening of LINK East, a satellite branch of LINK, the Los Angeles Intercommunity Kollel.
About a dozen women sit underneath a large Israeli flag at Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall. They’ve been here close to 24 hours, and are getting tired. They are members of Women of the Wall (WOW), a 25-year-old group of women from all denominations that wants equality for women at the Western Wall.
On this Rosh Hashanah eve, we savor the hope that the New Year will bring the blessing of peace to Israel. We recall President Obama’s historic speech in Jerusalem, where he spoke to our hearts, as Jews and as Americans, about the necessity of achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Sitting with his back hunched, his wife by his side and a kippah on his head, a 23-year-old bearded Orthodox man nervously told a gathering of parents at a private residence near Pico-Robertson that a young man named Mendel Tevel had sexually abused him when he was 14.
One of the most prominent Orthodox rabbis of our time, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, chief rabbi of Efrat, related the following story in the July 12-18 issue of the International Jerusalem Post:
I was talking with a young woman last Sunday afternoon. She had called me because she read the column I wrote here last month, about Sinai Temple’s decision to perform same-sex weddings.
Until recently, Women of the Wall (WoW) was but a distant blip on my radar. All that was changed as I came across a BBC interview, in which a prominent WoW member painted Israel as a misogynist country oppressing women. I felt I could not remain silent.
Haredi Orthodox assailants in Beit Shemesh smashed the windows of a bus after a woman refused to sit apart from men.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon deferred the draft orders for hundreds of Charedi Orthodox yeshiva students.
A Jewish group convinced Van Wagner Communicatins to remove a suggestive billboard showing a mostly-naked woman that was an advertisement for XO energy drink. The had been displayed on the 2000 block of South La Cienega Boulevard, a neighborhood frequented by many observant Jewish families—from Pico-Robertson, Faircrest Heights, and Beverly Hills—near to the I-10 freeway.
A Charedi Orthodox soldier was attacked by dozens of haredi rioters in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim.
Egypt named an interim prime minister on Tuesday and rich Gulf states poured in $8 billion in aid, as the biggest Arab nation sought ways out of a crisis a day after troops killed dozens of Islamists.
Women of the Wall conducted its monthly prayer service at the Western Wall plaza with an occasional disturbance from protesters, but the worshipers were kept far from the wall itself.
Much of the Jewish world is celebrating today’s Supreme Court ruling on two same-sex marriage cases.
Liberal Jewish groups fired a verbal barrage against a restrictive abortion bill passed by the Republican-dominated U.S. House of Representatives, calling it “egregious,” “outrageous,” “an affront,” and “deeply disappointing.”
Temple Beth Am honored the Ziering family for its generosity to the Los Angeles Jewish community, Israel, the arts and numerous philanthropic organizations around the world on May 29 with a concert gala that featured performances by Placido Domingo, Melissa Manchester and Cantor Magda Fishman.
In March 2011, Hatzolah of Los Angeles, the Orthodox Jewish volunteer emergency response corps, celebrated its 10th anniversary in this city.
I’ve spent many hours with Monty Hall over the past two months. It’s work related, so I’ve gotten to know him in a way I never did when I was a kid. Back then, I’d come home from school and watch him on “Let’s Make a Deal.”
Hundreds of protesting Charedi Orthodox youth did not prevent or significantly disturb the Women of the Wall’s monthly service at the Western Wall.
A decade ago, distinguished Orthodox filmmaker Menachem Daum produced and directed the documentary “A Life Apart: Hasidism in America,” a restrained and loving effort to introduce the seemingly strange and alien world of Chasidism to outsiders.
The Rabbinical Council of California (RCC), a local nonprofit consortium of Orthodox rabbis, has brought in two national kosher organizations to review the restaurants in Los Angeles under its supervision.
Women of the Wall said it will read from a Torah scroll at its upcoming service at the Western Wall.
'There are no villains in this story.” Those were the calming words of Natan Sharansky, renowned human rights champion and Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
The Russian-born Israeli Natan Sharansky, 65, a former member of the Knesset and now chair of the Jewish Agency, visited Los Angeles last week, hosted jointly by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and Beth Jacob Congregation of Beverly Hills.
The Jewish Federations of North America’s board of trustees passed a resolution supporting Natan Sharansky’s proposed compromise on egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.
Schwartz Bakery, a kosher bakery and caterer with six retail locations across Los Angeles, has dropped the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) as its kosher certifier.
On March 12, Stav Shaffir, a first-time Knesset Member from the Labor Party, joined Women of the Wall in prayer at the Western Wall. Despite threats from several Orthodox groups and attempted arrests by police, the group prayed.