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  • The Hebrascope: Signs of the Jewdiac

    January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Aries (March 21-April 20)

    Notable Jewish Aries: Howard Cosell

    It's OK to be...

  • In the Seats Around You

    By Meredith Jacobs

    September 29, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    I got a new outfit for yontif. The clothes add to the newness of this time of year, just like the first day of school. I sometimes wonder if the synagogues crank up the air conditioning on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur so we have an excuse to wear our new fall clothes.

    The shul I grew...

  • Many Factors Enter Into Temple Choice

    By Gaby Friedman

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    When Mark Firestone was searching for a shul to join, he didn't look for a shul that had a nursery school or Hebrew school attached. Nor did he fret about the services he'd be getting for his membership fee. Instead, he wanted a shul that was quiet.

    "I wanted it to be very quiet, so...

  • A Provocative Talk Among ‘We Jews’

    By Rabbi Rachel Esserman

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "We Jews: Who Are We and What Should We Do" by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz (Jossey-Bass, $24.95).

    Is modern Judaism facing an identity crisis? One would think so from reading "We Jews: Who Are We and What Should We Do?" by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. This provocative work, which Steinsaltz...

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  • Remember Sept. 11 the Jewish Way

    By Joel Haber

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    I've always had a difficult time assimilating tragedy, and although it hit much closer to home for me, Sept. 11 was not much different.

    Even though it touched people all around me, and I was definitely affected, it still did not seem as intense or painful as it should have been.

    I...

  • Response a Disgrace—Not a Tragedy

    By Rabbi Robin Podolsky

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    We will be admonished not to make politics out of tragedy, but we have a responsibility to figure out what went wrong with the response to Hurricane Katrina.

    Today, far too often, tragedy is employed as an incantation to ward off responsibility. (Try Googling the phrase, "The events...

  • City’s Plight Brings Flood of Memories

    By Rabbi Anne Brener

    September 8, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    In New Orleans, the Jews are the only ones buried in the ground. Others, if their mourners have any means at all, are laid with the expectation of eternal rest in stone crypts to protect them from rising waters. My mother used to say, "Someday, we Jews'll all be floatin' down the...

  • Private Author’s Public ‘Memory’

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    August 18, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    "Omaha Blues: A Memory Loop" by Joseph Lelyveld (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $22).

    As a child, Joseph Lelyveld's parents called him "memory boy." He was the family's institutional memory, paying attention and recalling with ease events and people -- a useful skill for someone who...

  • A Holocaust-Inspired Vegetarian

    By Noam Mohr

    June 23, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Recently, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) issued an apology for its Holocaust on Your Plate campaign and exhibit, which showed concentration camp images next to photos of animal abuse on factory farms. The comparison was extraordinarily tasteless, and widely...

  • Live Jews Walking

    By David Suissa

    May 12, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Cigarette butts, old candy wrappers, dirty napkins on the ground. Above, Jews, Jews, Jews, lots of Jews, walking, smoking, laughing. First day of Chol Hamoed, there's a breezy, late afternoon glow. I'm sipping Turkish coffee at a café on Shenkin Street in Tel Aviv and I'm...

  • Bird’s-Eye View

    By Rabbi Haim Ovadia

    April 14, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    One day, Rabbi Shimon Ben Elazar was riding his donkey along the coastal road. He was enjoying the beautiful scenery and reviewing in his mind the wonderful study session he had with his rabbi at Migdal Eder, when he encountered a man who was extremely ugly.

    "How ugly you are,"...

  • Iraq Election May Mark Start of Change

    By Robert Kagan

    March 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    The day after the elections in Iraq, the London Independent commented that "in the long term, it is possible that yesterday's elections in Iraq may be seen as marking the start of a great change across the whole region."

    The editors hastened to add that it would be "utterly wrong...

  • A Key to the Soul

    By David Lieber

    March 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    The Book of Psalms

    The history of any people consists of more than the study of the events that have influenced the course of its development. Even more important is the record of the people's inner life, its values and aspirations, its views of the good life, its speculation about...

  • Yeladim

    By Abby Gilad

    January 27, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    This week's portion is named for Moses' father-in-law, Yitro. Moses is exhausted because he spends the whole day talking to anyone who needs counseling or judgment. Yitro, who is visiting him, says: "You'll kill yourself if you keep up at this pace. Get some people to help...
  • Choreographer Puts Kick in Torah Tales

    By Ruth Andrew Ellenson

    January 6, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Andrea Hodos cuts a sprightly figure directing 14-year-old Sophie Porter-Zasada, dancing the biblical story of Sarah laughing as she hears of her pregnancy with Isaac.

    A dancer by training, Hodos guides Sophie through movements that cause Sophie to curl into herself at Sarah's...

  • Creative Chuppahs Are Labor of Love

    By Donna Gordon Blankinship

    November 11, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Nancy and Kim Goldov wanted to personalize everything about their wedding. She sewed her own gown. He composed music for the ceremony. They both created a new last name to share: combining Stolov and Goldschmidt into Goldov. So it probably didn't surprise anyone that the couple spent...

  • Passion to Help Sick Spawns Wider Effort

    By Gaby Wenig

    October 28, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    When Lori Marx-Rubiner underwent a bilateral mastectomy two years ago, she lost the use of her arms for a few weeks. She couldn't brush her teeth, let alone tackle cooking dinner or driving her son to school.

    The Adat Ari El community came to her rescue, bringing approximately 60...

  • Q & A With Wilda Spalding

    By Sarah Price Brown

    October 21, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Open Wilda Spalding's "little black book," and you'll discover a code of ethics -- written in part by Eleanor Roosevelt and adopted by the United Nations in 1948: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Spalding, who will be at the University of Judaism on Oct. 26, has been a...

  • Our Future Lies Rooted in Ourselves

    By Nona Farahnik

    October 21, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    The last time my name appeared in The Jewish Journal, I had just been dubbed the "Milken Idol" for winning a public-speaking contest with what

    The Journal termed a "stirring pro-Israel speech" that called for "Zionist solidarity."

    In that speech, I said that "there are no more...

  • My Seder With Brando

    By Louie Kemp

    October 7, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    You might remember him as Don Vito Corleone, Stanley Kowalski or the eerie Col. Walter E. Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now," but I remember Marlon Brando as a mensch and a personal friend of the Jewish people when they needed it most.

    I got to know Marlon about 30 years ago through a...

  • Shabbat in Jerusalem

    By Laurel Sternberg

    August 5, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Friday in Israel is not really a work day, but a semi-holiday. Friday is not a holy day, but it has a special flavor because it is when we finalize our Shabbat preparations.

    I used to live on a gorgeous street in Jerusalem, Rehov Caspi. The street boasts a view of the Temple Mount,...

  • A Solemn Day in Santa Monica

    By David Finnigan

    July 8, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Santa Monicans call it "the accident." Upon further reflection, some residents also concede that while this word is accurate, it does not capture the enormity of what happened on July 16, 2003. That day, an 86-year-old man's foot pressed down on the accelerator of his 1992 Buick,...

  • How to Win Leaders and Influence People

    By Gaby Wenig

    July 1, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Melina Gimal has been a Jewish community professional for most of her life. As a young girl she worked at Jewish Community Centers in Argentina, and later at Hillels in Washington and Miami. But most of her peers aren't doing the same.

    "They just have it in their minds that they are...

  • A New Relationship

    By Teresa Strasser

    July 1, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    A relationship with a new city is like a relationship with a new guy. At first, you compare a lot -- my ex had better nicknames for me; he made the bed in the morning. My ex was the one for me, and now I'm just marking time before becoming that old lady in line at the bagel shop who...

  • Charities Ask L.A. to Help Israel’s Poor

    By Gaby Wenig

    April 29, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Ask Abraham Israel about hungry people in Israel and he gets exasperated.

    "The situation is pathetic," said Israel, the founder of Hazon Yeshaya, a charity that supports seven soup kitchens. "It's terrible, terrible, terrible. We're feeding 5,000 people a day. For Passover we needed...

  • Israel Needs Hope for Survival

    By Ambassador Yuval Rotem

    April 29, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Nearly 60 years ago, out of the ashes of the Holocaust, thousands of Jews came with not much more than the shirts on their backs to a land recognizable only as a collective and distant memory. There they found other Jews who had been there for several years, working to forge a new...

  • This Year in Jerusalem

    By Rachel Pomerance

    March 18, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    For the past decade, members of Shaare Shalom, a Persian synagogue in Great Neck, N.Y., have traveled en masse to Miami each Passover.

    This year, however, many synagogue members are passing up the Fontainebleau Hilton for the Jewish state -- where they'll combine the springtime...

  • The Haunting of the Weird

    By Gaby Wenig

    February 26, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Diane Arbus, acknowledged as one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, thought photographs were the ultimate enigma.

    "A photograph is a secret about a secret," she said. "The more it tells you, the less you know."

    Arbus was a pampered Jewish princess turned chronicler...

  • S. Africa Makes Bold Chief Rabbi Choice

    By Geoff Sifrin

    December 25, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    At a time when South Africa's Jews are anxious over the future of the Jewish community, the religious body representing most Jews has taken a bold step by choosing a young man with little experience as chief rabbi.

    The decision by the Union of Orthodox Synagogues to appoint as...

  • Opportunities and Changes Abound

    By Rabbi Marc S. Dworkin

    December 4, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    This month, as I started my work with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), my wife's father, Sol, celebrated his 90th birthday with his friends at Leisure World of Laguna Woods. Like many of us, Sol is a transplant to Orange County from Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and...

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