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  • Our podcast remembers Dr. Amnon Nezter

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 24, 2008 | 10:04 am

    Several days ago this blog reflected on the incredible contributions of the late Iranian Jewish historian Dr. Amnon Nezter following his passing on February 15, 2008. An obituary on Nezter appeared in the L.A. Jewish Journal website this week, but our podcast recently interviewed...

  • Mullah’s offer to welcome Jews back to Iran is a joke!

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 20, 2008 | 4:56 pm


    Iran’s radical fundamentalist Islamic leaders never cease to make me laugh nowadays with their almost daily ridiculous news releases to the Western media concerning Jews and Israel. This is one of their latest asinine news releases put out by the Iranian government’s state-run...

  • Iranian Jews mourn passing of Dr. Netzer

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 17, 2008 | 11:46 pm

    On Sunday February 17, 2008 roughly 500 Los Angeles area Iranian Jews bid a final farewell to the late Iranian Jewish historian Dr. Amnon Netzer during his memorial at Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills. He had died a few days earlier at the age of 73 at UCLA Medical Center while...

  • Local Iranian Jew boycotts an L.A. Iranian market for anti-Semitic comments

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 14, 2008 | 4:35 pm

    Angela Cohan is a Los Angeles area Iranian Jewish mom, writer, community activist and a friend of mine who recently shared with me an incident last year in which anti-Semitic remarks were made at a local grocery store own by Iranian Muslims in the Westwood area. Her outrage over...

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  • Iranian gov’t news makes bogus claim that Iranian Jews in U.S. support the regime

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 12, 2008 | 1:40 pm

    It simply baffles my mind how officials in Iran’s radical fundamentalist Islamic government still continue to put out totally bogus press releases, news reports and information about Jews and other religious minorities of Iranian decent. The regime’s claims and statements about...

  • New Iranian Jewish podcast on this blog!

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 9, 2008 | 2:11 pm


    It is with great honor and pleasure that I announce the launching of the first podcast on this blog that will literally give new voice to Iranian Jews living in the U.S. The new podcast can be found here:

    http://www.jewishjournal.com/audio/karmelmelamedpodcast.mp3

    Since 2000, as...

  • Photo Essay: Super Tuesday excites young Iranian Jews to get politically active

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 6, 2008 | 11:48 pm

    Election night energy was vibrant on February 5th when more than 250 young Iranian Jewish professionals gathered at the Brentwood residence of the Iranian Jewish Cohanzad family to mingle and watch the 2008 primary election results. Organizers of the event, “Thirty Years After...

  • Iranian Jews in New York still keeping a low profile

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 3, 2008 | 11:49 pm

    The Iranian Jewish community living in Long Island, New York is primarly concentrated in the area known as Great Neck and is roughly 15,000 strong today. The community in Great Neck is by far wealthy, educated and quite observant of Jewish religious practices. With all of their...

  • American author recalls Iranian Jewish response to Shah leaving Iran

    By Karmel Melamed

    January 31, 2008 | 9:39 pm

    I am always intrigued to read or hear what perspectives other Jewish groups have when it comes to Iranian Jews. An article this week by Jewish anthropologist and author Karen L. Pliskin in the Forward newspaper particularly caught my attention as she shares her memories of Iranian...

  • U.N. finally holds Iran accountable for human rights abuses

    By Karmel Melamed

    January 28, 2008 | 9:30 pm

    For nearly six decades the United Nations General Assembly has been notorious for passing ridiculously anti-Israel resolutions condemning supposed human rights violations by Israel. This is accomplished with the help of a large group of Arab and Islamic member countries such as...

  • Hebrew course piques Iranian Jews’ interest

    By Karmel Melamed

    November 15, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    "You teach me Persian, and I'll teach you Hebrew," quipped Rabbi Hillel Benchimol to the crowd. Nearly 150 Iranian Jews of various ages had gathered at the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills on Oct. 29 for the third session of a free five-week crash course in Hebrew.

    Also known as...

  • TV: Iran’s ‘Zero Degree Turn’ flips facts on Holocaust

    By Karmel Melamed

    October 18, 2007 | 8:00 pm


    'Zero Degree Turn' Part I (Farsi with English subtitles 10:07)
    Scroll to bottom of page for more video links

    A popular Persian-language drama on Iranian state-run television dealing with the Holocaust contains anti-Semitic and anti-Israel themes, Los Angeles Iranian Jewish...
  • L.A. Persian Jews and Muslims oppose bombing Iran

    By Karmel Melamed

    June 28, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    In recent weeks, calls for possible strikes against Iran by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and other government officials have caused alarm among some local Iranian Jews and Muslims familiar with the Tehran regime.

    Iranian American experts on Iran's fundamentalist Islamic...
  • Persian voices unite in lawsuit against Khatami

    By Karmel Melamed

    September 21, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    In a rare display of unity, a variety of groups within the local Persian Jewish community have joined to voice support for a lawsuit filed against former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami on Sept. 9 by seven Persian Jewish families in Los Angeles and Israel. The suit holds Khatami responsible for the arrests and disappearance of their loved ones more than 10 years ago.
     
  • City Officials Vow Justice for Vandalized Synagogue

    July 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    City officials have vowed to aid a Persian congregation in Tarzana whose new synagogue was vandalized last Friday by an arson attack and anti-Semitic graffiti. Two days before the scheduled July 9 ceremonial moving of Beith David Education Center's Torahs to its new facility,...

  • Iranians Adopt Agreement to Avoid Future Agunot

    By Karmel Melamed

    July 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Rachel R. endured three years of humiliation while seeking a civil divorce from her physically abusive husband in Iran during the late 1980s. Since he had fled their native country, the Islamic regime required her to place ads in newspapers in order to locate him. When the courts...

  • Iranian Jewish Spiritual Icon Dies

    By Karmel Melamed

    June 30, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Hacham Yedidia Shofet, a spiritual icon for Persian Jews both in Iran and the United States died last week at 96 in Los Angeles.

    In Iran, Shofet served both as a religious leader and as the liaison representing Iran's Jewish community before the Shah's government. Shofet joined the...

  • Persian Jews Dive Into Politics

    By Karmel Melamed

    June 30, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    When Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took office on July 1, he could have handed out thank-yous to groups all over the city for his Election Day drubbing of incumbent Mayor James Hahn.

    Jews, in all their local permutations, were a big part of Villaraigosa's victory: Orthodox Jews, Valley...

  • Cancer and Secrets

    By Homa Shadpour-Michaelson

    August 26, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    I have cancer. It's thyroid cancer, which has metastasized. In every bone in my body there is a tumor eating it from the inside out.

    That's why I was at the Cedars-Sinai Outpatient Cancer Center on June 25, 2003, having a bone infusion. I sat there on one of those comfortable chairs...

  • Persian Shul Adopts Membership System

    By Karmel Melamed

    August 26, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    For many Jews, the High Holidays and membership drives go together like apples and honey. But for communities newer to America, the thought of paying an annual fee to "belong" to a house of worship is a foreign concept.

    For centuries, Persian Jews have traditionally raised funds for...

  • No Worries

    By Mojdeh Sionit

    April 8, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    My mom yells at me: "Hurry up, it is almost Pesach and we haven't done anything yet."

    The memory goes back several years, when I was a teenager living with my parents and brother in our three-story building in western Tehran.

    I walk toward the stove, where a big pot of water...

  • Holiday Halvah

    By Gina Nahai

    March 1, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Wheat Halvah

    Among Persian Jews, halvah is the traditional Purim food. Here are two recipes, one using flour, one rice.

    Fariba Sameyach, a preschool teacher at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, shared this recipe, along with a delicious sample of halvah, a sweet and perfumy Persian...

  • The Trouble with Testing

    By Jason B. Kohn

    November 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    As if we don't have enough problems, it seems there's an unlimited supply of horrific hereditary diseases just waiting to ensnare Jews and their children. Tay-Sachs cripples infants before their first birthday and eventually kills them, Gaucher disease erodes healthy bones and...
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