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  • AUDIO: Iranian American Jews—30 Years After the Iranian Revolution

    By Karmel Melamed

    February 5, 2008 | 10:25 pm

    Iranian Jewish members of the “30 Years After” organization talk about becoming more active in Los Angeles, state and national politics; featuring Assemblyman Mike Feuer and L.A. DWP General Manager H. David Nahai.

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

    From Karmel Melamed’s Iranian American Jews blog.

     

  • Iranian couples trapped by six-figure party dilemma

    By Karmel Melamed

    October 11, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Sam Cohan recently completed his residency. As he looked for a job locally, his student loans weighed on him. The 30-something Iranian Jew had grown up middle class in the Valley and had to take out the loans to pay for his education at a prestigious medical school.

    With no immediate...

  • Israel fights 24/7 infowar against Iran in cyberspace

    By Karmel Melamed

    August 23, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    In response to the Iranian government's recent media war against Israel on satellite television and the Internet, Israel's Foreign Ministry last month launched its own offensive -- a Persian-language pro-Israel Web site. Although the site's first aim is to teach Persian-language...
  • Different cultures produce different Jewish mothers

    By Amy Klein

    May 10, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    When people talk about the Jewish mother stereotype, they're usually referring to the American Ashkenazi Jewish mother stereotype.

    But what about Jewish mothers from different cultures and countries?

    In Israel, where the Jewish mother is everywhere, the stereotype is known as...
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  • Becoming American

    By Gina Nahai

    April 5, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    She comes up to me through the crowd -- designer clothes and Tahitian pearls and that I-know-I'm-gorgeous confidence that makes her impossible to look away from -- and hands me one of my own books. We're at a writers' conference in Long Beach. I'm scheduled to speak later in the day,...
  • A few Persian phrases that could come in handy, enshallah

    By Sara Shereen Bakhshian

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    These are expressions that might be used in conversation with Persian Jews:

    Salaam -- Hello

    Khodahafes -- Goodbye

    Kaheshmekonam -- Please

    Befarmeyeet -- Welcome (as a greeting)

    Haleh shoma chetoreh? -- How are you?

    Moteshakeram (alt. Merci) -- Thank you

    Khoshal shodam -- Happy...

  • When Ashkenazi and Persian worlds collide—community healing begins at shul

    By Rabbi David Wolpe

    February 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    In March of 2001 I delivered the sermon abbreviated and reprinted here. Having been the rabbi at Sinai Temple for four years, it seemed time to straightforwardly address the tensions between the Persian and Ashkenazi communities.

    Since that time, by dint of committees, school...

  • Briefs: Journalist: West Is losing ‘War of Ideas;’ Daniel Pipes comes to Pepperdine

    January 25, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Journalist: West Is Losing War of Ideas

    The conflict between the West and terrorist Islam is not about terrorism, land or economic grievances but about fundamental ideas -- and the West is losing.

    So posits Melanie Phillips, a feisty British journalist, who backed up her thesis in...

  • Nessah president blazing trail for Iranian women

    By Karmel Melamed

    November 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Dr. Morgan Hakimi has a variety of roles -- psychologist, Jewish activist, wife and full-time mother. But it's her position as president of the Nessah Educational and Cultural Center in Beverly Hills that has captured the attention of the L.A. Persian Jewish community.

    In this...

  • Fate of Santa Monica apartment building embroils rabbi and residents in legal battle

    By Jane Ulman

    October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    One late afternoon in October 1978, Hertzel Illulian, a Chabad student from Brooklyn, was silently praying mincha outside the Intercontinental Hotel in Tehran. He took three steps back after reciting the Amidah, the service's central prayer, and found himself surrounded by a wall of...

  • New Queen Esther flick is whole ‘nother megillah entirely

    By Tom Tugend

    October 12, 2006 | 8:00 pm


    "'Christian Money Makes Jewish Film,' that's the headline I'd like to see above your article," Matthew Crouch, producer of "One Night With the King," suggested in an interview.
     
    The film, based on the biblical Book of Esther, "brims with adventure, intrigue, romance and wonder...
  • Local community refuses to forget 12 missing Persian Jews

    By Norma Zager

    October 12, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    12 missing Persian Jews: not forgotten
     
    Nearly 300 members of the Iranian Jewish community and local Persian-language media gathered at the Nessah Cultural Center in Beverly Hills on Sept. 27 for an event sponsored by the Council of Iranian Jews to discuss the fate of 12 Persian...
  • What lies Beneath Westwood Boulevard’s golden dome?

    By Karmel Melamed

    September 14, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    With its sparkling 24-karat gold dome and Jerusalem stone exterior, the new 25,000-square-foot Southern California Jewish Center (SCJC) stands out more than just a little among the various stores and restaurants, many of them Persian-owned, that line Westwood Boulevard. A four-story...
  • Israeli Diplomats Reach Out to L.A. Iranian Media

    By Karmel Melamed

    September 7, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Representatives from Southern California-based Persian-language satellite radio stations and television shows attended a special press conference on Aug. 28, held for them at Los Angeles' Israeli consulate, the first public interaction between the Israeli government and local...

  • Persian Angelenos Pledge Money, Support to Israel

    By Karmel Melamed

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Karnit Goldwasser

    The young woman stood at the podium and spoke to a quiet, tearful audience. "We just got married last October," said Karnit Goldwasser, "and I can't describe to you how my life was just turned upside down on that one day."

    Goldwasser's husband is Ehud Goldwasser, one of the...

  • Persian Jewish Artist Finds New Freedom

    By Karmel Melamed

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Krista Nassi's art

    She has won international art competitions, sold her works around the globe, and even had her pieces displayed in renowned galleries around the world. Yet nothing might be more gratifying for Iranian Jewish artist Krista Nassi than displaying her work for the first time in the United...

  • Latin American Jews Create L.A. Oasis

    By Roberto Loiederman

    June 8, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Imagine that you live in Latin America and you're Jewish. Typically, you and your family would belong to a full-service Jewish club with cultural, recreational, educational and athletic activities for all ages. The club is reasonably priced, promotes Jewish identity in a secular...

  • Q & A With Bahar Soomekh

    By Karmel Melamed

    May 11, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Persian Jewish actress Bahar Soomekh earned some serious attention last year when she played a young Iranian in "Crash," the Academy Award winner for best picture. She's now appearing in an even bigger role -- playing alongside Tom Cruise in the thriller, "M:I:III." On the eve of the...

  • Video Bares Artist’s Obsession, Views

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 23, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    "I have a warped idea about my worth, my abilities as an artist, my intelligence," Jessica Shokrian says in her video installation at the Skirball Cultural Center. "For much of my life, I've been extremely concerned with how I look and how I think I look to other people. It's...

  • Iranian Muslims Brush Up on Shoah

    By Karmel Melamed

    January 19, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The Simon Wiesenthal Center hosted more than two-dozen representatives from local Iranian Muslim news outlets this month to provide them with information about the Holocaust that they can, in turn, use to educate their readers, listeners and viewers.

    "We are looking to introduce the...

  • Nathan Takes a Bite Out of Boring Fare

    By Keren Engelberg

    December 8, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    "The New American Cooking" by Joan Nathan (Knopf, $35).

    A tempeh Reuben sandwich and guacamole made with mayonnaise may sound like sacrilege to food purists, but not to food journalist Joan Nathan. The author of 10 cookbooks, including the award-winning "Jewish Cooking in America"...

  • Ancient Texts Could Unlock Persian Past

    By Karmel Melamed

    November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    It took Iranian Jews in the United States nearly three decades in exile from the land their ancestors called home for 2,700 years to appreciate the rich history and culture preserved in their literature.

    Considered one of the oldest but least- studied Jewish writings in the world,...

  • There’s a New Deputy in Town

    By Tom Tugend

    November 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    Competition for postings to Los Angeles is fierce within the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and two young diplomats who made the grade, Yaron Gamburg and Gilad Millo, have joined the staff of the consulate general here.

    Gamburg, 34, has taken over the post of deputy consul general, the...

  • For Iranians, Purim Is the Real Thing

    By Karmel Melamed

    March 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    Historians may question whether events in the Book of Esther, which are celebrated at Purim, happened as described in the traditional tale. But to Persian Jews, the holiday resonates deeply.

    Part of it is that the story unfolds in ancient Persia -- now modern Iran -- so the events...

  • Splintered Persian Groups Merge

    By Karmel Melamed

    June 24, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Long troubled by infighting, the Los Angeles Iranian Jewish community is working toward less conflict as three prominent Iranian Jewish organizations recently merged with the hope of speaking with one voice.

    The Iranian-American Jewish Association (SIAMAK), Eretz Cultural Center and...

  • Israeli Fest Crowd Feels the Heat

    By David Finnigan

    May 6, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Brutal heat was the dominant feature of the May 2 Israel Independence Day Festival in Van Nuys, as 99-degree temperatures kept thousands indoors and away from the sprawling Woodley Park celebration.

    "I think it was the heat," said festival organizer Jerome Goodman, who added that...

  • Persian Arrivals

    By Rob Eshman

    March 18, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Tribes of Jews move through the history of Los Angeles in predictable cadences. First as new immigrants, raw and clannish and eager to succeed; then as successful citizens, integrated or assimilated, their accents lost in their children's mouths. Finally they earn the right to choose...

  • Viva Vashti

    By Jane Ulman

    March 4, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    "Vashti's the only one in the Purim story who should be congratulated," my son Danny, 12, says.

    You may recall that King Ahasuerus, who had been sumptuously drinking and feasting with his Shushan subjects for seven days, ordered his chamberlains to "bring Vashti the queen before the...

  • A Persian Artist’s Crowning Moment

    By Mojdeh Sionit

    September 25, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Yosef Setarehshenas wants to revive and introduce Jewish Persian art to the world.

    And on the Jewish New Year of 5764, he plans to do it through a unique Persian calendar that will incorporate four different calendars: The Hebrew (Jewish); the Persian (Solar); the Arabic (Lunar) and...

  • Community Briefs

    By Journal Staff

    August 7, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Liberal Pundit Predicts Davis Recall

    If the California slugfest between the two major political parties were a concert, the Republicans, who yearn for the days when buffaloes roamed the plains, would be playing the "Ghost Dance," while the Democratic tune would be the...

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