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  • A Funny Thing Happened at the Kotel

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    January 23, 2013 | 7:00 am

    A funny thing happened at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem last week. According to Our Quiet Prayer at the Kotel on the Women of the Wall (WoW) website, just shy of a dozen women prayed out loud at the Kotel, wearing tallitot (prayer shawls), and nothing bad happened.

    Such a...

  • Cartoon depicts haredi Orthodox Jews praying to Wall Street

    July 12, 2012 | 10:39 am

    A cartoon depicting three stereotypically haredi Orthodox Jews praying in front of the Western Wall, which is labeled Wall Street, won an Iranian cartoon contest.

    The cartoon won the first International Wall Street Downfall Cartoon Festival, which was co-sponsored by the...

  • Is Prayer for Activists?

    by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

    March 22, 2012 | 11:23 am

    Our basic premise as activists is human responsibility. We, not someone else, must step up to create change in the world. To turn to others before ourselves is for cynics and critics not change makers. What about prayer? Is it a cop out? I would suggest that prayer offers us three...

  • VideoJew’s VideoGuide to L.A. #3—Jewish Los Angeles

    October 16, 2008 | 4:56 pm

    Dining, shopping, living, praying—VideoJew Jay Firestone shows you how it’s done Los Angeles-style.

     

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  • Say ‘Hi’ to a College Before You Pick One

    By Charlotte Hildebrand

    June 9, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Every year, the college tour is a rite of passage for students and parents alike, but for some it becomes an occupation. I wanted to make it simple, that is, wait until after my son was accepted, but before we had to give notification to colleges, a two-week period between April 15...

  • Holiday of Freedom Spent Behind Bars

    By David Finnigan

    April 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The high concrete walls of the little-used cafeteria at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles hardly spoke to Passover’s concept of freedom found and bondage ended. But this is where a dozen inmates gathered for their seder, in a setting that cried out Egypt rather than the...
  • Foreign Siblings Return for Torah Study

    By Jane Ulman

    January 6, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    After spending the summer at Lishma, an intensive yeshiva-style program for young adults at Camp Ramah in Ojai, sisters Olga and Anna Dramchuk expected to be teaching Torah to fellow university students at Hillel in Novosibirsk, Siberia. Instead, they're back in Los Angeles in...

  • The Prayer

    By Rabbi Jonathan P. Slater

    January 6, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    One of the great frustrations of growing up is that in the process of learning how the world works we often lose our sense of curiosity in and surprise at how it works.

    Remember the thrill -- mixed with surprise and fear of loss, and perhaps even danger -- when you released a...

  • Orthodox Stress Strong Israel Ties

    By Dina Kraft

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    North American Modern Orthodox Jews say they can explain their connection to Israel in one word: Torah.

    "It's an organic existence. An Orthodox Jew grows up and believes that Eretz Yisrael and the people of Israel are one. The fulfillment of Torah is Eretz Yisrael," said David...

  • Happy Campers

    By Rob Eshman

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    We are driving to pick up our son from camp. He's been there three weeks, the longest stretch he's been away from us since his birth.

    In this age of e-mails and BlackBerrys and cell phones, the rule at Camp Alonim at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley is no e-mails,...

  • It’s Time to Change

    By Jane Ulman

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    The oldest and most primitive human dates back about 7 million years, according to a skull found by scientists in Central Africa.

    "That's so depressing," I say to my husband, Larry. "I can't believe that in 7 million years we haven't evolved any further than this."

    "This" being...

  • We Must Work to Free Today’s Slaves

    By Charles Jacobs

    April 8, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Last week, I stood on stage at Milken Community High School with an escaped Sudanese slave, Francis Bok. We had come out to Los Angeles from Boston to thank the school's students for their help in our abolitionist campaign and their continued commitment to make a difference.

    Francis...

  • A Superhero Dreams

    By Brendan Howard

    April 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    When friendly strangers find out I'm a convert to Judaism, they want to know why.

    And I've learned to be ready.

    I have two stories: One is

    respectable, and one involves comic books and video games.

    The first is the one I bring out for casual conversations, for puzzled strangers and...

  • Through God’s Eyes

    By Reb Mimi Feigelson

    February 19, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    One of my students once asked me what was the greatest gift that my teacher Reb Shlomo Carlebach gave me. My reply was immediate: "He gave me a new pair of eyes."

    I had grown up praying from the first day I could speak.

    I was raised observing Shabbat from the moment I learned to...

  • A Berry-Bursting Celebration

    By Lisa J. Solomon

    February 5, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    When my daughter was born, I walked the floors of our Atlanta home night after night, day after day, holding her while she slept or when she cried, stopping always in front of the wall of backyard windows framing a forest of trees. As I grew into my unexpected role of single...

  • Final Lesson

    By Rabbi Mordecai Finley

    January 8, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    In this week's Torah portion, Vayechi, we have the most intimate description of a deathbed scene and the most elaborate description of a le'vayah (funeral) contained in the Torah.

    As I read through this portion in preparation for writing this column, I found myself struggling for a...

  • No Response at All

    By Rabbi Ron Shulman

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    A rabbi's voice must often give expression to the feelings of those with whom he or she worships on Shabbat.

    This was my experience recently following the horrific suicide bombing in Jerusalem when we prayed, as always, "Oseh shalom bim-ro-mav, hu ya-a'seh shalom alei-nu v'al kol...

  • Ready or Not

    By Amy Klein

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    There is a new High Holiday book on my shelf that I have been avoiding assiduously, if only for the exalted title: "This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared." Rabbi Alan Lew's book, subtitled, "The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation," reminds me that the summer is...

  • Kids Page

    March 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Fire! That's what you find in this week's parsha. The Israelites are taught about the sacrifices. Ever since the Temple was destroyed, Jews stopped sacrificing animals to God. Instead, they pray. Praying is another way of connecting with God. And instead of using fire to send...

  • Remember the Good

    By Rabbi Ron Shulman

    March 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    One of the most precious moments parents and children share with each other is the quiet and routine of bedtime. I hope you sleep well at night, but, as we all know, sometimes it is difficult to fall asleep, or to have a restful sleep. There are too many things on our minds. We're...

  • A Portion of Parshat Ki Tisa

    By Abby Gilad

    February 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    The Israelites slip up this week. They have only just received the Ten Commandments.They have heard God speak to them. They have vowed to do all God commands them. Forty days later, they're dancing around a calf made of melted golden earrings and calling it a god! What happened?



    Have...

  • A Miracle Behind Bars

    By Harry Langsam

    December 5, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Dark clouds covered the European skies, threatening the children of Israel in the fall of 1939. The Nazis had tightened their grip over Eastern Europe and, as it often happens, nature acted with unfriendliness toward the oppressed. A cold winter came upon us -- the refugees -- after...

  • Shhhh ... I’m Praying

    By Pearl Salkin

    September 5, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Am I the only one who goes to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services to listen and participate?

    Probably not. But why do I feel that way sometimes?

    I realize it would be hypocritical to say I sit (and stand and sit and stand) through all those hours of psalms, songs, sermons and...

  • Parshat Balak

    By Abby Gilad

    June 27, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Yes, I know that this week is Pinchas, but I must return to the second of last week's two portions, Balak, for what happens there is too relevant to pass by unmentioned. In this famous portion, King

    Balak sends the prophet-magician Balaam to curse Israel, because

    he is scared of...

  • The Fruit of Peace

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    June 27, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    What did Moshe want? When it all came down to it, after Moshe accepted that he wouldn't be leading Israel into the land, what did he request of God? Not surprisingly, he asked nothing for himself, focusing instead on the people who would need to go on without him. As we read this...

  • Terror, Grief and Awe

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    September 20, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    In past Yom Kippurs I've been known to bring a stack of books with me to synagogue, works both historic and intellectual, to focus on when neither prayer nor imagination can fill the time. Not this year.

    The terror, grief and awe of Sept. 11 will preoccupy my thoughts for many long...

  • Soul Care

    By Rabbi Shawn Fields-Meyer

    June 7, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    I recently visited a hospital patient, an elderly gentleman with a name, a gaze and a life story from the old country. His deterioration had advanced to the stage of inhibiting verbal communication, so he spoke to me instead through gestures, nods and stares. But slowly, we drew...

  • Levy Missing

    By Aleza Goldsmith

    May 24, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Every morning as Rabbi Samuel Graudenz prays, he asks for the safe return of Chandra Ann Levy.

    "I can only pray, though the signs are not good, that God will find her alive and well," said the 85-year-old rabbi emeritus of Modesto's Conservative Congregation Beth Shalom, where Levy's...

  • Eating and Praying Near Downtown

    August 10, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Where to Pray

    There are no established synagogues serving the immediate downtown area, but among the major movements, the shuls closest to Staples Center are:

    ReformWilshire Boulevard Temple 3663 Wilshire Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90010Phone: (213) 388-2401(Large and grand, built during...

  • Pass the Egg

    By Marlene Adler Marks

    July 13, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    My parents were Elderhostel students this week at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, and I shared Friday night services with them in the Conservative tradition of my youth.

    It was like coming home. The melodies, the longer version of prayers, the responsive readings in English,...

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