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  • Not a Ralphs fan in the least

    By Julia Bendis

    December 27, 2010 | 12:09 pm

    Being a wife, a mother and a woman in general, you find yourself at a grocery store quite a bit.  I also find myself quite a bit pissed off when I am there.  I really thought that America was all about business, and customer service, and giving really good customer service.  I guess...

  • Abolish Jackson-Vanik, Russian Jews urge Congress

    December 21, 2010 | 2:52 pm

    Representatives of the Russian Jewish Congress asked the U.S. Congress to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment.

    The appeal was addressed to the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Beyrly, during a meeting Monday in Moscow that took place on the 36th anniversary of the amendment’s...

  • How Poor Jews Come to America, meaning my parents!

    By Julia Bendis

    December 15, 2010 | 3:22 pm

    Many people ask me what we brought with us to America, when we immigrated here in 1989.

    Well… Most Russians brought over money and diamonds.  Since we were neither smart or rich, this is literally what we had in our suitcases:

    Someone had told my parents that in order NOT to...

  • Madoff scheme deals new hit to FSU Jews

    December 24, 2008 | 2:01 am

    MOSCOW (JTA) -- The Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernard Madoff is the latest in a string of financial blows to Jewish aid programs in the former Soviet Union, wiping out a major foundation that was the primary funder of Jewish higher education in Russia.

    The Chais Family...
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  • Melancholy Russian soul flourishing in immigrants

    By Sandee Brawarsky

    October 22, 2008 | 9:57 pm

    The Russian soul, that hard to define, but deep and informed melancholy, is flourishing in Rego Park, Queens, N.Y.

    To the title character in Irina Reyn's new novel, "What Happened to Anna K" (Touchstone), the velikaia russkaia dusha, Russian soul, transplanted to America might be...

  • From the people who brought you the Iraq war comes . . . The ALL NEW Cold War

    By Raphael J. Sonenshein

    August 15, 2008 | 9:09 pm

    Wait a minute: I thought the greatest threat to the American way of life was Saddam Hussein?  OK, he’s dead. 

    Then the greatest threat must be leaving Iraq.  But now President Bush seems ready to adopt Barack Obama’s withdrawal timetable.  Hold it, it’s Iran.  We have to be ready...

  • Israeli women gymnasts train long and hard for Beijing games

    By Dina Kraft

    July 31, 2008 | 12:22 am

    NETANYA (JTA) -- On one side of a cavernous gym in Netanya, halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, six members of Israel's first Olympic rhythmic gymnastics team warm up in a circle, chatting softly in a mix of Russian and Hebrew while stretching their legs in effortless splits on the...
  • Paper pieces for peace

    By Jay Firestone

    May 15, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    An ancient Japanese legend holds that anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted a wish. If three L.A.-area day schools were to get one, it might be for peace and understanding.

    Pasadena's Weizmann Jewish day school hosted an interfaith origami session on Tuesday, May...

  • Ghost of holocaust haunts visitor exploring Germany

    By Merissa Nathan Gerson

    May 1, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    It took me more than a year to buy my ticket. My sister was living in Berlin, and I was supposed to visit her. What she didn't know each time she asked me to come see her was how present the Holocaust was for me in my work.

    I was unveiling the war's history in my own writing while...

  • ‘Pieces’ fall into place for Israeli actress

    By Tom Tugend

    May 1, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    "I long for the loss of memory," grieves Jakob, the central character in "Fugitive Pieces," a sensitive, at times wrenching, film based on the best-selling novel by Canadian poet Anne Michaels and directed by her countryman, Jeremy Podeswa, the son of Holocaust survivors.

    But he is...

  • Israeli invention could pave way for hydrogen cars

    By David Shamah

    April 24, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Everyone's heard that old story about the scientist who invents a "magic pill" that turns water into gasoline -- with the invention eventually getting into the hands of the oil companies that bury it, fearing they will be driven out of business when word gets out about their...
  • Briefs: Governator opens new Saban Free Clinic, Weisenthal Center pressures Swiss on Iran deal

    April 24, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Free Clinic Named in Honor of Sabans

    The Los Angeles Free Clinic was renamed the Saban Free Clinic this week in honor of Cheryl and Haim Saban, who last month pledged a $10 million gift to the health care facility that treated Cheryl Saban some 25 years ago, when she was a divorced...

  • Books: Leaving Russia behind—somewhat

    By Amy Klein

    April 24, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    When Perestroika came in 1985, anti-Jewish feeling in Russia became even more overt than it had been during the Soviet era.

    There were flyers announcing threats to burn down Jews' homes, and one night, on national TV, a nationalist leader announced they were planning a massive...

  • ‘Non-Jewish’ Jews endure challenges living in Israel

    By Dina Kraft

    January 3, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    In Israel, the "non-Jewish Jews," as some Israelis call them, are everywhere. They drive buses, teach university classes, patrol in army jeeps and follow the latest Israeli reality TV shows as avidly as their Jewish counterparts.

    For these people -- mostly immigrants from the former...

  • Americans don’t forget Eastern Europe’s survivors

    By Jane Ulman

    November 22, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    Galina Isakovna's life has never been easy.

    She was 3 months old in 1922 when a pogrom broke out in her Belarusian village. As a band of anti-Semitic thugs stormed her family's home, her mother quickly stashed her under a bed. When the intruders entered the room, cutting up the...

  • Israeli, Iranian and Russian immigrants learn the American way of giving

    By Amy Klein

    July 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    When the Los Angeles Jewish community staged a rally to show support for Israel during the conflict with Lebanon last year, Israeli Consul General Ehud Danoch was pleased by the numbers, but bothered by the fact that there were not many Israelis there.

    "You would have thought 30,000...

  • Jews laud Boris Yeltsin’s legacy

    By Lev Krichevsky

    April 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first popularly elected president, made a lasting impact on Russian Jewry, though his legacy included its share of controversy and tragic failures.

    Russian Jewish leaders agree that the community should remember Yeltsin, who died Monday at age 76, primarily...
  • Israelis fear anti-Semitism imported from Russia

    By Dina Kraft

    April 26, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Ari Ackerman, a student from Switzerland, was walking home along the Tel Aviv beach after a late-night swim when he and a friend were jumped by a gang singing Nazi songs and displaying swastika tattoos.

    The perpetrators, a group of Russian-speaking teenagers, eventually ran off....
  • Swingin’ Chanukah with Kenny Ellis; The Klezmatics at the Disney; Three More Tenors

    By Keren Engelberg

    December 14, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Saturday the 16th

    To our knowledge, only one man can claim all of the following titles: writer, director, actor, comedian and Dixieland jazz clarinetist. Artist of all trades Woody Allen focuses tonight on that latter occupation. He and his crew, a.k.a. Woody Allen and his New...

  • The Subbotniks: an Armenian community on the fringe of extinction

    By Yasha Levine

    September 14, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    A community of rural residents in the former Soviet Union, descended from Russian peasants who converted to Judaism two centuries ago, may soon be consigned to the dustbin of history.
     
    Mikhail Zharkov, the 76-year-old leader of Armenia's tiny Subbotnik community, said only 13 of...
  • Russian Singer Goes From Defector to Cantor

    By Roberto Loiederman

    September 7, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    "I was born in the 1960s into a typical Soviet Jewish family," says Svetlana Portnyansky. "We never went to synagogue, never were religious. At family events at home, we sang Jewish songs sometimes, but we'd close all the doors to make sure no one heard us."

    Given Portnyansky's...

  • Lawsuit Filed in Granada Hills Jewish Community Center Shooting

    August 24, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Lawsuit Filed in Granada Hills Jewish Community Center Shooting

    Families of the victims of the 1999 North Valley Jewish Community Center (JCC) shooting in Granada Hills are suing the state of Washington for allegedly failing to supervise the man who committed the crime. The $15...

  • Gunter Grass Admits to SS Past

    August 17, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Gunter Grass Admits to SS Past

    Nobel Prize-winning author Gunter Grass' admission that he was an SS member has drawn both rage and defenses of the writer.

    While some say the revelation devalues his life's work, others are showing more understanding for the pressures faced by the...

  • Evangelicals Slate Pro-Israel Lobbying

    By Tom Tugend

    June 22, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Some 2,000 extremely pro-Israel community and religious leaders will meet in Washington on July 19, fan out across Capitol Hill and, in effect, tell their legislators: If you want our political backing, you must support the Jewish state -- no ifs or buts.

    There won't be a single Jew...

  • 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...

  • Tehran Jews Talk of Future in Iran

    By Lev Krichevsky

    April 20, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    A 15-member women's amateur folk dance group composed of Jews from Iran performed in Russia this month and, perhaps most notably, they insisted that there is a Jewish future in Iran.

    The trip was a rare group visit abroad by Iranian Jews, who live in an Islamic community whose...

  • Food for Thought

    By Rabbi Daniel Greyber

    April 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Vica is tall, blonde and Jewish. She is my interpreter.

    It's February 2005 and I am in Vilna, Lithuania, at the Baltics Limmud Conference. I am here as part of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles' strategic partnership with the Baltics communities to teach subjects as...

  • Tommywood - Grossman Revealed

    By Tom Teicholz

    March 30, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The recent publication of "A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman With the Red Army, 1941-1945" (Pantheon) brings attention to a writer who deserves to be better known and whose personal story illuminates the tragic dimension of Russian Jewry during the Communist era.

    Grossman (1905-1964)...

  • The New Face of the Israeli Right

    By Dina Kraft

    March 30, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Avigdor Lieberman, a stern-mannered immigrant from Moldova, has become the new face of the Israeli right.

    Lieberman's party, Yisrael Beiteinu, became the fourth-largest party in Israeli politics Tuesday, winning seats in the next Knesset from a strong base of Russian-speaking...

  • L’Chaim to Kitsch!

    By Yasha Levine

    March 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    On a dark spotlight-lit stage, a man in a long, black suit; yarmulke; and tallit slung over one shoulder fervently sings into a microphone, while a dance troupe in similar -- but sexier -- garb twirls behind him.

    He's not a cantor. He's not a rabbi. He's not even religious. He is...

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