Reputed Israeli crime boss Itzhak Abergil, currently incarcerated in federal prison in Lompoc, Calif. will be extradited to Israel to serve the remaining nine years of his 10-year sentence in his home country.
Have you ever been lost on Ventura Boulevard, a street that’s long on history? One night, I found myself west of the 405 Freeway, searching for the street on which to turn left to pick up my teenage son and realized I’d totally lost my bearings.
When Henry Leventon, his wife and three daughters attended their first Sabbath service at Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock (TBI) in 1976, the gabbai at the synagogue immediately approached.
Last Sunday, a Jewish home in the San Fernando Valley was vandalized with neo-Nazi graffiti, according to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Like a veteran warhorse galloping back into the fray, Robert M. (Bob) Hertzberg has announced he is running for a State Senate seat in a district encompassing most of the San Fernando Valley.
The Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) abruptly revoked its certification from Doheny Glatt Kosher Meats on March 24, but the RCC, Los Angeles’s leading kosher oversight agency, had first heard about the distributor’s suspicious practices years earlier.
For thousands of years, Jews have lived as minority populations in various regions worldwide, surviving largely through their strong commitment to community.
Members of Temple Judea in Tarzana concluded a yearlong search for a new senior rabbi by voting to hire Rabbi Joshua Aaronson on Jan. 16. The spiritual leader of Temple Har Shalom in Park City, Utah, Aaronson will join Judea, a 1,000-member-family Reform congregation, on July 1, replacing Rabbi Donald Goor.
Ever since Bet Tzedek’s inception in 1974, the free legal-services firm has mostly been housed in the heavily Jewish Fairfax district, with additional offices in the San Fernando Valley and the Mid-Wilshire area.
I’ve covered many political campaigns, but none quite like Berman versus Sherman.
With California’s congressional primary election scheduled to take place on June 5, Rep. Howard Berman (D-Van Nuys), has won endorsements from the editorial boards of the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily News.
In 2001, the last time the lines of congressional districts were redrawn, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) so hated the way that the San Fernando Valley was sliced into districts that he reportedly said that Rep. Howard Berman (D-Van Nuys) “stabbed me in the back.”
Not so much a bombshell as a failed firecracker (“Newt’s Bombshell,” Dec. 16). David Suissa turns back the clock to 1977 for a quote from Zahir Muhsein that states the obvious: “There is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese.”
Whether you’re seeking food, culture, retail or sights, the number and breadth of choices along Ventura Boulevard is positively obscene. Beginning at Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood and concluding nearly 17 miles later in Woodland Hills, Ventura, the main thoroughfare that defines the San Fernando Valley, offers history, nightlife, businesses, services and even pockets of homes.
It was a gorgeous spring afternoon in Woodland Hills, and I was sitting at a table in the outdoor courtyard of a small food court waiting for one of my friends to arrive from the city for a lunch date.
"You can sign up and get books once a month just because you're a Jewish kid, or because you have a Jewish child. We want people to know that there are no strings attached," said Carol Koransky, executive director of the Jewish Federation Valley Alliance.
An earthquake felt throughout the Southern California area Tuesday morning caused no visible damage to synagogues close to the epicenter in the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys. but the Israeli Consulate on Wilshire was evacuated
The food pantry would not open for another 40 minutes, but already about a dozen people were waiting in the parking lot, many holding umbrellas to shield themselves from the blistering San Fernando Valley sun
After only one year, UCLA's meal plan offering hot kosher meals to students has come to an end. The failure of students to sign up for this dining option is in part the reason for its demise, as participation dwindled from five students in the fall trimester, to only three in the winter, and eventually one lone student in the spring
More than 1,400 people marched up Vanowen Street and across Victory Boulevard in West Hills last Sunday to raise funds and awareness about the genocide in Darfur. The second annual three-mile Walk for Darfur raised more than $35,000 for Jewish World Watch's work in refugee support, political advocacy and education.
Merav and Roy Lobel are going back to Israel. Since the birth of their baby boy, now eight months old, they have longed to be with their families. Each time they've hung up the phone after a call to Israel, they've felt as if part of their heart was still there.
Real estate developer Sev Aszkenazy recently settled a lawsuit with the city of San Fernando over a liquor permit he was denied for a planned steak house. He said the denial was due, in part, to anti-Semitic bias.
An evening at Shomrei Torah Synagogue got me thinking about Barack Obama and how much the San Fernando Valley has changed since I first roamed there in 1970.
It's an odd combination of thoughts, I know. Or, perhaps not. The more I thought about it, the combination made perfect sense to me.
Los Angeles and Jewish officials announced today that the reward for information about last week's firebombing attacks on The New JCC at Milken and the West Valley residence of a Jewish family has been increased to $95,000.
Community briefs dealing with the firebombing of the Milken JCC.
In Jewish communities in Los Angeles, tenants are uneasily contemplating a fate increasingly familiar to renters - the conversion of their building to condominiums.
A Sherman Oaks man has been arrested for defacing the Valley district field office of L.A. City Councilman Jack Weiss early Thursday morning with three swastikas and two incoherent messages, glued to the glass entrance door with epoxy.
Jewish emergency info card a hit With LAPD; Postcard and dog tag campaign seeks release of Israeli soldiers; Jewish Home Taps Caan for Walk
When Arden Realty Chairman and CEO Richard Ziman's elderly father was beginning to fade about 10 years ago, the father made a simple request. "'If I begin to lose it, take me there,'" said the father, as recounted by his son. "'I will never be in better hands and with better people who will take better care of me.'" Since 1912, those better hands have been at the Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging.
Jewish life in the South Bay has been flourishing.
According the Jewish Federation/South Bay Council, the area is one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in California. From Westchester to San Pedro, the Jewish population has increased dramatically to an estimated 40,000, and there are numerous indicators that this trend will continue.
Robin Franko, director of the South Bay Council and a lifelong South Bay resident, says that the numbers speak volumes about the thriving community.
I've lived in two of the country's most ridiculed locales. I was born in New Jersey, the punch line of stand-up comics everywhere. Adding insult to injury, my family moved to the San Fernando Valley in the early '70s. At that time, the Valley was perceived as the end of the earth -- a place you'd need a passport to visit, should you actually want to. Over time, the remaining farmland and orchards gave way to more strip malls and housing tracts, while the Valley retained its reputation as a place where nothing worthwhile happens.
Things change. I now live on the Westside. Hoboken is considered hip. And the San Fernando Valley, well, it's begun to resemble the Westside in ways both positive and negative.
Temple Ahavat Shalom parents and preschoolers strolled around America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College on Jan. 27, waiting for Alexa Weiner to arrive for her fifth birthday party. When they learned that the event had been canceled due to a family emergency, none of them could have imagined that the bright, spirited birthday girl was at Childrens Hospital, fighting for her life as she awaited emergency surgery for stage-three brain cancer.
With her slender figure, long, shining strawberry-blonde hair and big hazel eyes, Alison Wissot looks more like a stage ingénue than most people's conceptions of a cantor -- not surprising, since that's what she was 10 years ago.
Wissot's cantorial career is off to a brilliant start: Less than three years after graduating from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's School of Sacred Music in New York, she is filling the largest Reform cantorial pulpit in the San Fernando Valley, the 1,300-household Temple Judea in Tarzana and West Hills.
The Valley will rise again, even if we have to sue: that was the vow of secessionists as the measure to breakup the City of Los Angeles went down in defeat, winning by a narrow margin in the San Fernando Valley but losing in the citywide vote.
With the spotlight on secession for the past few months, it is almost easy to forget that there are major political races involving Jewish candidates in the San Fernando Valley.
The most significant battle is the one being waged in the 27th U.S. House District. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) has been virtually invincible up until now in the 24th District. However, the district was redrawn in September, thus making him an unknown quantity to about two-thirds of his constituents and leaving an opening for challenger Robert Levy, an attorney from Woodland Hills.
Why is it that the majority of Jews in Los Angeles and in the San Fernando Valley oppose secession?
The most recent poll that counted Jewish voters, conducted last July by the Los Angeles Times, found that 57 percent of Jewish voters opposed secession and 34 percent said they were for it, with only 9 percent saying they were undecided.
Although the number of Jewish voters was too low to allow for a breakdown of Valley Jews versus city Jews, Susan Pinkus, director of the Times Poll, said that even in the Valley, Jewish voters were strongly against the breakup.
The dearth of candidates can be partly attributed to the unusual nature of this election.
Zev Yaroslavsky has served on the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) since its inception in 1998. This experience, plus eight years as a Los Angeles County supervisor representing both sides of the Santa Monica Mountains, and a councilman before that, has made him one of the best-informed authorities on Valley secession. He recently took time to share his insights with The Jewish Journal.
Used to be that every once in a blue moon, a rare Republican, who happened to be Jewish, would decide to run for office in the heavily Democratic San Fernando Valley, only to be soundly defeated at the polls.
This year, Jewish Republicans hope to change all that with three candidates: Robert M. Levy, who is running against Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks); Connie Friedman, who is up against Jewish Democrat Lloyd Levine for former Assemblyman Robert Hertzberg's old seat in the 40th District, which covers most of the San Fernando Valley, and newcomer Michael J. Wissot, who will compete against Assemblywoman Fran Pavley in the heavily Democratic 41st District, which is located partially in Ventura County.
An Israel advocacy mobile unit for college campuses. A community rabbi to cover the West San Fernando Valley. A series of cultural events to forge bonds between the Jewish communities of the East Valley. These are just a few of the innovative programs to be launched by grants from The Jewish Federation/Valley Alliance.
The San Fernando Valley secession movement faces almost total opposition from Los Angeles' political, civic, academic and media establishments. But over the coming weeks, it is likely to be taking flak from the city's religious elite, too.
No one said redistricting is fun. But this once-a-decade political ritual does provide a mirror to how much leverage a community has, or lacks.
Even though Robert Hertzberg will step down from the speakership of the California Assembly on Feb. 6, he still has plenty to say. The Sherman Oaks Democrat, as a rule, keeps busy.
Like most of his grad student peers at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), Rabbi Brian Zachary Mayer always thought he would eventually become a pulpit rabbi, even taking an assistant rabbi position at a prominent San Fernando Valley synagogue as training for the day he would lead his own congregation.
Comedy Nite 2002 started out as a fundraising evening for Hillel at Pierce and Valley colleges on Saturday, Jan. 26. It quickly turned into a mutual admiration society meeting when Fyvush Finkel showed up. The evening's honoree gave as good as he got, praising Hillel for providing "a bissel of Yiddishkeit" and encouraging the parents in the audience to "tell these students never to give up."
A roomful of women come together on a chilly December evening in Southern California. They eat, they laugh, they talk. One woman stands up and tells everyone that she learned how to say, "No." Her announcement is met with applause. Another stands up and says how happy she is that she has the support of her friends and family.
They're celebrating the fourth night of Chanukah at the Chai Teen and Youth Center, and, to put it mildly, this joint is jumping.
If the people of the San Fernando Valley want to vote to become their own independent city and it is not going to take any money away from the rest of the city, then why should any among us feel we have the right to deny them that right?
Last month, the ground lurched beneath the crowd trying to split the San Fernando Valley from the rest of Los Angeles. The Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) determining whether and how breakup proposals reach the ballot, turned the rallying cry of Valley secessionists on its head. Brushing aside any meaningful definition of "self-determination," LAFCO recommends that a new Valley city initially contract for basic services like police and fire from, well, the existing City of Los Angeles.
In a rustic little corner of Chatsworth, flanked by trees and horses and dry, dusty land, sits the nerve center of the oldest interfaith program in the San Fernando Valley.
From its offices in a building owned by a United Methodist church, the Valley Interfaith Council (VIC) has, for 37 years, quietly provided an outlet for religious organizations to pool their resources and feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and support the elderly while allowing Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims an opportunity to learn tolerance by sharing mitzvot.
When I took the position of Valley editor back in 1998, some people questioned the need for a reporter to cover the Valley.
Jewish Journal: It has been 10 years since the East-West Transit Corridor was first proposed. Why do you think there is still so much resistance to the project, despite the fact that everyone is affected by the dismal traffic conditions in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles?
A proposed busway continued to spark fierce debate during two public hearings held in the San Fernando Valley during the last weeks of June.
Numerous spokespeople for the Orthodox Jewish community have passionately opposed any transportation solution that includes using the Chandler portion of the MTA right of way. I would like to express support of the MTA's proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route on the Burbank/Chandler corridor.