Philanthropist and community activist Joyce Black, wife of real estate magnate Stanley Black for 57 years, died on Oct. 4 after a prolonged battle with cancer. She was 75.
When Dave Blackburn, a six-time starting softball pitcher for the Maccabi USA team, got into a severe car accident in 2010, he had one central fear.
James Coley and Robert Warfield, case workers for the Integrated Recovery Network, walked into the Twin Towers Correctional Facility with purpose and confidence, exactly the qualities needed for talking to some of the approximately 2,500 mentally ill inmates confined in the downtown Los Angeles jail.
Normally, a two-day run is nothing to boast about — but no one who saw the new musical “A Chorus Line of Another Kind” at the Highways Performance space in Santa Monica would say it was anything but a resounding success.
After the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica and its owner, Tehmina Adaya, were found guilty in August of discriminating against a group of Jews who had come to a party held on the hotel pool’s deck, Steven Goldberg, national vice chair of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), announced his group’s intention to protest outside the hotel.
When the Muslim part-owner of a Santa Monica boutique hotel was found guilty last year of discriminating against a group of Jewish patrons, the hotel announced it would host a party for a Jewish group as part of its efforts to repair its reputation.
In court papers filed Jan. 7, attorneys for the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica and its owner allege that of 12 members on the jury that unanimously found their clients guilty of discriminating in 2010 against a group of Jewish patrons, one juror concealed her own Jewishness during jury selection.
After weeks that saw Richard Bloom’s lead in the race for the Westside’s new 50th Assembly District both grow and shrink, the former Santa Monica mayor was sworn in as a member of the California State Assembly on Dec. 3.
Since Election Day, when Richard Bloom closed out the night with a slim lead of 218 votes over his opponent, incumbent Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, in the race for the 50th Assembly District, the mayor of Santa Monica has found himself in an unusual position.
Amid life-sized cutouts of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, Republicans gathered in a backroom at the Daily Grill in Santa Monica on Tuesday night to watch Fox News election returns on two large screens. The mood was festive as the evening kicked off with drinks and appetizers and the waiters set down oversized plates of pasta and chicken on tables decorated with red, white and blue tinsel centerpieces.
On Aug. 21, on the heels of a jury decision that found the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, along with one of its part-owners, had discriminated against a group of Jews during an incident in 2010, the Western Region of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) sent out a notice that it was planning a protest in front of the Hotel Shangri-La on Aug. 26, to "express outrage."
It was late in the afternoon on Aug. 15, a Wednesday, when the jury delivered its verdict to a Santa Monica courtroom.
Is the word "Jew" offensive? What about "f---ing Jew"?
The Santa Monica City Council has banned all future nativity, anti-nativity and Chanukah displays at the oceanfront Palisades Park. The 5-0 vote on June 12 ends a nearly 60-year winter tradition.
Kosher foodies have a new option in downtown Santa Monica. Raw foods restaurant Planet Raw recently adopted kosher certification by Kosher Vegan Raw, which oversees the vegan and raw foods industry.
As luck would have it, the day local Jewish leaders gathered in Santa Monica to discuss the community’s response to a proposed ballot measure aimed at banning circumcision in that city was the very same day the proposition was rescinded by its proponent. Twenty-five people came to the meeting at the Milken Family Foundation offices on Fourth Street on June 6, including high-ranking Jewish professionals, local rabbis of all stripes and other Jewish community leaders.
Reacting to recent efforts to advance ballot measures banning circumcision of underage males in California cities, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) is set to introduce a bill that would prevent municipalities nationwide from prohibiting the procedure.
There is nothing esthetically appealing about a Brit Milah, the circumcision procedure performed on an 8 day old Jewish baby boy. To witness a barely one week old child strapped down with Velcro to a “Circ Board” in sight of everyone gathered is visually unappealing, if not spiritually uninspiring. If that were not enough, some officiants still engage in Metzitzah—the oral suction of blood from the circumcision. If not done by mouth directly, a pipette is used.
In November, San Franciscans will vote on a ballot measure that would outlaw circumcision on boys under the age of 18. Although experts say it is highly unlikely the measure will pass, the mere fact that it reached the ballot, and in such a major city, has caused much concern for Jews and their allies.
Ron Hirsch, a transient accused of setting off an explosive device outside of a Chabad in Santa Monica last April, pleaded not guilty to four felony charges in a downtown Los Angeles federal court on May 23. A trial has been set for June 28.
An anti-circumcision group will circulate a petition in Santa Monica, Calif., to place a measure seeking to ban male circumcision on an upcoming ballot. A Notice of Intent to Circulate a Petition, proposing a ballot initiative prohibiting “Genital Cutting of Male Minors” for the November ballot in Santa Monica, was filed with the city, the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles reported. The filing comes on the heels of an anti-circumcision measure approved for the November ballot by San Francisco city officials last week.
Santa Monica residents may get to vote soon on whether circumcisions can be done in the beach city.
A homeless man was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of detonating an explosive device outside a Southern California Chabad House. Ron Hirsch, 60, also known as Israel Fisher, was indicted in Los Angeles on Tuesday for the April 7 blast at the Santa Monica Chabad House, which forced the evacuation of the Jewish center and synagogue during early morning prayers.
[UPDATED on April 12, 7:10 a.m.]: Authorities are reporting the suspect Ron Hirsch, sought in connection with the explosion near the Santa Monica Chabad last Thursday has been arrested. More information here.
A device believed to be a pipe bomb exploded about [6:45am]. Thursday in the parking lot of a Jewish temple in Santa Monica, authorities said. No details were available regarding injuries or damage.
F. Murray Abraham’s performance as Shylock, praised by New York critics as the greatest in memory, owes much to the fact that the actor is almost invariably taken as Jewish. That pardonable error, he says, is central to his portrayal of the much-vilified Jewish moneylender in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” which opens April 14 on The Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
Politics and religion were intermingled during Friday night Shabbat services in Santa Monica on Jan. 14. In the wake of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., which also left six dead and 13 others wounded, clergy and congregants at the Reform synagogue Beth Shir Shalom addressed the need for gun control. The service also commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. Day and mourned performer and composer Debbie Friedman, who died on Jan. 9 at the age of 59. Yet the Tucson shooting remained the focus of the Santa Monica service, which approximately 200 people attended. Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels spoke fervently, saying, “I can’t tolerate a country that doesn’t take weaponry off the street.”
Jessica Youseffi and Sarah Shahawy, two undergraduate students at the University of Southern California (USC), discussed how the teachings of Judaism and Islam, their respective religions, obligate them to accept people of other faiths and to work toward tikkun olam.
After a three-year battle with alleged religious nonprofit Or Khaim Hashalom, tenants of the historic 28-unit Teriton Apartments in Santa Monica have won the right to remain in or return to their apartments for up to seven years under their former rent-controlled leases, according to a settlement made public Dec. 4.
A Tom Lehrer oldie turned into a video by a fan
The presidential race makes the headlines, but there's lots of emotion, energy and money left for the 12 statewide propositions on the California ballot. As in McCain-Obama contest, Jewish voters are sharply split between the Democratic/liberal majority and the Republican/conservative minority.
"Hy looked at me and said, 'He's not Jewish,'" recalled his wife, Zucky Altman, 89. "I said, 'So what? He's hungry.' From that moment on, we decided we would just feed everybody."
"Without people like the Broads,we wouldn't have commissioned work of Mozart and Bach and Beethoven and so many of the great painters. How they use their capital is commendable." -- Dustin Hoffman
Joey Lutz, an English teacher at Santa Monica High School and a central leader in a Muslim-Jewish dialogue, was found dead Sunday in Panama
From the small religious village of Beit Yatir, just south of Jerusalem, to the far more secular beach city of Santa Monica, Judith Margolis made quite a journey to become Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion's artist-in-residence.
"I go to my inner kid," said Kurtzman, who grew up culturally Jewish. "Where do we find our inspiration? It's the movies that inspired us as kids, and a lot of that was sci-fi, but a lot of that sci-fi was fun."
When I first started writing, I sat with Khanum for hours at a time, asking questions. I was 21 and on leave of absence from law school. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life, but I knew some stories from Iran, and had begun to write them. They were scattered pieces of people's lives, bits of conversations I had overheard through the years, rumors that had been whispered too many times and taken on a reality that may or may not have been deserved.
"When you're out in the water, when you see the sunrise or sunset, and when you see how small you are in comparison to the massive water, and the current and waves, it humbles you," Shoshtain said. "Everything in nature connects you to spirituality, if it's done properly."
Letters to the Editor
Rabbi Hertzel Illulian, a rabbi active in the Los Angeles Persian community, is embroiled in a revolt. It's taking place in the normally laid-back city of Santa Monica and concerns the future of the Teriton apartment building.
7 Days in the Arts.
In New York, parents tell horror stories about the pressure to get their 5-year-old kids into the right kindergartens, the kind attended by Woody Allen's kids. In Los Angeles, the social cachet may be even more skewed.
"So and so from the Lakers' kid goes to some school," says playwright David Levinson, whose play, "Early Decision," at the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica, has tapped into the Zeitgeist about the mania surrounding college admissions.