Eight religious and social leaders from Israel will visit Los Angeles synagogues May 6-7 to engage in conversation about the state of religious Zionism.
Despite the smiling images from Sharm el-Sheikh, the fact is that Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, has taken no demonstrable steps to dismantle and disarm the vast Palestinian terror networks, end the incitement or arrest terrorists. And although his rhetoric even after his election has been troublesome (calling for a "big jihad," referring to Israel as the "Zionist enemy," making it clear he will not use force against terrorists, and endorsing the policies of Yasser Arafat), the administration and Congress are falling over themselves to throw vast sums of money his way. President Bush has promised $350 million to Abbas, more than four times that given to Arafat by the Clinton administration.
7 Days In The Arts
Alan Dershowitz's new book describes an Israel no Israeli would recognize, an impossibly virtuous country whose intentions are always pure, whose conduct is forever above reproach, and whose rare misdeeds can be explained away as accidental. Conversely, the Palestinian Arabs (and for that matter, all Arabs) are depicted as malevolent terrorists bent on Israel's destruction; every one of their deeds is attributed to the basest of motives, every decision a result of unremitting hostility, trickery, foolishness, or a combination of all three. No reader of Israeli historical scholarship or journalism would recognize the simple tale of good and evil, of angels and devils, described in the pages of Dershowitz's book.
"The ideals that form the moral compass of Western civilization, the belief that every human being has value, the belief that no one is above the law, the belief that how each of us treats our fellow human beings matters -- these were all the gifts of the Jews."
Contrary to widespread fears of a rising global wave of anti-Semitism, "we, as Jews, have many more friends than we think we have," said professor Lawrence H. Schiffman, president of the Association of Jewish Studies, which recently held its 34th annual meeting in Los Angeles.
For Rabbi Marvin Hier, the new $12.6 million YULA (Yeshiva University of Los Angeles) boys' school building gives him both a feeling of pride and a twinge of envy.
Driven by a personal desire for intellectual growth, Arie Katz set out last year to attract to Orange County the sort of eminent Jewish scholars that few synagogues can afford to woo on their own. With little more than his own chutzpah and considerable networking skills, the Newport Beach attorney won support and financial backing from the area's most influential Jewish agencies to establish a community scholar-in-residence program. Its first event, at 7 p.m. Jan. 28, will kick off at the Jewish Federation Campus in Costa Mesa with the arrival of Avigdor Shinan, an Israeli professor and author.
Pack up your Passover dishes for good. The Exodus, according to some modern university scholars and liberal rabbis, never really happened. That's what the Los Angeles Times told us in great detail last week in a long article published at the end of the holiday. But the piece, while raising some important questions, skirts some of the most fundamental issues.
A group of female Jewish scholars recently danced joyously with a 200-year-old Iraqi tradition -- a Torah once held prisoner by Saddam Hussein.
With a faculty of noted scholars, Sinai Temple has adapted an "adult education" program with an eclectic curriculum that is carefully designed to satisfy a wide range of interests, from serious courses in Jewish spirituality, and discussions of the Jew's role in Society to special classes in Jewish rituals, and interactive sessions for improving synagogue skills, Hebrew reading and lessons in cantillation. Two seminars are scheduled: from October through January and February through May.
Three generations of Grahams. Is there such a thing as a "typical" Jewish grandparent in America? When I thought about this impossibly broad question, I turned to my own extended family for examples. Were they typical? Stereotypical?