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  • Will Britney Become Jewish?  Has She?

    By Rob Eshman

    July 14, 2009 | 3:49 pm

    This week ABC News sent Twitter all atwitter with a photo of Britney Spears sporting a Star of David necklace.  Has the pop star, asked ABC, converted to Judaism?

    The comeback queen has had a variety of religious dabblings over the years, including Kabbalah and Hinduism, despite her...

  • Stormin’ da castle: Tony Curtis in Hollywood

    December 30, 2008 | 10:55 pm

    In "Cultural Amnesia," Clive James' eccentric encyclopedia of modern culture, the Australian critic devotes some of his most enthusiastic pages to Tony Curtis.

    One might not think that Curtis, whose fame rests more on his beauty and outsized personality than on the quality of his...

  • ‘Nick and Norah’ star Kat Dennings is infinitely Jewish, in her own way

    By Amy Klein

    October 30, 2008 | 4:05 am

    Who would use tikkun olam, the Jewish concept of repairing the world, as a lead-in to a movie love scene?

    Norah Silverberg, the lead character in the hit teen comedy, "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist," that's who. The film tracks an offbeat love story between high school students...

  • Streisand opens Obama fundraiser with Talmud lesson

    By The Web Guy

    September 17, 2008 | 7:06 pm

    When Barbra Streisand took to the stage to sing at a Sept. 16 fundraiser for presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, she opened not with a song, not with a joke, but with . . .Talmud.

    According to an eyewitness report from an ardent Obama-ite, the star, who played a male yeshiva...

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  • Tranforming the Synagogue—A Scorecard

    By Richard Greenberg

    August 31, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Synagogue transformation programs exude good intentions, but do they actually work?

    The record is mixed. They are no panacea, but they sometimes benefit participating congregations -- at least temporarily -- by attracting newcomers, energizing existing members and perhaps forcing...

  • Magen David Adom and the Case for Diplomacy

    By Hillel Neuer

    June 29, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    GENEVA -- After 75 years, humanitarianism prevailed over rejectionism. Last Thursday, in the early morning hours, delegates to the 29th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, assembled in Geneva from 192 states and 183 relief societies, voted by...

  • 7 Days in The Arts

    By Keren Engelberg

    May 11, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Saturday, May 13

    The beat goes on today at the annual Santa Monica Festival. Head down to participate in a drum circle; hear multicultural music, including a concert by Bucovina Klezmer; and enter the Eco Zone. The city steps up its commitment to environmental responsibility...

  • 7 Days in The Arts

    By Keren Engelberg

    May 4, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Saturday, May 13

    The beat goes on today at the annual Santa Monica Festival. Head down to participate in a drum circle; hear multicultural music, including a concert by Bucovina Klezmer; and enter the Eco Zone. The city steps up its commitment to environmental responsibility...

  • An Ode to Parents and Other Strangers

    By David Finnigan

    September 15, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    When Paul Reiser co-created and starred in the 1990s hit sitcom, "Mad About You," -- about a secular Jew married to a Christian -- he helped spur a new trend in TV comedy: the cute but neurotic Jewish leading man. Along with Jerry Seinfeld and Richard Lewis ("Anything But Love"), he...

  • Read All About It

    By Teresa Strasser

    February 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm

     

    At this moment, I have no idea if Jennifer Garner is having Ben Affleck's baby, who Hilary Swank is wearing to the Oscars or what brand of moisturizer Catherine Zeta Jones has shipped in from a nunnery in Peru.

    I am no longer binge reading. As of now, I'm out of touch with In...

  • Israel Serves Up a Star

    By Bucky Fox

    August 26, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    When the U.S. Open swings into New York Aug. 30, you'll have to squint to find Israel's tiniest tennis player.

    It'll be easier to catch her on the scoreboard. She's the one with the muscular name -- Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi -- and the big game.

    Generating power with her 5-foot-2,...

  • Meyers Writes Her Own Happy Ending

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    December 11, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    A decade ago, filmmaker Nancy Meyers became intrigued by a Hollywood friend who exclusively dated younger women.

    "They were always between 25 and 30," said Meyers, 54, who directed the Mel Gibson hit, "What Women Want." "Over the years, he went from his 40s to his 60s, but the women...

  • Dr. Laura Loses Her Religion

    By Lisa Keys

    August 21, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Controversial syndicated radio-show host and public advocate of Orthodox Judaism Laura Schlessinger -- "Dr. Laura," as she is known to her 12 million daily listeners -- confessed on air this month that she will no longer practice Judaism.

    Although Schlessinger -- who very publicly...

  • Star of the Canyon

    By Mojdeh Sionit

    June 12, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The Canyon Country Store -- the star-studded grocery featured in the older woman/younger man film "Laurel Canyon," starring Frances McDormand -- is actually run by two Persian Jews.

    Owner David Shamsa and manager Tommy Bina have tried to maintain the store's authenticity.

    Shamsa,...

  • A Time ‘Too’ Laugh

    By Tom Tugend

    March 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "May you be reincarnated as a chandelier -- hang all day and burn all night" -- From Avi Hoffman's selection of Yiddish curses upon encountering anti-Semites.



    Avi Hoffman, who wowed Los Angeles audiences two years ago in "Too Jewish?" is returning with "Too Jewish, TOO!" In the...

  • Meyer: Hero or Anti-Hero?

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "A Jewish friend of mine loves 'The Sopranos,'" Italian American actor Joe Bologna said with a groan. "I told him, 'How'd you like to see a show called "The Goldsteins" about white-collar criminals and the biggest shyster is Izzy Goldstein?"

    Bologna isn't about to play Izzy, but he...

  • Sephardic Survival

    By Adam Wills

    November 29, 2001 | 6:59 pm

    "Survivor" as inspiration for Jewish programming?

    It seems strange that the divisive show where deceit, backstabbing and empty promises are de rigueur would serve as the inspiration for a Shabbaton that stresses the importance of religious and cultural continuity. Yet Sephardic...

  • Out of “Focus”

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 1, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    "David Mamet calls me Hebraically challenged," confides actor William H. Macy, a longtime collaborator of the esteemed playwright. "I'm the ultimate [gentile]. Part of me is the imploding WASP, a role I've certainly played to death."

    With his weak smile and wounded-looking blue eyes,...

  • Every Inch a Star

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 23, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    In a gated community high above Los Angeles, Tony Curtis is holding court in the foyer of his two-story house in the shady corner of a cul-de-sac. Wearing white shorts and Birkenstocks, he is reclining on the staircase like a prince from one of his early movies. His famous blue eyes...
  • Bulgarian Rhapsody

    By Larry Gordon

    February 12, 1998 | 6:59 pm

    The exterior of the 1909 Central Synagogue inSofia. Below, Robert Djerassi, a Bulgarian official of the "JewishJoint" agency on a stairway of the Jewish Community Center with astar of David as part of the rail design

    Photos by Larry Gordon

    When I was asked to teach at a...

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