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  • Happy 66th birthday, Israel! Forever yours, Noga.

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    May 6, 2014 | 8:36 am

    After spending Friday nights in Tel-Aviv and calling each other “brother” or “sister,” comes the most recent Israeli trend: leaving Israel.

    It is now THE Israeli thing to do: pack, fly, start anew abroad. This phenomenon is not new, but it has recently become impossible to...

  • REALITY CHECK! Which news site told you the truth about the murder in Israel today?

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    November 13, 2013 | 12:30 pm

    "An Israeli soldier died after he was stabbed multiple times in the neck Wednesday morning by a Palestinian youth on a bus at the central bus station in Afula." This horrifying story, as described on Times of Israel shocked my country today.
    The news spread this morning, leaving...

  • Purim: Beyond the playfulness, a time for examination

    February 15, 2013 | 2:13 pm

    The central character of Purim is Esther, whose name means hidden. The story is full of things hidden, and waiting for the right time to be revealed. Vashti refuses to expose her sexuality to the drunken men of the King’s court, and chooses instead to be hidden. Esther hides her...

  • All about my IDF (part two)

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    December 26, 2012 | 10:18 am

    I've wanted to tell you about my military service for a while now, but I never knew exactly what I want to say. However, since foreign media take a very negative, false approach towards the IDF, and more and more false accusations pop up every day, I feel I can't wait any longer...

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  • Giving as a fountain of youth

    By Rachel Heller

    May 23, 2012 | 10:27 am

    Al Azus has found his fountain of youth, and he’s not keeping it a secret. In fact, the 92-year-old philanthropist recently published a memoir whose title all but gives his formula away: “Live Longer by Giving.”

    Azus has donated time, energy and millions of dollars from his...

  • Urban legend coming true?

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    May 1, 2012 | 2:33 pm

    Yesterday, I received a text message from my father who said: “there was an attempt to kidnap a little Israeli girl in Disney World.”

    The first thing that popped into my head at that moment was an infamous urban legend with the same title. The story of that urban legend tells of a...

  • ‘Shalakhmones: The Purim Platters’

    February 29, 2012 | 11:34 am

    Translated from Yiddish and with an afterword by Curt Leviant, the author or translator of 25 books, including seven critically acclaimed novels, the most recent of which is the comic “A Novel of Klass.”

    Wearing a silk kerchief and a plain apron — a combination of holiday and...

  • Ghosts, Spirits and My Kids’ Wild Imagination…

    By Julia Bendis

    June 23, 2011 | 11:51 am

    Ever since my Grandmother passed away twelve years ago, I have been feeling like I am never alone.  Even if the house is completely silent and free from all and any rambunctious/annoying children, I always feel like there is someone else in there with me.  Being pretty superstitious,...

  • Army Archerd: January 13, 1922 - September 8, 2009

    September 9, 2009 | 2:09 pm

    From Variety.com:

    Army Archerd, whose 52-year run as a Daily Variety columnist made him unique among showbiz reporters, died Tuesday in Los Angeles of a rare form of mesothelioma, a lung cancer thought to be the result of his exposure to asbestos in the Navy during WWII. He was 87.

    Read the full story at Variety.com (ArmyArcherd.com).

    JJ Vault:  An Army of One: American Friends of Hebrew University honors Variety columnist Army Archerd with its Scopus Award.

  • Oscar-winner Sandel gets Cine-Peace Award; Poker tourney a winner for JBBBS

    By Danielle Berrin

    October 2, 2008 | 5:47 pm

    Cinema of Peace

    Oscar-winning director Ari Sandel ("West Bank Story") racked up yet another prize when Americans for Peace Now presented him the 2008 Cine-Peace Award.
    "I never in my wildest dreams expected the film to go as far as it did," Sandel said during his acceptance speech....
  • In lieu of perfection

    By Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

    May 1, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Two Jews once came before the Talmudic sage Rav Yannai.

    "The branches of his tree extend into the public domain," one claimed. "They're a public hazard, interfering with the camel traffic. Master, you must surely rule that he is obligated to remove the tree."

    The tree owner...

  • Where’s the Passover story?

    By David Suissa

    April 17, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    It's one of the great mysteries of the Jewish tradition. Every year, Jews around the world gather around a seder table to retell the story of our people's liberation from slavery. You can read a thousand articles, talk to a thousand rabbis, and they'll all say the same thing: At the...
  • Better safe than sorry

    By Rabbi Dan Shevitz

    January 10, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    It is late in the game for Pharaoh. Mitzrayim has just endured the penultimate plague: Dark. Pharaoh now knows he has little time left: It is, for him, the bottom of the ninth.

    He summons Moshe, as he has done so many times before, and for the first time conducts an earnest...

  • Brotherly Love

    By Rabbi Elazar Muskin

    December 13, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    With Chanukah recent history, I came across a fascinating review of a new book, "The Business of Holidays." The book's editor, Maud Lavin, notes that 81 percent of U.S. households celebrate Christmas with a tree in their homes, and not everybody is Christian. The line between...
  • The Shabbat the lights went out in Calabasas

    By Rabbi Paul J. Kipnes

    September 27, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    Our synagogue's name, Or Ami, means "Light of My People." The name reflects our hope to shine brightly the values and lessons of Torah and Jewish spirituality into our little corner of the world. We are a community of individuals who each carry the light as far as they can.

    But a...

  • Family Feud—with my family, it’s no game

    By Teresa Strasser

    March 22, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    I would take my mom against Clint Eastwood in any movie. Sure, he usually plays a grizzled, gunslinger with cat-like reflexes and something to prove, but if you cross my mother, you will find yourself, like the title of Clint's greatest Western, "Unforgiven."

    Make no mistake; this...

  • ‘The Good Shepherd’: I was a young man for the CIA

    By Steven Rosen

    December 21, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Eric Roth's impressive resume as a Hollywood screenwriter includes an Oscar (for adapting "Forrest Gump") and a string of reality-based screenplays about the difficulties important people face choosing between realpolitik and personal morality.

    These include shared credits on 1999's...

  • Swimming in the Holocaust

    By Tom Teicholz

    December 21, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    Recently, I attended a screening of "Swimming in Auschwitz," a still unreleased documentary directed by Jon Kean about the experience in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp of six women -- Eva Beckmann, Rena Drexler, Renee Firestone, Erika Jacobi, Lili Majzner and Linda Sherman -- all of...
  • Jewish Book Month’s Table of Contents

    November 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    With fall comes the annual harvest of books (and authors) to hit town for Jewish Book Month, Nov. 15-Dec. 16, with fare ranging from politics to social commentary to humorous memoir. The autumnal visitors will include David Mamet at the Central Library, Harry Shearer at Temple Beth...
  • A Different Israel

    By Tom Teicholz

    November 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    When Israel is discussed these days, more often than not it is in terms of an existential crisis, or "the situation," or as the subject of international news headlines. However, reading recently published works by three different Israeli fiction authors, Etgar Keret, Benjamin Tammuz...
  • A grown-up children’s story

    By Rabbi Karen Deitsch

    October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Inner child therapy is a psychological method aimed at giving voice to part of the adult psyche that remains eternally childlike. It purports that a vulnerable innocence exists within our subconscious; when acknowledged, a more complete and mature life experience is attained.

    For example, were my inner child invited to describe Parshat Noach, she might say:
     

  • Schmoozing with the Shammes of Shanghai

    By Jack Weiss

    October 26, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The shammes of Shanghai is an 87-year-old man named Wang Fa Liang. I often write for this paper when I return from overseas travel, but halfway through my recent trip to China with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, I was at a loss for a topic. And then I played hooky one morning in...
  • ‘The End’ is nigh for Lemony Snicket

    By Gaby Friedman

    October 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    What will Lemony Snicket do now? And who is Beatrice? These are the questions that are setting children abuzz -- a word which here means "something that everyone is talking and guessing about," -- now that "The End" (Harper Collins), the final, 13th book of 13 chapters in Snicket's...
  • 51 Birch Street: House of Blocks . . . House of Cards?

    By Anita K. Kantrowitz

    October 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    We all know about "the generation gap." The "mother-daughter bond." Turgenev's "Fathers and Sons." Shakespeare's "King Lear," or any number of his plays for that matter. Our literature and our language are rife with expressions of the struggles inherent in that most primal bond...
  • Life at 85: what a trip!

    By Red Lachman

    October 12, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    I was born in Chicago some 85 years ago. My home was Jewish Orthodox and consisted of my mother, her two brothers and their father, my grandfather. I specify my grandfather because, in those days, nobody ever thought of placing their old father in an old folks' home.
     
    My closest...
  • New Year brings new hope to inmates

    By Nick Street

    September 28, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Daniel, a 24-year-old UCLA student, has gotten under my skin. I met him a month ago when I followed Rabbi Yossi Carron on his rounds through Men's Central Jail and Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles. Daniel had a few more days to serve on the six-month sentence...
  • The Key Is Rejoicing

    By Rabbi Haim Ovadia

    August 17, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    A story is told about a Chasidic rabbi visited by an enthusiastic follower. The man eagerly wanted to update the rabbi on his latest religious undertaking.

    "I have decided to inflict my body and deprive myself from mundane pleasures," the man said. "Every day I roll in the snow...

  • Persian Angelenos Pledge Money, Support to Israel

    By Karmel Melamed

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Karnit Goldwasser

    The young woman stood at the podium and spoke to a quiet, tearful audience. "We just got married last October," said Karnit Goldwasser, "and I can't describe to you how my life was just turned upside down on that one day."

    Goldwasser's husband is Ehud Goldwasser, one of the...

  • A Mother’s Letter: Israeli Volunteers Aid in War Effort

    By Donna Zeff

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    On Sunday morning, July 16, after spending a restful Shabbat with his family, my 20-year-old soldier son found out that instead of going on an educational trip to Yad Vashem with his army buddies, he was to be sent to the small moshav of Netua on the Lebanese border.

    That same...

  • ‘Restless’ Hunk Reveals Family Secret: He’s Jewish

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    July 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Don Diamont is the resident hunk on "The Young and the Restless," where his buff muscles and six-pack abs make female fans drool.

    Don Diamont While his character, Brad Carlton, has done far more than strut about in cut-offs (he's mourned the loss of an unborn son, among other weighty...

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