L.A. photographer and filmmaker Sharon Lockhart’s new exhibition at LACMA focuses on the late Israeli dance composer and textile artist Noa Eshkol, who co-created the groundbreaking Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation system in the 1950s and developed a dance system based on its use of symbols and numbers to define the movement of any limb around its joint.
This year, more than 1,000 Los Angeles families in need received food from organizations that provide assistance specifically for Passover.
The past few weeks I have seen a revolution. On a lecture tour that took me to Sydney, Australia and Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, I hardly found a major mainstream synagogue without a Chabad Rabbi. Shules that once swore they would not invite in Chabad are now attracting large numbers of new members under the helm of young and charismatic Chabad Rabbis. Many are the biggest Shules in their respective countries. In Sydney, Australia I spoke at Central Synagogue, where Rabbi Levi Wolf has transformed a synagogue on the decline into a renowned powerhouse; for Rabbi Benzion Milecki whose years at Southhead Synagogue have made it one of the most vibrant in the Southern Hemisphere; and for Rabbi Motti Feldman, creator of the vibrant Dover Heights community.
Agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are in Chicago to beef up security at Jewish institutions.
Synagogue movements from across the denominational spectrum are jointly calling on American Jews to "make Iran a matter of the highest priority.”
[UPDATE] The newsletter sent out last month by Temple Israel of New Rochelle contained the usual sort of announcements, including a reminder about the synagogue’s upcoming Purim carnival, mazal tovs and condolences, and information about a social event at a local steakhouse.
Starting next week, 50 synagogues and 50 mosques throughout the United States and Canada will get together for three days of "twinning" and intensive discussions.
Beijing has had an organized Jewish community since the late 1970s, the city's congregations cooperate well and Jews coming for the Olympics will find plenty of choices for davening.
Typically associated with American Legion halls, Elks clubs and churches, the sedentary game that caters to seniors is not often associated with Jewish houses of worship. But a few synagogues across the Southland have offered weekly bingo nights as temple fundraisers for decades
CIA: Syria Could Have Made Two Nukes
Israel destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor that was nearly ready to produce two bombs, the CIA chief said.
Michael Hayden said Monday that the secret, unfinished reactor that the United States believes Israel bombed Sept. 6 in northeastern Syria eventually would have made fissile material for bombs.
Leaders of Reform synagogues don't quite get their members, according to a new study by the movement.
The study shows a marked disconnect between what the leaders think their members are looking for and what the members say they actually want.
The inaugural State of Humanity Forum, held Oct. 17 at Valley Beth Shalom.
Many rabbinic texts detail our long tradition of ecotheology, explicitly supporting the idea that caring for the Earth is a distinctly religious imperative.
The wait is finally over for members of Young Israel of Century City, who were eagerly anticipating the theme of the annual program "brochure," which was kept secret until its publication last week. It's ... Old West
Our ancestors understood that when we make a vow, promising to give something to God, or take an oath regarding our own actions, this was the highest and most serious endeavor, as the power of speech is what separates us most critically from the animal world. "Baruch She'amar V'hayah Ha'olam, God spoke and the world came into being."
City officials have vowed to aid a Persian congregation in Tarzana whose new synagogue was vandalized last Friday by an arson attack and anti-Semitic graffiti. Two days before the scheduled July 9 ceremonial moving of Beith David Education Center's Torahs to its new facility, congregation leaders discovered the newly renovated building had been the target of what police are labeling a hate crime.
The trip was a rare group visit abroad by Iranian Jews, who live in an Islamic community whose government is virulently opposed to the State of Israel. The Iranians -- ages 14 to 30 -- came to Russia thanks to diplomatic efforts by Arkady Gaidamak, a Russian Jewish leader and businessman, who helped obtain a special permit from Iranian authorities.
Moscow's five functioning synagogues have been repeated targets.
Me'ah, which began in 1994 with 50 students in greater Boston, is also now being offered in Baltimore, Cleveland, Rhode Island, Florida, New Jersey and New York.
In the five years since Priddy's father passed away, portable defibrillators (also called automated external defibrillators) have become increasingly common in public venues.
As a student at Cal State Northridge more than 30 years ago, Aron Hasson wrote a paper about the Sephardic synagogues of his ancestral homeland, the Greek island of Rhodes.
Jeff and Liz Kramer and their three teenage sons could only watch and wait.
Jeff and Liz Kramer and their three teenage sons could only watch and wait. The Sutton Valley residents paced the sidewalk in front of their home on Thursday morning, watching as the head of the Topanga Canyon Fire crept along a ridge less than 800 yards away, consuming brush and sending up billows of smoke.
Officials Urge Calm, Caution
In the wake of an Al Qaeda threat against Los Angeles and a widespread power outage, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton assured the Jewish community last week that a strong and highly visible police presence will provide both security and peace of mind during the upcoming High Holidays.
Jewish community concerns over security have increased in recent months following the arrest and indictment of four men for allegedly planning attacks on local Jewish targets, including a synagogue and the Israeli consulate.
During the week, Dr. David Kolinsky practices family medicine in Pacific Grove, a sleepy Northern California coastal town. But on Saturday mornings he dons his tallit and leads Shabbat services for Congregation B'nai Torah, a Conservative congregation in neighboring Monterey.
Kolinksy serves as spiritual leader and president of B'nai Torah, which has been lay led since it broke off from a nearby Reform temple 13 years ago.
Visiting rabbis have passed through, but with just 24 dues-paying members, there's no budget to hire even a student rabbi. The congregation also lacks a building -- it rents a small room in a local church, where it stores its two Torah scrolls and where, every Saturday morning, the stalwarts wait to see whether a minyan will show up.
Robert Berger is a third-generation Angeleno who dares to do the unthinkable in Los Angeles. He actually gets out of his car and studies old buildings.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan for an Israeli pullout from Gaza and a few more settlements in the Shomron has found extensive initial approval among Jews in the Diaspora.
At first glance, this is understandable. The absence of a credible Palestinian negotiating partner, combined with Israel's vigorous desire to create a more peaceful atmosphere in the Middle East, has made a partial segregation from the Palestinian Arabs appear to be a step in the right direction.
But before we leap, let's look. Let's pay attention to the serious voices of dissent.
Is Shavuot becoming hip? The holiday, which begins June 12, may be one of Judaism's three major festivals, but it had never caught on in America like its more popular cousins, Passover and Sukkot.
The tradition of tikkun l'eil Shavuot, the all-night study session that marks the commemoration of God's giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, is celebrated by most Orthodox Jews and many Conservative congregations. But for many unaffiliated and non-Orthodox Jews, the holiday has gone fairly unnoticed.
I remember visiting Harvard Square in Cambridge 30 years ago when I was a rabbi in Brookline, Mass. Among all the curious-looking people, myriad bookstores and Harvard University buildings was a huge bin of clothes, furniture cast-offs and other items.
Two weeks ago, I walked in early for a dinner meeting at Sprazzo, a small Italian restaurant on Westwood Boulevard.
One is obligated to become intoxicated on Purim until one cannot distinguish between "cursed is Haman" and "blessed is Mordechai" (Talmud, Megillah 7b).
Who's up and who's down in Jewish charities? While a recent snapshot of some of the largest Jewish charities reveals that Jewish fundraising generally is stable, nuances in the numbers reveal the viccissitudes -- and why.
When Lori Marx-Rubiner underwent a bilateral mastectomy two years ago, she lost the use of her arms for a few weeks. She couldn't brush her teeth, let alone tackle cooking dinner or driving her son to school.
On the eve of Simchat Torah, many synagogues auction the three major honors of the day, with proceeds benefiting the synagogue or other Jewish institutions.
"Boyle Heights was the Ellis Island of Los Angeles," said City Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa at the Breed Street Shul Open Day on Sunday, Aug. 22. "And this shul was the mother of all synagogues."
But the "mother of all synagogues," which opened in 1923, was abandoned by its few remaining congregants in 1996, and left to molder away -- unused and unprotected from the elements -- in Boyle Heights, a primarily Latino neighborhood.
While on a summer vacation on the East Coast, my family and I visited some spectacular sights in northwestern North Carolina, especially near Ashville.
It continues to baffle me why anybody who cares about the future of Jewish communal life in Los Angeles
would seriously contemplate closing the Valley Cities Jewish Community Center (JCC).
Southern California Jews and non-Jews marked Holocaust Remembrance Day together at numerous events, including one that saw German teenagers and Jewish and Hispanic schoolchildren under the same tent, listening to their peers recite the words of Anne Frank.
A pilot academy that would give adult students in Orange County certificates of graduation for completing three years of Jewish study expects to accept its first students in September.
A Montreal resident claims that a Torah she loaned to a local senior home has illegally ended up in a Southern California synagogue. And now she's on the hunt to find it.
As our British Airways jet approached Vienna, we were able to make out the famous skyline of the Austrian capital.
Ask anyone who cooks chicken soup what makes it taste so delicious, and the answer will likely be: "A pinch of this, a dash of that." But no more.
It's midnight in Milan and we're in a taxi racing through the streets to our hotel. We've just arrived from Los Angeles. We're hazy and tired from a 24-hour trip that should have taken us 15 and from spending too many hours delayed in Heathrow Airport, with nothing to do but sit on our luggage.
At a time when South Africa's Jews are anxious over the
future of the Jewish community, the religious body representing most Jews has
taken a bold step by choosing a young man with little experience as chief
Singer-songwriter Diex sees himself as an ambassador, a bridge between the unlikely worlds of the prayer filled synagogues and the groove-shaking beats of J Lo, Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin.
The recent bombings of two Istanbul synagogues won't end the tradition of openness in Turkey's Jewish community -- and it could even make the community more cohesive, leaders say.
Following the dastardly attacks in Istanbul targeting Turkish Jews in two synagogues on Nov. 15 that left 25 innocent people dead and several hundred Turkish Jews and Muslims severely injured (see Cover Story, p. 18), I was asked what this all means for Turkey.
It means sadness and sorrow for the lost lives and the loved ones left behind; it certainly means outrage; but it also means determination to fight against this greatest evil of terrorism. It is a terrorism that has no boundaries, that makes no distinction, but is hungry for creating fear and intimidation, and it has no respect for the central and sacred pillars of all universal principles -- respect for life and the right to live.
Cantor Mark Goodman was conducting prayers for Valley Beth Israel -- an ailing Conservative congregation that couldn't afford a rabbi -- when he decided that he could make things better.
Yossi Mizrachi stood in front of a class of second-graders at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy with a dark, ridged, 4-foot-long buffalo horn in his hand.
When it came time to talk about the high price of High Holiday tickets, The Jewish Journal thought there would be no better person to chat with than Ron Wolfson.
Betty Green's paintings work on so many levels -- seriously.
Congratulations! You have been invited to the bar/bat mitzvah of a friend or family member. Now what?
I truly enjoyed the churchgoing Jews article ("Jewish Churchgoers on the Rise," June 6), for I have found myself to be among that group of people.
It's Sunday morning at the Church of Ocean Park, a Methodist church in Santa Monica that strangely lacks overt Christian insignia: there are no crosses or crucified Jesuses decorating the walls, but the stained-glass windows do picture a bearded figure tending to a flock of sheep, with a shaft of light illuminating his head.
With the retirement this year of several prominent senior rabbis, youthful faces have come to occupy the majority of Westside pulpits and others throughout the city, a confluence of vitality that has the potential to herald the beginning of a new era for the wider Los Angeles Jewish community.
During three successive days last week (May 5-7), incendiary devices, described by some as Molotov cocktails, were hurled at the Baha'i Faith Community Center, the Iranian Synagogue, Da'at Torah Educational Center and Valley Beth Shalom, one of the leading Conservative congregations in Los Angeles.