“The Vote,” the best show in town, opened at 7:45 p.m. on Nov. 29 and, after 23 acts, closed down 60 minutes later. During that one hour, speakers, actors, musicians, singers and dancers commemorated the day, 65 years ago, when the United Nations voted overwhelmingly to partition Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state.
Two documentary films, each touching the Holocaust era and celebrating the courage and devotion of non-Jews, are screening in Los Angeles. The first is about Leopold Engleitner, bright-eyed and lucid at 107, who spent 11 years in and out of prisons and Nazi concentration camps, and, after a flight from Vienna to Los Angeles, is ready for his personal appearance tour.
In 1964, the New York Herald Tribune asked playwright Arthur Miller to cover the war crimes trial in Germany of the Nazi officials who ran the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
Thank you for bringing so much attention to the important issue of bullying (“The Battle to Get ‘Bully’ Seen by Those Who Need It Most,” March 23).
The year was 1960. Tom Tugend, living in Israel and working as the temporary head of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s public relations department, had to make a choice: keep his job or return to Los Angeles to a UCLA job he’d had before moving to Israel.
A man arrives at an airport for a flight, and as he goes through security the agent asks some questions.
With the introduction of photography in 1839, pioneer practitioners of the nascent medium flocked to the Holy Land, expecting the glorious biblical scenes imagined by Renaissance painters, but finding instead mainly dusty villages and a largely ramshackle Jerusalem.
Branko Lustig, 78, two-time Oscar-winner for “Schindler’s List” and “Gladiator,” will celebrate his bar mitzvah on May 2 at Auschwitz, in front of Barrack 24. He missed his rite of passage as a 13-year-old because at the time he was a prisoner in the very same barrack, having been deported from his Croatian hometown to the death camp when he was 10.
Israel’s “The Matchmaker” headlines the sixth annual Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival, taking place April 7-10. The opening night film, which was also spotlighted on the first night of Los Angeles’ 25th Israel Film Festival in October, has garnered two Ophirs — Israel’s equivalent of the Oscars — for best actor and best actress. But don’t expect a heartwarming shtetl romance or a Hollywood-ish “Father of the Bride” comedy.
By ship and plane, I've traveled to Israel 15 times over the last 60 years and, looking back, my relationship to the Jewish state has a certain Zelig-like quality.
Tony Snow declared himself "the sacrificial lamb" the moment he stepped on stage at Universal Studios Gibson Amphitheatre, rightly anticipating a rough tumble with the provocative HBO pundit Bill Maher during the final installment of American Jewish University's (AJU) 2008 Public Lecture
Rep. Howard L. Berman recalls that when he first ran for Congress in 1982, "one major reason was to strengthen our relationship with Israel and oppose the threat of radical Islam."
Now the veteran legislator will be in an even stronger position to pursue his agenda as the likely future chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee.
PBS 'Resurgence' documentary explores reappearance of anti-Semitism.
Rabbi Gary Greenebaum takes national leadership position; Survival of Jews in Iran is a paradox, panel shows.
Are Israelis constitutionally incapable of agreeing on a constitution to govern their country?
Of the books written on German militarism, "The Captain From Koepenick," by German playwright Carl Zuckmayer, is one of the great all-time satires.
Statistically, 39 percent of all American Jews, and 44 percent of all Jewish college students, do not attend religious services, according to the 2000-2001 National Jewish Population Survey.
What happened to the Vietnamese refugees, and the hundreds that followed them, in "the land of the Jews"?
An exhibit commemorating the American and Canadian volunteers who had fought in Israel's War of Independence in 1947-1949 and manned the "illegal" Aliyah Bet ships carrying refugees to the Jewish state.
"Out of Faith" will screen at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 12, at the Laemmle Sunset 5 Theatre, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, to be followed by a discussion between the audience and the filmmakers. When Holocaust survivor Leah Welbel learns that her American granddaughter is about to marry a Christian, she cries out, "When this happened in my old hometown, my family used to sit shiva. Here they expect me to open my arms. I can't do it."
Any Hollywood producer would give his right arm for the stars listed last week in a full-page advertisement in the Los Angeles Times.
When the Righteous Persons Foundation, created and financed by Steven Spielberg, announced earlier this month that it was giving $1 million for relief efforts in Israel, including $250,000 to The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles crisis fund, the impact went beyond the donation itself.
When I started moonlighting for a Jewish weekly in the late 1950s, I often encountered sneers that implied that if I were any good, why wasn't I working for a "real" newspaper?
Was Richard Wagner, Hitler's favorite composer, a classical anti-Semite and proto-Nazi or has conventional assumption given him a bad rap?
Filmmakers are currently wrestling with four different projects to document or dramatize the story of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter beheaded by Islamic extremists in Pakistan in early 2002, leaving behind a pregnant wife.
It'll be nostalgia time at the Ford Amphitheatre when Harold Arlen's greatest tunes come alive again for the concert "The Wonderful Wizard of Song.
Each nation has to come to terms with its past. For the Germans, it's the Holocaust, and for the French, it's their collaboration with the Nazi and Vichy regimes. No one who has not lived under a brutal dictatorship, where the wrong word might mean loss of life or livelihood, is in a position of judgment or superior virtue.
The mystery man of the Israeli economy, as he was dubbed by the country's media, is alive and well and living in Los Angeles.
Scene and heard.
Tel Aviv police have arrested the director of the Israel Kabbalah Centre, following complaints that he had fraudulently exploited a dying cancer patient and her husband.
Although he left the White House nearly five years ago, former President Bill Clinton is still deeply concerned about the Middle East and remains puzzled by his last-minute failure to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Next Friday, as Tibor Rubin enters the White House, generals will stand at rigid attention. The president of the United States also will rise and then drape the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for gallantry in combat, around the neck of the 76-year-old Holocaust survivor and Korean War veteran.
Rubin and a legion of supporters have waited almost 55 years for this triumph of camaraderie and persistence over both bureaucratic lethargy and the prejudice endured by so many old-time Jewish GIs.
The target list of an alleged cell of homegrown terrorists included two synagogues located in the Pico-Robertson corridor, The Journal has learned.
The target information emerged as a federal grand jury issued four indictments last week in the ongoing probe. It was confirmed by a source close to the investigation, although police have not specifically identified the shuls. There is no indication that any Jewish house of worship is in particular danger at the moment, and authorities are working with Jewish leaders regarding ways to enhance security precautions leading up to this month's high holiday services.
This Sunday, as America commemorates the fourth anniversary of the World Trade Center attack, films, television, plays and books are just beginning to grapple seriously with the phenomena of suicide bombings and terrorism.
The lag time between a cataclysmic experience and its absorption into the popular culture is hardly surprising.
An investigation into alleged home-grown Muslim extremists has yielded another arrest and prompted law-enforcement agencies and Jewish institutions to tighten security as the Jewish High Holidays approach.
The probe by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force has apparently broadened with last month's arrest of Hamad Riaz Samana, a 21-year-old Pakistani student at Santa Monica College. Samana was taken into custody with no fanfare and information about him did not appear in published accounts for about two weeks.
In all, more than 200 federal and local counter-terrorism agents are probing for links between possible planned attacks on local Israeli and Jewish targets and the activities of Islamic gangs in California prisons.
Yaffa Elharar, from Afula in northern Israel, has spent days outside a courtroom in the summer heat of Tampa, Fla., holding a photo of an attractive teenage girl and a sign proclaiming "The Blood of Our Children Calls for Justice."
Elharar is in the United States as a possible witness in the ongoing trial of Sami Al-Arian, accused of heading a Florida support group for Palestinian terrorists.
"Pickles, Inc." is an unpretentious PBS documentary about eight Arab widows from a village in northern Israel, who break all kinds of traditions by starting a tiny factory producing homemade pickles.
As modest as it seems, "Pickles," which airs Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 9 p.m. on KCET, can be viewed on surprisingly varied levels: as part of the recent trend by Israeli filmmakers to explore sympathetically the daily lives of their Arab countrymen; as the struggle of Arab women to stir against generations of submission by testing the boundaries of their independence; as a portrayal of the joys and pitfalls facing novices trying to start their own small business.
Finally -- and this matters, too -- the film provides a bit of lighthearted news from a land of generally shrieking and frequently depressing, doom-saying headlines.
After 60 years and 10 days, Samuel Goetz finally found the GI who liberated him on May 6, 1945.
Volker Schlaandorff, born in Germany in the fateful year 1939, has explored his country's dark history in such films as "The Tin Drum," "The Ogre" and "The Legend of Rita."
Now he returns to the Nazi era in the intense "The Ninth Day," a film mature enough to view the Shoah from a different perspective and to confront the viewer with complex questions of morality, religion and character.
Based broadly on the wartime diary of a Luxembourg priest, the Rev. Jean Bernard, the films opens in a wintry Dachau, where three special barracks have been set aside for clergymen. The vast majority of the occupants are Catholic, but there also are some Protestant and Greek Orthodox ministers who have refused to toe the Nazi line.
Does it really matter that California's governor was born in Austria? Accent or not, Arnold Schwarzenegger is all American now, from his biceps to his latissimus dorsi.
Well, Arnold's Austrian-ness matters to at least one man -- Martin Weiss. To Weiss, the new Austrian consul general in Los Angeles, the Austrian lad who left home and made good is a precious resource.
Visiting Austrian VIPs all ask for private face time with their famous landsman. Weiss does the best he can.
When Scot Mendelson was a kid in Brooklyn and Emil Farkas a youngster in Budapest and Toronto, some Jew-baiting neighborhood boys used to pick on them -- but not for long.
As Mendelson got bigger, the local bullies "showed some respect," and he kept right on growing until today he has been crowned by fellow weightlifters as the strongest man in the world.
Even during the tensest days of the intifada, the four Jewish and four Arab musicians of the SheshBesh ensemble performed before mixed -- and appreciative -- audiences.
The ensemble's fusion of western and Asian music and instruments can be heard Sunday, June 26, at Temple Israel of Hollywood, as part of the temple's Nimoy Concert Series.
Is the celebrity-studded Kabbalah Centre bringing the benefits of age-old Jewish mysticism and learning to the masses, or is it a multimillion-dollar family enterprise scamming the gullible?
That basic question, raised with growing frequency and ever-larger headlines in recent years, was given a surprisingly well-balanced national airing last week on the ABC-TV newsmagazine, "20/20."
The upcoming "Cinderella Man" chronicles the fall and rise of Depression-era heavyweight champion James Braddock, but the movie is as likely to revive the memory of another title holder, "Jewish" boxer Max Baer.
In the climactic scene, the movie depicts the 15-round fight in 1935 between Braddock (Russell Crowe), the victorious underdog, and a menacing, beady-eyed Baer (Craig Bierko).
Baer's greatest fight was in June 1933, when he faced the heavily favored German, Max Schmeling. Hitler had come to power a few months earlier and the Nazis were busy smearing Stars of David on Jewish-owned stores.
After six years of litigation and diplomatic battles over Nazi-looted art, in a legal case stretching from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., to Vienna and back, the Austrian government has agreed with Maria Altmann, an 89-year old widow, to let arbitration decide who now owns masterpieces that once belonged to her family.
Missions to Israel are a staple of Jewish organizations, but when Pepe Barreto leads a group tour there in August, it'll represent something new.
Barreto is perhaps the most popular drive-time host on Spanish-language radio in Los Angeles and a major player in a new drive to boost travel to Israel among California Latinos.
There's more to Jewish Los Angeles than Hollywood, outsider perceptions notwithstanding, and a wide-ranging UCLA project aims to paint a fuller and more accurate picture of the metropolis' 650,000 Jews.
"Los Angeles is one of the greatest Jewish cities in the Diaspora, the second largest in the United States, and it is time to subject it to serious inquiry," said historian David N. Myers, director of the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies (CJS).
The inquiry by the center, joined by the Autry National Center and the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, will focus on two critical questions:
Filmmaker Yehuda Maayan read a brief news story a couple of years ago about a 17-year-old Palestinian girl, who blew up a Tel Aviv café, killing herself and a 22-year- old Israeli woman.
The item started Maayan thinking and writing about the lives and attitudes of the two women and what led to their violent deaths.
The result is a 29-minute film, "Dry in the Mouth," which will be screened at the Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring this Friday evening.
Community news in the U.S.
"Watermarks" is a life-affirming documentary that celebrates the constancy of courage and grace, from youth to old age.
Its setting is the waltz-loving Austria of the 1920s and '30s, where the lithe young swimmers of the fabled Hakoah ("the strength") Vienna sports club are beating their "Aryan" rival clubs year after year.
Freestyler Judith Deutsch alone breaks 12 national records in 1935 and is the toast of the town, until she refuses to compete for Austria at Hitler's 1936 Olympic Games. As punishment, she is barred from competition for life and all her marks are erased from the official record books.
After the Reich's takeover of Austria in 1938, the swimmers scatter to Palestine, the United States and England, marry and establish professional careers.
Some 65 years later, Israeli director Yaron Zilberman decided to track down eight of the swimmers, now in their 80s, in their adopted countries.
Jewish talent didn't make the headlines at Sunday evening's Academy Awards, but found some consolation in the less glamorous categories. Tom Rosenberg briefly shared the spotlight with Clint Eastwood as one of the three producers of best picture "Million Dollar Baby," which also collected Oscars in the best director, actress and supporting actor categories.
Charlie Kaufman, the favorite, won the best original screenplay Oscar for his "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." After a "normal Jewish upbringing" on Long Island, Kaufman has become one of the hottest Hollywood writers for scripts that tend to blur the line between fantasy and reality.
In the documentary feature category, often dominated by Holocaust-themed entries in the past, the winner was "Born Into Brothels," about the children of Calcutta prostitutes. Sharing the award were director Zana Briski, whose Iraqi Jewish mother now lives in Israel, reports Jewhoo.com, and her Jewish co-producer Ross Kauffman.
Israeli director Eytan Fox makes films that open on a rousing patriotic note of rugged Israelis battling the enemy, before gradually exposing the chinks in his country's macho culture.
Astute trend-spotters have noticed a new genre -- "Love Across the Green Line" -- in which Israeli boy meets Palestinian girl, or variations on this theme, like boy meets boy.
It was June 1, 1941, Shavuot, and over the next 48 hours, Muslim rioters killed approximately 180 Jews, injured 240 more, raped Jewish women and burned and looted 586 Jewish stores and homes.
The journeys of 11 of the brightest names who left the Old for the New World are chronicled and visualized in the Skirball Cultural Center exhibit, "Driven Into Paradise."