I have known Wendy Greuel for almost 30 years, since she was a young UCLA graduate working for Mayor Tom Bradley.
It’s back! Remember long ago in those dark days of 2011, when “Pacific Standard Time,” the Getty-sponsored initiative, got more than 60 cultural organizations throughout Southern California to shine a light on the impact of Los Angeles’ art scene between 1945 and 1980?
When Los Angeles was incorporated as a city in 1850, eight Jews, all bachelors, were included on the population rolls. Today, according to the best estimates, somewhere between 600,000 to 650,000 Jews live in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, with figures varying depending upon who does the estimating, how they define the geographical boundaries and, indeed, the definition of who is a Jew.
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: We spend the first half of our lives running away from home and the rest trying to get back. Consider Homer, way back in ancient Greece, who defined our notion of a life’s odyssey as a journey that begins and ends at home.
Adam Pearl, now ten-years old, never met his father, Daniel -- a heroic journalist who family and friends say gave his life for truth.
For people with a palate for intellectual, social and physical nourishment, the annual Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture at UCLA is a not-to-be-missed event.
Nearly 500 local Iranian Jews packed two auditoriums at UCLA’s Fowler Museum on Jan. 28 for an event honoring three prominent Los Angeles-area Jewish nonprofits and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS).
Eveline Leisner, a longtime French educator, died on Jan. 5 after living with Alzheimer’s disease for 12 years. She was 75.
Last month, for our seventh-annual mensch list, we again invited all of you to submit your nominations of extraordinary volunteers, and again the outpouring of suggestions of amazing people was overwhelming.
When author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel was recently asked if he feared future generations might forget the Holocaust once the last surviving witnesses had perished, he answered that he had quelled his anxiety over this problem with a simple dictum: “To listen to a witness,” he said, “is to become one.”
Seven scientists and an architect were named recipients of Israel's prestigious 2013 Wolf Prizes.
I met Lou’s dog before I met Lou. I was eating in the park with my family when his dog ran over excitedly, stepped into my daughter’s lunch and then took off again when he saw his owner running toward him.
It takes more than a lineup substitution — even a major lineup substitution — to rattle the Israeli Chamber Project (ICP). The circumstances that will bring the company — which offers a rotating roster of musicians from Israel and elsewhere — to make its Southland debut on Nov. 30 in a Da Camera Society concert at the Doheny Mansion were fortuitous, if not a bit tumultuous. How about two of the three originally scheduled musicians bowing out?
The talk at the second annual Jewish Women’s Conference of Southern California focused not so much on the Jewish part, as on the women’s part. Some 300 women (and one man — a devoted husband, perhaps?) filled the ballroom of UCLA’s Covel Commons on Nov. 11 for a series of sessions on activism, feminism today, women’s health, the effects of the recession on women, plus one session on Israeli women and another on rabbinical interpretations of women’s equality within Judaism.
As a tail gunner stationed on bombers during World War II, Mort Schecter frequently found himself a sitting duck.
On Nov. 1, Israel’s most popular and enduring pop icon, Rita Yahan-Farouz, known the world over simply as Rita, will appear at UCLA’s Royce Hall, along with a special band assembled for this tour.
Greta Berlin, the co-founder of the Free Gaza Movement —who has come under fire for tweeting that Zionists created and ran the Nazi concentration camps — has had her upcoming book talks canceled by at least two California venues.
The history of Iranian Jewry goes back nearly 3,000 years, so Nahid Pirnazar has a lot of ground to cover in her Oct. 21 lecture at the opening of “Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews,” a wide-ranging, five-month exhibition at UCLA’s Fowler Museum.
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem discusses reproductive rights and their importance in the upcoming presidential election. While this free event is open to the public, seating is limited. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sun. 7 p.m. Free. UCLA campus, Broad Art Center, Room 2160E, Los Angeles. (310) 825-4601. history.ucla.edu/events/gloria-steinem-lecture.
Elliot Caplow, a prominent real estate developer and philanthropist, died Aug. 16 at the age of 83.
Today come reports that hospitals in Zurich and St. Gallen have suspended the practice on Jewish and Muslim boys in the wake of a similar ban in Germany ordered by a judge in Cologne.
A Conservative movement college outreach program has survived potential demise — for now. Responding to an organized outcry by students and alumni, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) voted on June 10 to fund KOACH, its campus program, with $100,000 for the coming year on the condition that KOACH raises an additional $130,000.
When Todd Samuel Presner was “drilling down” through the history of Los Angeles, he noticed something unusual in a 1939 map of the city’s eastern part.
The Washington Nationals drafted a 2012 graduate of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Maryland in the Major League Baseball draft.
Almost every day, Marissa Meyer, an 18-year-old senior at Agoura High School, heads out to the stable where her riding teacher rehabilitates abused horses. There she works with her 15-year-old gelding, Lucky. Helping to heal him after his difficult life at a dude ranch has been one of her passions for the last seven years and has also helped spur her interest in physical therapy and sports medicine in humans.
For the first time in U.S. history, the lifespans of today’s children will be shorter than those of their parents, thanks to the American way of unhealthy living.
What are the moral and artistic limits faced by a novelist, filmmaker, historian or artist in depicting the Holocaust?
Gerald (Jerry) Estrin, a computer pioneer in the United States and Israel who built the first computer in the Middle East, has died.
A UCLA student group that supports the homeless is headed to the White House, one of five initiatives to win the White House’s Campus Champions of Change Challenge. The White House selected 15 finalists from hundreds of applicants, and online voters chose the top five.
“We must be patient and realistic in our expectation regarding the Middle East,” Sen. George Mitchell told an audience at UCLA on March 1.
As members of a committee that is actively engaged in outreach with the Los Angeles Jewish community, we enjoy reading articles in The Jewish Journal that accurately profile other religious faiths.
How would most American Jews react to the following historical assessment by a noted Yiddish scholar, professor Gennady Estraikh of New York University?
“The Reform service is going crazy, the Conservative service is going crazy. Orthodox [service] is huge,” Josh Kaplan, a Jewlicious board member, said as he walked past the concierge to the Jewlicious merchandise booth.
Lauren Levine is settling in with a group of friends apartment to watch “American Idol,” when a look of panic comes over her face. She rummages around, finds her keys and darts out.“I left the hair thing on,” she says when she returns, breathless, from her own apartment downstairs. “I was straightening Jasmine’s hair before we came up here, and I forgot to turn it off. Wow. That was close.” Levine has wide blue eyes accentuated with sparkly eye shadow, and her voice is spiced with a sense of interested wonder.
American Jewry is in transition, 20 speakers argued during “Looking for Judaism in [Un]Conventional Places,” a symposium at UCLA on Feb. 12-13. Scholars and academics discussed what Jews value, Jewish identity and which organizations are relevant today.
What defines “Jewish” theater? David Chack, a playwright and president of the Association for Jewish Theatre, promises that question will be among the subjects examined at the association’s upcoming conference, Feb. 5-8 at the Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts at Hillel at UCLA.
A man arrives at an airport for a flight, and as he goes through security the agent asks some questions.
More than 100 students, alumni and parents raised $23,000 for UCLA’s JLIC (Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus) during a Nov. 18 fundraiser, contributing roughly a quarter of the $100,000 that the program now needs to raise annually to ensure its continuing presence on the Westwood campus.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s constant Holocaust denial is not only a personal obsession, but also part of a larger policy by the Iranian president, according to Yossi Klein Halevi, the influential Israeli-American journalist, writer and commentator. Ahmadinejad’s calculation is that if he succeeds in discrediting the Shoah, “he will undermine the basis of Western support for Israel and that the Jewish state will eventually disappear,” Halevi said.
I have a Jewish daughter in 12th grade, which means one thing: college applications. The fact that she is applying is a given; my husband and I have followed the long-standing Jewish tradition of brainwashing our children into believing that college is nothing more than grades 13 though 16.
A preschool class at Wilshire Boulevard Temple has helped raise more than $3,000 for Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, inspired by a successful heart surgery for one of the students’ siblings. When 9-month-old Matthew Stevelman was just 10 days old, he underwent heart surgery because his two main arteries were in the wrong position and didn’t allow for enough oxygen in his blood.
“Have you heard the one about the Jewish- and Palestinian-American comedians?” is the slogan of Jewish comedian Scott Blakeman’s act “Stand-Up for Peace,” which he performed with Palestinian comedian Aron Kader at UCLA last month during the university’s second annual Middle Eastern Comedy Festival. Approximately 70 students of a variety of Middle Eastern backgrounds — Iranian, Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli — attended the show on May 18.
Speaking at UCLA’s Royce Hall on May 4, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, whose planned Islamic cultural center in Lower Manhattan — the so-called Ground Zero mosque — ignited a firestorm of protest last summer, said that the killing of Osama bin Laden gave him hope. “This signifies the end of an era of terrorism,” Rauf told the largely supportive and diverse audience of about 600 students, activists and community members.
KassemJEW is on the streets of Westwood to talk to Angelenos about Israel Independence Day. Happy Yom Ha'Atzmaut!
Richard Goldstone’s reconsideration of the controversial fact-finding report on the Gaza war of 2008-09 is the latest Rorschach test for the Jewish community. It has elicited a wide range of reactions, from ecstatic claims of exoneration to lingering bitterness at the report’s “blood libel,” as Caroline Glick and Jeffrey Goldberg have branded it. My own sense in reading Goldstone’s Washington Post op-ed was a measure of relief that the report’s most serious allegation — that Israel intentionally targeted civilians in Gaza — was unfounded.
KassemJEW on the streets for Purim. What do you know about Purim?
“Islam is NOT a religion.” “Please understand the danger that Islam poses to our society.” “OUTLAW ISLAM IN AMERICA!”
A program that is credited with creating a vibrant Orthodox community at UCLA needs to prove by the end of March that it can raise $80,000 annually to ensure its future on the Westwood campus. The Orthodox Union (OU) has paid the salaries for two professionals who founded and have been running Shabbat programming, Torah study and daily services at UCLA for ten years, and now OU (http://www.ou.org/) says Los Angeles needs to put up a share of the cost, as other communities have done to support the program at 15 campuses across North America.
Less than a year after the student government at the University of California, Berkeley fell one vote short of pushing through a bill to divest from American companies providing materials to the Israeli military, UC Berkeley’s School of Law on Thursday, Feb. 24, announced the launch of a new institute to advance the study of Jewish Law and of Israel on campus.
Meyer Luskin and his wife, Renee, are donating $100 million to UCLA, the university’s second largest gift in its history, Chancellor Gene Block announced Jan. 26.