During the 1978 Frankfurt Book Fair, an enterprising bibliophile conducted a meticulous search of the vast exhibit hall with an unusual purpose: to find the oddest book title. Inspired by this valiant quest, the British trade magazine, The Bookseller has been publishing annual lists of the contenders and winners of the Diagram Prize for the Oddest Title of the Year.
Last Sunday, while thousands of Los Angeles Jews were rallying in front of the Jewish Federation headquarters to show support for Israel, the Rembaums were showing a different kind of support for the Jewish state: They were on a plane moving there.
Haruach sings with a modesty and softness that enhances the simple and good-natured spiritual messages of her songs. That, in itself, is an unusual trait, because audiences have come to expect artists who make spiritual/new age, religious music to have overproduced studio performances.
Caine credits his successes today to a willingness to stick with his musical vision through lean times.
"Follow that instinct," he urges young musicians. "It'll happen, if you work hard, and you can keep moving somehow."
Of all the Jewish holidays, none is so firmly rooted in the home and so joyously celebrated with song as Passover. This simple fact would lead you to expect an avalanche of Passover records, but this year the avalanche is more like a mild rain of pebbles, at least in the quantity department.
Inside this cavernous barn with Persian rugs draped like curtains over the back walls of the elevated stage, there are no mobsters or secret cells from what we can tell. There are just ordinary citizens, but that doesn't stop the host, Jordan Elgrably, a svelte man in a black shirt, from saying, "All those who are working here for Homeland Security, please raise your hand."
Filmmaker Michele Ohayon's career previously highlighted serious (and politically correct) subjects, such as oppressed Palestinians and homeless women. She won a 1997 Oscar nomination for "Colors Straight Up," her profile of urban youth in the aftermath of the L.A. riots.
"Looking at what's happening locally and nationally, we've found that fewer teen boys enroll in informal Jewish activities than they did in previous years," said Lori Harrison Port, senior associate director for planning and allocations at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Bob and I had an unusual bond. We were both folk singers, but as friends, each knew the other had a weakness for the music of Buddy Holly. I was from Texas and knew Buddy, so Bob and I had lots to talk about. Our other passion was this new musical adventure.
News reports and sources cite conflicting reasons why Israeli-born Rod Lurie was booted or departed as show-runner of the successful new ABC drama, "Commander in Chief," about the first female president of the United States
"God's Sandbox," the latest Israeli film to tackle women's issues, depends in large part on the mystery and romance of the desert for its effect. This is evident from its very first moments, when a car, driving slowly along a winding desert road, stops at what appears to be no particular point, and lets out a passenger: a middle-aged woman wearing a sensible straw hat to protect herself from the scorching heat, lugging a bulky suitcase.
Together with Jason Hardy and Henry Harpending of the University of Utah, Gregory Cochran is publishing in a forthcoming edition of the Journal of Biosocial Science a paper that not only suggests that one group of humanity is more intelligent than the others, but explains the process that has brought this about.
The group in question is Ashkenazi Jews. The process is natural selection.
"I felt we're a Jewish school," Rabbi Shlomo Goldberg told me last week. "And being Jewish means you reach out to everyone who's a Jew and let them have a Jewish education." Danielle entered a kindergarten class of six, in a school of 200 students.
With flavorful and fun recipes that use ingredients and combinations far from what used to be considered traditional Jewish cooking — think Juniper Berry and Peppercorn Crusted Skirt Steak with Spiced Onions — this book can add flare to a tired repertoire for both connoisseurs and amateurs.
Natan Sharansky's attitude is as old as the Bible. This week's Torah portion began with a description of the olah, the obligatory burnt offering that was brought twice a day -- morning and afternoon -- to the Holy Temple.
"At age 76, I'm finally coming of age," said Arthur Oaks, who read directly from the Torah during the b'nai mitzvah service, which is more traditional. "I never thought I would have the opportunity. When they announced the class, I jumped at the chance."
Israeli officials are elated at the tough language in a resolution passed last week by the board of the U.N. nuclear watchdog rebuking Iran for not cooperating with nuclear inspectors.
I saw a simple loaf cake wrapped nice and tight on the kitchen counter. My sister gladly parted with a thick portion, as she said she couldn't afford to keep eating it. With one taste, I understood.
"I don't get it," one of them told me. "Here this popular governor is going to Israel at a time when Israel really needs all the friends it can get, and people are turning it into an issue. I've had it with the Jews."
While Louise Steinman was growing up Reform in Culver City, her father seemed unknowable. A taciturn, workaholic pharmacist, he never spoke of his combat experiences in the Pacific. But Asian food was banned from the house and his four children weren't allowed to cry in front of him. "Reminds him of the war," his wife said.
Is Jewish the new gay? That's how it's looking this season on NBC's "Will and Grace."
Herb Citrin isn't your typical bar mitzvah boy. He celebrated his rite of passage at the age of 80.
The cosmopolitan Chinese city of Shanghai has witnessed what is believed to be its first Jewish marriage ceremony in more than 50 years.
Shut your eyes. Go on. Now think of Eden. Chances are the image forming in your mind includes a full-frontal Adam and Eve, fig leaves, apple and coiled serpent. Staple icons of the culture? Not in the new interpretation of the "Six Days of Creation" by artist Margaret Handwerker. The tree and plenty of symbolism are there, but Handwerker's fresh take reminds us why this story survives the ages.
The medium itself is unusual. "The Six Days of Creation" is a tapestry, five feet wide and 16 feet long. The result of a commission to the artist by the Skirball Cultural Center, here is an ancient medium, an ancient story, but a distinctly contemporary sensibility.