When the 4-year-olds at B'nai David-Judea congregation got cholent on their knees while crawling under the kiddush table searching for buried treasure one Shabbat morning, there was no doubt who was to blame: David Steinberg, whose wild yarns have become a Shabbat morning staple since Steinberg got recruited for the storytelling job when he was transitioning the first of his three sons into a group about five years ago.
"What Would You Do?" is not only the title of a tolerance-thumping children's book distributed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), but it's the question central to each of the book's three short stories. It's a device that the book's creators say is purposeful.
John Forbes Nash, the brilliant mathematician whose life is portrayed in the Oscar-nominated movie, "A Beautiful Mind," has denied allegations that he hates Jews, during a March 17 interview with Mike Wallace on "60 Minutes."
Don't get Howard Rosenberg started on the snobs who dismiss sitcoms as trash.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times TV critic thinks they're an American art form, which is why he's hosting "The Serious Side of Laughter," a panel discussion about television comedy Feb. 17 at the University of Judaism. The panelists -- responsible for some of the biggest yuks on the tube -- include Sam Simon of the groundbreaking animated series "The Simpsons," Judd Apatow of the quirky college romp "Undeclared," Phil Rosenthal of "Everybody Loves Raymond" and Larry Wilmore of "The Bernie Mac Show."
Did you hear the one about the rabbi, the porn star and the adult magazine editor? They don't walk into a bar, they walk into a synagogue.
There were no books about Jewish children when writer Lesléa Newman was growing up.
"I was hungry for a book with characters like [me] to make me feel valid and normal, and to make me think there wasn't something wrong with my family," because it lacked Christmas trees and Easter egg hunts.
From the beginning, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles knew when it scheduled this year's Super Sunday event on Mar. 3, that the phone-a-thon fundraiser would take place on the same day as the annual L.A. Marathon.
She's young, sexy, defiant and Jewish. And now, journalist Jennifer Bleyer has created a magazine that is ... well, young, sexy, defiant and Jewish.
The question: Who is Seth Disner?
An editorial cartoon that ran on the Editorials & Letters page of the Los Angeles Daily News on Dec. 21 outraged readers with an image that confused as much as it provoked.
Star basketball player Tamir Goodman ended his career at Towson University in Baltimore last week, when the school took the side of the head coach in a dispute that ended with Goodman's resigning from the team.
With more than 100,000 books and scholarly articles over the last 50 years, you might think we know all we need to know about Adolph Hitler. At least, everything relevant.
After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, club owners told comedian Marc Maron to lay off the topic. But the premiere alternative comic just couldn't let it alone.
In 1981, Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote a 150-page book, published with little fanfare, that changed the lives of the more than 4 million people who read it and made its title, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," part of the vernacular.
After nearly a half-century run and years of financial difficulties, the Heritage Southwest Jewish Press called it quits with its Sept. 28 issue.
He worked aliens on "Men in Black," operated penguins in "Batman Returns"and helped bring the brontosaurus to life in the first "Flintstones" movie, but ace puppeteer Len Levitt says his most rewarding work was the children's show "Alef ... Bet ... Blast-Off!"
As networks rushed to excise programming that might evoke the Sept. 11 tragedy, a record 25. 2 million viewers tuned in to watch a stand alone episode of "The West Wing" last week that explored issues raised by the attacks.
"Amy's Answering Machine" by Amy Borkowsky (Pocket Books, $14.95).
(Beep.) "Yeah, hello, Amila. They just said on TV, 'It's 10 p.m., do you know where your children are?' And I'm thinking, I don't know, so I figured I'd call you, mamascheinz. You must be in the bathroom or something. Give me a buzz when you're done, OK? All right, bye-bye."
Any regular reader of the Jewish Voice in the 1950s and 1960s will remember "DAYENU," a gag panel spoofing Jewish life. The weekly cartoon was attributed to Henry Leonard, actually a hybrid moniker representing two locals -- Rabbi Henry Rabin, longtime executive director of Hillel of Southern California, and advertising artist Leonard Prikitin.
Add Tamir Goodman's name to the small Hebrew school sports pantheon.
Looking for the perfect gift for that upcoming wedding or bat mitzvah? If you're in the Anaheim area, you may want to check out Downtown Disney, the new shopping/dining/entertainment complex just outside Disneyland and the new California Adventure park. Make your way to the New Agey objets d'art store near the entrance (just follow the John Tesh music), turn to the right when you enter, and you'll feel as if you were transported by Disney magic to an upscale temple gift shop. A glass case of doorpost-ready mezuzot is prominently displayed; a variety of menorahs and tzedekah boxes fill several shelves.
The sign to the left, posted by Israeli Jewish and Arab students at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology around the elite Rehovot campus, reads: "We, the Arab and Jewish students of the Technion, who daily sit together in the same classrooms in cooperation and friendship, express our pain over the recent outbreaks of violence in our country. It is up to us to continue living here in mutual dignity, peace and security. We call on every Technion student to speak out against violence, and on every citizen to work on behalf of good neighborly relations."
The statistics haven't changed much in the close to 30 years I've been in practice. About 50 percent of all American marriages end in divorce. As a family law attorney, I work with people every day who are giving up on their dreams of marital bliss. And in many cases -- for my client and for the well-being of children involved -- ending the marriage is a good idea. Marriages that break up because of untreated physical abuse, gambling, drug and alcohol problems, and infidelity are often damaged beyond repair. In those cases it's usually best for everyone concerned if the marriage is dissolved, allowing the innocent spouse to move on with his or her life.
Yoshinoya and a sushi restaurant sprang up at Dodgers Stadium after Japanese pitcher Hideo Nomo donned blue, but it's going to be a while before L.A. fans will be able to bite into a kosher Dodger dog, even with the addition of Jewish outfielder Shawn Green.
In our Jan. 26 issue, veteran screenwriter Henry Bean told The Journal he wasn't sure his provocative directorial debut, "The Believer," inspired by the true story of a Jewish Nazi, would be well-received at Sundance. He'd heard that distributors were wary of the controversial subject matter. So he was shocked last week when his film won the festival's Grand Jury Prize, the top award in the dramatic competition -- prompting serious discussions with potential distributors. Now that "The Believer" seems poised to have an audience, at least with the art-house crowd, Bean has a particular group of viewers in mind. "There is no audience I'd rather show this to than one of anti-Semites and neo-Nazis," he told The Journal. "I'd love to know what they think."
After last-minute negotiating, Austria, the United States and Jewish groups signed an agreement two weeks ago under which Austria agreed to pay $210 million, plus about $20 million in interest, to cover victims' property claims and unpaid insurance polices. The government also will pay an estimated $100 million in social welfare benefits to Austrian Jews.
The death toll from the Jan. 26 earthquake in India may surpass 100,000, with thousands more left injured and homeless. To contribute toward disaster relief, you can send a contribution to Indian Earthquake Relief c/o Jewish Federation Accounting Office, 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048.
Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai will direct a novice actor in his next movie. He is playwright Arthur Miller, better known as the author of "Death of a Salesman," "The Crucible" and numerous other dramas.
In 1995, nurse, mystery writer and prospective single mom Serita Stevens traveled to Romania to adopt an abandoned 9-month-old baby girl. So appalled was she at the conditions in the orphanage at which she finally met her future daughter, she started Hugs and Hopes--Romania to help care for the orphans and abandoned children in a country still struggling to recover from the ruin and desperation caused by the Ceausescu regime.
You know that strange window of time Sunday morning before the Super Bowl starts, when you don't want to start anything that won't be finished by kickoff, but you've still got to find something to do? Sinai Temple, nearly a dozen other local Conservative men's clubs and the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs have an idea: try joining 10,000 others who will be wrapping tefillin.
In what may be another case of an e-mail rumor run amok, the Anti-Defamation League is laying to rest allegations that Wal-Mart and Sam's Club are selling globes nationwide that denote "Palestine" but not Israel.
Woody Allen once said the shortest book ever written was the one on Jewish athletes. Well, here is the shortest chapter in that book: Since May 1987, Argentinean native Imach Marcello Solomon (a k a Hoshitango) has been wrestling his way up in the competitive sumo leagues in Japan.
The Jewish Journal web site at www.jewishjournal.com now features a search engine that allows users to find articles that have appeared in past issues of the newspaper. The engine, pictured at right, can search by author, keyword, date or title.
When Benjamin Andron, a second-degree black belt, bows in at the beginning of the martial arts class he teaches, he always keeps his eyes raised.
Bevy of Jewish-Directed Films
"He's a nice Jewish boy," Michal Finkelstein says of her son Shimon. "He likes to sing in shul, he's an A student.... He never uses his strength or skills to bully others."
Except on the wrestling mat.
It all started because of the theft of my automobile. One sunny morning, while waiting for my car pool, I noticed something in a storefront window across the street, just behind some citizens standing at a bus stop. It was a monkey. In a diaper.
A woman in a fancy hat approaches Bert Dragin at Spago. She wantsto know if he is an actor, someone from "Dallas" or "Falcon Crest."
Actually, the distinguished, sixtyish Dragin is not an actor; he'sa film producer who sold his Cleveland-based furniture business andmoved out here to get into the movies in 1981. But he is "doinglunch" at Spago to talk about his latest, very non-Hollywood project:directing Paddy Chayefsky's "The Tenth Man" at the West Valley JewishCommunity Center.
Last Tuesday evening, we had dinner with Dick Morris. Can you think of a more fitting person to dine with during these days of atonement? Dick Morris: one-time adviser to the president of the United States. Widely credited with winning President Clinton's re-election. Caught on a tabloid video, sucking a prostitute's toes in a Washington hotel room. Admitted to letting his special friend listen in as he consulted with the commander in chief. Fired. Mocked gleefully by the media. Told to take a hike by his attorney wife,Eileen McGann. Dick Morris is the poster boy for atonement.
Save Alexandra Allen from a pickle . Buy her deli for $100.
I love cookbooks, but on lazy summer days, I usually read fiction -- few cookbooks are engaging enough to replace a good novel. And when I go into the kitchen at all, it's usually just to stand in front of the open freezer. But when I do find a cookbook that captures me, cooking with it is just a plus.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is fully committed to building a $50 million museum in Jerusalem -- despite skepticism expressed by some Holocaust scholars.
At the Dixieland Jubilee in Sacramento, the annual super bowl of jazz, the band that got the most ecstatic reception a couple of years ago was cradled a few thousand miles east of New Orleans.
It was the Jerusalem Jazz Band, whose members hail each other by such fine old Southern names as Boris, Mika, Shmulik, Stanislav and Aaron.