L.A.

Israel's Intermarried MK

Thanks to the Jewish Outreach Institute and L.A. Jewish Journal for informing me about Einat Wilf, an intermarried member of Israel’s parliament. Part of the somewhat beleaguered left-wing Labor party, Wilf joined the Knesset in January.

I’m assuming that Wilf, whose husband is German, is not the first Jewish MK married to a gentile. Nonetheless, she seems to be the first to speak out publicly about it, telling the Jewish Journal, “Long before I married, I thought the Jewish world was making a big mistake in counting intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews as minus one, not plus one.”

Orthodox LA Teen Elected to Local Council

04/21/2010

LOS ANGELES (JTA) – A 15-year old Orthodox Jewish girl has become the youngest elected public representative in Los Angeles. 

Rachel Lester was elected last week to the South Robertson Neighborhood Council, besting her opponent, a college-educated family man, with a lop-sided vote of 144 to 13.

The 90 neighborhood councils in Los Angeles are official municipal bodies, which serve as advisory boards to the L.A. City Council and as liaison between the average citizen and the municipal government.

Stiller Waters Run Deep

In ‘Greenberg,’ Ben Stiller veers from the typical Jewish neurotic role.

03/23/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Roger Greenberg, the eponymous hero of Noah Baumbach’s new film, “Greenberg,” is a direct descendant of all those solipsistic, narcissistic, inconsiderate neurotics embodied by Woody Allen and, most recently, Larry David. At 40, he is a twitching bundle of nerves, barely suppressed anger and tightly held grudges going back to his college days. And he is unmistakably Jewish, although, as he dryly notes, “my mother is a Protestant, so I don’t even count.”

Character rather than caricature: Stiller as  Roger Goldberg.

The Matchup: The Intermarriage Artist

11/28/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

I recently came back from a West Coast tour of sorts, which included participation in an L.A.-based conference for Jewish leaders in their 20s and 30s. The Professional Leaders Project (PLP) called participants “talent,” in perhaps an intentional evocation of “the industry.” But our talents were celebrated and cultivated in a very un-Hollywood-like way: through intensive peer leadership, networking and professional mentoring. No casting couch required.

The Matchup: Table For More Than Two

11/08/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

Good food, candlelight, wine and conversation after a long week is the quintessential (hoped-for) weekend plan, whether it’s for a night out, or — as it is for many Jews — for a Friday-night dinner. But for married couples that host weekly Shabbat dinners, each Friday night also represents an opportunity to help singles who might otherwise go unfed physically, spiritually or romantically.

Pallin’ Around With A Terrorist’s Son

Thursday, November 6th, 2008  Ali Abunimah, editor of Electronic Intifada, is quite upset that Obama is pallin’ around with Rahm Israel Emanuel, the son of a so-called “terrorist” with Menachem Begin’s Irgun, back in the 1940s. Emanuel, of course, was Obama’s first appointment, as chief of staff.    From “Hussein” being the middle name we wondered about, Rahm’s middle name — Israel — now has every Haman in the Arab world wondering how the son of an Irgun guy is Obama’s new Mordechai.

Hitting A High See

05/16/2003
Staff Writer
With a voice reminiscent of Cecilia Bartoli's and a profile resembling Barbra Streisand's, Laurie Rubin seems born for singing stardom. Rubin, 24, was also born blind. Easily overlooked by directors who "don't want to be responsible if I fall off the stage," Rubin says she has to work harder than the next mezzo-soprano to get ahead.

Closer To God, Far from Shul

09/07/2007
Staff Writer
There are people who don’t want to come to a traditional structure because they don’t like tradition,” Rabbi Hoffman says. Hence his abbreviated, participatory service in a decidedly non-synagogue site. “We cater,” he says, “to both a traditional and non-traditional crowd.”

Painless Gift Of Life

06/22/2007
Staff Writer
One of the guests of honor at the recent commencement exercises of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, sitting at the far left of the first row of the sanctuary in Temple Emanu-El, was neither guest speaker, college official Nor financial supporter of the institution. Dalia Samansky, a third-year rabbinical student at the school’s Los Angeles campus who received her master’s degree in L.A. the following week, was invited to the New York commencement as role model. She had saved a life.

JCC Rampage Part Of ‘Pattern’ Of Hate

08/13/1999
Staff Writer
New York-area Jewish community centers moved swiftly Tuesday to increase security in response to the day’s shooting rampage at North Valley Jewish Community Center in the Los Angeles area. One Jewish leader declared the incident — the third attack on Jews and Jewish property in the United States in the last two months — to be part of a frightening trend.
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