Los Angeles

In God We Trust

02/19/2009
Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Temple Sinai in Los Angeles.

Recently a series of books by scientists and polemicists have argued that religion is pernicious and God unprovable.  While it is true that religion, like every great human passion and drive, can be both life giving and destructive, it is worth conceding the central claim: God is indeed unprovable.  Thank God.  That is part of the glory of bitachon.

Young Iranian Jews Now Pushing Beyond Old Boundaries

Thirty years after the Revolution, a new generation here is breaking free of their parents’ insularity but holding onto their Persian heritage.

01/28/2010
Staff Writer

Arranged meticulously across a wooden dining table was a Shabbat meal that could have served 30 — fluffy gondhi, “Persian
Meatballs,” still steaming from their broth, Middle Eastern salads and ghormeh sabzi, a green vegetable stew. A Shabbat candle hovered between a spread of tahdig, a crispy rice dish, and shirini polo, a sweet rice blended with almond slivers, orange peels and pistachios.

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Howard Berman, Peace Now and right-wing pot shotters

So let’s see: J Street is “anti-Israel,” according to the many emails I continue to receive and blogs I read (if Google News Alerts are any measure, J Street must be the single most active topic in the entire known universe).   And Americans for Peace Now (APN) is, by almost any objective standard, further to the left than the upstart J Street.

Burying My Mother Tongue

05/01/2009

Aramaic is my first language. I don’t get to speak it much with fellow native speakers in Los Angeles, where I live now. The number of Jewish Aramaic speakers has dwindled so much that we now quixotically call ourselves “The Worldwide Federation of Aramaic Speakers.” The group would fit in a small room.

Chaos Theory

05/01/2009

Some time ago, I was invited to a dinner attended by a delegation of film people from Los Angeles. During the meal, one successful documentary director asked me a question: Could I think of any Hebrew words that have no equivalents in English? An excellent question, and even though I was sure there were many such words, the only two I could think of actually do have English equivalents, except that in Hebrew — or maybe it would be more accurate to say “in Israeli” — they carry completely different values.

Yiddish Theater’s Last Leading Lady

At 98, Mina Bern was one of the few remaining stars from Second Avenue’s heyday.

01/22/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

She was one of the last supports of a world that was crumbling to pieces.

When Mina Bern died of heart failure last week at the age of 98, the Yiddish theater world mourned one of its leading lights, an indefatigable performer and champion of the Yiddish language whose career spanned three continents and virtually the whole of the 20th century.

Mina Bern was remembered this week for her indomitable will and star power.

The State Of The Union

Orthodox marriages are happier than others, but are nonetheless plagued with stressors, study reports.

01/21/2010
Staff Writer

Orthodox marriages may be happier than their secular counterparts. But religious unions are rocky enough to concern a team of researchers and rabbis who presented the results of their recent study on marital satisfaction at the Orthodox Union here last week.
“Traditional family values and religious values tend to overlap,” said Eliezer Schnall, an assistant professor of psychology at Yeshiva University, who was responsible for analyzing the data. “But there are also those in this community who are not as happy with their marriages.”

Jewish Learning, Limmud Style

On Jan. 15, more than 700 Jews from a mix of backgrounds will head to the Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson for four days of lectures, text-study sessions, performances and workshops at the sixth annual Limmud NY Conference.

01/14/2010
Staff Writer

On Jan. 15, more than 700 Jews from a mix of backgrounds will head to the Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson for four days of lectures, text-study sessions, performances and workshops at the sixth annual Limmud NY Conference. Inspired by the Limmud Conference in England — which has been around for more than 25 years — Limmud NY has spawned an entire network, with Limmud (Hebrew for “learning”) conferences now in six U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Atlanta and New Orleans.

 Sissy Block: Limmud introduces Jews from the various branches to each other. Mark Sutton

George Mitchell's Mideast job: Optimist in Chief?

The Politico's prolific Laura Rozen has an interesting and revealing item today discussing Middle East special envoy George Mitchell's interview with Charlie rose, in which he opines that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations “should last no more than two years.  We hope the parties agree. Personally,  I think it can be done in a shorter period of time.” Asked about the issue of Jerusalem, Mitchell concedes that it is “very complicated, difficult, emotional on all sides.” What tipped him off?

Mitchell’s Mideast job: Optimist-in-chief

Thursday, January 7th, 2010 The Politico’s prolific Laura Rozen has an interesting and revealing item today discussing Middle East special envoy George Mitchell’s interview with Charlie rose, in which he opines that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations “should last no more than two years.  We hope the parties agree. Personally,  I think it can be done in a shorter period of time.”
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