When did Santa Monica, the laid-back hub of Los Angeles’ beach communities, turn into Bourbon Street?
I pondered this as Oggi and I spent an hour and a half inching our rented Nissan along jam-packed beachside lanes that reminded me less of California and more of Manhattan’s 14th Street at rush hour. Thousands of young people — many clad in green on St. Patrick’s Day, others draped in gaudy strings of beads — strolled in leisurely herds along Main Street and Broadway. In some spots, the sidewalks were as jammed with pedestrians as the roads were with cars.
Some years, given a world full of tempting travel choices, I have a tough time honing in on the top five or so destinations. Not this year. 2014 looks to be an exciting year of Jewish rebirth and rediscovery for places as far afield as Latvia, Jamaica and Poland. Meanwhile, as Jewish life continues to coalesce and flourish in the big New World cities, L.A. and Sao Paulo offer some clear advantages this year. These are the places I’m most excited to explore in 2014 – and here’s why:
In Jewish L.A., authentic Mexican that's rigorously kosher.
Special for the Jewish Week
On a recent trip to SoCal to visit a client, I stopped off in the heart of Jewish Los Angeles (Pico-Robertson Boulevard, of course) to check out Mexikosher, a kosher Mexican restaurant that that tastes like the real deal in Mexican cooking.
What makes this place different, and so much better, than kosher “Mexican” restaurants I’ve eaten at in New York is that this isn’t fast food.
Jewish Funders Network conference highlights efforts to reinvent Jewish life by challenging the status quo.
Editor and Publisher
Los Angeles — “This is the most exciting and frustrating Jewish community in the country,” proclaimed Jay Sanderson, chief executive of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, the site and showcase of the annual Jewish Funders Network international conference held here over three days this week.
The man arrested in connection with fake bomb threats made against a Los Angeles synagogue was also charged with vandalizing it earlier this month.
Several bomb threats against the Wilshire Boulevard Temple were called in to the Los Angeles Police Department Tuesday morning. One call said that there was a bomb planted in a car at an intersection near the synagogue.
Police investigated the threats and blew up a suspicious package left in a car adjacent to the synagogue, but the package was found not to contain explosives.
(JTA) -- The Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre is under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service's criminal division.
The probe reportedly also involves two charities that are connected with Madonna, the nonprofit center’s most high-profile celebrity supporter. The Los Angeles Times reported that the Internal Revenue Service is looking into whether funds were diverted for the personal use of the Berg family, which has run the Kabbalah Centre for more than 40 years.
It was a downer to hear that the U.S.-led Israel peace talks fell through this morning. But then I was reminded of some sunny news: Israeli artists, one of the bright spots on the country these days, are breaking out far beyond New York. Adi Nes, Sigalit Landau, Yael Bartana, Mika Rottenberg--all were represented at Miami's Art Basel last weekend. And then there was fast-rising Elad Lassry, who is having his limelight momen
(JTA) -- A Saudi Arabian diplomat based in Los Angeles has requested political asylum because he is gay and close friends with a Jewish woman.
The diplomat was identified Saturday by NBC News as Ali Ahmad Asseri, the first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles. Asseri said he was effectively fired from his position since his diplomatic passport was not renewed by Saudi officials. He told NBC in an email message that he would be killed if he returned to Saudi Arabia.