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  • Alleged murderer admits to synagogue arsons

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 9 (JTA) — A man charged with killing a gay couple in California has admitted to planning the arson attacks on three northern California synagogues last summer and to personally torching the largest one. Benjamin Matthew Williams told reporters during a jailhouse interview that as many as eight other white supremacists joined…

  • ADL not amused by SNL satire

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21 (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League is not amused by a “Saturday Night Live” satire in which cast members, posing as pop stars, said that Jews own all the banks and that Christians have forgiven them for “killing our Lord.” But NBC, after flip-flopping over whether it will air the sketch again…

  • Kirk Douglas becomes a man

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 12 (JTA) — Hollywood luminaries crammed the 200-seat chapel at Sinai Temple here as Kirk Douglas was called to the Torah for his Bar Mitzvah reading and speech. “Today, I am a man,” intoned the 83-year old actor Thursday in the prescribed fashion, adding, from the perspective of a long and rich…

  • A controversial Jewish-Muslim pact

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7 (JTA) — Some two dozen prominent Jews and Muslims here have approved a code of ethics that denounces all terrorism and hate crimes, promotes civil dialogue and urges an end to stereotyping and incitement. The agreement, approved before banks of television cameras at Los Angeles’ City Hall on Monday, was hailed…

  • Elie Wiesel’s new memoir

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7 (JTA) — Elie Wiesel’s second memoir differs from his first both in time and in approach. In “All the Rivers Run to the Sea,” the first volume, which started with his birth and closed in 1969 with the author as a 40-year old bridegroom, Wiesel narrated “mostly that which I see…

  • Heston reads at Jewish center, despite objections

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 5 (JTA) — Actor and anti-gun control lobbyist Charlton Heston has gone ahead with a controversial reading at a Jewish museum in Los Angeles. But some donors to the Skirball Cultural Center boycotted the Dec. 2 event, which was attended by a near-capacity crowd of 200 people, to protest Heston’s views on…

  • Feds indict alleged JCC shooter for hate crimes

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 5 (JTA) — A federal grand jury has indicted on hate crimes and weapons charges the white supremacist charged with shooting five people at a Los Angeles Jewish community center in August. The 16-count indictment against Buford O’Neal Furrow Jr. returned by a federal grand jury Dec. 2 superseded an earlier indictment,…

  • Spielberg to make Holocaust testimony accessible

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28 (JTA) – In a huge tent on the Universal Studios lot, crammed with advanced computer gear and large television screens, Steven Spielberg unveiled his high-tech master plan to transmit and preserve the living testimony of Holocaust survivors. Hollywood’s most successful filmmaker paused briefly last week to review the work of the…

  • Death penalty for white supremacists?

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28 (JTA) — California will buttress its demand for the death penalty in the case of two white supremacists alleged to have murdered a gay couple by citing evidence that the defendants were involved in the June arson of three Sacramento synagogues. Separate federal charges are expected to be filed within a…

  • Jew dies in Iranian custody

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17 (JTA) — The mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of an Iranian Jew from Los Angeles after his arrest in Tehran are baffling his family and community leaders here. Sepehr Ebn Yamin, 44, died Nov. 7 while in the custody of Iranian authorities, and his body was turned over to the Jewish…