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  • Ben-Gurion’s archives give a full picture of Israel’s founding father

    LOS ANGELES, June 13 (JTA) — Three years ago, the BBC decided to make a television documentary marking the 40th anniversary of the 1956 Sinai campaign, which pitted Israeli, British and French troops against the forces of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. The filmmakers were soon stymied in their search for one top secret document:…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Families fear for Iranian prisoners; world pressures Tehran for release

    LOS ANGELES, June 13 (JTA) — Amid an international effort to secure the release of 13 Iranian Jews who face possible execution, U.S. relatives of the accused spies are publicly expressing fears for the lives of their loved ones. Nasrin Javaherian of San Jose, Calif., is the sister of Nasser Levihaim, 49, the oldest among…

  • Shoah Foundation changes focus to improving access to testimony

    LOS ANGELES, June 7 (JTA) — The end of Michael Berenbaum’s tenure as president and chief executive officer of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation reflects a change not only in the organization’s leadership, but also in its direction. Until now, the foundation, established by Steven Spielberg five years ago after the success…

  • Judge sets first-ever trial date for Holocaust-era insurance case

    LOS ANGELES, June 1 (JTA) — For the first time, a trial date has been set regarding a claim on Holocaust-era compensation. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ruled last Friday that a trial involving a $135 million breach of contract suit brought by the descendants of Moshe “Mor” Stern, a Jewish merchant gassed…

  • Kosovar refugees welcomed into Los Angeles Jewish homes

    LOS ANGELES, May 23 (JTA) — The extended Vlashi family from Kosovo, all 28 of them, arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport around midnight May 20 and were engulfed by television cameras and the arms of the Jewish community. Luggage retrieval was no problem. All the refugees’ worldly belongings fit easily into small carry-on…

  • Campaign against wartime pope criticized by Catholics, Jews alike

    LOS ANGELES, May 16 (JTA) — Some Catholic and Jewish leaders are denouncing a campaign by Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center against elevating wartime Pope Pius XII to sainthood. Describing Pius XII as the “pope of the Holocaust,” the center’s founder and dean charged last week that throughout World War II, the…

  • Serbian Jewish activists horrified by the war, stress common history

    LOS ANGELES, May 12 (JTA) — When Dusica Savic Benghiat makes her daily phone call to her mother in Belgrade, she can frequently hear the air raid sirens as a backdrop to the 78-year-old woman’s increasingly discouraged voice. “My mother tells me she doesn’t care anymore. She just stays in bed. If the bombs miss…

  • Relationship rabbi’ finds Oxford suitors for Roseanne’s daughters

    LOS ANGELES, May 10 (JTA) — The good news is that Roseanne may have finally found three nice Jewish boys as suitors for her three daughters. The bad news is that the boys live in England and the girls in Los Angeles. American television viewers can watch the long-distance romance with an all-Jewish cast unfold…

  • California pressures insurers to settle Holocaust-era claims

    LOS ANGELES, May 2 (JTA) — California’s top officials, legislators and private organizations are throwing their collective weight behind a series of measures aimed at pressuring European insurance companies into settling claims from the Holocaust era. The charge is being led by Gov. Gray Davis and state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush. Speaking at a news…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Last Oscar night of the century has numerous Jewish moments

    LOS ANGELES, March 22 (JTA) — Oscar didn’t quite wear a yarmulka, but rarely have Jewish talent and Jewish themes received as much recognition as at the last Academy Awards of this century. “Life Is Beautiful,” the tragicomic fable set partially in a concentration camp, earned best actor and best foreign film Oscars for its…