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  • Los Angeles AJCongress chapter secedes over ideology and finances

    LOS ANGELES, March 16 (JTA) — The southern California chapter of the American Jewish Congress has split from the national organization and closed its Los Angeles office, citing long-standing differences over ideology, financial responsibility and personal leadership styles. Present and past officers of the Pacific Southwest region of the AJCongress made the decision public at…

  • Ex-slave workers in Los Angeles file suit against German company

    LOS ANGELES, March 8 (JTA) — Five Los Angeles residents have filed a lawsuit against a major German firm demanding compensation for years of unpaid slave labor during World War II. The suit against Philipp Holzmann AG, one of Europe’s largest architectural and construction companies, is the first of its kind brought before a California…

  • HBO depicts Meyer Lansky through a very Jewish filter

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 22 (JTA) — “Meyer Lansky saw life entirely through a Jewish filter,” says Richard Dreyfuss, who plays the legendary mobster in an upcoming HBO television special. “Lansky,” scripted by David Mamet and airing Saturday at 8 p.m., picks up where the rash of early 1990s Hollywood films on Jewish gangsters left off…

  • Campaign for downed Israeli pilot travels along a California highway

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16 (JTA) — Motorists traveling along the Pacific Coast Highway, skirting the ocean near Malibu, may be puzzled by an official state sign along the roadside bearing the legend “RON ARAD — IDF”. Not many of the drivers whizzing by will connect “IDF” to the Israel Defense Forces. Even fewer will identify…

  • California, survivors slap Italian firm with subpoenas, suit

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 8 (JTA) — One of Europe’s largest insurance companies has been hit with subpoenas by the state of California — and with a $135 million suit by a family — for allegedly stonewalling demands to pay out on policies taken out by Holocaust victims and survivors. The Italian company, Assicurazioni Generali, was…

  • Controversy erupts over Swiss WWII labor camps

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20 (JTA) — Talk to Jews from Poland, Germany, Yugoslavia or Hungary who somehow escaped the Nazi dragnets and made it to safety in Switzerland, and they will assert, usually with considerable emotion, some or all of the following statements: * During World War II, Switzerland split up Jewish refugee families, putting…

  • ISRAEL AT 50 An American Jewish volunteer reflects on the last ‘good’ war

    LOS ANGELES, March 30 (JTA) — As the American Jewish community celebrates the 50th anniversary of Israel’s independence, those of us who went over to fight as volunteers in the fledgling country’s armed forces can look back with special pride and remembrance. We were privileged to take part not only in a momentous chapter of…

  • Media puts full-court press on Monica Lewinsky’s shul

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 27 (JTA) — Sinai Temple is not adverse to publicity, but the Conservative synagogue in West Los Angeles would just as soon do without the onslaught of media inquiries that have kept its telephones ringing off the hook. The full-court press on the temple was applied by members of a media desperate…

  • American, Israeli stars joining in televised jubilee extravaganza

    LOS ANGELES, March 31 (JTA) — Producer David Goldberg says, only half-jokingly, that putting on a binational, multimillion dollar, star-studded production means that he works 24 hours a day. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, he works on the American part of the show — and on the Israeli part from…

  • Reform rabbis’ convention addresses complex issues

    ANAHEIM, Calif., June 23 (JTA) — “This is not your grandfather’s Reform service,” observed one person who had joined 600 Reform rabbis at an hourlong prayer service opening the annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. A quick glance showed that a majority of the men, and many of the women, wore yarmulkas…