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  • Los Angeles campus of HUC will now ordain Reform rabbis

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21 (JTA) — Hebrew Union College’s Los Angeles campus will begin ordaining Reform rabbis. The move to expand the school’s rabbinic training program, which was authorized here by HUC’s governing board, puts the Los Angeles campus on a par with HUC’s three other schools, in Cincinnati, New York and Jerusalem. In its…

  • 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…

  • HOLIDAY FEATURE Study: People can prolong life in order to celebrate Passover

    LOS ANGELES, March 7 (JTA) — A desire to participate in Passover can prolong a person’s life, according to a professor of sociology at the University of California at San Diego. David Phillips believes that older people can, in effect, postpone death in order to participate in an important occasion — be it a religious…

  • 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…

  • Oscar-nominated Gwyneth Paltrow descends from a rabbinical dynasty

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15 (JTA) — Gwyneth Paltrow, the beautiful, blonde Oscar-nominated heroine of “Shakespeare in Love,” is descended from a distinguished rabbinical dynasty that may stretch back to 17th-century Russia. According to the London-based Jewish Chronicle, the actress can count 33 rabbis among her ancestors, on her father’s side. Her great-great-great-grandfather was Rabbi Tsvi…

  • European insurance firms to expedite survivors’ claims

    LOS ANGELES, April 9 (JTA) — An international commission has been established to expedite the processing of insurance claims by Holocaust survivors and the heirs of victims. The agreement to set up the commission was signed Wednesday in New York. Signatories include the state insurance commissioners of New York and California, four major European insurance…

  • Spielberg may film U.S. pilots who helped Israel in 1948 war

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 11 (JTA) — American volunteer pilots who played a key role in creating the Israeli air force may be the focus of a Steven Spielberg film. The director said he hit on the idea after sitting in the cockpit with an Israeli pilot on an El Al flight from New York to…

  • Synagogue arsons unsolved

    LOS ANGELES, March 3 (JTA) — The City of Los Angeles is offering a $20,000 reward for information regarding arson attacks at two Orthodox synagogues during Chanukah The fires damaged portions of Congregation Kehillas Yaacov and Congregation Shaarei Tefilah, which are located on the same block in the traditionally Jewish Fairfax district. In announcing the…

  • 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…