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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…

  • Non-Jewish actor to host television special on Israel

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 2 (JTA) — Actor Kevin Costner will host a CBS television show celebrating Israel’s 50th anniversary. The starring role for Costner, who is not Jewish, will help the show appeal to a wider audience, according to the its organizers. The “America Salutes Israel at 50” extravaganza will be held at the 6,400-seat…

  • 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 come out to mark jubilee

    LOS ANGELES, April 20 (JTA) — The stars came out for Israel’s jubilee. A cast of 21 headliners, backed by hundreds of dancers, singers and musicians, put together “To Life! America Celebrates Israel’s 50th,” a CBS-TV variety show that mixed historical reminiscences, American comedy and Israeli song and dance. The show, which was broadcast in…

  • 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…