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  • Demographic study finds strong Jewish community in Los Angeles

    LOS ANGELES, July 6 (JTA) — A new study of the Los Angeles Jewish community has provided some surprising results. Jews here intermarry less than American Jews in general, their synagogue membership has risen sharply in the last 20 years, and only about 15 percent of marriages end in divorce. These findings are based on…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Expatriates in China spur revival of Jewish communities

    BEIJING, July 1 (JTA) — When the tiny Jewish community of China”s capital city wanted to hold a Passover seder with all the culinary trimmings, they naturally turned to the bubbe of Beijing. The bubbe is Elaine Silverberg, who came here 10 years ago from New York to join her resident daughter, Elyse Beth Silverberg,…

  • Roseanne stages own version of Chanukah play for children

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 29 (JTA) — On the sixth night of the Festival of Lights, Roseanne put on a Chanukah play — and the tale of the brave Maccabees and the miraculous container of oil may never be the same again. In the one-time matinee and evening performances, the director, narrator and author — listed…

  • 2 Jewish men behind creation of acclaimed Getty art complex

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 16 (JTA) — The Getty Center was officially opened this week, and not since the 1984 Olympic Games has Los Angeles reveled in so much positive press. The 800 journalists, taking nine-hour tours, duly noted the vital statistics of the massive artistic complex: The $1 billion price tag for the museum and…

  • Award to German filmmaker spurs debate on her role as propagandist

    LOS ANGELES, Sept. 2 (JTA) — An award bestowed here on German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl has been sharply criticized and has revived the debate on her role as a Nazi propagandist. In a larger sense, the appearance of the 95-year-old Riefenstahl raises the question of whether art can be separated from politics and morality. Riefenstahl’s…

  • Billy Crystal rejects role in gala for Israel amid religious tensions

    LOS ANGELES, Aug. 20 (JTA) — Actor Billy Crystal and a number of other Hollywood celebrities have, for the time being, declined to appear at a gala celebration of Israel’s 50th anniversary. The reluctance of the popular comedian and others to lend their talents to next year’s event reflects the growing strains between large segments…

  • Jewish-Arab venture ends bid to boost Palestinian economy

    LOS ANGELES, Aug. 4 (JTA) — An ambitious joint Jewish-Arab enterprise founded to boost economic development in Palestinian self- rule areas is shutting down, a victim of the waning peace process. “We’re winding up our operations and terminating our relationship with the U.S. government,” said Joseph DeSutter, executive director of Builders for Peace. “For all…

  • Upcoming Brad Pitt movie sparks uproar over hero’s early Nazi ties

    LOS ANGELES, July 22 (JTA) — Only after actor Brad Pitt and his producers completed shooting the upcoming film, “Seven Years in Tibet,” did they make an embarrassing discovery. The hero of the movie — Austrian mountaineer, explorer and human rights activist Heinrich Harrer — is also a one-time member of Hitler’s SA stormtroopers and…

  • Shoah video archive project behind schedule on interviews

    LOS ANGELES, July 8 (JTA) — Steven Spielberg’s massive Holocaust video archive project is falling short of its goal to assemble 50,000 interviews with survivors by the year’s end. Michael Berenbaum, who heads the project, accepts responsibility for the shortfall and says it is a result of changes in interviewing techniques and in expanding the…

  • Rhodes Jewish community featured in documentary film

    LOS ANGELES, April 2 (JTA) — Every summer, more than 100 Jewish immigrants from Rhodes, with their Los Angeles-born children and grandchildren, take the ferry to the island of Catalina, Calif. There, they frolic on the beaches and feast on the home-baked delicacies of their ancestral Mediterranean island. The outing is like a voyage into…