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  • 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…

  • Jewish boy in California arrested for cross burning

    LOS ANGELES, June 3 (JTA) — A 15-year-old Jewish boy has been arrested in connection with a cross burning on his parents’ lawn, an incident police had labeled as a hate crime. As a juvenile, the boy has not been identified, but in an interview he told the Orange County Register that he participated in…

  • Cemetery of stars saved from bankruptcy

    LOS ANGELES, April 21 (JTA) — The last resting place for some of the most famous Jewish stars has been saved from bankruptcy. Tyler Cassity, a St. Louis cemetery operator, bought Beth Olam Cemetery, the Jewish section of the century-old Hollywood Memorial Park, for $375,000 after two years of failed rescue attempts. The sale was…

  • Family of Monica Lewinsky belongs to California temple

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25 (JTA) — Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern alleged to have had an affair with President Clinton, is the daughter of a prominent Los Angeles Jewish physician. Dr. Bernard S. Lewinsky and Monica’s mother, Marcia, joined Sinai Temple, an upscale West Los Angeles Conservative synagogue, in the mid-1970s, and Monica…

  • 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…

  • Wiesenthal Center film on Holocaust wins Oscar

    LOS ANGELES, March 24 (JTA) — The headline honors went to “Titanic” and the stars of “As Good as It Gets,” but two Oscars in less glamorous categories illustrated the Holocaust’s impact on filmmakers. “The Long Way Home” took the prize for best documentary feature. The film, produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, chronicles the…

  • ISRAEL AT 50 Israel’s anniversary bash recalls Truman’s bold move

    LOS ANGELES, May 5 (JTA) —On May 12, 1948, two days before David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence, a tense meeting of momentous importance to the survival of the nascent Jewish state took place in the White House Oval Office. At stake was whether the United States would recognize the as-yet unnamed State of Israel and…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Sephardi immigrants boost Austrian Jewish community

    VIENNA, April 21 (JTA) — “You seem to be a nice guy. What are you doing living in Austria?” That’s a question Paul Grosz, the president of Vienna’s Jewish community, says he now expects from foreign visitors. “It’s not taboo for a Jew in London or New York to say I’m British or I’m American,…

  • 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…

  • Jerry Seinfeld makes wish come true for Israeli child

    LOS ANGELES, March 26 (JTA) — When 13-year-old Eyal Bir spent most of last year at an Israeli hospital for treatment of acute leukemia, the ordeal was brightened by regularly watching the “Seinfeld” show. So when the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which fulfills the requests of children with life-threatening illnesses, asked Eyal for his biggest wish, the…