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  • Invite to prominent journalist sparks flap between ADL and ZOA

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3 (JTA) — When the Anti-Defamation League’s regional chapter hosts its annual dinner-dance here on Sunday, the usual good fellowship will be spiced by a controversy over the evening’s keynote speaker. He is Thomas Friedman, the New York Times’ well-known foreign affairs columnist, whose appearance has been sharply attacked by Morton Klein,…

  • Leading Conservative rabbi steps up conversion efforts

    LOS ANGELES, Jan. 15 (JTA) — The query came to Rabbi Harold Schulweis by e-mail. “I am an 86-year old man and I want to become a Jew,” said the sender. “But I am worried about having to be circumcised.” Schulweis responded, in part: “Abraham was 90 when he was circumcised, so you have four…

  • Galilee Orchestra joint project of Israeli Arab, Jewish musicians

    LOS ANGELES, April 20 (JTA) — Shortly after the Israeli-Palestinian peace process got underway, composer Nabil Azzam met with Yasser Arafat and offered the Palestinian leader a new national anthem for his nascent Palestinian Authority. The anthem, the Christian Arab from Nazareth proposed, would include strains from Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, to symbolize the…

  • Israeli diplomats advised on dealing with U.S. media

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 8 (JTA) — Sitting around a table, a dozen Israeli consuls, representing their country across the United States, listened intently as Alan Rappoport explained how to deal with the American media. “Keep it short. Formulate your message in 45 seconds,” said Rappoport, a media consultant. “Avoid jargon. Think before you talk. Know…

  • Times columnist addresses ADL despite efforts to thwart event

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 10 (JTA) — New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said this week that efforts to prevent him from addressing an Anti-Defamation League function were “not about my views, but whether certain elements can tell us what to think and who has the right to talk.” “I can take care of myself,” Friedman…

  • Canada knowingly admitted SS members after World War II

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4 (JTA) — The Canadian government, with British complicity, admitted more than 2,000 members of a notorious Ukrainian Waffen-SS division in 1950, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has charged. In a related case, the CBS news program “60 Minutes” reported that about 1,000 SS men and Nazi collaborators, mainly from the Baltic states,…

  • Reform lay leadership averts showdown with rabbinic body

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 16 (JTA) — The lay leadership of the American Reform Judaism movement has avoided a potential confrontation with its rabbinic arm on the issue of intermarriage. Some 200 trustees of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations overwhelmingly rejected a resolution that would have urged the Central Conference of American Rabbis to rescind…

  • “Schindler’s List” to appear commercial-free on television

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 11 (JTA) — Thanks to the Ford Motor Co., “Schindler’s List” will appear commercial-free on network television. NBC-TV will air the three-hour film on Feb. 23, in prime time, the first time the film is appearing on television. The Oscar-winning film, which its creator, Steven Spielberg, expected to be a money-losing labor…

  • Jewish characters, actors prominent in two new films

    LOS ANGELES, Dec. 23 (JTA) — Hollywood is ringing in the new year with two films of more than passing Jewish interest. “I’m Not Rappaport,” Herb Gardner’s bittersweet comedy about two octogenarians, one Jewish and the other black, has lost none of its pungency in its translation from stage to screen. Gardner adapted his 1985…

  • Film depicts Swedish pilgrims in Jerusalem during 19th century

    LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13 (JTA) — In 1896, some 40 men, women and children from a small village in northern Sweden sold their farms and worldly belongings to live in the holy city of Jerusalem and serve God. What possessed these people to pull up centuries-old roots and venture to an unknown and barren land?…