Home Authors Articles by Ellen Jaffe-Gill
As a youngster in Calgary, she was the Yiddish valedictorian of her high school. As a theater major in Edmonton, she was "the first...
Madame Butterfly,\" the story of a trusting 19th-century Japanese girl who falls in love with a fickle American naval officer, first captivated American audiences in 1900 as a play by impresario David Belasco.
Vanessa Paloma\'s performance at the 200-year-old mission is one highlight of the 2005 World Festival of Sacred Music, which will be spread out among many Los Angeles locations over a two-week period beginning Saturday.
My husband was called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah in 2001, more or less on the sixth anniversary of his conversion to Judaism. People started asking Spencer when he was going to have a bar mitzvah when his hair was barely dry from the mikvah.
It\'s erev Shabbat, and this joint is jumpin\'. As dusk deepens, seniors who have just emerged from a talk on globalization mingle with new arrivals in the lobby of Temple Emanuel\'s school building on Burton Way in Beverly Hills, where "Cafe Synaplex" has been set up.
With her slender figure, long, shining strawberry-blonde hair and big hazel eyes, Alison Wissot looks more like a stage ingénue than most people\'s conceptions of a cantor -- not surprising, since that\'s what she was 10 years ago. Wissot\'s cantorial career is off to a brilliant start: Less than three years after graduating from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion\'s School of Sacred Music in New York, she is filling the largest Reform cantorial pulpit in the San Fernando Valley, the 1,300-household Temple Judea in Tarzana and West Hills.
Zubin Mehta, one of Southern California\'s favorite musicmakers, will return to his old stomping grounds Dec. 10 to conduct the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra\'s (IPO) first Los Angeles concert in three years.
Netivot, the women\'s Torah study institute, will begin a program next month on a subject not often associated with Orthodoxy: bat mitzvah.
Today, the 377 women in Reform\'s Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) constitute about 20 percent of Reform rabbis -- closer to 25 percent when retired and inactive rabbis aren\'t counted -- up from about 10 percent in 1991. Currently, there are 246 Reconstructionist rabbis, 45 percent of whom are women.
Women form slightly more than 11 percent of the RA\'s membership today, with both JTS and the University of Judaism (UJ) ordaining them as rabbis.
West Side and South Bay parents who send their teenagers to Los Angeles Hebrew High School (LAHHS) had to contend with some extra miles and a longer school day this week as the program moved its Sunday classes from the University of Judaism (UJ) to Pierce College.
Ten years ago, it was a first -- and it\'s still an only. When Noreen Green established the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony (LAJS) in 1993, Los Angeles became the only city in the world with a resident symphony orchestra devoted to Jewish music, and the city maintains that unique status today.
File under Incongruities, Major: One of the latest luminaries in the world of grand opera is an Orthodox mother of four from Brooklyn.
Chayim Frenkel, cantor at Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades, conceived \"Nishmat Tzedek\" (\"A Righteous Soul\") in 1993 after his brother Tzvi, 39, died suddenly, the victim of an undetected blood disease.
The Milken Family Foundation, well-known for its philanthropy to education and medical research, has announced that it will begin to issue recordings this fall from its 13-year-old music archive project, an enormous undertaking spanning more than three centuries of American Jewish music.
Los Angeles\' three rabbinical schools will present the Jewish community with 26 freshly minted rabbis this month as the seminaries hold their ordination ceremonies.
Aside from the exposure to new music and techniques and the camaraderie of being with peers, one purpose of the convention is to explore the role of cantor as klei kodesh (literally, holy vessel), or clergy member, a position that transcends music-making, said Joseph Gole, senior cantor of Sinai Temple, a local co-chair of the convention.
Chayim Frenkel grew up in the Pico-Fairfax area, where his father, Uri Frenkel, was cantor for Judea Congregation on South Fairfax Avenue. With his mother, Shari, working as a kosher caterer, both parents were \"servants of the Jewish community,\" Frenkel told The Journal, and \"role models of what a mensch (good guy) should be.\"
Not all Chanukah music is kiddie music -- even when it\'s played by kids. On Sunday, Dec. 1, the Skirball Cultural Center will host the West Coast premiere of Russell Steinberg\'s suite, "Lights On!"
What you notice in almost every shot is the hair: abundant, snow-white, carefully coiffed. It\'s an apt metaphor for Jacques Derrida\'s mind, which is prolific with ideas, yet well-ordered and consistent in its probity and depth. In a new documentary, filmmakers Amy Ziering Kofman and Kirby Dick make arresting cinema from the mind, memories and habits of a man whose life has been devoted to thought. Derrida, a Jew born in Algeria in 1930, is identified with deconstructionism, a system of thought that challenges established assumptions about the knowledge of what is true and real. But the 85-minute film is far from a static parade of talking heads. Exposition of Derrida\'s ideas comes mostly through voice-over readings from his books that accompany shots of the philosopher walking from one place to another or scenes of a gritty, industrial Paris rushing past a moving car.
A Turkish-born cantor will bring tunes of his Sephardi heritage to a festival next week celebrating Southern California\'s religious diversity.
Singer-pianist-archivist Michael Feinstein\'s new album, his first with a symphony orchestra, is all standards and all Jewish.
Singers and lovers of Jewish music will gather in Sepulveda Pass this week for a festival celebrating Jewish choral music of the past and present.
It\'s hard to know who will suffer the greater wrench this summer: Rabbis Jackie and David Ellenson, as they leave Los Angeles, or Jewish Los Angeles for losing them.
Somebody must have perfected human cloning, because no way is Danny Maseng just one person. When the singer-songwriter-guitarist-actor-poet-dramatist-lay rabbi-teacher-visionary, who will headline the Fund for Reform Judaism\'s annual fundraiser at Temple Isaiah in Rancho Park on June 13, isn\'t performing, he may be teaching the Zohar, leading a service at his New York congregation or dashing off a new setting for a passage in Jewish liturgy. Or he might be working institutionally on innovations in Jewish arts, Jewish worship, Jewish music or Jewish camping.
It has been a training ground for hundreds of Jewish professionals, and it has caused Shabbat candles to glow in countless homes.
With pomp, ritual and the added joy that comes when a long wait precedes a happy event, the Los Angeles school of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) ordained its first rabbis May 5 at Wilshire Boulevard Temple.
People are always asking Dvora Weisberg\'s parents, \"Where did you go wrong?\"
The voice on the CD is smoky, sultry, exotic, spinning out messages of devotion in a foreign tongue. But when a reporter calls at 9 p.m. on a Monday night, the owner of that voice says, prosaically enough, "Let me turn down the TV," and the next thing coming over the wire is Peter Boyle yelling at Doris Roberts.
Thousands of Jews in Southern California, among hundreds of thousands worldwide, carry the gene for a fatal disease that\'s as prevalent as Tay-Sachs and just as devastating, but local Jewish leaders have failed to let the public know that the disorder exists -- and is now preventable.