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Home Authors Articles by Julie Gruenbaum Fax

Julie Gruenbaum Fax

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Four Siblings—Aged 95, 97, 99, and 100—Record “Last Chance Testimony” Stories of Survival

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Sally Singer, Anne Novak, Sol Fink, and Ruth Zimmer, all of whom live in Winnipeg, Canada, are likely the oldest living set of Holocaust survivor siblings anywhere in the world.

Attack on Ukraine Summons Haunting Echoes of the Past

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As the world watches in horror as millions of Ukrainians resist, take shelter or flee from Russian attacks, news reports stir up connections to a haunting past.

It Took 50 Years For Father and Son to Tell This Story Together

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For Joel’s entire childhood, his father, Nathan Poremba, had deflected Joel’s persistent questions about World War II.

Iraqi Survivor Ruth Pearl, 85, Fostered Harmony and Understanding in Memory of Son Daniel...

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Ruth Pearl, mother of slain Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl and co-founder and CFO of The Daniel Pearl Foundation, died this week at...

Rabbi Joseph Bronner, 97, Leader in Los Angeles and South Africa

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Rabbi Joseph Bronner, a distinguished teacher and community leader, died at the age of 97 last month. For many years, Rabbi Bronner taught a weekly...

A view from the women’s section on Orthodox spiritual leadership

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I have a vivid memory of sitting in my yeshiva high school principal’s office, imploring him to start teaching the girls Mishnah and Gemara, to offer a little more respect to our intellects and our souls by giving us access to all the Jewish texts that form the basis of our heritage, of what we were expected to live every day.

From Russia, with love

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Jill Cooper Lefferman doesn’t like surprises, and especially not at her daughter Maia’s bat mitzvah, where she planned every detail, from Maia’s reading from the 100-year-old Cooper family Torah to the handcrafted, color-coordinated, Maia-inspired, donatable centerpieces.

The Mensch List: Two-person army for their autistic son

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Just try asking Connie and Harvey Lapin to recap 44 years as parent activists in the world of autism. In hyperactive tag-team, the couple bursts forth with stories and ideas, only to interrupt themselves and one another with still more anecdotes, ideas and accomplishments.

The Mensch List: The art of healing

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“By the way, I forgot to mention,” Georgia Freedman-Harvey said at the end of a long interview, “I was a bone marrow donor for a stranger 10 years ago.” That Freedman-Harvey physically gave of herself wasn’t a surprising revelation.

Federation re-evaluating Board of Rabbis

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When Rabbi Mark Diamond was honored for his 12 years of service to the Board of Rabbis of Southern California during a farewell lunch a few weeks ago, colleagues from synagogues from across the city and spanning denominations hugged and chatted, catching up on everything, both personal and professional. “One of the strengths of the Board of Rabbis is that people know each other,” said Rabbi Denise L. Eger, immediate past president of the region’s only cross-denominational rabbinic professional organization and spiritual leader of Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood.

Schools amp up safety precautions following Sandy Hook tragedy

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When Sarah Shulkind, head of school at Sinai Akiba Academy in Westwood, was a child in Winnetka, Ill., a woman walked into the elementary school four blocks from Shulkind’s house and opened fire, killing one student and injuring five, as well as a college student.

Rabbi Sheryl Lewart dies at 65

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Rabbi Sheryl Lewart, who served as associate rabbi at Kehillat Israel (KI) in Pacific Palisades, died Nov. 30 at the age 65 after a second battle with breast cancer.

New Fishel Fellowship

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John Fishel says one of his favorite parts of his 17-year tenure as president and CEO of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles was visiting communities around the world, where he could tap into his background as an anthropologist and social worker to determine how Jews in Los Angeles could have a global impact.

A Chaplain’s calling: ‘It drew me in’

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For Rabbi Jason Weiner, his one-year chaplaincy internship at Beth Israel Medical Center on New York’s Lower East Side was a not-so-pleasant requirement while he was a rabbinic student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah.

Cedars-Sinai’s chaplaincy program puts spirituality on the medical charts

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Usually, the frantic words, “Someone get the rabbi!” uttered in a hospital room mean only one thing. So Debbie Marcus burst into tears when Rabbi Jason Weiner was summoned to her grandfather’s room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in July 2008.

Rabbi Sharon Brous vs. Rabbi Daniel Gordis: Betrayal or compassion?

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When Rabbi Sharon Brous first read an essay by Rabbi Daniel Gordis, a colleague and former teacher, accusing her of betraying Israel, she was shocked and angry, she said. Nevertheless, her initial instinct was to refrain from feeding the publicity machine.

Rebooting Bubbie

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Who’s your bubbie? When it comes to food, she might not be the short, Yiddish-speaking grandmother that comes to mind.

Brous, Gordis exchange heated words on Israel

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Rabbi Sharon Brous, leader of <a href="http://ikar-la.org ">Ikar, a spiritual and social activism community in Los Angeles, and her colleague and friend of many...

Richard Sandler: A philanthropic life

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In 2007, when philanthropist Stanley Gold was asked to become board chair of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, he knew he would need an effective partner to accomplish the reinvention of Federation he envisioned.

Fighting for religious pluralism in Israel

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The arrest of Israeli feminist Anat Hoffman at the Western Wall last month sent ripples of alarm across the Jewish world, and leaders in Los Angeles will address their concerns about religious pluralism in Israel to Los Angeles’ Israeli Consul General in a public forum Nov. 26 at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills.

LA leaders find inspiration at innovative special needs programs for adults in Israel

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Eliza Wilson’s holy moment in Israel didn’t come at the Western Wall. Sure, the 21-year-old with autism was honored and moved to place a note in the Wall on behalf of the 40 people traveling with her on a mission to learn about Israel’s programs for adults with special needs.

Cheers turn to jeers at GOP event

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Amid life-sized cutouts of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, Republicans gathered in a backroom at the Daily Grill in Santa Monica on Tuesday night to watch Fox News election returns on two large screens. The mood was festive as the evening kicked off with drinks and appetizers and the waiters set down oversized plates of pasta and chicken on tables decorated with red, white and blue tinsel centerpieces.

JFS announces program, staffing cuts

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Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles (JFS) announced layoffs in some areas and expansion in other areas of its operation Oct. 16, saying it was looking to position JFS for success as it responds to shifts in how programs are funded.

Rabbi Mark Diamond: From Board of Rabbis to AJC

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After 12 years as the top professional at the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, Rabbi Mark Diamond took his post this week as director of the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Los Angeles chapter, the local arm of the more than century-old global Jewish advocacy group.

Rabbi reverses interfaith marriage policy

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It’s not often that a rabbi’s High Holy Days sermon is interrupted by a standing ovation. But that is what happened — twice — when Rabbi John Rosove, senior rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood, dedicated his sermon on the first day of Rosh Hashanah to explaining why he was changing a long-held position and would from now on officiate at interfaith weddings.

A Torah falls, a shul bonds

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There was a crack and a gasp and then a murmur that traveled in a wave back through the rows of seats at Temple Beth Am’s Library Minyan on the first day of Rosh Hashanah.

Ariela’s legacy gives others direction, purpose

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Aviva Dese believes that without the Ariela Foundation, she’d probably be back in Nazareth Ilit, the factory town in the Galilee where she grew up, maybe with a low-paying assembly-line job, or maybe still wondering, like so many of her friends, what to do with her life.

‘The Ariela Foundation’: A family in grief chooses life

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In July, Ivonne Goldberg was at the park with her 3-year-old son, Mikey, and with Nofar Mekonen, a sunny 14-year-old girl visiting from Israel. Nofar was chatting on and on about her trip to Los Angeles, her family, her school.

Shalhevet looks for financial security in property sale

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Shalhevet high school is close to finalizing a deal to sell more than half of its 2.4 acres to a property developer who plans to build an apartment complex on the lot at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard. The plan will put Shalhevet on firmer financial footing, head of school Ari Segal told the Boiling Point, Shalhevet’s school newspaper. The school currently carries heavy debt and has limited funds for capital improvements and programming, Segal said.

LimmudLA honors founders

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LimmudLA honored its founders, Linda Fife and Shep Rosenman, in an evening of dinner, music and study on Sunday, Sept. 9, at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens. LimmudLA is the local outlet of an international model of interdisciplinary, interdenominational, no-boundaries Jewish conferences and events. Founded in the United Kingdom more than 30 years ago, Limmud now conducts 60 conferences in 30 countries, all of them almost entirely run by volunteers.
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