May 27, 1999

Open Discussions

Los Angeles, as always, attracted a variety of interesting visitors in recent days. The Jewish Journal couldn\’t meet all of them, but we made contact with a group of German journalists and government officials, the former executive editor of The New York Times, and the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations.

The Meaning of Marriage

Late spring in Los Angeles: cool, foggy mornings, with sun breaking through around midday. The strawberries are sweet and luscious; the gardens are full of roses. It\’s the season of simchas. Our calendars are crowded with graduations and family parties, but most of all with weddings.

New Israel Fund Honors Rabbi Susan Laemmle

Last week, Rabbi Richard Levy, executive director of the Los Angeles Hillel Council, introduced to the Central Conference of American Rabbis in Pittsburgh a new Reform movement manifesto. And according to Rabbi Susan Laemmle, that\’s not his only contribution to Reform. For without Rabbi Levy — her mentor and former superior — there may never have been a Rabbi Laemmle.

Enter the New Prime Minister: Ehud Barak

Two decades ago, after hearing the then-Col. Ehud Barak deliver a eulogy for a fallen comrade, popular Israeli poet Haim Guri predicted: \”One day, this man will be prime minister.\” On May 17, Israel\’s voters proved him right. Barak was elected by a landslide, his 56 percent to 44 percent for the right-wing incumbent, Binyamin Netanyahu — the younger brother of the man Barak eulogized in 1976, Yonatan Netanyahu, who was killed rescuing a planeload of hijacked passengers at Entebbe airport.

My Brother’s Keeper

My brother, who at 70 is younger than me by two years, has a world-class collection of the mysteries of Agatha Christie and a complete set of the novels of Anthony Trollope. They are being joined, gradually, by the Greek historians and Galsworthy\’s Forsythe Saga.

No Longer Alone

Murray Cohen and his wife of 52 years, Lillian, were both Holocaust survivors. Since Lillian\’s death nine months ago, Murray spends most of his days inside. Without the attention of his daughter Barbara, Murray would hardly eat, shower or speak.

The Meaning of Loehmann’s RIP

Whatever the rest of America made of last week\’s news that Loehmann\’s discount department store is declaring bankruptcy, for American Jewish women, it is very, very sad.

Israel’s Great Divide

As the election dust settles and coalition-building tensions grow, religion is emerging as the single most dominant factor in Israel\’s current political cataclysm.

L.A. Culture: Alive and Well

What is going on at the LA County Museum of Art? The museum\’s new Institute for Art and Cultures, which convenes painters, poets, artists and performers, writers and thinkers to \”address critical issues in the visual arts and culture through rigorous and playful discussions, performances and debates,\” has landed in our midst and overnight become a central presence. The Institute also happens to be reminding the rest of us that LA Culture exits.

Good As Gold

When the editors of Gourmet named Jonathan Gold the magazine\’s restaurant critic, an obvious question came to mind: Why don\’t they just stick a fork in our hearts? To his fans in Los Angeles, losing Jonathan Gold cannot hurt much less.

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