February 5, 2004

Lessons of the Season

Imagine the Jewish calendar as three concentric circles: the Torah reading cycle, the holiday cycle and your personal life cycle.

Rewriting Lives

David Levinson, 44, has written for television, theater and feature films. He and his wife Ellen Herman, also a television writer, have crafted a good life from an unforgiving business, with a home in Hancock Park and three growing children, who, he informed me over lunch this week, are wonderful.

Picture Imperfect

Although we had never met, I knew I would have no trouble recognizing Brenda the second she walked into the Melrose Avenue bar where I sat waiting for her. After all, it was her photograph — the leonine curve of her green eyes and coquettish cap of blond curls — that compelled me to contact her on an online dating site where I happened upon her profile. We conversed via e-mail and agreed to meet in person.

Countering the Family Values Monopoly

In his State of the Union address, President Bush signaled his intent to make \”family values\” a centerpiece of the 2004 presidential campaign.

A Friendly Drink in a Time of War

A friend leaned across a bar and said, \”You call the war in Iraq an anti-fascist war. You even call it a left-wing war — a war of liberation. That language of yours. And yet, on the left, not too many people agree with you.\”

Visit to Another Israel

It\’s time we stop kidding ourselves that Israel has survived well through the last three years. The country is unraveling at the seams.

Question of Ethics

As both a Los Angeles city ethics commissioner and a Jewish community journalist, I was in a skeptical mood as I took a seat in the audience of a discussion on \”Jewish Ethical Values in the Halls of Power: From the Board Room to the Council Chamber.\”

Q & A With Steve Oney

Los Angeles writer Steve Oney\’s book, \”And the Dead Shall Rise\” (Pantheon Books, 2003), details two infamous, unsolved crimes: the 1913 murder of non-Jewish preteen Mary Phagan in an Atlanta factory and the arrest, trial, conviction, death sentence commutation and 1915 abduction and lynching by a 25-man mob of Leo Frank, the factory\’s Jewish, 29-year-old Northern-born supervisor. In 1995, on the 80th yahrtzeit of Frank\’s death, Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta, Ga., helped place a plaque on the building built on the spot where the tree used to lynch him grew. Oney, a 49-year-old former Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter, whose wife is Jewish, spent 17 years researching the 742-page book.

Producer Channels

Gays weren\’t even on the radar in Ilene Chaiken\’s Jewish community in Philadelphia back in the 1960s.

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More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.