Rebecca Spence


Hopes Dashed as Obama Avoids Calling Mass Killings of Armenians ‘Genocide’

By Rebecca Spence

This year, on Armenian Remembrance Day — when the mass killing of more than 1 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire is commemorated — Armenian-American activists had high hopes that a president who ran on a message of change would indeed change the pattern of previous administrations. That is, they hoped President Obama would use the term “genocide” to describe the human tragedy that occurred nearly a century ago.Read More


Wagner’s ‘Ring’ Strikes a Jarring but Muted Chord in L.A.

By Rebecca Spence

Wagner’s ‘Ring’ Strikes a Jarring but Muted Chord in L.A.
When the Los Angeles Opera launches its most ambitious project to date — a 10-week citywide festival celebrating Richard Wagner’s “The Ring,” which will culminate in a massive production of the epic opera — not everyone will be celebrating.Read More


Leading Combatant in Gay Marriage Fight To Head Southern California Rabbis

By Rebecca Spence

Leading Combatant in Gay Marriage Fight To Head Southern California Rabbis
When Denise Eger assumes the leadership of this region’s local rabbinic association, she’ll be making history — twice over.Read More


Government Grant Helps California Synagogues Find Eternal Sunshine of the Holy Kind

By Rebecca Spence

In 1897, two New York policemen disrupted a public ceremony marking the Blessing of the Sun and dragged a rabbi down to court for failing to have a permit. More than a century later, on the opposite coast, government officials are not only giving a similar ceremony their blessing — they are also putting money behind a new environmental program in its honor.Read More


Hollywood’s Spring Fling With Blooming Israeli Actresses

By Rebecca Spence

In Hollywood, Israeli actresses are stealing the show. No fewer than three Israeli starlets will be appearing in major American studio releases over the next month, while others are scooping up roles on television shows and in theater productions. Ayelet Zurer plays the female lead in the forthcoming “Da Vinci Code” sequel, “Angels & Demons,” while Noa Tishby has a smaller part in the romantic comedy “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.” A former Miss Israel, Gal Gadot, is appearing in the fourth installment of Vin Diesel’s cars and babes franchise, “Fast & Furious,” and onstage, Meital Dohan, known for her role in the Showtime series “Weeds,” recently appeared in the Los Angeles run of the play “Stitching.”Read More






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  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
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  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
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  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
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