CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 2013 |
It took Eddie Goldstein's dying for me to finally wear a yarmulke. Grateful for a bobby pin, I somehow kept it from slipping off as I scribbled on a notebook in a funeral chapel at a Jewish cemetery in Boyle Heights. Three days before, I had gotten an email from one of his granddaughters. "It is with a heavy heart that I email you to inform you that my grandpa (the last Jewish man of Boyle Heights) has passed today," Crystal Vargas wrote. One of his brothers showed up at the chapel on Wednesday morning, along with two Jewish nieces and a nephew.
August 22, 2012 |
The fact that the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony is making a big deal out of its 18th anniversary concert on Sunday at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre - and isn't sure whether it will treat its 20th as a special occasion - is just the latest unique happenstance flowing from Noreen Green's decision to strike up an orchestra different from all other orchestras. Her idea of forming an ensemble that follows Jewish threads through the classical and pops traditions has had enough staying power to reach a milestone that is itself uniquely Jewish.
January 13, 2012 |
It may not sound like it, but "In Heaven, Underground: The Weissensee Jewish Cemetery" is a playful, poetic and all-around charming documentary, an off-center look at an unusual institution. That would be Berlin's Weissensee, a 130-year-old veritable necropolis whose 115,000 graves make it the largest such establishment still in use in Europe. Yes, one of its administrators admits, there are a lot of dead people around, "but they don't hurt you. It's very peaceful. " It's also quite beautiful, a fully mature 100-acre forest in what was once East Berlin, and director Britta Wauer, working with cinematographer Kasper Kopke, has included numerous moments of random, unexpected beauty.
October 29, 2010 |
Battles of wills between divorced couples are nothing new, but "Nora's Will" adds a delicious twist. The struggle in this poignant and tremendously appealing film features a man who fights a stubborn rear-guard action against his dead ex-wife's final wishes and in the process learns more than he anticipates about his family and himself. Under its original title, "Cinco Dias Sin Nora" (Five Days Without Nora), this film was a great success in Mexico, winning seven Ariels, the Mexican Oscar, including best film, original screenplay and a pair of acting awards.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 2009 |
Operators of a Jewish cemetery in Mission Hills allegedly broke open concrete interment vaults and discarded or lost human remains as they made room for additional decedents, attorneys asserted Monday. A class-action lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday against Eden Memorial Park and its parent company, Service Corporation International, alleges that the cemetery attempted to improperly squeeze plots together for profit, breaking existing vaults and moving or discarding remains in the process.
October 25, 2008 |
Vandals rampaged through a sprawling Jewish cemetery in Bucharest, toppling tombstones and smashing markers for as many as 200 graves. Jewish leaders said the scale of the destruction suggested the activity was organized. Other graves have been vandalized in Jewish cemeteries in recent years, but those attacks occurred in the provinces, and were more limited in scope. Romania's Justice Ministry promised an investigation. More than 40,000 Jews are buried in the cemetery in south Bucharest, including some victims of the Holocaust.