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The Uncivil Servant: Full Disclosure, She Wrote a Note to My Son

THE WONDERFUL WORK OF MAIRA KALMAN by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: Hey Willy, See the Pyramids by Maira Kalman, New York Review Children’s Collection, 2017; Max Makes a Million by Maira Kalman, New York Review Children’s Collection, 2017; Ooh-la-la (Max in Love) by Maira Kalman, New York Review Children’s Collection, 2018; Max in Hollywood, Baby by Maira Kalman, […]

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Spy vs. Spy: Anti-Nazi Undercover Work in L.A.

by Dusty Sklar Discussed in this essay: Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots against Hollywood and America, by Steven J. Ross. Bloomsbury Books, 2017, 432 pages.   ADOLF HITLER’S determination to wipe out the planet’s Jews was aimed at America as well, according to Steven J. Ross, professor of history at the University of […]

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Jenji Kohan

Jenji Kohan, the creator of TV’s “Weeds” and “Orange Is the New Black,” was born in Los Angeles to a show biz family on this date in 1969. She has also worked as a writer or producer on “The Gilmore Girls,” “Mad About You,” “Tracey Takes On . . .” and several other shows, and has […]

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Ari Levine and the Smeezingtons

Songwriter, sound engineer, and producer Ari Levine, part of the trio (with Bruno Mars and Philip Lawrence) of hitmakers known as the Smeezingtons, was born on this date in 1984. The Smeezingtons were active from 2009 to 2014 and produced hits for the Sugarbees, Snoop Dogg, Flo Rida, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, and Cee-Lo Green, […]

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February 18: Wallace Berman’s Assemblage Art

Wallace Berman, who pioneered “assemblage” art, introduced elements of kabbalistic symbolism to his work, and appeared on the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album, died on his 50th birthday on this date in 1976 in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Berman lived most of his life in southern California, where he […]

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January 31: Sweatshop-Free but Stained

Dov Charney, the founder of American Apparel, a trend-spotting clothing company that pioneered a “Made in the USA,” sweatshop-free model of manufacturing, was born in Montreal on this date in 1969. Charney founded his brand in 1991, paid his factory workers between $13 and $18 per hour, and offered them low-cost, full-family healthcare — benefits […]

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September 29: The O.J. Simpson Trial

The murder trial of football star O.J. Simpson went to the jury on this date in 1995. Jews involved in the case, apart from Ron Goldman, one of the two murder victims, included District Attorney Marcia Clark, who lost the case and then wrote a bestseller about it, and several defense lawyers: Robert Shapiro, who […]

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Kvetching about Judaism in “Café Society”

by Elliot B. Gertel WHILE WOODY ALLEN’S movies can be formulaic, this has rarely prevented him from telling a good story and providing interesting characters. But except for the fine cast and the enchanting luster provided by new production partner cinematographer, Vittorio Storaro, Café Society comes across simply as a checklist for many a Woody […]

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Jewish Currents in Venice, California

Jewish Currents will be celebrated on Sunday, May 8th, at the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice with a reading of contemporary Jewish poetry and an exhibit of some artworks by the magazine’s editor, Lawrence Bush. The program will start at 4 p.m. As editor of the 70-year-old progressive quarterly, Bush will discuss its […]

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March 19: Eugene Selznick, Volleyball Champ

Eugene Selznick, who was captain of the United States men’s national volleyball team from 1953 to 1967, was born in Los Angeles on this date in 1930. He also coached women’s volleyball teams that won national titles and helped popularize the game of beach volleyball, which “is to Los Angeles what stickball once was to […]

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