California

Hollywood legend gunned down in car

By Jennifer Lipman, November 17, 2010

A legendary Jewish Hollywood publicist was shot and killed in Beverly Hills on her way home from the premiere of the new Christina Aguilera film.

Ronni Chasen, 64, who represented stars including Natalie Wood and Morgan Freeman, was found dead in her car after being shot several times in the chest.

She was driving down Sunset Boulevard at the time, and police found the car crashed into a lamppost.

Hours earlier she had been mingling with celebrities at the opening night of the Cher film Burlesque.

Born in New York, she founded the Chasen & Company publicity firm.

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Clint Eastwood and British director honoured at Los Angeles gala

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

The work of a Jewish filmmaker has been honoured alongside actor Clint Eastwood at a Los Angeles awards ceremony.

British-born writer and director Joshua Newton was praised for his Holocaust thriller Iron Cross at the Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival.

The film received one of two awards from the museum. The other was given to Mr Eastwood for "encouraging tolerance, justice and human rights" through his work.

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San Francisco could vote on circumcision ban

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

An American activist has launched a bid to ban the circumcision of baby boys in San Francisco.

Lloyd Schofield said that the practice was “genital mutilation”. He is hoping to gain the 7,100 signatures needed for the proposal to go on a San Francisco ballot.

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US mid-terms: the Jewish winners and losers

By Jennifer Lipman, November 3, 2010

It was a mixed result for Jewish politicians as America voted in the 2010 mid-terms.

In what appears to have been the worst results in decades for the Democrats, President Barack Obama’s party has lost its majority in the House of Representatives and suffered defeats in key senate seats.

Richard Blumenthal, despite a tough challenge from the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, and a scandal over his claimed Vietnam record, was elected as the new junior Senator for Connecticut.

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Take me on? You don’t have the guts

By Jessica Elgot and Jennifer Lipman, October 27, 2010

Nearly 300 members of the far right English Defence League were joined in London on Sunday by an American rabbi for a demonstration planned “to oppose Islamic fascism”.

Speaking outside the Israeli Embassy, Rabbi Nachum Shifren, a supporter of the American Tea Party movement, said he was there as someone “who loves freedom”.

Rabbi Shifren, who is standing for the state senate in California, said: “To all my Jewish brothers who have called me a Nazi…I say to them, they don’t have the guts to stand up here and take care of business.”

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Rabbi appears via video-link

By Jay Grenby, October 14, 2010

A little matter like the 5,000 miles temporarily separating Rabbi Pete Tobias from his religion school pupils at The Liberal Synagogue Elstree wasn't going to stop him taking the weekly service. Despite his absence from Hertfordshire on a visit to his son in Los Angeles, it was thanks to the power of the internet, and a devotion to duty which saw him rise at 4.15 am, California time, that the minister was able to lead the 15-minute service which concludes the Sunday morning sessions.

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Holocaust-era deportation archives to be opened

By Jennifer Lipman, August 31, 2010

Records of Jewish people who were deported from France during the Holocaust are to be revealed following a landmark decision by California legislators.

The French state train company SNCF is expected to place a bid to construct a high-speed railway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

But last week, in a bill sponsored by Jewish lawmaker Bob Blumenfield, the California state legislature ruled that all companies bidding for the project had to disclose whether they had a direct role in Holocaust transportation between 1942 and 1944.

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San Francisco row over Israel support

By Sue Fishkoff, June 3, 2010

The famously left-wing San Francisco community is embroiled in a dispute over how much criticism of Israel it should support.

In February, the city's Jewish Community Federation, which is the community's main funding body and umbrella group, announced new funding guidelines regarding Israel.

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Brittany Murphy’s husband to quit LA

By Robyn Rosen, March 4, 2010

The British husband of actress Brittany Murphy will be moving out of their £5 million Hollywood home after being left out of her will - which he says was his choice.

Ms Murphy, the star of Clueless died last year of pneumonia at the Los Angeles home she shared with Simon Monjack, 39, and her mother, Sharon.

This week it was revealed that she had left all of her assets, including her house, to her mother. She and Mr Monjack are now expected to relocate to New York and share custody of Brittany's Maltese puppy, Clara.

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