Media people

Up close with Claude Brodesser-Akner

ClaudeCouple of good profiles in this week's Jewish Journal. One updates Claude Brodesser-Akner, who has turned "The Business" on KCRW into a weekly success (and got out of Fishbowl LA at the right time.) His day job is now Los Angeles bureau chief of Advertising Age, but the story focuses on his travels through journalism and, for the Jewish readership, his public conversion after meeting Taffy Akner. "Brodesser was someone who thought he might never get married or have children, but, as he put it, 'I met my wife and it was kapow!' And so, as reported in a New York Times article about their wedding, former Catholic school boy Brodesser, the son of a 'father conscripted at age 14 into the German army near the end of World War II,' and former yeshiva student Akner, the granddaughter of 'a survivor of the concentration camp at Dachau'...were married in 2006." The longer cover profile looks at Rabbi Abraham David Cooper, the associate dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center who was drafted last year to witness the peace treaty signed by founding elders of the Bloods and the Crips. He is the lesser known force at the center, while the public face is Rabbi Marvin Hier.

While Hier is the ultimate decision maker and both men respond interchangeably, and instantly, to the endless real or perceived crises facing Israel and the Jewish people around the globe, Cooper does have specific areas of responsibility and expertise.

One is interfaith relations; another is the burgeoning area of cyberspace. Cooper testified before Congress as long as six years ago that the increasing sophistication of Internet propaganda by hate groups, white supremacists and Islamic extremists was exerting growing influence among younger people.

Also in the issue: Live in the Hood columnist David Suissa reports on the heated community response to plans for changing Pico and Olmpic to one-way boulevards. And rumors of the Prime Grill's demise in Beverly Hills are not true — it will remain an upscale kosher restaurant.

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