Helen Chernikoff's blog

Feb. 27 @ The NN: Inclusion Awards In NY, Insurance Coverage In NE

UJA-Federation of New York announced its second year of awards to synagogues that have done “exemplary” work in making their spaces more inclusive of people with disabilities, according to a press release.

Ramps are necessary but not sufficient. Fotolia

Feb. 26 @ The NN: The Blind Film Critic, A Senate Hearing & More

Looming cuts to the federal budget, also known as the sequestration, could hit special needs programs hardest, at least in parts of New Jersey, reports an article in the Hillsborough Patch.

Sen. Tom Harkin

Why I Love Ash Wednesday

I live in Hoboken, a town of churches (and 1 synagogue – hi, Rabbi Scheinberg!) This small city’s Catholic character is obvious to any casual visitor, and certainly struck us strongly when we were scouting the place out and toured many apartments for sale above whose pristine beds, plumped up attractively for prospective buyers, sat crucifixes large and small. In fact, one of my neighbors has in her living room two huge portraits: one of Frank Sinatra, and one of the Pope.

A Catholic woman prays with an ash cross on her forehead in Washington, D.C. in 2012. Getty Images

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Carpool Candidate

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, the founder of the Reform movement’s congregational community organizing arm, has decided not to run for Senate in Massachusetts – and it’s tearing him up.

Rabbi Jonah Pesner

Shmuley He Ain’t? Reform Rabbi Ponders Run For Senate In MA

Another rabbi might follow Shmuley Boteach into politics, but at least on the surface, they’re very different.

Rabbi Jonah Pesner

Reform Rabbi Considering Senate Run

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, a senior vice president of the Union of Reform Judaism and the founding director of Just Congregations, the union’s community organizing arm, is considering a run for Senate as a Democrat in the Massachusetts special election to succeed John Kerry, according to the blog “Talking Politics.”

Pesner began having “exploratory conversations” about three weeks ago, and is moving forward with the process, he told the blogger, David Bernstein, who blogs for the Phoenix, a weekly newspaper and website in the Boston area.

Let's Disagree, But Not Dismiss

The end of 2012 saw an increase in arrests of women at the Western Wall who demand the right to pray there in groups, out loud and wearing prayer shawls and tefilin.

Visitors to the Western Wall leave written prayers as well. Getty Images

The Special Duty Of A Jewish Christmas Baby

Who doesn't have a story of being uncomfortably confronted with Christmas? 

Not that Jewish Christmas baby. Sheesh. Getty Images

Spoiler Alert: No Jews At Downton

When the second season of this BBC period drama about the life and loves of the aristocratic Grantham family ended, we were hoping that the third – to premiere stateside on PBS in less than a month – would boast a dash of yiddishkeit.

Baron Fellowes, middle, needs to brush up his history. Not that he cares what I think. Getty Images
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