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The Call Of The Highway

As mentioned earlier, this is the first summer in five that my family hasn't spent under the starry skies of the Catskills, and for me that means about six to eight hours a week back in my life that were often spent on the Cross Bronx Expressway, the New York Thruway, Rt. 17, and various other roadways with which I experimented. At 250 miles round trip, I estimate that I logged in the neigborhood of 10,000 miles in four summers making the trip to the blessed land of bungalows.

Does Amar'e Stoudemire Being Jewish Matter?

A shock of virtual enthusiasm ripped through the Web this week when Amar'e Stoudemire, the $100-million basketball star who recently signed with the Knicks, announced that he's Jewish.  “I am proud to be a Hebrew and embrace my Jewish background,” he told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, shortly after arriving in Israel. 

It was his first time in the country, which he was visiting to learn more about his Jewish heritage. But it is still unclear what exactly brought about his newfound interest. Ha'aretz reported that the trip was prompted by him recently learning that his mother was Jewish, but The Jerusalem Post quotes him as saying "I have been aware since my youth that I am a Hebrew through my mother."

Too Much Intermarriage Talk Even For Me

Whew! The Washington Post’s On Faith blog has invited an exhausting 16 (and no space for yours truly?!) panelists to weigh in on interfaith marriage: thumbs up, thumbs down or neutral. OK, the questions are actually a little more thoughtful:

New Media Conference: One-Man Effort Outpaces Organized Jewish Community

Attention Jewish organizations looking to learn more about social media (and who isn’t?): be sure Dave Weinberg is on your radar.

The 28-year-old resident of Silver Spring, Md. single-handedly conceived of and put together an impressive conference in New York yesterday, billed as The Future of Jewish Non-Profit Summit, and attended by about 100 people in person -- and many more on Twitter and Facebook.

Mega Singles Event for the Mega Serious

“Ask yourself this question: Do you really want to get married?” read the invitation for a singles party in Jerusalem.

“If the answer is NO then carry on going to all those parties, Shabbat meals, lectures, supermarket aisles…”

Ahem! Supermarket aisles? Am I missing something here or is this some kind of veiled reference to that cheesy Dan Fogelberg song from the ‘80s where he meets his old lover in the grocery store, as in, “I stole behind her in the frozen foods and I touched her on the sleeve…”

Minister & Rabbi At Chelsea's Wedding?

 My friend Rabbi Jason Miller has scooped me (and apparently everyone else) on this weekend's Chelsea-Marc festivities. If Rabbi Miller's "good authority" is correct, a Methodist minister and a rabbi will be co-officiating at the ceremony.

Steven M. Cohen: The Single Greatest Threat To Intermarried Jews? (Just Kidding, Steve -- Please Don't Sue For Libel!)

 I recently spent a lovely day at Eden Village Camp, a Jewish environmental sleep-away camp in which kids get to — among other activities — milk goats, feed chickens, pick vegetables and make smoothies using a bike-powered blender.

The Man Booker Prize and Howard Jacobson, the British Philip Roth

Hats off to Howard Jacobson, often dubbed "the British Philip Roth," who was long-listed yesterday for the Man Booker Prize in Fiction.  While his book, "The Finkler Question," a comic novel about three single Jewish intellectuals, has not been released in the States yet, it's already made a big splash in the UK.  It's reception is worth noting too, in light of the recent uptick in concern over British anti-Semitism.

Beyond Chelsea And Marc

 Granted, the interfaith wedding on most people's minds these days is  Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky's, scheduled for this Saturday evening.

Fishing Rod, Flashlight, Bug Spray, Abuse Prevention Guidelines

It's sad to have to watch your 10-year old kid squirm uncomfortably as you discuss with him what he should do if someone at sleepaway camp touches him "in a place ordinarily covered by a bathing suit." Or tell him that no one is allowed to tell him to keep a secret from his parents or the camp administration. But that's become a part of modern parents' pre-camp checklists, along with packing up necessities like flashlights and bug spray and tucking away some money for the canteen.

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