Irene Hizme, an Auschwitz survivor who suffers from multiple sclerosis crafts, hand-lettered cards
to benefit aging Holocaust victims.
In the basement of her Oceanside, L.I., home, next to a window and a hand-lettered “Patience” poster, Irene Hizme sits at a drawing board, creating works of intricate calligraphy and flower-filled branches.
A Czechoslovakia-born Holocaust survivor in her “early 70s” and retired biochemist/computer programmer, she spends much of her free time these days making thank-you notes and birthday cards. She does many of her works as a volunteer for The Blue Card, an organization that offers financial assistance to aging Holocaust survivors.
Google the words interfaith, wedding and rabbi together and you get a whopping 1.1 million hits.
Perched atop this list (most are about the issues, rather than sites actually offering rabbis who do interfaith weddings) you will find Rabbi David S. Gruber, an Orthodox-ordained rabbi who has performed 60 weddings since he started doing interfaith ceremonies two years ago.
I know as much about hip-hop (or for that matter, any music produced more recently than, say, 1990) as I do about sports, which is to say virtually nothing. Nonetheless, the 23-year-old former TV star (Canada’s “Degrassi: The Next Generation) sounds like an interesting personality, and his Jewish story is fascinating.
I fear death. I think about dying frequently and often try to make meaning of my mortality. Until recently, if someone had mentioned reincarnation to me, I would have dismissed it as a non-Jewish theological belief. I imagine most people share my visceral skepticism of the possibility of reincarnation and of its authentic Jewish roots, but perhaps we can temporarily suspend this disbelief and explore the idea together in search of a theology that can improve us. Perhaps, this thought experiment can even promote certain moral virtues.
Once again Shaul Kelner, in an otherwise thought-provoking article on Birthright Israel (“So Near, So Far,” May 14, Israel Now section), unduly focuses on what he describes as the “hookup scene” of Birthright. If one is to read this article, and the previous Jewish Week article reviewing his book, “Tours That Bind,” one might be prone to think that the primary purpose of Birthright is to work on “Jewish continuity” during the trip itself in a very practical manner.
The dispute now raging over how American Jewry should fund overseas Jewish needs will have at least one important outcome: it will put a serious discussion about Jewish identity on the front burner of the organized American Jewish community (“Jewish Agency, JDC, Stake Claims In Funding Fight,” May 7). Such a discussion is long overdue.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may have declared the age of mass aliyah over, but aliyah from North America has ticked up in the last few years. And among those making the move this summer is a who’s who of Modern Orthodoxy.
Prominent rabbis and educators from the New York area, including Ari Berman, spiritual leader of The Jewish Center, a leading congregation on the Upper West Side, were feted last week by the Jewish Agency for Israel in its annual Olim Farewell ball.
In a group ceremony, women enjoy a belated, but gratifying, rite of passage.
Bonnie Panzok is just trying to catch up with her children.
When Panzok sent her kids to Jewish day school to get the education she never got, she watched as their knowledge grew exponentially and surpassed her own. But now, Panzok, after a crash course in Jewish history and rituals, has soared ahead, filling in the gaps in her own Jewish learning.
Looking out at the more than 100 people gathered for the eighth graduation ceremony of The Jewish Week’s Write On For Israel on Tuesday night, I confided that I never envisioned that the advocacy-through-journalism program for high school students would last this long.
At the outset, nine years ago, I envisioned Write On as an immediate response to the intifada, which was raging in Israel. I thought that the program could and would end when the terrorism and suicide bombing stopped. But I was wrong.
Storahtelling’s Amichai Lau-Lavie is out to revolutionize the
ceremony in emerging partnership with families, synagogues.
Arguably one of the most memorable scenes in last year’s Oscar-nominated “A Serious Man” is the bar mitzvah, when Danny Gopnik does his Torah and Haftorah portions while visibly stoned, having smoked prodigious amounts of pot in the Hebrew school bathroom.
So accustomed are they to tuning out the foreign chanting from the bima that his parents and the other congregants in the soulless 1960s Midwestern temple don’t even seem to notice anything amiss.