Question: My husband wants a lavish bar mitzvah for our son next year. I think it's wrong to spend $ 50,000 on a party for a 13 year old kid when so many of our fellow Jews are experiencing hard times. What does Jewish law have to say about this?
It’s no secret that some Jewish leaders are anxious about a national mood of choleric rage and what it means for populations that have been the targets of past populist surges, starting with the Jews.
But while few have spoken out in public, one group has struck back with biting humor.
It’s the Jewish Funds for Justice that’s behind the just-announced HaikuGlennBeck.com Web site, aimed at a talk radio host and Fox News talk show host who seems to be handsomely profiting from the recent craziness.
Tim Blake Nelson’s quirky version of
a hard-won tikkun olam on view in ‘Leaves of Grass.’
Special To The Jewish Week
Tim Blake Nelson’s new film has a title, “Leaves of Grass,” that has two meanings for its protagonists — it explicitly references both the Walt Whitman magnum opus and marijuana. That’s only appropriate for a film that is structured around doubling, doppelgangers, secret lives and identities.
Miami’s coldest winter in memory is finally beginning to abate. For months, daytime highs had barely budged beyond the chilly, crisp 60s, instead of the sultry 80 degrees Floridians adore. Ladies resplendent in their Brooklyn furs could be spotted coming out of the theater on 45-degree nights.
Temperatures are slowly mellowing, and the scene in general is mellower than in years past, too. Throngs of tourists and spring break revelers fill the predictable hotspots, but the continued economic malaise means there are more discounts than ever before.
Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker David Grubin, a Manhattan resident whose last project was a history of American Jews, has now looked east. His newest documentary, “The Buddha,” about the founder of the Buddhist faith, premieres nationally on PBS on April 7. In recent weeks he has traveled around the U.S. for local screenings.
Q: How do you go from a project on American-Jewish history to a documentary on Buddhism?
Israelis fear ‘Obama’s intifada,’ return of the bad days.
Death is closing in. Jerusalem is ready to blow. A genocidal bomb is being built in Iran, and an intifada is brewing at home. My Jerusalem feels “like a war zone,” writes Yossi Klein Halevi in The New Republic (March 16). There “are clusters of helmeted border police near the gates of the Old City, black smoke from burning tires in the Arab village across from my porch, young men marching with green Islamist flags toward my neighborhood, ambulances parked at strategic places ready for this city’s ultimate nightmare.” Some are calling it the Obama intifada.
In Israel, they also think beach and picnic and tiyul. That’s Hebrew for an excursion or hike.
In the Promised Land, where tourists flock for inspiration, the natives vacation. Forests, bucolic trails and nature preserves attract those with a bent for the outdoors. Museums and galleries are packed. All sorts of institutions, religious and secular, sponsor educational and cultural programs. Music is everywhere: in concert halls, on the street and on the radio.
As we approach the Passover Seder, here are a few cool sites and videos to enhance the Passover experience:
Bangitout.com - Seder Sidekick 2010
Isaac and Seth Galena, the brothers behind the popular Jewish humor site Bangitout.com have once again published a Seder Sidekick to help bring some levity to the Passover Seder. Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Harold Galena, the 38-page PDF document includes song parodies, top ten lists, silly jokes, quizzes, and funny pictures.
Newest City Council member marks his victory, but has some powerful enemies.
Assistant Managing Editor
In his decisive victory in last week's hotly contested City Council race in Brooklyn, David Greenfield made good use of some powerful friends who helped him carry the day.
They included former Mayor Ed Koch, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, whose endorsements gave his candidacy credibility; Sephardic community leaders who quickly filled his campaign coffers; Brooklyn's Democrat chair, Vito Lopez, who provided ground troops to get out the vote, and Mark Botnick, a former aide to Michael Bloomberg, who helped corral the mayor's endorsement.