Human Interest

Sen. Byrd dies: no friend of the pro-Israel lobby, but a 'venerable institution'

 Sen. Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) has died at the age of 92 in a Washington-area hospital.

Byrd, a former Ku Klux Klan leader who became a fierce advocate for West Virginia, one of the Senate's most liberal members and a vehement opponent of the Iraq war, was not among the 95 best friends of the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. Senate.

But that didn't stop him from winning the respect of colleagues in both parties who recognized his unmatched understanding of the legislative process and his ability to reach out to political adversaries.

Israeli Jazzman’s Southern Swing

From Houston to Hattiesburg, saxophonist Amir Gwirtzman’s four-month tour in the American South was ‘highlight of my career.’

06/28/2010
Staff Writer

Growing up along the shores of the Mediterranean, where a football is round and the sport is played by men in shorts on a grass-covered pitch, you don’t learn much about the huddling, helmeted brand of the NFL game beloved on the bayou.

But Amir Gwirtzman is a quick learner.

Amir Gwirtzman

Jerry Seinfeld calls Lady Gaga "a jerk," Sarah Silverman & Scarlett Johannson: healthy lunches, Gwyneth Paltrow eats fried food

-Following fellow Jewish actress Scarlett Johannson, comedienne Sarah Silverman is standing up for a national plan for healthy school lunches at public schools: the Healthy School Meals Act of 2010

-Not all celebrities stick to a lettuce and celery diet -- Jewish actress Gwyneth Paltrow enjoys cooking with a deep fryer

Boston Globe Corrects Its Coverage Of Brandeis-Oren Story

This is the Globe's coverage of Ambassador Michael Oren's commencement address at Brandeis University (May 23). The Globe now has added a correction and editor's note:

Discrimination Within Orthodoxy?

06/25/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Last week, thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews came out for mass protests across Israel. What was the contested issue: defense for Israel? Support of Agunot? Parents against child molestation? An end to violating business ethics and Israeli law? Not in the least bit. Sadly, this mass protest, the largest of its kind in years, was for the right to keep Sephardim out of Ashkenazi schools.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

There's a Kosher App for That

As someone who not only keeps kosher, but also works as a mashgiach (kosher supervisor), I often find myself away from the computer and searching for kosher food options. There are two good iPhone apps that help users locate the closest kosher options, whether it's a box of cereal or an Italian restaurant you're looking for .

RustyBrick's kosher app links to the largest kosher database on the web at the Shamash site. With over 2,000 restaurants in the database, the Jewish Kosher App for the iPhone or iPod Touch looks up the nearest kosher place to eat from your current location, using the iPhone's GPS features. (If GPS or localization isn't on or available, a location or name can be typed in.) Additionally, a kosher symbols database is available to quickly look up what kosher symbols are backed by which organizations or rabbi. As a bonus feature, all of the food blessings and prayers in Hebrew are included in this app so one can give proper thanks before and following the meal.

Another new iPhone app to help the kosher eater locate food is called My Grocery Master. It allows users to browse and search a database of over 100,000 Kosher, gluten-free and lactose-free items across the United States, meeting the user’s lifestyle and dietary requirements. Created by Nosh Maven LLC, My Grocery Master enables people following kosher diets to find acceptable food near their location.

 

New Apps Locate Kosher Fare

Our Town: YIVO’s Jewish Europe

New multimedia encyclopedia embraces a golden age.

06/22/2010
Associate Editor

Emanuel Ringelblum knew Jewish Eastern Europe the way the Stage Manager in “Our Town” knew Grover’s Corners. The Tevye era was modern for Ringelblum, whose doctorate was on the Jews of Warsaw — only up to 1527.

German postcard: A family in cultural flux, walking to shul; bearded grandfather in streimel; clean-shaven father in top hat.

Standing Again At Sinai, This Time With Facebook

06/22/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

In recent weeks, the Jewish blogosphere has been in a state of collective shpilkas. Even before the flotilla incident, Jews in America and Israel were hotly debating two essays, Danny Gordis’ “The Storm Ahead” in the Jerusalem Post and Peter Beinart’s “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” in The New York Review of Books.

Journal Watch

Staff Writer
06/16/2010

 Keitzad m’rakdim lifnei ha-kallah? “How does one dance before the bride?”

This question, seemingly simple, is in fact a classic formulation of the array of normative procedures, customs and traditions surrounding the marriage ceremony and its attendant activities. Journal Watcher, in a seemingly counterintuitive way, turns first to Yemen for a look at something old, something new.

Struggling To ‘Get’ Out Of Unhappy Marriages

For agunot, the wedding is the easy part; it’s the divorce that’s a Herculean challenge.

Staff Writer
06/16/2010

 When Sharon thinks back to her wedding night, she remembers how the lights of Jerusalem enveloped her, how she adored her groom, and also this: a kiss. After Sharon removed her deck tichel, the opaque cloth that fervently Orthodox brides wear to hide their faces, her new-mother-in-law grabbed her, planted a kiss on her cheek and whispered, “You’re part of the family now.”

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