New Torah-Based Outreach Seen Energizing Hillel

Conference here explores success of engagement through sacred texts.
06/29/2010 - 20:00
Editor And Publisher

 Dan Smokler, a 31-year-old Yale graduate, ordained rabbi and former labor organizer, wears the mantle of the Jewish campus community’s equivalent of The Great White Hope with an easy grace.

Gary Rosenblatt

The Making Of First-Time Campers

Jewish foundation’s Specialty Camp Incubator churns out five new offerings, and enrollment is booming.
06/21/2010 - 20:00
Associate Editor

Rachel Tore was “the mom who said [her] son would never go to sleep-away camp.”

Because 10-year-old Abraham has a metabolic condition that requires a healthful, organic diet, Tore worried that at a typical camp he’d be tempted by junk food like hot dogs and sugar cereal.

High school interns at a program at Eden Village Camp, one of five new Jewish camps opening this summer.

Hitchens On Jewishness, Israel And Zionism

06/09/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

People seem to love author and cultural critic Christopher Hitchens for precisely the reason other people seem to hate him: he has an opinion, and a strong one, about almost everything. His new memoir, “Hitch-22,” is chock full of them, too. And when he appeared at at the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday night, in a chat with his close friend Salman Rushdie, that fact was not glossed over.

How The Lubavitcher Rebbe Lives On

06/07/2010 - 20:00
Editor and Publisher

Sixteen years later, I can still hear the sudden gasp, followed by a loud, spontaneous and mournful wail that erupted from the thousands gathered outside 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn when the simple wooden casket carrying the remains of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, emerged from the movement’s headquarters on June 12, 1994, corresponding to the third of Tammuz (this coming Tuesday).

Gary Rosenblatt

More Jewish Options For End-Of-Life Care

Metropolitan Jewish’s acquisition of two hospices may bring palliative approach to more families.
05/31/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

After suffering with Alzheimer’s for seven years, Gloria Kestenbaum’s father took a turn for the worse. Following a hip replacement at Maimonides Medical Center, he lapsed into unconsciousness on the operating table. For Kestenbaum and her family, the next step was fraught with uncertainty.

Rabbi Charles Rudansky, director of pastoral care at Metropolitan Jewish Hospice.

For Manning-Kaplan Duo, Jewish Nonprofits are the Ties That Bind

05/27/2010 - 20:00

PALM BEACH, Fla. (JTA) -- It’s a cool spring night, and Kathy Manning and Randall Kaplan are battling their way out of the west lawn of the sprawling bay-side mansion of Jane Goldman and Benjamin Lewis.

Manning, the chairwoman of the Jewish Federations of North America, and Kaplan, the chairman of the board of governors of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, have just spent a few hours schmoozing with 80 donors, a handful of boards of trustees and several members of Hillel’s board trying to make the case for their organizations.

The last word on Peter Beinart and the American Jewish leadership

 Can you stand a few more comments and questions about Peter Beinart's controversial article on “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment” in the New York Review of Books?

It seems to me that on the question of whether big pro-Israel groups reflect the views of the broader Jewish community, Beinart is right, but so are some of this critics.

Beinart Pleasantly Surprised He Hasn’t Been Marginalized

Peter Beinart, the former New Republic editor whose strong critique of the American Jewish establishment in a New York Review of Books essay continues to reverberate in the community, says he has been pleasantly surprised by the responses he has received from pro-Israel critics

Changing Images Muddy Picture Of Zionism, Israel

For young American Jews, it’s a long way from ‘Exodus’ to the separation wall.
05/25/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

 In 1960, the film “Exodus” was nominated for three Academy Awards. Based on Leon Uris’ novel about the founding of Israel, it seems hard to believe that such a film, drenched in Jewish military heroism and suffused with Holocaust imagery and Arab aggression, could have such broad and unambiguous appeal. But it did. It not only won an Oscar, it also starred a Hollywood icon, Paul Newman, as the heroic Jewish fighter, and even made a commendable showing at Cannes.

But almost a half-century later, a very different film about Israel won an Oscar nomination. “Waltz With Bashir,” (2008) directed by the Israeli Ari Folman, put a spotlight on the massacres at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps during the first Lebanon War.  

Two images of Israel, two generations: “Exodus” and “Waltz with Bashir.”
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