Religion

Israel’s Delegitimizers Are Gaining

Flotilla fiasco underscores Jewish state’s vulnerability; think tank urges dramatic change in diplomacy.

06/02/2010
Editor And Publisher

This week brought another political and diplomatic disaster for Israel — further proof that Jerusalem must change dramatically its hasbara efforts, not just to persevere but perhaps even to survive.

Gary Rosenblatt

A New Act For The Old Bar Mitzvah

Storahtelling’s Amichai Lau-Lavie is out to revolutionize the
ceremony in emerging partnership with families, synagogues.

06/02/2010
Associate Editor

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.

Storahtelling ceremonies aim to be creative and engaging, with humor, music, drama and costumes. Photo by Lisa Kimmell

Some In The Media Had The Flotilla Figured Out

No humanitarian aid to Shalit, and no story either.

06/01/2010
Associate Editor

Even before the facts were clear about the battle between Israeli commandos and the pro-Hamas flotilla, we were told by The New York Times website, and dozens of other online media, that Israel was being “condemned.” Indeed it was.

Halachic Process Dynamic

06/01/2010

Kudos to Rabbi Shai Held on his insightful Opinion piece, “Halacha and Innovation Not Mutually Exclusive,” (May 28).

More Jewish Options For End-Of-Life Care

Metropolitan Jewish’s acquisition of two hospices
may bring palliative approach to more families.

06/01/2010
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.

Bergen County’s Thriving Yeshiva

While many New York-area day schools are in crisis, Yeshivat Noam —
blessed with a growing Modern Orthodox community and energetic faculty — is riding high.

06/01/2010
Editorial Intern

When Yeshivat Noam first opened its doors in 2001, it was the kindergarten students — the upperclassmen, so to speak — who ran through the building, checking that every door had a mezuzah.

“We like to refer to them as our pioneers,” said Rabbi Chaim Hagler, principal of the Modern Orthodox school located in Bergen County. “They’ve kind of been eighth graders now for nine years.”

Second graders listen to a unit on bugs and their habitats.

The Feast Of Weeks – A Week Late

06/01/2010

For most of the Jewish world, Shavuot, the Jewish feast of weeks, was observed about two weeks ago, on May 19 and 20.

For some residents of Israel, Shavuot came this week, on May 30.

The few thousand members of the Black Hebrews community in Dimona and surrounding Negev towns celebrated Shavuot on Sunday with singing and dancing.

Photo By Maya Barkai

Thirteen And A Few Days

Shaare Tikvah honors the more than 40 women who have had adult bat mitzvah ceremonies this year.

06/01/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Surrounded by proud family members and supportive friends, the b’nei mitzvah who came to the bima at Scarsdale’s Shaarei Tikvah synagogue during three recent Shabbat services chanted Haftorah, read from the Torah, led Shacharit services and delivered commentary on the week’s Torah portion.

Unlike the young women who usually celebrate this rite of passage milestone at this Conservative congregation, the 40-plus women who participated in these ceremonies did so under the doting gaze of husbands, children and even grandchildren.

Members of the Shaarei Tikvah Women’s study group. The synagogue will honor them on Sunday.

Jewish Leaders Back Ground Zero Islamic Center

Emotions high, but Jewish community not opposing New York institution.

06/01/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Neither Leona Zeplin nor Joyce Gales had any desire to attend last week’s raucous community board hearing over plans for an Islamic community center near Ground Zero.

But both women, each of whom lost a child in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, have strong feelings about those plans.

The scene at last week’s community board meeting about the proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero. Doug Chandler

Small Figures Reveal Big Holocaust Story

‘Kamp’ recreates Auschwitz in miniature.

06/01/2010
Staff Writer

When the Nazis invaded Holland in May of 1940, Pauline Kalker’s grandfather, Joseph Emanuel, who was Jewish, went into hiding. He moved from house to house, evading the Nazis for several months. But soon he was caught. The Nazis tortured him for three days, hoping to get information about where other Jews were hiding, but he did not crack.

Ten Dutch artists built a near-exact model of Auschwitz, including its gas showers and ovens. Photos by Herman Helle
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