Religion

Dearly Beloved

On not losing a father, when gaining ‘the one’

06/16/2010

 The weekend before our wedding last year my fiancé Jonathan and I, along with our beaming parents, visited the Long Island vineyard where we would be married. The day was bright, and Jon and I walked with the bouncy gait of the newly engaged. We had chosen the place just days before, and we were eager for our parents to see it — and love it. At 32, I was still bent on getting their approval on most things.

  Young married couple in the Cyprus detention camp spending some free time ‘at home’ in their blanketed-off section of a hut.

Revolutionary Love

When a prominent kohen fell in love with a convert in 1782, newly independent American Jews flouted halacha.

06/16/2010

 The values of the American Revolution—liberty, freedom, and democracy—profoundly affected the Jewish community. Having successfully rebelled against the authority of England and its king, many early American Jews no longer submitted unquestioningly to any authorities, even religious ones. Like their Protestant and Catholic contemporaries, they insisted upon the right to make decisions, including marital decisions, for themselves.

 Ketubah of Jacob I. Cohen and Esther Mordecai.  Courtesy The Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives.

‘PunkJews’ Get Their 15 Minutes

New documentary in progress grows out of hipster chasid ‘Chulent’ scene.

06/16/2010
Staff Writer

They are the ultimate crossover artists, moving freely between the worlds of Orthodox religious observance and edgy secular artistic expression, albeit with a strong Jewish twist.

Some are chasidic outcasts, having left the fold of Satmar or Lubavitch. Others live at the fringes of the chasidic world, improvising a freewheeling sense of spirituality as they ply their trade as rap singers, hard rockers, clothing designers and visual artists.

Evan Kleinman and Saul Sudin during shooting of “PunkJews.” courtesy of Evan Kleinman

A Decade Later, More Willingness To Confront Rabbinic Abuse

‘Watershed’ Lanner expose has led to communal efforts to deal with improper sexual behavior.

06/16/2010
Editor and Publisher

The tenth anniversary of the public exposure in these pages of the “Lanner scandal” provides an opportunity to reflect on, and appreciate, how much has changed for the better in the last decade in responding to rabbinic sexual abuse. 

With it all, though, communal vigilance is still vital because the problem remains, as do the impulses to overlook or cover up allegations of wrongdoing in high places. And there are voices in the community calling for putting ethical standards in place in synagogues, schools and camps.

Gary Rosenblatt

Facebook Page Spurs Russian Giving

06/16/2010

 Memo to fundraisers for major Jewish organizations; if you want to raise significant funds among young, upwardly mobile Russian Jews, you had better get hip to the potential of using social networking sites. 

Yahoo Maps Reunite Jerusalem

06/15/2010

Jerusalem has been reunited without gunfire, 43 years after the Six Day War -- this time, by Yahoo!

Angering the international Jewish community, the Internet search giant recently enacted its own two-state solution by dividing Jerusalem into “East” and “West” on its Weather iPhone app.

But the holy city became one again this weekend, after pressures from the Israeli government and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, according to Rabbi Meyer H. May, executive director of the Center.

Bigger Rally

06/15/2010

I am generally a big fan of The Jewish Week as a source of honest, balanced and high quality reporting. However, seeing the article, “Gaza Flotilla Fallout” (June 4) made me wonder whether I was reading a Jewish newspaper or a Palestinian newspaper.

We Were Marching, Too

06/15/2010

I must take exception to your publication’s ongoing characterizations about the composition of the marchers at this year’s Salute to Israel Day Parade: I am a proud Conservative Jew, a member of the board of trustees at Temple Israel of Great Neck, and a board member of SHAI (Sefaradic Heritage Alliance, Inc).

This year I had the privilege of marching with over 170 members of my synagogue, alongside well over 200 members of SHAI (a nondenominational group), alongside approximately 100 members of Gahelet (a secular school for Hebrew speakers).

Hoary Bugaboo

06/15/2010

 Re: “Israel’s Delegitimizers Are Gaining,” (Editor’s column, June 4), it is dismaying to see that, yet again, Israel’s rapidly growing unpopularity in the world being attributed to that hoary bugaboo, “bad hasbara” (i.e.,  public relations), rather than to its actual causation – Israel’s disastrously wrong-headed and self-destructive occupation of the West Bank and its blockade of Gaza.  

Alison Laichter, 29, and Yael Shy, 28

Bringing spirituality to Brooklyn — hippies need not apply

Staff Writer
06/15/2010

For Yael Shy and Alison Laichter, sitting down together for a morning meditation was just part of their daily routine as roommates. Two years ago, nearly a decade after meeting on a Birthright Israel trip, Shy and Laichter both got jobs in New York — Shy as director of development and education at the NYU Center on Violence and Recovery, and Laichter as an urban planner for the city — and they decided to room together.

Alison Laichter
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