Boston

The New Gen-X Judaism

08/02/2002
Staff Writer
Tamara Charm had a watershed experience when she chanted the Torah portion at Yom Kippur services last year at Drisha, the women's Torah learning academy, for a congregation of both women and men. "It was incredible to daven in a way which conformed to traditional halacha but felt like the women's section was participating as well as the men's," said Charm, 29. "It was very spiritual."

Are Jewish Charity Execs Overpaid?

10/10/2003
Staff Writer
A new survey of executive compensation at non-profits shows that top professionals at federations and other Jewish groups are among the best-paid communal, human-services and international relief fund-raising organization leaders in the country.

Hebrew College To Ordain Rabbis

01/24/2003
Staff Writer
Boston's Hebrew College, the 82-year-old center of secular Jewish studies, plans to open the doors of a new rabbinical school in September, adding to the handful of Jewish independent ordaining institutions in the United States. The new program will likely create competition for students among New York-based seminaries. The move by Hebrew College, which has about 400 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs in Jewish studies and Jewish education, is being welcomed in some quarters and criticized in others.

Mikveh, In Their Own Image

07/21/2006
Staff Writer
As growing numbers of non-Orthodox Jews flock to the mikveh — a trend that has spread over the last decade — an inevitable clash between the traditional and the modern is beginning to emerge, with progressive Jews seeking to recast an ancient ritual in their own image. The current interest in mikveh was evidenced by the more than 200 people, men and women, from across the Jewish spectrum, who attended the conference “Reclaiming Mikveh: Pouring Ancient Waters into a Contemporary Vessel,” held last month in the Boston suburb of Newton, Mass.

A Class Clown Eyes The A-List

09/30/2009
Staff Writer
Stand-up comic Ray Ellin was performing at a New York comedy club a few days after Rosh HaShanah. It was his usual act — some family stories, some bantering with the audience. As usual, he asked people in the crowd where they came from. “Germany,” said one couple. That’s raw meat for a Jewish comic. “I wish you,” Ellin said, “a year of health and happiness — and reparations.” “It killed — killed,” Ellin says. The crowd roared. The Germans? “They laughed too.”

In White Mountains, Miles To Go Before We Meet

04/14/2009
Staff Writer
North Conway, N.H. — Karen Eisenberg brought the homemade chopped liver. Joan Kurz brought a bagful of bottled gefilte fish. Suzie Laskin, the charoset. And other women came to Maestro’s Italian restaurant last week, carrying yom tov staples, as the sun set over the White Mountains. It was time for the second-night seder of Chavurah HeHarim, the Jewish community of rural east-central New Hampshire and western Maine, and the restaurant staff had prepared a meal of roast chicken, tsimmes and chametz-free chocolate cake.

Southern Comfort

06/07/2002
Staff Writer
Rabbi Rafael Grossman, for nearly three decades the spiritual leader of the largest Orthodox congregation in the United States, left his Southern synagogue recently for a small, struggling synagogue here because of one five-year-old boy. His grandson. Rabbi Grossman, visiting his son's home in Teaneck, N.J., last year, heard his grandson say, "I think I know who you are." The rabbi was stunned. Bi-monthly visits to his children in the areas of Boston and New York would no longer be enough. The grandchildren had to know bubbe and zaide.

A Class Clown Eyes The A-List

10/02/2009
Staff Writer
Stand-up comic Ray Ellin was performing at a New York comedy club a few days after Rosh HaShanah. It was his usual act — some family stories, some bantering with the audience. As usual, he asked people in the crowd where they came from. “Germany,” said one couple. That’s raw meat for a Jewish comic. “I wish you,” Ellin said, “a year of health and happiness — and reparations.” “It killed — killed,” Ellin says. The crowd roared.

Standing Up For Pesach

04/16/2008
Staff Writer
Passover or tennis? Passover or politics? Passover or crustaceans? Members of the Jewish community are this year facing — and in increasing numbers, protesting — the need to make such choices at Passover. Newspaper and Web sites around the country have reported a wide range of conflicts for Jews who wish to observe the holiday, which coincides with events scheduled in apparent disregard for the Jewish calendar. This year, the Jewish community is fighting back.
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