Houston

The Latkes That Bind

12/16/2005
Special To The Jewish Week
When I was a small child in Houston, my mother would come to school every year to teach about Chanukah. Armed with her guitar, wax-encrusted menorah, dreidels and box of latkes mix, my mother (laying her New York accent on a little thicker than usual) gave my Christian classmates a brief recap of the Maccabee story before launching into some songs. A blonde girl once requested "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer." The teacher looked embarrassed, but my mother laughed and said, "Why not?"

A Landscape For Contemplation

07/11/2003
Staff Writer
The Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, is an austere space for ecumenical meditation. One of the oil town's most famous landmarks, its walls are adorned with 14 monumental paintings by the Russian-born artist Mark Rothko, rendered in his definitive style of floating patches of color: in this case, black, deep brown and purple. The art patron Dominique de Menil, who commissioned the space and its somber paintings, reportedly said the works evoke "the mystery of the cosmos, the tragic mystery of our perishable condition, [and] the silence of god, the unbearable silence of God."

Remembering Galveston’s Forgotten Emigres

12/24/2009
Staff Writer

A hundred years and a few miles from an often-overlooked point in American Jewish history, some visitors from Houston stood in front of a Hebrew-language eye chart in Galveston, Texas earlier this month.
The chart, a facsimile of one that tested the reading abilities of Jewish immigrants in the early 20th century, is among hundreds of artifacts in “Forgotten Gateway: Coming to America through Galveston Island,” an exhibition that opened last month at Moody Gardens, a tourist park on Offatts Bayou.

Wired To The High Holy Days

09/26/2008
Staff Writer
Houston — Just released from the hospital and too weak to attend High Holy Days services at her synagogue four years ago, Pearl Altman listened on the telephone. The congregation of Mrs. Altman, a retired teacher and investment banker, had made that arrangement for homebound members like her. But the audio-only broadcast could not duplicate the in-shul experience, she says. Too much dead time, extended minutes of silence or of prayerbook pages rustling. There must be a better way, said Mrs. Altman and her husband Sig.

Wired To The High Holy Days

09/26/2008
Staff Writer
Houston — Just released from the hospital and too weak to attend High Holy Days services at her synagogue four years ago, Pearl Altman listened on the telephone. The congregation of Mrs. Altman, a retired teacher and investment banker, had made that arrangement for homebound members like her. But the audio-only broadcast could not duplicate the in-shul experience, she says. Too much dead time, extended minutes of silence or of prayerbook pages rustling. There must be a better way, said Mrs. Altman and her husband Sig.

A Refuge For Hurting Families

10/31/2008
Staff Writer
Houston — Tzipora Mintz’s first concern when her husband learned he had to come here for medical treatment in early 2003 was his health. He had lymphoma, an advanced form of the cancer of the immune system.   Her second concern was housing. She and her husband — a young Orthodox couple from Brooklyn, they had recently had a new child — would be spending months, on and off, in Houston, while he received care at the Texas Medical Center.

Still Reeling From Ike

12/12/2008
Staff Writer
Galveston, Texas — Shabbat services in a synagogue lobby. Volunteers fixing cemetery gravestones. A Jewish federation budget meeting. Those are the signs of damage, and of recovery, in Southwest Texas three months after Hurricane Ike, the Category 2 storm that ranked as the worst to strike the United States this year and the third worst ever.

Foxman: Gibson Spewing 'Anti-Semitism'

09/19/2003
Staff Writer
Mel Gibson's mouth has turned into a lethal weapon. So suggests Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, following a series of published and oral comments made by the award-winning Hollywood actor and director concerning his controversial upcoming movie about the death of Jesus of Nazareth. "Recent statements by Mel Gibson paint the portrait of an anti-Semite," Foxman told The Jewish Week Tuesday.

ADL: 'Passion' Secrecy Pact 'Selectively Applied'

08/29/2003
Staff Writer
Mel Gibson and his Icon Productions for weeks have been requiring viewers of his controversial film "The Passion" to sign a confidentiality agreement barring them from talking about the still-unfinished product. That hasn't stopped the select group (mostly supportive Evangelicals, conservative Catholics and media personalities) from praising the film about the suffering and death of Jesus and revealing details in newspapers and on radio, television and the Internet.

Gibson To Launch 'Jewish Initiative'

08/22/2003
Staff Writer
Fallout continues this week over Mel Gibson's upcoming film "The Passion," about the violent death of Jesus, following a blistering review by the Anti-Defamation League and other viewers after a screening in Houston. New developments include:
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