Houston

A Hebrew School Asks, What Dropouts?

04/29/2009
Staff Writer
Houston — In one second-floor classroom of Congregation Emanu El, a young Chabad rabbi is teaching a class on Jewish values. Down the hall, a newspaper editor from a Reform family is leading a civics discussion. In another classroom, a Reconstructionist rabbi and her students are talking about basic Jewish principles. More remarkable than the diversity of the teachers at the largest Reform religious school in Houston is the makeup of the students. All are high school-aged. All are in religious school because they want to be there.

... And Butterflies, Too

04/14/2009
Staff Writer
The library of Houston’s Holocaust Museum looks like a butterfly refuge. An artist’s vision of a butterfly refuge, that is. Hanging from the ceiling, nailed to the walls, sitting on the floor are butterflies fashioned from paper, papier-mache, stained glass and other media. The art works are among the early submissions in a long-term Butterfly Project initiated by the 13-year-old institution.

Still Reeling From Ike

12/10/2008
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.

A Refuge For Hurting Families

10/29/2008
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.

Wired To The High Holy Days

09/24/2008
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. This year they are providing the way.

The KIPP-ing Point

08/21/2009
Staff Writer
On a business visit to Houston three years ago, Israeli real estate agent-turned-educator Eran Dubovi accepted a suggestion from Lee Wunsch, executive director of the city’s Jewish federation. Go see a certain public school in southwest Houston, Wunsch said.

The KIPP-ing Point

08/21/2009
Staff Writer
On a business visit to Houston three years ago, Israeli real estate agent-turned-educator Eran Dubovi accepted a suggestion from Lee Wunsch, executive director of the city’s Jewish federation. Go see a certain public school in southwest Houston, Wunsch said.

Time To Move On

08/25/2006
Staff Writer
The New Orleans Jewish community, along with the other residents of the city battered by Katrina a year ago, will mark the first anniversary of the deadly storm on Tuesday. But Adam Bronstone, who became the voice and public face of New Orleans Jewry in the months after the hurricane, won’t be there. Bronstone, community relations consultant for the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, started a similar job with the United Jewish Community of Broward County, in Florida, last month. He says he has no special plans for Tuesday.

Katrina The Shadchan

08/25/2006
Staff Writer
Parksville, N.Y. In the chasidic world, matchmakers bring young men and women together. In the case of Rabbi Mendy and Rachel Traxler, the shadchan was Katrina. Mendy, 22, part of the Chabad-Lubavitch rescue-and-relief effort in Baton Rouge following the hurricane a year ago, traveled to Houston to join his parents, Chabad emissaries there, for the High Holy Days season. Rachel Kaufmann, also 22, was in Houston with her family, also Chabad shluchim, who left their home in New Orleans for temporary accommodations in Houston.

A Texas Welcome

08/25/2006
Staff Writer
Houston Like most of the New Orleans residents who came here a year ago to escape the ravages of Katrina, James Hardy and his wife Dr. Nancy Forrest Hardy thought they’d be here only a few days. When they packed their Ford Explorer outside the couple’s apartment in the French Quarter, they “literally took a couple changes of clothes, a couple bottles of water, some canned food,” James says. Unlike most of the evacuees, they stayed here.
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