Long Island City

‘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

Black Hebrew Members Fight To Keep Congregation Open

06/15/2010

Harlem’s small and mostly African-American congregation with a very large name – The Commandment Keepers Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth – has been ensnarled in court in recent years, after nine members sold their shul building, a sale opposed by a faction of the dwindling congregation.

'Main Street USA,' Just Across the River

The Jews of Roosevelt Island like the
small-town feel of their outpost.

04/01/2010
Editorial Intern

Talk about a Jewish diaspora.
Cut off from the Manhattan mainland and its very Jewish heartbeat, the Jews of Roosevelt Island may be the least-known Jewish community in the area.
Which is OK by them.

Rabbi Zalman and Nechama Duchman and their children. The Chabad emissaries settled in Roosevelt Island four years ago.

Kosher Food Going Natural

New Emphasis on low-fat, low-carb, organic fare sweeping through industry.

02/05/2010
Editorial Intern

Traditional Jewish food — six-inch-high, artery-clogging corned-beef sandwiches, cholesterol-high cholent with kishke and chicken soup
flavored with fatty schmaltz — isn’t quite in line with a healthy, balanced diet.
But with American’s growing obsession with healthy foods, and organic products — the organic industry grew from $1 billion in 1990 to over $23 billion today — kosher producers are offering more wholesome and beneficial products, and health food producers are gaining kosher certification.

Juices from Organic Avenue — like apple, carrot, cucumber and grapefruit — are an integral part of the raw food experience.

I'll Be Your Mirror

02/14/2003
Staff Writer

The lineup for New York's newest blockbuster art exhibition begins this week as lucky ticket holders for "Matisse Picasso" make their way to the Museum of Modern Art's temporary digs in Long Island City. The retrospective exhibition promises to reward long waits in chilly winds with works that shaped modern art and a thrilling tale of one of the most creative rivalries in art history. Elsewhere in Queens, a different kind of thrill awaits viewers in an exhibition that offers a glimpse of art's future.

American Dreams

02/24/2006
Special To The Jewish Week

The story of a teenager in this country nine or 10 years sharing a cramped apartment with her mother, sister and two boarders sounds like it could have taken place a century ago, when the Lower East Side teemed with newly arrived Jewish immigrants.

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."

I'll Be Your Mirror

02/14/2003
Staff Writer
The lineup for New York's newest blockbuster art exhibition begins this week as lucky ticket holders for "Matisse Picasso" make their way to the Museum of Modern Art's temporary digs in Long Island City. The retrospective exhibition promises to reward long waits in chilly winds with works that shaped modern art and a thrilling tale of one of the most creative rivalries in art history. Elsewhere in Queens, a different kind of thrill awaits viewers in an exhibition that offers a glimpse of art's future.

In Western Queens, New Blood Raises Hopes for Jewish Revitalization

Young Jewish singles and families are flocking to Astoria, Long Island City and Jackson Heights — but can the existing synagogues draw them in?

11/18/2009
Staff Writer

When Cara Bernstein walked down the aisle a month ago to meet her fiancé under the chupah, she knew her wedding day was a crossroads not only in her life, but in the life of her Queens synagogue, which had not hosted a bride and groom for 22 years.

Nearly the entire congregation at Astoria Center of Israel celebrated her marriage that day, whether or not they knew the couple personally.

“A fellow congregant told me that I’m part of a new wave of congregants,” said Bernstein, who is 38.

Young Jews in Long Island City celebrate Sukkot on a condo rooftop. Rabbi Zev Wineberg

Casting Themselves In A New Light

08/27/2004
Staff Writer
Bathed in light, wrapped in a tallit and kittel, the soul of a middle-aged New York Jew speaks to his earthly body on a Queens side street late one night last week. “Chaim, Chaim,” calls the soul, flanked by a pair of large menorahs, an ark of Torah scrolls behind him, “good Shabbos. Did you have a good week?” A plaintive voice — of Chaim himself, who is mentally disabled — is heard answering, “Nobody likes me.” Don’t despair, answers the soul. “Soon it will all be over.”
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