New York

Mile End, Not Mile High

New-fangled Boerum Hill deli, run by a Montreal couple, takes aim at excesses of genre.

04/13/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Walking into Brooklyn’s newest Jewish deli for the first time, Ken Goeringer sees two mothers chatting at a table, a pair of art students with a splay of sketchpads arranged around their plates and a man in a shirt and tie looking up from his library book to balance a few bites of brisket-covered poutine (a decadent marriage of frites, cheese curd and gravy) on a fork.

Mile End's Rae Cohen with the deli's signature dish, Montreal-style smoked brisket

Conservative Judaism And Kentucky

 This weekend I am heading south to Louisville, Ky., where I will be the Dave and Reva Kahn scholar-in-residence at Keneseth Israel Congregation, a Conservative synagogue.

It’s my first “scholar-in-residence” gig, and the fact that a Conservative shul sought me out for this honor is significant. While the Reform movement has for decades promoted outreach to interfaith families, the Conservative movement long held to a traditional, anti-intermarriage stance. As recently as two years ago, the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism had a policy barring intermarried Jews and their spouses from publicly addressing its conventions.

Get Serious About Your Jewish Life: An Interview with Elie Kaunfer

04/07/2010
Editor and Publisher

Elie Kaunfer’s new book, “Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities” (Jewish Lights Publishing)  is being described as a manifesto for independent minyanim, which have been flourishing and attracting increased attention in recent years.

“Empowered Judaism”: Kaunfer’s book draws on his experiences with founding Kehilat Hadar.

Supporting Sofia’s Renaissance

Five Towns, Suffolk JCCs partner with
emerging Bulgarian Jewish community.

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

A letter two years ago from the president of the re-emerging Jewish community of Sofia, Bulgaria, to officials at UJA-Federation of New York has opened a new world for them and two Jewish community centers here.

“We would love and feel a need for collaboration with the global Jewish community that New York and Israel represent,” wrote Alexander Oscar. “The needs of my community are Jewish education, staff training, the building of a nursery school, as well as being connected to the global Jewish community.”

Five Towns JCC Director Rina Shkolnick visits a Holocast memorial in Bulgaria during a December mission.

Peaceful Sarajevo

The capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina is safe, restored and beautiful.

04/07/2010
Travel Writer

A few weeks ago, writing about Belfast, I was reminded of another delightful, little-touristed European city whose recent past is marked by religious/ethnic strife.

That city is Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is sad and telling that the top “Frequently Asked Question” on Bosnia’s tourism Web site is: “Isn’t there still a war in Bosnia?”

A footbridge in the old city of Mostar, a few hours south of Sarajevo.

The Pursuits of Maira Kalman

From Obama to Tel Aviv to the New Yorker’s legendary ‘New Yorkistan’ cover,
the brainy Israeli-born painter/writer/blogger explores modern life.

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

When Barack Obama won the presidency, Maira Kalman was thrilled. It was not only a fresh start for America, she thought, but one for her own work as well: The New York Times was looking for another assignment for Kalman after her wildly successful illustrated blog, “The Principles of Uncertainty,” which documented her own life, debuted in 2006.

An gouache painting by Maira Kalman, titled  “Israel Bed” (2008).

Jewish Peoplehood As Outcome

04/07/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Much has been written of late regarding the Jewish Agency’s new focus on Jewish peoplehood and what that means for the broader Jewish world. Recent articles have charged that the Jewish Agency’s understanding of Jewish peoplehood is tantamount to secular, ethnic Judaism and that will be inadequate as the basis of strong Jewish identity.

A Page From The Song Of Songs

On this, the Shabbos of the Song of Songs, take a look "A Page From The Song of Songs" by Sholom Aleichem. It is sometimes painted as a "children's story" but in reality it is the first of four stories -- taking place on a Pesach, a Shavuous, and a Pesach and Shevuous many years later -- culminating in an excrutiating romantic misunderstanding between two young adults that can break the hearts of old men and women long past their childhoods.

Survivors’ group seeks probe of Torah-rescuing rabbi

04/02/2010

NEW YORK (JTA) -- A Holocaust survivors group has asked Maryland to launch a fraud investigation into the sale of reclaimed Holocaust-era Torah scrolls.

The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants requested a probe into the work of Rabbi Menachem Youlus and Save A Torah Inc., a non-profit foundation that supports the rabbi's finding, purchasing and restoring of European Torahs, in a letter to state Attorney General Douglas Gansler.

Table For One

Years ago - and I'm not kidding when I say years ago - there was this movie playing in the theaters called, "Nobody Loves Me."  I was living in New York at the time and went with a girlfriend to see it.

"One for Nobody Loves Me," I said in full volume to the ticket lady. You can imagine the jokes that ensued.

But I am reminded of it every evening when I cook dinner. Because there is nothing sadder than eating alone.

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