New York

BJENY-SAJES=JEWATIB (Jewish Ed Without All The Intermarriage Bashing)

Last night I went to the tribute dinner for an organization with even more of a mouthful of an acronym name than most Jewish groups: BJENY-SAJES.
The initials stand for the Board of Jewish Education of New York-Suffolk Association for Jewish Education Services.

Without my super-duper investigative reporting skills and high-placed contacts, I actually might not have known what SAJES’ initials stood for, since it’s not on the Web site or any of the official materials.

 

Jewish Soldiers Fighting Enemies, And Stereotypes

A meditation on Memorial Day.

05/26/2010
Editor And Publisher

This Monday is Memorial Day.

For most of us that means no work — a holiday that is more about family barbecues and shopping sales than remembering those who gave their lives to protect our freedom. 

That’s especially true for a Jewish community that knows few who serve in today’s all-volunteer military. Can you name even two people in active service? How about one?

Gary Rosenblatt

Cuomo, Other Democrats Kick Off State Campaigns

05/25/2010

Branding themselves “the new Democrats,” leaders of the state’s largest party kicked off their 2010 campaign Tuesday at the Rye Hilton in Westchester, hoping to move past four years of scandal and turmoil and maintain control of Albany.

Graffiti For Israel On Display in New York, Tel Aviv

05/25/2010
Staff Writer

Spray-paint stencil artist Sarah Brega recently found inner peace at the unlikeliest of places — a series of Sderot bomb shelters she had decided to spruce up.

“It was really peaceful in Sderot — I picked two or three bomb shelters to decorate,” Brega said. “It was like my dream, to have this empty canvas and do whatever I want with it.”

Sarah Brega’s spray-paint and stencil piece of Herzl, Ben-Gurion and Jabotinsky, hangs in the Eden Gallery in Tel Aviv.

Small-Scale Death Camp: Holocaust Portrayed Through Puppetry

05/25/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Susan Feldman has been to Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland. But when the artistic director of St. Ann’s Warehouse traveled to the small Dutch city of Leeuwarden, she saw the concentration camps again — in miniature.

There, the theater group Hotel Modern was performing “Kamp,” an installation using thousands of three-inch tall, handcrafted puppets to re-enact life — and death — in Auschwitz.

Auschwitz in miniature: The puppet play "kamp."

Israeli Spectator Wonders Why Thousands Here Saluting Her Country

05/25/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

The young woman walking along Fifth Avenue seemed confused. She was from a small country thousands of miles away, yet saw throngs of people in matching T-shirts waving her country’s flag and singing in her native language.

She hesitantly approached us as we stood on the sidewalk, watching the May 23 Salute to Israel Parade. “Excuse me,” she said, in an accent that was clearly Israeli. “Why is everyone walking down the street carrying Israeli flags?”

Israel Parade: Pounding The Pavement Amid Ambivalence

Annual Fifth Avenue ‘Salute’ attracts ‘hundreds of thousands,’ but questions about unity linger.

05/25/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Standing at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, near G.M. Plaza and the start of the annual Salute to Israel Parade, Marilyn Chandler apologized Sunday for being a little disoriented by all the hoopla around her.

“I just got off the plane from Greensboro, N.C., and it’s overwhelming to see all the blue and white,” the colors of the Israeli flag, said Chandler, executive director of the Greensboro Jewish Federation.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, top.Photos by Ch loe Seldman/Michael Priest Photography

Jewish Community Relations Council Lauds Hyphenated Americans

05/25/2010

With all due humility, Fox News Channel President Roger Ailes said, “I’m a boy from Ohio — really a goy from Ohio — who’s introducing an African American woman for a Jewish award.”

Ailes introduced H. Mitsy Wilson, senior vice president of diversity development at the News Corporation, who accepted the Corporate Leader Award from Janice Shorenstein, outgoing president of the Jewish Community Relations Council last week at the Pierre Hotel.

Singer Shai Terry, left, with IDF band members Maya Itzkovich, trumpet, and Shiri Frumkin, clarinet.

Jewish Songwriter Offers An Indie Take On Genesis

Wailing Wall’s Jesse Rifkin reimagines, and personalizes, the biblical story.

05/25/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Jesse Rifkin is remembering his childhood in Annapolis, Md. He began writing songs when he was 4. At that age, he loved the Beatles. He was already thinking of himself as a career musician.

“Sometimes you just know,” he says firmly.

It all came true; he has recorded an EP and two CDs with his Wailing Wall band, with the latter recordings being released through JDub Records. He will be launching his new album, “The Low Hanging Fruit,” with a gig in New York on June 4.

Songwriter Jesse Rifkin’s “Low-Hanging Fruit” CD bridges the Bible and the economic downturn.

Birthright NEXT Partnership Here Is Misunderstood

05/25/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

As a longtime supporter of programming for Birthright Israel alumni and a current member of the Birthright Israel NEXT board of directors, I feel compelled, as I work with board chair Al Levitt and my friend Lynn Schusterman, to advance NEXT and its vision, to set the record straight about our largest and most long-running alumni program here in New York.

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