Riverdale

Jewish Music That Doesn’t Kid Around

With her ‘Shir Fun’ classes and albums, singer Dafna Israel-Kotok
is at the forefront of a new type of Jewish children’s edu-tainment.

04/13/2010
Associate Editor

On a Wednesday morning shortly before Passover, in a sunny room overlooking the Henry Hudson Parkway, Dafna Israel-Kotok is in her element.

Joyously shaking her long, straight black hair as she plays guitar and sings for about 10 small children and their moms, the 30-something Sabra musician freely alternates between English and her native Hebrew.

Dafna Israel-Kotok: Kids music “you can grow with.” Photo courtesy of Shir Fun

Avi Weiss vs Avi Weiss

 Avi Weiss’ main point for having a woman on his rabbinic staff at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale is that “90 percent” of what a rabba (woman rabbi) does is the same as what a rabbi does. In Avi’s shul, a rabba gives sermons from the pulpit, teaches classes, visits the sick, provides spiritual and halachic guidance, and works with bat mitzvah girls, and Sara Hurwitz does that all quite nicely. So why not give her honor equal to her colleagues who are men?

Rabbi Avi Wizened Continues Title Search For Female Associate

02/26/2010

Riverdale, NY – Having switched the title of the woman who serves his congregation in a rabbinic role from Maharat to Rabba, spiritual leader Avi Wizened announced today that he is still not satisfied with the result, and has hired Vanna White of game show “Wheel Of Fortune” fame to help him find the right vowel to end the word “Rabb_.”

“Maybe it’s an `e’ or an `o’ or `u’,” the frustrated rabbi muttered. “Or it could be ‘sometimes `y’.”

The Fire Last Time - Part 2

Thursday, May 28th, 2009 (Here’s another look back at the aftermath of the previous attack by Islamic radicals in Riverdale)   May 20, 2003   A Fire Next Time   The sentencing of an Arab who tried to bomb a Riverdale synagogue brings fears to surface.   Jonathan Mark - Associate Editor   Khaled J., leaning against a wall in the gloomy light of the Bronx County Courthouse, says he has nothing against Jews.  

For The Bronx, It’s Desolation Row

07/11/2003
Associate Editor

“How the city sits solitary that was once full of people.”
Lamentations 1:1

Back when bandleaders played clarinets, and overhead fans whirled over rattan subway seats, the Bronx streets looked like Easy Street for Jews once removed from the Lower East Side or Europe itself. “The Goldbergs” radio comedy was fictionally situated in a Bronx walk-up. In the 1930s and ’40s, the borough was 44 percent Jewish, but some neighborhoods topped 70 percent, a higher percentage of Jews than in Jerusalem today.

The Chance To Fight Back

04/09/2004
Staff Writer
Military service is in the Perl family’s blood. Pvt. Otto Perl spent nearly a year in the Austrian army from 1937 to 1938. His father had been an officer in that same army in World War I, and two of his uncles had served in WWI. Perl, a tailor, was 22 in early 1938 when he was discharged a few months before his homeland was annexed by Nazi Germany. A Jew, he was arrested and sent to the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps for a year. He survived the forced labor and beatings and frigid weather.

Heady Times For Orthodox Women

05/21/2004
Staff Writer
For centuries, women have had to go to the only authorities available, male rabbis, when questions arise about perhaps the most intimate of issues — their sex lives. But now, for the first time, there is a female Orthodox legal expert on American soil trained to respond to issues such as mikveh, a woman’s monthly cycle and couples’ fertility/infertility problems — issues that many rabbis’ wives’ have dealt with, on a more informal basis, in the past.
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