The New York Times

Mining A Jewish Story

01/20/2006
Special To The Jewish Week

The aftermath of the Sago mine explosion captured my attention and rent my heart, the same as for millions of other Americans. It also drew me in as a journalist concerned with the history and future of social justice in this country.

The stories of the 12 miners killed in the disaster and those of their families are riveting enough, highlighting the human drama and consequences behind such a tragedy. But also riveting are the facts regarding the mine's many health and safety violations and how federal officials seemed to be missing in action.

Books To Light The Way

12/04/1998
Jewish Week Book Critic

A friend who works in a bookstore recounts that whenever Jewish parents or grandparents ask for help in selecting a book, they preface their request: “Oh, he’s 7, but he reads like a 12-year-old,” or “She’s beginning fifth grade but reads on a high-school level.” But despite their parents’ best intentions to get them reading the classics as soon as they can lift them, along with The New York Times, kids really do prefer picture books with great stories.

Last-Minute Light

12/05/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

Even gift givers who are always late get a reprieve with Chanukah’s eight nights. Here are some last-minute opportunities to do good, dazzle friends and family, and extend the light.

For Leviev, All That Glitters Isn’t Gold

02/22/2008
Special to The Jewish Week

 

Perhaps he should have stayed behind the scenes.

Ever since billionaire diamond and real estate magnate Lev Leviev began to raise his profile and personalize his brand with the opening of deluxe diamond shops in London in 2006 and here in 2007, the 51-year-old Uzbekistan-born tycoon has run into a sustained string of bad news and adverse publicity. Even a hagiographic profile in The New York Times Magazine last September — in which he revealed a secret desire to become prime minister of Israel within 10 years — seems not to have helped.

The Shoah Torah Scam?

Washington Post article questions the legitimacy
of a prominent rabbi who claims he’s rescued
Holocaust-affected scrolls.

01/28/2010
Staff Writer

Two years ago, philanthropist David Rubenstein offered to buy a Torah scroll for Manhattan’s Central Synagogue. The story of the scroll was as impressive as the object itself: Rabbi Menachem Youlus, a Maryland Torah scribe and Jewish bookstore owner, said he had discovered the sefer Torah in a cemetery in Oswiecim, the Polish town the occupying Germans called Auschwitz.

The scroll was dedicated in a gala ceremony at Central Synagogue on Yom HaShoah 2008. On Rosh HaShanah that year, Rabbi Peter Rubinstein repeated the Torah’s story of survival.

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Beyond Agriprocessors

04/03/2009

Last year, Rubashkin — the name of the family that owned and ran Agriprocessors, the country’s largest kosher meatpacking plant — became synonymous with scandal. In May 2008, U.S. immigration officials raided the plant, arresting 389 illegal aliens employed there, and company owners were charged on numerous counts of violating child labor and immigration laws. The highly publicized case also put a spotlight on a disquieting history of accusations of mistreatment of animals at the slaughterhouse.

When Religion Is Used as a Cudgel

02/25/2008
Special to the Jewish Week

The one-two punch of Debra Nussbaum Cohen’s front-page article in The Jewish Week (RCA Seen Caving on Conversions, February 29) and Gershom Gorenberg’s piece in the Sunday Magazine of The New York Times (Proving You’re a Jew, March 2) serves as a painful reminder of one of Israel’s most vexing problems.

Sharing a Painful Message: Needed - Sane Voices for Israel

09/24/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

In lieu of a regular posting this week, I am sharing with you the message that I delivered in my own congregation in Forest Hills on the second day of Rosh Hashanah.

I do so because it speaks to a subject that I think needs to be on our communal agenda, and about which I feel passionately: how and about what we in the Jewish community disagree, and its implications for our relationship with the world as a whole, and particularly with Israel.

I wish you all a g’mar hatimah tovah…

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