Facebook

Wanted: Up-Close-And-Personal Dating

Backlash against online dating,
Facebook seen as spring event season heats up.

05/11/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

For Jewish singles in the dating trenches, it’s the best of times ...

Batsheva Halberstam, a 30-something psychologist from Manhattan, said she didn’t even have to renew her subscription to JDate, the popular online dating site. That’s because she recently married the first guy she dated from the site. Don’t knock online dating, she said. “I think I liked that he actually read my profile,” Halberstam said.

And it’s the worst of times ...

Nelly Rosenking’s parties at premier venues include “Queen Esther’s Ball” and “Matzah Mayhem.”

Sending Social Networking Sympathies

The story was recently told to me about a Facebook user who updated her status message to announce the death of her grandmother and the grief she was feeling because of the loss. Her friend's mother, a Facebook newbie, read the status update and clicked Facebook's "Like" option. Was this a Facebook faux pas or a way to express condolences in the era of social networking?

A Photo of a Tombstone on Facebook

A Conversation With Hila Ratzabi

Twenty-eight-year-old poet Hila Ratzabi has the kind of credentials Jewish leaders like to tout as the surefire antidote to intermarriage: 12 years of Jewish day school followed by four years in the Jewish Theological Seminary/Barnard College undergraduate double-degree program.

The daughter of an Israeli father and American Jewish mom, Ratzabi always assumed she would marry a Jewish man. But in the year and a half since she met her Mexican-American (Baptist-raised) atheist boyfriend José, a grad student in chemistry, Ratzabi, who has an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College, has been questioning her long-held assumptions about intermarriage and eagerly reading stories of how other people have negotiated interfaith relationships.

Rage At Brandeis Over Invite To Israel’s Oren

Lookstein calls protests ‘nothing less than evil.’

05/05/2010
Associate Editor

Israel’s Ambassador Michael Oren, though no longer in the Israel Defense Forces, might feel like he deserves combat pay for all the fury he’s generating on American campuses.

Most dramatically, 11 Muslim students were arrested in February for disrupting the ambassador’s talk at the University of California-Irvine, and now hundreds of students at  Brandeis University, many of whom are Jewish, are campaigning to have Brandeis rescind its invitation for Oren to speak at graduation ceremonies May 23.

Finding A Rabbi Who Does Interfaith Weddings

When Joe and I got engaged 13 years ago in Ann Arbor, Mich., I was sure we’d have trouble finding a rabbi to perform our wedding.

As it turned out, the rabbi at the local Reform temple was willing and available. When we arrived for our first meeting, I came expecting a lengthy interrogation about exactly how we planned to raise our children. I was prepared to commit to taking an Intro to Judaism class together and ready to solemnly pledge we would hand over our future children to The Jewish People, never ever have a Christmas tree in the house and so on.

Lessons From My Kentucky Derby

With the Kentucky Derby in the news this weekend (not that I, a sports-phobe, will be watching), I can’t help reflecting more on my recent visit to Louisville and Congregation Keneseth Israel.

I was really struck by how different things can look from the “inside” versus the “outside” of a congregation.  "Sara," a Catholic woman who attends services regularly with her Jewish husband and children, was one of the volunteers who helped plan my visit. When we first spoke over the phone, she marveled, “This is the first time they’ve ever invited me to get involved on a project!”

Does a Jewish Woman Need a Jewish Man Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle?

Two recent pieces have me wondering if I’ll be out of a job soon.

Not because of the sorry state of American journalism, but because these articles, both based on conversations with Jewish women in their 20s, indicate that intermarriage has become a complete non-issue for the next generation.

Alta Kocker Humor, For All Ages

04/24/2009
Staff Writer

Posing in a black-banded khaki-colored fedora as kitschy klezmer Muzak introduces his routine, Neil Lawner gestures loudly with outstretched arms and tells a joke about newlywed Luigi, who rode a train to Florida with his new bride Virginia, and tragically, mistook the station stop “Norfolk” for a prohibition in his marriage consummation.

Old jokes, old joke-tellers: Jewish humor hits the Web.

Friend Jay Feinberg, Save A Life

05/15/2009
Staff Writer

In these days of tracking Tweets and finding Facebook friends, one organization is using the social media craze to try to save lives, through the click of a mouse.

Congressional Hearing Tackles Anti-Semitism In Social Media

04/20/2010

(JTA) – Social networking sites present a new and dangerous medium for spreading anti-Semitism, panelists told a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee.

The April 14 hearing looked at the proliferation of hate speech through social media alongside such concerns as anti-Semitism being masked as anti-Israelism or anti-Westernism.

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