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The Toyota on the Synagogue Steps

02/17/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Just about a week and a half ago, an elderly man drove his car through the bushes in front of my synagogue, onto the steps leading up to the main entrance on the service road of Queens Boulevard.  It's not clear what the cause was, although because he was driving a Toyota, his claim that the car accelerated on him suddenly seems (pun fully intended) to have caught traction.  I don't know.  Actually, I wasn't there at the time, and didn't think all that much of it.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik is spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center

There’s Something about Chanukkah…

12/11/2009

As I was sitting down to write this blog entry, I decided to look at my e-mail first- always a questionable strategy if you really want to get something done.  I discovered that I had received numerous e-mails urging me to address the Iranian threat to Israel in my weekly sermon, a threat that, according to the e-mails, even AIPAC and J Street agree is real and serious.

So it got me thinking…

Russian Identity Rock

01/11/2008
Special to The Jewish Week

 Call it dialectical rock — a new musical form with roots in the psyche of the Soviet past that gives voice to all the contradictions of the present-day Russian Jewish immigrant experience. 

Drozdy (Blackbirds), a musical group formed six months ago by five close friends in their early 50’s — most of whom have been part of the tight-knit Russian literary, artistic and counter-cultural scene since arriving here 30 years ago — have been winning raves since they cut their self-titled CD last month (many of the songs are available on YouTube). 

Obama and Rev. Wright Again

03/16/2008
Special to the Jewish Week

As I write, a fierce debate is raging among my colleagues, and indeed among Americans, about the relationship between Barack Obama and his minister/mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Americans of all creeds are disturbed by Rev. Wright’s comments- played on what seems like a continuous loop on YouTube- that essentially blame 9/11 on America, and reveal a huge reservoir of toxic anger against insults both real and imagined perpetrated by White America against Black people.

Unite The Lights

Monday, December 22nd, 2008  There’s a nice campaign, “Unite The Lights,” to have — on the night of Tuesday, December 23 — a spiritual linkage of Chanukah lights everywhere, beginning with the candle lighting at the Statue of Liberty.  ”For you youngsters out there,” as Ed Sullivan used to say, Unite The Lights is doing a Monday launch on YouTube and Facebook, with a widget to ignite the light.  

Tweeting For Israel

01/14/2009
Staff Writer
Lifting a frothy cappuccino with one hand and scribbling scraggly Hebrish notes with the other, David Saranga severed himself from his Twitter feed to sit down at a Midtown espresso bar last Monday, armed only with his BlackBerry and pocket-size digital camera.

Next-Gen Cellphones To Have Israeli Ring

07/09/2008
Staff Writer
Take a good, hard look at the cellphone in your pocket. Whether you’re an avid text messager or you’ve only recently learned how to change your ring tone to something snazzy, be forewarned. Within the next year or two, your cellphone will undergo such a radical transformation that you’ll view the phone you’re currently carrying around as terribly passé. And impersonal, too.      At least that’s what dozens of Israeli startups — and their funders —are betting on.   

Anti-Semitism 2.0 Going Largely Unchallenged

02/20/2008
Staff Writer
More than 35,000 people have joined the Facebook group “Israel is not a country! ... Delist it from Facebook as a country!”       Type “Jew” into the search function on YouTube, and you’ll discover a host of anti-Semitic videos, including “911 Jew Spy Scandal 3” and a video clip in which National Polish Party’s Leszek Bubel declares himself a “proud anti-Semite.”    

Knocking On The Roof: A Briefing From The IDF On Gaza And Civilians

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Imagine getting a phone call from an advancing army warning you to get out of the area.

 

Or getting a “knock on the roof,” in the form of a dummy bomb dropped from a military plane, warning you that the terrorist hiding in your building has been targeted, and the next bomb will be real.

 

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