Passover

Hail To The Chief

British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: the Jewish people will continue to thrive if we maintain our pride and develop a sense of optimism.

04/20/2010
Editor and Publisher

Listening to British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks deliver a positive message of Jewish survival and triumph at Lincoln Square Synagogue on Shabbat, and observing the enthusiastic, attentive overflow crowds at each of his three presentations, helped strengthen the impression for me that he has emerged as the leading voice of Modern Orthodoxy and religious Zionism in the world.

Gary Rosenblatt

Tzedakah 2.0

My grandmother sometimes complains about charitable organizations. She’s a very generous woman who donates to many charities, but she often gets frustrated by the amount of solicitations she receives. With each complimentary pen, notepad, wall calendar, or other complimentary gift sent in the mail (so she’ll remember to donate again), she remarks that these organizations would be better off saving their money and using it to fulfill their mission. She also expresses angst when a solicitation envelope arrives only days after she already sent in a contribution.

Gold for Rubashkin or Guatemalans?

04/15/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

"Gold drive for Rubashkin!" read the subject line in my inbox. I knew that millions were being spent to defend Sholom Rubashkin, but when I read the email calling people to donate their gold to the defense fund, I was shocked. This gold drive, combined with a petition to the US Attorney seeking to get 50,000 signatures asking for better treatment of Rubashkin, is being pitched under the premise of the mitzvah of "Pidyon Shevyuiim" (redeeming of captives).

Shmuly Yanklowitz

Take Your Daughter To Church Day

Looks like, despite my railing against Joseph Reyes, the court has ruled in his favor. (Imagine that: not everyone is swayed by my opinions!)

Reyes is the Catholic Chicago dad who had his 3-year-old daughter baptized without his estranged Jewish wife’s permission.

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

Warning to Israelis: Leave Sinai now

04/13/2010

(JTA) — Israelis have been warned to leave Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula immediately.

Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau on Tuesday evening issued the warning, citing “concrete information” that terrorists were planning to kidnap Israelis.

“We call on all Israelis now in Sinai to leave at once and return to Israel,” read the warning. “Families of Israelis now in Sinai are requested to make contact and update them of this travel warning.”

Mile End, Not Mile High

New-fangled Boerum Hill deli, run by a Montreal couple, takes aim at excesses of genre.

04/13/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Walking into Brooklyn’s newest Jewish deli for the first time, Ken Goeringer sees two mothers chatting at a table, a pair of art students with a splay of sketchpads arranged around their plates and a man in a shirt and tie looking up from his library book to balance a few bites of brisket-covered poutine (a decadent marriage of frites, cheese curd and gravy) on a fork.

Mile End's Rae Cohen with the deli's signature dish, Montreal-style smoked brisket

Waiting For God — As Beckett Or Moses?

04/13/2010

Candlelighting, Readings:
Candlelighting: 7:18 p.m.
Torah Reading: Leviticus 12:1-15:31
Haftarah: II Kings 7:3-20
Sabbath Ends: 8:19 p.m.

Every year about this time, I remember Samuel Beckett’s enigmatic play, “Waiting for Godot.” Beckett refused to identify Godot with God, but this period of the Omer is when Jews wait for God, and the parallel is compelling.

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Video Haggadahs

There are thousands of Passover Haggadahs that have been published throughout the world. And with the increasing popularity of the Internet, new forms of haggadot are being created each year.

This year's Passover, which concluded a few short days ago, saw the return of the Facebook Haggadah as well as some attempts at using Twitter to create a Passover Tweder.

Riding the Nisan/Iyar Rollercoaster

04/09/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Like some gigantic parabolic curve that exists in both time and space, the two adjoining Hebrew months of Nisan and Iyar have their way with us.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik
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