Last year the Avi Chai Foundation published a watershed study on Hebrew school education. One of the most intriguing findings was the emergence of a new force in this arena: Chabad-Lubavitch. The report, authored by former Jewish Theological Seminary provost Dr. Jack Wertheimer said that Chabad has taken a bold new approach to Hebrew school. Committed teachers, creative curricula, and a new program are infused with excitement and vitality.
Some of the best applications of Jewish wisdom are not necessarily found in our own community but rather in the broader secular community —from Jeffrey Sachs’ work on poverty to Eli Broad’s support of charities and the arts. A great example from the tri-state area is Andy Ackerman, who has made a major impact as executive director of the Children’s Museum in Manhattan (www.cmom.org). He was honored this week for his 20 years of service by the museum and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. We spoke with Ackerman about how he applies Jewish wisdom through his work.
British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: the Jewish people will continue to thrive if we maintain our pride and develop a sense of optimism.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
(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.”
New-fangled Boerum Hill deli, run by a Montreal couple, takes aim at excesses of genre.
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.
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.