Yom Kippur

Mumbai Update: Thoughts Before Shiva

Sunday, November 30th, 2008 In the wake of the Mumbai massacre, do you think we can give our Quixotic obsession with Jewish-Muslim “dialogue” a rest, at least until after all the Jews get up from shiva? Don’t worry, it’s only a few days, then all the professional dialoguers can go back to dialoguing all they want.  

The Israel Parade Again

Friday, May 23rd, 2008 The Salute To Israel Parade is back in town this Sunday, and it’s terrific in a multitude of ways, which begs the question: Why does just about every Jewish day school lack confidence in the appeal of this parade, so much so that have to make attendance at the parade “mandatory”? Kids naturally love parades, and most yeshiva kids love Israel, so why is everyone so sure kids won’t come to this parade without a whip and chair?

In The Heights, A Dialogue Starts

08/20/2008
Staff Writer
En route to Yom Kippur services last year, Yeshiva University senior Ayol Samuels walked through Washington Heights sporting a pair of flip-flops, with a group of sandal-clad shul-goers strolling ahead. On his way, he passed a group of Dominican children congregated together on a nearby stoop.

Sephardic Gangster Flicks

12/06/2002
Staff Writer
The Bettouns are a traditional kind of family. They decorate their homes with menorahs and affix mezuzahs to their doorposts. They gather in the synagogue for bar mitzvah services and celebrate in lavish style. And when someone dies, they immediately say the Shema: even when that person has just been thrown from a helicopter into the backyard of the family compound.   

Rewiring The

01/04/2008
Staff Writer
Today, the once-struggling Y is in excellent financial shape. Today, the Y is at the center of the post-9/11 revival of Jewish life in Lower Manhattan, the home to scores of activities and to the Downtown Kehillah, the umbrella group for a dozen local Jewish institutions.

Closer To God, Far from Shul

09/07/2007
Staff Writer
There are people who don’t want to come to a traditional structure because they don’t like tradition,” Rabbi Hoffman says. Hence his abbreviated, participatory service in a decidedly non-synagogue site. “We cater,” he says, “to both a traditional and non-traditional crowd.”

Begging For Forgiveness

09/22/2006
Staff Writer
A man who likes extinct languages, Mel Gibson had a chance to practice his Latin this summer — he made several mea culpas.Following his drunken, sexist, profane, anti-Semitic tirade in Malibu in July, the actor-director apologized to the police officers who arrested him. He apologized in a general public statement for saying “despicable” things.

Wired To The High Holy Days

09/26/2008
Staff Writer
Houston — Just released from the hospital and too weak to attend High Holy Days services at her synagogue four years ago, Pearl Altman listened on the telephone. The congregation of Mrs. Altman, a retired teacher and investment banker, had made that arrangement for homebound members like her. But the audio-only broadcast could not duplicate the in-shul experience, she says. Too much dead time, extended minutes of silence or of prayerbook pages rustling. There must be a better way, said Mrs. Altman and her husband Sig.

An Arena For Forgiveness?

09/19/2008
Staff Writer
A major German company cooperates with the Third Reich during World War II. Years later, it apologizes for its actions and makes reparation payments to Holocaust survivors. The firm is honored in the United States by the Jewish community. Another major German company cooperates with the Third Reich. It also apologizes and makes reparation payments. In an attempt to strengthen its public image in the U.S., it bids to put its name on a prominent football stadium. The firm is heavily criticized here by the Jewish community.

Wired To The High Holy Days

09/26/2008
Staff Writer
Houston — Just released from the hospital and too weak to attend High Holy Days services at her synagogue four years ago, Pearl Altman listened on the telephone. The congregation of Mrs. Altman, a retired teacher and investment banker, had made that arrangement for homebound members like her. But the audio-only broadcast could not duplicate the in-shul experience, she says. Too much dead time, extended minutes of silence or of prayerbook pages rustling. There must be a better way, said Mrs. Altman and her husband Sig.
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