Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Facing Up To The Hurt

05/19/2000
Staff Writer
Regina Benshimon was busy preparing for Yom Kippur last September, but she stopped as the sun set the evening before the Day of Atonement would begin to celebrate the Sabbath. After dinner with her husband and the five of her seven children who lived at home (the two eldest were already married) she went to bed early. It was to be the 44-year-old chasidic woman's last Shabbat.

Renewal's Struggle For Acceptance

04/21/2000
Staff Writer
Like a cross between the voice of God and a vintage radio broadcast full of pop and hiss, the disembodied sound of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi filled the sanctuary of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun. It was a Shabbat celebration of the 75th birthday of Schachter-Shalomi, the rebbe of the Jewish Renewal movement, who is nearly universally known as Reb Zalman. For four decades he has been considered by many to be a marginal figure but has, in fact, also breathed a spark of spirit into the inner life of mainstream Judaism.

Widespread Worker Abuses Alleged At AgriProcessors

05/14/2008
Staff Writer
Two legal experts suggested this week that the federal government could be laying the groundwork for possible indictments against the owners of the country’s largest kosher meat manufacturer.

On DNA Testing, A Murky Vision

05/14/2008
Staff Writer
I’ve been meaning to have my DNA tested in hope of locating the genetic mutation that impairs my vision. The mutation makes me legally blind, leaving me unable to drive and using one of those white canes in crowds and at night.

DNA Analysis, Direct To You

05/14/2008
Staff Writer
It had big-money marketing written all over it. Every detail in the Soho gallery space was futuristically sleek and designed to impress the New Yorkers who, the company hoped, would be sold on shelling out $2,499 to get their DNA tested for 18 disease predispositions — but only after they enjoyed fresh pomegranate juice or a “Navitini,” a cocktail created for the occasion. Munching on healthy hors d’hoevres, several dozen people milled among the computer monitors showing Navigenics videos of happy customers.

The Hunk Principle

11/07/2003
Staff Writer
Your star has fallen from my firmament, Mel Gibson. Tom Selleck was the first to go down like, dare I say it, a shooting asteroid. The tall, dark, hirsute and handsome actor sat next to Rosie O'Donnell on her talk show shortly after two students killed a dozen schoolmates and a teacher at Colorado's Columbine High School, and defended the National Rifle Association, of which he was a member.

Nevison: I Did Nothing Wrong

06/16/2006
Staff Writer
After pleading guilty this week to five counts of sexually abusing his young nephew over a four-year period, Cantor Howard Nevison continues to maintain that he did nothing wrong. In an exclusive interview with The Jewish Week Tuesday (the first time he has spoken publicly about the case that made sensational headlines in 2002) Cantor Nevison said that his deal with prosecutors was akin to a "no contest" plea: "when you don't admit to anything."

For Men Only?

06/16/2006
Staff Writer
An elite gathering of Jewish leaders convened by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute met this week with a mission no less grand than charting the future of the Jewish people. But women apparently weren't a part of that future: None were on the list of participants. To gender equity activist Shifra Bronznick, and quite a few of the 1,000 people she e-mailed about the imbalance, that just isn't kosher.

State Lists Mohel Precautions

06/16/2006
Staff Writer
New York State's health commissioner struck an accord this week with an organization of fervently Orthodox rabbis based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on the controversial practice of metzitzah b'peh, or oral suctioning by a mohel of blood from a circumcision wound.

Chernobyl's Forgotten Children

05/12/2006
Staff Writer
Two weeks ago marked the 20th anniversary of the worst man-made environmental disaster the world has ever experienced. Beginning on April 26, 1986, the nuclear reactor in Chernobyl, near the border between Belarus and Ukraine, experienced several explosions and a meltdown said to release 300 times as much radiation as was released in Hiroshima.
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