Gabrielle Birkner

Confronting Problems

03/25/2005
Staff Writer

Underage drinking, drug abuse, eating disorders, low self esteem and other parental concerns and realities were confronted Sunday when more than 700 New York-area parents spanning Orthodoxy’s ideological gamut convened at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn for the Orthodox Union’s Positive Jewish Parenting Conference.Parents hungry for child-rearing advice with a hechsher attended psychologist- and social worker-led workshops such as “Is My Teen Just Being a Teen? Or Help! Do I Need Somebody?”

Building Bridges

03/11/2005
Staff Writer

When Pizmon, Columbia’s famed Jewish a cappella group, began to croon a series of Hebrew melodies, a group of about 100 French university students — visibly tired from their trans-Atlantic flight earlier in the day — roused and began clapping to the music, cheering, dancing and snapping photos of the singers.After each song, Pizmon received a standing ovation from the French student leaders who gathered Sunday in the basement of the Kraft Center, the home of Columbia University’s Hillel.“It was something very unexpected for us,” said Jimmy Pinto, a senior

Frum And Funny

03/11/2005
Staff Writer

In Cedarhurst, the Long Island hamlet a few miles southwest of JFK Airport, the rumble of low-flying planes was audible inside the Chofetz Chaim Torah Center, where Ayelet, billed as The Kosher Komic, was performing on a recent Saturday night.

Jewish Studies Comes Of Age

03/04/2005
Staff Writer

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor last week announced the creation of an institute for advanced Judaic studies, made possible by a $20 million gift from Samuel and Jean Frankel, two UM alumni. It is believed to be the largest gift ever earmarked for Jewish studies at any university, and the most sizeable donation ever given to UM’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts.When it opens in the fall of 2007, the institute, to be housed in the existing Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, will bring together 14 international Jewish studies scholars.

United By Horror

03/04/2005
Staff Writer

In 1994, while 9-year-old Jacqueline Murekatete was waiting to die at the hands of Hutu rebels in a Rwandan orphanage, David Gewirtzman was reading newspaper articles, often buried deep inside the dailies, about the mass murder taking place in Murekatete’s homeland.“Seeing pictures of bodies floating down the river affects me in a different way,” said Gewirtzman, a Holocaust survivor from Losice, Poland, referring to media images of the Rwandan massacre.

Too Close For Comfort

03/04/2005
Staff Writer

A group of Westchester-area high school students had a close call last Friday night on the beach in Tel Aviv but they’re not packing up to come home.Six seniors at Solomon Schechter High School of Westchester were within a few hundred feet of the Tel Aviv nightclub where a suicide attack killed five people and wounded about 50 others. None of the students were hurt, and Elliot Spiegel, the school’s headmaster, said the 12th grade class would not cut short its trip as a result of the bombing.

Hot Line For Campus Bias

02/25/2005
Staff Writer

In a sign that perceived anti-Israel bias on U.S. college campuses has reached a fevered pitch, the Israel on Campus Coalition has launched a toll-free number where students and faculty members can air their concerns about anti-Israel sentiments on campus and in the classroom.

Flight Risk

02/25/2005
Staff Writer

An Upper West Side man who flew Continental Airlines from Newark to Tel Aviv last month is alleging that the carrier failed to divulge its decision to reduce pre-boarding security.Jonathan Gould, 48, is suing the airline for the cost of his flight. Last week he filed a claim against Continental Airlines requesting damages of $978.65 plus expenditures for “non-disclosure of significant decrease in pre-boarding security due to cost-cutting measures.

When Murder Hits Home

02/18/2005
Staff Writer

‘For the sake of remembering, I wear my father’s face over mine.”-Yehuda Amichai, From “Songs of Zion, the Beautiful.”

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