Gabrielle Birkner

Israel Back On Wisconsin Program

02/18/2005
Staff Writer

The University of Wisconsin this week became the first major public university to reinstate its study abroad program to Israel.It had been among the scores of American universities that had suspended or revoked their Israel-based programs in 2001 and 2002 after a spate of suicide bombings and travel warnings.UW officials said they decided to re-establish their longstanding presence at Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School due to heightened security measures at the Jerusalem campus, fewer recent terrorist incidents in and around Jerusalem, and indications that the region&rs

A Shiur Of Their Own

02/11/2005
Staff Writer

More than 150 modestly dressed women of all ages packed Schenk Synagogue on Yeshiva University’s Washington Heights campus on Sunday for two lectures that kicked off Midreshet Yom Rishon, a free, weekly learning series exclusively for “the second sex.” Many of the women scribbled notes as YU’s Rosh Kollel, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, discussed Jewish law in the technology age, and Michelle Levine, professor of Torah studies at YU’s Stern College for Women, explored various interpretations of Eve’s creation.“My overriding message,” Levine said, &l

Rabbi With A Pedigree

02/11/2005
Staff Writer

Joshua Boettiger may be the only rabbinic student who can trace his roots to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The 31-year-old is a great-grandson of Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Depression and World War II leader alternately exalted and reviled by the American Jewish community.The elder son of an Episcopalian father –– the son of President Roosevelt’s daughter, Anna –– and a Jewish mother, Boettiger grew up attending church and synagogue. “I don’t know whether to be Jewish or Christian,” a 5-year-old Boettiger told his parents.

Israel Fair Counters ‘Apartheid Week’

02/04/2005
Staff Writer

In the days leading up to “Israeli Apartheid Week” sponsored by the Arab Students’ Collective at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, the Hillel of Greater Toronto sponsored a citywide celebration of the Jewish state’s art, culture and diversity. Israeli pop star Idan Raichel was among the highlights of IsraelFEST, the weeklong event that ended Friday.

Knesset Looking Into Foreign Degree Flap

02/04/2005
Staff Writer

Knesset immigration and education committees recommended at a hearing Monday the creation of a government organ to evaluate the legitimacy of foreign degrees. The proposal, reported in the Israeli daily Haaretz, comes in light of news that the Israeli Ministry of Education is not recognizing degrees from foreign univeristies that award college credits to students spending a year at Israeli yeshivas.

The Way We Were

02/04/2005
Staff Writer

Lubartovska Street circa 1937 was a vibrant and predominantly Jewish thoroughfare in the industrial city of Lublin, Poland. Men wearing top hats and well-coiffed women shared the cobblestone artery with horse-drawn carriages. Yiddish and Polish signage advertised kosher restaurants, hardware stores and lingerie boutiques.

Biblical Psychology

02/06/2004
Staff Writer

Ask clinical psychologist Marsha Mirkin, and she’ll tell you that the essential psychology textbook was written more than 3,000 years before the birth of pioneering analyst Sigmund Freud. Freud may have deemed religion “a mass delusion,” but Mirkin contends that the Divine parables of the Torah can provide unrivaled insights into human behavior.

‘I Want To Be Part Of The Land’

01/07/2005
Staff Writer

Jerusalem — Harris Switzman, a 20-year-old college student from Toronto, said birthright israel — the five-year-old program that has sent more than 70,000 young diaspora Jews on free trips to Israel — is more than a gift.

They’ll Always Have Palau

12/31/2004
Staff Writer

When Avram Sand tells people where he’s going for winter break, the most common response he gets is “Where?” “Then they ask, ‘why?’ ” said Sand, a senior at Yeshiva University High School in New York City.On Jan. 9, to show hakarat hatov, or appreciation and recognition, for the country’s support of Israel, Sand and nine of his classmates will travel to the Republic of Palau. The island group is home to about 20,000 people and some of the world’s most precious coral reefs.

Sticking With Israel

12/31/2004
Staff Writer

American school children are vying for the chance to put their personal stamp on the Holy Land — literally.“Sticking Together,” a contest sponsored by the Israeli Postal Authority and Babaga Newz magazine, is asking children to design an Israeli postage stamp. Four winning submissions will be featured on government-issued stamps in December 2005. American and Canadian students, grades one through eight, can enter.It’s part of the Babaga Newz annual “Salute to Israel” competition.

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