Jewish

Identity Crisis, Times Two

For the filmmaker and the subject of ‘Off and Running,’
adolescence means self-evaluation.

01/28/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Adolescence is a miserably difficult time. That’s about the time that Nicole Opper decided that she was going to be Jewish. That’s about the time that Avery Klein-Cloud, the subject of Opper’s first feature-length film, “Off and Running,” began to struggle with questions of her own identity, questions not unlike those the filmmaker had wrestled with a decade or so before, only much more complicated.

Beyond Agriprocessors

04/03/2009

Last year, Rubashkin — the name of the family that owned and ran Agriprocessors, the country’s largest kosher meatpacking plant — became synonymous with scandal. In May 2008, U.S. immigration officials raided the plant, arresting 389 illegal aliens employed there, and company owners were charged on numerous counts of violating child labor and immigration laws. The highly publicized case also put a spotlight on a disquieting history of accusations of mistreatment of animals at the slaughterhouse.

Funding In-Marriage Out Of His Own Pocket

In his first post-Birthright trip, ‘Momo’ Lifshitz shells out $250,000 to get across his ‘raise your children Jewish’ message. Is it selling?

01/06/2010
Staff Writer

Tel Aviv — Tucked into the rocky thickets of Mount Carmel in northern Israel, 43 American 20-somethings gathered in a hotel conference room to play a simple game — using their bodies as place markers, they lined up across the room according to how important they found dating Jews, and Jews alone.

At first, only four people stood on the “date Jews” side of the room. But when the question changed to marriage, four soon grew to 15. And when marriage changed to raising children Jewish, a good 15 more shuffled over.

"You have to try to find Jewish love,” Momo Lifshitz, inset, told his Oranim trip participants

In The Name Of The Father

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 One of the silliest tendencies in Jewish journalism — and I’d bet this has been going on since  American Jewish papers were first published in the 1800s — has been to write about any celebrity with some Jewish blood as a Jewish celebrity, even if that celebrity is not Jewish according to Jewish law or practice, and knows almost nothing Judaism (nor should that celebrity be expected to).  

Classic Sites To See - Again

Special To The Jewish Week
10/27/2009
A tourist’s first visit to Israel typically has a predictable itinerary: the Western Wall, Masada, Tel Aviv. Return visitors are often keen to experience different sites, ones they missed the first time. But in the last five years, a wide range of attractions all over Israel have undergone such extensive renovation or expansion that they are worth a repeat visit.

Sunset, Sunrise

Special To The Jewish Week
12/08/2009
The most beautiful sunset I have seen in my life was above the rolling hills of Majdanek, a Nazi concentration camp in Poland. Orange grabbed peach, peach wrapped its legs around crimson, until all was gold, gold hovering over our weeping circle of Jews, gathered there to witness the worst of humanity. I was 18, out of America for the first time and thoroughly captivated by Poland, by its dark history but also by its Jewish renaissance, embodied that day in the radiant sunset.

City Of Loss, City of Renewal

Special To The Jewish Week
12/08/2009
Climbing up the stairs of the Victoria Luise Platz subway station, I had the anxious feeling that I was going to a place that was filled with quiet importance. I expected myself to feel connected to this place, this West Berlin neighborhood surrounding a tree-lined park with benches scattered about, a fountain at its edge. While I can’t say that I felt a sense of belonging in my grandmother’s pre-Holocaust neighborhood or one of entitlement to her former building, to the sidewalk in front of it, I felt a sense of urgency of needing to understand this place.

Storied Past

12/29/2009
Growing up in a small town where there were few Jewish families, Jewish stories gave me belonging despite the fact that there wasn’t a physical community for me to belong to. Educated at Brandeis University where I was immersed in a largely Jewish student body, Jewish stories gave me pride, for there we were, descendants of the twelve tribes learning side by side.

Beyond Agriprocessors

Must kosher food be socially responsible too?

04/03/2009
Last year, Rubashkin — the name of the family that owned and ran Agriprocessors, the country’s largest kosher meatpacking plant — became synonymous with scandal. In May 2008, U.S. immigration officials raided the plant, arresting 389 illegal aliens employed there, and company owners were charged on numerous counts of violating child labor and immigration laws. The highly publicized case also put a spotlight on a disquieting history of accusations of mistreatment of animals at the slaughterhouse.

Television

02/13/2009
Special To The Jewish Week
“We could be like the Mayans and the Incas. People will come to Jerusalem and say, ‘Yes, there were these curious people there.’” The statement comes around the middle of “Out of Faith,” a documentary that offers a moving, honest and evenhanded look at the problems interfaith marriage creates for the Jewish people.
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