Julie Wiener

Getting Around Grandma’s Chicken Soup

Associate Editor
11/10/2009
With his much-hyped new book, “Eating Animals,” Jonathan Safran Foer has managed to do something that my vegetarian husband and daughter have been unable to pull off: sworn me off meat, at least all conventionally raised meat.

New Test For Jewish Schools

02/07/2003
Staff Writer
With the city Board of Education undergoing its largest changes in more than 30 years and major state budget cuts anticipated, Rabbi Leib Kelman is hoping the girls at his 1,200-student Prospect Park Yeshiva don't lose out on the special needs services, textbooks, remedial support and other aid funneled to the school through the local district. New York's vast school bureaucracy, which for three-plus decades was administered largely from 32 decentralized districts, is in the midst of a major restructuring, with the mayor and chancellor gaining power.

Progress Report

01/31/2003
Staff Writer
Back at school after an all-too-quick winter vacation, Carmit Federman is wishing she had used some of the precious free days to get started on this month's dreaded task: report cards. For most adults, report cards hold a key place in their childhood memories: the nervousness upon opening them, the anticipation of parents' reactions, or simply the pride of coming home with a page full of A's.

Israel Ambassadors In Training

01/31/2003
Staff Writer
Rabbi Joseph Brodie had been planning a family vacation in Ireland for this summer. But while visiting Israel this month with the Jewish Theological Seminary, he decided to switch plans and bring the family to Israel. Rabbi Brodie, vice president of student affairs at the Conservative seminary, escorted 102 students on a four-day mission in which they received Ministry of Tourism training to become "tourism ambassadors."

Birthright: Battered But Resilient

01/31/2003
Staff Writer
Working as a bouncer at an East Side bar with a predominantly black and Latino clientele, Michael Isaacs was surprised one night this fall to notice a predominantly Jewish crowd entering the club. To show his "solidarity," Isaacs (a burly, chain-smoking Long Island native who recently completed a two-year stint as a combat medic in the U.S. Army) took out his chai pendant, the Jewish symbol of life. Within minutes, a stranger with an Israeli accent approached Isaacs, 26, asking him if he was Jewish and if he wanted to go to Israel for free.

Israel On Wheels

01/24/2003
Staff Writer
Most American Jews on solidarity missions to Israel crisscross the country by bus, shuttling between cities and meetings with government officials. But come spring, there'll be an opportunity for the Israel supporter with more active and ecological leanings: a 314-mile bike trip from Tel Aviv to Eilat. Cosponsored by the New York-based Hazon and Israel's Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, the ride, scheduled for April 27-May 2, is both a solidarity mission and an effort to raise awareness of Israel's environmental challenges.

Vandals Strike Queens Cemetery

01/17/2003
Staff Writer
Graves were opened and human remains exposed when a mausoleum was broken into recently at the Bayside Cemetery, a 160-year-old Jewish cemetery in Ozone Park, Queens. Cemetery officials became aware of the damage last week after the vandalism was reported by a cemetery visitor. Owned by Shaare Zedek, a Conservative congregation on the Upper West Side, the cemetery has long been in disrepair.

Reform Cuts Outreach Program

01/10/2003
Staff Writer
A year after a study found the Reform movement was doing a good job of reaching out to interfaith families, the movement (North America's largest Jewish stream) is dramatically cutting its more than 20-year-old outreach program. The cuts come as the movement's Union of American Hebrew Congregations, blaming the recession, is slashing its total operating budget of about $20 million by 10 percent, or $2 million.

Jewish Stirrings At Ground Zero

01/03/2003
Staff Writer
Fifteen months ago, with Lower Manhattan engulfed in ashes, the idea of building a Jewish community center here might have seemed like a bizarre joke. Jewish parenting classes, arts programming (maybe even a swimming pool) within blocks of the most horrific scene of Islamic fundamentalist-inspired destruction? But, ironically, momentum is now building for a Jewish center below Canal Street: and it is because of, rather than in spite of, the Sept. 11 attacks.

Concordia Hillel Strikes Back

12/27/2002
Staff Writer
After years of chafing under the rule of their university's strongly pro-Palestinian student union, Hillel members at Montreal's Concordia University are venting their frustrations (10 pages worth) in court.
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