For a year and a half, Shane Wamsley returned to his Salt Lake City home from his day job as a financial controller and began another one: eight hours of data entry at his computer. On weekends, he'd log even longer hours.
Wamsley, working as a volunteer, was compiling a database of burial records for Bayside Cemetery, which dates back to 1842 and has approximately 35,000 graves.
The first time Melinda Young went to a Passover seder, the hosts put an individual seder plate at each place setting.
Assuming this arrangement of symbolic foods comprised the entire meal, Young, a lapsed Catholic who lives in Austin, Texas, remembers looking at the plate thinking, “OK, there’s a piece of matzah, a boiled egg — and I don’t think there’s any meat on that bone.”
When the matzah ball soup came she downed two portions, convinced it would be the last food she’d see for hours.
It’s 8:30 on a Saturday night and 29-year-old “Ilana,” dressed in a sweater set and skirt that falls just below the knees, is in the hallway of a Brooklyn synagogue, its faded cappuccino-colored walls decorated with black-and-white photos from the 1950s and ’60s.
Think of My Jewish Learning — the Jewish Internet-based venture from mega-donors Lynn Schusterman and Edgar Bronfman launched this week — as “Encyclopedia Judaica” on Broadband or Maimonides Meets Microsoft.
Jackie Garonzik came back from her birthright israel trip two years ago feeling “a strong pull toward Judaism.” In the first few months back at Johns Hopkins University, the pre-med student explored Jewish groups on campus and “would go to Shabbat dinner for a little bit.”
Yeshiva University is enmeshed in its own battle over gay and lesbian couples less than a month after the Reform movement affirmed the right of its rabbis to officiate at same-gender commitment ceremonies.