Michael Datikash

‘Can You Talk Like That With A Yarmulke On?’

06/29/2010
Editorial Intern

Jokes about JDate, Hebrew school, tefillin and “making aliyah to Florida” abounded at the 11th Annual Funniest Jewish Comedian Contest Monday night. 

More than 100 people packed the basement of the Broadway Comedy Club on the West Side for The Jewish Week-sponsored event, produced by actor and comedian Geoff Kole. 

Eric Fier took top honors at the Funniest Jewish Comedian competition this week,Michael Datikash

An Obligation To The Dead

06/16/2010

 The oldest Jewish cemetery in the United States would probably be an official historical landmark site today, but no one knows where it’s located.

Shortly after the original group of 23 Jews from Brazil arrived in then-New Amsterdam in 1654, they founded Congregation Shearith Israel then successfully petitioned city authorities to establish a Jewish burial ground on “a little hook of land,” most likely on the sparsely developed island of Manhattan.

Rabbi Hayyim Angel. Michael Datikash

Gaza Flotilla Crisis Fuels Blockade Controversy for Israel

Left slams ‘collective punishment,’ as right hits Israel’s critics.

06/02/2010

Tel Aviv — The botched Israeli interception of a Gaza-bound blockade-buster flotilla ignited the usual Monday-morning quarterbacking in Israel:

Had the military prepared itself sufficiently for violent resistance? 

Did Israel lose the media war in the first hours when official spokespeople were silent for hours despite reports of fatalities on the ships?

The day after the flotilla raid, pro-Israel (left) and pro-Palestinian protestors rallied here. Michael Datikash | Getty Images

New Moves To Bolster Northeast Queens Jewry

Orthodox, non-Orthodox congregations adapting in bid
for survival, growth.

05/12/2010
Staff Writer

 ‘Creatures who adapt to their environment fly; if not, they become extinct. We are adapting and evolving.”

Rabbi Menashe Bovit, the new spiritual leader of the Conservative Bellrose Jewish Center, isn’t just referring to the survival-of-the-fittest law of the jungle. He’s also referring to the sometimes cruel, Darwin-esque nature of Jewish demographics in an ever-changing city. In this case the demographics of northeast Queens, an area on the Queens-Nassau border trying to claw back from the brink of extinction — Jewishly, that is.

Officials of Temple Sholom of Floral Park look over plans for new building. Michael Datikash

Shulevitz’s Shabbat

The author of The Sabbath World shares what she’s learned about the day of rest.

Staff Writer
04/28/2010

 Cultural critic Judith Shulevitz grew up in a house divided when it came to observing Shabbat. And she’s not the only one. What for some people is a kind of refuge is for others an antiquated and sometimes oppressive ordeal. From its very beginning, the Sabbath has raised questions, posed challenges and has spawned new ways of thinking for Jews and Christians alike. In her new book, “The Sabbath World, Glimpses of a Different Order of Time,” Shulevitz explores how the Sabbath has been observed and understood over the course of millennia.  

Photo By Michael Datikash

Israel Conversion Bill A Hard Sell To U.S. Jews

Legislation would end the Orthodox hegemony over conversions in Israel, but liberal leaders worry about Law of Return provision.

04/27/2010
Staff Writer

The Israeli lawmaker who authored the proposed controversial conversion bill flew to New York this week to convince Reform and Conservative Jewish leaders to support it, promising to withdraw the bill if they do not.

“I want them to say we read the bill, we don’t love it but we accept it,” the Israeli Knesset member, David Rotem, told The Jewish Week.

Israel Beiteinu’s David Rotem. MICHAEL DATIKASH

Rally Here Slams Obama, Jewish Democrats

Organizers of rightist protest say Rep. Weiner
asked to speak but was nixed.

04/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

As the rain came down Sunday and a crowd estimated at about 1,000 people listened to speeches, the organizers of a right-wing rally opposed to President Barack Obama’s policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fielded a request from U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn and Queens).
 

Some of the 1,000 or so people who turned out for Sunday’s rally. Photos by Michael Datikash

Rally Here Slams Obama, Jewish Democrats

Organizers of rightist protest say Rep. Weiner asked to speak but was nixed.

04/27/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

As the rain came down Sunday and a crowd estimated at about 1,000 people listened to speeches, the organizers of a right-wing rally opposed to President Barack Obama's policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fielded a request from U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn and Queens).

Scene at Sunday rally, which drew an estimated 1000 people. Photo: Michael Datikash

New Look For 14th Street Y

Revamp of facility and programming pays off for the East Village institution.

12/18/2009
Staff Writer

Even before he was born, 6-year-old Shane Fleming spent lots of time in the 14th Street Y’s pool, a 20-year-old neighborhood oasis that is now home to some of his favorite weekly classes.
 

“Shane literally took every class he could possibly take since he was born” up to the present, said his mother, and longtime Y member, Jill Shely. “He totally feels like the Y is his home.”
 

Upstairs a child learns to read outside the preschool, where a LABA artist’s rendition of the orchard theme decorates the space.

Incentives To Lure Faithful Seen Growing

In bid to stabilize neighborhoods, more Modern Orthodox shuls
offering cash for new blood.

04/13/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

When Phillip and Aviva Angel felt priced out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, and wanted to find a Modern Orthodox community where they could put down permanent roots, they searched the Internet for Jewish housing incentives.

“Being Modern Orthodox and the father of sons, I didn’t feel there were really any options for affordable Orthodox Jewish education in Brooklyn,” said Angel, a self-employed architectural consultant. “We were also looking for a suburb where you can commute affordably to New York City.”

Have money, will relocate? Fleetwood Synagogue in Mt. Vernon is offering up to $30,000 for new families. Michael Datikash
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