Sharon Udasin

Soles With Soul

12/08/2009
Staff Writer

Sandwiched between the sparkly Christmas windows of Bergdorf Goodman and the high-end Under Armour sportswear store, 75 or so modestly, yet trendily, clad women sipped organic kosher wines, enjoyed cheese hors d’oeuvres and tested their luck with various Christian Louboutin wedges, Gucci boots and Marc Jacobs slingbacks. 

Well heeled: Designer couture and vintage shoes on display for auction at a benefit for TheJewishWoman.org.

The East Village ‘Wailing Wall’

12/01/2009
Staff Writer

Surrounded by dustily stocked bookshelves, antique lamps and floral artistic screens, a jazz saxophonist jammed along with his ensemble for a small crowd that straggled in and out of a dimly lit East Village basement this past Monday night. 

No, this wasn’t your ordinary subterranean jazz haunt.

Four Generations, One Aliyah

Extended Far Rockaway family, in rare move, heads to Israel — and new life — together.

06/22/2010
Staff Writer

Three generations of the Wurtzel-Entel family were on board for the move of a lifetime.

Chana Wurtzel and her husband Yitzi, who live in Far Rockaway, Queens, were acting on years’ worth of dreams to finally make aliyah to Israel. They would be accompanied, of course, by their four children, ranging in age from 10 to 18 months. But Chana’s parents, Joan and Eliezer Entel, it turned out, were just as enthusiastic about the move as she and her husband were.

Then there was grandma — generation No. 4.

Mimi Glaser, 94, fourth from right, with her extended family. On Aug. 3 they’ll make aliyah together.

R&R For The Heart And Soul: Chabad-Style NY Welcome For Wounded Israeli Veterans

06/22/2010
Staff Writer

A year and a half after the left side of his body was torn head-to-toe by shrapnel in the Gaza war, 23-year-old Ron Lichi was enjoying a relaxing tour of the Empire State Building, the White House and the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s gravesite, among other American tourist destinations.

Israeli soldiers wounded in Gaza war visit the Statue of Liberty, top, and meet with Chabad leaders here. Bentzi Sasson

‘PunkJews’ Get Their 15 Minutes

New documentary in progress grows out of hipster chasid ‘Chulent’ scene.

06/16/2010
Staff Writer

They are the ultimate crossover artists, moving freely between the worlds of Orthodox religious observance and edgy secular artistic expression, albeit with a strong Jewish twist.

Some are chasidic outcasts, having left the fold of Satmar or Lubavitch. Others live at the fringes of the chasidic world, improvising a freewheeling sense of spirituality as they ply their trade as rap singers, hard rockers, clothing designers and visual artists.

Evan Kleinman and Saul Sudin during shooting of “PunkJews.” courtesy of Evan Kleinman

Yahoo Maps Reunite Jerusalem

06/15/2010

Jerusalem has been reunited without gunfire, 43 years after the Six Day War -- this time, by Yahoo!

Angering the international Jewish community, the Internet search giant recently enacted its own two-state solution by dividing Jerusalem into “East” and “West” on its Weather iPhone app.

But the holy city became one again this weekend, after pressures from the Israeli government and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, according to Rabbi Meyer H. May, executive director of the Center.

The Gaza Flotilla Battle - On Twitter

Shaping public opinion on the Gaza blockade, 140 characters at a time.

06/02/2010
Staff Writer

 Just moments after the Israeli navy boarded the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship in the Mediterranean en route to Gaza, an explosive battle of another kind was playing out on the Facebook and Twitter fronts. 

The phrases “Gaza flotilla” and “#freedomflotilla” were among the three highest “trending topics” on Twitter on Monday morning, Eastern Standard Time. By Tuesday morning, “flotilla” still remained among the top 10. 

Israeli forces approach one of six ships bound for Gaza in the Mediterranean.

Diminishing Influence

06/01/2010

In the “Back of the Book” section, Sharon Udasin provides a poignant snapshot of the diminishing tolerance for Jews in Europe (“Speaking The King’s Jewish English,” May 28). In a conversational tone, she describes how “kipot” cannot he worn in public and pronouncing the word “Jew” risks violence. Yarmulkes are kept out of sight, and the word, “wej,” (Jew spelled backwards) is used instead. How sad and disturbing.

More Jewish Options For End-Of-Life Care

Metropolitan Jewish’s acquisition of two hospices
may bring palliative approach to more families.

06/01/2010
Staff Writer

After suffering with Alzheimer’s for seven years, Gloria Kestenbaum’s father took a turn for the worse. Following a hip replacement at Maimonides Medical Center, he lapsed into unconsciousness on the operating table. For Kestenbaum and her family, the next step was fraught with uncertainty.

Rabbi Charles Rudansky, director of pastoral care at Metropolitan Jewish Hospice.

Graffiti For Israel On Display in New York, Tel Aviv

05/25/2010
Staff Writer

Spray-paint stencil artist Sarah Brega recently found inner peace at the unlikeliest of places — a series of Sderot bomb shelters she had decided to spruce up.

“It was really peaceful in Sderot — I picked two or three bomb shelters to decorate,” Brega said. “It was like my dream, to have this empty canvas and do whatever I want with it.”

Sarah Brega’s spray-paint and stencil piece of Herzl, Ben-Gurion and Jabotinsky, hangs in the Eden Gallery in Tel Aviv.
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