Steve Lipman

Israel At 62

04/20/2010

The skies over Israel were clear on Monday night, clear enough for the annual fireworks on the eve of Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Independence Day.

But for some Israelis, the celebration of the country’s 62nd birthday was overcast.

“62, Under a U.S. Cloud,” a headline over an editorial in the Jerusalem Post declared.

The newspaper said the current chilled relations between Israel and the Obama administration because of the pace of Middle East peace negotiations, added to the threat of a nuclear Iran, cast a pall over Independence Day.

Photo by Getty Images

A Shmooze Through The Torah

New postmodern commentary offers high-tech,
user-friendly guide to weekly portion.

04/20/2010
Staff Writer

The classical commentaries on Acherei Mot–Kedoshim — the Torah portions in Leviticus read in synagogues this Shabbat — by the classical commentators are black and white, graphically and philosophically.

Long blocks of text parse and examine and explain key biblical words that illustrate such concepts as the Azazel goat ritual in the Wilderness, forbidden relationships, and obligations to the poor.

Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier’s parshah book takes a novel graphic approach.

A Third Jewish Justice?

04/13/2010

It was the hot political news of 1916. A Jewish lawyer was being seriously considered for the first time for a seat on the Supreme Court, and some Americans were upset. Louis Brandeis was too liberal, critics said.

“It was certainly easy to find anti-Jewish comments” from Brandeis’ opponents, says Jonathan Sarna, professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, an institution named for the history-making justice.

Solicitor General Elana Kagan and federal Judge Merrick Garland: A court with only Jews and Catholics?

Remember Shelter In Shanghai

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

For the Jewish adults from Nazi Europe who spent some of their wartime years in a 40-square-block area of Shanghai, it was a difficult time. Low wages, if they had work. Crowded apartments. Disease and hunger.

For the kids, it was easier. They went to school and played.

For all, it was better than being back home under the swastika.

Mourning, In Silence And Prayer

04/07/2010

It is two minutes of silence that have lasted nearly six decades.

In 1951 Israel established Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laGvura, Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day, as the period observed by most of the Jewish community as the official commemoration period for the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and for participants in Jewish resistance to the Nazis.

Photographs by Getty Images

Slow Jewish Revival In Gdansk

A Passover seder on the Baltic is a rare chance for isolated Jews to celebrate together.

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

Gdansk, Poland – Marianna Grochola left her home at 11:30 a.m. last Monday for a 6:45 p.m. seder.

A widow and retired accountant, a child survivor of the Holocaust who grew up in communist Poland, Grochola took a bus to her railroad station in Slupsk, a small town 120 miles west of Gdansk. Then she took a slow train north, then walked a few miles from the main railroad station here to the city’s sole extant synagogue, the site of the first-night seder.

Marianna Grochola, travels 120 miles from her small town in northern Poland to a seeder in Gdansk each year.

Freedom From Work

03/31/2010

 When you think Passover, you think seder.

In Israel, they also think beach and picnic and tiyul. That’s Hebrew for an excursion or hike.

In the Promised Land, where tourists flock for inspiration, the natives vacation. Forests, bucolic trails and nature preserves attract those with a bent for the outdoors. Museums and galleries are packed. All sorts of institutions, religious and secular, sponsor educational and cultural programs. Music is everywhere: in concert halls, on the street and on the radio.

Photo By Getty Images

UJA-Fed. Leaders: Connect To Care Will Continue

Jerry Levin, Alisa Doctoroff to take top lay spots in July; recession initiative supported.

03/24/2010
Staff Writer

The incoming top two lay leaders of UJA-Federation will start their tenure during an ongoing recession and high unemployment. But a major program that was created to help the Jewish community deal with the downturn in the economy will continue, says incoming president Jerry Levin.
 
Connect to Care, which was launched by the philanthropy last year with a one-year budget of $6.8 million from UJA-Federation reserves, will receive funding beyond this month, says Levin, who will become president on July 1.
 

Jerry Levin and Alisa Doctoroff, from disparate Jewish backgrounds, will join to lead UJA-Federation for the next three years.

Ancient Egypt In Brooklyn

03/24/2010

Sculptures and mirrors, coffins and sarcophagi lids are some of the artifacts of daily life — and death — that shaped the existence of the Jews in ancient Egypt, the freed slaves that seders around the Jewish world remember at Passover each year.

For many members of the Jewish community, preparation for the holiday begins weeks before Pesach, in shopping and cooking and attending lectures.

Some creative New Yorkers had the chance to prepare this spring a few stops from a No. 2 or 3 subway exit in central Brooklyn.

Photo By Michael Datikash

Feds Briefed On In-Flight Tefillin

03/24/2010

 Two months after a Jewish teen from White Plains was detained and briefly handcuffed after wearing his tefillin during morning prayers on a Kentucky-bound flight, the Transportation Security Administration has added information about the leather boxes and straps to briefing materials for security officials across the country.

Syndicate content