Director

Let My People ... Tweet

Welcome to the Tweder. Can Twitter and the Passover seder coexist?

03/24/2010
Staff Writer

 Last Passover, Dan Berkal spent the first seder dining with family and friends at the James Hotel in Chicago — chanting the prayers and songs of the Haggadah, sipping the four requisite glasses of wine ... and updating his Twitter status.

“Suddenly four children enter the room,” he tweeted at 4:53 p.m. “Nobody seems to like the wise child,” he added a minute later, followed by the 4:55 p.m. announcement: “We tell the wise son, ‘No dessert for you!’”

Screenshot from last year’s Tweder, featuring a matzah background on Dan Berkal’s Twitter page.

Clinton’s Bluntness At AIPAC Rattles Nerves; Linkage Rapped

Scramble to decipher new diplomatic language; Gen. Petraeus’ comments seen as ‘dangerous.’

03/24/2010

With nerves frayed after the worst U.S. - Israel diplomatic dust-up in years, Jewish leaders this week were trying to assess whether there has been a fundamental change in U.S. policy toward Jerusalem — or simply a change in tone by an ally frustrated by the long years of stalemate.


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tells AIPAC crowd that status quo in Israeli-Palestinian conflict is untenable. getty images

Terrorists Likely Targeting Trains, Not Shuls, Says NYPD

At Passover security briefing, officials say al Qaeda recruits are sent to attack ‘symbols of capitalism,’
and they often act fast; Iran threat also on radar. Officials "tracking this threat very closely."

03/23/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

The Jewish community faces no specific threat as Passover approaches, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told local Jewish leaders on Tuesday.

But New York City faces the continued threat of an al Qaeda-linked terror attack, likely aimed at mass transit, he said at the police department’s annual pre-Passover security briefing.

“We’re tracking this threat very closely,” said the commissioner. “We rely on an alert public to be our eyes and ears.”

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly

Looking For A Seder In Baghdad?

"I happen to be in Iraq and am looking for a place to spend Passover," read the e-mail message I received Monday night. That got my attention.

It was from a Jewish woman from Washington, D.C., who said she had arrived in Baghdad two days earlier as a consultant for USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development). She wrote she had come on short notice and had "no time to plan for Passover, aside from bringing a couple of boxes of matzah ball soup mix. No one else who is here is Jewish."

Gluten-Free Kosher

Passover businesses find a new market niche among Celiac-afflicted and other wheat-averse consumers.

03/23/2010
Associate Editor

Before “gluten-free” became a household word, Passover was eagerly awaited by many a non-Jew.
 
It was not uncommon for the Celiac disease-afflicted, along with others adhering to a gluten-free diet, to consult Pesach recipes year-round and, come spring, to flock to kosher supermarkets.
 

 Author Shauna James Ahern: ‘When there weren’t many gluten-free products, people would go straight for the Passover section."

The Shabbat Scooter

The other day I received a call from a reporter at the Detroit News. She was just about to submit a story about a motorized scooter that can be used by observant Jews on Shabbat, but she wanted a local rabbi's comments first. It was fortuitous that she contacted me since I am already familiar with the Israeli-based Zomet Institute, which partnered with the scooter company, but I have also seen this Sabbath-acceptable scooter in action since I know Michael Balkin, who owns one of these scooters and was interviewed for the article.

Klezmer’s True North

Remembering the clarinetist who sparked the klez revival.

03/18/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Readers will no doubt recall a long-running advertising campaign for a fur company that posed famous women with the slogan, “What becomes a legend most?” Not, we grant, a campaign you’d be likely to see in these more animal-friendly days, but the question is a good one, “What becomes a legend most?”
 
If the legend is a musician, the answer is simple: play the music. Anything extra is nice, but nearly extraneous.    
 

Joel Rubin, right, pays tribute to Dave Tarras, left, in concert at Museum at Eldridge Street.

Getting Teens To Volunteer

04/15/2005
Staff Writer

For the past three years, Peter Dreyer, a 12th grader at Manhattan’s Trinity School, has visited regularly with homebound seniors. On Sunday, the 18-year-old veteran volunteer will share his experiences with about 125 local high school students taking part in J-Serve, a nationwide service initiative for Jewish teens.“Judaism really embraces community and demands that Jewish people support each other,” said Dreyer, who will lead a J-Serve orientation Sunday.

Next Year In Jerusalem

03/25/2005
Staff Writer

Last fall, as her peers fanned out to colleges across the country, Dana Feldman made what in the leafy Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Ill., was an unusual choice: She headed for Israel to spend the year studying and volunteering.After taking Jewish studies and ulpan classes at Hebrew University during the fall semester, Feldman is spending the second half of her year abroad working with new immigrants at a Beersheva absorption center.

Confronting Problems

03/25/2005
Staff Writer

Underage drinking, drug abuse, eating disorders, low self esteem and other parental concerns and realities were confronted Sunday when more than 700 New York-area parents spanning Orthodoxy’s ideological gamut convened at Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn for the Orthodox Union’s Positive Jewish Parenting Conference.Parents hungry for child-rearing advice with a hechsher attended psychologist- and social worker-led workshops such as “Is My Teen Just Being a Teen? Or Help! Do I Need Somebody?”

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