Editor

Editor’s Note

Jewish Week Book Critic
04/28/2010

 Chrystie Sherman took the cover photograph, “Shabbat,” in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, in 2002, as part of her “Lost Futures: Journeys into the Jewish Diaspora” project.  Her subject, dressed in a brocade Shabbat robe, opened the door of her family’s home to the photographer shortly before the onset of Shabbat. Later that evening, she hosted Sherman and 10 other guests for a traditional Bukharan Shabbat dinner of fragrant rice and lamb, in their courtyard under the stars. The young woman resembles the Sabbath bride of song.

lighting Shabbat candles at a DC-supported home for the aged for survivors of German concentration camps. Nice, France, 1951

Text Context April 2010: Shabbat

This month, our distinguished writers pause to consider the Sabbath, a day said to mirror the world to come.

Staff Writer
04/28/2010
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Why Blog?

There are many reasons to not like blogs. For one, they're derivative, the great many of them dependent on hard-earned reporting.  Usually, they're mere commentary on stories professional journalists have sweated long and hard to report. It used to be the case that newspapers would give a column to a reporter only after he'd spent years mastering his beat; the freedom to opine was an editor's great gift to a writer whose identity, individuality, whose thoughts and ideas were shackled in servitude to the ethical code of reportorial objectivity.

When Intermarriages Get 'Hit By A Bus'

My friend Laurel Snyder, editor of “Half/Life: Jew-ish Tales from Interfaith Homes” and author of numerous children’s books, has a thoughtful piece out this week on Killing The Buddha about intermarriage, divorce and the Reyes case. 

Laurel who, like me, has divorced parents and is herself intermarried, explores a lot of the same issues I’ve been thinking about (some elaborated on a column to be published in next week’s Jewish Week), vis a vis how interfaith issues play out when marriages implode. In emphasizing how she advises interfaith couples to discuss their differences before they become problems, she writes

Jewish Music That Doesn’t Kid Around

With her ‘Shir Fun’ classes and albums, singer Dafna Israel-Kotok
is at the forefront of a new type of Jewish children’s edu-tainment.

04/13/2010
Associate Editor

On a Wednesday morning shortly before Passover, in a sunny room overlooking the Henry Hudson Parkway, Dafna Israel-Kotok is in her element.

Joyously shaking her long, straight black hair as she plays guitar and sings for about 10 small children and their moms, the 30-something Sabra musician freely alternates between English and her native Hebrew.

Dafna Israel-Kotok: Kids music “you can grow with.” Photo courtesy of Shir Fun

The ShirLaLa Sound

Singing her way from the Deep South to hipster Williamsburg, Shira Kline is making a name for herself.

04/13/2010
Associate Editor

Like Dafna Israel-Kotok, Shira Kline — better known by her stage name, ShirLaLa — has been singing her entire life.

The youngest of three children, Kline, 34, was raised in an “incredible Jewish home” infused with art, music and a love of Judaism.

Her dancer mother frequently hosted artists from around the world in their Monroe, La., home. Her father, Rabbi David Kline, who Kline says has “been my main teacher my whole life,” would make up song sheets for every holiday.

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Media Watch: Palestinian Threats Sanitized Or Ignored

The ‘dead’ New York Sun lives on, fighting for dead Jews.

04/13/2010
Associate Editor

In the mystical heights, news is surely different than it is on earth. In the earthly realm it is of no media interest that 11-year-old Taliah Gilmore will soon be bat mitzvah. In the other realm, it is surely known that she was only 18 months old in October 2000 when, on a Jerusalem day, the Martyrs of the Al-Aksa Intifada pumped bullets into her dad’s head, the 25-year-old Esh-Kadosh (whose name means the Holy Fire).

Generational Clash Over Values at Funders' Conference

Study presented at Jewish Funders Network finds little consensus on establishment values.

04/13/2010
Editor And Publisher

Phoenix — While conventional wisdom has it that American Jewry is suffering from a dearth of young leadership, the preliminary findings of a major report, to be published this summer by the Avi Chai Foundation, suggest otherwise.

Nonetheless, a number of tomorrow’s leaders do not share traditional values regarding support for Israel, Jewish peoplehood, intermarriage and collective responsibility, which is worrisome to the study’s sponsor.

Professors Jack Wertheimer, left, and Noam Pianko differ sharply on young Jews’ outlook.

Israel Vs. Anat Kam

A young journalist faces life in prison for leaking classified military documents to Haaretz. Does she deserve it?

04/13/2010
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv — Israel’s confirmation last week that former soldier-journalist Anat Kam leaked about 2,000 top secret documents to the Haaretz reporter Ori Blau touched off a debate over press freedoms in the Jewish state.

But instead of uniting journalists against the government and the security services, the controversy has sparked infighting among the Israeli media that has muddied the waters regarding who is at fault.

Did Haaretz do enough to protect Kam, above? That was one question raised by the thorny case.

Get Serious About Your Jewish Life: An Interview with Elie Kaunfer

04/07/2010
Editor and Publisher

Elie Kaunfer’s new book, “Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us About Building Vibrant Jewish Communities” (Jewish Lights Publishing)  is being described as a manifesto for independent minyanim, which have been flourishing and attracting increased attention in recent years.

“Empowered Judaism”: Kaunfer’s book draws on his experiences with founding Kehilat Hadar.
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