It’s common wisdom that the best comedy is essentially serious. Of course, clichés often have an underlying truth, so maybe that explains why Rob Tannenbaum, one half of the comedy-music duo Good for the Jews playing at the Highline Ball Room on Dec. 23, is both a very funny guy and yet someone who discusses his work in surprisingly sober terms.
Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series connected to the 90th anniversary of UJA-Federation of New York. The differences between the American Jewish community of the early 1900s and today’s American Jewry are vast and notable. Volumes have been written about the ethnic division that marked the earlier community, between the well-established, often wealthy German Jews, who began arriving in the 1840s and ‘50s, and the more than two million new arrivals from the shtetls of Eastern Europe, many of them mired in poverty and “Old World” ways.
Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series connected to the 90th anniversary of UJA-Federation of New York. The first part, concerning the federation’s history, appeared last week.
The help that Irina Dubrovskaya receives from the Hebrew Free Loan Society, one of the 24 charter agencies that launched what is now UJA-Federation, is similar to much of the aid the federation funded through the society in its early years.
Ted Solotaroff wanted to name his memoir “Rachmones.” He was certain that there wasn’t a Jewish reader who wouldn’t understand the word Leo Rosten defines as pity, compassion in “The Joys of Yiddish,” but his editor, and a random sampling of younger Jews, convinced him otherwise. “It’s what this book finally is about,” the 70-year old distinguished editor, essayist, critic and now memoirist tells The Jewish Week.
The road less traveled is getting crowded. Not only are large numbers of Jews embarking on spiritual journeys, but many are writing about them, in full candor. The inner adventure story might be the Jewish book of the moment.
While bookstores are overflowing with memoirs of every stripe — the musings of people from all backgrounds, reflecting on remarkable families, abuse and dysfunction, divorce, relationships — Jewish writers seem to be revealing the details of their spiritual lives: The relationship frequently examined is that with God.
Jewish establishment as ‘enemy’ for insufficient support
of Birthright Israel.
Editor And Publisher
A self-professed atheist, Michael Steinhardt might be offended — or else amused — to be described as a modern-day prophet.
It’s not that the businessman-turned-philanthropist preaches repentance and devotion to God; far from it, his primary concern is the survival and growth of secular, or cultural Judaism. He figures the Orthodox can take care of themselves.
Novel fundraising approach enables Orthodox day school to thrive.
Alan Steinberg likes to call it the “miracle on Grand Central Parkway.”
Last summer, Yeshiva Har Torah, where Steinberg serves as executive vice president, was, like many other Jewish day schools, scrambling to raise funds to compensate for its widening, $400,000 budget gap.
Lucky for them, a donor approached, offering to match all funds raised in the school’s “Mind the Gap” campaign. But there was a catch: every Har Torah family would have to make some sort of contribution, and within 30 days.
The most familiar religious voices in politics today normally come from the Christian right, said Rabbi Or Rose, an associate dean at Hebrew College in Boston. But a new campaign led by Rabbi Rose and others aims at changing that dynamic by introducing the language of values and morality to left-wing groups, particularly those in the Jewish community.
Dubbed the Righteous Indignation Project, the campaign got under way last week with a gathering to launch a new collection of essays, “Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Call for Justice.”