When Sun Records' founder Sam Philips died late last month in Memphis, he was rightly hailed as the man who discovered Elvis Presley and one of the progenitors of rock-and-roll music. Earlier this year, and 412 miles to the northeast, another of rock's forefathers was remembered for his contributions to music's contemporary canon.
The product of a Modern Orthodox home and a longtime resident of Boston, Yehuda Kurtzer reached an important spiritual decision while he was living in Washington, D.C., for a while three years ago. He and his wife, Stephanie Ives, had become active in the D.C. Minyan, an independent prayer group that meets in the capital’s Dupont Circle area, and wanted to start a similar minyan when he moved back to Boston with her for graduate school.
“We knew we had to have something like this in Boston,” Kurtzer says.
One of the guests of honor at the recent commencement exercises of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, sitting at the far left of the first row of the sanctuary in Temple Emanu-El, was neither guest speaker, college official Nor financial supporter of the institution.
Dalia Samansky, a third-year rabbinical student at the school’s Los Angeles campus who received her master’s degree in L.A. the following week, was invited to the New York commencement as role model.
Miquel Seguara, a ‘Chueta’ descendant of Mallorcan Jews forced to convert, reclaims his heritage.
Special To The Jewish Week
More than five centuries after his ancestors were forced to convert to Catholicism, and more than 300 years after a relative was burned at the stake for secretly practicing Judaism, Miquel Segura of Mallorca, Spain, returned to the Jewish people.
Lublin, Poland — On the first two nights of Passover, the ground floor of a former medical academy near Lublin’s historic Old City was crowded by early evening with members of the Jewish community. Children played for hours in the hallways while senior citizens schmoozed in a small office. After sundown, joined by other members of the community and a Jewish choir from Warsaw, they filed into a social hall for the seders; afterward, they stayed to play and shmooze some more.
The Web site for Hofstra Hillel lists a wide range of social, educational and religious activities that the Jewish student organization at Hofstra University offers.
It doesn’t mention organizing impromptu choruses.
Which Hofstra Hillel did one recent night.
No tinsel, no Santa, no carols, no nog. Some Jews feel they're missing out on the fun of Christmastime. Sure, there are alternatives like Chinese-food-and-a-movie or Matzah Ball dances: the ethnic equivalent of artificial snow. These activities capture the season's festive mood without drawing on its Christian origins.
Houston — In a schoolroom of Congregation Emanu-El, a Reform rabbi is leading a seminar on patrilineal descent. Down the hall, a discussion on Jewish mysticism is taking place under the direction of a Conservative rabbi. A few doors away, an Orthodox rabbi is talking about Ahavat Yisrael, love of one’s fellow Jew.
Elsewhere in the synagogue, the largest Reform temple in the Houston area, two dozen other classes and meditation sessions and song-composing workshops are taking place at the same time, led by a cross-section of rabbis and teachers and political leaders.