Rabbi

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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Rebuke To Kaunfer

04/13/2010

I have enormous respect for what Rabbi Elie Kaunfer and his partners have been accomplishing in engaging Jews — especially those of a younger generation — more substantively in Jewish study and worship. The excerpts from his new book “Empowered Judaism” published in the April 9 edition (“The Real Crisis In American Judaism”) give readers an excellent sense of the enormous good that is being achieved at Mechon Hadar and at independent minyanim throughout the country. I have ample reason to be proud of these things.

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).

‘We Lost A Friend’

Polish president, victim of plane crash in Russia,
had close ties to the Jewish community.

04/13/2010
Special to The Jewish Week

Note: The Polish people suffered a loss when President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and 94 other passengers on a Russian jet, including many top Polish officials, were killed in a crash Saturday near Smolensk, Russia. Jewish leaders in Poland praised Kaczynski, 60, as a true friend of the Jewish community and Israel, and participants in the annual March of the Living wore black armbands this week in the president’s memory.

Late Polish President Lech Kaczynki, right, with Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich at Chanukah celebration in Warsaw shul.

Waiting For God — As Beckett Or Moses?

04/13/2010

Candlelighting, Readings:
Candlelighting: 7:18 p.m.
Torah Reading: Leviticus 12:1-15:31
Haftarah: II Kings 7:3-20
Sabbath Ends: 8:19 p.m.

Every year about this time, I remember Samuel Beckett’s enigmatic play, “Waiting for Godot.” Beckett refused to identify Godot with God, but this period of the Omer is when Jews wait for God, and the parallel is compelling.

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Ex-Bishop Blames Jews for Church Woes

04/12/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) – A Jewish group urged the Italian Bishops' Conference to condemn anti-Semitic comments made by a retired Catholic bishop.

Giacomo Babini, bishop emeritus of Grosseto, allegedly told the Catholic Web site Pontifex that Jews are behind the latest round of criticism of the Church's handling of clerical sex abuse. Babini, 81, allegedly called the criticism a “Zionist attack," saying, "They do not want the church, they are its natural enemies. Deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are God killers."

Southern Hospitality

 Still basking in the warmth from my weekend in Kentucky.

The weather was perfect, with blossoms at their peak of loveliness and wildflowers everywhere. And the folks at Keneseth Israel outdid themselves with their Southern hospitality — lavishing attention upon me, putting me up in a luxurious bed and breakfast, serving a home-cooked Shabbat dinner and Kiddush lunch, taking me out on Saturday night and giving me a full tour of Louisville on Sunday. One congregant even bought me a lottery ticket (I’ll find out if I win on Wednesday)!

Tim Boxer: Lipstadt Still Relishes Victory Over Holocaust Denier

04/11/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

It's been ten years but historian Deborah Lipstadt still relishes her victory in the libel suit brought by Holocaust denier David Irving in London.

Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, recalled her harrowing court experience at a Yom Hashoa commemoration Saturday at Young Israel of Hillcrest in Queens. President Kevin Leifer said more than 400 people packed the sanctuary for the event, which was sponsored by New York State Assemblyman Rory Lancman.

Deborah Lipstadt and New York State Assemblyman Rory Lancman. Photo: Tim Boxer

Video Haggadahs

There are thousands of Passover Haggadahs that have been published throughout the world. And with the increasing popularity of the Internet, new forms of haggadot are being created each year.

This year's Passover, which concluded a few short days ago, saw the return of the Facebook Haggadah as well as some attempts at using Twitter to create a Passover Tweder.

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