Rabbi

Whose History is it Anyway?

Some thoughts on the widespread use of the theme of enslavement and redemption as a metaphor for all struggles of national liberation.

04/02/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

The Passover Seders that my family has hosted for the past thirty-plus years are radically different from the ones I grew up with. In my parents' home, those attending a Seder were most often family, or occasionally a close friend of my sister's or mine. But in the relatively sheltered world of my youth, having non-Jews at the Seder, as guests, would not have been a serious option.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Drill, Baby, Drill: The (barely audible) Jewish response

The Reform movement, which really wants to like President Barack Obama even while some other Jewish segments bash him because of the diplomatic chill with Israel, isn't exactly happy with his newly announced energy policies, which some environmentalists say could turn East Coast beaches into a gooey mess and actually forestall genuine energy independence.

'Main Street USA,' Just Across the River

The Jews of Roosevelt Island like the
small-town feel of their outpost.

04/01/2010
Editorial Intern

Talk about a Jewish diaspora.
Cut off from the Manhattan mainland and its very Jewish heartbeat, the Jews of Roosevelt Island may be the least-known Jewish community in the area.
Which is OK by them.

Rabbi Zalman and Nechama Duchman and their children. The Chabad emissaries settled in Roosevelt Island four years ago.

Renting Dodger Stadium for a Bar Mitzvah

When is a Bar or Bat Mitvah too much?

04/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Question: My husband wants a lavish bar mitzvah for our son next year. I think it's wrong to spend $ 50,000 on a party for a 13 year old kid when so many of our fellow Jews are experiencing hard times. What does Jewish law have to say about this?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Israel High

New program for 10th-12th graders offers a cost-effective alternative to American yeshiva day schools.

04/01/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

 Surrounded by close friends and enriched by challenging classes, Rebecca Hess feels content at her yeshiva high school in Philadelphia. 

Her parents boast about the high quality of their daughter’s academic education. They couldn’t have asked for anything more in their child’s schooling, they said.

But a recent discovery made them question if they could do better.

 Girls in Bnei Akiva’s Ulpanat Segula in Kiryat Motzkin.

Standing Tall

04/01/2010

God’s first words to the prophet Ezekiel are: “Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak to you” (Ezek. 2:1). Reaching our full human height we are most ready to encounter God.

When a Jew has suffered a loss and tears a garment in mourning, the tearing takes place while the mourner stands upright. Confronting the pain and puzzlement of loss, standing upright signifies dignity and hope.

A YouTube Haggadah

Skirball project combines 14 short artistic videos
for each section of the seder.

03/31/2010
Staff Writer

An older man sits in his living room armchair, relaxing in striped button-down pajamas while crunching loudly on a raw root vegetable.

“Daddy, what are you eating?” asks his son, sitting on the sofa across from him, clad only in boxer shorts. 

“Horseradish,” the balding father responds in a thick Israeli accent, shaking his right forefinger.

“Raw horseradish? Are you crazy? Uch. How can you eat that — it’s so bitter!”

Artists are hoping people will incorporate videos like “Maror,” above, into their seders.

When A Kosher Conversion Isn’t Enough

Local haredi rabbis seen as marriage impediment in latest “who is a Jew” dust-up.

03/31/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — In November 2009, exactly three months before the day they were planning to get married, Maxim and Alina Surdikov went to the marriage registry in the coastal town of Ashkelon, their hometown, just as the laws requires.

The registrar pleasantly told them that before the young couple could open a file (known as a “teek”), they would have to receive permission from the town’s rabbi, Haim Blau.

The reason: Alina Surdikov, 24, who immigrated to Israel from Siberia 15 years ago, is a convert.

Maxim and Alina Surdikov petitioning High Court after Ashkelon rabbi refused to grant marriage license.

Around the Cyber Seder

As we approach the Passover Seder, here are a few cool sites and videos to enhance the Passover experience:

Bangitout.com - Seder Sidekick 2010

Isaac and Seth Galena, the brothers behind the popular Jewish humor site Bangitout.com have once again published a Seder Sidekick to help bring some levity to the Passover Seder. Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Harold Galena, the 38-page PDF document includes song parodies, top ten lists, silly jokes, quizzes, and funny pictures.

Israel High

New program for 10th-12th graders offers a cost-effective alternative to American yeshiva day schools; tri-state recruitment to begin.

03/29/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Surrounded by close friends and enriched by challenging classes, Rebecca Hess feels content at her yeshiva high school in Philadelphia.

Her parents boast about the high quality of their daughter's academic education. They couldn't have asked for anything more in their child's schooling, the y said.

But a recent discovery made them question if they could do better.

Girls in Bnei Akiva's Ulpanat Segula in Kiryat Motzkin
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