Staff Writer

Unkosher Wheels, Friendly Faces

Williamsburg bike shop playfully flouts
the antipathy of some area residents to cyclists.

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

Jammed between industrial brick buildings on the cusp of chasidic South Williamsburg and hipster North is a white canopy that reads the words “Traif Bike” – in bold block letters that sandwich the silk-screened head of a chasid clad in side curls. Traif is Yiddish for non-kosher.

Beneath the canopy, passersby can visit a large black vending machine labeled “Bike Shop,” whose rotating carousel features $55 U-locks, $5 handlebar grips and $2 tire patch kits, among other life necessities like a $33 used BlackBerry.

Baruch Herzfeld, the self-proclaimed “new rebbe of Williamsburg.

Knesset Bill Would Expose Foreign Backers Of NGOs

Human rights groups say they are being unfairly targeted

04/07/2010
Staff writer

Concerned that some nonprofit groups in Israel are quietly being bankrolled by foreign political entities, seven Knesset members have introduced a bill to require that they immediately report receipt of such funds and publicly announce it in all written and oral political presentations.

Fayyad’s Call For Statehood Seen Muddying Peace Efforts

In absence of talks, Palestinian prime minister’s move could trigger violence, experts warn.

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

‘Next year in Jerusalem.”

With that renewed cry from Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad about the creation of a Palestinian state as early as next summer — with east Jerusalem as its capital — several analysts feared this week that Fayyad has built up Palestinian expectations  to a point that could spark violence.

Salam Fayyad: Wants UN recognition for state. getty images

Supporting Sofia’s Renaissance

Five Towns, Suffolk JCCs partner with
emerging Bulgarian Jewish community.

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

A letter two years ago from the president of the re-emerging Jewish community of Sofia, Bulgaria, to officials at UJA-Federation of New York has opened a new world for them and two Jewish community centers here.

“We would love and feel a need for collaboration with the global Jewish community that New York and Israel represent,” wrote Alexander Oscar. “The needs of my community are Jewish education, staff training, the building of a nursery school, as well as being connected to the global Jewish community.”

Five Towns JCC Director Rina Shkolnick visits a Holocast memorial in Bulgaria during a December mission.

The Pursuits of Maira Kalman

From Obama to Tel Aviv to the New Yorker’s legendary ‘New Yorkistan’ cover,
the brainy Israeli-born painter/writer/blogger explores modern life.

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

When Barack Obama won the presidency, Maira Kalman was thrilled. It was not only a fresh start for America, she thought, but one for her own work as well: The New York Times was looking for another assignment for Kalman after her wildly successful illustrated blog, “The Principles of Uncertainty,” which documented her own life, debuted in 2006.

An gouache painting by Maira Kalman, titled  “Israel Bed” (2008).

Slow Jewish Revival In Gdansk

A Passover seder on the Baltic is a rare chance for isolated Jews to celebrate together.

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

Gdansk, Poland – Marianna Grochola left her home at 11:30 a.m. last Monday for a 6:45 p.m. seder.

A widow and retired accountant, a child survivor of the Holocaust who grew up in communist Poland, Grochola took a bus to her railroad station in Slupsk, a small town 120 miles west of Gdansk. Then she took a slow train north, then walked a few miles from the main railroad station here to the city’s sole extant synagogue, the site of the first-night seder.

Marianna Grochola, travels 120 miles from her small town in northern Poland to a seeder in Gdansk each year.

Israeli Report: Whose War Crimes?

In response to Goldstone, IDF reps insist they exercised
utmost caution in Gaza while Hamas used children as combatants, shields.

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

Israel is continuing to fight back in the public relations war against the Goldstone Report’s claims that it committed war crimes in last year’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
 
A report last week by the Israeli nonprofit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center concluded that Hamas terrorists had used children as human shields, worn civilian clothes, fired rockets from mosques, placed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) around civilian homes and booby-trapped schools during the 22-day war.
 

Passover Form And Function

For Israeli photographer Galia Gur Zeev, the seder table suggests multiple meanings.

04/01/2010
Staff Writer

 A few things immediately come to mind when you think, “Passover seder”: matzah, maror, charoset, four glasses of wine.  But in “Seder.Table,” a cool, stark and fascinating new photography exhibit at the 92nd Street Y, none of that matters. In fact, the artist, Galia Gur Zeev, while showing several plates, people around them, and a large wooden table, doesn’t even show a crumb of food.

“Seder” (1998), below, shows Gur Zeev’s family, but she says the work transcends her own tribe.

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.

Passover Form And Function

For Israeli photographer Galia Gur Zeev, the seder table suggests multiple meanings.

03/29/2010
Staff Writer

 A few things immediately come to mind when you think, "Passover seder": matzah, maror, charoset, four glasses of wine. But in "Seder.Table," a cool, stark and fascinating new photography exhibit at the 92nd Street Y, none of that matters. In fact, the artist, Galia Gur Zeev, while showing several plates, people around them, and a large wooden table, doesn't even show a crumb of food.

"Seder.Table": a body of work that is notably domestic yet still richly varied
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