California

“Avatar” And Blue Palestinians

It’s probably just a coincidence that the blue-skinned, endangered aliens from the planet Pandora in the mega-hit “Avatar” are called the Na’vi, which is Hebrew for prophet. It couldn’t be that non-Jewish writer and director James Cameron took the term deliberately to make a point that in these victimized, ultimately triumphant underdogs we were to see a glimpse of some conflict in the offing. Could it?

Probably not. But it is one of the things to ponder about a movie that borrows so much of its essence, while leaving so much to interpretation.

Howard Berman, Peace Now and right-wing pot shotters

So let’s see: J Street is “anti-Israel,” according to the many emails I continue to receive and blogs I read (if Google News Alerts are any measure, J Street must be the single most active topic in the entire known universe).   And Americans for Peace Now (APN) is, by almost any objective standard, further to the left than the upstart J Street.

Let All Who Are Hungry Come And Eat

04/03/2009

Every year, my father begins his seder with a story about the year that he, my mother and I were in South America. We were in Montevideo, Uruguay; Passover was only five days away and we had no seder plans. On Friday night, he went to one of the two shuls in town, hoping that he might meet someone who would invite us to his or her home for a seder. No one spoke to him. The next morning, he went to the other shul across town. Right away, he was greeted by the rabbi who promptly invited him over for lunch.

Taking Mussar Into Prisons

Special To The Jewish Week
01/16/2009
Mussar — ethical teachings originally developed in 19th-century Eastern Europe primarily by Rabbi Israel Yisrael Lipkin Salanter to help Jews integrate their daily behavior with Torah commandments and values — has recently come back into vogue. Jews across denominations, and in settings from synagogues to JCCs, have renewed studying these texts. Many people turn to mussar to help them address career frustrations, health setbacks, family difficulties — or simply learn how to deal better with others.

When Hair Was In My Head

 Friday, September 19th, 2008   “Hair,” this summer’s “Shakespeare Festival” productionat Central Park’s Delacorte Theater, closed just last week but there’s talk of it going back to Broadway. Better yet, it should stay in Central Park, rather than be indoors. Outside, “Hair’s” mood matched the open sky, like stumbling upon a cluster of old friends from 1968 under the moon in a clearing amidst the trees.  

Orthodox Seen Lured Into 'Affinity Fraud' Totaling $200 Million

Lakewood, N.J., real estate investor accused of far-reaching scheme; may have laundered money through charities; grand jury empaneled.

12/30/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

(Posted Tuesday, Dec. 29, 5:45 p.m.) In an alleged financial fraud that has ensnared Orthodox Jewish investors from New York to Florida to London, a Lakewood, N.J., businessman is accused of bilking them out of more than $200 million through phony real estate deals, according to complaints made in multiple lawsuits across the country.

Eliyahu Weinstein: Fourteen lawsuits from around the country have been filed against him.

Let All Who Are Hungry Come And Eat

Craigslist, homemade Haggadahs and other adventures in creative seder hosting.

04/03/2009
Every year, my father begins his seder with a story about the year that he, my mother and I were in South America. We were in Montevideo, Uruguay; Passover was only five days away and we had no seder plans. On Friday night, he went to one of the two shuls in town, hoping that he might meet someone who would invite us to his or her home for a seder. No one spoke to him. The next morning, he went to the other shul across town. Right away, he was greeted by the rabbi who promptly invited him over for lunch.

Rebuilding Community In The West

JTA
12/08/2009
Scottsdale, Ariz. — Jean and Arnold Palestine are glad to be back home — an attached condo unit overlooking the craggy red mountains of the Arizona desert. Having just returned from a winter visit to Florida, the octogenarian New Yorkers are pleased that they chose to retire to the arid Western desert in 1992 rather than move down south.
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