New Jersey

Never Again — For Darfur

05/05/2006
Special To The Jewish Week

For Shelley Cohen, a member of Lincoln Square Synagogue on the Upper West Side and a mother of three, traveling anywhere with her oldest child, a 20-year-old quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair, can often prove taxing. Her son Nathaniel is afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a congenital, rapidly progressive illness that destroys the body’s muscles.

Daddy Dearest

12/18/1998
Jewish Week Book Critic

Ted Solotaroff wanted to name his memoir “Rachmones.” He was certain that there wasn’t a Jewish reader who wouldn’t understand the word Leo Rosten defines as pity, compassion in “The Joys of Yiddish,” but his editor, and a random sampling of younger Jews, convinced him otherwise. “It’s what this book finally is about,” the 70-year old distinguished editor, essayist, critic and now memoirist tells The Jewish Week.

The Whole Megillah On Stalin’s Death

03/25/2005
Special to The Jewish Week

 Before the apparent effort by political rivals to poison Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko last fall, there may have been the Purim poisoning of Joseph Stalin.Dr. Alexander Rashin, a biophysicist from the former Soviet Union who now lives in Teaneck, N.J, is convinced that the notorious Soviet dictator was poisoned by his closest political close associates on March 1,1953, and did not die of natural causes, as has long been believed.

'Iron Fist In A Velvet Glove'

08/24/2000
Jewish Week Book Critic

Talk about Jewish continuity: Last year, Tirzah Rothschild had a young boy in her fourth-grade class at Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch whose grandfather had been her student. The boy's father had also been a pupil at the school while Rothschild served as principal. As she begins her 52nd year at the Washington Heights school this fall, these multi-generational connections are not uncommon.

Agreeing To Disagree

10/11/2002
Jewish Week Book Critic

It was like theater: A conversation about a new book seemed to turn into a live version of the book. As soon as we began talking, the two co-authors, both rabbis, were conversing as friends, but disagreeing with each other all the way.

The Women’s Section

11/28/2007
Jewish Week Book Critic

Enter the room that houses Miriam Stern’s installation piece “Ezrat Nashim” and you’ll be struck by the clusters of women’s figures, 10 in all, standing together in a corner, like oversized paper dolls covered in earth-tone designs.

The ‘Genius’ Of Poetry

10/18/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

Poet, translator and publisher Peter Cole is among this year’s recipients of MacArthur Foundation fellowships, or genius awards, as they are popularly known. The no-strings-attached award, honoring creativity, includes a $500,000 stipend that is paid over five years.

An Independent Press?

12/24/2004
Special to The Jewish Week

Has a Russian-language newspaper in America known for its assertive stand for a Russian-American Jewish community independent of influence back home fallen under the sway of Moscow?Some in the Russian-speaking world are asking this question six weeks after the Russian Forward, the well-regarded weekly newspaper, was sold to local businessmen and Jewish organizational leaders known collectively as the Mitzvah Media Group.While the founders of Mitzvah Media — Dr. Igor Branovan, Dr.

High-Wire Act

The eruv — that ethereal yet physical boundary enabling observant Jews to push strollers and use wheelchairs on Shabbat — fosters community even as it sparks tensions.

03/06/2009
Before the Internet Age rendered geography irrelevant to community there was the eruv, the rabbinic response to spatial separation. A strategically placed wire here, a natural hedge border there, the inclusion of a fence or a highway, turns a neighborhood into an imaginary walled community of halachic intent, as such a deliberate remembrance of pre-diasporic Jerusalem.  

Righteous Gentile Refusenik

01/18/2008
Special to The Jewish Week

The gesture of recognition came very late in the day, but when a major American Jewish organization last week honored Yuri Fedorov — a non-Jewish human rights activist who served 15 years in Soviet prison camps for his contribution to the cause of freeing Soviet Jews — late certainly felt better than never. 

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