The 15 families belonging to the Norwich Jewish Center, a dwindling, mostly elderly congregation in central New York, expected to celebrate Passover with a community seder inside their synagogue, as they do every year.
Over the course of the past year, a group of volunteers affiliated with The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s (JDC) Next Gen initiative has been looking into launching a mobile giving campaign. When an earthquake devastated Haiti last month, suddenly the race was on to get it up and running immediately.
As I write, my married son and his wife are in Israel for the year, my older daughter is living in Manhattan, my younger daughter is in Poland with her senior class and about to depart for Israel for a year, and one son remains at home.
In the weeks before my first son was born (yes, the one who just became a father last week), I wore a beeper on my belt, like all expectant fathers did when their wives were due any minute. It was before cell phones, and for those few days when we really needed to be reachable, the hospital would rent out beepers so that our wives could call us. I actually remember bringing a roll of quarters with me to the hospital, and sitting in my scrubs in a phone booth in the hospital lobby, calling family and friends to tell them the good news.
One of the most dramatic changes I have observed over the course of my 35-plus years practicing psychotherapy is that when a phone call interrupts a therapy session nowadays, it is most often the patient’s phone that is ringing and not the therapist’s.
Trying to resist the urge to tap my foot to the lively beat of the ring tone, I could not help smiling as a patient of mine recently retrieved her blaring cell phone from her purse.
I had to laugh yesterday when I heard on the news that Senator Schumer had issued a public (and private) apology for an insult to a flight attendant that he had muttered under his breath. Evidently she had asked him to turn his cell phone off as the flight was about to take off, and he called her a word that I’d rather not repeat here. Welcome to the human race, I thought to myself. We all have our less than wonderful moments. The measure of who we are is how and whether we own up to them, not whether or not we have them.
The provocative Jewish Theater of New York takes on haredim and the Internet.
Special To The Jewish Week
Sexual images on the Internet disturb many people, but haredi Jews view them as a threat to their entire way of life.
In Tuvia Tenenbom’s new comedy, “Press #93 for Kosher Jewish Girls in Krakow,” opening this Sunday, two ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students, Moishe (Noah Schultz) and Yankee (Jon Bass) in Israel invent a “kosher cell phone” that not only circumvents pornographic content on the Internet but also enables observant Jewish men to avoid temptation by warning them whenever a girl is about to cross their path.
From the penthouses of Park Avenue to the remote villages of rural Africa, women may be finding a whole lot more support in their bra straps — all thanks to the universally versatile technology known as the cellular phone.
It’s a presenter’s worst nightmare: after fiddling with the PowerPoint for weeks, the big day arrives, everyone gathers in the conference room, and dozens of expectant eyes stare down at you. But the computer won’t boot. And it suddenly dawns on you — with a shudder — that you don’t have any backup.
Take a good, hard look at the cellphone in your pocket. Whether you’re an avid text messager or you’ve only recently learned how to change your ring tone to something snazzy, be forewarned. Within the next year or two, your cellphone will undergo such a radical transformation that you’ll view the phone you’re currently carrying around as terribly passé. And impersonal, too.
At least that’s what dozens of Israeli startups — and their funders —are betting on.