Judaism

California, Redux

01/27/2011 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Shortly after my vacation this past summer in California, I wrote a piece for this column about California and its charms. Having slowly and lovingly driven the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles, I lamented how coming back to New York City- which I admittedly love- was not so easy. Concrete jungle and all that….

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

A Life Without Limbs, a Life Without Limits

Special Report from the World Economic Forum
01/23/2011 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

In this exciting gathering in the snowy Alps, where does a humble man with no arms or legs fit into conversations about speed, power, innovation, wealth, and the global future?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Marketing God

01/20/2011 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

My youngest son, who is a senior in the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School in Manhattan, is studying economics for the first time, and he’s finding it fascinating.

His teacher is introducing the basics of marketing, and the dynamics that drive the consumer market. Each student has been assigned to focus on a particular product, and assess how the advertising for that product has shaped the marketplace’s opinion of it, and, of course, sales.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Gabrielle Giffords' Jewishness

01/12/2011 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - I am a traditional Jew who subscribes to the traditional definition of Jewish identity (you are Jewish if your mother is Jewish or if you've converted). By this definition, Gabrielle Giffords is not Jewish. But by other definitions, including her own, she is. Given all she has done and what she has gone through, and given the strong possibility that her assailant attacked her in part because of her self-declared Jewish identity, what is the proper ethical response to all this?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

The Healing Of Debbie Friedman

Beloved singer, writer, musical game-changer dies at 59.
01/10/2011 - 19:00
Associate Editor

To a broken generation, Debbie Friedman delivered a mystical truth: You don’t have to be cured to be healed.

She, who suffered for so long from elusive, debilitating neurological illnesses that finally took her life Sunday after 59 years, understood, with humor and faith, that she was singing and writing with one foot in Heaven and the other on a banana peel. It was as if from Heaven, however, that her most ethereal music seemed to come, transforming not only lives but whole denominations.

Beloved singer, songwriter Debbie Friedman

Obama Calls Giffords’ Rabbi

01/10/2011 - 19:00
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama spoke with the rabbi of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during a series of calls to friends and families of victims of the weekend shooting in Tucson.

A White House official said Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Tucson's Congregation Chaverim was among the Tucson-area officials, victims and families Obama reached Monday in the wake of the Jan. 8 attack that left Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, critically injured and six dead.

Remembering Debbie Friedman

01/09/2011 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

To the many thousands of words of tribute that have been written about Debbie Friedman this week as the Jewish world mourns her untimely death, I humbly add these few…

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

First Black Female Rabbi to Leave Congregation

01/06/2011 - 19:00

(JTA) -- The first African-American female rabbi will leave her congregation this summer.

Rabbi Alysa Stanton's contract with Congregation Bayt Shalom in Greenville, N.C., was not renewed, the Forward reported Thursday.

"We felt Rabbi Stanton has brought a lot of gifts to the congregation, but we felt she wasn’t a good fit for the direction we’re going,” board president Samantha Pilot told the Forward. “I can tell you with certainty that race -- I never heard that come up once during her tenure or now. It’s a non-issue."

A Feeling that Never Grows Old

01/06/2011 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

There is an expression still used in modern Hebrew that is actually obsolete. I suspect that people still use it because it’s so wonderfully expressive. It is what Israelis say when someone finally “gets it,” when he/she actually understands what’s going on, and gets the point. The expression is “nafal ha’asimon:” the phone token has fallen.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

LimmudUK: Success On A Grand Scale

Jewish learning conference attracts 2,000 — but not chief rabbi.
01/03/2011 - 19:00
Editor and Publisher

Two of the most successful efforts to strengthen Jewish identity in recent years were created, and have been sustained, in opposite ways.

Much has been written, here and elsewhere, about Birthright Israel, which has provided a 10-day Israel experience to more than 250,000 young people in its first decade. A top-down creation, Birthright was conceived and funded by a small group of mega-philanthropists, offering these memorable trips as a gift, free of charge to participants ages 18 to 26.

Gary Rosenblatt
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