Blogs
07/29/2014 | | Staff Writer | The JW Q&A
Eric Goldstein: “Israelis are not callous; they mourn the innocent loss of life on both sides.”

Eric Goldstein, who became CEO of UJA-Federation of New York on July 1, flew to Israel Saturday night with 20 other New Yorkers on the organization’s first solidarity mission since the start of Israel’s war with Hamas. Goldstein, 54, who had been a leading partner at the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, has a long record of Jewish communal service. Most recently he served as UJA-Federation’s vice chair, president of the Beth Din of America, and as a board member of the Ramaz School. He spoke by phone Tuesday from the southern Israeli city of Beersheva.

07/29/2014 | | Staff Writer | Lens
Photo By Getty Images

For traditional Jews, the Three Weeks are the darkest period on the Hebrew calendar. The period, which starts on the 17th day of Tammuz and ends on the ninth day of Av (Tisha b’Av, next Tuesday) when both Holy Temples in ancient Jerusalem fell, to the Babylonians and Romans, respectively.

07/29/2014 | | Travel Writer | Travel
The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library lies on the banks of the Cedar River across Lion’s Bridge.  Cedar Rapids Conven

Few New Jersey commuters think of Interstate 80 as the conduit to grand adventure. And for those who do contemplate the transcontinental journey on I-80 — its western terminus is San Francisco — the long Midwestern slog through days of corn fields may seem less exciting than the southerly route through deserts and canyons.

07/25/2014 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Like every war, the current conflict between Israel and Hamas has a broad narrative that varies according to who is telling the story. But it is also true that this war, like every war, is made up of countless stories of individual soldiers and civilians whose lives have been directly impacted.

07/22/2014 | | Staff Writer | Lens
JTA

Israel, international lacrosse power?

Not yet. But four years after the sport that developed as a military training exercise among indigenous residents of the United States and Canada centuries ago was introduced in Israel, Israel’s men’s national lacrosse team ended its first appearance in last week’s World Lacrosse Championship with a seventh-place world ranking.

07/22/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | The JW Q&A
David Blatt: Will face a more rugged schedule as an NBA coach that he did in Israel or Europe. Wikimedia Commons

In May, David Blatt coached underdog Maccabi Tel Aviv to a thrilling Euroleague championship victory over Real Madrid in overtime. In June, the Cleveland Cavaliers hired Blatt as head coach. This month, LeBron James announced he was bringing his talents back home to the Cavs. There will be an enormous amount of pressure on Blatt, who has never coached an NBA game, but the reigning Euroleague Coach of the Year is no stranger to pressure. He was the first American to coach the Russian national team, leading them to a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics. In a phone interview from Las Vegas, where the NBA Summer League is taking place, the Massachusetts native, who played college ball at Princeton, professional ball in Israel, and coached in Europe for more than two decades, spoke about pressure, coming back to America, and his new team.

07/22/2014 | | Travel Writer | Travel
The City of Lights, above, at night. For one traveler. Wikimedia Commons

I once spent a night in the Place des Vosges.

That may sound romantic to those who know the lovely park at heart of Paris’s Marais quarter. But when I say I spent the night, I don’t mean that I slept in a plush hotel in the trendy Jewish district. I spent that night on a damp, uncomfortable bench by a fountain, because I had missed the last metro of the evening back to my hotel and had decided it would be interesting to wander all night in the City of Light. And around 4 a.m. — after hours spent strolling the quiet boulevards, pressing my nose against the glass of darkened boutiques and bakeries — I finally collapsed on that bench and dozed until the sky turned pink.

07/22/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View
Daniel Schifrin

A biography of literary dissembler Vladimir Nabokov might be a strange book to reach for during these past weeks, with Israel at war with Hamas, and the moral questions at stake murderously clear. But as often happens with writers, the book that must appear often does appear, at just the right time, even if it seems to come from left field.

07/18/2014 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

The current hostilities between Israel and Hamas have, yet again, brought to the forefront a long-simmering feud between many supporters of Israel and the world of print, broadcast and electronic journalism.

07/16/2014 | | Jewish Week Online Columnists | Tim Boxer
Jacob Ostreicher and Sean Penn. Tim Boxer/JW

Sean Penn, the actor acclaimed by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach as a hero for providing 60,000 people with housing after the devastating Haiti earthquake of 2010, was honored by the rabbi in May for rescuing one Brooklyn Jew from unjust imprisonment in Bolivia.