Blogs
09/04/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Psychiatrists and therapists are known to commonly vacation in August, making it a notoriously bad time to have an emotional crisis. Most rabbis vacation in July, because once August comes, the gravitational pull of the High Holidays begins to assert itself, and virtually the entire synagogue world goes into pre-crisis mode. It seems to many of my colleagues to be “too close” to the holidays to leave town, even though there are at least four weeks before Rosh Hashanah.

09/02/2015 | | Culture Editor | Gift Guides
Claire Marin’s Catskill Honey from upstate New York.

Start off the new year of studying the Torah with a naturalist’s original and insightful observations on the text. From a noted authority on plants and herbs who lives on a small farm in the Adirondacks, “Seeds of Transcendence: Understanding the Hebrew Bible Through Plants” by Jo Ann Gardner (Decalogue Books) is infused with the author’s deep love and knowledge of the land and native flora of Israel. In her research, she spent a lot of time with the late Nogah Hareuveni, founder of Neot Kedumim, Israel’s Biblical Landscape Reserve. Her clear writing brings together the material and spiritual worlds of the text.

09/01/2015 | | staff Writer | Lens
Photo By Maureen Merdinger and Michael Melisky

Some of the girls who showed up at the first day of Camp Maor, a performing arts camp for Orthodox teens and pre-teens in the Pocono mountain range of Pennsylvania, were extroverts, veterans of school plays and performances in front of friends and family. Others were introverts, shy kids who needed a shot of self-confidence.

09/01/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Matchmaker
Ben’s cake box held a big surprise. JF Photography/Jessica Frykman

About two weeks after her arrival in Israel, Samantha traveled to the town of Rishon LeZion to visit her friend, Melanie. From the bus station, she called for directions. Melanie, herself a newcomer, couldn’t help, but said that her roommate, Ben, was a runner and knew the city. 

09/01/2015 | | Travel Writer | Travel
The Negev is an up-and-coming region for Israel travel. Israel Ministry of Tourism

It may be one of the world’s oldest civilizations, but there’s always something new in Israel.

09/01/2015 | | Staff Writer | The JW Q&A
American Hebrew Academy’s Glenn Drew: “Building name recognition” is big challenge.

The American Hebrew Academy, a Jewish non-denominational college preparatory boarding school located on a 100-acre site in Greensboro, N.C., will mark its 15th anniversary next year. The school recently announced the establishment of a $100,000 scholarship grant to “help … student applicants who otherwise would not be able to attend” the institution. Students from 28 states and 31 countries have attended AHA since 2001 (current enrollment is 137). We interviewed the school’s executive director, Glenn Drew, by email. This is an edited transcript.

08/25/2015 | | staff writer | Lens
Photo By Getty Images

The 2016 Summer Olympics will take place in exactly one year in Rio de Janeiro, and one Israeli athlete last week marked herself as a name to watch.

08/25/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View
An old-school cantor's cap.

When Cantor Seymour Rockoff of Kesher Israel Synagogue in Harrisburg, Pa., died last month, it was truly the end of an era. Rockoff had been the last chazzan standing in any of the five synagogues in my community, most of which had boasted full-time cantors for decades. Cantor Sherwood Goffin of Lincoln Square Synagogue eulogized his colleague as being equally at home belting out prayers in shul and performing in the Catskills; he noted that Cantor Rockoff’s own musical compositions ranged from an anthem of the Soviet Jewry movement, “Am Yisrael Chai” (“The People of Israel Lives”), to Allan Sherman-style parodies of classic songs, such as “Cold Chopped Liver” (sung to the tune of Jerome Kern’s “Ol’ Man River”) and “Boro Park” (sung to the tune of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s “New York, New York.”)

08/25/2015 | | Travel Writer | Travel
Savannah, with its lyrical, historic-district parks, is perfect for a late-summer visit.  Wikimedia Commons

Many people vacation in July and August for solid reasons: school is out, office schedules loosen, days are long and beaches beckon.

08/18/2015 | | Lens
Getty Images

Israeli tourism officials like to brag that their country has become one of the hottest travel sites in the Middle East.