10/31/2014 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Compare and contrast:

Stopped in to a church I passed along the way,
Well, I got down on my knees, and I began to pray …

         The Mamas and the Papas

10/28/2014 | | Editor And Publisher | Lens
Gary Shteyngart, with Jonathan Safran Foer. Hello Video and Photo Studio

Every great writer has an inspiration. Gary Shteyngart, whose novels combining hilarity and poignancy in describing the immigrant experience for Russian-born Americans have won him critical acclaim and a large readership, says he was first motivated by cheese.

10/28/2014 | | Contributing Editor | Table For One
Heather Robinson

Divorced and childless at 23, each year for the next decade on Rosh HaShanah, Julie Yusupov would walk to her synagogue and, in hopes of one day becoming a mother, say a traditional prayer on the welfare of children for parents and those who hope to become parents. She also prayed to find the right husband with whom to start a family.

10/28/2014 | | Staff Writer | The JW Q&A
Yasin Meral, scholar from Turkey, brings rich history of ties with Jews to his work this year at JTS.

The Jewish Theological Seminary last week appointed its first Muslim visiting scholar. Yasin Meral, assistant professor of history of religions at Ankara University, will conduct post-doctoral research at JTS this year. Meral, whose Ph.D. dissertation was on “Islam and Muslims in the Writings of Maimonides,” has done post-doctoral work on end-times issues in the Jewish and Islamic traditions. The Jewish Week interviewed him by email. This is an edited transcript.

10/28/2014 | | First Person
A dark and spooky night. Via

With a borscht-curdling geshrei, Halloween this year falls on Shabbat. On Friday night, trick-or-treaters, even Jewish ones, will be knocking.

10/28/2014 | | Travel Writer | Travel
An apple store and a farm store make for good shopping in harvest season in rural California.  Hilary Larson/JW

High up in the San Bernardino Mountains, I found all the apples I needed to ring in the Jewish New Year.

10/22/2014 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Although I live in the world of words and communication is generally considered to be my strong suit, I, like so many others, am at a loss to adequately express my dismay, disgust, and profound sadness over the recent revelations of voyeurism at the mikvah in Washington, D.C. My dismay is only compounded by the fact that Rabbi Freundel, the popular and accomplished rabbi of the prominent Orthodox synagogue Kesher Israel who allegedly perpetrated this crime, was a college classmate of mine at Yeshiva University. We lived only a few doors down from each other in the dorm all those years ago. I knew him well then. It seems that no one really knew him all that well now.

10/21/2014 | | Staff Writer | Lens
Getty Images

It’s a yard-wide piece of limestone, weighs about a ton, is about 2,000 years old and is priceless — to archeologists, that is.

10/21/2014 | | Travel Writer | Travel
A Dale Chihuly sculpture set against the Space Needle at night. Amy Larson

Given all the coffee its residents drink, it shouldn’t be surprising that Seattle stays up late.

I was tipped off to this by my sister, an inveterate night owl and Seattlephile who starts her day when most people are winding theirs down. She and my brother-in-law take their morning coffee around 5 p.m., then look for things to do while everybody else is at dinner. And that’s how I discovered that Seattle’s most hallowed attractions are all the more attractive after dark.

10/21/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View
Ted Merwin

Seders during my childhood in Great Neck invariably began with the same unintentional ritual. My father knocked over his brimming glass of wine, sending crimson rivulets speeding across the starched white tablecloth, like the Israelites scurrying across the desert. We spent most of the first half of the seder mopping up the mess; by the time we got to the description of the cascade of blood that was visited on the Egyptians, we were just about ready, like Pharaoh, to throw in the towel.