02/09/2016 - 17:36 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Tim Boxer
Sam Domb and Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald. Nina Boxer/JW

Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald, the founding director of the National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP), has toiled for 28 years to make America great by pursuing such policies as “Shabbat Across America.” So far he has reached out to one million guests at Shabbat Across America and Canada, and has taught Hebrew to some 250,000 Jews.

02/09/2016 - 11:31 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View
George Robinson

Something strange happened to me. I went to sleep one evening and woke up in a parallel universe in which Bernard Madoff was considered a tragic hero.

02/03/2016 - 10:21 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

The decision this week by Israel’s governing Cabinet to formally approve a proposal accommodating non-Orthodox, egalitarian prayer at the Kotel – the remaining Western Wall of the ancient Jerusalem Temple – has evoked passionate, but predictable, responses.

02/03/2016 - 09:50 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Matchmaker
Dan and Claudia. Roni Weiss

“If Dan doesn’t text me by 5 PM, then I’ll text him,” decided Claudia. He didn’t; so she did. Dan explains: “In 2011 I was 21 and didn’t think I was ready to date.”

02/02/2016 - 17:50 | | Travel Writer | Travel
The “two Aris” in an underground grotto matzah-baking facility in Ptigliano, Italy. Courtesy of Ari Greenspan

Note: This is the second of two stories on kosher travel.

Over three decades of globetrotting, Rabbi Ari Zivotofsky and Dr. Ari Greenspan have cultivated a career as kosher adventurers — and accidental entomologists.

02/02/2016 - 17:30 | | Staff Writer | Lens
Photo By Getty Images

In France, which is becoming an increasingly unsafe place for Jews — especially those who openly identify as Jews — it is particularly dangerous for Jewish men to wear a kipa in public.

01/29/2016 - 10:35 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

In one of the sadder episodes of my rabbinate, I officiated recently at the funeral of a young soldier in the American army who died suddenly of natural causes. The death was, to understate the case dramatically, a horrific shock to the soldier’s family, and to all of us who knew him and his family through the years. His death was a great tragedy.

01/28/2016 - 15:07 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View
Ted Merwin

Those who forget the past, George Santayana famously said, are doomed to repeat it. But is it possible to go overboard in terms of the history of the Holocaust? On last check, out of the 100 titles on Amazon’s list of bestselling Jewish history books, no fewer than 92 are related to the Shoah. A book on Jewish history, for the vast majority of both Jewish and non-Jewish readers, is a Holocaust book.

01/27/2016 - 11:28 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Tim Boxer
Abe Vigoda at the New York Friars Club in 2008. Tim Boxer/JW

Abe Vigoda, who died on Tuesday at the ripe old age of 94, started life old. His first-grade teacher formed a drama group and needed someone to portray Baron von Richenhoffen, a 50-year-old man who finds his wife in the closet with a strange man. She looked around and settled on a dour child. “You look old, Abe. I think you’ll do for the part.”

01/27/2016 - 09:36 | | Culture Editor | The JW Q&A
Ted Merwin: Neo-retro delis like Mile End “have upped the gourmet quotient in Jewish food.”

Ted Merwin, The Jewish Week’s longtime theater critic, was just awarded a National Jewish Book Award in the category of Education and Jewish Identity for his new book, “Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli” (NYU Press). Extensively researched, the book delves into deli culture, history and its layered connection to Jewish identity, seasoned with humor. Merwin, who is associate professor of religion and Judaic Studies at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., is founding director of the Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life. He grew up in Great Neck, L.I., where he spent many Sunday evenings procuring turkey and roast beef for his family from a nearby delicatessen, where he first observed the “intricate, elegant choreography to the movements of the counterman as he sliced up the meat.” We interviewed him via email.