11/24/2015 | | Travel Writer | Travel
Christopher Columbus used this mansion in Las Palmas as a base for his Atlantic voyages.  Wikimedia Commons

Given the violence rattling the world today, escape is certainly in order. And few escapes are quite so ideal as Las Palmas, a pastel Spanish city in the far-flung Canary Islands.

11/24/2015 | | The JW Q&A
AJWS’ new head Robert Bank will follow in the footsteps of an icon, Ruth Messinger.

American Jewish World Service, the 30-year-old nonprofit organization that supports human rights and anti-poverty activism in the developing world and educates the American Jewish community about global justice, recently announced that in July, Robert Bank, executive vice president, will succeed Ruth Messinger as president. Messinger has headed AJWS since 1998.

Bank, a native of South Africa, moved to New York to study piano at Juilliard. He went on to study law at the City University of New York Law School and worked for the New York City Law Department and Gay Men’s Health Crisis before joining AJWS in 2009.

We caught up with Bank by phone earlier this month.

11/24/2015 | | Lens
Photos By Getty Images

In their homeland of Ethiopia, they marked their unique Jewish holiday, Sigd, on a nearby mountain.

11/24/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View
Ted Merwin

Several years ago, I asked a rabbi who teaches at my children’s day school in Harrisburg, Pa., if he was planning to have a lot of guests for Thanksgiving dinner. “We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving,” he told me. “We don’t need to. We express our gratitude to God all the time through our prayers.” I subsequently learned that charedi Jews are commanded not to observe Thanksgiving (nor even to eat a turkey sandwich on that day) on the grounds that it is centered on recognizing the bounty provided by God in a way that is not exclusively Jewish; it thus smacks, for them, of idol worship.

11/19/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

A few days ago, as we were all struggling to regain our equilibrium following the horrific carnage in Paris, an item appeared on Facebook that caught my eye and made me think. It was a simple graphic that read as follows: Paris, 13/11; New York, 11/9; Israel, 24/7.

11/17/2015 | | Staff Writer | Lens
Photo By JTA

It’s not a road sign between Brooklyn and Manhattan, but it definitely is a symbol — of New York City’s diversity.

11/17/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person
Beth Kisseleff

I’ve always been bored by anti-Semitism, contemptuous even, of those who look for it everywhere and then find it. If you look hard enough, you can find anything you want. Anyway, it always seemed to me a thing of the past.

11/17/2015 | | Travel Writer | Travel
Chez Marianne in the Le Marais district of Paris.  Wikimedia Commons

Paris, the shimmering City of Light, is under siege as I write this. For many Americans, the coordinated terrorist attacks that paralyzed the city felt like a punch in the gut — a sensation all the more sickening because Paris is among the most familiar and beloved of foreign destinations.

11/17/2015 | | The JW Q&A
Daryl Messinger: Proud of “evolving, inclusive and unorthodox” Reform movement.

Daryl Messinger made a little history recently in Orlando, the site of the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial. A resident of Palo Alto, Calif., and an active board member of several organizations, Messinger was installed as URJ chair, becoming the first woman to hold that post. And she chanted Torah for the first time — in front of 5,000 worshippers at Shabbat morning services. Following the movement’s biennial, Messinger answered a few questions via email.

11/13/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

It is unquestionably true that, since 9/11, Americans have fundamentally and consciously changed the way they relate to veterans who have served in the military, and particularly those who are currently serving.