Blogs
05/05/2015 | | Staff Writer | The JW Q&A
Eddy Portnoy: Yiddish infused the Jewish society from which Jewish boxers and wrestlers emerged. Nick Romanenko/Rutgers Universi

An exhibition on the “Yiddish Fight Club,” about Jewish boxers and wrestlers, opened this week at the YIVO Institute of Jewish Research in Manhattan. It was created by Eddy Portnoy, who teaches in the Judaic Studies Program at Rutgers University and serves as academic advisor at YIVO’s Max Weinrich Center for Advanced Jewish Studies. The Jewish Week interviewed Portnoy by email; this is an edited transcript.

05/05/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person
David Bryfman

The First Temple was destroyed [in 586 CBE] because of three sins committed by the Jews of that period: idolatry, sexual immorality and murder. The Second Temple was destroyed [70 CE] because senseless hatred was prevalent. This teaches us that the offense of senseless hatred is the equivalent of the three sins of idolatry, sexual immorality and murder.

05/05/2015 | | Travel Writer | Travel
A scene on Ulitsa Alexandrovska, a prominent pedestrian promenade in Ruse.  Hilary Danailova/JW

The beautiful blue Danube was neither beautiful nor blue.

Gazing over a ramshackle assortment of trailers, creaky amusement-park rides and abandoned Mercedes parts, I surveyed the waterfront of the city Bulgarians call “the little Vienna” and concluded that Strauss would have trouble with the appellation. We were in Ruse, a Bulgarian city on the banks of that fabled river, which was an unappealing shade of gray. From our perch on a pedestrian wharf, we watched shady-looking men in dark jackets prowl and puff on cigarettes among the detritus below.

04/30/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

For two days this week, at its annual convention, the Rabbinical Assembly, the professional organization of Conservative rabbis, devoted itself to reflecting on a significant anniversary in the history of the Conservative movement. Thirty years ago, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the storied academic center of that movement, made the momentous decision to admit women to its Rabbinical School, and ultimately ordain them as rabbis.

04/29/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Tim Boxer
Susan Sanders, left, David Genser and Enid Shapiro at museum inaugural benefit. Tim Boxer/JW

Adam Tihany, who has designed dining interiors at such high-end properties as the Beverly Hills Hotel, King David Hotel and Le Cirque 2000, said when he grew up in Jerusalem he didn’t know Holon existed.

04/29/2015 | | Staff Writer | Lens
Getty Images

The landmark in the background is familiar — it’s Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, one of the most famous sites in Germany’s capital.

04/28/2015 | | Editor And Publisher | The JW Q&A
Labor’s Stav Shaffir: Younger Israelis tired of living with a sense of fear. Gary Rosenblatt/JW

Stav Shaffir, who will turn 30 this month, is the youngest-ever female member of the Knesset, first elected two years ago on the Labor Party slate and re-elected in March. She was one of the leaders of the social justice protest in Tel Aviv that attracted huge crowds, many sleeping in tents, during the summer of 2011. Her youth, outgoing personality and eloquence made her a natural to be the group’s spokesperson, which in turn attracted the Labor Party to recruit her. During her first term in the Knesset, Shaffir focused on affordable housing, especially for young people, and other issues related to social justice, from gender equality to Women of the Wall. She made headlines for assuring that Knesset budget allocations are made  transparent. Our interview took place at The Jewish Week offices shortly after the March elections.

04/28/2015 | | Travel Writer | Travel
The author’s cross-country trip gave her a new appreciation for America’s vastness and its regional differences. Hilary Larson

As Oggi and I sped through the cactus-spiked wilderness of southeast Arizona, I reflected that more than a quarter-century had passed since my first cross-country road trip. And from behind the wheel on Interstate 10, it was surprising how little had changed visually from the summer of 1988 — when my parents took my sister and me on a three-week odyssey from Phoenix to Connecticut.

04/23/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

As we celebrate this Yom Ha’atzma’ut, the sixty-seventh birthday of the State of Israel, I share a treasured Israel memory.

04/21/2015 | | Staff Writer | Lens
Getty Images

Not much is known about the early history of München 12 246.

Like other German railway cars, it was built there early in the 20th century and was used to transport cattle.