Blogs
01/22/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Unless you were in a cave this week or otherwise out of touch with the world, you will surely have heard or read about the great ‘selfie incident” at the Miss Universe pageant.

01/21/2015 | | Lens
Via instagram.com

When can beauty pageants turn ugly? When Middle East politics get involved.

A selfie featuring Miss Israel and Miss Lebanon smiling side by side ignited a raging debate between Israel and much of the Arab world over the weekend.

01/20/2015 | | Calendar Editor | The JW Q&A
Bassist Omer Avital: Stretching jazz’s boundaries. Courtesy of Red Cat Publicity

Much like real estate, security and sales of holiday knick-knacks, New York’s jazz scene has acquired an unmistakable Israeli accent — so much so that JazzTimes magazine stated that “no foreign country’s citizens are playing a more visible or essential role on the New York scene these days.” How did this happen? Acclaimed bassist and composer Omer Avital was among the first wave of Israelis to land here in the early 1990s. The Jewish Week caught up with him last week fresh off a gig at the Jazz Standard, which marked the release of his new CD, “New Song” (Motema Music). This is an edited transcript.

01/20/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View
Daniel Schifrin

The timing was pretty good, as the Sony hacking scandal continued to be front-page news; Britain and the U.S. had just announced new cyber war games; and The New York Times had just profiled a new website offering “hackers for hire,” available for everything from breaking into your ex-boyfriend’s Facebook page to changing the rent on your apartment’s website.

01/20/2015 | | Travel Writer | Travel
A corner in Paris’ heavily Jewish Marais neighborhood.

What does it mean for Jewish travel if everyone makes aliyah?

I ask this question rhetorically, of course. No matter how charged the rhetoric or how tense the security situation, some Jews will always feel a stronger pull to their native or adopted territory — to the brilliance of South African sunshine or, yes, the warm, crisp baguettes and tidy green parks of the Paris Marais. And the solidity of our American Jewish community is reassuring.

01/15/2015 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | A Rabbi's World
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Even with the passage of a few days since the awful events in Paris last week, a lingering sense of horror and dismay continues to invade the bodies politic of the western world. And why would it not? What happened in Paris was grotesque and terrifying, with implications that will not disappear even if ignored.

01/14/2015 | | Associate Editor | In the Beginning
Alan Dershowitz. Wikimedia Commons

Former Harvard Law School professor and staunch Israel supporter Alan Dershowitz has been accused of having sex with an underage girl, the “sex slave” of a Dershowitz’ client, financier Jeffrey Epstein — which has, what exactly, to do with Israel?

01/13/2015 | | Staff Writer | Lens
Getty Images

An early winter cold snap that struck much of the Middle East last week left most of Israel shivering. The snow across the length and breadth of the Jewish state closed schools and major roads, knocked down power lines, and sent Israelis scurrying for electric heaters and rarely needed cold weather clothing.

01/13/2015 | | Travel Writer | Travel
The rocky coast of Lanzarote.

When the midwinter chill sets in, New York Jews head to Florida; British Jews head to Lanzarote, the most spectacular of Spain’s Canary Islands.

01/13/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person
Richard Friedman

Birmingham, Ala. — On Thanksgiving at my son’s house, I found myself at the end of a long dinner table, some in-town family members on my left. They were chatting about college football, especially the Alabama-Auburn game that would be played two nights later.