Education

Soles With Soul

12/08/2009
Staff Writer

Sandwiched between the sparkly Christmas windows of Bergdorf Goodman and the high-end Under Armour sportswear store, 75 or so modestly, yet trendily, clad women sipped organic kosher wines, enjoyed cheese hors d’oeuvres and tested their luck with various Christian Louboutin wedges, Gucci boots and Marc Jacobs slingbacks. 

Well heeled: Designer couture and vintage shoes on display for auction at a benefit for TheJewishWoman.org.

Extravagant Jewish Celebrations – Have We Gone Too Far?

07/09/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

$100,000 for a wedding? $20,000 for a bar mitzvah? When did extravagance and luxury become such primary Jewish values? I can’t remember the last simcha (Jewish celebration) I attended at which there were not tremendous amounts of wasted food, overly expensive napkins and bands large enough for a royal banquet.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

In Which We Devote Far Too Much Space To Analyzing A Really Strange Essay

I don’t know how Elizabeth Cohen’s bizarre and disturbing piece in Tablet about a group of intermarried Jewish women who “gather for Shabbat but pack away their identities” escaped my notice, but thanks to InterfaithFamily.com’s Ed Case for directing my attention to it.

There is something kind of odd and overwrought about the essay, which, to judge by the comments it’s attracting, some readers are interpreting as a cautionary tale about the perils of intermarriage.

Discrimination Within Orthodoxy?

06/25/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Last week, thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews came out for mass protests across Israel. What was the contested issue: defense for Israel? Support of Agunot? Parents against child molestation? An end to violating business ethics and Israeli law? Not in the least bit. Sadly, this mass protest, the largest of its kind in years, was for the right to keep Sephardim out of Ashkenazi schools.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

When Intermarriage Happens To 'Good' Parents

Undoubtedly the two most vexing theological questions are the issues of bad things happening to good people and free will versus destiny.
While most of us are all too aware of the randomness and injustice in the world, we nonetheless are quick to credit ourselves for our good fortune and blame ourselves (and others) for bad fortune.

Fundamentalists are especially good at this little exercise. 9/11? God’s punishment for permissiveness and homosexuality. The Holocaust? A punishment for assimilation and Reform Judaism. Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War? Divine intervention.

Technology and Jewish Education Conference

Jewish techie Ari Davidow listened in on JESNA's recent "Technology and Jewish Education" conference and posted some of his observations on the Jewish Women's Archive blog. JESNA's conference is run through its Lippman Kanfer Institute.

Technology and Jewish Education

Gag Rule For Gentiles

Interfaithfamily.com has published a very disturbing personal essay by a mom who wasn’t allowed to speak from the bima at her daughter’s bat mitzvah.

The essay by Debbie Burton doesn’t say how long ago the incident occurred, but the gag rule for gentiles remains in place at her Chicago congregation, which she describes as an independent lay-led minyan that relies on “Conservative legal opinions.” (To learn more about independent minyanim, which vary tremendously in their overall outlooks as well as their approaches toward interfaith families, read my colleague Rivka Oppenheim's excellent recent article or go to the Mechon Hadar Web site.)

Full-Time Teachers: Can The Model Catch On?

Following Central Synagogue’s lead, more local congregations hoping to upgrade Hebrew-school staff.

05/05/2010
Associate Editor

 In a Midtown room, several 20-somethings are gathered around a scuffed-up table. With papers, cell phones and various caffeinated beverages before them, they enthusiastically brainstorm together and critique each other’s work. 

A workshop for young writers or artists? No, this is the weekly meeting of Central Synagogue’s 10 full-time Hebrew school teachers.

Afternoon Hebrew schools, despite competition from day schools and private tutors, continue to be the venues where the majority of American Jewish kids get their religious education. 

Full-time Hebrew school teachers Greg Weitzmann, Toba Strauss and Arielle Garelleck in a weekly planning meeting.

Jewish Agency, JDC Stake Claims In Funding Fight

Sharansky shifts focus to Jewish identity; JDC, in break, may fundraise on its own.

05/05/2010
Editor and Publisher

As the Jewish Agency for Israel focuses on a new strategic plan to remain relevant at a time of shrinking funds, some might call it the March of Dimes syndrome.

Gary Rosenblatt

Speed Kills

05/04/2010

Seeing something I have written in print always evokes the wish that I could snatch the words back, if only for a moment, to correct or change them. Manuscripts of notable novels and poems are almost always indecipherable squiggles, cross-outs, arrows, editing marks. Second, third and fourth thoughts are essential for clarity and elegance of expression. As the great Thomas Mann put it, “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

Syndicate content