First Person

05/10/2016 - 13:09 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

On a recent Shabbat afternoon in Warsaw, I walked through the shadows of a Jewish horror show: first, remnant slivers of the wall of the Warsaw Ghetto in someone else’s apartment courtyard; then the site where once stood the majestic Great Synagogue the Nazis destroyed after they suppressed the Ghetto Uprising; next, the outline of the bridge that connected the larger and smaller sections of the ghetto; on to an imposing memorial listing 448 Jewish first names at the Umschlagplatz, from where Warsaw’s Jews were transported on a one-way journey to Treblinka; and, finally, a mass-grave memorial to the victims, adjacent to a huge Jewish cemetery where pre-Shoah giants of Jewish history lie.

04/26/2016 - 11:37 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

Dr. Nicolai Sebastian and I met in Auschwitz when I was brought to his miniature “operating room” (originally a broom storage area at the end of our barrack), where a slotted bench served as an operating table.

04/12/2016 - 12:21 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

As a rabbi, I’m not usually invited on honeymoon vacations. But in February, I had the opportunity to serve as a Jewish educator for New York City’s first Honeymoon Israel trip. The trip operates in cities around the country, offering couples with at least one Jewish partner a highly subsidized and immersive trip to Israel.

03/08/2016 - 12:08 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

In a few weeks I will marry my fiancé Brenda and adopt her 4-year-old daughter, Marta. I will also attach myself to a new country.

02/16/2016 - 12:47 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

Last year I journeyed to the precipice of death. It was a horrible trip, ending in the loss of my sister-in-law, Ali.

01/19/2016 - 12:09 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

Last spring, I consented to a surgical face-off with a medical condition that had left me with no other options. Still, it had taken serious convincing for me to overlook the risks and pin my hopes on the procedure’s life-changing potential.