Lens

12/28/2010 | | Lens

As this week’s blizzard blanketed New York City in snow, Jewish Community Councils and other organizations scrambled to continue providing much-needed services in the hardest-hit neighborhoods, as well as meet emergency needs.

12/21/2010 | | Lens

The Israeli swimmers at an international championship last week didn’t take home any gold, silver or bronze — but they made history with blue and white.

For the first time, swimmers from the Jewish state competed in the World Short Course Swimming Championship, held in Dubai, and for the first time the Israeli flag hung poolside in the Arab country.

And, though they finished outside of the medals, Israeli swimmers swam well, by Israeli standards, setting several national records.

12/14/2010 | | Lens

Randy Cohen, above left, who has been writing “The Ethicist” column for The New York Times for 11 years, asserted that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should win the Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-secrecy campaign.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, above right, who writes about ethics for The Jewish Week, described a tough call he had to make as a fledgling rabbi when he learned of two synagogue board members carrying on an affair. He forced them to resign.

12/07/2010 | | Lens

Throughout Jewish history various numbers have played important symbolic roles — the Three Patriarchs, the Four Matriarchs, the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, and so on.

The big numbers this week were 618 and 2,197,813.

Those are, respectively, the numbers of people who took part in a dreidel-spinning event at Yeshiva University that set a Guinness-certified world record, and the number of times a Chanukah video by the school’s Maccabeats a capella group was viewed on YouTube since it was posted last month.

11/30/2010 | | Lens

In Israel, where Chanukah in a Christmas-less society is a minor holiday, it’s still a major presence.
First, there’s the sufganiyot. That’s Hebrew for doughnuts.

11/23/2010 | | Lens

The Abraham Geiger College, Germany’s Reform rabbinical school, ordained three rabbis recently. All three, like most of the 100,000-plus Jews who have come to Germany in the last 30 years, are from the former Soviet Union, but one garnered most of the attention.

Ukraine-born Alina Treiger is the first female rabbi ordained in Germany since before the Holocaust.

The last one, Regina Jonas, died in Auschwitz in 1944. She was the first woman known to be ordained as a rabbi in modern times.