03/01/2011 | | Lens

Rabbi Naftali Citron, who grew up as a follower of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, has fond memories of the singer-composer leading the Havdalah service that marks the end of Shabbat. “He was at the most perfect pitch for the Havdalah,” says Rabbi Citron, who now serves as spiritual leader of The Carlebach Shul on the Upper West Side.

Photo by Michael Datikash

Rabbi Citron, below, says he leads Havdalah in the spirit of his mentor.

02/22/2011 | | Lens

At the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, along the Hudson River in the Bronx, the oldest resident is 104 years old — but she’s not the only centenarian there by a long shot.

A total of 39 men and women who live at the Home are 100 years old or older, and many take part in the full array of the institution’s seniors-centered activities.

For some, it means a traditional pastime like an art class. Marion Rosner, right, offers instruction to three students: from left, Nathan Suss, Beryl Bernet and Frances Hershbaum.

02/15/2011 | | Lens

Cutting hair was a popular Jewish profession in Uzbekistan when Daniel Fuzaylov grew up near Tashkent, capital of the then-Soviet republic, nearly three decades ago. His father, Rafael, was a barber. His grandfather, too.

So Fuzaylov, who came to the United States with his family in 1988, became a barber, learning from his father. They are among the latest émigré groups to pass a trade among themselves, like Korean groceries, Chinese dry cleaners and Greek diners.

02/08/2011 | | Lens

In the old days of mah jongg — in the 1920s, when the game became a craze in the United States, not when it originated in China centuries ago — the pastime was often used as a fundraiser by Jewish women, who quickly embraced the game.

On Sunday, the game returned to its roots.

02/01/2011 | | Lens

Rabbi Aaron Lichter never doubted what his life’s work would be.

“My father was a sofer,” a Torah scribe, he says. “My grandfather was a sofer.” And his great-grandfather. They all plied their trade in Tomaszew, Poland, a town in the west-central part of the country.

So Rabbi Lichter, who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and works on the Lower East Side, became a Torah scribe three decades ago, after training with his father for three years.

His sofer’s business is called A-1 Sofrim.

01/25/2011 | | Lens

Alex Rabinovich says there were about 50 gymnastics clubs in his native Kiev, 10 alone in his neighborhood, when his family left Ukraine for the United States two decades ago. His father’s club, Spartak, was one of Kiev’s top gymnastics training facilities, he says.