08/31/2010 | | Lens

Musician-songwriter Phillip Namanworth has performed on Broadway, in concerts, in nightclubs.

During these weeks before Rosh HaShanah, he does a gig each morning for an audience of two — himself and God. During the month of Elul, which precedes the holiday-laden month of Tishri, he blows the shofar every weekday morning in his Manhattan apartment.

In many Jewish communities, shofar blasts come before the Days of Repentance, as a spiritual wake-up call.

Last week Namanworth tried out another horn.

08/24/2010 | | Lens

The Amsterdam tree that reminded Anne Frank of life ended its life on Monday.

The 150-year-old, 65-foot-high horse chestnut, which was rotted and weakened by moths and a fungus for more than a decade, collapsed in heavy wind and rain.

“It broke off like a match,” a spokesman for the Anne Frank House, in whose hidden annex the young writer hid for 25 months, told Reuters. The Anne Frank House, now a museum, was not touched, but the tree crashed through several gardens, damaging a brick wall and several sheds.

08/17/2010 | | Lens

 Raphael Luzon was bar-mitzvah age when he left his home and his homeland. Along with most of Libya’s 7,000 remaining Jews, Luzon’s family fled, virtually empty-handed in 1967, after anti-Jewish riots threatened the Jewish community following Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War.

Luzon settled in England, but his heart stayed in Libya.

08/10/2010 | | Staff Writer | Lens

A group of Jewish runners jog a few miles in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park every Wednesday night for their health. On July 28, they were joined by a few dozen more runners on a  much longer route. For someone else’s health.

Sixty runners, all men, took part in the first 200K (20 kilometers is 12.4 miles) relay race from Brooklyn to upstate Sullivan County, sponsored by the newly formed JRunners organization. The participants raised more than $100, 000 for the medical expenses of a neighbor of a JRunners founder who has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

08/03/2010 | Lens



Novelists Allegra Goodman, above right, and Cathleen Schine, above left, had never met before The Jewish Week Literary Forum at Congregation Rodeph Sholom last Wednesday evening. But as they engaged in conversation with moderator/Jewish Week book critic Sandee Brawarsky — and each other — before a packed house of more than 250 people, it soon became clear they had a good deal in common.

07/27/2010 | | Lens


The weather forecast predicted cloudy skies, maybe some rain and a chance of tornadoes when Camp Simcha brought 120 young campers to Manhattan one day last week.