Lens

06/18/2013 | | Staff Writer | Lens

About 90 percent of the young women who graduated last week from the Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls — aka “Central” — in Holliswood, Queens, are headed to Israel for a year of de rigueur, pre-college study in an advanced Jewish learning seminary.

06/11/2013 | | Staff Writer | Lens

Some members of the Jewish community objected two decades ago when a group of nuns, in a spirit of penance for the Holocaust, tried to build a convent on the grounds of Auschwitz. The Catholics’ prayers, charged the critics, were inappropriate at a site where millions of Jews were murdered.

06/04/2013 | | Staff Writer | Lens

Some strangers took away Marion Sacher’s special kite in 1937.

05/28/2013 | | Staff Writer | Lens

Wendy’s slogan is “Old fashioned hamburgers,” but the signs outside its shareholder meeting at the Sofitel Hotel in Midtown last Thursday read “Old fashioned exploitation,” carried by about a dozen rabbis protesting the corporation’s failure to sign onto the Fair Food Program.

05/21/2013 | | Staff Writer | Lens

For the last three years, El Al had a new crew — a crew of Torah scribes.

In Israel, the United States and France, sofrim wrote the Hebrew letters and assisted members of the international Jewish community who also wrote letters, in a Torah scroll Israel’s national airline had commissioned. Dedicated last week, in an outdoor ceremony at El Al headquarters in Ben-Gurion Airport, it is the first sefer Torah written expressly for an airline, says Danny Saadon, vice president for North America and Central America.

05/14/2013 | | Associate Editor | Lens

For many Park Slope tots, Saturday morning means jamming with Debbie Brukman at Temple Beth Elohim.

Brukman, a music teacher with a local coffeehouse following, regularly fills the Reform temple’s large social hall with her “Shir L’Shabbat” sing-alongs for young children and their families.

Brukman had already been teaching “Jewish soul” music in the temple’s nursery school six years ago when Rabbi Andrew Bachman encouraged her to develop a Shabbat program.

“Since bleary-eyed parents of young kids are looking for something to do on Saturday morning, we figured, why not invite them to a Shabbat party with Debbie Brukman?” he told The Jewish Week in an e-mail. “The woman has a heart of gold and we’re blessed to have her in the CBE family.”

Brukman’s Shabbat repertoire combines familiar Jewish preschool songs with Jewish melodies from Uganda, Israeli song festivals and her original compositions. Her band features mandolin, banjo, piano, and hand drums — and toddlers are encouraged to bring their own instruments.

Her fans include novelist Jonathan Safran Foer who frequently listens to her album (available on iTunes, Amazon and debbiebrukman.com) with his children.

“There are precious few CDs that bring a smile to all four passengers in our car,” he says in an album blurb. “These songs — these catchy and inspiring melodies, sung with such obvious and sincere enthusiasm — always lift our spirits. If our dog could smile, she’d smile, too.”

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