07/15/2016 - 04:42 | | Special To The Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

The recent flap over the Israeli Chief Rabbinate's refusal to recognize conversions to Judaism conducted by my esteemed colleague Rabbi Haskel Lookstein has left me feeling yet again that we are very far away—as far as we have ever been—from solving this problem, all statements to the contrary by Prime Minister Netanyahu notwithstanding.

07/12/2016 - 11:44 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

As I leaned over the bathroom sink, flanked by a pile of grimy kids’ shoes and a homegrown arsenal of tools with which to clean them, I wondered not for the first time what I was doing there. The environment, I reminded myself, a revolt against our culture’s rabid consumerism, the long-lost art of thrift, ah yes. I sliced a toothpick along the muddy grooves of a sandal’s sole and flung the dislodged dirt down the drain. Another one saved.

07/12/2016 - 11:39 | | Travel Writer | Travel

I was 12 when the family cross-country road trip took us to the Grand Canyon. I remember lunching at El Tovar, one of the historic lodges in the National Park system, and peering over the russet-red expanse of the canyon, those endless craters and ridges, heat shimmering in waves.

07/12/2016 - 10:48 | | Jewish Week Online Columnist | Tim Boxer

On the last day of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in August 2014, Gadi Yarkoni, a former IDF member, was supervising the repair of an electricity tower damaged by Hamas that morning. The son of kibbutz pioneers, Gadi lived in Kibbutz Nirim, in the Eshkol region, a stone’s throw from the Gaza border.

07/07/2016 - 11:33 | | A Rabbi's World

Jews and non-Jews from all walks of life, from the world-famous to the most humble, have already written eloquent, pained obituaries for Elie Wiesel, whose death last Shabbat came upon us like a punch in the stomach for which we were ill-prepared, despite his illness. I humbly add these words.

07/05/2016 - 16:38 | | Travel Writer | Travel

Amid the cool stone alleys and sunny, palm-fringed plazas of Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, it was easy to imagine Jewish scribes and accountants bustling about in Roman times. I found plenty of Jewish history when I Googled in advance of a trip: descriptions of Valencia’s barrios, synagogues, plazas and mikvahs. All of it stopped in the late 1400s.