10/13/2015 | | Travel Writer | Travel

From Poland to Portugal, nobody knows Jewish Europe like Ruth Ellen Gruber.

On a given week, the Philadelphia-born journalist might be checking out a newly opened museum, inspecting the restoration of a prewar synagogue, or picking her way through forest brambles in search of long-lost tombstones. That explains how Gruber found herself recently in the wilderness south of Prague, where she stumbled onto an 18th-century Jewish cemetery in a clearing near a faded sign marking “Synagogue Street.”

10/13/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

When one walks into the Shabbat service of the Jewish Home Lifecare, it seems the rabbi and cantor are conducting a service entirely for themselves. The room is full of wheelchairs and walkers, canes and assistants. There seems to be little stirring, an eerie stillness. Opening with the Ma Tovu prayer, Rabbi Jonathan Malamy explains how we begin by praising God, then we petition God. It is basically praise and praising and more praising. It can seem that these words are falling on yawning mouths, hanging heads.

10/07/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View

Midway through its three-hour running time, there is a scene in Frederick Wiseman’s new documentary, “In Jackson Heights,” in which we see a few minutes of a typical workday in the office of Councilman Daniel Dromm. Two members of Dromm’s staff are fielding irate calls from constituents. We hear only their side of the conversations, so it takes a moment before it becomes clear what very local issue the callers are discussing. But it is impossible to miss the interplay of exasperation, concern and slowly eroding patience in the faces of Dromm’s long-suffering staffers.

10/07/2015 | | Culture Editor | The JW Q&A

Last week, Princeton scholar Marina Rustow was named a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, more popularly known as a MacArthur “genius” award. The $625,000 prize is a no-strings-attached award, recognizing individuals who are “pushing the boundaries of their fields, improving our world in imaginative, unexpected ways,” as the foundation’s president, Julia Stasch, explains. The Jewish studies specialist is one of 24 writers, artists, scholars and musicians selected.

10/07/2015 | | Lens

Just as the Jews of Israel and Jewish visitors from abroad observe an ancient tradition during Sukkot, the world’s Christians have their own, more modern, Sukkot tradition — marching through the streets of Jerusalem en masse to show their support for the Jewish state.

10/07/2015 | | Travel Writer | Travel

It’s hurricane season in the Atlantic! That’s plain to anyone suffering through a wet, dreary East Coast fall. With the onset of chilly nights, it’s time to think about a winter escape.