04/19/2016 - 15:27 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View

Several years ago, on a bus ride across Iowa on my way to giving a lecture at a university, I noticed a tall man in the seat behind me; he had a craggy face, long beard, black hat, and glossy black coat.

04/19/2016 - 12:46 | | Travel Writer | Travel

Midsummer is coming! There may be no better place to celebrate the warm-weather solstice than in Sweden, where the longest, sunniest days of the year are cause for weeklong festivities. Aquavit is drunk, toasted, and drunk some more; families pack up for the country’s many beaches. If you find yourself in the land of Ikea this summer, make like the Swedish royals and head to Småland, a region of thick forests, crystalline lakes and idyllic beaches in the country’s southeast.

04/14/2016 - 11:27 | | Special To The Jewish Week | A Rabbi's World

The endless volume of visual images and audio clips that are a part of our daily reality in a modern political season make it virtually impossible that a non-mediagenic personality could ever be elected to the high office of the presidency. It is sad but true that looks, charisma, and the ability to raise huge amounts of money matter at least as much in politics these days as do thoughtfulness and ideas, much less personal integrity. A seasoned, knowledgeable, and reflective candidate of either major political party will not necessarily see those qualities translate into votes, or allegiance. If you’re going to prevail in today’s political climate, you pretty much need to have a larger-than-life personality, and a more-than-healthy sense of self and self-importance. You have to have what to sell, and you have to be comfortable selling it– relentlessly.

04/12/2016 - 15:57 | | Travel Writer | Travel

This modernist apartment building in Tel Aviv is part of architectural tour of the city. Ross Belfer

Are you interested in the Tel Aviv art market, but unsure which galleries to explore? Heard about the city’s nightlife scene and wish you knew a local to take you somewhere cool? Find yourself in Israel on business or for the 14th time, wondering what could make this trip memorable?

04/12/2016 - 13:28 | | Staf Writer | The JW Q&A

Rabbi Paul Kipnes, spiritual leader of Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, Calif., and his wife, Michelle November, a high school admissions officer and former national college director of the Union for Reform Judaism, are authors of a new book, “Jewish Spiritual Parenting: Wisdom, Activities, Rituals and Prayers for Raising Children with Spiritual Balance and Emotional Wholeness” (Jewish Lights).

04/12/2016 - 12:21 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

As a rabbi, I’m not usually invited on honeymoon vacations. But in February, I had the opportunity to serve as a Jewish educator for New York City’s first Honeymoon Israel trip. The trip operates in cities around the country, offering couples with at least one Jewish partner a highly subsidized and immersive trip to Israel.