Hebrew

Why Go To Synagogue If You Don’t Believe In God?

A message of faith for non-believers.

08/27/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
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The other day, I was having a conversation with a friend who sheepishly admitted that she used to be one of those “three-day-a-year” Jews, who only went to synagogue on the High Holy Days.  I think she expected me to be critical, as though somehow, because I am a rabbi, I should have an opinion about her lack of observance.  In fact, I was curious about why she went at all, and probed a little deeper.

Object Lessons

Artist Barbara Bloom rummages through The Jewish Museum’s vast collection and teases out new meanings from her playful pairings.

04/10/2013
Jewish Week Book Critic

At most museums, the bulk of the collection is not on the walls or in display cases, but carefully catalogued and stored, out of sight. At The Jewish Museum, artist Barbara Bloom was extended a dream invitation: to peruse their collection of 25,000 works of ceremonial and fine art, and to configure an altogether new display.

Barbara Bloom’s juxtapositions are, she says, “placeholders for thoughts.” Christine McMonagle

Beyond Kvetch, Kvell: A New Lexicon

Professor launches web-based dictionary, invites entries from everybody.

11/20/2012
Staff Writer

From alte kaker, or old man in Yiddish, to zatar, an Israeli spice, Americans’ Jewish identity has long flavored their English.

Now a professor has harnessed the Internet to collect those heimish (cozy and warm) expressions that have made their way into the vernacular from sources including, but not limited to, Aramaic, Ladino, Yiddish and Hebrew.

Sarah Benor is the professor behind the Jewish English Lexicon. Bill Aron

How Do You Spell Hanukkah?

The #1 question during Hanukkah is: What is the correct way to spell the name of this holiday? As I blogged about last year, "Since it's a Hebrew word that is transliterated into English, there are several acceptable spellings. But people still want to know if there is a consensus."

There are so many spellings of Hanukkah. Which one's the most common?

Jewish Day Schools and Technology: Trying to Strike the Right Balance

I still remember the time in 1st grade when my father brought our Apple II Plus into the classroom in an effort to show my classmates the wonders of Turtle Graphics. It was 1982 and each little 1st grader waited in line to get a chance to touch the odd looking keyboard and try to make the little turtle move. My father beamed with pride as he watched each child get their three-minute opportunity to try to program the blinking green turtle cursor to move across the black screen.

Technology in the schools has advanced from blackboards and graphing paper to SMART Boards and tablets.

Mourning the Temple's Destruction? There's an App for That

Tisha B'Av, the 25-hour fast day beginning Monday night, is not the most popular holiday on the Jewish calendar. Many Jews let this summer day of commemoration of the destruction of the two temples in Jerusalem (as well as other calamities that befell the Jewish people) go by without much attention. However, for the Jewish people who spend part of the night and day in solemn prayer, listening to the dirgeful recitation of Eichah (Lamentations), there is now an impressive Android app to help them follow along with the text.

Android App for the Tisha B'Av Reading of Eichah (Lamentations)

DavkaWriter 7 Wins Hebrew Word Processor Wars

One might think that rabbinical students spend much of their days sitting in the beit midrash arguing over sections of the Talmud containing the debates of the medieval sages. That's only partially correct. When I was in rabbinical school, I remember the arguments we had (students and teachers) over which is the best Hebrew word processor.

DavkaWriter 7 Comes with All the Bells & Whistles

Remembering Amy Winehouse, "The Little White Jewish Salt-n-Pepa"

I was never a fan of Amy Winehouse's music, but I think I understood where it came from.  Like me, Winehouse grew up enthralled by black music, and with hip-hop in particular.  Winehouse--who died on Sunday at 27, and was buried today in accordance with Jewish custom--told The Los Angeles Times a few years ago that her first singing act was in a female hip-hop duo.  She formed th

Hebrew Immersion At Bergen County Charter School

Kids will spend just a quarter of day speaking English, with no translation during math, science and history classes, organizers say.

02/08/2011
Staff Writer

The educational philosophy behind the new Shalom Academy Charter School, which is set to open this fall in the Englewood-Teaneck, N.J., area, came into sharper view for the first time this week.

At the school’s first informational session, held Monday night at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, founder Raphael Bachrach shared Shalom Academy’s mission: “to graduate students that are proficient in the Hebrew language.”

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