Human Interest

What Not To Do On A Dating Sabbatical

Technically, I'm on a dating sabbatical.

Which means the next couple of weeks are all about getting in touch with the inner me. The "me" inside the "me," if you know what I mean. The "me" that is wearing a very teeny-tiny pair of glasses.

So, to be technical, I wasn't really breaking my sabbatical when a girlfriend called to update me on the set-up she had orchestrated.  I mean, she was the one who called me!

In Which We Devote Far Too Much Space To Analyzing A Really Strange Essay

I don’t know how Elizabeth Cohen’s bizarre and disturbing piece in Tablet about a group of intermarried Jewish women who “gather for Shabbat but pack away their identities” escaped my notice, but thanks to InterfaithFamily.com’s Ed Case for directing my attention to it.

There is something kind of odd and overwrought about the essay, which, to judge by the comments it’s attracting, some readers are interpreting as a cautionary tale about the perils of intermarriage.

Discrimination Within Orthodoxy?

06/25/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Last week, thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews came out for mass protests across Israel. What was the contested issue: defense for Israel? Support of Agunot? Parents against child molestation? An end to violating business ethics and Israeli law? Not in the least bit. Sadly, this mass protest, the largest of its kind in years, was for the right to keep Sephardim out of Ashkenazi schools.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Israel Parade Recruits Israelis

05/11/2010

The organizers of the annual Salute to Israel Parade are hoping that there will be an unusual sight at the event next week: lots of Israelis.

Michael Miller, executive vice president of the Jewish Community Relations Council, the parade’s “parent” organization, says a special pitch is being made this year to attract as spectators more of the estimated 200,000 Israelis who live in the New York area to the five-hour, almost-mile-long march along Fifth Avenue.

Vroom at the parade: The annual Salute to Israel march on Fifth Avenue, which includes people on foot and motorcycles.

Gag Rule For Gentiles

Interfaithfamily.com has published a very disturbing personal essay by a mom who wasn’t allowed to speak from the bima at her daughter’s bat mitzvah.

The essay by Debbie Burton doesn’t say how long ago the incident occurred, but the gag rule for gentiles remains in place at her Chicago congregation, which she describes as an independent lay-led minyan that relies on “Conservative legal opinions.” (To learn more about independent minyanim, which vary tremendously in their overall outlooks as well as their approaches toward interfaith families, read my colleague Rivka Oppenheim's excellent recent article or go to the Mechon Hadar Web site.)

Rage At Brandeis Over Invite To Israel’s Oren

Lookstein calls protests ‘nothing less than evil.’

05/05/2010
Associate Editor

Israel’s Ambassador Michael Oren, though no longer in the Israel Defense Forces, might feel like he deserves combat pay for all the fury he’s generating on American campuses.

Most dramatically, 11 Muslim students were arrested in February for disrupting the ambassador’s talk at the University of California-Irvine, and now hundreds of students at  Brandeis University, many of whom are Jewish, are campaigning to have Brandeis rescind its invitation for Oren to speak at graduation ceremonies May 23.

Toward A Jerusalem Of Unity

05/04/2010

While some (too few) American Jews will celebrate Jerusalem Day next Tuesday night and Wednesday, the 28th day of Iyar, marking the reunification of the holy city during the 1967 War, Israel’s capital remains the subject of controversy among the nations of the world, and much closer to home.

Proud To Be On The Jewish Team

Natl. Jewish Sports Hall of Fame inducts seven new athletes.

05/04/2010
Staff Writer

‘I have never been more proud to be Jewish than right now.”

With those words, Bill Goldberg, the NFL football player turned champion professional wrestler and now actor, was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame & Museum.

Former NFL lineman Alan Veingrad, second from left, and former wrestler Bill Goldberg sign autographs in Merrick.

On Schlemiels, Shlimazls, Shmendriks and Schmuks

One hopes that the New York Times story today on Jay Roach's upcoming film, "Dinner for Schmucks," starring Steve Carell, will inspire us all to brush up our Yiddish.  Critics have started to question the appropriateness of the title given to Roach's new film, a comedy of manners in which Carell plays a hapless idiot.  Given the premise, "schlemiel" or "shlimazl" -- Yiddish words that more closely translate into "idiot" -- should be in the title.&nbs

What a Bunch of Flaming Idiots Taught Me About Values

04/29/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

When I received an email from the New Victory Theater announcing a family comedy show called "The Flaming Idiots", my trigger finger clicked to buy four tickets faster than I could stop it. Little did I know that, in between the crackerjack juggling and zany shenanigans, I would experience a dramatic illumination of my personal values.

Life coach Deborah Grayson Riegel
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