Jewish life

A Most Unusual Conversation: The Jewish Week Retreat

06/17/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

From noon this past Sunday to noon Tuesday forty-eight hours later, I was privileged to participate in a program called “The Conversation,” held in the lovely Pearlstone Conference Center just outside of Baltimore. Sponsored by The Jewish Week and made possible through the generous support of UJA-Federation, the program brought together some fifty Jews active in one way or other in the Jewish community of New York for what seemed like an odd purpose- to talk to one another.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Yeridat haDorot, The Descent of Man: Is Progress Possible in our Time?

06/10/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Will we ever end poverty, hunger and genocide? Is there hope that tomorrow will look brighter than today? The social justice movement is guided by a messianic vision that a world that is more just and free is possible. Can we, as Jews, embrace this promise of progress?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

The Curious Case of Anthony Weiner: A Cautionary Tale

06/09/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive…"

Sir Walter Scott could not have been more right, as my congressman, Anthony Weiner, discovered this past week. The problems inherent in the lewd pictures, incomprehensibly bad judgment, and arrogant assumption of invincibility were only exacerbated ten times over by the untruths that followed. The whole affair is a tawdry mess, and an embarrassment.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

What's Jewish About Networking?

06/07/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Growing up in Manhattan, I didn't need to drive. But after three years of living in Michigan, where buses and subways were no longer at my doorstep, it was time to learn. I passed my driver's test (because it didn't require me to parallel park), and bought a used red-and-white Plymouth Reliant K. My parents quickly insured my purchase with something they knew I would need to support my fledgling skill set - a AAA membership.

Deborah Grayson Riegel

This Land Is Your Land?

06/07/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

My long-legged 9-year-old clambers onto my lap, her eye-rolling cynicism suppressed for the moment. Together we wait, staring at the computer screen’s still image of an Israeli flag, listening as the sentimental strains of a symphony rise up. But when a disembodied voice explodes in song, Talia joins in, belting out the Hebrew words with a gusto she usually reserves for Broadway show tunes, her torso swaying from the effort. My daughter is caught up in the love and hope and dreams of “Hatikvah.”

Elicia Brown

Finding Ways To Celebrate Together

05/31/2011
Editor And Publisher

‘There is nothing new under the sun,” wrote the author of the Bible’s Book of Ecclesiastes who, according to tradition, is King Solomon, the wisest of all men.

Yet much of Jewish life, and particularly American Jewish culture, has been driven by the concept of innovation, or more precisely, balancing ancient tradition with creativity.

Gary Rosenblat

Kosher Indian

Siona Benjamin’s ‘visual midrash’ explores her identity as a Bene Israel descendant.

05/31/2011
Staff Writer

When Siona Benjamin was in art school in the 1980s, her professors told her to avoid narrative painting, and to keep her work abstract.

Siona Benjamin and her work “Miriam,” Photos courtesy of Flomenhaft Gallery

Series Of Firsts Mark ‘Celebrate Israel’ Parade

Event to be aired live on Fox affiliate; Russian community marching together; 4-mile run as lead-up.

05/31/2011
Staff Writer

Sunday’s Celebrate Israel Parade will not only march up Fifth Avenue, but into the living rooms of thousands of area homes

The scene at a recent Salute to Israel parade. This year the event will be televised live.

Mixed Media: Lessons In Unplugging

Twenty years later, a book sparks an exchange between author and reader.

05/31/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Writing a book, I recently told a friend, is like putting a message in a bottle and throwing it in the ocean. You never know who might find it, read it and think of it.

It’s been 20 years since I wrote my first book, “The Search for God at Harvard,” and I still occasionally get notes about it from unexpected places. Sometimes I learn more from my correspondents than I ever put in that original bottle.

When Memory Overpowers Us

05/23/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

As a rabbi and educator, not to mention as a parent, I struggle with the question of how to pass along the often painful legacy of Jewish history without having it become disabling.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik
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