Jewish life

Reeling In Brooklyn’s Sabras

Park Slope Reform temple is first in area to target reticent Israelis with outreach effort.

09/07/2010
Staff Writer

In a Brooklyn coffeehouse one day this summer, Isabel Burton, a 30-year-old native of London, discussed local social activism opportunities with a 40something Jewish woman who lives in the borough. What issues move you, “what keeps you up at night?” Burton asked.

Beth Elohim’s Rabbi Andy Bachman: “So much Israeliness we have not tapped.”

New School Head Optimistic

09/07/2010
Staff Writer

Rabbi Michael Druin arrived on Long Island about a month ago with his wife and four children to become the new head of school at the Jewish Academy in East Northport, the only day school in Suffolk County, which this year added a fourth grade.

Rabbi Druin, 43, previously served for five years as rabbinic dean of the Hillel Community Day School in North Miami Beach. Born in California, he was 14 when his family became religious and decided to join Chabad.

 

Rabbi Michael Druin says Suffolk County has 90,000 Jews, one day school.

Table For One: For Singles, A Different Kind Of Judgment

The Days of Awe and the nagging marriage question.

09/07/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

The days of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are supposed to be days of judgment by God. But for singles, they are often days of judgment by family and friends who ask the inevitable — and inevitably annoying — question: “Why aren’t you married yet?”

Queens Cantor Yossi Lisauer said praying for a mate is good, but praying and taking action is better.

Old Year/New Year: Letting Go

09/07/2010

I write these words on the last day my brother and I say Kaddish for our mom, who died 11 months ago.

After reciting the mourner’s prayer more than 2,000 times, the looming prospect of completing this meaningful mitzvah leaves me feeling more adrift than fulfilled.

I am anxious to be relieved of the burden — and yet part of me doesn’t want to let go.

It’s a strange place to be, but on reflection, not a unique one.

A Jewish Apology to the World

09/07/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

At this time of year, it is common for many of us to pick up our phones and send emails apologizing to others for the ways that we wronged them in the past year. In addition to doing personal repentance (teshuva), Rav Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, explained that we as a people (Knesset Yisrael) must also do teshuva. How do we, as a nation, ask the nations of the world for forgiveness?

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Turn Bageling Into Caring

09/06/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

I recently learned the term "bageling,” in which you make known your status as a member of the Tribe to a fellow member, without ever saying so directly. As in approaching someone with a yarmulke and saying, “Gee, it’s as hot as Tisha B’Av today, don’t you think?”

Or, for example, a client with a WASP-sounding name managed to tell me about his son's bar mitzvah, coming up in five years. These people, and there are tens of thousands of them, want to be identified as Jews. But where does that go and how far?

The Road Not Taken: Avi Weiss, Michael Broyde And Women’s Roles

09/05/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Rabbi Avi Weiss’ recent introduction of women-led Kabbalat Shabbat services in his synagogue has produced yet another kerfuffle among his rabbinical colleagues, albeit one significantly subdued when compared with the recent “Rabba” controversy. And Rabbi Michael Broyde, a noted rabbinic scholar, has once again responded with an article that purports to outline the “normative” Orthodox position on Rabbi Weiss’ latest innovation. Not surprisingly, that position is different than Rabbi Weiss’.

High Holidays: Hard Work

09/03/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

After a month away from my desk, my community, and New York, I returned yesterday to all three. I had a wonderful vacation, truly and genuinely restorative, and it must be written on my face because everyone who sees me comments that I look rested. The last comment was- verbatim- “Rabbi, you look wonderful and rested. We’ll take care of that.” You have to love it.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Wishing You a (Goose)bumpy New Year

09/03/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

On our end-of summer family vacation to San Francisco, my husband Michael and I were delighted to spend quality time with our adventurous West Coast cousins, we were enchanted by the snap-fresh organic produce at the Ferry Terminal Farmer's Market, and felt mesmerized by the gigantic Redwood trees at Muir Woods. It was an abundant blessing of family, food and forestry.

Deborah Grayson Riegel

Each Of Us Has A Personal Relationship With God

09/03/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

 I cannot say that I have ever rejected God. There were some years in which I was not interested, and that, perhaps, is the greatest rejection of all (much more than hostility or lack of faith). But then the world seemed too small, too confined, far too senseless without Him: To me, He is the all-embracing, all-encompassing being, the great Mystery, the transcending reality that is above, beyond and behind all that exists.

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