Jewish life

Illuminating A Jewish Story

03/22/2011
Staff Writer

Here’s a dirty secret about Jewish journalism: a number of the stories we write aren’t really Jewish in nature. A story may be about a Jew, but other than that, there often isn’t much else of Jewish substance in many of the stories we print.

Editors hate it when you pitch a story whose sole qualification for being published is that your subject is Jewish. But the reality is that mainstream Jewish publications would not exist if we didn’t run these stories.

An illustration from Maira Kelman's show at The Jewish Museum

Reviving Liberal Zionism

03/22/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of essays on Zionist thinkers and doers, in Israel and outside, who are pioneering new understandings of what Jewish nationalism can mean in the 21st century.

How fitting that Ruth Gavison, a legal expert in the areas of human and civil rights and constitutional law, was awarded the Israel Prize this week, cited for grappling “exhaustively and courageously with forming Israel’s identity as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Jewish Organizations and New Technology

The Jewish Week's Aaron Herman reports from the 2011 Non-Profit Technology Conference in Washington, DC. The Schusterman Family Foundation and Darim Online hosted an affinity group session to educate Jewish professionals in using emerging technologies more effectively in their organizations.

 

The Masks We All Wear: Remembering Japan this Purim

03/18/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Okay, I have a secret to tell you. But you have to promise to keep it a secret. Promise? Well, then, here goes: I’m a “theater person.” Yep, it’s true. I have a big background in theater, drama, musical theater, sketch comedy, and improvisation. Yes, that means I speak in silly voices and accents sometimes. And, yes, hopefully it does make my sermons at least a little more engaging. I’ve noticed that there are many fascinating similarities between the theater world and the rabbinate, but I suppose those observations will have to wait for another column.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

"But I'm One of the Chosen People!" Why Entitled People Drive Us Nuts

03/18/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

It was supposed to be one of those mother-son experiences that memories are made of.

I was invited to be the keynote speaker for a fundraising event at a midwestern Jewish Federation, and, since it was within driving distance of my alma mater, The University of Michigan --Ann Arbor, I decided to bring my then-seven year old son Jacob. While I got excited to show him where I had gone to class and bought my books and partied hard (well, maybe I'd skip that part), I discovered what was to be the icing on the cake as soon as we got to JFK airport: We'd been upgraded to First Class.

Deborah Grayson Riegel

Japan’s Agony: Natural Disaster Through a Religious Lens

03/18/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

After one or two probing and thoughtful questions from my Hebrew High School students this week about the unfolding disaster in Japan, I decided to shelve my lesson plan and just talk with them about what they were feeling. They were, like we all are, horrified by the images they were seeing, and struggling to frame this great tragedy in some way that was manageable for them.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Is Drunkenness on Purim a No-No?

03/17/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - In an age where addiction is so widespread, is it ethical to promote drunkenness on Purim?

A. No it is not.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

The Purim To-Do List

03/14/2011
JInsider

For Purim 5771, JInsider wanted to offer a list of traditions and customs to follow that will help connect to the holiday. We spoke with Rabbi DovBer Pinson and excerpted his recently published booklet, The Purim Reader, which is available at Amazon. Tell us what you think at connect@jinsider.com.

The Purim Reader

Rock Hall Set to Welcome Neil Diamond

03/14/2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is set to induct Neil Diamond.

Diamond, 69, who launched his career as a songwriter in the 1960s in the Brill Building songwriting factory, penning hits for groups like The Monkees, will be inducted Monday night at a ceremony in New York.

He soon launched a solo career, and his rich baritone coupled with his lively onstage presence earned him the sobriquet "the Jewish Elvis," with hits like "Solitary Man" and "Cherry, Cherry."

Never Too Old To Speak Out On Injustice

Founder of Human Rights Watch, 88, starts new group to counter HRW’s alleged Mideast biases.

03/09/2011
Editor And Publisher

Robert L. Bernstein has enjoyed two distinguished careers, one professional and one volunteer, in the interest of freedom of expression. Now, at age 88, he is about to launch a third, which he calls his “obsession” and “one of the most important things I’ve ever done.”

Gary Rosenblatt
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