Jewish life

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

What Makes for Sacred Space?

03/07/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

 Last Friday evening, the Kabbalat Shabbat service in The Forest Hills Jewish Center took place in our newly refurbished “Little Synagogue,” the small sanctuary where our daily minyan meets.  In addition to new carpeting, wallpaper and lighting fixtures, we also moved the cantor’s amud off the bima, turned it around to face the Ark, and placed it in the middle of the congregation, with chairs on either side of it and behind it. In both style and substance, it was a major change.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Live or Let Die?

03/06/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Q - I am the designated medical surrogate for an individual who has a living will specifying DNR/Do Not Resuscitate. The physicians and hospital have been informed and have copies of the living will and DNR. Our loved one took a downward turn but the medical team resuscitated him. The patient prospered from their efforts and returned to his pre-resuscitation health status. Should I report the medical team for ethical non-compliance of the DNR/living will orders?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

We Were Slaves in Egypt…Now the Cubicle?

Our Eternal Quest for Autonomy

03/04/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Imagine driving your kids to drop them off for a month of sleep-away camp. Imagine that the energy in the car is a combination of anxiety and excitement, anticipation and celebration. These are the times that normal parents bring up benign conversational topics to pass the time, such as “do you think you’ll be in the same bunk as Sammy again?” or “Remember to stay out of the poison oak on the overnight.” Nothing deep. Just idle chatter.

I am not a normal parent.

Deborah Grayson Riegel

How Avi met Suzanne

03/02/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

Suzanne took a leap of faith and traveled 7500 miles to pursue the guy she hoped would be her husband. “I didn’t have a clue,” says Avi.

In December, 2008, Suzanne Anziska was a 28-year old business school student at Northwestern University. Her family was celebrating her dad’s 60th birthday; not in Teaneck, where her parents lived, but in her dad’s hometown of Cape Town, South Africa.

 Suzanne Anziska and Avi Kawalsky

Marking A Centennial And Worrying About The Future

03/01/2011
Editor and Publisher

If I were hard-pressed to describe the state of American Jewish life today in 10 words or less, I surely couldn’t top Steven M. Cohen’s assessment: “We are demographically distressed and culturally creative.”

And that’s with three words to spare.

Gary Rosenblatt

Thank you, Glenn Beck, for Clarifying my Job Description

03/01/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

It's not often that I want to give thanks to Glenn Beck. But, recently, he really made my life a lot easier. Truly, I'm so glad that Glenn Beck has helped me figure out who I am as a Reform Rabbi.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

Tim Boxer: Maestro Mehta Marks 50 Years With IPO

02/25/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

It was a momentous occasion for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual Carnegie Hall concert on Feb. 22. It marked the orchestra’s 75th anniversary, conductor Zubin Mehta’s 75th birthday, and his 50th year as IPO conductor.

At the post-concert dinner at the Plaza Hotel, hosted by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, vice president and benefit co-chair Lauren Veronis couldn’t praise the maestro enough.

Rochelle and David Hirsch stand behind Nancy and Zubin Mehta at IPO dinner. Photo by Tim Boxer

Glenn Beck: Reform rabbis and "radicalized Islam"

The Reform movement is less than pleased – okay, they're really outraged – that Glenn Beck, who has been waging a campaign against religious groups that dare talk about “social justice,” thinks their rabbis are sort of like radical shieks.

From My Book Shelf To Yours

One of the perks of my job is receiving new books from publishers all over the world. Some of these books are wonderful; some (often self-published) are so bad they make me sad for the trees that gave their limbs to gratify the authors.

Here is a sampling of three very different books of note I’ve received lately and recommend (in no particular order):

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