Jewish life

New Focus On Young Families

Area congregations using ‘incubator’ grants to bolster ‘early engagement.’

02/22/2011
Editorial Assistant

The Sinai Free Synagogue is counting on story time to draw new members. As kids are tucked in to “Kippi and the Missing Matzah” in March or “Beautiful Yetta the Yiddish Chicken” in May — two PJ Library selections — the Westchester synagogue will run parallel programming and events to get those young readers in their doors.

Rabbi Dan Freelander of the URJ.

Matthew Lopez’s Ambivalent Seder

‘Whipping Man’ playwright discusses what the Passover meal says about freedom and redemption.

02/22/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Passover is, for many of us, an unequivocally joyful holiday. The tablecloth is set with fine china and sparkling silverware, the children are freshly scrubbed, and the seder rejuvenates us with its theme of freedom and rebirth.

Jay Wilkison, André Braugher and André Holland in the pivotal scene from Matthew Lopez’s “The Whipping Man.”

Reconstructionist Bodies Set to Merge

02/22/2011

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- The two organizational arms of the Reconstructionist movement are set to merge.

Following a year-and-a-half of negotiations, the boards of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation have voted to form one body that will be responsible for Reconstructionist Judaism in North America.

Reconstructionist leaders say the merger will permit better use of limited resources and allow the movement to focus more effectively on its main concerns: education, movement services and social justice.

Reform Leaders Push New Image of Strong, Growing Israel Movement

02/18/2011
JTA

SAN FRANCISCO (JTA) -- Rabbi Reuven Bar Ephraim of Switzerland says it’s sometimes a challenge for him to defend Israel when his own Reform movement is not recognized by Israel’s Orthodox-dominated Chief Rabbinate.

When Readiness Chooses You

02/18/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

My ten-year old daughter Sophie paid homage to my recent birthday with the best-worst birthday toast I could imagine: “Happy Birthday to the world’s greatest mom – and to the world’s best grandma one day!”

Deborah Grayson Riegel

What Nora Ephron Can’t Remember

Nora Ephron says that when she was young and would come to her screenwriter mother with her problems, the response would be, “everything’s copy – someday this will be funny.”

In a conversation with journalist Abigail Pogrebin on Wednesday evening at the JCC Manhattan that ranged from hilarious to poignant, Ephron observed that her mother’s attitude was “counter-intuitive to what a parent with a heart feels.” But it provided her with “unbelievable survival” skills, she added.

No Direction Home

The themes of forced migration, rootlessness and anti-Semitism are all at play in video-opera ‘Moscow-NY.’

02/15/2011
Staff Writer

The video-opera “Moscow-NY,” which has its premiere at the JCC in Manhattan this weekend, is based on the life of Isaac Bashevis Singer — sort of.

“Moscow-NY,” at the JCC in Manhattan this weekend, incorporates a film.

Tough Choice: School Scholarship Or Summer Camp

Parents already reeling from the high cost of active Jewish life may soon be facing a difficult choice for their high school children between tuition scholarship for day school and a summer camp or summer-in-Israel experience.

Welcome Muddah …: Greetings From Family Camp

02/15/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

I’ve learned a few odd habits of New York parents. One of them is that, in this fast-paced town, families often wrap up summer plans in February.

Elicia Brown

Don’t Dismiss the Jewish Character of Cupid

02/14/2011
JTA

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (JTA) -- What’s Jewish about Valentine’s Day?

The day was first released from the purview of the Catholic Church in 1969, when Pope Paul VI declared that Valentine’s Day was no longer a saint’s day for universal liturgical veneration on the Catholic calendar. This restored Valentine’s Day to its original state, a traditional mating day of birds -- and humans -- in the English folk calendar.

But Cupid isn’t exclusively a pagan symbol.

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