Religion

Preventing Genocide Is Easier Than Stopping It

04/13/2010

What could be more horrific than war?

In a gripping new documentary that aired Tuesday night on PBS to mark National Holocaust Remembrance Week, historian and author Daniel Jonah Goldhagen makes a convincing case that genocide — the systematic effort to eliminate an entire group perceived of as deserving of death — is even more destructive than armed conflict, and yet often can be prevented.

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Taking On Glenn Beck — With Poetry

04/01/2010

 It’s no secret that some Jewish leaders are anxious about a national mood of choleric rage and what it means for populations that have been the targets of past populist surges, starting with the Jews.

But while few have spoken out in public, one group has struck back with biting humor.

It’s the Jewish Funds for Justice that’s behind the just-announced HaikuGlennBeck.com Web site, aimed at a talk radio host and Fox News talk show host who seems to be handsomely profiting from the recent craziness.

Beck’s comment that “social justice” is akin to Nazism provoked a biting response from Jewish Funds for Justice.

Moishe House Bringing Community To Budapest Jews

Apartments for 20-somethings seen as ‘new, grass-roots model’ of Jewish engagement.

03/11/2010
JTA

Budapest — When 29-year-old Eszter Susan announced on Facebook last September that she had moved into a Moishe House, few of her friends knew what she was talking about.

Six months later the rambling, high-ceilinged apartment she shares with two other young women has become a focal point of Jewish involvement for dozens of Budapest Jews in their 20s.

There are parties at Jewish holidays, movie nights, lectures on Jewish topics, social action meetings and a Kabbalat Shabbat service followed by a potluck dinner that attracts dozens of people each Friday night.

Eszter Susan, left, Anna Balint and Zsofia Simon skype with Kevin Sherman, the director of international programming at Moishe's

In Western Queens, New Blood Raises Hopes for Jewish Revitalization

Young Jewish singles and families are flocking to Astoria, Long Island City and Jackson Heights — but can the existing synagogues draw them in?

11/18/2009
Staff Writer

When Cara Bernstein walked down the aisle a month ago to meet her fiancé under the chupah, she knew her wedding day was a crossroads not only in her life, but in the life of her Queens synagogue, which had not hosted a bride and groom for 22 years.

Nearly the entire congregation at Astoria Center of Israel celebrated her marriage that day, whether or not they knew the couple personally.

“A fellow congregant told me that I’m part of a new wave of congregants,” said Bernstein, who is 38.

Young Jews in Long Island City celebrate Sukkot on a condo rooftop. Rabbi Zev Wineberg

Evangelist Postpones Birthright Appearance

11/17/2009
Staff Writer

Evangelical leader Gordon Robertson has postponed a speaking engagement that was scheduled for this Thursday at an event for Birthright Israel alumni, sponsored by Birthright NEXT and the Jewish Enrichment Center (JEC).

For The Bronx, It’s Desolation Row

07/11/2003
Associate Editor

“How the city sits solitary that was once full of people.”
Lamentations 1:1

Back when bandleaders played clarinets, and overhead fans whirled over rattan subway seats, the Bronx streets looked like Easy Street for Jews once removed from the Lower East Side or Europe itself. “The Goldbergs” radio comedy was fictionally situated in a Bronx walk-up. In the 1930s and ’40s, the borough was 44 percent Jewish, but some neighborhoods topped 70 percent, a higher percentage of Jews than in Jerusalem today.

The Ultimate Middle Man

01/21/2000
Editor & Publisher

Gone from an end table near the sofa in Ronald Lauder’s elegant Midtown office, high above Fifth Avenue, is the framed photo of him with his friend Benjamin Netanyahu. In its place, says someone who’s visited the office before, is a photo of the 55-year-old businessman, philanthropist and Jewish leader with the current Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak.

From Here To Eternity, On Facebook

09/15/2009
Staff Writer

Every year, we welcome the New Year with the proverbial yet fatalistic saying, “On Rosh HaShanah, it is written. On Yom Kippur, it is sealed.”

This year, as these two sentences come to mind once again, I think about a more modern page that we write and edit and then seal with an inadvertent yet morbid permanence — the Facebook profile. 

From Birthright to the Fringe Festival

08/18/2009
Staff Writer

At this year’s New York International Fringe Film Festival, step into the Hell’s Kitchen apartment of three gay roommates — Seth, Ashley and Josh, a young Jewish writer. “The Boys Upstairs,” by Jewish playwright Jason Mitchell Kahn, explores the love lives, thrills and disappointments of the close-knit trio. Kahn adds a personal touch to the show, rooting Josh’s story in his own personal experiences as a gay Jewish writer in New York.

Playwright Jason Mitchell Kahn: Sexuality and spirituality.

Rabbi Lookstein Remembers It Well

06/11/2008
Associate Editor

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein is on the phone to another rabbi, trying to get him to help process “some wonderful candidates for conversion” the following Sunday. The Israeli chief rabbinate had pushed for narrower straits for converts to pass through, and the Rabbinical Council of America, Rabbi Lookstein’s group, went along with it.

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