Special Sections

Editor’s Note

07/04/2011 - 20:00

For those who prefer their summer reading to be provocative, we chose to wrestle with some challenging questions. We look at how those Jews who may not be like everyone else, who are considered “other” for any number of reasons, are viewed by the community, and we also explore their self-perceptions.

HARRIETT FINCK. Summer, 2006, paint on paper  collage, 14” x 10”

Lighting A Candle For Sammy Davis Jr.

A half-century after the black singer’s conversion, the post-ethnic Judaism by choice he represented is in full flower.
07/04/2011 - 20:00

Late in the spring of 2010, just about the time of his yahrzeit, Sammy Davis Jr.’s menorah went up for auction. It was a silver menorah, given to Davis in 1965 by the Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation in New York. The owner, a collector of Judaica, had set a bidding floor of $10,000. Yet when the day of the auction arrived, only two potential buyers pursued it, and the highest offer came in at $8,500. So the menorah headed back into a safe-deposit box, and the whole episode took on a pathetic cast.

ISAAC PETERSON Hymn, 2000, enamel and mixed media on canvas, 96”x 72”.

Text Context July 2011

This month, our contributors address some challenging questions about how the Jewish community relates to those among us who might be considered other, or different, whether Jews of color or with disabilities, gay and lesbian, converts, nonbelievers or wo
07/04/2011 - 20:00
Text Context July 2011

No Meer Restaurateur

City Hall’s chef proprietor Henry Meer may be a dinosaur in the city’s changing restaurant landscape, but he’s still serving up his classic chicken soup and a socially conscious ethic.
Special To The Jewish Week
06/20/2011 - 20:00

Growing up, Henry Meer didn’t eat at home
very often. His mother didn’t cook much, so his family would eat out in its Yorkville neighborhood or travel to the Lower East Side to eat at Ratner’s or pick up appetizing at Russ & Daughters. On Sundays, his grandfather would shuttle from the West Side with glass juice jars filled with homemade soup — mushroom barley or split pea — and sealed with waxed paper and rubber bands. From an early age, Meer loved to eat and realized that he’d better learn to cook.

Restaurateur Henry Meer says his classic cheesecake, served at his downtown eatery City Hall, is “the best in New York.”

In The Eye of The Beholder

Sustainable kosher poultry firm marks successful first year.
Editorial Assistant
06/20/2011 - 20:00

It has been almost a year since Naftali Hanau, backyard chicken-raiser and shochet, launched his own kosher, sustainable and ethical meat distribution company, Grow and Behold. He joined an ever-expanding field of kosher and conscientious meat suppliers, including Mitzvah Meat, KOL Foods and Red Heifer Farm, many of which appeared in the fallout of the 2008 Agriprocessors scandal, according to Judith Belasco, director of food programs at Hazon.

Naftali Hanau's backyard chickens are just for eggs - but the ones raised by Grow and Behold are humanely slaughtered for sale.

Nourishing Children, Nourishing Families

Hazon outreach effort to expecting parents who are unaffiliated addresses cooking, healthy eating and Judaism.
Associate Editor
06/20/2011 - 20:00

It’s a Monday night in Brooklyn, and Ritaly Rapaport is waxing nostalgic about his childhood experiences in Ukraine climbing cherry trees and eating the fruit straight from the branches.

“I have a longstanding affection for eating fruit and vegetables right off the plant,” says Rapaport, an IT specialist who lives in Ditmas Park with his business consultant wife, Veronica, who is also a Ukrainian émigré.

Rachel Gross, right, joined the class to meet other new parents. PHOTOS BY michael datikash

Upmarket Kosher

Gourmet is here to stay, from magazines to restaurants to products for the home. Welcome to the kosher foodie movement.
Editorial Assistant
06/20/2011 - 20:00

When Shifra Klein’s son was flipping through a copy of Bon Appétit magazine, his eye caught on a turkey and cheese sandwich that looked particularly good. “We could just make it without the cheese,” he said to her.

New gourmet kosher food magazines are really starting to pile up: with three new publications launching just this year.

The New Appetite June 2011

A look at the latest trends in Jews and food today.
06/20/2011 - 20:00
The New Appetite June 2011

Members Of The Tribe, Members Of The Team

Two new books — one about Hank Greenberg, one about Jews’ roles in the black leagues — explore the American Jewish baseball experience.
Staff Writer
06/20/2011 - 20:00

Hank Greenberg: The Hero Who Didn’t Want to Be One. Mark Kurlansky, Jewish Lives, 164 pages, $25.

Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball. Rebecca Alpert, Oxford University Press, 236 pages, $27.95.

Studies of a Jewish baseball star and of early Jewish sports entrepreneurs offer new look at a slice of American Jewish history.

Lingering Moods And Voices

Evan Fallenberg’s poetic tale of life, love and art in Tel Aviv is full of history and passion.
Jewish Week Book Critic
06/20/2011 - 20:00

I’m often asked about what makes a particular book worthy of attention. It’s easy to point to books that illuminate new ideas or inspire different ways of thinking; novels that are unforgettable for their characters or style of storytelling; works with luminous prose; or memoirs of extraordinary or even quite ordinary lives, recounted with large doses of candor and bigheartedness.

Author Evan Fallenberg studied dance for two years to inhabit the life of his main character, Teo.
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