New York

Jewish Soul On Ice

11/16/2006 - 19:00
Staff Writer
Quebec City, Canada: Number 45 charges into the corner of the hockey rink, beating the other players to the loose puck. Number 45 glides up the ice, a step ahead of his line mates. Number 45 takes a pass in front of the net, deflecting the puck past the goalie. The Quebec Remparts are not wearing numbers or names on their jerseys this morning, but the small numerals at the rear of his helmet, and his grace on skates, mark Benjamin Rubin as a natural.

Bethlehem's Disciple Of Peace

11/09/2006 - 19:00
Staff Writer
The message delivered to a group of Jewish teens at the Yeshivah of Flatbush one afternoon this week was typical: study Torah, be proud Jews, speak up for Israel. But the messenger was a little unusual. Walid Shoebat was for several years, as he introduced himself to 500 day school students, "a Palestinian terrorist."

Keep The Schmaltz, Hold The Trans Fat

11/02/2006 - 19:00
Staff Writer
My Most Favorite Food, a popular kosher restaurant and bakery in mid-Manhattan, next week joins the likes of KFC, Burger King and the manufacturers of Girl Scout cookies in looking for a new ingredient. All they want is a fat chance: an ingredient that does not contain trans fat, that is. With a ban on trans fat looming over all New York City restaurants, My Most Favorite is about to experiment with an oil (without trans fat but with an acceptable kashrut heksher) that will be used in most of its pareve bakery products, said Scott Magram, chief executive officer.

A White Sukkot

10/19/2006 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Buffalo: The scholars of the Talmud, concerned about the welfare of the Jewish people, debated the meteorological conditions that exempt one from eating a meal in a sukkah. "They talk about rain," says Rabbi Mordechai Friedfertig. No one talks about a sukkah filled with two feet of snow: which happened last week to Rabbi Friedfertig, spiritual leader of Kehillat Ohr Tzion, a small Modern Orthodox congregation in Williamsville, a northern suburb of Buffalo.

The Politics Of Repentance

09/17/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Two theological underpinnings of the approaching High Holy Days season have become more topical this year: apology and forgiveness. Classical Jewish thought, formulated by scholars like Maimonides centuries ago, consider those twin acts as preludes to the Ten Days of Repentance, direct apologies for the previous year’s slights a prerequisite for Divine forgiveness. In “No Enemy to Conquer: Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World,” British journalist Michael Henderson argues that apologizing and forgiving have a value on both a personal and political plane.

Assessing Barack And Bibi

09/17/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Less than a year into new administrations in Washington and Jerusalem, diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel are bleak, but not that bleak, Middle East experts in an academic conference here agreed this week. The participants in “U.S.-Israel Relations: In the Era of Obama and Netanyahu,” held at the Schottenstein Cultural Center in Manhattan, said the continuing pressure on Israel by the Obama administration to halt the expansion of settlements in the Palestinian territories is not likely to improve the relations.

Reform Giant Gottschalk Succumbs

09/17/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk, a Holocaust refugee who as a longtime leader of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion oversaw the growth of the rabbinical school’s four campuses and strengthened the Reform movement’s ties with Israel, died Sept. 12 in his Cincinnati home following a recent automobile accident. He was 79.

Federation Loses A Pillar In Joseph Gurwin, 89

10/01/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
About 80 prominent members of the Palm Beach Jewish community gathered one night early this year, a few months after the extent of their losses in the Bernard Madoff investment scandal became known. The meeting was in the home of one member for a fundraiser on behalf of UJA-Federation of New York. Without prompting, Joseph Gurwin, a part-time member of the community who had lost millions of dollars to Madoff, spoke for a few minutes.

A Class Clown Eyes The A-List

10/01/2009 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Stand-up comic Ray Ellin was performing at a New York comedy club a few days after Rosh HaShanah. It was his usual act — some family stories, some bantering with the audience. As usual, he asked people in the crowd where they came from. “Germany,” said one couple. That’s raw meat for a Jewish comic. “I wish you,” Ellin said, “a year of health and happiness — and reparations.” “It killed — killed,” Ellin says. The crowd roared.

Is Y's Open Door A Barrier?

10/12/2006 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Shortly after Linda Moses and Arthur Gurevitch, a young couple on the Upper East Side, enrolled their 5-year-old son in an art class this fall at the 92nd Street Y, they discovered that the Y's Sunday Young Artists class was starting on Sukkot. Moses and Gurevitch, "somewhat observant" Conservative Jews and participants in Y programming for two decades, had assumed that the art class, as in past years, would skip Sukkot, which was last Sunday, and Simchat Torah, this Sunday.
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