Short Takes

Tikkum Olam, Brazilian Style

10/03/2012
Staff Writer

Last Wednesday night, when much of the Jewish community was still bolting bagels and lox to break the Yom Kippur fast, about 50 Jews were taking in the art and music of Umbanda, an eclectic religion unique to Brazil, at a downtown gallery.

“We tried to provide a creative post-Yom Kippur experience,” said Alex Minkin, 39, a creator of Ticun Brasil, the group that hosted the party. He works by day as a consultant.

Yiddishkeit and Brazilian culture come together at Ticun Brasil event. Photos by Rocío Pichon Rivière

Seeking Teen Activists

09/19/2012
Editorial Intern

At age 13, Zak Kukoff of Thousand Oaks, Calif., would watch his autistic younger cousin sit alone on the playground. “It’s not that students didn’t want to be her friend — they just didn’t know how,” he said. “It hurt me to see.”

Diller Teen Award-winner Daniel Rosenthal of Santa Rosa, Calif., takes his magic shows to hospitals and schools.

Israeli Films, Now Streaming

09/19/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

Looking for a little Israeli culture but don’t want to leave your house? Well, how about streaming an award-winning Israeli movie with your choice of snack: popcorn or bamba (Israel’s snack of choice, peanut-butter puffed goodness). Make it the ultimate movie night with one of the Israeli classics like “Sallah Shabati” or even a film in movie theaters right now.

A scene from “Aviva, My Love,” an Israeli film available on new JCC in Manhattan streaming website.

Holocaust Railroad Case To Proceed

09/04/2012
Staff Writer

For the first time, the U.S. Court of Appeals has found that a case may be brought against a foreign national railroad in a Holocaust-related case that seeks billions of dollars.

Late last month, the court in Chicago refused to dismiss a suit against the Hungarian State Railroads (also known as the MAV) brought by Hungarian victims of the Holocaust who claimed the railroad must compensate them for the property it took from them in violation of international law.

A lawsuit against Hungary’s wartime railroad may be brought, according to a U.S. Court of Appeals.

Ben & Jerry’s Charoset And 10 More Passover Ice Cream Ideas

03/25/2015
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A few weeks after Ben & Jerry’s founders indicated that marijuana-infused ice cream may one day join its product line, the company’s kosher-for-Passover charoset flavor has been generating buzz.

Imagine if this Ben & Jerry’s truck were filled with 10 flavors of kosher-for-Passover ice creams. Wikimedia Commons

New Diversity For Israeli Folk Dance

03/25/2015
Associate Editor
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These days, most conversations about Israel have to do with politics alone, but there was once a time that young American Jews, particularly in New York, were as conversant about Israeli music and dance as they are now about things more somber. It was in the early 1960s when amateur Hebrew chorales and Israeli dance troupes began performing in major performance halls, and an Israeli folksinger such as Geula Gill was even the opening act for Woody Allen.

Tap is one of the more recent additions to the Israel Folk Dance Festival.  Courtesy of Israeli Dance Institute

Israeli Left And Right, At Center Stage

03/25/2015
Special To The Jewish Week
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Mixing nationalism and religion causes a lot of problems,” mused playwright Misha Shulman as he prepared to debut his new work, “Martyrs Street,” in New York this week. As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict becomes increasingly intractable, Shulman, a former IDF commander, fears that violence will erupt between different groups of Israeli Jews. In his provocative drama, which is set in the West Bank city of Hebron, militant Jews buy a bomb from Hamas in order to kill a dovish, anti-settlement group of Jews in Jerusalem. The extremists in the play, he said, “hijack both sides and lead them toward an explosion.”

Scene from “Martyrs Street,” by Misha Shulman.

Hirsi Ali Still Defiant Against Islam; Is Judaism In Her Future?

03/18/2015
Editor and Publisher
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Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a supporter of atheism who rejected her Muslim faith as anti-women and anti-tolerance, told a group of guests at the home of Israeli Consul General Ido Aharoni last Thursday evening, “One day I hope to convert to Judaism.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Getty Images

Swiping Their Way To The Chuppah

03/18/2015
Staff Writer
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Turns out she was just his swipe.

When Michael Brand, 39, went down to Florida for vacation last June, he never expected to meet his future bride. But just for kicks, Brand, a divorced father of two from Manhattan, had signed up for JSwipe, the Jewish dating app likened to Tinder.

Samantha Rudnick, 26, and Michael Brand, 39, first JSwipe couple to wed. Courtesy of Samantha Rudnick

Orthodox Drag Queens Proudly Jew It Up

Doing drag while staying frum is a growing phenomenon in NYC's LGBTQ scene.

03/12/2015
Staff Writer
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Jewish drag is on the rise as more and more observant Jews come out of the cross-dressing closet.

Silvia Sparklestein, left, with Hebro founder Jason Littman and another Jewish drag queen, Lady Havokk. Courtesy of Hebro
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