For a ritual structure intended to evoke fragility and transience, the sukkah enjoys an oddly long life as an object of contemplation and representation.
Two years ago, it was Sukkah City, an architecture competition and public art project in Union Square. It drew an estimated 200,000 viewers to the dozen winning, legally valid but visually untraditional temporary booths built to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot, which ended earlier this week.
“I f God had to choose His favorite baseball player of all time, who would He pick? Babe Ruth? Ted Williams? Sandy Koufax?”
That was the question Rabbi Beni Krohn, the assistant rabbi at Rinat Yisrael, a Modern Orthodox congregation in Teaneck, N.J., posed to his congregants at the outset of a sermon during the Sukkot holiday.
For the first time in almost 20 years, UJA-Federation of New York has brought a new agency into its network: COJECO, the Council of Jewish Émigré Community Organizations, which is the central coordinating body of New York’s Russian Jewish community, said Roberta Leiner, senior vice president of agency relations at the federation.
When Rabbi Tzvi Graetz was a little boy in the Israel of the 1970s, he would visit the shuk, or market, with his father every High Holy Day season to buy flags to wave during Simchat Torah, when the giving of the Torah is celebrated.
“It was something we would wait for,” reminisced Graetz, the executive director based in Jerusalem of the World Council of Conservative/Masorti Synagogues. (“Masorti” is the Hebrew name of the Conservative movement.) “The flags had glitter, and I even remember a picture of an apple on top.”
With the weather still hot, summer camp over and the children restless, the last week before school starts can be a challenge for many parents.
All the more so for haredi parents, who on average have more than three times the number of children as other New York Jewish parents, according to a recent UJA-Federation of New York study. While many of the children receive federally subsidized meals at camp and school, during that last week of summer — with no food programs — low-income families often struggle to get everyone fed.
A rabbi and a pornographer walk into a coffee shop. Insert your own crude punch line here.
That’s essentially the plot of “Your Good Friend,” a feature film/mockumentary directed by Matthew Jacobs. The film, which is still on the festival circuit and looking for a distributor, stars and is co-written by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, a prominent Reform leader and author of over a dozen books on mysticism including the novel, “Kabbalah: a Love Story.”
Taking a page from the Orthodox movement’s successful “Daf Yomi” or page-a-day Talmud study initiative, the chancellor of the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary has triggered a discussion about Jewish learning for the non-Orthodox Jewish community.