David Bryfman, director of the Jewish Education Project’s New Center for Collaborative Leadership, would love one day to see Hebrew school teachers team up with computer programmers to develop educational games.
In the meantime, he’s hoping to get more Jewish educators trained in “games-based learning” — exploring ways to add high-tech and low-tech play in their classrooms, learning how to use free game-designing platforms like ARIS, SCVNGR and Gamestar Mechanic.
When planning a major anniversary, an organization might introduce a new logo or invite guests to a gala event. The JCC in Manhattan, now marking its 10th year, chose to hire a street artist to paint a community portrait.
The result is a six-part mural-like installation completely filling the Laurie M. Tisch Gallery’s 100 feet of exhibition space in the center’s lobby. This unique commemoration samples the various people who have found a home at the JCC.
Rabbi Shlomo Einhorn, the Los Angeles-born spiritual leader of an Upper West Side synagogue who is returning to his hometown later this year, says his decision to have the major components of one of his farewell sermons contributed via Facebook and other web-based technologies isn’t an enigma.
On a Midtown stage next week, the week of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, two African-American singers will sing a medley of traditional slavery-inspired blues and jazz songs. Within a few minutes they will be joined by an Israeli-born performer, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors — and the trio will sing together in English and Yiddish.
Was the winter issue of Kolot, the magazine of the Conservative movement, “stooping to sensationalism” or raising questions about women wearing tefillin?
Those were the questions asked in a letter to the editor by Conservative women rabbis in response to the magazine’s cover picture of two women holding hands while wearing tefillin. The letter called the photograph “disturbing and beneath the magazine that represents the unified voice of our movement.”
It’s a scene that has repeated itself countless times in Jewish homes the last five years. After a Shabbat meal, out comes a small yellow pouch, shaped like a banana, filled with plastic tiles on which English letters are written. The tiles are spread on a table, and Bananagrams, similar to Scrabble but with each player forming his or her own crossword-style grid of words instead of competing on a common board, ensues.
With the controversial idea that gays and lesbians can be “cured” through therapy rippling across the Orthodox Jewish world of late, Rabbi Simcha Feuerman recently found himself in something of a dilemma.
The rabbi is a licensed clinical social worker who serves as the president of Nefesh, a prominent international network of Orthodox mental health professionals. But he is also an Orthodox Jew who believes that homosexuality is prohibited by Jewish law and that “many people who wrestle with homosexual feelings and want to change them can be helped.”
Leslie Schwartz – survivor of the Holocaust, native of Hungary, resident of New York City for more than six decades – was walking through the town square of Munster, a city in northwest Germany, earlier this year. A few German teenagers spotted him, running up and hugging him, he says.
The high school students thanked him for a speech he had given at their school, in which he recounted his wartime and postwar experiences.
Such effusive recognition has happened a lot in Germany the last two years, Schwartz, 81, says.
What a difference a year makes. Last January, Uri Westrich, 26, was a first-year medical student at Mount Sinai, slaving away over Anatomy and Biochemistry and wondering, in the back of his mind, if he was on the right path.
Today, he's a working filmmaker, counting Sony and Bayer as his paying clients. He's filmed violinists Yitzhak Pearlman and Joshua Bell. The musicians who put him on the map, and where he is today, are the Maccabeats, the YU a capella group that exploded last Hanukkah when a video Westrich filmed for them went viral on the internet.