Short Takes

HaZamir Chorale Makes It To Carnegie

03/25/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Nobody has to tell Vivian Lazar how iconic Carnegie Hall is. After all, no one tells a joke that asks, “How do you get to [fill in your favorite concert venue here]?”

At 21, HaZamir has made it to Carnegie Hall. Its concert is on March 30.  John Kenney

Israel As Foodie Destination

03/18/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Israeli cuisine is hot these days. Over the past few years, the country’s status as a foodie destination has risen precipitously, thanks in no small part to Israeli-born British chef Yotam Ottolenghi and his best-selling cookbook “Jerusalem,” which has elevated the profile of Middle Eastern Jewish food. Last year, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism reported a record 3.5 million visitors, up .5 percent from 2012. No one can say for sure how many of those tourists visit the land of milk and honey for, well, its milk and honey, but Jewish organizations in the U.S. are now betting on the strength of those numbers.

Brochure for JFNA’s cuisine tour.

A Composer Has His Debut — At 82

03/18/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It’s unusual for a composer to debut his first opera at the age of 82.

Then again, Harry Bialor is an unusual composer. His opera, “Masada,” is having its world premiere March 23 at the JCC of Staten Island (1466 Manor Rd. 718 475-5200) as part of a UJA-Federation of New York-funded Jewish Music Month program. The piece will be performed by Voyces and Young Voyces, two S.I.-based ensembles, conducted by Michael Sirotta and accompanied by pianist Mimi Stern-Wolfe.

A Holocaust survivor, Harry Bailor tackles the story of “Masada” for his first opera. George Robinson

Suffolk County's Kosher Butcher Closes

03/10/2014 - 20:00
Staff Writer

When the owner of Suffolk County’s only kosher butcher successfully challenged New York State’s kosher law in 2000, Brian Yarmeisch won a victory for non-Orthodox Jews. The law, he claimed, had been tailored to Orthodox standards of kashrut, and Yarmeisch’s kosher certifier was a local Conservative rabbi.

A shuttered Commack Kosher. “The community failed me,” shop’s owner says.  Meryl Ain

New Jewish Music Fest Is Multicultural Affair

03/10/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

What does New York City need?

It might not be high on most people’s list of responses, but Frank London’s wish list includes “a good Jewish music fest in this town of ours.” Of course, as the co-leader of the Klezmatics and Hasidic New Wave, and everybody’s go-to trumpeter in the Jewish music world, London has a strong rooting interest here. And, unlike most of us, he’s getting his wish.

The Newish Jewish Music Festival features Sofia Rei. Emra Islek

Filling Foxman’s Large Shoes

03/04/2014 - 19:00
Managing Editor

When Mark Burnett and Roma Downey looked for the kosher seal of approval for “Son of God,” their retelling of the Jesus story, which opened in theaters nationwide last week, they turned to Abe Foxman, the iconic Anti-Defamation League national director. Foxman blessed the film as an “antidote” to Mel Gibson’s Jewishly troubling “Passion of the Christ,” according to The Wrap, which covers Hollywood.

Lawyer and author Thane Rosenbaum, right, is a possible successor to the ADL’s Abraham  Foxman.

Top Tab For Tiny Torah

03/04/2014 - 19:00
Staff Writer

About six weeks ago, a middle-aged businessman with a Yiddish accent who lives in one of New York State’s upstate haredi communities made a call to Kestenbaum & Company, a Midtown auction firm that specializes in Judaica. He said he owned a 2-inch high Torah scroll he wanted to sell.

Mini-Torah scroll and its sterling silver ark and bima go on sale in Manhattan next week. Courtesy of Kestenbaum & Company

A Jewish Voice For Philadelphia’s Muslims

02/25/2014 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Four months after Jacob Bender, a Jewish filmmaker from Manhattan, was appointed to a symbolically landmark position with an American Muslim organization, he says he is serving as an example of interfaith tolerance.

Jacob Bender

Lieberman Calls On Orthodox To Broaden Their Involvement

02/25/2014 - 19:00
Editor and Publisher

It’s understandable why an audience member addressing a question to former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman after his lecture at The Jewis‎h Center last Wednesday evening referred to him as “rabbi.”

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman speaking this week at The Jewish Center. Courtesy of UJA-Federation of NY

… And, Of Course, A Knaidlach Controversy

02/18/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Yes, there was guided meditation and bluegrass music and late-night improv at the 10th annual Limmud NY conference last weekend in Stamford, Conn. But, in a sign of the artisanal times, there were, along with the rabbis, scholars and historians, plenty of Jewish foodies.

Rabbi Mary Zamore, Michael Twitty and Shannon Sarna at Limmud NY foodie panel.  Lauren Rothman/JW
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