Short Takes

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Holiday?

11/19/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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As Thanksgiving and Chanukah merge into the excitement and frenzy of Thanksgivukah, American Jews are readying their pumpkin doughnuts and cranberry sauce-topped latkes.

 These retro Manischewitz cards tout Thanksgivukah. Images courtesy Manischewitz

Dr. Ruth’s Next 15 Minutes

11/12/2013
Associate Editor
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“I’m busier than ever — amazing!” says Dr. Ruth Westheimer, 85, older but ever ebullient. A biographical play, “Becoming Dr. Ruth: The Unexpected Journey,” written by Mark St. Germain with her support, is running Off-Broadway (“I prefer ‘near-Broadway’ to Off-Broadway,” she laughs). She is working on her 36th book. A passionate Zionist, in recent years she has made several documentary films about Israel’s minority populations — Druze, Bedouins, Ethiopians, Chercassians — exploring their family lives and sociology. She’ll be teaching a course next semester at Columbia University on how the American family is depicted (not very well or kindly) in the media.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer: At 85, “busier than ever.”

‘Different Strings’ Attached For Juilliard Musicians

11/12/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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When Barrett Hipes was looking for someone to curate a concert of World War II-era Jewish music to be presented by the Juilliard School at the Museum at Eldridge Street, he knew immediately to whom he would turn: Remy Yulzari. He knew the opportunity would be more than a gig for him; it would be an act of faith.

Double bassist Patrick McGuire will be featured at Juilliard-sponsored concert of World War Il-era music.

‘Friends Setting Up Friends’

11/06/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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You don’t have to be a yenta to be a matchmaker anymore. Jzoog.com, a new Jewish dating site with no subscription fee, is set to launch this week and it will allow anyone to serve as a matchmaker on the site. It is also, according to its creator, believed to be the first Jewish dating site to require members to have Facebook accounts.

Rabbi Arnie Singer to launch Jzoog.com, zoog meaning “couple” in Hebrew.

The Keys To Coexistence

11/06/2013
Book Critic
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Amal means hope in Arabic.

At the Metropolitan Museum this weekend, the Israeli pianist Yaron Kohlberg and the Palestinian pianist Bishara Haroni, who have played all over the world as Duo Amal, will make their New York debut as an ensemble.

Bishara Haroni, left, and Yaron Kohlberg, a Palestinian and an Israeli, perform as the Duo Amal. Duo-amal.com

Sabras Face Each Other On An NBA Court

10/30/2013
JTA/Houston
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Midway through the first quarter of a recent preseason game between the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks, Rockets’ forward Omri Casspi joined his teammates on the Rocket’s homecourt.

Israel’s big exports: Omri Casspi, left, and Gal Mekel play in the NBA. Photo via JTA.org

The Bitter And The Sweet At Kristallnacht Service

10/30/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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Welcoming the Sabbath is a joyous task for Jews. But Jewish history, marked with so many tragedies, cannot be ignored. There are moments in the Jewish calendar when a cantor must find a space suspended between two competing emotional states, mourning the loss while celebrating the present.

Cantor Rebecca Garfein, center, will participate in the Kristallnacht service.

Main Squeezes: Accordions At Eldridge Street

10/23/2013
Special To The Jewish Week
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In the music world, the prejudice against the accordion and its many musical relatives is strong. That prejudice undoubtedly has it least some of its roots in issues of class and ethnicity. Because of its portability and power, the accordion has always been the instrument of choice for immigrant cultures. On the other hand, the enduring popularity of Lawrence Welk reruns suggests that some of the anti-accordion sentiments are a matter of good taste.

Yale Strom, left, and Peter Stan, who performed last year in Tarnow, Poland, play the Museum at Eldridge. Jerry Bergman

Bloomberg, Now $1M Richer, Seen As Role Model To The Young

10/23/2013
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Officials of the Genesis Philanthropy Group, which this week named New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the first winner of its $1 million Genesis Prize, are hoping he will have more than just a ceremonial role in the coming year.

The Hester Gets Storefront

Prospect Heights welcomes the kosher, artisanal Mason And Mug.

09/25/2013
Staff Writer
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The Hester, an underground kosher supper club, is about to see the light of day as a brick-and-mortar restaurant: a kosher small-plates bar on Washington Avenue in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn, which is seeing a spike in Jewish residents who have been priced out of neighboring Park Slope.

Itta Werdiger Roth and Sasha Chack are bringing the artisanal sensibility of Roth’s supper club. Shulamit Seidler-Feller
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