Features

Far from Queens…

06/25/2015
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Being a “New York Jew”— and a New York Rabbi, no less — is what many of the more sharp-tongued among us would call a diagnosis. In the mouths of some non-Jews, it is a not-so-polite way of implying pushy, opinionated, parochial, narrow-minded, prickly, and demanding. And in the mouths of many Jews, particularly those from outside of this geographical area, it implies ethnically narrow, religiously conservative, along with a few of the aforementioned adjectives. None of them are particularly complimentary.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

In Charleston, At The Corner Of Pain And Hope

A rabbi's view from the ground in post-Massacre South Carolina.

06/24/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Charleston, S.C. — In last Shabbat’s Torah portion, we read the last words recorded in the Bible uttered by the people of the first generation that left Egypt but did not reach the Promised Land. After all of the struggles and challenges and the sins and death and destruction, they plaintively ask, “ha-im tamnu ligvoah?” — “Have we come to the end of our dying?” or, left unspoken, will such tragedies continue and continue?

Barbara Owens leaves a message on a tree in front of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Getty Images

Write On Graduates Making Their Mark On Campus

06/23/2015

Four college students, alumni of The Jewish Week’s Write On For Israel educational project, were honored for their pro-Israel leadership on campus at Write On’s 2015 graduation ceremonies June 11 at Park Avenue Synagogue.

Photo By Michael Datikash

Touch Of Gray

06/23/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

‘Hurry up!” The text message from my friend materialized on my phone. “Seats are going fast, and I just tripped over two walkers, a cane, and an old lady in a wheelchair.” I was en route to the Harrisburg JCC, where a showing of Ron Frank and Mevlut Akkaya’s 2013 film, “Where Comedy Went to School,” about Catskills comics, was about to begin. Perhaps not surprisingly, the audience members were almost entirely geriatric; they especially appreciated the live comedy act that followed the film, in which an aging female comic from New York cracked jokes about incontinence, sexual dysfunction, and difficulties in mastering new technology.

Ted Merwin

High Culture In The Hills

06/23/2015
Travel Writer

Most of us have never contemplated a Van Gogh and immediately thought of Western Massachusetts. But the undulating green hills of the Berkshires region bear more than a passing resemblance to those of Provence — at least as rendered by the artist in a series of works on view in “Van Gogh and Nature,” the summer blockbuster at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown.

Van Gogh’s “Cypresses” is part of the exhibit at the Clark Art Institute.  Courtesy Clark Institute

Happy Birthday, Dr. Ruth!

06/18/2015
Jewish Week Online Columnist

A week ago, I had the pleasure of attending a reception for Dr. Ruth Westheimer, celebrating both her eighty-seventh birthday and the publication of her newest book, "The Doctor Is In: Dr. Ruth on Life, Love, and Joie de Vivre." Not surprisingly, the person in the room who effortlessly displayed the most energy and spirit, with no one even a close second, was Ruth herself.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Ancient Coin Of The Canaanite Realm

06/17/2015
Staff Writer

This coin probably was not worth very much when it was minted three millennia ago, but it’s priceless to contemporary historians and archaeologists.

Getty Images

Jews On The Camino

06/16/2015
Travel Writer

Misty and mystical, Santiago de Compostela is the antidote to a Spanish summer. The jewel of Spain’s green, rainy northwest remains cool and fresh while Madrid and Seville broil. Let crowds course down the Ramblas and clog the beaches of the Costa del Sol; Galicia’s shores remain tranquil, and its winding, hilly lanes whisper romance.

A Santiago de Compostela courtyard reflects the city’s traditional ambiance.  Wikimedia Commons

Reunion At Kibbutz Lavi

06/16/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Driving around Israel with my husband is always a journey into his life before we met, since Aryeh was born and raised in pre-state Palestine and I’m third-generation American. But this time was different as he pointed out places that were going to take on new meaning as the weekend progressed.

Sura Jeselsohn

Spotlighting Anti-Semitism In Sweden — And Beyond

Annika Hernroth-Rothstein filed for asylum in her own country as violent hate crimes against Jews increased.

06/16/2015

Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, 34, is a writer and political activist from Stockholm. Formerly a political adviser for the conservative coalition in Sweden, she now writes regularly about global anti-Semitism for such publications as The Jerusalem Post, Commentary and Mosaic magazine. From her perch in Stockholm, Hernroth-Rothstein has become a vociferous advocate for her local Jewish community — and more widely, for European Jewry  —arguing that local and state governments need to be held accountable for anti-Semitic and anti-Israel legislation. The Jewish Week interviewed Hernroth-Rothstein by email. This is an edited transcript.

Annika Hernroth-Rothstein says anti-Semitism in Europe is on the rise and should be an issue on everyone’s mind.
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