Features

The Skinny On ‘From Scratch’

01/14/2014
Jewish Week Correspondent
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Former New York Times reporter Allen Salkin interviewed more than 200 people for “From Scratch: Inside the Food Network” (Penguin Group). The book, which was ranked among the top 10 of 2013 by NPR, makes juicy revelations about controversial stars such as Emeril Lagasse; Paula Deen, who cooked fatty foods without disclosing she had diabetes and then later fell from grace amid reports of racist comments; and Chef Robert Irvine, who was replaced for a season of “Restaurant Impossible” after questions emerged about his resumé.

Allen Salkin: Not popular at the Food Network for his behind-the-scenes book.

The Siren This Time

01/14/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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I was watching my children chase fireflies when the siren from a local New Jersey firehouse put my body on full alert. The plaintive wail, eerily reminiscent of a siren’s call from another time and place, seemed to emanate from the heavens, rising and falling. I closed my eyes and let the sounds transport me back to a cold Jerusalem night when sirens signaled existential threats and fears of poisonous gas, not emergency calls to the volunteer fire department.

Linda Scherzer

A Capital Of Culture

01/14/2014
Travel Writer
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Each year, the European Union designates two of its cities as Capitals of Culture. Lesser-explored or smaller burgs get a turn in the spotlight; more venerable destinations have the opportunity to show off what’s new. And with so much media focus on the problems of Southern Europe, it’s perhaps fitting that the EU Commission decided this year to highlight two relatively tourist-free cities from the continent’s northern tier: Umea, Sweden, and Riga, Latvia.

Scenic Riga is a European Union Capital of Culture this year and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Kaspars Garda

The Language of Multiple Narratives

01/10/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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Like all other professionals who engage in counseling, rabbis are trained to know and believe that hearing one side of a story does not tell you all you need to know.  Whether it is a marriage that is in trouble or friends who have become estranged from each other, a professional may well ultimately choose to have the parties involved come in together for counseling.  But it is rare indeed that said professional would not see the parties individually before dealing with them as a pair.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.

Special Needs Israel Experience

How do you create a meaningful Israel experience for young adults with special needs? Video blogger Aaron Herman spoke with Covenant Award winner Howard Blas, Director of the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah in New England, Tali Cohen, Director of Tikvah Vocational Services and participants about their unique Israel experience.

A Reform Jew’s Gregorian Heshbon HaNefesh

01/09/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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I’ve never been one to make “resolutions” on the secular New Year. It was never as meaningful to me as the cheshbon hanefesh, the spiritual accounting of my soul, that I did each year at the High Holy Days. Nonetheless, it is impossible not to ponder what might help make 2014 an even better year than 2013. Rather than focusing on dieting, balancing my checkbook or organizing my closet (though I could certainly benefit from any or all of those things), I would prefer to focus on what could make the life of a Reform Jew more meaningful this coming year. So, I present my own list of A Reform Jew’s New Year’s Resolutions.

Rabbi Marci Bellows

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Heather Robinson of The Jewish Week and NYBlueprint speaks to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach about Iran's nuclear program, Miley Cyrus, attention vs. interest, fear of intimacy, sexy rabbis and more. Too much information? You decide.

Tim Boxer At Yossi Klein Halevi Speech

01/09/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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Yossi Klein Halevi made aliyah from the U.S. at the start of the Lebanon war in August 1982. That was a time when the country was defined by a right-wing narrative and left-wing narrative.

He found people from Peace Now and Gush Emunim fighting together in the war and fighting each other in the street.

“After the Six Day War of 1967,” he said, “We were still a family but a dysfunctional family. The schism between left and right could be very bitter but it cannot lead to annihilation because we share the same tent.”

Rabbi Richard Weiss welcomes Yossi Klein Halevi to the Young Israel of Hillcrest.

City Dance Jerusalem

City Dance Jerusalem is a unique video dance project that brings modern dance out of performance halls and into the streets, creating a meeting point between art and everyday life in the open urban public spaces



 

My Five Must-See Destinations For 2014

01/08/2014
Travel Writer
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Some years, given a world full of tempting travel choices, I have a tough time honing in on the top five or so destinations. Not this year. 2014 looks to be an exciting year of Jewish rebirth and rediscovery for places as far afield as Latvia, Jamaica and Poland. Meanwhile, as Jewish life continues to coalesce and flourish in the big New World cities, L.A. and Sao Paulo offer some clear advantages this year. These are the places I’m most excited to explore in 2014 – and here’s why:

As an upcoming European Capital of Culture, Riga is a choice travel destination this year. Photo courtesy Riga City Council
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