Features

Bohemia On The Prairie

07/29/2014
Travel Writer
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Few New Jersey commuters think of Interstate 80 as the conduit to grand adventure. And for those who do contemplate the transcontinental journey on I-80 — its western terminus is San Francisco — the long Midwestern slog through days of corn fields may seem less exciting than the southerly route through deserts and canyons.

The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library lies on the banks of the Cedar River across Lion’s Bridge.  Cedar Rapids Conven

A Lone Soldier No More

07/25/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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Like every war, the current conflict between Israel and Hamas has a broad narrative that varies according to who is telling the story. But it is also true that this war, like every war, is made up of countless stories of individual soldiers and civilians whose lives have been directly impacted.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

At Lacrosse Championship, Honor But No Medals, For Israeli Athletes

07/22/2014
Staff Writer
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Israel, international lacrosse power?

Not yet. But four years after the sport that developed as a military training exercise among indigenous residents of the United States and Canada centuries ago was introduced in Israel, Israel’s men’s national lacrosse team ended its first appearance in last week’s World Lacrosse Championship with a seventh-place world ranking.

JTA

LeBron’s Going Home

Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt is heading to Cleveland to lead Cavs.

07/22/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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In May, David Blatt coached underdog Maccabi Tel Aviv to a thrilling Euroleague championship victory over Real Madrid in overtime. In June, the Cleveland Cavaliers hired Blatt as head coach. This month, LeBron James announced he was bringing his talents back home to the Cavs. There will be an enormous amount of pressure on Blatt, who has never coached an NBA game, but the reigning Euroleague Coach of the Year is no stranger to pressure. He was the first American to coach the Russian national team, leading them to a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics. In a phone interview from Las Vegas, where the NBA Summer League is taking place, the Massachusetts native, who played college ball at Princeton, professional ball in Israel, and coached in Europe for more than two decades, spoke about pressure, coming back to America, and his new team.

David Blatt: Will face a more rugged schedule as an NBA coach that he did in Israel or Europe. Wikimedia Commons

Late Nights, From Paris To Madrid

07/22/2014
Travel Writer
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I once spent a night in the Place des Vosges.

That may sound romantic to those who know the lovely park at heart of Paris’s Marais quarter. But when I say I spent the night, I don’t mean that I slept in a plush hotel in the trendy Jewish district. I spent that night on a damp, uncomfortable bench by a fountain, because I had missed the last metro of the evening back to my hotel and had decided it would be interesting to wander all night in the City of Light. And around 4 a.m. — after hours spent strolling the quiet boulevards, pressing my nose against the glass of darkened boutiques and bakeries — I finally collapsed on that bench and dozed until the sky turned pink.

The City of Lights, above, at night. For one traveler. Wikimedia Commons

‘Lolita’ In Wartime

07/22/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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A biography of literary dissembler Vladimir Nabokov might be a strange book to reach for during these past weeks, with Israel at war with Hamas, and the moral questions at stake murderously clear. But as often happens with writers, the book that must appear often does appear, at just the right time, even if it seems to come from left field.

Daniel Schifrin

Even Paranoids Have Enemies

07/18/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
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The current hostilities between Israel and Hamas have, yet again, brought to the forefront a long-simmering feud between many supporters of Israel and the world of print, broadcast and electronic journalism.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Shmuley Salutes Sean

Actor/director Penn: saved Ostreicher for moral, not tribal, reasons.

07/16/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnists
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Sean Penn, the actor acclaimed by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach as a hero for providing 60,000 people with housing after the devastating Haiti earthquake of 2010, was honored by the rabbi in May for rescuing one Brooklyn Jew from unjust imprisonment in Bolivia.

Jacob Ostreicher and Sean Penn. Tim Boxer/JW

Former Face Of IDF: ‘What Is Israel’s Goal?

Avital Leibovich can hear rockets in her house, and gives her kids a briefing every morning.

07/15/2014
Staff Writer
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Avital Leibovich became director of the American Jewish Committee’s Jerusalem office after leaving the Israel Defense Forces in April following a nearly 23-year career. Leibovich served in a wide range of senior media and public relations positions within the IDF, including as the face of the IDF for the international community during two prior wars with Hamas in 2008 and 2012. She spoke to The Jewish Week Tuesday morning about the latest Gaza conflict.

Avital Leibovich: “The age of traditional war is mostly gone.”

At Berlin Jewish Museum, Robot Writes Torah Scroll

07/15/2014
Staff Writer
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If you’re in Berlin over the next few months, you can watch a Sephardic rabbi with black coat and large black kipa at the city’s Jewish Museum writing a Torah scroll.

Getty Images
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