Features

The ‘Primitive’ Immigrants

10/26/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Politicians who find sport in demonizing immigrants often praise their European ancestors, who came to the United States from abroad. Previous generations of immigrants, after all, supposedly valued work and family, to achieve the American dream. But a recent reading of Kate Simon’s 1982 best-selling memoir “Bronx Primitive” suggested that the Eastern Europeans who passed through Ellis Island in the early 1900s were less admirable than they’ve been depicted.

Ben Krull

Tipping, Ethics And Travel

10/26/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

This week, like everybody else, we’re talking about tipping.

Tipping is an essential part of travel — whether parking the car in a Midtown garage or dining out in Milan. From spas to bars, hotels to guided tours, trips are full of moments that call for some kind of gratuity.

Dinner at Danny Meyer’s the Union Square Café.  Courtesy of Union Square Hospitality Group

Marking Fifty Years Of Nostra Aetate

10/21/2015 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Barely two weeks after attending Pope Francis’ Interfaith Service at Ground Zero, I had another, even more surreal experience last night involving the Catholic Church.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Demonstration Of Support For Israel

10/20/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

The Jews of France, who have much firsthand experience as the victims of Arab terrorism, rallied this week in support of their brethren in Israel.

Getty Images

Jews, Blacks And Deli

10/19/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When the Anglo-Jewish playwright Israel Zangwill, in his popular 1908 drama, “The Melting Pot,” invented the term that became a major metaphor for how we view the ethnic life of New York, he wasn’t talking about food. Zangwill’s idea was that Old World European immigrants were being amalgamated with other immigrants in a divine “crucible” to form a sturdier, more self-reliant kind of person. But the reality, then as today, is that cultures do meet through food; Americans (beginning with the colonists and the Native Americans, as we celebrate at Thanksgiving) liberally sample each other’s dishes, often adopting them as their own.

Ted Merwin

Not Just For Pols

10/19/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Roaming around southern New Hampshire, I could see why politicians enjoy hanging out in the state.

The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House in Manchester, built in 1950 for a Jewish doctor. Hilary Danailova/JW

Remembering The Holocaust In Romania

10/12/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Before World War II, about 757,000 Jews lived in Romania.

The country, an ally of Nazi Germany from 1940-44, quickly adopted anti-Semitic measures. The army, cooperating with a German Einsatzgruppe, massacred at least 100,000 Jews in the Bessarabia and northern Bukovina regions.Similar mass murders took place in other parts of the country; later, some 120,000 Romanian Jews were deported to their deaths.

Getty Images

Heritage Tourism In Europe

10/12/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

From Poland to Portugal, nobody knows Jewish Europe like Ruth Ellen Gruber.

On a given week, the Philadelphia-born journalist might be checking out a newly opened museum, inspecting the restoration of a prewar synagogue, or picking her way through forest brambles in search of long-lost tombstones. That explains how Gruber found herself recently in the wilderness south of Prague, where she stumbled onto an 18th-century Jewish cemetery in a clearing near a faded sign marking “Synagogue Street.”

The synagogue at Ustek in the Czech Republic, one of the highlights of the Czech 10 Stars Project. Wikimedia Commons

A Field Of Wheelchairs

10/12/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When one walks into the Shabbat service of the Jewish Home Lifecare, it seems the rabbi and cantor are conducting a service entirely for themselves. The room is full of wheelchairs and walkers, canes and assistants. There seems to be little stirring, an eerie stillness. Opening with the Ma Tovu prayer, Rabbi Jonathan Malamy explains how we begin by praising God, then we petition God. It is basically praise and praising and more praising. It can seem that these words are falling on yawning mouths, hanging heads.

Dvorah Telushkin

Democracy, Jackson Heights Style

10/06/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Midway through its three-hour running time, there is a scene in Frederick Wiseman’s new documentary, “In Jackson Heights,” in which we see a few minutes of a typical workday in the office of Councilman Daniel Dromm. Two members of Dromm’s staff are fielding irate calls from constituents. We hear only their side of the conversations, so it takes a moment before it becomes clear what very local issue the callers are discussing. But it is impossible to miss the interplay of exasperation, concern and slowly eroding patience in the faces of Dromm’s long-suffering staffers.

George Robinson
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