Features

The Aesthetics Of Judaism

04/23/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
0

At her bat mitzvah last month at Beth El Temple in Harrisburg, Pa., my daughter Hannah spoke about the concept of hiddur mitzvah, the aesthetic enhancement of Jewish customs. Bathed in the light of the synagogue’s new stained-glass windows depicting Jewish holidays and allegorical representations of biblical figures, Hannah eloquently linked the Torah portion, which dealt with the ancient Israelites’ building of the tabernacle in the desert, with the creation of Jewish art and artifacts in our own day. 

Ted Merwin

Telling The Passover Story Fully And Powerfully

04/18/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist
Story Includes Video: 
0

When we think of the challenges of hosting a seder, the physical – the cleaning and cooking – immediately spring to mind. Another challenge is negotiating the tension between the meal’s ritual requirements and the obligation to make the story actually speak to the participants who are there.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Medieval History, With Lavender

04/18/2014
Travel Writer
Story Includes Video: 
0

Overlooked and underrated, the French city of Perpignan reveals its charms to those with the patience to look.

Perpignan, best known as a transit hub for the beaches of the Languedoc-Rousillon, has the misfortune to be located amid a region of surpassing visual splendor and historic import. Were it a city in Hungary or Romania, it would surely be a major draw. But Perpignan’s quintessentially Gallic streetscapes, riverside quays and plethora of medieval architecture are hardly unique in this corner of France.

The quintessentially Gallic streetscapes of Perpignan. Henri Moreau

Grinding It Out On Pesach

04/14/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
0

For as long as I can remember, Pesach has conjured up the image of a mound of whole walnuts on a white kitchen table. My mother, grandmother, sister and I encircled it, as if sitting around a campfire telling tales. We dismantled the shells with unwieldy nutcrackers, filling three bowls: one with the shards, another with the meats, and the last, with the mortar wrought by a hand-cranked nut grinder.

Merri Ukraincik

‘Something Has To Change’

Benjamin Ish-Shalom is chairman of an institute that prepares students for conversion by Israel's rabbinic courts.

04/14/2014
Staff Writer
Story Includes Video: 
0

Benjamin Ish-Shalom is president and founder of Beit Morasha in Jerusalem. In 2000, the university founded the Institute for Jewish Studies-The Joint Conversion Institute; Ish-Shalom is its chairman.

Benjamin Ish-Shalom: Wants conversions handled by local rabbis, not Chief Rabbinate.

‘Friendly’ Display Of Lacrosse Skills

04/14/2014
Staff Writer
Story Includes Video: 
0

It was a day of blue and white, of orange and green.

On a recent Sunday morning, men’s lacrosse teams from Israel and Ireland met for a “friendly” — sports talk for an exhibition game or match — at Centre Island Beach Park in Bayville, L.I., near the edge of the Long Island Sound.

Lacrosse in motion. Robert Berkenblit

Fox News Honcho In Jest At JCRC

04/10/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Roger Ailes, the eminence of Fox News, has been coming to the annual benefit dinner of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) ever since he was guest of honor in 2005. Last week he hobbled into the Pierre Hotel with the aid of a cane, which startled Michael Miller, longtime JCRC executive vice president and CEO.

 Sharri Berg and husband Barry Levine with daughter August. Tim Boxer/JW

Modern Fundraising For A Modern Israel

Under the retiring Peter Willner, American Friends of The Hebrew University increased its fundraising considerably.

04/09/2014
Staff Writer

Peter Willner will be stepping down this summer after 12 years as national executive director of the American Friends of The Hebrew University. During his tenure, AFHU increased its annual fundraising from $18 million in 2002 to $500 million by the end of 2013; last year the group raised $50 million. Willner spent more than 30 years in executive positions in the nonprofit sector, the Anti-Defamation League and UJA-Federation of New York. The Jewish Week caught up with him recently for a discussion about the philanthropic landscape in the Jewish community and the so-called “brain drain” of Israeli academics. This is an edited transcript.

Peter Willner: Stepping down from AFHU post amid concerns about Israeli “brain drain.”

Preparing For Pesach

04/08/2014
Staff Writer

Jewish tradition suggests that preparation for Passover starts 30 days before the holiday starts. In other words, right after Purim.

Michael Datikash/JW

A Refusenik’s Freedom

04/08/2014
Staff Writer

A few months ago I reunited with a stranger who was an important part of my life more than three decades ago. For a few years in the late 1970s, while I was working as editor of Buffalo’s weekly Jewish newspaper, I decided I wanted to personalize the plight of Russia’s imprisoned refuseniks, the Jews who lacked the freedom to live as Jews in their homeland, or leave for freedom elsewhere.

Hillel Butman
Syndicate content