In just a few hours, I’ll be leaving for ten days in Israel, bringing with me fifty members of my congregation, as well as my wife and the Educational Director of our synagogue’s Religious School. I can no longer remember how many of these trips I’ve led during the past thirty years, and that is a very good thing indeed. One of the things I’m proudest of in my rabbinate is having introduced many members of my community to Israel for the first time. There is a special joy in that for me, and the feeling never grows old.
Cutting hair was a popular Jewish profession in Uzbekistan when Daniel Fuzaylov grew up near Tashkent, capital of the then-Soviet republic, nearly three decades ago. His father, Rafael, was a barber. His grandfather, too.
So Fuzaylov, who came to the United States with his family in 1988, became a barber, learning from his father. They are among the latest émigré groups to pass a trade among themselves, like Korean groceries, Chinese dry cleaners and Greek diners.
Is it any wonder that the initials for Brandeis University’s Steinhardt Social Research Institute are SSRI?
Like the popular and groundbreaking “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor” class of antidepressants (think Prozac and Zoloft), the six-year-old institute, part of the university’s Cohen Center for Jewish Studies, has brought a certain amount of optimism to American Jewish sociology, a field long known for its gloom-and-doom tales of assimilation and decline.
Over the past few decades single-malt Scotch whisky has become one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish circles, a fact not lost on whisky producers. According to David Blackmore, the global brand manager for the Glenmorangie and Ardbeg distilleries, “It’s no great secret that the Jewish community in America really loves their single malts.”
The Nosh Pit: A Southern comfort food that seems awfully familiar.
This is the second week in a row I’m sharing a recipe for a soup or stew, and I won’t apologize. As I write this, weather.com informs me it is a sunny 25° F outside the office – with a wind chill factor of 14°. What – did you expect me to go outside and check?
There is a great deal of talk swirling around about my movement- the Conservative movement- and its state of being. The lead article in this week’s print edition of The Jewish Week reports on a new strategic plan for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and the changes that it is intending to make in both its organizational structure and sphere of operations. The article implies- not too subtly- that the proposed changes reflect an organization, and a movement, in crisis.
In the old days of mah jongg — in the 1920s, when the game became a craze in the United States, not when it originated in China centuries ago — the pastime was often used as a fundraiser by Jewish women, who quickly embraced the game.