Features

Thoughts On That Israeli Ad Campaign

12/08/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

 

Much ink has already been spilled on the ill-fated ad campaign launched by Israel’s Ministry of Absorption, aimed at convincing Israelis living here in the United States to return to Israel. I’m afraid I’m going to spill a little more.

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

Prayer on the Go? There’s an App for That!

12/08/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

I slowly walked down the stairs, brain still half asleep, eyes half-closed. I saw my dad seated at my dining room table, wide awake, staring intently into his Kindle. My parents were in town for the High Holy Days, a time of year we hadn’t spent together in a long time. “Whatcha reading?” I mumbled, mid-yawn, and he promptly told me that he was enjoying his early morning Rashi. Rashi – on his Kindle! And then he was planning on studying a bit of Talmud before continuing with his day.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

How Daniel Met Lauren

12/07/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Want to meet your match?  “Come to the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in Manhattan,” advises Daniel Singer.  That’s what he did.

He wasn’t just visiting. Daniel is the senior cantor of the temple, and so attends the Havdallah service marking the beginning of a new week.  On Saturday evening, March 28, 2009, he was there as was Tamara Engel, a greeter from the temple, who is known for her good deeds and is an amateur matchmaker. “It’s like Tamara has a Rolodex in her head,” says Daniel.

Lauren Rabinowitz and Daniel Singer

An Ethiopian Celebration in Jerusalem

12/06/2011

The roots of the Ethiopian Jews’ Sigd holiday — it may date back to the sixth or 15th century — are shrouded in mystery, but its celebration now is contemporary. Marked 50 days after Yom Kippur in remembrance of the date, according to Ethiopian belief, when God first revealed Himself to Moses, Sigd was observed in Ethiopia with fasting and praying on a mountaintop.

Photo By Getty Images

Lessons To A Rabbi, From Her Children

12/06/2011
Staff Writer

A rabbi for a decade, a mother for seven years, Ilana Grinblat combines both identities in “Blessing and Baby Steps” (Behrman House). In 48 essays, she traces the lessons she has learned from the parenthood experience, starting with conception. Her book follows ones like Wendy Mogul’s “The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children,” which lean on Jewish tradition.

Rabbi Ilana Grinblat: Learned from her children “to fund wonder in the simple moments of daily life.”

On The Art Trail In Arkansas

12/06/2011
Travel Writer

When I heard about a new museum of American art opening in the Arkansas Ozarks, I had two equally shameful reactions.

The New Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is a state-of-the-art collection in the Ozarks. Hilary Larson

A Covenant Of Love

12/06/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

It is the eighth day following the birth of my baby. I sit upstairs in my home nursing my child in preparation for the vigors of the ceremony that welcomes newborns into the covenant of Israel. A few minutes later, I gently hand the baby to my father and join my mother and my husband, Dan, at the back of the living room downstairs. The baby emerges in my father’s arms to the sound of our guests greeting the child with the traditional Hebrew welcome.  My father sits in the specially designated chair of Elijah, the prophet known for defending the covenant and protecting children.

Sharon R. Siegel
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