When the Israeli Consulate approached Becky Griffin about co-hosting the first-ever broadcast of Sunday’s Celebrate Israel Parade, the decision was a no-brainer. Born in Givatayim, near Tel Aviv, Griffin, 34, has lived in both the U.S. and in Israel, and came here in March as part of a speaking-tour delegation selected by Israel’s newly created Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs. She has worked in print ads and commercials, TV and film in Israel and hosted two programs on MTV Europe, based in London.
My long-legged 9-year-old clambers onto my lap, her eye-rolling cynicism suppressed for the moment. Together we wait, staring at the computer screen’s still image of an Israeli flag, listening as the sentimental strains of a symphony rise up. But when a disembodied voice explodes in song, Talia joins in, belting out the Hebrew words with a gusto she usually reserves for Broadway show tunes, her torso swaying from the effort. My daughter is caught up in the love and hope and dreams of “Hatikvah.”
Q -In reading about the recent Mississippi River floods, it was shocking to see how spillways were opened in less populated areas, in effect deliberately flooding out thousands of homes in order to save more populated areas downstream. How can anyone justify wiping out entire communities like that? And conversely, is it right for people to deliberately move into areas that are known "spill zones," where flooding is known to occur.
I tend to stick to pareve desserts for most of the year – it’s just easier when it comes to Shabbat meals and often during the week.
But Shavuot – that is the time to dream of rich cheesecakes, sweet blintzes and decadent danishes. I certainly have grand cheesecake plans for this year, it is also nice to indulge in a touch of dairy desserts without going overboard. These red velvet cupcakes, with a sweet and creamy frosting, hit the spot.
Since President Obama’s much-promoted speech about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process two weeks ago, and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s heated reaction to it, the Jewish world has been engaged in serious if familiar impassioned conversation about exactly that. Is this President a “friend of Israel,” or something other?
The subject of “How to Die in Oregon,” a documentary airing this on HBO, is of special interest to Rabbi Leonard A. Sharzer, a physician and the associate director for bioethics at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Directed by Peter D. Richardson, an independent filmmaker, the documentary offers a moving and powerful look at Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, a 1994 measure allowing physician-assisted suicide and the first law of its kind, by telling the stories of several people who died under the act.
A surprising highlight of a touching Torah dedication ceremony aboard the USS Iwo Jima last Wednesday at Pier 88 was the fact that the admiral of the ship, who received the scroll on behalf of the Navy from the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, happened to be Jewish.
(An estimated 1 percent of the U.S. military is Jewish.)
Adm. Herm Shelanski appeared moved by the ceremony, telling the 30 or so assembled JCRC representatives and guests that having a Torah on board is deeply meaningful not only to Jewish members of the crew but to all on board.