Features

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

Is Spending To Help The Economy Ethical?

12/02/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Q: During the holiday season, I keep hearing how important it is for our fragile economy that we buy, buy, buy.  If it is patriotic to buy impulsively and consume conspicuously, is it also good?

A:   Patriotic: yes.  Good…not so much.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Pumpkin Muffins

Bite in to a little slice of fall

12/01/2011
Online Jewish Week Columnist

You may be able to buy canned pumpkin year round, but there is something about pumpkin desserts that just begs to be eaten this time of year. It's a little colder than fall, it's not quite the bitter freezing and constant snowfalls of winter. I've made these muffins from a whole pumpkin and I've made them from a can - and they taste just as delicious either way. And finishing them in 30 minutes instead of 4 hours is quite a perk.

Pumpkin Muffins. Photo by Amy Spiro

Where Are The Good Candidates For President?

12/01/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

I am not among those who routinely dismiss President Obama’s presidency as a failure, nor do I count myself among those who see him as an enemy of Israel.  I regard him as a good and honorable man- a thoughtful man- who was swept into office on the wings of his great oratorical skills.  In so doing, he carried on his back the desperate hopes of an American people, fearful that the economic meltdown of 2008 was destroying the way of life that they had come to know, and depend on.

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

Chanukah Season San Francisco Style

The holiday, as only the hipster city can do it.

Travel Writer
12/01/2011

It’s Chanukah season in San Francisco — and in a city where every weekend features some one-of-a-kind festival, you can expect a lot more than candle lightings and latke parties. Try Yiddish drag queen caroling, a pop-up Jewish record store, Chinese-food comedy on Christmas, and a historic tribute to one of history’s wiliest Jews, Harry Houdini..

Traditionalists will still find menorahs and latkes. But San Francisco embraces the holidays with the same blend of hipster irony, earnest identity-probing and wacky originality that are its trademarks.

The Kinsey Sicks, a wisecracking barbershop quartet of drag queens.

Running The Shabbos Gauntlet

11/29/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

The thing about Shabbat in Jerusalem is that it’s lousy with holiness. 

So holy, in fact, that the streets, normally bursting with honking drivers, on Shabbat becomes a sea of families pushing baby strollers and sauntering hither, thither and yon in their holiday finest.

Abigail Pickus
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