Features

A Room With A Few (Kids, That Is)

09/16/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

When I wrote recently about the difficulty of finding appropriate lodgings with a child in tow, I figured I wasn’t alone. What surprised me was how few resources address the pressing needs of what is — let’s face it — an enormous travel demographic.

The Golden Tulip Mangosteen Timeshare Resort in Thailand. Time-shares were a popular reader suggestion. Wikimedia Commons

A Prayer for the New Year

09/09/2015 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

The most ubiquitous and traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting is known to almost all Jews: L’Shanah Tovah Tikateivu V’Teichateimu; may you been inscribed and sealed (in the Book of Life) for a good year. In its few words, it alludes to the central metaphor of the High Holidays. The verdict of our divine judgment is to be recorded upon its completion, and our most fervent prayer is that it be recorded in the Book of Life, and not, God forbid, that other book…

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

A Box Of Memories

09/09/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

At my son’s recent high school graduation, my emotion-fueled thoughts were all over the place. Yet I kept coming back to the Talmudic teaching that we master the entire Torah in utero, only to have an angel tap us on the mouth and erase that knowledge at the moment we enter the world. It was hard to believe the strapping graduate had once been that small, because there he was: ready to leave for a year of study in Israel, the next leg in his quest to relearn what was snatched from him the day he was born. 

Merri Ukraincik

The New Year Comes To Israel

09/08/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Rosh HaShanah, the start of Judaism’s 10-day period of repentance, is distinctive among the religion’s holidays — it is the only one that is observed for two days in Israel. Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot are each a one-day holiday in Israel.

Getty Images

If You’ve Got A Few Hours To Kill…

09/08/2015 - 20:00
Travel Writer

About 15 years ago, on my way to a meeting in Los Angeles, I received word that it had been cancelled. My flight left early the next morning — but I suddenly had an entire evening at my disposal, on a coast with spectacular sunsets.

The canals of Venice, CA offer a scenic venue for a colorful look at California's culture. H. Danailova/JW

Sanctions Czar: It’s Time To Lift Them Now

09/08/2015 - 20:00
Editor and Publisher

Adam Szubin, 42, the top U.S. Treasury Department official to monitor Iran’s sanctions compliance, was in New Jersey this week, traveling with Sen. Corey Booker (D-N.J.) and speaking to Jewish groups. Szubin is the product of an Orthodox home and day school education in Bergen County, N.J., and was a founder in 2002 of the DC Minyan, a traditional congregation with an egalitarian flavor. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he has been with Treasury since 2004, and helped develop and coordinate policies on terrorist financing, money laundering, sanctions programs, rogue regimes, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and intelligence analysis. This spring President Obama chose him as under secretary of terrorism and financial intelligence, informally described as “the sanctions czar.” He spoke to The Jewish Week by phone several times this week, apologetically cutting short a late-night conversation to meet his chavruta (study partner) for their regular Torah study time.

Treasury Department official Adam Szubin: Seeking to allay fears in the Jewish community.

Reform Machzor Enlarges The Tent

An 'upgraded' High Holiday prayer book features feminist and LGBTQ-friendly prayers and poetry.

09/08/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, Pablo Neruda — no, this isn’t a syllabus for a college lit course; it’s a sampling from the new Reform High Holidays prayer book.

Rabbi Deborah Hirsch

We Can't Ignore Iran, Or How We Talk About It, During The Holidays

09/03/2015 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Psychiatrists and therapists are known to commonly vacation in August, making it a notoriously bad time to have an emotional crisis. Most rabbis vacation in July, because once August comes, the gravitational pull of the High Holidays begins to assert itself, and virtually the entire synagogue world goes into pre-crisis mode. It seems to many of my colleagues to be “too close” to the holidays to leave town, even though there are at least four weeks before Rosh Hashanah.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

The Artisanal New Year

Bedouin embroidery, a stoneware honey pot, eco paper garlands for Sukkot: Our annual guide of cool (and socially meaningful) gifts.

09/01/2015 - 20:00
Culture Editor

Start off the new year of studying the Torah with a naturalist’s original and insightful observations on the text. From a noted authority on plants and herbs who lives on a small farm in the Adirondacks, “Seeds of Transcendence: Understanding the Hebrew Bible Through Plants” by Jo Ann Gardner (Decalogue Books) is infused with the author’s deep love and knowledge of the land and native flora of Israel. In her research, she spent a lot of time with the late Nogah Hareuveni, founder of Neot Kedumim, Israel’s Biblical Landscape Reserve. Her clear writing brings together the material and spiritual worlds of the text.

Claire Marin’s Catskill Honey from upstate New York.

The Play’s The Thing At Unique Poconos Camp

08/31/2015 - 20:00
staff Writer

Some of the girls who showed up at the first day of Camp Maor, a performing arts camp for Orthodox teens and pre-teens in the Pocono mountain range of Pennsylvania, were extroverts, veterans of school plays and performances in front of friends and family. Others were introverts, shy kids who needed a shot of self-confidence.

Photo By Maureen Merdinger and Michael Melisky
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