Springtime Is Party Time

Turn your next soiree into a wine-tasting party.
04/16/2012 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

For me, spring weather calls for two of my favorite things — parties and wine. While I almost always serve wine at my parties, occasionally I like to make wine the focus of a party, by hosting a wine-tasting party.

While once viewed as an esoteric activity for only hardcore wine aficionados, wine-tasting parties are becoming a very popular activity for wine lovers of all sorts, novices and experts alike. So for this month’s Fruit of the Vine we share some tips and advice for hosting your next (or first) such party. 

The venue:

Wine-tasting parties are becoming a very popular activity for wine lovers of all sorts, novices and experts alike.

Words Of Assurance In Tunisia

04/16/2012 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Besides Jerusalem, Djerba may be the most prominent Jewish pilgrimage site in the world.

Every year, thousands of Jews, mostly from France and Israel, flock to this island off of the coast of Tunisia in the Gulf of Gabes on Lag b’Omer, during the period between Passover and Shavuot. The occasion, which takes place this year May 9-10, marks the temporary victory of the Jews over the Romans prior to the destruction of the Second Temple and the date on which the Talmudic-era sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai passed away.

Photo By Getty Images

Confessions Of A Gay Zionist

04/16/2012 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Many times people ask, “Do you think it’s nature or nurture?” I always respond by telling them that my love for Israel is most likely a combination of both. 

Jayson Littman

The Titanic, And Beyond

04/16/2012 - 20:00
Travel Writer

It says something about Belfast’s troubled political past that the Northern Irish capital would rather be known for a shipwreck.

2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the much-heralded launch and subsequent spectacular sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic, the vessel that sold a zillion movie tickets. Belfast, home to the shipyards that built the behemoth, has been capitalizing on this claim to fame ever since — and in this centennial year, the mood is so celebratory it’s easy to forget the Titanic was actually a colossal failure.

Titanic Belfast, a waterside complex compared to the Sydney Opera House.

Kol Ha Kavod Moment For San Diego Charter

04/16/2012 - 20:00
Associate Editor

A little over a year ago, when Tamar Caspi Shnall showed up for a meeting of those interested in starting a Hebrew charter school in San Diego, she wasn’t expecting to wind up its lead applicant, and then president.

After all, Shnall — a journalist and dating-advice columnist whose work regularly appears on JDate and the Jerusalem Post — had an 11-week-old son at home and no background in education.

San Diego Hebrew-charter school head Tamar Caspi Shnall: “We want to be as diverse as possible.”

Play Ball! 20 Great Coaching Questions From The Baseball Field

04/11/2012 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

To those of us who love the game, baseball is more than just a sport. It’s a lens through which we view the world and a training ground for learning valuable life lessons.

Deborah Grayson Riegel

Reuniting the Rubins- Interview with Director/Writer Yoav Factor

In the new film Reuniting the Rubins Director/Writer Yoav Factor puts together a truly unique story about a seder you don't want to miss. An uptight lawyer, Lenny Rubins, (Timothy Spall -- The King's Speech), has to put his dream retirement on hold when his ailing mother (Honor Blackman -- Goldfinger) emotionally blackmails him into reuniting his estranged children for a holiday gathering. 

The Top 10 Things About Being In Israel For Pesach

04/10/2012 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

10) Having a seder with my sister and brother-in-law and their five children and eight grandchildren for the first time ever!

9)  Every gas station mini-market is kasher l’pesach,  and every gas station attendant wishes you a Chag Sameach (while they’re charging you a month’s salary to fill up your tank…)

8)  Kasher l’Pesach Magnum ice cream bars!

7)  On Chol HaMoed, it seems like every family in Israel is cooking out in a public park!

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

Freedom For Tomato Pickers

04/09/2012 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Rabbi Jill Jacobs has led and participated in countless seders. Here, she toasts a first-timer, Santiago Perez, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s second annual Food and Justice Passover Seder on April 4.

Ordained by the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Jacobs is the director of Rabbis for Human Rights – North America and has helped to spread awareness about workers in Immokalee, Fla., who pick tomatoes for what activists say are unfair wages and in unsafe conditions. A tomato held pride of place on the seder plate that night.

Photo By Ron Sachs

The Authenticity Bind

04/09/2012 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Lately, while reading about other people’s travels, I’ve noticed a recurring phrase. It’s expressed in different ways, but with the same ominous sense of urgency, the gist of which is: “Get there before it’s too late.”

Or: “I give Bucharest another three years, max.” (Then what?) “Go to Olinda now, before it’s gone.” (To where?) “In five years, Apulia will be Tuscany.” (Heaven forfend!)

Italy’s Cinque Terre, best seen from afar these days as it has been harmed by overtourism.
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