Features

A Refuge From Summer’s Heat

08/09/2011
Staff Writer

During the recent sweltering days that have brought temperatures across most of the country above 90 degrees — and in many locations, above 100 — refuge is found in ice cold lemonade, air conditioned rooms and for some with a swimming pool nearby, a refreshing dip in the water.

The Olympic-size pool of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Community Park on Long Island is a popular place this summer.

On a 103-degree day last month, 9-year-old Aaron Bater dove into the Community Park’s pool, above, and other members of his family joined him in the shallow end.

Photo by Michael Datikash

Getting More Jews To Spend Time In Israel

08/09/2011
Staff Writer

Shortly after Misha Galperin was hired in March of last year to handle global public affairs and financial resource development for the Jewish Agency for Israel, the organization’s board of governors announced a refocusing of the agency to concentrate on global Jewish identity building. The plan called for the agency to expand opportunities for young diaspora Jews to visit Israel and to increase the awareness of Israeli Jews about diaspora Jewry. Last month it assumed the added responsibility of determining which Orthodox conversions in the diaspora are valid for aliyah.

Misha Galperin: Jewish Agency is still rescuing Jews at risk, despite changes in its mission.

Labors Of Love

08/09/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

I received one of my best parenting tips while trapped in a dentist’s chair. Big with my first baby, my voice quieted by the examination, I was an obvious target for advice. My dentist, a mother of three, leaned over conspiratorially. “Don’t let them tell you what to do,” she said.

Elicia Brown

The Art Of The Souvenir

08/09/2011
Travel Writer

The best souvenir I ever heard of was a giant wheel of cheese that my friend Era smuggled out of her native Albania.

This was not just any cheese. It was 20 pounds of stinky, sheep-milk kashkaval, the hard cheese found throughout the Balkans. And of course, such an item is virtually guaranteed to be on the U.S. Customs no-no list for importation; had they searched her luggage and found the wheel, it could have been quite the scene. But they didn’t, and Era was eating Albanian sheep cheese all year.

A souvenir shop in Prague. Bringing make mementos isn’t as easy as you might think.

Back In Russia, 32 Years Later

08/03/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

In the spring of 1979, at the height of the struggle to free Soviet Jewry, my wife Robin and I were among many volunteers who traveled to the Soviet Union for the express purpose of aiding and abetting the efforts of Zionist refuseniks.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Amy Winehouse And Cremation

08/04/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

 Q - I have always been under the impression that cremation and tatoos are forbidden by Jewish law.  Yet the recent funeral for Amy Winehouse was very Jewish in nature although the singer — who was amply tattooed — had asked to be cremated.  Is cremation now accepted in Jewish quarters?

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Israeli Soldiers On Birthright Speak Out

Mifgashim discuss their perspective on American counterparts and the success of program.

What's Trust Got To Do With It?

08/05/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist
During one of our many girl talks, with topics ranging from boys to basketball, my daughter Sophie gave me a very special compliment: “Thank you for always telling me the truth.”
 

Couscous-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

A fun vegetarian dish for the nine days.

08/04/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

It’s a common complaint during the nine days – “There is nothing to eat! Let’s order pizza?” Truth is it is truly not hard to get through what amounts to a week of meat-free fare if you get a little inventive. How about a crispy tofu salad? Some Chana Masala?

Couscous-Stuffed Zucchini Boats. Photo by Amy Spiro

The Road Taken

08/03/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

I was lost. 

Again.

If you want to know the truth, I’ve spent most of my life lost, and I’m not being profound.

Which explains why I got completely turned around somewhere in Afula.

Of course, I blamed the map. Where was that sneaky little Route 71 that the map had so magnanimously promised? And why, instead, was I stuck at a fork in the road with two other choices that eluded me?

Naturally, I turned to the gentleman in the car next to me for help.

Abigail Pickus
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