L'Dor V'Dor: Honoring Our Oldest Generations

02/08/2012 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

As Tu B’Shevat approaches each year, and we prepare to celebrate the New Year of the Trees, many of us rabbis love to return to one of our most favorite stories: Honi the Circle-Maker and the Carob Trees. The story, which is first found in the Mishnah, begins with Honi walking down the road. He happens upon a person planting a carob tree, a tree known for taking a very long time (at least 75 years) to produce fruit.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows.

A Freeze Across Europe

02/06/2012 - 19:00
Staff Writer

The headline writers are calling the cold spell across Europe in recent weeks a new “Ice Age.”

Photo By Getty Images

A Decade As Israel’s Media Strategist

02/06/2012 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of The Israel Project, announced last week that she plans to leave the organization she and two other women founded 10 years ago. During that decade, the Washington-based Israel Project has grown from an organization with no staff, based originally at Mizrahi’s former public relations firm, to one that now has 75 employees, including former journalists, and an office in Jerusalem. Its mission is to garner fairer and more positive coverage of Israel through outreach to the press, policymakers and members of the public.

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi.

Napa, Watch Your Back!

For oenophiles, Israel is becoming a serious destination for wine tourism.
Travel Writer
02/06/2012 - 19:00

About five years ago, I was scanning reds by the glass in a Park Slope wine bar when something unusual caught my eye.

“Recanati,” read the listing. “Cabernet Sauvignon, Israel.”

Suddenly, in the last few years, it’s Israel’s turn to be one of the world’s hot new regions for serious wine. And boutique outfits like Recanati, with vineyards throughout the Galilee, are turning their wineries into a destination for oenophile vacationers — a kind of Napa Valley for the Holy Land.

Tween Fashion: A Modest Proposal

02/06/2012 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

My son Joel, age 7, and my daughter Talia, almost 10, lean on my shoulders, staring at the computer screen in disbelief. Here was something that didn’t fit their notion of the world. Grown men spitting? At a child? Because her long skirts weren’t long enough? A sincere and sweet boy, Joel wondered if these men, these ultra-Orthodox lunatics of Beit Shemesh, in Israel, had ever read the Torah.

That was last month.

Elicia Brown

From Mournful To Cool

02/06/2012 - 19:00
Travel Writer

Lodz, Poland’s third-largest city, has long held a special resonance for Jewish visitors.

This onetime outpost of the Russian and German Empires was among the world’s most Jewish cities before the Holocaust, with a quarter-million Jews, a good third of the city’s total. Every year, thousands of heritage travelers come to bear witness to Lodz’s wartime ghetto and the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe.

So fixed is that mournful image that it takes a mental leap to consider what Europeans already know: Lodz is suddenly the coolest place in Poland.

Lodz’s Manukaftura entertainment and shopping complex, above.

How Frank Met Esther Avital

02/05/2012 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist


“I prayed that God would help me find my bashert, [meant-to-be spouse]” says Esther Avital, “and my prayers came true.”

Esther Avital Gottesman was not born Jewish.  She was born Heather Fuller to Christian parents in Santa Ana, California.  Around the age of 10, she didn’t want to be Christian anymore. She didn't like having to pray through an intermediary and she had a teenage obsession with Adam Duritz, lead singer of Counting Crows, who was Jewish.  

Esther Avital and Frank Gottesman.

One-pot dishes

Get a hot meal on the table with little effort
02/01/2012 - 19:00
Online Jewish Week Columnist

Lately it seems like I don't have a free minute and it's hard to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen. But I still like to have a hot, hearty meal and the end of each day - here are a few ways to accomplish that with minimal time.

Some can be whipped up in an instant, while others need to be thrown together and simmered for a while, but either way you keep your time in your kitchen to a minimum and your flavor to a maximum.

One-pot meals. Photos by Amy Spiro

Dealing With Catastrophic Loss

02/01/2012 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist


To be effective in the pulpit rabbinate requires that one possess (or develop) an eclectic and demanding set of skills. You have to be knowledgeable in Torah, a master of synagogue skills, a good teacher, a good speaker, a good counselor, and of course it doesn’t hurt to be young and charismatic…

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

Masa Israel Journey and 3GNY: WEDU Showcase

Third-Generation Holocaust survivors discuss at their special obligation to tell the stories of their families.

We had the opportunity to attend the Masa Israel Journey and 3GNY: WEDU Showcase at the Hummus Place in NYC

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