Welcome To ‘Portlandia’

Travel Writer

‘Portland, Oregon, is like everything that’s good about San Francisco, but without the bad parts,” announced my sister — and as a longtime, devoted denizen of the latter city, she ought to know.

Drop-dead beautiful, outdoorsy and hip? Check. Funky coffee houses? Double check. Infectiously earnest foodie scene, with great restaurants and a cool vegan subculture? Check. Laid-back, welcoming Jewish community? Check.

“All that, yet the streets are clean, and the parking is ridiculously easy,” swooned my sister.

Downtown Portland framed by the snowy peaks of Mt. Hood. Travel Portland

Single-Malt Shop

Scotch whisky, a good (kosher) wintertime tipple.

Special To The Jewish Week

Over the past few decades single-malt Scotch whisky has become one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish circles, a fact not lost on whisky producers. According to David Blackmore, the global brand manager for the Glenmorangie and Ardbeg distilleries, “It’s no great secret that the Jewish community in America really loves their single malts.”

The Glenrothes Alba Reserve is a smooth whiskey with hints of heather.

Chicken and Dumplings

The Nosh Pit: A Southern comfort food that seems awfully familiar.

Editorial Assistant

This is the second week in a row I’m sharing a recipe for a soup or stew, and I won’t apologize. As I write this, weather.com informs me it is a sunny 25° F outside the office – with a wind chill factor of 14°. What – did you expect me to go outside and check?

Chicken and Dumplings

The Evolving Religious World and Conservative Judaism's Challenge

Special to the Jewish Week

There is a great deal of talk swirling around about my movement- the Conservative movement- and its state of being. The lead article in this week’s print edition of The Jewish Week reports on a new strategic plan for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, and the changes that it is intending to make in both its organizational structure and sphere of operations. The article implies- not too subtly- that the proposed changes reflect an organization, and a movement, in crisis.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

How Barry met Rachel

Special to the Jewish Week

Rachel was a rising star in the Democratic Party and she left her home base to follow her man. A Republican, no less.

Rachel Storch was a state representative in the Missouri House and had been chosen to head its Democratic campaign. Then another opportunity knocked.

Rachel Storch and Barry Akrongold

The Tiles That Bind


In the old days of mah jongg — in the 1920s, when the game became a craze in the United States, not when it originated in China centuries ago — the pastime was often used as a fundraiser by Jewish women, who quickly embraced the game.

On Sunday, the game returned to its roots.

Photos By Michael Datikash

A New Brazilian Beat

Travel Writer

There may be no more dramatic landscape than the sculptural green mountains curving majestically around the sparkling bays of Rio de Janeiro. And there may be no better time to finally see this glorious city than in the months after February’s Carnival celebration, when prices drop and crowds are pleasantly thin along the fabled beaches.

Rio’s famous Copacabana beach. The city’s new energy is most apparent along its legendary waterfront. Hilary Larson

Israel And Arab Democracy


For Israel and its supporters, the situation playing out in Egypt is cause for concern, despite the yearnings of those in the streets of Cairo for a more democratic form of government. The prospect of the Muslim Brotherhood gaining a foothold in a new Egyptian government is, understandably, rattling nerves in Israel. For a perspective on the issues, The Jewish Week spoke to Shoshana Bryen, senior director for security policy a the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).

Q: Is Arab democracy a threat to Israel?

Arab democracy is an immediate threat to Israel, but perhaps not in the long run, says security expert Shoshana Bryen.

What Is Zionism? Young Professionals Paint a Varied Picture

The Jewish Week's Aaron Herman checks out the Taking  Back Zionism event in in New York City, with over 1,000 young Jewish professionals showing their love and support for Israel. The event was sponsored by the Birthright Israel Alumni Community.


Alt Break New Orleans: Not So Big, Not So Easy.

Special to the Jewish Week

When one mentions New Orleans to anyone who has been there, they generally respond with stupor-induced memories of the French Quarter and vague recollections of jazz.

Alex Rubin
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