My Lunch Breaks With Joe

12/26/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

“Can I feed you?” he asked Joe, impatiently holding lunch and duly aware of the onlooker.

“Get the hell out of here!” Joe snarled, his face red. “You can tell the principal, damn it! Didn’t ask my sister for permission. Son-of-a-bitch,” Joe muttered under his breath.

Joe’s caretaker, Steve, waited for Joe to calm down. He then asked, “Would you like Avram to feed you?” pointing to me. “Of course I want him to feed me!” Joe shouted. “What do you think this is, a chicken coop?”

Avram Mlotek

Tim Boxer At YU Convocation

12/25/2011 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, keynote speaker at Yeshiva University’s 87th annual Hanukkah convocation at the Waldorf-Astoria, was impressed how the university’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) engages in the spirit of tikkun olam.

She said graduate Josh Teitcher spent a summer in Israel with Counterpoint Israel—a CJF initiative for students to help local youth connect to Jewish values—and changed the life one young boy named Yitzchak.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and YU President Richard Joel at YU Convocation.

Zucchini Latkes

Celebrate Chanukah with these low-carb treats
12/21/2011 - 19:00
Online Jewish Week Columnist

Chanukah Sameach! Here in Israel, Chanukah is - obviously - celebrated in a big way. Almost every storefront, restaurant and shop displays a menorah in the window, every bakery, coffee shop and restaurant sells sufganiyot and many add latkes to the menu for the eight-day holiday.

Zucchini Latkes. Photo by Amy Spiro

Religious Zealotry, Then and Now

12/21/2011 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

I love Chanukah.  I love the fact that it gives us a reason to celebrate when the days are dark and (relatively) cold, and to light a light against the darkness.  Last but most certainly not least, Chanukah also reminds us of the power of faith in God, and in the rightness of our cause, to carry us to victory in times of trouble, even against insurmountable odds.

This year, however, as we celebrate the ancient victory of the Maccabees, I am deeply concerned. 


J-Care and Project Ezra Hanukkah Package Delivery

Birthright Israel alumni deliver food packages and Chanukah cheer to elderly residents of the Lower East Side.

Interfaith, Inter-species Blessings

12/19/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Rabbi Peter Rubinstein, senior spiritual leader of Manhattan’s Central Synagogue, has blessed uncounted congregants during his decades as a pulpit rabbi.

One recent afternoon he had the chance — for the first time — to bless some dogs and cats. And other animals.

Rabbi Rubinstein lent an interfaith aspect to the annual Blessing of the Animals at Christ Church on the East Side, sponsored by the ASPCA, Live Oak Bank and newspaper columnist/animal lover Cindy Adams.

Photo By Getty Images

The Gift and Fear of Having Healthy Parents

12/19/2011 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist


When my mother- and father-in-law brought up the subject of taking a family vacation over the winter school break, my husband Michael and I weren’t surprised. We have come to expect that we will be invited to join my in-laws someplace warm and tropical, where the only rule is that if you want a strawberry daiquiri, you have to swim up to the swim-up bar to get it yourself so that you get a little exercise.

Deborah Grayson Riegel

Kids And Kindles

12/19/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

At a recent program at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center on the new digital landscape, a rabbi and three prominent writers debated whether our current “Digital Overload” — as the panel was titled — is leading to a more interesting cultural environment for our children, or whether we are going down a rabbit hole of apocalyptic distraction. Unsurprisingly, no answer was declared. But the conversation was notable for several reasons.

Daniel Schifrin

‘Chump’ Change? Tuition Blogger Claims Victory

12/19/2011 - 19:00
Associate Editor

Since May 2010, “$200K Chump,” who claims to be “an average full tuition paying parent at one of the local Bergen County yeshiva day schools,” has been sparking lively, often heated, exchanges on his “Bergen County Yeshiva Tuition” blog.

This controversial blog host closely guarded his anonymity.
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