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.

URJ Biennial Recap – Day 5: "Hineni"

12/18/2011 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Is it really over already? We spend two years looking forward to each Union for Reform Judaism Biennial, only to have the five days of learning, singing, laughing, and praying go by much too quickly. Many of my friends and colleagues liken the feeling to our sadness leaving overnight camp at the end of each summer – we miss it immediately, and can’t wait for the next time that we are all together again.

Rabbi Bellows is rabbi of Temple B'nai Torah in Wantagh. A graduate of Brandeis University, she was ordained by HUC-JIR in 2004.

URJ Biennial Recap Days 3 and 4: "A Shabbat Of Wholeness"

12/17/2011 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

I’ve had some incredible Shabbat experiences in my lifetime thus far…but this past Friday and Saturday have won the prize for best ever. Biennial attendees woke up Friday morning, and most of us only thought about one word: “Obama.” Yes, friends, President Barack Obama was going to be paying us all a visit at the 71st URJ Biennial here in Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

Chocolate Cinnamon Bundt Cake

Whip up a fantastic dessert in 10 minutes
12/15/2011 - 19:00
Online Jewish Week Columnist

I don't know about you but I'm often... fairly short on time. And as much as I love to bake, sometimes it has to take a backseat to work, class and whatever else life throws my way. But even when sleep is in short supply and my to do list is a mile long - and the only things crossed off are the ones I put on there after already finishing - there are quick and simple desserts I can make that still bring a wow factor.

Chocolate Cinnamon Bundt Cake. Photo by Amy Spiro

Chanukah: Minor Festival, Major Message

12/14/2011 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Just a few weeks ago, I wrote a piece for this paper about Pilgrims and Native Americans.  It spoke of how the legacy of the Thanksgiving story often falls prey to deconstructionists, who value historical truth over cultural myth at all cost. Rather than have children- and, for that matter, adults- celebrate a cherished American belief in a common appreciation of blessings, they would argue that historical reality in all of its messiness- or at least, the probability of its being reality- must trump exercises in feel-good nostalgia rooted in legend.

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

From Pulpit Rabbi To Navy Chaplain

12/12/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Rabbi Emily Rosenzweig of Mt. Vernon was sworn in here this week by the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council as a military chaplain, becoming the first woman rabbi from New York to serve in that capacity.

Ordained in 2006 by the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles, Rabbi Rosenzweig is now one of nine women rabbis — plus another 60 male rabbis — serving as chaplains in the armed forces, according to the JWB.

Rabbi Emily Rosenzweig is the first woman rabbi from New York to serve as a military chaplain.

A Magic Time In Orlando

12/12/2011 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Fifty Jewish kids with cancer spent a few days in Orlando, Fla., last week under the auspices of Brooklyn-based Ohr Meir (ohrmeir.org), an 18-year-old organization named for Meir Friedman, a child who lost his life to leukemia. Ohr is Hebrew for “light.”

But last week’s trip could be called Ohr Mickey. As in Mickey Mouse.

Photo By Benji Weintraub

Leading By Example

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

She’s not a rabbi. She has no plans to become one. She sees herself more as a teacher than a trailblazer. And yet, Adena K. Berkowitz — who at 52 is an Orthodox mother of five, a scholar of bio-ethics, a lawyer and an instructor of liturgy, to name a few of her many roles — quietly added an intriguing new hat to her collection three years ago, one that places her among a small group of pioneers: spiritual leader of an Orthodox congregation. 

Orthodox pioneer Adena Berkowitz wear many hats — attorney, teacher, “scholar-in-residence” at congregation she founded.
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