The Long And The Short Of Conversation

Special To The Jewish Week

Thousands of years from now, what will human conversation look like? Like the Talmud? A version of Wikipedia?

Last weekend I participated in two fascinating conversations that got me thinking about the future of conversation, and how both new technology and old Jewish ideas might give us a clue.

Daniel Schifrin

An American Abroad: Sure, Look Like A Tourist

Travel Writer

One of the most universal concerns of tourists is, paradoxically, how not to look like a tourist.

Think for a minute about the fundamental absurdity. Does a student take pains to cover up his notebook and backpack, lest he be identified as such? Does the plumber sidle into your building in a tuxedo, the better to avoid detection?

Americans in Paris

Unpacking the Ecosystem of Digital Media in Jewish Education

Aaron Herman attends the Unpacking the Ecosystem of Digital Media in Jewish Education conference in New York City, which brought together funders, educators and developers to  discuss technology and Jewish education.

ADL Honors Rupert Murdoch

Special to the Jewish Week

Harvey Weinstein, who produces thought provoking films, called Rupert Murdoch a great innovator for taking the Wall Street Journal in an age when all newspaper circulation has been spiraling downward and making it “the greatest newspaper in the nation.”

When Murdoch visited the paper the first day, Weinstein said, every employee was polite and quiet. “Is this a newsroom?” the new boss asked. “Looks more like a morgue.”

“Boy, has he changed that!” Weinstein said.

Roger Ailes, Liz Claman and Abe Foxman at ADL dinner for Rupert Murdoch. Photo by Tim Boxer

That Old "Can't Do" Spirit Part 2

Special to the Jewish Week

I don't take out the garbage. I just don't.

Could I? Physically, yes. While you might not be able to see my biceps from afar (or, sadly, even from a-near), I am capable of lifting the bag from the can, walking it down the hall, and taking it outside to our garbage bins.

Deborah Grayson Riegel

Thoughts on the Chilean Miners

Special to the Jewish Week

Other than the man whose mistress showed up to greet him but not his wife (ouch!), there seems to be no component of the story of the rescued Chilean miners that is not magical, if not miraculous. It is a beautiful example of the triumph of the human spirit, and of the refusal to fail, to paraphrase the oft quoted phrase of the NASA flight director for Apollo 13.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Building Buildings, Creating Safe Environments

Special to the Jewish Week

The Jewish campus community continues to address the emotional and spiritual needs of students on campus in the wake of the suicide of Tyler Clementi at Rutgers. Hillels are taking the lead in creating accepting environments for students of all sexual preferences.

Meira Kirschbaum

Pro-Israel In Italy


In Jewish lore, Hadrian, a Roman emperor 20 centuries ago, was bad news. He built a large temple to the goddess Venus in Jerusalem, and another one dedicated to the worship of Jupiter on the ruins of the destroyed Second Temple. He abolished circumcision and brutally quashed the Bar Kochba revolt, continuing to persecute Jews and Judaism.

Last week the name Hadrian was good news.

Photo By Getty Images

Missing Person Alert: Search for Steven Mayer

The search continues for Steven Mayer, who has  been spotted in the areas around Long Beach, West Hempstead and Franklin Square, NY. He appears to be confused and his family fears that his confusion may be increasing. The public is asked to provide assistance if he is seen and contact local authorities.

New Face Of (Liberal) Jewish Women


The National Council for Jewish Women ended its 10-month search for a new chief executive officer last week, as the group announced Nancy K. Kaufman as its new leader. Kaufman, who will replace Stacy Kass, served as the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council in Boston for the past 20 years, and in Gov. Michael Dukakis’ administration in the 1980s. The NCJW has a long history of supporting liberal public policy issues, including reproductive choice, health reform and welfare benefits.

NCJW’s new CEO Nancy Kaufman: Women need “powerful voice” on economic justice issues.
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