Aging Grace

Special To The Jewish Week

On a chilly spring morning, I faced my grandmother’s grave for a second time, there to mark the ritual unveiling of her tombstone. My grandmother, a woman of good cheer and many years, seemed to hover about the small gathering, lending the day a bittersweet spirit. 

But what I remember distinctly about that morning of mourning, is not just the moment when my 8-year-old daughter Talia and I huddled together and blinked back tears as we stared at the gravestone. What I also recall is the other goodbye. 

How Sharon met Hila

Special to the Jewish Week

Hila never thought she would marry a short guy. Sharon never thought he would marry a tall girl. Never say never.

Sharon Daniel loved his medical school studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, but he had other interests as well. In the fall of 2008, he enrolled in a pottery class. “For three hours a week, I was in another world,” says Sharon.

Hila Patchi and Sharon Daniel

'Date My Jewish Friend' in NYC

Michelle Slonim has been throwing 'Date My Jewish Friends'  Parties trying to make love connection. Michelle has been in plays such as Jewtopia and Sex and the Holyland. She has combined her passion for Jewish plays and dating events.

The Date My Jewish Friend parties benefit the upcoming production of her play  Michelle Slonim's Date Party scheduled for the spring 2011.The next DMJF party is scheduled for August 17 at Stand Up NY.


Summer Interns in Chicago: Building a Community and Jewish Identity

Special to the Jewish Week

The 2010-2011 school year is likely to be a busy one for pro-Israel advocates on college campuses across North America. Jessica Ost, a rising junior at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, is spending her summer vacation preparing for the battles ahead.

Jessica is working with the Chicago Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), where she is learning Israel advocacy as well as other issues related to the Jewish community as part of the Harriet and Maurice Lewis Family Summer Intern Program, a project of Hillels of Illinois.

2010 participants in the Lewis Family Summer Intern Program

At Tel Aviv Museum Dinner Susan Asks Martin For Jewelry

Special to the Jewish Week

Susan Sanders, co-chairman with her husband Martin of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art gala dinner at the Metropolitan Club, looked lovingly at her husband as she recited from the Book of Ruth:

“Where you go I will go, where you live I will live, your people are my people, your God is my God, and where you die I will die.”

“After that,” Martin exclaimed, “the only thing I can do is go to heaven!”

“No!” Susan shrieked. “First buy me some jewelry!”

Martin and Susan Sanders at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art dinner at the Metropolitan Club. Photo by Tim Boxer

Does Silence Signal Agreement? The Limits of Self Restraint

Special to the Jewish Week

In the Babylonian Talmud, the ancient rabbis taught that silence, while a sign of humility and often wisdom, can also have a darker side. Sh’tika k’hoda’ah damei, they said. Remaining silent can, in the wrong circumstance, indicate your agreement with or surrender to what has been said. Silence can be a two-faced sword.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that ancient teaching lately.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Andrew Tabler on Syrian Secularism

Syrian Secularism? Analyst Andrew Tabler discusses the complex relations between the craftily secular Syrian state and its Sunni Muslim majority.

Jewish-Muslim Friendship Bus: Preaching Coexistence In France


Another summer, another chance to take Jewish-Islamic dialogue on the road in France.

This time, the road is Route E 54, headed southeast from Paris toward Besancon.

A unique experiment in interfaith dialogue recently pulled into the city in eastern France with its message of trust and tolerance.

The Jewish-Muslim Friendship Bus, a five-year-old project of a French Jewish-Muslim Friendship group known as AJMF, travels the country each summer, preaching coexistence to members of the religious communities that have been riven by violence and hatred in recent years.

Photo By Sue Fishkoff/JTA

Jewish Loan Group: Micro-Lending For 120 Years


The Hebrew Free Loan Society, which was formed in 1892 to assist indigent Jewish immigrants here, marked a milestone recently — it has provided more than $220 million in interest-free loans, on a nonsectarian basis, to more than 865,000 borrowers. In the last fiscal year, the total was almost $11.5 million, to over 1,430 borrowers. The default rate, even during the current recession, remains below 1 percent. Executive Director Shana Novick, a former Park Avenue attorney and resident counsel at the Ford Foundation who joined HFLS in 1995, talks about the Society’s work.

Hebrew Free Loan’s Shana Novick: Helping city’s most vulnerable Jews.

High Culture In The Hills

Travel Writer

If you prefer the strains of Mozart and the strokes of Picasso to the feeling of sand between your toes, head to the Berkshires this summer.

New England’s most storied arts retreat is nestled into the deceptively rural swath along the New York-Massachusetts border, a region named for its lush green mountains. I say deceptive because the bucolic setting, with its fresh breezes and homespun clapboard buildings, has a low-key vibe that belies the intensity of its fine-arts scene. 

Tanglewood, above, is one of the cultural shrines in the Berkshires. Right, Andy Statman headlines Challahpalooza.”
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