Features

Plaudits for Open University

12/13/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

There was an excessive amount of praise between the military and civilians at a gala dinner on Dec. 13 at The Plaza for the American Friends of the Open University of Israel.

Upon receiving the organization’s Yigal Alon Award, Gen. (ret.) Shaul Mofaz earned the admiration of the gold-plated audience for his accomplishments in the IDF and current service in the Knesset.

Mofaz turned to Ingeborg Rennert, president of the American Friends, and declared, “As an old soldier I salute you for your support of one of the best educational systems in Israel.”

Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert at Open University of Israel gala at The Plaza. Photo by Tim Boxer

A Record-Setting Chanukah

12/07/2010

Throughout Jewish history various numbers have played important symbolic roles — the Three Patriarchs, the Four Matriarchs, the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, and so on.

The big numbers this week were 618 and 2,197,813.

Those are, respectively, the numbers of people who took part in a dreidel-spinning event at Yeshiva University that set a Guinness-certified world record, and the number of times a Chanukah video by the school’s Maccabeats a capella group was viewed on YouTube since it was posted last month.

Photo by Yeshiva University,

From Catholic Childhood To Jewish Leadership

12/07/2010

Angelica Berrie, a New Jersey-based businesswoman and philanthropist, was honored recently by the Nadav Foundation with its annual Jewish Peoplehood Award for “promoting dialogue between Jews of different backgrounds.” Founded in 2003 by Leonid Nevzlin, the foundation is a major force behind the effort to revive and rebuild Bet Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, in Tel Aviv.

Angelica Berrie: “As Israel becomes more secular, we need to develop that sense of Jewish identity.”

White Sands, High Waves

12/07/2010
Travel Writer

A scantily clothed man sprints along the shore, fire blazing from the stick in his hand. As he pauses to light each of dozens of torches, the sound of ukuleles wafts from a hotel patio, and the flickering fires cast a shimmering golden glow across the lapping waves.

Waikiki Beach with the Diamond Head promontory in the distance. Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson

When Santa Comes To Town

12/07/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

My 3-year-old nephew, his voice raspy from a recent cold, has been directing a long-winded narrative my way. I catch only a few words, but they startle me: Santa will be sliding down chimneys, and then there will be presents.

“Oh really?” I say, my eyebrows rising, inwardly vowing to speak with my sister.

Elicia Brown

Mike Huckabee At Bet El Dinner

12/06/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee got a standing ovation when Dr. Joseph Frager introduced him at the 28th annual dinner of American Friends of Bet El Yeshiva Center on Dec. 5.

“I’ve never had that kind of reception from Baptists, so I am very glad to be here,” the former Baptist minister, Arkansas governor and presidential aspirant said.

“I think Joe announced my candidacy for president. Thank you Joe, but I’m not yet ready to do so.”

Rabbi Dr. Richard Weiss, wife Sandy and daughter Eliana with Mike Huckabee and Eugen Gluck at a Bet El dinner. Photo by Tim Boxe

How Marvin met Oshrat

12/05/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

“As soon as I saw Marvin, I liked him,” says Oshrat Kidron of Petah Tikva. She liked his look – a baseball cap with a skull cap underneath. Marvin's attentions were on someone else. When Oshrat asked for his phone number, he replied: “I lost my phone.”

She didn't think he was telling the truth (he was).

Oshrat Kidron and Marvin Casey

Chanukah in West Hempstead; Music by Blackout

 Chabad of West Hempstead held its annual menorah lighting and concert at Hall's Pond on Dec. 2, 2010, featuring the local band Blackout, playing Chanukah favorite pop tunes.

Chanukah at the White House: Timely Reminder of Why America is Special

12/03/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

In addition to serving as the rabbi of The Forest Hills Jewish Center- a position I have held for thirty years- I also currently serve as Vice-President of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international organization of Conservative rabbis. With some sixteen hundred members world-wide, the RA, as it is known, is a respected and important player on the American Jewish scene and around the world.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Curried Sweet Potato Latkes

A South Asian twist on the classic Chanukah treat.

12/03/2010
Editorial Assistant

I love the classic potato latke. It might be one of my favorite foods of all time. And as the old saying goes – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So I prefer to think of this as a completely different dish, a way to try out new flavors and combinations – after you’ve already had your fill of the traditional potato pancake.

Curried Sweet Potato Latkes. Photo by Amy Spiro
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