Zamir Lifts Women’s Voices

Special to the Jewish Week

To be a Jewish musician is easy, says Matthew Lazar, but to be a Jew and a musician is sometimes difficult

Nevertheless he has overcome many hurdles over the years as he guided the world-renowned coeducational Zamir Chorale as its director and conductor — in an age when modern Orthodox Jewish sensibilities shifted fundamentally to the right.

Zamir Chorale was founded by Stanley Sperber in 1960. He made aliya in 1972 and passed the baton to Lazar.

Theodore Bikel presents talit to Matthew Lazar at Zamir gala. Photo by Tim Boxer

How Jonathan met Lainee

Special to the Jewish Week

Jonathan was simply looking for a weekend away. Lainee was somewhat reluctant, thinking, “These men—none of them are serious!” Yet both took a chance and went to a 2008 Memorial Day singles weekend at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires.

Neither Lainee nor Jonathan had been married before. Both dated a lot, always looking for the right person. “But we never gave up,” says Lainee.

Lainee Cohen and Jonathan Grauman

Apple Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Meringue

Editorial Assistant

Summer is undoubtedly the best season for fruit desserts. Crumbles, cobblers, pies, buckles, made with the best peaches, strawberries and raspberries of the crop. But fall is still a great baking season, with apples, pears, squash and pumpkins overflowing in every market.

To Gift or Not To Gift, That is the Question

Special to the Jewish Week

Q.  My daughter’s bat mitzvah will occur next December, and she is currently in 6th grade. Parents are encouraged to invite the entire Hebrew School class, but because the synagogue office has been giving out addresses by calendar year and not by grade, she is already getting a number of invitations from 7th graders whom she doesn’t know.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Picking the Right Fights

Special to the Jewish Week

By sheer coincidence, people from very different times and circumstances in my life have asked me this past week how it is that I have managed to stay the rabbi of the same synagogue for thirty years. It is more than a little unusual, I do admit. Most rabbis- and clergy in general- tend to move around at least once or twice in their career. Every time I speak about my rabbinic career in Forest Hills, I hasten to add how fortunate both I and my family have been to be so rooted in one place- one very fine community.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Your Laptop or Your Life?

Special to the Jewish Week

What you are about to read may contain graphic descriptions and disturbing recommendations. Reader discretion is advised.

Within 90 seconds of entering my hotel room at the Baltimore Hilton for the 2010 Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) Conference, I realized that something was wrong: my laptop was missing.

Deborah Grayson Riegel

Joe Stein On The Great White Way

Special to the Jewish Week

Playwright Joseph Stein, who died at age 98 on Oct. 24 in Manhattan, was an original member of Minyan of the Stars. The organization encouraged show business personalities to celebrate Jewish holidays and traditions.

One of the first gatherings took place at Stein’s home on Park Avenue. It was Chanukah 1990. Lou Jacobi looked around and exclaimed, “We have show people here, even a scout from MGM. MGM—My Gantze Mishpocha [my whole family]!”

Joseph Stein and wife Elisa

France’s Honorable Agent


Before Georges Borchardt could become a New York literary agent, he had to become a New Yorker. And learn English.

Though he now represents Elie Wiesel and Ian McEwan as well as the estates of Hannah Arendt and Samuel Beckett, Borchardt was born in Berlin in 1928 and spent his childhood in Paris. His mother was killed in Auschwitz, and many other family members died in concentration camps. To survive, Borchardt went into hiding at a school in Aix-en-Provence, while his sisters worked at an American field hospital there.

Literary agent Georges Borchardt, center, at Legion of Honor ceremony. Left Antonin Baudry; Right former French Culture Minister

A Defeat For Iran — Certified By Guinness


If someone in Israel were to ask why this knight was not like all other knights last week, the answer was simple: the knights of Alik Gershon, a Ukrainian-born grandmaster chess player, were joined over 18 hours by hundreds of fellow chess pieces. Including 1,050 other knights, 525 kings and 4,200 pawns.

Photo By Getty Images

Down Home And High-Toned

Travel Writer

‘Austin is so much fun,” everybody tells you when you say you’re thinking of visiting. And you know what? They’re right.

Many of us from parts East have a sort of love-hate relationship with the whole idea of Texas. The cowboy stuff seems hokey, but secretly we think line dancing looks like fun. (It is.) The gun stuff scares us, but the Western culture is refreshingly singular amid a vast, anodyne heartland of strip malls and chain stores.

Austin’s skyline as seen from the Colorado River, top. Above, the scene at the Galaxy Room on Sixth Street.
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