Features

The Imperative of Empathy

04/28/2016 - 11:23

Every year, as Passover arrives and I review the Haggadah in advance of yet another set of Seders, I struggle with the true significance of this holiday. This year was no different… just more so.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Tips For The Campus Bound

04/26/2016 - 12:00
Travel Writer

The summer I was 16, my parents made the classic mistake of organizing a college tour when school was out of session. Devoid of regular, academic-year activity, the dozen or so Northeastern campuses were a pleasant blur of ivy-clad brick walls, Greek columns, and tour guides walking backwards — all more alike, alas, than they were different.

Students on a college tour, a spring ritual for many families. Photos by Wikimedia Commons

The Holy Man Of Auschwitz

04/26/2016 - 11:37
Special To The Jewish Week

Dr. Nicolai Sebastian and I met in Auschwitz when I was brought to his miniature “operating room” (originally a broom storage area at the end of our barrack), where a slotted bench served as an operating table.

Menachem Warshawski

Competing For Jews ‘I Have More Jews Than You’

04/20/2016 - 10:56
Special To The Jewish Week

On his two-day visit to Israel in October, New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio met face to face with the mayors of Israel’s two largest cities. He looked them both in the eye and bragged, “My Jewish population is bigger than yours.” In fact, he noted, New York has the biggest Jewish community in the world.

Ido Aharoni, Michael Miller and Mayor Bill De Blasio. Courtesy of JCRC

From Israel, Aiding Syrian Refugees

04/19/2016 - 16:32

Navonel Glick is the chief operating officer of IsraAid, an Israeli-based aid agency that provides disaster-response to major humanitarian crises worldwide and assists in international development. It is now assisting refugees fleeing war-ravaged Syria.

Glick, who has dual Israeli-Canadian citizenship, served for three years as the group’s program director, leading the group’s Israeli Arab and Jewish aid workers on disaster-response missions to such places as the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, Sierra Leone after the Ebola outbreak, and Northern Iraq after the emergence of Islamic State. We caught up with him by phone last week.

Navonel Glick, center with glasses, has coordinated IsraAid disaster-response projects around the world. Courtesy of IsraAid

Men In Black

04/19/2016 - 15:27
Special To The Jewish Week

Several years ago, on a bus ride across Iowa on my way to giving a lecture at a university, I noticed a tall man in the seat behind me; he had a craggy face, long beard, black hat, and glossy black coat.

Ted Merwin

Land Of The Lingonberries

Midsummer is coming! There may be no better place to celebrate the warm-weather solstice than in Sweden.

04/19/2016 - 12:46
Travel Writer

Midsummer is coming! There may be no better place to celebrate the warm-weather solstice than in Sweden, where the longest, sunniest days of the year are cause for weeklong festivities. Aquavit is drunk, toasted, and drunk some more; families pack up for the country’s many beaches. If you find yourself in the land of Ikea this summer, make like the Swedish royals and head to Småland, a region of thick forests, crystalline lakes and idyllic beaches in the country’s southeast.

A typical scene in rural Småland. Wikimedia Commons

Moses, The Reluctant Leader

04/14/2016 - 11:27
Special To The Jewish Week

The endless volume of visual images and audio clips that are a part of our daily reality in a modern political season make it virtually impossible that a non-mediagenic personality could ever be elected to the high office of the presidency. It is sad but true that looks, charisma, and the ability to raise huge amounts of money matter at least as much in politics these days as do thoughtfulness and ideas, much less personal integrity. A seasoned, knowledgeable, and reflective candidate of either major political party will not necessarily see those qualities translate into votes, or allegiance. If you’re going to prevail in today’s political climate, you pretty much need to have a larger-than-life personality, and a more-than-healthy sense of self and self-importance. You have to have what to sell, and you have to be comfortable selling it– relentlessly.

What makes a good leader? Getty Images

Bauhaus And Beer Tours, Anyone?

04/12/2016 - 15:57
Travel Writer

This modernist apartment building in Tel Aviv is part of architectural tour of the city. Ross Belfer

Are you interested in the Tel Aviv art market, but unsure which galleries to explore? Heard about the city’s nightlife scene and wish you knew a local to take you somewhere cool? Find yourself in Israel on business or for the 14th time, wondering what could make this trip memorable?

Tel Aviv, a city with intoxicating energy and industry, plus incredible architecture. Ross Belfer

Keeping The Kids Connected At The Seder

04/12/2016 - 13:28
Staf Writer

Rabbi Paul Kipnes, spiritual leader of Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, Calif., and his wife, Michelle November, a high school admissions officer and former national college director of the Union for Reform Judaism, are authors of a new book, “Jewish Spiritual Parenting: Wisdom, Activities, Rituals and Prayers for Raising Children with Spiritual Balance and Emotional Wholeness” (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Paul Kipnes and Michelle November.
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