Features

The Other Córdoba

04/05/2016 - 16:17
Travel Writer

One of my former professors of Spanish literature used to say he was from “the other Córdoba,” since that name evokes, for many people, a city in Andalusia, Spain.

Plaza San Martin, Cordoba.Flickr

Some Morsels Of Insight Into Jewish Life, Culture

04/05/2016 - 16:01
Staff Writer

Over the last decade, author-translator Michael Wex has become the public voice of Yiddish culture — especially for the non-Yiddish-speaking public. A native of Canada’s Alberta province and a longtime native of Toronto, he has written a series of best-selling nonfiction books (in addition to a few novels; he also does songwriting and lecturing) that explain the Jewish language and Jewish way of life in a knowing, usually humorous tone. The nonfiction list includes three books: “Born to Kvetch,” “Just Say Nu” and “How to Be a Mentsh (and Not a Shmuck)”

Wex’s newest book, due out April 12, is about food. “Rhapsody in Schmaltz” (St. Martin’s Press) looks at Jewish culture through a gastronomic lens, covering such subjects as kosher laws and halachic practices, Jewish history and the way Jews are represented in television and film. Wex recently discussed these topics with The Jewish Week. This is an edited transcript. 

Michael Wex’s new book is about “the food that people who speak Yiddish eat.”

Mother Lodes

04/05/2016 - 13:19
Special To The Jewish Week

It may be said that there are two constants in Jewish life: death and laughter. Three actually: death, laughter and tsuris. Oh, and family.

George Robinson

Decades After The Amia Bombing, Still Searching For Justice

04/04/2016 - 12:12

For the third time in the past five years I found myself back this week in Buenos Aires, on business for the Rabbinical Assembly. I came to spend time with my colleagues in the Latin American region of the Rabbinical Assembly, a connection that was created during my presidency of the RA, and also to work with the leadership of the Seminario Rabbinico Latino Americano, the Jewish Theological Seminary's sister seminary in Argentina. The Seminario was founded by the late, great Rabbi Marshal Meyer, groundbreaking rabbi and champion of human rights and social justice in Argentina during the worst years of the Junta. Almost all of my Latin American colleagues studied for the rabbinate at the Seminario.

Courtesy Gerald C. Skolnik

How Leon Charney Outsmarted Sinatra

03/29/2016 - 12:04
Special To The Jewish Week

In 1976 New York Post gossip columnist Earl Wilson was running scared. His tell-all book, “Sinatra: An Unauthorized Biography,” enraged Ol’ Blue Eyes. No surprise there. The volatile crooner, known for his combativeness with photographers and reporters, called the book “false, fictionalized, boring and uninteresting” and instructed his lawyer to sue Wilson for $3 million.

Tzili and Leon Charney. Tim Boxer/JW

A Macedonian Revival

03/29/2016 - 13:39
Travel Writer

The most amazing thing about Skopje’s crumbling medieval fortress is not its stunning view over the city, or its complex history. The most amazing thing is that it survived at all.

The National Archeological Museum of Macedonia in Skopje, part of the city’s makeover. Wikimedia Commons

How To Make Israel Relevant

03/29/2016 - 13:12
Editor and Publisher

After a long, distinguished career in advertising, Marcella Rosen has been using her professional savvy to launch several initiatives in support of Israel. In 2002, she established the Campus Tolerance Foundation, researching and exposing anti-Israel bias in higher education. In 2010 she founded Untold News, highlighting inventions out of Israel. In 2013 she wrote and published “Tiny Dynamo,” describing more than 20 Israeli innovative projects. Now she is focused on a media campaign, through Untold News, called #IsraelIsOnIt (israelisonit.com), featuring timely, pithy advertising messages that promote ways Israeli efforts are benefiting everyone.

Untold News founder Marcella Rosen: Many young people “have grown up only hearing bad new about Israel.” Marcella Rosen

Return Trip

03/29/2016 - 09:56
Travel Writer

Don’t look backward. 

That’s my advice for all the nostalgists who long to return to the scene of an early, life-changing overseas adventure. That first whiff of exoticism, the shivery thrill of unfamiliar smells and foreign accents, the picturesque dilapidation of the Old World — all of it intoxicates in a way no successive trip will.

And should there be a successive trip, disappointment is all but inevitable.

Return visitors to Israel, or anywhere else, will enjoy sights, like the Design Museum in Holon. Flickr

A Mother Mourns Her Daughter The Pilot

03/24/2016 - 16:15
Special To The Jewish Week

As a child Tamar Ariel was always on the go. She walked at 10 months, rode around on bicycles, climbed trees and rollerbladed around the neighborhood. Soon she was running races and zooming off on motorcycles. Being a religious girl in Israel, she completed her two-year national service, then decided to do more for her country.

Anat Ariel memorializes her daughter the pilot. Shahar Azran

On AIPAC: The Struggle To Be Non-Partisan In A Hyper-Partisan Time

03/24/2016 - 12:17

For an organization that prides itself on nurturing bi-partisan support for the State of Israel in the halls of Congress, AIPAC has somehow managed, for the second year in a row, to be at the epicenter of a firestorm that is all about partisanship. To be sure, that is not the story that it wanted to come out of its just-concluded annual Policy Conference in Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik
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