First Person

My 15 Minutes With Steve Lawrence

11/22/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Two years out of college, I was on my third office job, in the fundraising department at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.

I was the only religious girl there, the one with the long sleeves and calf-length skirts, the one who mumbled blessings under her breath, the girl who didn’t flirt with anyone. Not that anyone tried to flirt with me. The Israelis had written me off as Other — that religious American who’d moved to Israel a few years ago. Anyway, the secretaries had little status in the hospital hierarchy. People’s eyes glazed over me.

Ruchama King Feuerman

A Persian-American Thanksgiving

11/15/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Thanksgiving Day always brings Bibi to mind. Bibi, which in Farsi means Grandma, was what my children and all her other grandchildren called my mother. She would buy the very largest turkey she could find, tightly stuff it with saffroned Persian rice, bake endless apple pies and always made sure there were grilled corn-on-the cob, bountiful bowls of jumbo sweet potatoes and even cranberry sauce, which was placed smack in the center of the table. Cranberry sauce was totally unappealing to our Persian palettes and every year was left untouched.

Saffron rice and cranberry sauce: The author’s mother and father.

The Most ‘Inappropriate’ Sukkah

10/11/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

By any reasonable criterion, our sukkah is problematic. It’s weird looking, for one thing. A pre-fab thingamabobby of aluminum tubes, bungee cords and army-green canvas, it couldn’t be more unlike its surroundings, which are some lovely old cottages in the woods. It looks like Buckminster Fuller went to work on an architectural experiment in the middle of an English forest, then wandered off before he was done.

Judith Shulevitz

The Winter Of Her Content

09/13/2011
Staff Writer

I never remember the names of the patients into whose rooms I step to blow the shofar every Rosh HaShanah in Lutheran Medical Center, an unpretentious hospital in Sunset Park, Brooklyn’s working-class neighborhood that borders on the Gowanus Canal. I routinely introduce myself to the patient, the surrounding kin or friends, the attending physicians or nurses, the infirm in the next bed; I simply say I am here to blow the shofar for the New Year, ask if they would like to hear it, quickly put the ram’s horn to my lips.

shofar

9/11 And The Kindness Of Strangers

09/06/2011
Israel Correspondent

On Sept. 11, as I watched a plane hit the World Trade Center’s South Tower, my first thoughts were for my loved ones, who live and work in New York, and for the people stuck in the buildings.

Stunned by the extent of the tragedy, only later did I call my travel agent to see whether the flight my husband and I were scheduled to fly on two days later had been cancelled.

Michele Chabin

A Chassidic Approach to Spiritual Materialism And Ethical Consumption

09/02/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

One of the primary areas in daily life where I strive for piety is in my eating choices. Jewish tradition is rich with wisdom pertinent to our greatest moral problems related to food consumption today: hunger, just labor practices, treatment of animals, fair trade, environmental impact, and access to healthy food options. I have become more interested in exploring the degree to which the lifestyles advised in Chassidic thought can assist the moral life choices of one seeking to eat and consume more justly.

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

Berlin’s Old/New Reality

08/16/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

When I agreed to teach Jewish law at Humboldt University in Berlin — the only European law school to offer such a course — I assumed I could be reasonable and objective about Germany. I was naïve. No American, certainly no Jew, comes to Germany clean. There are too many memories, too many inherited cultural images and prejudices.

Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard

On Shabbos, The New Labor Pains

07/26/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Recently, my 20-month-old son asked for cookies for breakfast. “No,” I said, “it’s not time for cookies.” “Yeah,” he agreed. “It’s Shabbat.” (It was in fact, a Tuesday). How had he concluded — already (!!!) — that Shabbat was a day of no? I had felt relatively comfortable that Shabbat in our house was more a day of togetherness and play. But once again, he knew better.

Talia R. Cohen

Farewell, Stories

07/12/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

I have been a little blue lately, and it’s embarrassing to admit why. I am mourning the end of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”

Debra Orenstein

The Jewish Heart Of A Navy Man

06/14/2011
Jewish Week Book Critic

I was born on Father’s Day. Many times over the years, we celebrated my father’s day and my day as one. But this year is different: our day falls just after I finish saying Kaddish for my father.

Jack Brawarsky in uniform during WWII, above, and in the 1990s.
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