The JW Q&A

A weekly interview with notable figures and names in the news.

Weld: Fight Terror As ‘Criminal Conspiracy’

06/21/2016 - 11:51
Staff Writer

William Weld, the Libertarian Party candidate for vice president, is a former two-term Republican governor of Massachusetts who earlier served for seven years as a federal prosecutor. He is running on a ticket headed by Gary Johnson, the former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico. The Jewish Week caught up with him by phone last week a few days after the Orlando terror attack.

William Weld: Sees scenario for his Libertarian Party ticket winning the presidential election.

Assessing The Risks Of Female Suicide Bombers

05/24/2016 - 12:58

Anat Berko is a member of the Knesset from the Likud Party who holds a doctorate in criminology and is a recognized terrorism expert. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had selected her for a Knesset seat in last year’s election, has appointed Berko to head the Knesset’s Subcommittee of Intelligence and Secret Services, which is within the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. She is the first woman to lead the subcommittee, which is the most classified in the government.

Anat Berko: First woman to lead Knesset Subcommittee of Intelligence and Secret Services.

New Program Stresses Global Jewish Life

05/17/2016 - 17:38
Staff Writer

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s leadership training program, Entwine, and Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion have announced a new Fellowship for Global Leaders, open to the school’s rabbinical, cantorial and education students. The program, established by philanthropist Jane Weitzman, a JDC board member, and her husband, shoe designer Stuart Weitzman, will train 15 men and women over the next five years, through a specially developed curriculum and visits to the 70 countries where the JDC operates.
The Jewish Week interviewed Ms. Weitzman by email; this is an edited transcript.

Jane Weitzman: “Global Jewish life … continues to fall below our communal radar.”

For Survivors, Humor As A Form Of Resistance

05/03/2016 - 11:01
Staff Writer

Chaya Ostrower, a senior lecturer in psychology at Israel’s Beit Berl Academic College, is the author of the recent book, “It Kept Us Alive: Humor in the Holocaust” (Yad Vashem), which grew out of her Ph.D. thesis at Tel Aviv University. For the book and the previous Hebrew edition, she spent five years interviewing Holocaust survivors who had found value in using humor as a form of spiritual resistance in ghettos, labor camps and death camps. On the eve of this week’s commemoration of Yom HaShoah, The Jewish Week interviewed Ostrower by email. This is an edited transcript.

Chaya Ostrower: “The interviewees are more now willing to talk, since they know this is their last chance.”

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

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.

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.”

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 (, 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

‘Shifts Taking Place’ In Egypt, Turkey

The executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on his meetings with Erdogan, al-Sisi, and more.

03/15/2016 - 17:20
Staff Writer

Malcolm Hoenlein is the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. He returned recently from the group’s 42nd annual Leadership Mission to Israel, which was attended by more than 100 leaders from the conference’s 53 member organizations. Before the group landed in Israel, some of them visited Turkey and Egypt and met with the leadership of both countries.

Malcolm Hoenlein: Egyptian schools have begun teaching about the Camp David Accords with Israel.

Leveling The Playing Field For Special Needs Learners

03/09/2016 - 09:24

In December, Jonathan Holub, 35, took over the helm of the PALS (Providing Alternative Learning Strategies) program for students with learning disabilities at Carmel Academy, a K-8 Jewish day school in Greenwich, Conn. The Jewish Week caught up with him via email to discuss how the field of special education has changed over the past decade and a half and the unique challenges Jewish schools face in serving students with learning disabilities.

Jonathan Holub. Courtesy of Carmel Academy
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