Directions

Holy Work In An Unholy City

The sacred, and somehow life-affirming, work of preparing the dead for burial.

Special To The Jewish Week
12/26/2012

New Yorkers who love New York pride themselves on inside information – the things they know about this city that few others have any idea about.

The process of preparing the dead for burial takes place in Plaza’s basement, and is carried out in near silence. michael datika

Raised On Alvy Singer’s New York

A high schooler tries to come to terms with the whole liberal Jewish intellectual thing.

Special To The Jewish Week
12/26/2012

New York Jewish intellectuals. The people who went to therapy to discuss philosophy, impressed their dates on account of that philosophy, and then complained to their therapists about their dates.

Here’s to New York: Diane Keaton and Woody Allen (as Alvy Singer) in “Annie Hall.

The Mother Tongue Spoken Here

For a short, memorable time, a bachelor pad on the Upper West Side was home base for a young generation of Yiddishists.

Special To The Jewish Week
12/26/2012

I felt a pang of melancholy recently when I learned my friend Menachem Yankel Ejdelman was moving from his place at 101st and West End Avenue. It’s not like he’s being evicted or moving cross country (like many of the other friends I’ve met through Yiddishist circles).

Long live the mame loshen: Menachem Ejdelman in front of YIVO’s headquarters at the Center for Jewish History. michael datikash

A Brooklyn Eden

Personal and communal changes, with ‘The Park’ as backdrop.

Assistant Managing Editor
12/26/2012

Sometime in 1937, a group of real estate speculators gave up their hope that the Jamaica Bay inlet in the former village of Keschaechquereren would become a major New York port and donated the land they had acquired to New York City.

The Board of Aldermen voted to keep some 500 acres of that land for recreational space and named it Brooklyn Marine Park.

Field of dreams: Marine Park provides rare wide-open spaces in urban Brooklyn, as well as family memories. (Photo: Jody Dickter)

The Hudson River School Of Judaism

Special To The Jewish Week
12/26/2012

On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Saturday morning around 8:45 is a wonderful time to be Jewish. For there, against a background of catch-the-worm exercisers, snoozy coffee sippers and direction-challenged tourists, Jews of all denominations, beliefs, customs and practice wend their way towards worship, ever so briefly turning Broadway into Shabbatway.

Watching the river flow: The author casts his sins into the Hudson. Manor Ben Shaul

Romaniote, Romaniote

Against all odds (and urban demographics), a Greek-Jewish presence still clings to the Lower East Side.

Special To The Jewish Week
12/26/2012

I recently took a wrong turn on the Lower East Side — and walked right into the Jewish past.

A stone frieze of two proud lions of Judah guarding the Ten Commandments mark the entrance to Kehila Kedosha Janina. michael daT

Seminary Days And Nights

Measuring the arc of a life, and an institution.

Special To The Jewish Week
12/26/2012

As long as I can remember, I was aware of a mythical place in Manhattan known as The Seminary.

The Seminary was central to my parents’ life; it was the place where my father studied to be a rabbi and my mother made friends with the fiancés and wives of rabbinical students who, like her, were well-educated girls from good Jewish homes.

Towering presence: For the author, JTS has a mystique all its own. michael datikash

When Camelot Ended In Brooklyn

Bobby Kennedy’s visit to a shul on Eastern Parkway marked the beginning of the end of the borough’s liberal Jewish presence.

Special To The Jewish Week
12/26/2012

Eastern Parkway, Frederick Law Olmstead’s six-lane masterpiece, bisects Central Brooklyn along its east-west axis, from Grand Army Plaza to Brownsville. And at the center of Eastern Parkway, in Crown Heights, stands an imposing building, whose limestone façade, oversized windows and prominent staircase resembles an Italian Renaissance palace, a palace that once anchored one of Conservative Judaism’s flagship synagogues, the Brooklyn Jewish Center.

The ballroom of the old Brooklyn Jewish Center, now a Chabad-Lubavitch yeshiva. micHAel datikash

The Mayor Who Put Jewishness In Your Face

Honoring Hizzoner, for his unabashed ethnic pride and for bringing New York back.

Special To The Jewish Week
12/26/2012

Many eras could reasonably compete as the defining Jewish moment of New York City: pushcarts on the Lower East Side, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the CCNY point-shaving scandal, the Ocean Hill-Brownsville teachers’ strike, the Brill Building’s influence on the American songbook, and the garment industry’s styling of American haute couture.

His town: Koch at renaming of the Queensborough Bridge in his honor last year. Inset: With then-First Lady Hillary Clinton at St

A Stage For The Classic Nosh

Serving up theater tradition, and a side of Jewish history.

Staff Writer
12/26/2012

The Edison Café is a theater district institution and, for its matzah ball soup and latkes, a landmark of Jewish New York. Yet I never knew it was there. Born in the D.C. area, I pride myself on being a Jewish New Yorker By Choice who possesses all the knowledge and zeal of a convert. Or at least, I thought I did.

Oddly, a banker introduced me to the café a few years ago. I was working for Reuters as a business journalist back then. My job was to ingratiate myself with financiers in the hope that they would feed me a few morsels of market-moving information.

Counter culture: Scenes from the Edison Café, the luncheonette with tearoom touches. michael daTikash
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