The central character in the newest novel by Thane Rosenbaum — lawyer, law professor, author, moderator of an annual discussion series at the 92nd Street Y — is a 12-year-old daughter of divorced parents who shuttles between mother and father via the Brooklyn Bridge. The granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, she learns about her grandmother’s wartime experiences while juggling such issues as homelessness and 9/11, divorce and fashion.
In just five years, 92Y’s Shababa program has grown into a community for unaffiliated families, and shifted the Y’s thinking about programming.
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Some of the toddlers seated on the floor of 92nd Street Y’s art gallery on a recent Friday morning barely speak in sentences but they can chant the Shema with feeling. Using sign language, they gesture wildly in all directions with their arms when they get to the name of God to show that God is all around them.
At the word “one” they all raise pinkies, and then, as directed, connect their pinkie, their “one,” to someone else’s. They then say it again, in silence, using only the hand gestures.
All eyes were on Bibi Netanyahu yesterday as he delivered his AIPAC speech. At times he was disarming, at others bellicose, both emphasizing that Obama has Israel’s back, but that if need be, Israel would go it alone. “The purpose of the Jewish state is to secure the Jewish future,” he thundered. “That is why Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.”
Rabbi Marc Schneier, who hobnobs with hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, didn’t make the cut. Neither did Dovi Scheiner of the relentlessly hipster Soho Synagogue. And as for the rabbi who penned “Kosher Sex,” was the guru to Michael Jackson and who recently landed in The New Yorker’s Talk of the Town column — no, not even Shmuley Boteach made the list.
Drum-fitness adds a different rhythm to the tired old workout routine.
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With drumsticks poised over a tremendous lime green ball, I prepare to strike. Along with 18 other women and one man, I’ve ventured to the 92nd Street Y on this icy evening to experience DrumCore, a new class that is meant to exercise body and mind, while also offering a new rhythm in one’s tired workout routine.
Well, the 92nd Street Y debate I went to on Tuesday was not quite as contentious as the flubbed Steve Martin one happening in the night before, but it still got pretty heated. A sold-out audience came to see Peter Beinart and New York Times columnist Roger Cohen debate former AIPACer Steven J. Rosen and Wall Street Journal editoral page editor and former Jerusalem Post editor Bret Stephens.
In preview of tomorrow night's debate at the 92nd Street Y featuring Peter Beinart, I'll engage in a small bit of self-promotion. My story in last week's paper profiled Beinart, whose essay attacking American Jewish leadership for failing to attract young American Jews to support Israel created a firestorm this spring. If you cannot make the debate (at 8:15 pm Tuesday night) I hope my story catches you up on the discussion's general parameters.