Judaism

Judaism

March 03, 2011

Rykestrasse Synagogue
The Rykestrasse synagogue in East Berlin survived “Kristallnacht” of 1938 and was the only functioning synagogue in former East Germany. (photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

As we prepare to leave for Israel, I’m noting the strange and disturbing global outbreak of celebrity antisemitism: Charlie Sheen’s rant at his former producer; John Galliano’s rants at perfect strangers; and now a top boy band in Japan makes an appearance in Nazi garb.

February 23, 2011

Israeli brothers fare well when it comes to immigration and employment

Oz and Jonathan Zilberberg
Oz and Jonathan Zilberberg (photo: Christin Davis)

In a one-bedroom condo just off Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, friends and family of the four Zilberberg brothers — immigrants to Los Angeles from their home in Israel — began arriving around 9 p.m. on a Friday. The host, Jonathan Zilberberg, 34, scrambled for a wine opener to start the traditional blessings as the two braided loaves of challah, bread for the Jewish Sabbath, wait under the customary embroidered cover.

As someone turns down The Black Eyed Peas’ most recent single, kippah head coverings are distributed to the men in preparation for prayer. With more men than kippahs, paper towels turned up at the corners suffice.

January 20, 2011

Hunt's Bay Jewish Cemetery

At the outskirts of Kingston lies Hunts Bay Jewish Cemetery, Jamaica’s oldest burial ground still in use today. The cemetery has recently been inventoried and mapped, and is now a Jamaica National Heritage Trust Site. Inventory work continues this month on another cemetery in Jamaica, the Orange Street Jewish Cemetery, a 200-year-old bet haim (“house of life”).

September 12, 2010

Martin Buber Postage Stamp

There’s spirituality thriving in our houses of worship, often unnoticed and unappreciated. It flourishes in the ordinary give-and-take of congregational life, in person-to-person exchanges that Jewish thinker Martin Buber called I-Thou. And we would do well to better recognize this very common and accessible spiritual opportunity.

September 10, 2010

Yesterday I posted this good morning message on our Facebook page: “Shana Tova! Special memories from New Years past?” Lauren Rosenfeld, an author and blogger living in Asheville, North Carolina, shared this wonderful memory:

September 09, 2010

Apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah? How about carp and gefilte fish and a storybook.

April 11, 2010

Elie Wiesel dispels the misconception that he forever lost his faith in God after the war. Language becomes holy through prayer.

March 31, 2010

A touching reflection by Mary Moos on spiritual displacement in a Roman Catholic family, finding a home in Judaism, and a better understanding of Christ during Passover.

January 05, 2010

White CrucifixionSaw this over the weekend in the London Times and thought it was worth sharing for those of you who missed it.

December 12, 2009

One of our own shares her story about the importance of being more intentional in celebrating far from home.

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December 11, 2009

A must-watch performance. And, a rather heart-warming back story from the senior senator from Utah.

November 19, 2009

Adele Diamond studies how social dramatic play can build "executive function" (EF) skills in children's brains. EF is a container term for capacities like inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility.

November 10, 2009

Here’s a fascinating case of modern law meets 5000-year-old religious tradition. At the end of October, the British Supreme Court decided that — in the case of accepting applicants to a Jewish high school — observance, not ethnicity, should be used in determining admissions. From Sarah Lyall’s New York Times write-up on the ruling:

“In an explosive decision, the court concluded that basing school admissions on a classic test of Judaism — whether one’s mother is Jewish — was by definition discriminatory. Whether the rationale was ‘benign or malignant, theological or supremacist,’ the court wrote, ‘makes it no less and no more unlawful.’”

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