November 30, 2007

Will Annapolis momentum spur a regional thaw?

Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas may have bridged the necessary gaps to issue a joint commitment to pursue peace, but their words in Annapolis revealed the substantial distance they have yet to travel.

‘Tent’ meeting showcases new spirit of synagogues

A crowd of 4,500 gathered recently at the ornate Fox Theater in Atlanta for a celebration of Jewish spirit and synagogue life that can accurately be described as a Jewish tent meeting. \”Hallelu Atlanta\” was an extraordinary moment in the history of one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in North America. The afternoon gathering held significance, meaning and purpose far beyond what may have appeared to be simply a concert featuring a who\’s who of Jewish music.

Generation Next — a new vision for the Jewish future

This speech, by writer/editor/blogger Esther D. Kustanowitz, was delivered at the 2007 General Assembly convened in Nashville by United Jewish Communities as part of the \”Next Generation\” plenary. At the plenary, a range of young Jewish and Israeli activists, bloggers, an Oscar-winning filmmaker and others described their visions of community building and the power of the collective.

Eight ways to help heal the earth on Chanukah

There are three levels of wisdom through which Chanukah invites us to address the planetary dangers of the global climate crisis — what some of us call \”global scorching,\” because \”warming\” seems so pleasant, so comforting. We can encode these three teachings into actions we take to heal the earth each of the eight days.

Funny and frum

Mark Schiff is a rare bird. He\’s made a living as a stand-up comic for more than 30 years and is much admired in the fraternity of American comedians. For years, he\’s been performing on the road with Jerry Seinfeld (one of his closest friends). Last year, his book, \”I Killed,\” a compilation of stories of the road from the country\’s top comedians, got a glowing review on that most exclusive of book review stages, the Sunday New York Times. But swing by my neighborhood at around midday on any Shabbat, and chances are you\’ll see another Mark Schiff. This is the Orthodox Schiff, who is quietly walking back from synagogue with his wife, Nancy, and one or more of his three sons.

Annapolis and Chanukah

If Annapolis does what President Bush said on Monday it was designed to do — lead the parties in the Middle East conflict toward final status talks on these issues — and if the Palestinians and Arab states can deliver on their promises — two huge ifs — then once again Jews will be faced with the hard task of letting go of the actual and focusing on the spiritual.\n

Only a few left-coasters make ‘Forward 50’

So it should be no surprise that when the New York-based, albeit national, newspaper, The Forward, published its Forward 50 — naming its version of this year\’s most influential Jews — only six hail from Los Angeles. Does it matter where they\’re from?

Top Chanukah tunes

It\’s the same problem every year: There are a million songs about Xmas and three about Chanukah. OK, maybe not quite that, but you get the idea. In a world where \”Chanukah O\’ Chanukah\” and \”I Had a Little Dreidel\” just won\’t do, songwriter Adam Chester created a holiday miracle: a real Chanukah song that is being played on the radio that you and your parents can sing — together: \”Eight Days and Nights.\”

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Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.