Wednesday, August 5, 2020



Religious Observance Is An Asset, Regardless of The Faith

We now are in the midst of an unprecedented world health crisis, of which the length and depth of destruction still are unknown. It...

This Year, Let’s Sing the Sephardic Bibhilu at Every Seder Table

In these pandemic times, as we prepare for Passover seders that will be unlike any other, we can all use a special blessing. Well, I...

Recipes for Mimouna, The Moroccan Celebration of Spring

The mimouna table overflows with sweet treats like orange jam, eggplant jam, marzipan, meringues and, of course, the famous moufleta, crepes served with butter and honey.

Confronting Coronavirus: A Struggle Between Life and Death

Jewish religion teaches that life is the most precious element in existence. Life itself is grounded in God,  the source of life, who sustains...

Can a Nice Jewish Family Celebrate Halloween?

If you think Halloween is spooky, you should see what’s lurking in Jewish liturgy! Evil eyes, spirits of fallen angels and even perhaps the...

Susan Karlin Carries on the Family Shofar Blowing Tradition

There are three shofars on display in Susan Karlin’s West Hollywood apartment, but to her, they’re not just Judaica. “When I look at them,...

Dear Persian Jews: Tradition Is Not Enough

Like many children in the U.S., I once begged my mother to let me attend a Friday night sleepover. “It’s Shabbat night,” she declared in...

Bourekas: A Love Story

I believe that Jewish cooking is a key to bringing and keeping Jews together. I married a Sephardic man and my bridge to becoming Sephardic...

Open Temple Welcomes B’Nai Mitzvah

Rabbi Lori Shapiro of Open Temple in Venice has been providing meaningful b’nai mitzvah services to her students for more than 10 years, allowing...

Can Conservative Judaism Redefine Itself?

A major identity shift is taking place in the U.S. Conservative movement. According to the North American Jewish Databank, the percentage of Jews that...

Counting Our Days

Psalm 90, ascribed to Moses, acknowledges the brevity of the human’s life and his or her finite time on Earth, and so he asks...

My Favorite Mothers

She stands extremely close to the mechitzah — the partition that separates the men and women as they dance — wondering whose bright idea...

The Sweet Magic of Mimouna

When I was growing up in Los Angeles, the way my family finished Passover was very different from how most of my friends’ families...

Tradition, Longing and ‘Not Very Good’ Cake

There are moments in life when you suddenly find yourself looking at a situation from a different perspective. It could be the tint of...

Challah and Sufganiyot in the Clouds

Winston Churchill was so impressed by Uganda during his 1907 safari that he wrote a book about it titled “My African Journey.” Published in...

Hanukkah Is Not Christmas. This Year, Let’s Embrace That

It’s that time of year again when American Jews bask in the wintertime flavor of Christmas — when we teach our children that the...

Tu b’Av: Sunday, Aug. 6 (evening) to Monday, Aug. 7, 2017

BACKGROUND Tu b’Av is the 15th day of the month of Av. It’s an ancient holiday dating back to the time of the Second Temple...

The High Holy Days: Something meaningful, or just going through the motions?

Most of us who go to synagogue for the High Holy Days have no clue what’s going on.

The making of a beloved ‘Tradition’ with Barbara Isenberg

Thanks to Barbara Isenberg and her effervescent and entertaining new book, “Tradition! The Highly Improbable, Ultimately Triumphant Broadway-to-Hollywood Story of Fiddler on the Roof, the World’s Most Beloved Musical” (St. Martin’s Press), the soundtrack to “Fiddler” is back on Spotify in my office.

Israeli couples say ‘I don’t’ to Orthodox Jewish weddings

For most Israelis in the Jewish state, there is one legal way to get married - God\'s way. Israeli law empowers only Orthodox rabbis to officiate at Jewish weddings, but popular opposition is growing to this restriction and to what some Israelis see as an Orthodox stranglehold on the most precious moments of their lives.

Israelis seeking alternatives to traditional wedding ceremonies

Anna Melman and Ari Bronstein are in the midst of planning their wedding, which will be held in January in Israel. They have a venue and a rabbi. But they want to find ways of making the traditional ceremony more egalitarian.

Report from London: Finding Tevye in the Abbey

Arriving in London this past Friday, April 29, I was immediately enveloped in a carnival-crazed country, a nation-wide block party made up of the tiniest Brits to those who had been alive at the 1926 birth of the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth, a

Tweaking tradition: Online project modernizing Jewish texts with today’s lingo

Morgan Friedman loves the way people talk. He wants others to love it, too. The 35-year-old social media entrepreneur, formerly of Brooklyn, N.Y., and now living in Buenos Aires, launches new digital projects like marshmallows from an air gun. Pow! Here’s Overheardinnewyork.com, a site for offbeat conversations that his team of eavesdroppers hears on the streets.

Jewish Money

If you scroll through the list of Madoff\'s philanthropic victims, you\'ll find plenty of evidence that even Jews who have shed every vestige of their ancient practice short of circumcision still resonate to the prophetic call to heal the wider world.

The many miracles of the family menorah

From painted-clay preschool classics to sterling silver family heirlooms, the eight bright lights of the chanukiyah have a unique and artful way of revealing our values, holding our histories and telling our stories.

Confessions of a Christmas carol addict

It\'s not that I have Christmas envy -- I don\'t celebrate Christmas,and I love, honor and embrace Jewish holiday traditions -- but there\'s just something about those Christmas carols that gets to me.

Balancing resources and lives — being Jewish and ‘green’

Judaism has a lot to say about how to create a balance between using the resources we have and abusing or destroying them.

A long time ago, in a kibbutz far away . . .

Yoav was my kibbutz brother, secular and an ardent Zionist. He had an encyclopedic mind that could recite in detail kibbutz history, lore and socialist ideology. Today, Yoav is an equally intense, knowledgeable and ideological Charedi guy living in the Midwest. He recently offered to pay me money for introducing him to the woman he married more than 25 years ago.

We were intended by God — we’re not afterthoughts

Belief is not a static illusion to be knocked down at the introduction of a new scientific hypothesis or discovery. Faith is an orientation of soul, a posture toward God\'s universe that finds expression in many religious traditions.

Personalize your ketubah without breaking the law

Although the Orthodox community is committed to the existing ketubah document, whose language comes from the Mishnah, Blau said he has no problem with a bride and a groom making additional agreements and commitments, as long as they do not controvert Jewish law.

Latest news

Critics Say Netflix Series ‘The Umbrella Academy’ Promotes Anti-Semitic Stereotype Through Yiddish Scene

The scene shows lizard people controlling the world and their handler speaking Yiddish.

Tel Aviv City Hall Lights Up as Lebanese Flag to Show Solidarity Following Beirut Explosions

"Our hearts and thoughts are with the Lebanese people and all those affected by the terrible disaster in #Beirut."

Front Window of New Mexico Holocaust Museum, Featuring Photo of Civil Rights March, Smashed by Vandal

The head of the museum says the vandalism shows "why it’s necessary to have this museum."

Rashida Tlaib, Who Supports Israel Boycott, Wins Michigan Democratic Primary

Another BDS supporter, Cori Bush, won her primary the same night.