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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Features

Yosl Friedenson, Z’L: An Appreciation

It is now just about 30 days, just a little more, since Yosl Friedenson, editor of Dos Yiddishe Vort, went to Olam Haboh. I knew Friedenson ever since I can remember. He and my mother were together in Ghetto Warsaw until she was smuggled out and taken to Munkacs, and eventually landed on the Kasztner train. When I began doing research on my mother’s story, and when I

A Conversation with Dov Lipman: Everything But Politics

I recently sat down with newly elected member of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) Rabbi Dov Lipman to discuss a variety of (mostly) non-political issues. Rabbi Lipman grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and is the first American-born member of Knesset in almost 30 years. He is an ordained rabbi, a graduate of Baltimore’s Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore,

The Wartime Activities of R. Barukh Rabinowicz

Recently, I came across a startling paragraph in Yeshayahu Jelinek’s The Carpathian Diaspora: The Jews of Subcarpathian Rus’ and Mukachevo, a book chiefly dealing with the history of the Holocaust in the Carpathian Mountains. In the midst of a paragraph describing his general impression that “most Jews who saved themselves [from the clutches of

“Our Feet Are Standing In Your Gates, O Jerusalem”

Jerusalem, Israel -- "This is the [miraculous] day which God made, we will rejoice and be glad on it" (Psalms 118:24).

On Wednesday, May 8, Jewish people throughout the world celebrated the 46th anniversary of the unlikely Israeli victory in the Six-Day War and the miracle that led to the IDF recapturing the city of Jerusalem,

An appreciation: Roger Ebert FOR THE LOVE OF FILM: Gratitude from one film lover to another

Roger Ebert’s passing leaves a void in the tradition of critics who love film. His wit and insight added much to the criticism canon. His partnership with Jewish colleague Gene Siskel evoked Hillel and Shammai, whose debates are recorded for posterity (they were for the sake of Heaven). Ebert and Siskel – also at each others’ throats – displayed their shared

Yom Yerushalayim: The Emotion of the Moment

Yom Yerushalayim, the day of the capturing of the old city in the 1967 Six-Day War, is many times overshadowed by Yom Ha’atzmaut. We celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut, and then, to many, Yom Yerushalayim is kind of an afterthought. However, the truth is, in many ways, Yom Yerushalayim is more important that Yom

Dov Lipman: An American-Born Member of Knesset Comes Calling

Last week, while the Knesset was in recess, MK Rabbi Dov Lipman spent five days in New York and New Jersey addressing a diverse Jewish audience to let them know how they can be involved and work to improve the relationship between the State of Israel and themselves.

As a newly-elected member of the Knesset, one of the rabbi’s roles is to oversee the needs of

Making Tefillah Meaningful

Tefillah, prayer, is the heart and soul of a Jew connecting to Hashem.  But it is a script that’s hard to follow for someone with limited Jewish education, especially in shul.  Rabbi Ely Allen, a resident of Bergenfield, is the Director of Hillel of Northern New Jersey, and a faculty member of the JSS/Mechina Program at Yeshiva University.  Rabbi Allen explains

Leisure in Israel: A Contradiction in Terms

In honor Of Obama’s visit to Israel, a local Modiin newspaper was writing a story on “American phenomena” in Modiin. I was called by the reporter who wanted to interview me about our “book club.” I was surprised she considered a book club an American phenomenon, but she was certain that there was no Israeli equivalent.

Book clubs fall into the leisure

New Shoes For Pesach

Spring came to my mother’s little village. Flowers were in bloom, the grass smelled sweet and fresh. Fruits were ripe for the picking. There was much activity during Chag HaAviv; the house had to be meticulously cleaned for Pesach; the wood stove cleaned of all chometz; the kneading board had to be replaced with a freshly cut piece of

Moshe Baran: Partisan Extraordinaire

Moshe Baran is not your run-of-the-mill 92-year-old. A retired real estate manager, Moshe has the distinction of being a Holocaust survivor and one of a dwindling number of partisans still alive to tell his story. His story is one of determination, survival and courage. But it is his resolve to speak about his experiences to keep the memories of those who were murdered

Survivor and Liberator: 68 Years Later

The date May 4th, 1945 will forever be etched in their memories, and now it will be forever etched in ours. That fateful day toward the end of World War II was the day American soldiers liberated Gunskirchen Lager, a subcamp of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.

On Sunday, March 10th, 2013 my sisters and I were privileged to attend a “reunion of