It's hard to believe that June is finally here, but one look through the day's mail is enough to convince me that the school year is almost over and summer will be here before I blink. What makes me say that? The plethora of large cream envelopes, addressed in calligraphic letters, bearing stamps with pictures of creamy white roses.
A popular topic of discussion in newspapers, magazines and talk shows revolves around the management of personal finances - or rather the lack of them. In most cases, dealing with overwhelming debt is the topic de jour. Seems many people are drowning in it. Spending more than they have has mired countless consumers into a financial quicksand with maxed out credit cards and collection agencies knocking on the door. Speaking of doors, many face eviction and the loss of their home.
Last month we sketched the life of Manuel Josephson (1729-1796), who immigrated to New York in the 1740s. Manuel was one of the few learned Jews residing in America in the 18th century. His talents were recognized by Congregation Shearith Israel, and he served on the synagogue’s bet din for several years and as its parnas (president) in 1762. He earned his living as a merchant.
The tear is rolling down my cheek. It lands atop my lips. I lick my lips to remove the dryness and the saltiness soaks into my tongue. I take a long deep breath and begin to think. Why? How could she do that to me? We’re best friends. We’ve known each other practically since we were born. How could she go and do such a horrible thing?
Nearly half a million of them fought in Red Army uniforms, under communist slogans but with a personal vengeance that was solely the result of Jewish experience. More than the “Greatest Generation,” they were the living superheroes hidden in plain sight.
With the semi-mourning period of Sefira behind us, and the festival of Shavuot as well (as evidenced by the tightness of our clothing due to over-indulging in irresistible versions of cheesecake that is an integral component of celebrating our receipt of the Torah), our community can look forward to participating in joyous engagement parties and weddings.
Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
You have probably been planning your marriage since you were about three. Let’s fast-forward to a big milestone– your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. (Don’t worry, you don’t look a day over twenty one!) Now, would you appreciate your husband buying you a dozen roses that some florist recommended?
As I mentioned in my earlier articles about our family trip to Israel, our night flight went pretty smooth, thanks to my children’s willingness to sleep throughout the flight. I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink and I wasn’t feeling too great by the time we landed. But we were finally in Israel, and just being in the beautifully renovated Ben Gurion airport and hearing all the Hebrew around us was exciting enough.
Welcome back to “You’re Asking Me?” where we attempt to answer questions sent in by people who fortunately have fake names, so they won’t be embarrassed. I don’t know how they got through school, though.
One of the subjects I was taught as a young child in school was Tefillah. Since we spoke only Ivrit during our Limudei Kodesh and secular Hebrew studies - literature, creative writing and Jewish history - we pretty much understood the words we were davening.
The overwhelming majority of Jews who came to America before the Revolutionary War did not have an extensive Jewish education. One exception was Manuel Josephson (1729-1796), who was born and educated in Germany. His extensive knowledge of Judaism qualified him to serve on the beis din of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York.
It was September 25, 2006. Tammy, an oblivious, petite, third grader lay in bed, counting her stationary collection, when she decided she needed a drink. As she descended the staircase, she was surprised to see her mother dressed in this bubby-like gown.
Shortly before Pesach, I received a rather agitated call from a long time reader of The Jewish Press who pleaded with me to write a column regarding what she insisted was the unwarranted high cost of Pesach food – in particular shmurah matzah – and how hard it was for young families to pay what she felt were over-inflated prices in order to keep strictly kosher.
I didn’t need that much garlic. After all… how much garlic, exactly, could I put into the chicken without overdoing it? But something made me leave the white, rounded head on the counter after cracking off a few bulbs, rather than putting it back in the fridge. Maybe I’d need more.
Not too many Jewish World War II survivors from Germany can say that they had the distinction of being both interned in a concentration camp and liberating the captives in that same camp. Erwin Weinberg did just that.
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 that American soldiers liberated Gunskirchen Lager, a subcamp of the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.
A small shoe a rusted silver bell a worn blanket a sign of the glory it once had The First Stage of Life
I can feel the fear pulsing through my veins, blocking out everything around me. I walk down the long, unembellished hall, which is dimly lit with fiery torches at every bend. I can’t help but wonder if it was purposely built this way to terrorize me. As I slowly edge towards the doors, I keep telling myself it’s going to be fine…but what if it’s not? I can feel my stomach twisting as I turn the last corner and come to a complete stop.
Last month, I discussed our tumuloutous family trip to Israel and the many mistakes and some smart moves we made along the way. Hopefully you can learn from our mistakes and incorporate the lessons we learned in your own family trips.