Dan Levin

CHAMPIONS: Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, left, is poised to break Mark Spitz?s 1972 record for the most gold medals won in an Olympics.

Spitz: Gold Medal Pouter

Usually it’s Jewish mothers who boast and brag about their children’s accomplishments. A big ego on a nice Jewish boy, however, is rather unbecoming.

Amid Beijing’s Boom, a Jewish Community Blooms

The Chabad House here sits at the end of a quiet street in an upscale gated community just inside this city’s Fourth Ring road and down the block from the Israeli Embassy. A caged duck and a stroller guard the entrance, as does a small army of young Chinese men who patrol the neighborhood of gaudy McMansions.

Must See TV: 1 vs. 99 + Shmuley

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, host of the Learning Channel’s “Shalom in the Home” and author of “Kosher Sex,” recently added a few feathers to his multimedia hat.

Day Schools Seek Solutions to Leadership Crisis

First, the good news: The number of students in Jewish day schools has risen 11% nationwide in the past five years, and 83 new schools have opened their doors in the same period. Now the bad news: There are not enough heads of school to lead these educational institutions.

Merry Christmas, Now Die

Last year superstore chain Wal-Mart enraged religious conservatives by instructing employees to wish customers “Happy Holidays.” Well, ’tis the season to be jolly — Wal-Mart switched back to “Merry Christmas” and now Christian conservatives are happy.

Clicking Toward a Pastime of Yore

A California-based Web site is putting a new spin on Hanukkah this year, not with dreidels but with many a Jewish grandmother’s favorite pastime: mah jongg.

Lubavitcher To Pull Stunts For Charity

To help raise money for his annual Hanukkah charity telethon, Anchelle Perl, Lubavitch emissary to the Long Island, N.Y., town of Mineola, has taken a page from Evel Knievel’s handbook.

Häagen-Dazs Creator Ruth Mattus, 90

Rose Mattus, a longtime Jewish philanthropist and one of the creators of Häagen-Dazs ice cream, died November 28 in Westwood, N.J., at the age of 90.

Flak: Richards Not a Jew, Just Jew-ish

‘Seinfeld” co-star Michael Richards made headlines last week as word spread of the racist tirade he had unleashed at two African American audience members during a recent Los Angeles comedy club gig.

Falafel Ball

Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, dreamed of building a Jewish state in Palestine. Larry Baras, the owner of a specialty baking company in Boston, dreams of building a baseball league in Israel.