Sara Rubin

Dancing at a Wedding — on Yom Kippur

Presiding over a wedding for secular friends is one thing. Doing it on Yom Kippur felt like too big a leap, even for one who isn’t particularly observant.

Field Work: In researching ?Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation,? Michael Pollan harvested wheat (above), made cheese with a microbiologist nun and learned to roast a pig.

Talking Kosher Pork With Iconic Foodie Michael Pollan

Food journalist Michael Pollan chats about his new book and why the other white meat’s forbidden status should be reconsidered. Hear him out.

Why do men typically have all the power when it comes to proposing?

A Rural Pesach

I was always vaguely aware that Passover was in some way an agricultural festival, but never realized that celebrating food could include consuming meat that came from animals I had known face to face. That was until last spring, when I spent Passover in Alamosa, Colo., a town situated in a high-altitude desert and populated by almost twice as many cattle as people. Spring is the windy season here, with gusts strong enough to pelt dust, sand and fertilizer (manure odor is part of this agricultural landscape in springtime) painfully at bare legs. Unlike spring in most places I have been, there is no greenery in Alamosa, where the rainfall rarely reaches more than 6 inches in a year.

Blazing New Trails, Musically

It’s not unusual to find overflow congregants watching High Holy Day services on a television in a synagogue classroom, but hearing songs from a recording rather than from a live cantor is still out of the ordinary. Perhaps for some it seems impersonal, nontraditional or risky.

The Strange Journey Taken by Two Paintings

In 2002, an unusual advertisement in this newspaper caught subscriber Jack Nusan Porter’s eye: Two mysterious paintings, rendered by an unknown artist “at least 210 years” ago, were for sale. The paintings — which, as Porter later learned, were owned by a Ukrainian Jew named Alexander Goykham — had survived two centuries of anti-Jewish persecution, the Holocaust and finally the move with the Goykhams to their present-day home in Philadelphia. They were selling the sentimental pieces to help cover the cost of medical procedures.

Grant Helps Professor Tackle Adolescent Girls' Issues

Certain topics of particular interest to adolescent girls go unaddressed in most classrooms, because they make many educators and students squirm: sex, gender, eating disorders, abusive relationships. Dr. Shira D. Epstein aims to change that situation.

From Raiderette To Aleph-Bet

We may be living in the age of the “extreme makeover,” but the trajectory of cheerleader-turned-rebbetzin Sandy Wolshin could give even the splashiest of today’s reality TV shows a run for their money. A few years ago, Wolshin was wearing hot pants and twirling pom-poms for football’s Los Angeles Raiders. In the years

Planned Concert Provokes a Ruckus

The British synth-pop trio Depeche Mode may have achieved prominence with the 1981 single “Just Can’t Get Enough,” but a Tel Aviv concert by the band, planned for August 3 — which coincides this year with the fast day Tisha B’Av — has one member of the Knesset crying, “Too Much!”Nissan Slomiansky, a member of the Knesset with the