Ben Ehrlich


Rock Stars Hit Jerusalem

By Ben Ehrlich

Several high-profile musical acts are set to rock the holiest city in the Holy Land. The concert, “Jerusalem Rocks!” will take place September 9 at Teddy Kollek Stadium. Billboard Top 40 powerhouse the Black Eyed Peas (who have won three Grammys in the past three years) will headline the bill, which also features progressive hip-hop collective Arrested Development (the group, which won two Grammys in 1993, will release a long-awaited reunion album October 30). The event’s organizers hope to re-establish Jerusalem as an international center of culture.Read More


Making Progress, Bit by (Rib)Bit

By Ben Ehrlich

In their research on Fanconi anemia, Maureen Hoatlin and her four associates at the Oregon Health & Science University have been getting groundbreaking help from a small, slimy source. Hoatlin’s lab has shown that the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) has Fanconi genes and can be used to understand the complex set of proteins that protects our cells from cancer. “The normal function of the Fanconi genes is not completely understood,” Hoatlin explained, “but every time a cell replicates, damage can occur, and Fanconi genes are somehow preventing that damage.”Read More


Big Brother is Watching You

By Ben Ehrlich

CBS found itself in hot water last week. The 24-hour microphones and cameras on the network’s reality-TV show “Big Brother 8” caught contestant Amber Siyavus Tomcavage talking in whispers. “The majority of Jewish people I know, my gosh, so many are so selfish,” she said to another contestant. “So weird.” The 27-year-old Las Vegas cocktail waitress also said she was taught that one can tell who is Jewish “by their last name” and “by their nose.” The statements did not air on CBS, but appeared on both the “Big Brother” after-show feed on the Showtime channel and on the live Internet feed.Read More


Success Is in the Cards

By Ben Ehrlich

Fans of the Israel Baseball League can now take their favorite players home with them. Forty-two top players from the nascent league have their images on baseball cards that kids (and adults) can collect, trade and “flip.” Each card contains a brief player bio printed on the back in both English and Hebrew.Read More


Teachers Take Their Lessons Behind Bars for Jewish Prisoners

By Ben Ehrlich

Rabbinical students Yisroel Silverstein of Brooklyn and Reuven Brody of Miami Beach, Fla., with their black hats and beards, must have looked out of place this summer on “The Farm.” The Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, La., which earned its nickname because it is still a working farm, is the largest and perhaps most infamous prison in the United States, with 5,000 inmates. Known for its swampy swelter and constant flooding, the Farm is hardly an Edenic vacation destination. But for Silverstein, 19, and Brody, 20, it was just another stop on a road trip that spanned 20 prisons from Alabama to Oklahoma.Read More



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