Beth Schwartzapfel


Are You There, God? It’s Me, Rachel!

By Beth Schwartzapfel

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Rachel!
Although Judaism is front and center in Deborah Heiligman’s coming of age novel ‘Intentions,’ at the core of the story are questions of faith with which all teenagers grapple.Read More


When Part Is Lost, What of the Whole?

By Beth Schwartzapfel

When Part Is Lost, What of the Whole?
The pace of Joshua Henkin’s novel, ‘The World Without You,’ is slow and deliberate. Each conversation, each passing hour, takes on the weight of something much larger.Read More


'Our Bodies' Gets an Israeli Makeover

By Beth Schwartzapfel

'Our Bodies' Gets an Israeli Makeover
The groundbreaking women’s book ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’ has been adapted for Israel. Now we know how to say ‘menopause,’ in both Hebrew and Arabic.Read More


A Tree Evangelist Who Connects Heaven and Earth

By Beth Schwartzapfel

A Tree Evangelist Who Connects Heaven and Earth
During a Sabbath evening service one Friday in February, Seth Goldstein and his 9-year-old son, Ozi, sat with their eyes closed in the synagogue in Olympia, Wash., where Goldstein is the rabbi. From the bimah, Nalini Nadkarni asked congregants to imagine a tree that was important to them. She described the maple trees that had lined the driveway of her childhood home. Amid the confusion of growing up, they had been a refuge. She would climb their limbs with a book and a snack, and spend entire afternoons up in the air.Read More


Aliyah an Option for More North American Jews Escaping a Bad Economy

By Beth Schwartzapfel

Aliyah an Option for More North American Jews Escaping a Bad Economy
When Nisan and Gilan Gertz stepped off the plane at Ben-Gurion International Airport with their children last August, they were seven of almost 4,000 North Americans to make aliyah in 2009 — the largest number to do so in a single year since 1983.Read More






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  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
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