Leah Hochbaum Rosner


Online Shoppers Raise Money

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner

Online Shoppers Raise Money
Whether it’s for purely altruistic purposes or for a big, fat tax break, many of us have been known to give to charity — especially around the High Holy Days. Most of us choose a handful of pet causes, sign our names to a few checks and forget about them until next year’s Yom Kippur approaches. Not Yosef Birnboim. The 30-year-old gives tzedakah nearly every time he turns on his computer.Read More


Hanging On the Telephone: Support Group Connects Women

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner

Hanging On the Telephone: Support Group Connects Women
Ruth Mastron had been in Israel only a few days last March when reports of the terrorist attack on Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav yeshiva hit the news. The 53-year-old, who just minutes earlier was reveling in her very first trip to the Holy Land, was horrified. But she also realized that it’s because of tragedies like these that her newest venture is so crucial.Read More


An Unlikely Love Story

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner

An Unlikely Love Story
It doesn’t seem like Mutsuyo the Japanese dancer and Norman the Jewish businessman have much in common at the start of Kyoko Yokoma’s documentary, “Dancing With Lives.” Yet there they are onscreen, getting married. In a few minutes time, their stories unfold and all becomes clear. Mutsuyo lost her entire family in 1995 in a devastating earthquake in Kobe that killed thousands. Norman is the youngest child of Holocaust survivors; their eldest son died during World War II. Both are victims of tragedies that simultaneously befell and spared them. The emotional documentary, which follows Mutsuyo to Japan and back, and checks in with the downtown-dwelling Manhattan couple in the weeks following September 11, 2001, will be screened at the New York International Independent Film Festival on March 5.Read More


Antique Scrolls: Pieces of History Up for Sale

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner

When a Torah scroll is so faded or damaged that it can no longer be used, Jewish law states that, like the dearly departed, it is to be buried. But Spiritual Artifacts, a California-based company, hopes to bring new life to presumed-dead Torahs by putting them on display for all to see and offering them up for sale.Read More


Hairy Situation: A Laser Technician for Observant Women

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner

Hairy Situation: A Laser Technician for Observant Women
Orthodox Jewish Women flock to Shumalis Soffer’s makeshift laser-hair removal salon in Brooklyn for baby-smooth bikini lines. In this profile, Soffer goes from working as a laser technician in a Midtown Manhattan outfit to treating 500 clients in her own basement.Read More






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  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
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