Linda K. Wertheimer


Are Mitzvah Days An Excuse To Stay Away?

By Linda K. Wertheimer

Are Mitzvah Days An Excuse To Stay Away?
Some synagogues are taking steps to make sure Mitzvah Day volunteers do not treat the one-day event as their only community service commitment each year.Read More


Dynamic Leader Puts Oomph Back in Brandeis

By Linda K. Wertheimer

Dynamic Leader Puts Oomph Back in Brandeis
Brandeis president Fred Lawrence has achieved virtual rock star status. He still faces thorny questions about balancing the university’s Jewish heritage with demands for diversity.Read More


Facing Down Infertility — With the Help of Graphic Art, Immersion

By Linda K. Wertheimer

Facing Down Infertility — With the Help of Graphic Art, Immersion
Her eyes twinkling behind oval glasses, author Phoebe Potts led seven of us into the kitchen of the education center at a suburban Boston community mikveh. She lit a piece of paper on fire in the sink, and then urged us one at a time to toss our slips of paper into the flame. On that slip of paper each of us had written what got in the way of our voice — as writers or artists. Then, we symbolically destroyed what Potts refers to as our “internal mugger.”Read More


No Synagogues, Please

By Linda K. Wertheimer

No Synagogues, Please
It was almost sunset on a Friday in late October. This was a Jewish event, but there was nothing remotely Jewish about it, except the religion of the participants. The handful of families, with children ranging in age from 14 months to 5 years, came to the free class at the invitation of a parent hired by Boston’s Jewish Family Network to connect more families to the Jewish community. The children danced and bounced on trampolines as their parents socialized.Read More


In Shul, Cost Hasn’t Been a Barrier

By Linda K. Wertheimer

There had to be a catch — and a price tag. A rabbi left a message on my home answering machine inviting me to join an adult bat mitzvah class. But I was not a member of this rabbi’s suburban Boston synagogue.Read More






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    • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
    • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
    • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
    • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
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    • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
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    • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
    • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
    • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
    • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
    • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
    • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
    • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
    • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
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