Michael Casper


New Niemann-Pick Mouse Engineered

By Michael Casper

It is with good reason that Edward Schuchman calls Niemann-Pick Disease type A a “very, very challenging disease.” The neurodegenerative disorder is rare, kills those who have it by age 2 or 3, and has no known cure. But in May, Schuchman and his research team at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York announced a breakthrough in their work on the disease.Read More


A Jewish Mystic Offers Amulets and Predictions, for $180 A Pop

By Michael Casper

A Jewish Mystic Offers Amulets and Predictions, for $180 A Pop
On a recent Monday afternoon in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, eight women and two men sat patiently in the back room of Neuman’s Optical, tapping their feet, chatting in Russian, reading psalms and occasionally letting out an aggravated sigh. Appropriately, a broken clock hung over the windowless waiting area, where some said they had been sitting for as long as six hours.Read More


Moving Out

By Michael Casper

Moving Out
High rent and a new city parking meter in front of her store is sending Fairhurst and her famous pickle shop — one of two left in the neighborhood, along with The Pickle Guys — to Brooklyn’s Boro Park, where she grew up.Read More


After Murder, Yemeni Jews Arrive in N.Y. Enclave

By Michael Casper

Seven Yemeni Jews, refugees from the heightened tensions in their homeland, have arrived in New York and begun settling into new lives amid the Orthodox community in Monsey. They are the first wave of what could be as many as 113 Yemeni Jews who are expected to immigrate to the United States, some as early as August 3.Read More


Tupac in Tehran

By Michael Casper

Tupac in Tehran
Albanian music is amazing. Still, in the spring of 2007, I bypassed racks of polyphonic folk and clarinet-led pop in a market cassette stall in Korce, Albania, to spend 2,000 lek on a Tupac Shakur bootleg. I treasured the smallness of the medium then, the quaint photocopied cover and, above all, the opportunity — rare, while traveling — to hear some of the American music I grew up on. I didn’t realize that Shakur’s place on the shelves of a crowded shop in the middle of a Muslim country was no fluke.Read More






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  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
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  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
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  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
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  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
  • How did Tariq Abu Khdeir go from fun-loving Palestinian-American teen to international icon in just a few short weeks? http://jd.fo/d4kkV
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