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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  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
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