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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  • 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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