Fast Forward


I Smuggled a Shul From Sweden to Israel

By Shlomo Liberman

Suppose you want to ship a synagogue from Sweden to Israel. It’s 1991 and the lack of a free trade agreement means paying high import duties. What do you do?Read More


The Incredible History of Jewish Smuggling

By Gabe Friedman

Sometimes Jews transferred goods illegally to preserve their way of life; in other cases, the incentives were less noble. From kosher wine to Ecstasy, here are our best bootlegs.Read More


Two Women and Two Faiths — One Shared Path

By Rachel Brown and Frimet Goldberger

Frimet Goldberger grew up Hasidic. Rachel Brown was raised Mormon. They talk about growing up, leaving their religious groups — and how to maintain enduring faith.Read More


Counter-Culture Spirit Lives as Boston's Havurah Shalom Hits Middle Age

By Anthony Weiss

Havurat Shalom is closing in on 50. Even in middle age, the bastion of Jewish counter-culture is still trying to reinvent itself — and infuse the entire community with its ideals.Read More


My Gaza Memories

By Chana Pollack

Three decades ago, Chana Pollack was a young Israeli officer assigned to work in the occupied Gaza Strip. She recalls the gritty streets — and enduring humanity of the people.Read More


Taxonomy of the Sheitel

By Frimet Goldberger

Everything you ever wanted to know about religious Jewish wigs, but were too afraid to ask. Frimet Goldberger breaks down what each wig means for the woman who wears it.Read More


The Doula Extraordinaire of Crown Heights

By Chaya Bar-Chaim

Rochel Vail has helped birth more than 2,000 babies. No wonder she didn’t blink an eyelid at helping a woman give birth in an upstate New York rest stop bathroom.Read More


The Land of Milk, Honey and Marlboro Reds

By Avital Norman Nathman

Avital Norman Nathman smoked her first cigarette in Israel. When she returned years later with her son, its culture of puffing seemed way less glamorous.Read More


Hasidic in the Heat

By Lenore Skenazy

To the rest of the world, Hasidic clothing looks unbearably hot. But does focusing on someone else’s discomfort reflect our own discomfort with religious dress?Read More


My Time at Satmar Summer Camp

By Frimet Goldberger

Frimet Goldberger fondly looks back at summers spent at New York’s first camp for Satmar girls. Competition for neatest bunk was fierce — and girl crushes were common.Read More





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  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
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