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Is a Name Change Identity Fraud?

By Wendy Belzberg

I never gave serious thought to changing my last name (it’s about as Jewish as you can get) until I realized how pervasive antisemitism has become. I am in my 50s and beyond the age where it might matter, but my daughters are in their early teens and will soon be applying to college and then entering the work force. I amRead More


A Thing More Monstrous Than Flux

By Jeffrey Fiskin

Moses and Aaron, bent with wandering, walk from the Tent of Meeting. Aaron: This one is trouble.Moses: You’re a worrier. You thought the commandment on adultery would be trouble.Aaron: No. That one people could simply ignore. This one is trouble. Trust me.M: Don’t be silly. Men and women don’t want relations at that timeRead More


When Hearty Gefilte Fish Kept Shtetls Stuffed

Gefilte fish is at once the zenith and nadir of Ashkenazic cookery: Is there any other dish that so typifies its extraordinary resourcefulness in the Old World and its long decline in the New?Gefilte fish is a forcemeat — chopped and seasoned meat or fish usually used for stuffing — made from ground-up freshwater fish mixedRead More


Holiday Kashrut for Critters

When cleaning for Passover, don’t forget the needs of sweet Fido. Or Garfield. Or Tweety. Or whatever your canine/feline/avian family member is named.While the Talmud instructs that pet owners are allowed to feed non-kosher food to their furry or fine-feathered friends most of the year, on Passover, while pets are permitted to continueRead More


Reading of Noah, Artists, Holidays And Einstein, Too

By Aliza Phillips

The Haggada may be Passover’s great book, but it’s not the only great thing to read this season. The start of spring brings with it a new stash of stories for all your bundles of joy.For the younger set, children’s publishing giant Scholastic gives us “The Animals Went in Two by Two: A Noah’s Ark Pop-up Book” by Jan Pienkowski, aRead More


Mom’s Seder: The Next Generation

By Marjorie Ingall

My parents sold their house, my childhood home. (I have issues about this, but I’ll deal with them in therapy rather than in this column.) Their new apartment is large enough to hold a brisket and a large matzo ball, but not simultaneously. So this year, Jonathan and I are hosting Passover for the first time.It’s a big deal. It’s a bigRead More


Wishing for Cultural Ties To Keep U.S., French Allied

By Masha Leon

French champagne and canapés greeted arrivals at the March 19 “Sounds French: A Festival of New Music from France” reception at the Fifth Avenue headquarters of the French Embassy’s Cultural Services. The evening celebrated the month-long series of performances of works by French composers at New York City concert halls.Read More


Culture Clash Begets Funereal Family Drama

By Wendy Belzberg

Last month when my mother died I followed her wishes for a funeral with a minimum of fuss and religious ritual. I arranged for a graveside service with a Reform rabbi and requested that only immediate family attend. I was aghast when an Orthodox cousin whom I had not seen in 40 years showed up and proceeded to shovel earth into myRead More


DER YIDDISH-VINKL April 4, 2003

December, inaugurating the world’s first entirely kosher Caribbean cruise. While in recent years, more and more cruise ships have specialized in trips offering frozen glatt kosher food or a separate kosher dining room, Shollar’s Chosen Voyage is to be the first luxury ship to be made entirely kosher, from bow to stern. For five weeksRead More


The Analyses of Acute Diagnostic Minds

By David Curzon

This week’s portion, Tazria, is concerned with purity and contamination. It contains many passages along these lines: And when a man or woman hath a plague upon the head… the priest shall look on the plague, and, behold, if the appearance thereof be deeper than the skin, and there be in it yellow thin hair, then theRead More





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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.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • 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?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
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