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Sundry Lessons of the Exodus

By David Curzon

This week’s portion, Pekude, covers the last chapters of Exodus and so is a good place to try to draw some general lessons from our story of stories.The poets have been finding metaphors and similes in Exodus for quite some time. John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), for example, found in the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-6) an extended metaphor forRead More


Sephardic Music Comes Out of the Shadows

By Andrew Muchin

More than faithfully reproducing centuries-old Sephardic melodies, an emerging group of American Jewish songwriters is developing a Jewish world-beat sound that includes Sephardic melodies and instruments, whether sung in Hebrew, English, Ladino (Sephardic Judeo-Spanish) or even Yiddish.In St. Louis, for example, Jewish Renewal Rabbi James StoneRead More


Having a Gay Old Time At Uncle’s Brit Ahava

By Marjorie Ingall

Josie’s childhood is already pretty different from mine. I took my first airplane flight when I was a year old (to see Grandma in Florida); she took hers at 5 weeks (to see Auntie Ellen wed in Milwaukee). I wasn’t present at my own baby-naming; my dad ran into shul on a Monday morning and had an aliya. Josie, meanwhile, had her own carefullyRead More


When Empty Nesters Go Looking for God

By Lisa Keys

Growing up in Birmingham, Ala., Gennye Feldman, along with her mother and her four siblings, kept kosher, ate Sabbath dinner on Fridays and drove to services at their Conservative synagogue every weekend.“Judaism was definitely a core part of our family values,” Gennye, a 28-year-old marketing manager, told the Forward.Now a young adult livingRead More


Designer Molly Stern Trots Out Garb for Bodies Botticelli Favored

By Malina Saval

When 30-year-old fashion entrepreneur Molly Stern was still a teenager, her boyfriend took her to a museum to gawk at the Botticelli paintings. “That’s your body,” he told the cute, curvy pubescent girl. “They’ve been painting you for centuries.”Of course, most Jewish women who can’t squeeze their hips into a pair of made-for-shiksasRead More


Talmud by Day, Reggae by Night

By Jon Kalish

At a nightclub in New York’s East Village called the Sidewalk Café, a guy known as Rav Shmuel performed on a recent Saturday night, after the Sabbath had ended. The Rav, as he is known to friends and fans, closed his set with an original composition titled “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion Are True.”“The Protocols of the Elders of ZionRead More


It’s Down Home Southern Comfort at Federation Gala

By Masha Leon

Cowboy hats, jeans on bottom and chic on top — “Southern Comfortable” — was the dress code at the February 11 UJA-Federation of New York Entertainment, Media & Communications Division bash at the Regent Wall Street Hotel. Joel Katz, the first attorney inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and “a definitive leader…Read More


‘Charmed’ Torah Finds A New Resting Place

By Judith A. Sokoloff

Jersey City PATH station, around 1 in the morning, Sunday, a few years back. It’s quiet down in the subway — small groups of tired visitors chat as they wait for the train back to Manhattan.A young man comes flying down the stairs, sooty-faced, wild-eyed and disheveled. “Is there a Jew here?” he asks anxiously. Nobody pays attention.Read More


Check Mate: Daughters-in-Law Root of Evil

By Wendy Belzberg

My sons are both in their 30s, married and make more money than we do. When the six of us go out together for dinner, my husband and sons take turns picking up the check or agree to split it. But after a recent meal together, one of my daughters-in-law called to say she was incensed by my cheapness and my attitude. She says that parentsRead More


Sanctifying the World Trade Center Site

By Pearl Abraham

And Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs…. [E]very able man in whom theRead More





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