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Rabbi Buchwald Speaks of Highs and Lows of Jewish Outreach

By Masha Leon

“Almost 60% of American Jews have nothing at all to do with Judaism,” Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald, impassioned founder and director of the National Jewish Outreach Program, said at its February 3 dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria.Changing tacks, he said: “For the past 16 years NJOP has reached 730,000 North American Jewish souls… taught them Hebrew…Read More


A Jordanian Prince Dazzles Benefit-goers

By Masha Leon

The Abraham Fund Initiatives’ January 29 “Coexistence Benefit” opened with invocations in Arabic, Hebrew and English by Muhammed Fahili, director of the Jewish-Arab Community Association in Akko, Israel, a city he described as “one-third Arab, one-third Jewish and one-third immigrant.”A Buddhist blessing, a meditation about “food…Read More


‘Silence Is Not Golden,’ Jarvis Says at King Tribute

By Masha Leon

An inspiring tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. by the Consulate General of Israel, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and the Jewish National Fund was hosted by Israel’s consul general, Alon Pinkas, at his residence. The January 22 event honored Rep. Gregory Meeks, former St. Johns basketball coach Mike Jarvis and…Read More


Albright Broaches Brooches at a Gem of a Gala

By Masha Leon

“Every major life event is marked by a presentation of jewelry,” said TV anchor Deborah Norville, mistress of ceremonies, at the January 9 Gem Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. The glittering black-tie event honored Sybil and David Yurman, founders of David Yurman Design, Inc.; Carmen Borgonovo, a W Magazine editor, and the world-renowned…Read More


Saluting One Who Challenged the ‘Ultimate Taboo’

By Masha Leon

Eric Breindel, the late chief editorial writer for the New York Post, was honored with the first American Jewish Historical Society Kenneth J. Bialkin Citigroup Public Service Award at a December 17 “In Memoriam (1955-1998)” tribute at the Center for Jewish History. It was established “in recognition of [AJHS chairman] Bialkin’s 16 years…Read More


JNF Tree of Life Branches Out To Embrace Feldshuh and Zaks

By Masha Leon

“Don’t mess with Tovah!” warned Lewis J. Stadlen, master of ceremonies at the Jewish National Fund’s December 8 Tree of Life Award dinner at the Marriott Marquis honoring Tovah Feldshuh (“Golda’s Balcony”) and stage director Jerry Zaks (“Laughter on the 23rd Floor,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “LendRead More


An Anti-Smoking Legacy; a Love-Filled ADL Good-bye

By Masha Leon

“When I was at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts,” recalled Kirk Douglas at the November 24 American Legacy Foundation dinner at Cipriani 42nd St., “I met Lauren Bacall. She was a beautiful 16-year-old…. I was a poor boy. I had no raincoat…. Her uncle gave me an overcoat that I wore for two years. How did I thank her?Read More


Doctors Fill the House at Lenox Hill’s ‘Fantastique’ Ball

By Masha Leon

“Is there a doctor in the house?” NBC’s “Today” anchor Ann Curry joked at the November 18 Lenox Hill Hospital “Fantastique” ball at the Waldorf-Astoria when she presented the Medal of Distinction to her co-host Al Roker and to ABC’s “20/20” regular Deborah Roberts, who is married to Roker.“I’m embarrassed at…Read More


Two Firsts for an Interethnic Foundation

By Masha Leon

A “Salute to Musical Theatre,” performed at the Rainbow Room by Patti Lupone, Audra McDonald, Ann Reinking, Roy Scheider, Michael Smith and the superb Boys Choir of Harlem enhanced the celebrity-studded November 17 “Stella by Starlight” gala to benefit the Stella Adler School of Acting.Ellen Adler announced that her mother’s StellaRead More


Friendship, Culture Link America, Israel

By Masha Leon

“We are the No. 1 target of a new form of antisemitism….. Israel has become the collective Jew,” said Mortimer Zuckerman, president of the America-Israel Friendship League, at the league’s November 12 Partners for Democracy Award dinner. “If the Iraq venture fails,” Zuckerman cautioned, “a new wave of antisemitism will target theRead More





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  • 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."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • 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.
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