The Shmooze


A Small World Weds Saris and Yarmulkes At New Delhi’s Sole Synagogue

By Alex Halperin

As soon as David Danieli, Israel’s new ambassador to India, arrived behind schedule at Judah Hyam Hall synagogue in New Delhi one recent Friday night, the congregants raised their arms toward the ark to welcome the Sabbath.“It’s good of him to come,” one woman said in a scratchy voice that would later dominate the…Read More


Frum Fiction: Observant Gumshoes Master ABCs of Murder

By Zackary Sholem Berger

What makes a good mystery? Sex and death — but shul attendance and Sabbath observance don’t hurt either. That’s right: Orthodox Judaism has entered the world of detective fiction.There have been Jewish mysteries before, of course. Take Harry Kemelman’s haymish, if low-intensity, series of mystery novels featuring the Conservative RabbiRead More


Muckraking Crusader Creeps Onto the Bestseller List

By Max Gross

When investigative journalist Greg Palast published his account of voting irregularities that occurred in Florida during the 2000 presidential election, the state’s secretary of state, Katherine Harris, denounced his findings as “twisted.”Palast put that quote on his book jacket.“The Best Democracy Money CanRead More


Music Gets Boost on Israeli TV

This revolution will be televised.Earlier this month, Music 24 became Israel’s first all-music television station, unleashing what CEO Guy Behar and Amir Golan, the station’s marketing director, called “a quiet revolution.”Airing 24 hours a day, with an archive of 1,500 video clips ranging from Middle Eastern music toRead More


Day Schools Learn New Math During Economic Downturn (Correction)

An article in the August 8 issue, “Day Schools Learn New Math During Economic Downturn,” misstated the number of students enrolled at the Agnon School in Beachwood, Ohio. There were 330 students at the conclusion of the past school year.Read More


IN OTHER WORDS...

By Oren Rawls

Arnie the Styrian Oak: “Now he’s finally done it,” Christoph Winder writes in the August 8 issue of the liberal Austrian daily Der Standard. “Arnie, the honorable oak of Styria, Terminator and Austria’s undisputed symbol of expatriate success, overcame his scruples and on October 7 will be running for governor of California.”FromRead More


How Terry Sue Became Tovah

By Masha Leon

Trim and elegant in an ecru suit, Tovah Feldshuh mounted the Center for Jewish History’s auditorium stage for the July 14 American Jewish Historical Society-sponsored “dialogue” with Rabbi William Berkowitz. A veteran of more than 500 celebrity interviews over the past 51 years, the rabbi managed a few commentaries during “intermissions”…Read More


We Should All Be Proud

By Wendy Belzberg

Yes, I am a Jew, but why am I not called a Hebrew? In Israel, they speak, write and read Hebrew. In the Bible, our forefathers were Hebrews. Why aren’t we called Hebrew-Americans?

— A Hebrew at heart According to Rabbi Harlan Wechsler of Manhattan’s Congregation Or Zarua, though the Bible on occasion refers to the Jews as Hebrews,Read More


Traipsing Down the Red-Carpet Runway at ‘The Holy Land’ Gala

By Masha Leon

At the July 8 gala opening of “The Holy Land” at the Leonard Nimoy Theater at Symphony Space, the crush of photographers went flash ballistic as Danny Aiello emerged from his Jaguar and the film’s stars — Oren Rehany and Tchelet Semel — trod the red carpet.Subtitled “A Yeshiva Student, a Russian Prostitute, a Love Story,” this is…Read More


You Are Entitled to Exactly What You Want

By Wendy Belzberg

I am expecting my first child, and for medical reasons my doctor has already scheduled my delivery date. With no mystery about when the baby is coming, both sides of our family have already booked their plane tickets and are planning to show up en masse. I want to have some time alone with my baby and my husband beforehand. This may soundRead More





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  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
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