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  • From Assyria to Iberia
    Even in prophetic period, Israelites were part of the larger world, local Assyriologist says
  • Fleeing Europe's darkness, filmmakers took refuge in California sun
  • Survey says
    What the federation study tells us about us
  • Kutsher’s documentary captures the eclectic legacy of a Borscht Belt relic
  • At the heart of Touro
    Alan Kadish leads America’s largest Jewish university
  • Bus, bomb, book
    Local reporter investigates personal and political repercussions
  • Teaneck Film Festival in its ninth year
  • Art versus life
    Tenafly JCC to host work of mid-century Jewish artist
  • ‘Fury’ a blistering account of World War II — sans the Holocaust
  • The father of Jewish Home Family retires
    Charles Berkowitz, visionary creator of compassionate services for the elderly, looks back


NCJW immigration panel decries “broken system”

Participants praise President Obama’s executive action

President Obama’s recent speech on immigration — and his decision not to deport some 5 million people — most likely was driven, at least in part, by the advocacy efforts of groups such as the National Council of Jewish Women.

The Bergen County section, which held a forum on immigration reform last Tuesday, was in the process of sending a letter to the president when his formal statement was issued.

“It was a packed house,” Bea Podorefsky of Teaneck said of the forum, which drew 300 attendees. She and fellow NCJW member Joyce Kalman chaired the event.

“We prepared a letter for attendees to sign urging the president to take some action,” she said, joking that one of the program’s panelists, Rabbi Greg Litcovsky, said she must have had a “connection” to a higher power, given the president’s subsequent action.

Ms. Podorefsky said that the forum’s goals were “to educate ourselves, to educate the community at large, and to work together with our coalition partners.” The coalition, created around last year’s NCJW forum on human trafficking, consists of 24 organizations, ranging from Project Sarah to the Palisades Park Senior Center.


Surviving the Holocaust, living to 102

Family, friends remember the indomitable Helen Fellowes

No one survived the Shoah without a story.

No one survived the Shoah without some luck.

No one lives to be 102 years old without both luck and a story.

Helen Fellowes of Ridgewood, who died on November 3 at 102, took advantage of some lucky breaks, and she had very many stories.

Here’s one:

Ms. Fellowes’ husband, Donald, was reunited with their two children, Martha and George, after the war, but he could not find his wife. He had no idea if she had survived. “We waited in Budapest for my mother to return, but she did not, so we went back to Nagyvarad,” the small Hungarian town where they had lived together long ago, before their part of the world went crazy, George Fellowes said.


Love and hate in Teaneck

Writing a blog post in response to the bloody, brutal, and unprecedented murder of four Jews at prayer in Jerusalem and the Druze police officer who tried to protect them on November 18, Rabbi Steven Pruzansky of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck has set off a firestorm.

Rabbi Pruzansky is a lawyer and a vivid writer whose political views are out of the mainstream. In “Dealing With Savages,” the post he put up last Friday and had taken down by Sunday, he urged collective punishment.

Rabbi Pruzansky’s blog is at Although this post has been removed it has been cached. The post was removed, he told the wire service JTA, in response to unspecified threats, not because he regretted anything he had written. “I don’t think I’m saying anything outlandish,” JTA reported Rabbi Pruzansky as saying.


Men with a mission

Federation gathers guys for April Israel trip

Dan Shlufman of Tenafly and Jon Mangot of Haworth are looking for a few good men.

Actually, more than a few. They want at least enough of them to fill a bus.

The two are organizing a trip to Israel for the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey — a mission for men only, to take place in April.

“We gear the trip a little bit more toward physical activities,” Mr. Shlufman explained.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to do and see things that you would never experience other than on a Federation mission, and other than with fellow men,” Mr. Shlufman said.


Putting the give into Thanksgiving

In the beginning was Robert Browne, an Anglican priest who in 1581 was the first to secede from the 47-year-old Church of England. (This at the time when those who skipped weekly services were fined by the state.) And Brownism begot the Mayflower colonists, and the colonists begot Plymouth Colony, and the Colony begot, two or three centuries later, Thanksgiving and America’s sole four-day yontiff.

And in the late 20th century, Thanksgiving begot Black Friday, when the Christmas shopping season was heralded with amazing discounts that were in-store only, leading some pilgrims to camp out overnight and others to trample their fellow pilgrims to death.

And lo, in 2005 Scott Silverman of said: “Let there be Cyber Monday,” and Mr. Silverman sent out a press release, and the New York Times duly reported that “millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.”


Why it matters

Making Israel’s Jewish status the law

TEL AVIV — On Sunday, Israel’s Cabinet advanced a bill in a 14-6 vote that would enshrine Israel’s status as a Jewish state into law if it is passed by the Knesset.

The nation-state law, as the controversial measure is being called, has sparked a crisis in Israel’s coalition, with center-left parties voting against it and threatening to break up the government if it passes.

Following the threats, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed a full Knesset vote on the bill for one week.

With Arab-Jewish tensions running high in Israel, supporters of the bill say it will reinforce Israel’s Jewish character. Opponents fear the bill will undermine the status of Israel’s Arab minority and stoke the flames of the conflict.


Israeli from Tenafly makes storybooks with sign language

Eyal Rosenthal of Tel Aviv doesn’t expect to make a mint from his new eMotion Stories digital books in English and American Sign Language. The world’s first interactive bilingual e-library for parents of children with hearing impairment was created as a labor of love, though the market is quite limited.

Mr. Rosenthal, who moved to Israel from Tenafly in 2008, expects only to reap the satisfaction of bringing a new dimension into the lives of children who otherwise would miss out on reading classics with their parents such as “Goldilocks,” “Cinderella,” “The Ugly Duckling,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and “Three Little Pigs.”

Each of the interactive fairy tales features pictures by world-class Israeli illustrators and is narrated in American Sign Language, in synch with the text, by deaf actress Alexandria Wailes.


Noshes: celebrity names in the news


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25 February 2011
7 January 2011
20 February 2009


Temple Beth El Re-Dedication
4th Annual Kosherfest Culinary Competition 2011
Kehillah Partnership Pilot Program


Teens from Sha’ar Communities met with Jack Antonoff of the Band FUN, pictured back row, center, to talk about Jewish identity. Rabbi Adina Lewittes of Sha’ar facilitated the discussion as part of a series,  “Teens 2.0: Hitting the Refresh Button on Jewish Identity.” Courtesy Sha’ar

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