Telling stories, letter by letterSofer Jay Greenspan’s work on display at the Tenafly JCC
Women and tefillinMay women wear tefillin?
Visionary look at the Jewish Home FamilyPublic television program films exemplary Rockleigh-based institution
‘And then the phone rang…’Wyckoff man’s adventures in politics and public service
Black humor, comedic goldDirector of Sholem Aleichem film to speak in Glen Rock
A safe, secret place to talk, to cryJCC offers parents of drug-addicted children anonymity, help
Tzena composer remembers Pete Seeger
Seeing SinaiContest for students highlights the unity designed into school’s diversity
The breaktaking Brecher
Look at the procession of 50 Torah scrolls in these photos by Allyn Michaelson of Fair Lawn, and you’ll notice their vastly diverse covers, or mantles, right away.
That’s because each one is housed at a different synagogue around the world. But they all share a common point of origin. They all are from Czechoslovakia.
As this newspaper previously reported, 1,564 Torah scrolls rescued from Nazi-era Moravia, Bohemia, and the Sudetenland began arriving at the Westminster Synagogue in London on February 9, 1964. The Jewish communities from which they came did not survive the war, so the Memorial Scrolls Trust was formed to administer these holy scrolls and find “guardians” for the ones that were in good enough condition to travel.
When discussion among Jewish professionals turns to Jewish continuity, gloom often sets in. Pew study this, dropping enrollments that, grim statistics, glum outlook, gray skies looming.
The one break in those skies, the rare glint of golden sunlight, is Jewish summer camping. Sleepaway camp is intensive, immersive, and experiential; it makes Jewish living alive and joyful in a way that school, by definition, cannot.
But just as the dark cloud has a silver lining, so does this silver lining have its own dark cloud.
Camp is not cheap, and many parents fear that they cannot afford it.
Rebecca Teplow of Teaneck didn’t start composing until her son Joe, now 22, was 10 years old.
“I felt that having children sparked within me a new creative energy,” said the musician, who will perform some of her songs on March 9 at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades’ Eric Brown Theater.
Ms. Teplow has quite a musical history.
After taking up the violin at the High School of Performing Arts in New York —she already had studied piano as a young child — Ms. Teplow went on to pursue a degree in music performance, attending both the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem and Brooklyn College. The renowned violinist Yitzhak Perlman and the composer Robert Starer were among her teachers.
Jonathan Emont — a 2008 graduate of Ridgewood High School who celebrated his bar mitzvah at the town’s Temple Israel and Jewish Community Center — always has felt a deep attachment to the state of Israel.
Still, the 23-year-old said, he never expected that country to be at the center of his professional life.
Things changed, however, when the recent Swarthmore College graduate went to Israel on a tour the America-Israel Friendship League offered to young journalists.
“I did journalism in college,” he said, explaining that although he majored in history, he also was the editor of Swarthmore’s Daily Gazette.
The Pew Research Center’s study of American Jews, released last October, really is the gift that keeps on giving.
As much as the Jewish community deplores the study’s findings, it seems to exert a magnetic pull over us, as if it were the moon and we the obedient tides. We can’t seem to stop talking about it. (Of course, part of that appeal is the license it gives us to talk, once again, about ourselves. We fascinate ourselves endlessly.)
That is why we found ourselves at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly last Wednesday night, with the next in the seemingly endless series of snow-and-ice storms just a few hours away, discussing the Pew study yet again.
While its members may not be used to snow — the group had to cancel its February 5 concert because of the omnipresent white stuff blanketing our area — the Haifa Symphony Orchestra certainly is familiar with beautiful music.
Indeed, says Motti Eines, the orchestra’s general director, when the group plays in Englewood on February 17, it will bring the best of Israeli music to bergenPAC.
Now on an eight-week concert tour of the United States, the HSO — one of only three symphony orchestras in Israel, Mr. Eines said — is led by music director Maestro Xu Zhong. While Israel has many chamber orchestras as well as a philharmonic orchestra, symphony orchestras can be found only in Jerusalem, Rishon LeZion, and Haifa.
Mr. Eines said that Haifa created its own orchestra because “it’s in the DNA of the city,” which, he said, is devoted to the arts and education. “It’s in the culture of Haifa,” he added, citing the city’s two universities and the Haifa Theater, Israel’s first municipal theater.
Three weeks ago, while most of their neighbors were talking about Super Bowl parties and pre-game events, others were busy spreading the word about sex trafficking.
Some left leaflets at hotels near MetLife Stadium, and some distributed special bars of soap that included a hotline number for victims on its wrapping.
Among the participants in that effort, which was organized by the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking, was the Interfaith Brotherhood/Sisterhood of Bergen County. Now, that group is getting ready to hold its 28th annual breakfast, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on President’s Day, Monday, February 17, at the Hasbrouck Heights Hilton. (The registration deadline has passed, but there are some limited seats available. For information, call the JCRC at 201-820-3944. Admission is $30 for adults and $15 for students.)
Alton Williams of Teaneck, a member of the Baha’i faith, was the chairman of the eight-faith group this year. He said that the pre-Super Bowl human trafficking effort was an example of the sort of work the interfaith organization does between annual breakfasts.