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  • Hunting, hiding, finding — remembering
    Israeli treasure hunter Yaron Svoray speaks in Ridgewood for GBDS
  • Teaneck rabbi talks about slavery
    New haggadah stresses both oppression and liberation
  • Fifty shades of gold
    Morgan Library showcases modern illuminated Jewish manuscripts by Barbara Wolff
  • When cultures collide
    ‘Crossing Delancey’ poses universal questions
  • A very Jewish, deeply American life
    The Jewish Standard talks to the ZOA’s longtime head, Morton Klein
  • From the heart
    The Hot Club of Cowtown’s Jewish roots
  • ‘Kosher Soul’ plays on stereotypes — amusing some, angering others
  • A school grows in Englewood
    Moriah, first local Jewish day school, celebrates turning fifty
  • Made in Israel, watched in Jersey
    Jewish Federation to screen award-winning films across the area
  • ‘At Home in Exile’
    A look at diaspora, ingathering, fear, Bibi, and so much more


Exodus — the final frontier?

Franklin Lakes father-and-son team look at the seder and ‘Interstellar’ at Emanuel

Unnatural dark.

Feelings of dread.

Nothing good coming. Nothing bad holding back.

Have to leave. Gotta go. Need a new world. This one’s no good. Have to follow hope, follow destiny, follow God. Fight through hardship. Persevere. Face despair. Suffer many losses And then, finally, make it to a new home.


That’s a paradigmatic story. We know it best as the story of the Exodus from Egypt, one of our people’s most basic narratives, the story of how we left bondage and journeyed through a generation toward freedom.


Teaneck school budget highlights town’s fissures

Hundreds turn out to protest mooted cuts in day school busing

Call it the trial balloon that filled the room.

A proposal to trim $116,457 from the Teaneck Board of Education budget by consolidating bus stops for private schools drew a record crowd of hundreds of Jewish day school parents to a board meeting last week.

In the end, the president of the board, Dr. Ardie Walser, rejected the proposal.

But in the course of the evening, fissures in the township came out in the open.

Teaneck has about 4,500 students in its public schools. Some of them take buses to school. About 2,400 students who live in Teaneck are bused to private schools — day schools and yeshivas, secular schools, and parochial schools.


Talking about liberation

New seder resources from Emerson tackle the issue of modern-day slavery

Some two years ago, Rabbi Debra Orenstein, religious leader of Congregation B’nai Israel in Emerson, got a call from the Rabbinical Assembly — the Conservative movement’s rabbis’ organization — asking her to write a sermon on human trafficking for the High Holidays.

“I wanted to do my duty and help the organization, so I agreed to do it,” she said, adding that she had no intention of giving such a sermon herself.

“I normally talk about personal issues, growth and development, on the High Holidays,” she said. But as she started reading “A Crime So Monstrous: Face to Face with Modern-Day Slavery” by Benjamin Skinner, “it made such a profound impression that I was drawn into the issue.” In fact, she did give a sermon on the topic on Rosh Hashanah.

The issue became a central focus for her, and as she began to think about Pesach this year, she realized “the irony of sitting around the Passover table and talking about being lifted out of the house of bondage. We can go through a whole seder and not acknowledge that there are millions of people still in slavery in the world.”


Living la vida loca

Woodcliff Lakes cantor looks back at long, unexpected career

As they are about to retire, very few cantors can look back at 47 years in one shul.

Even fewer cantors can look back at a career that included selling guitars to the Rolling Stones, and to Linda Eastman to give as a birthday present to her husband, Paul. (That’s as in McCartney. As in the Beatles.)

And there is probably only one cantor in the world who can look back at both.

That’s Cantor Mark Biddelman of Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley in Woodcliff Lake, 71, who has a story to tell.

Mark Biddelman was born in Irvington in 1943, and grew up in Weequahic, that fabled Jewish neighborhood in Newark that produced both Philip Roth and his sort-of-alter-ego, Alexander Portnoy. He and his siblings — he was the middle of three children — were second generation Weequahic; his father was born there as well.


Bibi wins

After divisive campaign, Israelis elect Netanyahu

TEL AVIV — After weeks in which polls consistently showed Zionist Union holding a slight lead over the Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli leader effected a dramatic comeback to win a decisive victory in Israeli elections on Tuesday.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Netanyahu’s Likud had won 30 seats. That is a quarter of the Knesset and six more than the Zionist Union’s 24.

“Our country’s everyday reality doesn’t give us the luxury for delay,” Netanyahu said in a statement released on Wednesday. “The citizens of Israel expect that we will act quickly and responsibly to establish a leadership that will work for them in areas of defense, the economy, and society just as we promised in this campaign — and just like we will now set ourselves towards doing.”


Swarthmore Hillel votes to disaffiliate with Hillel International

Swarthmore Hillel’s student board voted to drop its affiliation with Hillel International and change its name, citing Hillel International’s restrictions on Israel issues.

Following an extended debate, the 11-member board elected late Monday night in a 7-3 vote to drop the affiliation, effective immediately. (One board member was absent.)

In December 2013, the Hillel of Swarthmore College declared itself an Open Hillel, saying it would not abide by Hillel International’s rules prohibiting partnering with or hosting groups or speakers who deny Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish or democratic state; delegitimize, demonize or apply a double standard to Israel, or support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.


British colonel finally granted wish

Reburial in Israel puts him near soldiers he led

MOSHAV AVICHAIL, Israel — On a crisp February morning in this community near the Mediterranean Sea, the sound of Israel’s flag whipping in the wind is likely to have pleased the soul of John Henry Patterson, whose ashes were buried a few yards away.

Patterson was a lieutenant colonel in the British military, and during World War I he commanded the Zion Mule Corps and the Jewish Legion. Those were the first Jewish military units in two millennia.

Although he was Christian, Patterson had expressed an interest in being buried in Israel alongside the men, many from prestate Israel, he had commanded. Patterson had been reared on the Bible and a love for the Jewish people and their land. But his family could not afford to transport the body to Israel when he died in Los Angeles 67 years ago.


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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