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  • Lords of the trains
    How a world-class model railroad layout landed in a Paterson silk mill
  • ‘Gone with the Wind’ turns 75
  • David Zvi and Josh's excellent bentscher adventure
    How two friends came to craft Seder Oneg Shabbos, a book of Grace and beauty
  • The Dreydl
  • ‘Sheriff of Mars’ tells story of Daniel Antopolsky
  • A time to mourn
    Remembering Rabbi David Feldman
  • ‘Zero Motivation’
    A woman’s look at women in the Israeli military
  • 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


Face-to-face dialogue

Jewish, Muslim teens meet for a semester in River Edge

It seems like such a reasonable, obvious idea.

Have Jewish and Muslim teenagers talk to each other. Let them listen to each other. Let them compare traditions and experiences; let them figure out what makes them similar and what differentiates their own tradition and makes it special.

Let them see the humanity in each other.

Right now, though, the world is not a place where such conversations flourish — in fact, the world right now seems to be a place where hatred and willful misunderstanding are valued. That’s why the program bringing together Temple Avodat Shalom in River Edge and the Peace Island Institute, a national organization with local headquarters in Hasbrouck Heights, is unusual.

First Person

Sydney under siege

A personal reflection

On Sunday evening, in the midst of putting our daughters to bed, our cell phones began buzzing with messages from local friends, directing our attention to a most troubling incident in the heart of Sydney’s central business district.

Reports from television and online media offered varying perspectives — but the truth was that Sydney was under siege, and as many as 50 innocent Sydneysiders were being held hostage in the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place.

Throughout our time together in Sydney, the two of us, along with our friends and family, enjoyed many cups of coffee and hot cocoa at the Lindt Cafe. Martin Place is only three train stops from Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, including world-famous Bondi, where Lisa was raised, and where Paul, who was born in the United States, spent the first seven years of his career as rabbi at Emanuel Synagogue in Woollahra.


Meeting the troops

Englewood couple joins Friends of the IDF mission to Israel

Dr. Robert and Barbara Cohen of Englewood met plenty of top-brass VIPs on their recent visit to Israel with the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces National Leadership Mission — President Reuven Rivlin and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz among them.

But what stands out in Dr. Cohen’s mind are the regular soldiers in uniform.

“I was so impressed by the goodness of the individuals I met, the young soldiers and their commanding officers,” Dr. Cohen, an obstetrician/gynecologist, said. “These young people, right out of high school, are giving up two or three years of their lives for Israel. And they all, to the man or woman, told us they consider it an honor to preserve and protect Israel for the Jewish people.”


More aid for Holocaust survivors

Home care is called the ‘top social welfare priority’

It would appear that the needs of aging Holocaust survivors are being increasingly recognized.

Last month, following years of negotiations with the German government, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany announced increased financial assistance for child survivors of the Holocaust as well as for survivors of forced labor. This week, the Claims Conference reported that elderly Holocaust victims will receive significantly more aid in 2015.

Indeed, Claims Conference president Julius Berman said, total allocations to social service organizations around the world in 2015 will be $365 million. That is a 21 percent increase over 2014. In New Jersey, 12 social service agencies will receive a total of $6.5 million, more than double the amount for 2014.


Things to do on December 25

Thursday, December 25, is a Very Big Holiday. And it seems like everything is shuttered. Not so. We’ve come up with plenty of things to do that day, Jewish and not Jewish. So go ahead and enjoy!

1. Magical moments

Come to the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades and be wowed by the magic and comedy act performed by David Caserta, who was recently showcased on “America’s Got Talent.” The show runs from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Caserta is known especially for the art of illusion and for letting the audience in on the act. Tickets for the hour-long show are $10 for adults and $8 for kids who are members, $12 and 10 for nonmembers. After the show, hang out at the center and work up a sweat as you work out. For tickets, go to, call Michal at (201) 408-1467, or email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). JCC on the Palisades, 411 E. Clinton Ave., Tenafly.

2. Camp for the family at the Bergen YJCC


Bridgegate revisited

Local cyclist tells a different story of trans-Hudson travails

I try to walk, kayak, or bike as often as possible. That’s part of my effort to save the planet, stay in good health, and get the most out of my time here.

So when I arranged to meet a pretty lady for a date in Brooklyn, there was never any doubt about how I would get there. I biked from my Teaneck home to work in the Heights, and after a long day I headed south to Brooklyn.

The date went well.

At 11 p.m. I pedaled up through Brooklyn on Flatbush Avenue and thought back on my evening. Over the Manhattan Bridge bike path, across town, and up the Hudson River Greenway, I rode through the night on a dark and empty bike path. The Hudson resonated with Manhattan’s nightlife. It reflected towering skyscraper lights and pulsed against the rocks with water so black that a sleepy cyclist could lose himself in it.


Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s ‘lower guilt’ latkes

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz — South Florida congresswoman, chair of the Democratic National Committee, mother of three school-age children — is also, apparently, something of maven in the kitchen. Ms. Wasserman Schultz (aka @cleancookingcongresswoman) maintains an Instagram account devoted to her culinary adventures, and was tweeting over the weekend about, what else, latkes.

“Was flipping through old recipes and came across this — only 3 days to Hanukkah and more of these!” she tweeted, along with a photo of golden brown potato pancakes.

Getting latkes just right can present something of a challenge: forget to squeeze the water out of the potatoes and you’re likely to get a patty that’s heavier than it is crispy; fail to flip at precisely the right time, and the product may be more burnt than golden.


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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