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  • Master of disguise
    Unmistakable Tuvia Tenenbom, journalist discusses his sad findings about Israel, Europe, Germany, and anti-Semitism
  • The best Herman Wouk story (almost) no one has read
  • ‘Indescribable’ connections
    Zahal Shalom brings Israeli veterans to Ridgewood for touring, love
  • Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish roots ‘very much intact’
  • We’ve got the horse right here…
    Local Orthodox family wins the Kentucky Derby. Really!
  • The father of modern Israel
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  • 100 years in Hoboken
    United Synagogue’s building celebrates its centennial
  • Mom’s Day in motion
  • Book magic
    Federation hosting ‘Golem and Jinni’ author Helene Wecker
  • Moving from music to art
    But, says local cantor, leaving is hard


Should we toughen or baby our kids?

Panel at Emanuel at Franklin Lakes to look at innocence, experience, expectations

Say you begin with the assumption that just about everything in life demands a balance — between work and pleasure, home and office, family and friends, saving and spending, responsibility and heedlessness, tradition and change. That’s just part of being an adult. Maybe you can call it the balance between pleasure and pain.

But what about children? What about adolescents? What do they have to balance? What do we as their parents have to balance for them?

That’s what Rabbi Joseph H. Prouser’s latest panel, “Preserving Youthful Innocence…or Teaching Adult Responsibilities… What Do We Owe Our Children?” will explore.

Rabbi Prouser, who heads Temple Emanuel of North Jersey in Franklin Lakes, said that we — parents, educators, leaders, and the community in general — have two very different sets of responsibilities toward our children. “One is to teach them adult responsibilities, to help them grow up,” he said. “The other is the critical responsibility to protect and preserve their innocence, to keep them as children so they can have a full, wholesome experience of childhood.


Yvette Tekel, 1925-2015

Community mourns loss of beloved leader ‘active in anything Jewish’

The loss of Yvette Tekel will be keenly felt throughout our community and beyond its borders.

Indeed, the words family, friends, and colleagues — across communities, across organizations — used to describe Ms. Tekel — who recently moved to Fort Lee from Haworth — paint a picture of a woman who brought joy and inspiration to all who knew her.

“She was a five-foot giant,” said her husband, Louis, singing the praises of his nearly 90-year-old wife to Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner, who conducted Yvette’s funeral on May 20 at Temple Emanu-El of Closter. The couple had been married for 68 years.

Lou, who worked in the linen business and was a decorated hero of World War II, “was chairman of the Yvette fan club,” Rabbi Kirshner said. “He supported her and stood by her side” in all her many charitable endeavors.


Mark the SPOT

Family of melanoma victim works with hair stylists to raise awareness

Less than two years have gone by since Rachel Samitt noticed a suspicious mole under the wet hair on her dad’s sunlit scalp after a swim in the family’s Woodcliff Lake pool.

Though Mark Samitt immediately made an appointment with his dermatologist, the skin cancer his daughter saw took his life on May 6. He was 52.

Mr. Samitt’s tragic death makes this Sunday’s cut-a-thon all the more poignant — and vital. Mark the SPOT, a program he launched with his wife, Gayle, and daughters Rachel and Danielle, in partnership with the Melanoma Research Foundation, will be held at six Pascack Valley-area salons. Its goal is to teach hairstylists that “If you spot something, say something.”

Mark the SPOT educates stylists about how to identify possibly cancerous marks on their customers’ heads or necks and how to communicate their findings in a way that does not panic but encourages the customer to seek medical attention. The first salon to host a training session was Mania Hair Studio in Park Ridge. Owner Phil Mania lost his own father to melanoma at a young age.


Making sick kids a little bit happier

Tenafly Eagle Scout, remembering what it feels like, cheers them on with special packs

Daniel Nachum of Tenafly, 17, recently became an Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America.

This is remarkable, given that less than 10 percent of Scouts achieve this milestone.

Even more remarkable is that Daniel survived a childhood bout with cancer and decided to dedicate his Eagle Scout community-service project to pediatric oncology patients at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center.

“For me, this decision was a no-brainer because I was treated there for leukemia and remain a patient there at Cure and Beyond,” said Daniel, who has lived in town all his life and is now a junior at Tenafly High School and a member of Boy Scout Troop 86.


BDS on campus

When does ‘anti-Israel’ become anti-Semitic?

Liana Kadisha, a senior at Stanford University, says some Jewish students on her campus feel they have to hide who they are.

The 22-year-old knows of several who tuck their star of David necklaces inside their shirts, self-conscious about drawing attention to their Jewish identity.

That’s not the only worry for Jews at the bucolic Palo Alto campus.

Last month, Molly Horwiz, a Jewish candidate for the Stanford student senate, found herself grilled by members of a campus club who questioned her ability to think independently because of her “Jewish identity,” she said. Days later, vandals painted swastikas on a Stanford frat house.

Those incidents followed a student senate debate over an Israel divestment resolution in February. The bill passed on a second vote, after failing in a first round.

“The night of the first vote, one of the pro-divestment students got up and shouted ‘Long live the intifada’ and stormed out of the room,” Kadisha recalled. “That was extremely disturbing.”


How to build an American shtetl

See: Bloomingburg, N.Y.

BLOOMINGBURG, N.Y. — This is how you launch a chasidic shtetl in 21st-century America.

Step 1. Find a place within reasonable distance of Brooklyn where the land is cheap and underdeveloped.

Step 2. Buy as much property as you can in your target area — if possible, without tipping off locals that you plan to turn it into a chasidic enclave.

Step 3. Ensure the zoning is suited to chasidic living: densely clustered homes big enough for large families and within walking distance of the community’s vital infrastructure.

Step 4. Build the infrastructure: Houses, a synagogue and study hall, kosher establishments, a mikvah. Lay the groundwork for a school. Launch a shuttle service so chasidim who don’t drive or don’t own cars can get from the new shtetl to shopping outlets and other chasidic communities in the region.


Obama at Adas Israel

‘I have same high expectations of Israel as I do of U.S.’, he says

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has a message for American Jews: I don’t shy away from disagreeing with Israel publicly, because I care about Israel and our shared values.

The president marked Jewish American Heritage Month with a speech at Washington’s oldest Jewish congregation, Adas Israel, last Friday. His remarks glided from the triumphs of American Jewish accomplishment to Jewish involvement in the civil rights movement.

When it came to Israel, Obama was, as usual, unstinting in his pledge to protect the interests of the Jewish state. He noted that he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still disagree over how best to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He said, “I will not accept a bad deal” in nuclear talks now underway between Iran and the major powers.


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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