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  • Born to lead
    The head of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey tells his story — and federation’s
  • ‘You are not numbers. You have a name’
    Tenafly JCC Holocaust commemoration highlights survivor from Tappan
  • ‘Seltzer Nights’ fizzes and fizzles
  • 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


Initiative brings student nurses together with Holocaust survivors

Nursing is changing, according to Kathy Burke, the assistant dean in charge of nursing at Ramapo College of New Jersey in Mahwah.

“Nurses need to be prepared to move into the community, away from the hospital,” she said. “The community is the most important care-giving site.”

To ensure that their nurses receive this training, Ramapo provides its students with a variety of clinical experiences which “will redefine the health care of the future,” Ms. Burke said.

A new initiative — conceived by Dr. Michael Riff, director of Ramapo College’s Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Leah Kaufman, director of JFS of North Jersey — brings Burke’s students together with Holocaust survivors.

“Taking care of the elderly, especially those with such a unique history, will double the impact of this experience” for her students, Ms. Burke said. “It’s [important] for this newer generation of nurses to talk with individuals who have experienced the Holocaust.”


Evil, hope onstage in Teaneck

Yavneh students tell the story of Berga slave camp in annual Holocaust play

Glen Rock eighth-grader Shmuel Berman took on the role of murderous SS Sgt. Erwin Metz in Yavneh Academy’s recent Holocaust play about the little-known slave-labor camp at Berga in eastern Germany, where hundreds of American prisoners of war were interned along with Holocaust victims.

What was it like to portray a real-life Nazi?

“It was hard,” Shmuel said. “I had to try to get into the character of someone who was not a good person and did terrible things to people.

“I was hoping the audience saw that Erwin Metz considered himself a ‘normal’ person, yet he lied during the court scenes, claiming that he didn’t mistreat anyone. We can learn that evil could happen anywhere; it doesn’t require an evil person.”


‘Oy vey, my child is gay’

Orthodox parents seek shared connection in upcoming retreat

Eshel, a group that works to bridge the divide that often separates lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews from their Orthodox communities, is holding its third annual retreat for Orthodox parents of those LGBT Jews next month.

Although most of its work is done with Orthodox LGBT Jews — who may or may not be the children of the parents at the retreat — the retreat offers parents community, immediate understanding, the freedom to speak that comes with that understanding, the chance to learn, and the opportunity to model healthy acceptance.

“There are particular issues to being Orthodox and having a gay child, although it varies a lot from community to community,” Naomi Oppenheim of Teaneck said. “You worry about what the community is thinking about you. Someone — I don’t remember who — said, ‘When my kid came out, I went into the closet.’”


Grief spans an ocean

Israel burial for 7 kids killed in blaze

Even in a city accustomed to deadly fires, this one stood out for the sheer scale of the tragedy.

Seven children, ranging in age from 5 to 16, were killed in the middle of the night after awakening from their Sabbath slumber to smoke and flames.

It was New York’s deadliest blaze since 2007, and there were only two survivors: mother Gayle Sassoon, 45, and daughter Tziporah, 15, who jumped from second-story windows to escape the flames sparked by a malfunctioning Shabbat hot plate in their home in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.

The other children could be heard screaming from their rooms, but rescuers could not reach them in time.

The victims’ father, Gabriel Sassoon, was away at a religious retreat in Manhattan when the fire struck. He learned about what happened only when New York Police Department officers located him at a synagogue on Saturday morning.


Even back then, it was made in China

Interest in Jewish objects on rise at major Dutch fine arts fair

Maastricht, Netherlands — Collector interest in art objects with Jewish content and themes is on the rise at the European Fine Art Fair, a major annual event where nearly 275 galleries sell everything from ancient sculpture to Rembrandt paintings to photography and modern art. The fair, often hailed as the “world’s premier fair for pre-21st century artworks,” held in the southern tip of the Netherlands, ended on March 22.

“Ten years ago there was hardly anything at all, and now there are several stands and some stands with groupings in [Jewish] objects. Clearly that would not be the case if people wouldn’t be buying them,” said Eike Schmidt, the James Ford Bell curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Schmidt knows of several younger collectors in the field, which might help explain the growing interest in Jewish objects, and he has been surprised to learn that not only are U.S. and Israeli collectors in the field, but European ones are as well. He wonders if rising anti-Semitism in Europe has been a factor.

“People are confronted with an identity that they otherwise wouldn’t think about,” he said. “That might play a role.”


Lower East Side candy king holds firm against the changing neighborhood

Walking into Economy Candy on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, it’s hard to know where to look first.

To the foil-clad chocolate rabbits standing sentinel atop sacks of chocolate eggs? The stacks of kosher-for-Passover jelly rings and chocolate pops across the narrow aisle? The facing bins spilling over with peanut butter chews and saltwater taffy?

Make your way to the back of this Willy Wonka-esque store, past more of the 2,000 varieties of candy it sells, and you see that the walls are lined with dispensers ready to release a rainbow of gumballs and jellybeans.

At a time when venerable Lower East Side companies like Streit’s Matzos are selling their increasingly valuable land to developers and departing, the decidedly old-school Economy Candy is holding firm.


Netanyahu facing challenges, criticism from Jewish liberals

WASHINGTON– With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu facing escalating criticism and pressure from the White House, he could use some help from Israel’s erstwhile allies in the American Jewish community — especially those with sway in liberal and Democratic circles.

But several leading Jewish liberal critics of Netanyahu are working to rally American Jewish opinion against him by stepping up their condemnations of the prime minister and calling on the United States to ratchet up the pressure on Israel.

The epicenter of this liberal Jewish push is the annual J Street conference in Washington, where, in a Saturday night speech to 3,000 attendees, the group’s executive director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, accused Netanyahu of harming the U.S.-Israel relationship through “partisan gamesmanship” and called on the Obama administration to put forth the parameters for a resolution to the conflict at the U.N. Security Council.


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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