Friday, October 30, 2020


On This Date in 1881

One hundred and thirty three years ago, on March 1, 1881, an assassination of a Russian Czar had a most profound impact upon Russia and the Jewish people.

Czar Alexander II was heading toward his winter palace in St. Petersburg. He had just signed a document granting the first ever constitution to Russia. En route, radical members of Narodaya Volya (The


Photographs of Jewish Europe at Riverdale YM-YWHA

Riverdale—If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Lissa Marum’s exhibition of photos of European synagogues speaks volumes. Recently, Marum, 67, took center stage at a wine and cheese reception inaugurating her exhibit of 22 color photos of synagogues and other Jewish sites from Amsterdam to Moscow in Gallery 18 at the Riverdale YM-YWHA until


Who Killed Religious Zionism?

Who killed Religious Zionism? How did it happen that the moderate, centrist, responsible Mizrachi of the 1950s and 1960s, the Mizrachi of Zerach Warhaftig and Yosef Burg, was replaced by the Mafdal (National Religious Party—NRP) of Gush Emunim, the early radical precursor of today’s “settler movement”? How did Mizrachi permit itself to be hijacked by the


In the Mighty Jungle, the Lions Sleep Tonight

Shloshim (the Jewish 30-day mourning period) has now come and gone for them both. Ariel Sharon and Edgar Bronfman were eulogized as Lions of Judah. Sharon’s first name clearly denoting his role in Israeli life and history, Bronfman’s very being carrying the gravitas of Jewish leadership in a world that can often resemble, well, a jungle.

Edgar and Ariel:


Psychology and the Chance of Bringing Peace to Syria

What hope for an end to bloody conflict? How can we explain the level of savagery that has been seen in Syria? And how on earth do the negotiators in Geneva hope to bridge an abyss of cruelty and suffering that has seen more than 100,000 people killed and almost ten million displaced?

A first thought might be to see the Syrian crisis as simply an unmasking of


‘The Monuments Man’ of Rockaway

Rockaway Township—It has been one heck of a ride for Harry Ettlinger, who fled Germany with his parents to the U.S.  in 1938, was drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces, and is one of five Monuments Men still living. Yes, Harry, a long-term, active member of the Jewish War Veterans is a Monument Man— a real one, more authentic than any Monument Man in the movie


Israel Real Estate Leader & Author Shia Getter Coming to Teaneck

Jerusalem—As the Israeli real estate market continues to heat up and investors look towards Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and all around the country for the opportunity to cash in or find the home of their dreams, Shia Getter, author of the recently published Everything You Need to Know about Buying Real Estate in Israel will tour the U.S. to offer private


Zip It Up

We are at the stage when losing teeth is very exciting for our children. It brings back memories to when I was about his age and my friend’s and classmate’s teeth were falling out. But my teeth loved me so much that they simply wouldn’t budge. Eventually my dentist decided that he had no recourse but to begin extracting my teeth. During a two- year period, I had


Liar, Liar?

Face it, we all lie. If you are currently denying that, you are a liar. It starts when we are little and we look at our parents, with wide eyes, point to our siblings and say, “They did it!” Sometimes we lie because we are afraid of getting into trouble. Sometimes we lie because we are afraid of the truth.

“I have a headache.”

“That dress


To Beach or Not to Beach

As we wheel our carry-ons into the airport lounge in Ft. Lauderdale, my eyes are drawn to the T.V. over the bar. The words are snaking across the bottom of the screen ominously.

Winter Weather Advisory: Entire Northeast blanketed with early snow. Freezing temperatures expected through the week.

“Are we insane?” I ask my husband. Here we


Technology and Tradition: Yiddish Theatre’s Younger Generation

Many in the Boomer generation (and a bit younger) grew up in Jewish homes where Yiddish was the language of secrets. “We never learned any Yiddish or much about the period between the Second Temple and the Holocaust,” notes “Motl” (Matthew/Mordechai) Didner.

Following graduation from New York University with a degree in theater (1995), Motl helped found


Cycle for Unity Unites Participants in “Charity-of-Choice” Model

Rabbi Ari Solomont thinks a bike is the best vehicle for raising money earmarked to benefit good causes. The former Bostonian recently launched Cycle for Unity to revolutionize Jewish activism and philanthropy in a unique “charity of choice” model. He rolled out this initiative to get young adults and professionals energized about connecting to