Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Spirituality/Tradition

A Test of Character in This Week’s Torah Portion June 16, 2016 4:42 am

A Test of Character in This Week’s Torah Portion

There have been times when one passage in this week’s parsha — Torah portion —...

Leaving the Fold and Returning to It: Two Tales of Adjustment June 15, 2016 7:09 am

Leaving the Fold and Returning to It: Two Tales of Adjustment

I did something recently that I said I wasn’t going to do anymore: I read an online...

What It Means to Be A Jew June 14, 2016 3:58 am

What It Means to Be A Jew

There are so many attempts to define what it means to be a Jew. Is it genetic? Consensual?...

Reflections on Shavuot, 2016 June 14, 2016 3:17 am

Reflections on Shavuot, 2016

It was the genius of Babylonian Jewry to meet the challenges of exile 2,500 years ago. Originally,...

Judaism and the Blessing of Love June 10, 2016 7:46 am

Judaism and the Blessing of Love

At 176 verses, Naso is the longest of the parshiyot. Yet one of its most moving passages,...

The Reason Why the Jews Accepted the Torah June 10, 2016 7:40 am

The Reason Why the Jews Accepted the Torah

One of my favorite Midrashim describes God’s attempt to find a nation willing to accept...

The Expulsion of Jews from Lithuania and Courland on Shavuot 1915 June 9, 2016 10:12 am

The Expulsion of Jews from Lithuania and Courland on Shavuot 1915

Shavuot 1915 was one of the largest single expulsions of Jews since Roman times.During this...

Would You Convert Like Yitro? June 9, 2016 3:45 am

Would You Convert Like Yitro?

As we are confronted with a serious increase in the number of Jews who have not only left...

Remembering a Stunning, Brave Girl — and a Light of Hope June 7, 2016 8:15 am

Remembering a Stunning, Brave Girl — and a Light of Hope

“Is it me, or is it always either really hot or really cold here?” my husband asked as...

Conflicting Claims to the Land of Israel: What Every Yeshiva Boy Studying Basic Talmud Knows June 7, 2016 6:02 am

Conflicting Claims to the Land of Israel: What Every Yeshiva Boy Studying Basic Talmud Knows

One of the great tragedies of the modern Jewish state is that the Zionist movement, which...

How Dangerous Times Can Help Us Lead Better Lives June 3, 2016 3:25 am

How Dangerous Times Can Help Us Lead Better Lives

On May 10, 1940, the Nazis invaded Holland. Just four days later, the Dutch army surrendered,...

The Unity of Jerusalem June 2, 2016 6:06 am

The Unity of Jerusalem

There is a recurring theme associated with Jerusalem: that of Jewish unity. Jerusalem is...

More...

  • Blogs Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas to Wear Leotard With Hebrew Letters in National Competition

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas will wear a leotard bearing Hebrew lettering when she competes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships over the weekend. Douglas’ Swarovski-outlined outfit will feature the Hebrew word “Elohim,” meaning God, on its left sleeve. The Hebrew detailing honors the athlete’s “rich heritage of faith,” according to apparel manufacturer GK Elite, which produced the leotard and released a preview of it on Wednesday. The company said Douglas’ sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created the Hebrew design. The outcome of the P&G Championships will help […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    British World Heavyweight Champion Should Be Banned From Boxing for Sounding Like Hitler, Says Ukrainian Competitor

    Britain’s world heavyweight champion, Taylor Fury, should be banned from boxing for making Nazi-like comments, a former world champion from the Ukraine said on Thursday, ahead of their upcoming match. “I was in shock at his statements about women, the gay community, and when he got to the Jewish people, he sounded like Hitler,” Wladimir Klitschko told British media, according to Reuters. “We cannot have a champion like that. Either he needs to be shut up or shut down in the ring, or […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Shows Cooking Skills and Humor on Chopped

    Rabbi Hanoch Hecht just made television history; but, unfortunately, he couldn’t have his rugelach and eat it too. Hecht became the first rabbi to compete on the hit show “Chopped,” where contestants are forced to use four random ingredients in their recipes, and have 20-30 minutes to create an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. A contestant is eliminated after each round. Hecht, 32, said that while the dishes and utensils were new, the kitchen was not kosher, so he couldn’t taste […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Music Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox Entertainer Stars in Pepsi Max Commercial as New Face of Company’s Israel Campaign (VIDEO)

    Orthodox singer and entertainer Lipa Schmeltzer is starring in a new Pepsi Max commercial for the company’s campaign in Israel. The commercial begins with a bunch of Jewish men eating at a restaurant, when Schmeltzer walks in and tries to decide what to order. An employee at the obviously Israeli eatery offers him a variety of foods, but the entertainer in the end decides on a bottle of Pepsi. Everyone in the restaurant then joins him, drinking Pepsi Max and dancing to […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Book Reviews Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    Jewish Author’s ‘Messy’ Draft Transforms Into Rock Star Novel on Amazon

    JNS.org – “Writing is a messy process,” says author Elizabeth Poliner. “People who don’t write fiction would be surprised to see what early drafts could look like.” But readers wouldn’t know “what a mess it was for the longest time,” as the Jewish author puts it, when reading Poliner’s critically acclaimed latest book, As Close to Us as Breathing. The volume garnered Amazon’s “Best Book” designation in March 2016 as well as rave reviews from the New York Times,W Magazine, NPR, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Sundance Tour Features Short Film About Elderly Jewish Woman’s Decision to Eat Bacon for First Time

    Sundance Tour Features Short Film About Elderly Jewish Woman’s Decision to Eat Bacon for First Time

    The Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour, which started on Friday in New York City, features a mini-documentary about an elderly Jewish woman whose journey away from Orthodoxy leads her to taste forbidden food for the first time in her life. In Canadian director Sol Friedman’s Bacon & God’s Wrath, Razie Brownstone talks about ending her lifelong observance of keeping kosher as her 90th birthday approaches. The recently declared atheist said the discovery of the search engine Google spurred a lapse in her Jewish faith and made her decide to […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Food Chabad Rabbi From New York Competes on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’ Cooking Competition

    Chabad Rabbi From New York Competes on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’ Cooking Competition

    A Chabad rabbi from Rhinebeck, NY, will face off a priest, a pastor and a nun-in-training in an upcoming episode of the Food Network‘s reality show, “Chopped,” Lubavitch.com reported. Rabbi Hanoch Hecht – who teaches up-and-coming chefs about the intricacies of kosher dietary laws at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) — was nominated for the show by a professional chef, and went through a rigorous interview process at the Food Network’s studios in Chelsea, NY. Months later, he was informed he had been accepted as a contestant in the popular TV cooking competition. “I thought […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief (BOOK REVIEW)

    Religion, Politics, and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief (BOOK REVIEW)

    Religion, Politics and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief by Asaf Romirowsky & Alexander H. Joffe (Palgrave Macmillan; 2013) Although this book came out several years ago, it remains pertinent. This is a meticulously researched book that concentrates on a very small bit of history: the time period from 1948-50 when the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group, was organizing refugee relief in Gaza. Before UNRWA, the UN created the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees (UNRPR). It outsourced […]

    Read more →