Sunday, May 19, 2019

Features

Achva East 2015: Kosher Summer Fun for Eighth Graders

Achva has been running summer travel programs for Modern Orthodox teenagers for 35 years. Thousands of teenagers have participated and come back with rave reviews for Young Israel’s Achva East program. While not as well-known as its bigger siblings, Achva West or Achva Israel, Achva East offers girls and boys finishing eighth

The Book of Esther: A Manifesto for Jewish Peoplehood

The Book of Esther is the most secular book in the Bible. It is the only story without God in it. God doesn’t appear as a hero, and is not mentioned by anyone. So why was it included as a Holy Scripture? Maybe because it expresses the sanctity of the shared Jewish identity, not because it represents the sanctity of God. Jewishness in the

Answers to Top Purim Questions for 2015

The Purim questions were answered by Rabbi Eli Gersten, rabbinic coordinator and halachic recorder for OU Kosher. The responses were reviewed by Rabbi Yaakov Luban, OU Kosher executive rabbinic coordinator. Rabbi Moshe Zywica, OU Kosher executive rabbinic

Purim, Partying, and Parameters

The holiday of Purim celebrates one of the happiest times in Jewish history. With the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash and all of its desolation, the salvation of the Jews during the times of King Achashveirosh was a holiday of renewal. The rescinding of the decrees of Haman set the stage for the completion of the

The Origin of Taanit Esther

The origin of this fast has always been a mystery. A fast on the 13th of Adar is not mentioned in the book of Esther. Nor is such a fast mentioned in Tannaitic or Amoraic literature.

Interestingly, the 13th of Adar (Yom Nikanor) is one of the holidays included in Megillat Taanit. This means that

Getting Ready for Bar/Bat Mitzvah Celebrations

There is always a host of life-cycle celebrations that are part and parcel of our lives. Brissim, baby namings, bar/bats, weddings, anniversaries, and birthday parties are the usual reasons for someone to have a celebration. IT’S BAR/BAT TIME…and it takes a minimum of three years to get it right, so you’d better start

It’s Party Time: How to Choose an Appropriate Theme and Still Have Fun

Some party planners want you to ask your child where he or she wants to have his or her party. In the real world, most parents really don’t want to know what their 10-year-olds prefer—except for their favorite themes and colors. Parents should stay realistic and try to keep things on a level that shows their children they

The Food: Getting Down to Basics

Food decisions are some of the toughest decisions you will need to make. Based on time of year and day, your budget, the number of guests, the party theme, the style of event…everything plays into your menu choices. Will you do sit-down dinners or buffets? French service or family style? Each has its advantages.

Dairy or meat? Is food being

Snow, Snow, Snow? Start Prepping for a Spring Bar/Bat Now

For a truly formal garden party ’tis a pity that Cooper’s Pond in Bergenfield isn’t available for rentals. But there are country clubs and estates that will provide the perfect setting. Check your local listings and party suppliers for those estates and clubs that will accommodate your needs.

CJF and Joint Distribution Committee Sends 15 YU Students to Haiti

Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF), partnered with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to bring a group of 15 students from Stern and Yeshiva Colleges to assist in Haiti since the devastating earthquake in 2010 that affected more than 3.5 million people. Staffing the trip was CJF

Riverdale Y’s New Jazz Concert Series Led by Ted Rosenthal

BRONX—His creative arrangements make familiar tunes seem new, and he has taken jazz to a whole new level. Now, quintuple-threat Ted Rosenthal—performer, composer, professor, music writer-editor, and bandleader—will take the helm as the Riverdale Y’s new Artistic Director of Jazz and headline a new series of jazz concerts

Torah She’ba’al Peh and Jewish Values

Eventually, every student of the Talmud will (or at least should) ask himself, and others, the simple question, “Why?” Why learn Gemara? What is the value in analyzing legal conversations that often contain rejected opinions and halachot that don’t apply to us today? Why can’t we just be told what to do? Many of those who

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