‘SHE SEES DEAD PEOPLE’: The Chicago Jewish News visits with a local Jewish psychic. “For the past 35 years, I’ve been speaking to dead people,” Ruth Berger tells the newspaper. “They come into my home, they stop me on the street, they wake me from a sound sleep. Ghosts have no boundaries.”
ARTISTS AGAINST RHINOPLASTY: The New York Jewish Week finds that filmmakers and writers are celebrating the intact Jewish nose.
Also in The Jewish Week: Efforts to combat Islamic extremism are resulting in some Jewish texts being removed from prisons.
BRANDEIS RAKES IT IN: Despite protests over a Jimmy Carter speech on campus, Brandeis is doing just fine in the fundraising field, according to Boston’s Jewish Advocate.
HE KNEW THE BLUES: The Baltimore Jewish Times remembers Rabbi Amrom Taub, who died recently after heading the Arugas HaBosem congregation for 57 years. The paper offers this anecdote about the Satmar Hasid and Holocaust survivor:
Former Baltimore Sun reporter Rafael Alvarez, who wrote a series about the local Orthodox community in the mid-1990s, offered fond memories of the rabbi, whom he visited regularly.
One day, Mr. Alvarez recalled, he arrived at Arugas HaBosem wearing a t-shirt bearing the likeness of blues guitarist B. B. King.
“[Rabbi Taub] was a very curious man. [He] had a very vibrant and curious intellect,” Mr. Alvarez said. “He pointed to my shirt and said, `Who’s that?’ I said, ‘It’s B. B. King. He sings the blues.’ He said, ‘What is the blues?’”
After explaining that blues music originates from the days of slavery and Jim Crow laws, Mr. Alvarez said Rabbi Taub “looked at me, paused for a moment and said, ‘In the camps, we sang the blues.’”
Also in the Jewish Times: A synagogue offers up its building to a Baptist church that was struck by lightning.
DAIRY DILEMMA: It’s not pareve, but it’s not quite dairy. The Florida Jewish News examines how different kosher-certification agencies handle the issue of baked goods that are made on machines that process milk products.
CRESTFALLEN IN TEHRANGELES: The L.A. Jewish Journal reports on the sadness among the city’s Persian Jews over Iranian-born Israeli president Moshe Katsav’s guilty plea to charges of sexual harassment. “While some diehards will continue to look for excuses, most of his supporters feel betrayed and deceived by his denials,” attorney H. David Nahai tells the Jewish Journal. “His ignominious downfall is a matter of great sadness and deep disappointment for Persian Jews everywhere.”
Also in the Jewish Journal: Amy Klein finds out how local rabbis feel about “The Secret,” the bestselling New Age-y book and DVD. (Hint: They don’t like it.)
THE MEN OF HADASSAH: Yes, they do exist. No, they’re not the subjects of a wall calendar. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency examines a man’s place in the storied women’s Zionist organization.
COMPASSION DEFICIT: The Cleveland Jewish News chronicles the woes of the city’s Jewish Family Service Association.
Also in the Jewish News: A Jerusalem nonprofit certifies whether eateries are “kosher” in how they treat their workers and disabled patrons.
THE CASE FOR KEN: With his often stridently pro-Palestinian views, London Mayor “Red Ken” Livingstone has been a nightmare for many British Jews. But maybe that shouldn’t stop Jews from voting for him, Bernard Josephs argues in London’s Jewish Chronicle.
Also in the JC: Fighting anti-Israel boycotts isn’t cheap.