Bintel Blog

In Other Jewish Newspapers: Ben Stein Repels, Letter-Carriers vs. Israel, Prince Charles’s Tzedakah

By Daniel Treiman

  • Print
  • Share Share

FOUNDING FIREFIGHTERS: Connecticut’s Jewish Ledger explores the history of Lake Waubeeka, a summer community that was founded in 1950 by Ner Tormid, a fraternal organization of Jewish firefighters. The society’s name, the Ledger explains, was a misspelling of the Hebrew ner tamid, or “eternal flame.” Apparently, the firefighters were better at fighting flames than spelling them.


HASIDIC VIGILANTES?: The New York Jewish Week reports that Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is likening a Hasidic community patrol group to the Bloods and the Crips following an attack on a black man by a group of Jews in Crown Heights. Meanwhile, some Hasidim are complaining that while Hynes is coming down hard in response to this incident, a string of attacks on Jews in the neighborhood remain unsolved. But this isn’t Hynes’s only Jewish problem. The Jewish Week also reports on the aftermath of a controversial plea bargain in which critics say Hynes let a rabbi accused of molesting yeshiva students off easy.


A CLUB THAT WILL HAVE THEM: Rabbis Marc Angel and Avi Weiss have launched a new Modern Orthodox rabbinic association as an alternative to the established and rightward-drifting Rabbinical Council of America, which recently adopted more stringent conversion policies. But, The Jewish Week notes, the new association will also serve another purpose, providing a home to graduates of Weiss’s Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, who have been denied membership by the RCA.


‘REPELLED’ BY BEN STEIN: Ben Stein’s new pro-“intelligent design” documentary “Expelled” repels the editorialist of the New Jersey Jewish News with its linkage of Darwinism and Nazism. “Expelled draws a direct line between Darwin and Hitler, between natural selection and the Selektions of the Holocaust,” the editorialist writes. “It’s like blaming Shakespeare for the English major who committed the Virginia Tech massacre.”


BAT MITZVAH HISTORY: The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle catches up with two women who, 62 years ago, were among the first five girls in the city’s Jewish community to have a bat mitzvah ceremony. “Practically the whole Pittsburgh showed up,” recalls former bar mitzvah girl Gerri Ash Bronk, now 75. “The shul was absolutely packed. Some people thought it was a fantastic idea, some didn’t.”


BALTIMORE’S LIST-LOVERS: In February, the list-lovers of the Baltimore Jewish Times offered up their “Favorite 54” — chronicling the best things about Jewish life in their town. Now, apropos an important anniversary, they’ve come up with a list highlighting on 60 aspects of Israel that they thought their readers should know about — from an all-chocolate restaurant in Rosh Pina to “Jews” (“They’re everywhere and permeate everything”).


IRAQ VETS SPEAK: The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle speaks with some local Jewish veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


TWISTED SISTER CITY: Kansas City chose the Israeli town of Ramle as a sister city of in part because of its diverse population of Arabs and Jews. But then Ramle’s Jewish mayor was quoted in an Israeli newspaper cursing his city’s Arab citizens — and the controversy came to Kansas City. The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle has the story.


IT BEATS EGYPT: The Jewish News of Greater Phoenix reports that Arizona has become a hot spot for Passover vacations:

Like the Israelites who journeyed through the desert and whose story is retold each year during the seder, nearly 3,000 people made their own journey to the desert this year to commemorate this occasion.

However, this time it was a little different.

Instead of tents, today’s “wanderers” celebrated in luxury at four Valley resorts: The Arizona Biltmore, JW Marriott Desert Ridge, the Millennium Resort Scottsdale McCormick Ranch and the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

They dined on modern-day manna in the form of bagels (made from potato starch), made-to-order omelets, Belgian waffles, chocolate soufflés, pancakes, pizzas, pastries and sushi (made with quinoa instead of rice).

Wandering in the desert has never been easier.


TEHRANGELES ON OBAMA: The Los Angeles Jewish Journal finds that some leaders of the local Iranian Jewish community are wary about Barack Obama’s calls for engagement with Iran. “Any agreement to negotiate with the [Iranian] regime will give it the sort of legitimacy that it does not currently have but so desperately needs in order to put the last nails in the coffins of those who still have hope for a democratic Iran,” Sam Kermanian, secretary general of the Iranian American Jewish Federation, tells the Journal.


GOING POSTAL: The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has passed a resolution backing the use of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel, making it, according to The Canadian Jewish News, the first national union in North America to do so. But will they deliver mail addressed to Israel?


‘RIDE TO REMEMBER’: Members of the Jewish Motorcycle Alliance mount their bikes to memorialize the Holocaust, as part of the fourth-annual “Ride to Remember,” which will take place later this month in Omaha, Neb. ““For a Jewish group, we have a unique way of honouring the Holocaust,” Steve Stein, past president of Toronto’s Yidden on Wheels, tells The Canadian Jewish News.


CONSERVATIVES LOSE LARGEST: The biggest Conservative-affiliated congregation in North America has left the movement. Toronto’s Beth Tzedec Congregation is the latest in a string of Canadian synagogues to split with the American-dominated United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. While there have been some complaints by Canadian Conservative congregations over the larger movement’s increasingly liberal stances on the religious roles of gays and women, the rabbi of Beth Tzedec tells The Canadian Jewish News that ideology didn’t play a role in his synagogue’s decision. Rather, he said, the split was prompted by issues having to do with the movement’s allocation of resources.


BLAME MY WIFE: A mayor from New South Wales in Australia is apologizing to Jews after he made the following statement at a public meeting: “Why don’t you jack up the price, why don’t you be a good Jew, why don’t you screw the last dollar out of it like public enterprise would?” The mayor, however, also had a ready explanation for why his remarks were not motivated by malice toward Jews. His wife is Jewish, and the phrase he used is “a phrase my wife uses a lot at home.” The Australian Jewish News has the story.


TEL-AVIV GOES QUACK: Residents of Tel Aviv have fallen in love with a giant inflatable duck that has been perched on top of their city hall. When a municipal worker accidentally pulled the plug on the big bird, causing it to deflate, “hundreds of concerned citizens called us,” one of the project’s organizers tells London’s Jewish Chronicle.


PRINCELY PATRON: London’s Jewish Chronicle reports that Britain’s Prince Charles “was so taken by his involvement in creating a new Polish Jewish community centre, which he opened in Krakow on Tuesday, that he now intends to become involved in another Jewish project in Eastern Europe.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: In Other Jewish Newspapers

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.


Comments
Adam Shear Wed. May 7, 2008

Unless, I'm missing something the Canadian Jewish News article about Beth Tzedec doesn't say anything about "increasingly liberal stances"; in fact, the article says: "The Conservative movement’s ideology did not enter into the synagogue’s decision, Mansfield said." Rather, it sounds like dispute over the allocation of dues. Care to make a correction or at least an explanation of what you were thinking when you wrote that lead-in?

David Junker Mon. May 5, 2008

On Ben Stein’s Expelled….: “If the fittest ARE to be the ones who survive, why are we so very zealous in ‘saving the planet?’ Maybe there exists not only the Creator, but the Savior in whose ‘image’ we ARE intricately designed.”




Find us on Facebook!
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.