Bintel Blog

Roto: Take Me to the Hummus, Mr. Humus

By Roto

David Abitbol of Jerusalem writes:

I was late for my meeting with my friend Harry. Harry runs a Jerusalem events site at Jerusalemite.net and I run Jewlicious.com. We meet every once in a while to catch up, share ideas, discuss developments, etc. As confirmed hummus fanatics, we always meet at a small, charming hummus joint near the Ben Yehudah pedestrian mall called Ta’ami. It’s a convenient location, and we both agree that it serves the best hummus — at least in West Jerusalem. Like I said, I was running late and didn’t want to miss my hummus fix, so rather than take a bus, I hopped into a cab and made my way into town. It was then that I noticed my cab driver’s license. His name was Hasan Abu Humus. How appropriate…


Editor’s Note:

In 1923, the Forward launched a weekly photography supplement known as the Rotogravure. The feature took its name from a process for engraving images onto metal plates for printing. While other newspapers of the era had their own Rotogravure pages, the Forward’s “Roto” stands out as a visual record of the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience. It tackled themes ranging from a “Beauty and Charm Contest” to “Interesting Jewish Types from Africa and Palestine.” Readers from all corners of the globe mailed in their photos for publication.

Our revived Roto creates an online photographic record of the richness and diversity of today’s Jewish world. We invite our readers to send us their photos.

E-mail your photo to the Roto at roto@forward.com, along with a brief explanation of the image and its meaning.

For previous installments of the Roto, click here.


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Roto: A New Passover Tradition — Challah!

By Roto

Aaron Yonka of Cincinnati, Ohio, writes:

Busken Bakery is a locally owned and operated bakery that has been in Cincinnati since 1928. They have a long-standing tradition of making some of the city’s best baked goods, and they support a lot of fundraising efforts in town. On this rare occasion, Busken may have missed the mark a little in their product selection and timing. But their hearts were in the right place.


Editor’s Note:

In 1923, the Forward launched a weekly photography supplement known as the Rotogravure. The feature took its name from a process for engraving images onto metal plates for printing. While other newspapers of the era had their own Rotogravure pages, the Forward’s “Roto” stands out as a visual record of the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience. It tackled themes ranging from a “Beauty and Charm Contest” to “Interesting Jewish Types from Africa and Palestine.” Readers from all corners of the globe mailed in their photos for publication.

Our revived Roto creates an online photographic record of the richness and diversity of today’s Jewish world. We invite our readers to send us their photos.

E-mail your photo to the Roto at roto@forward.com, along with a brief explanation of the image and its meaning.

For previous installments of the Roto, click here.


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Roto: No Country for Eating Lox

By Roto

Annette Wolfe of Norwalk, Conn., writes:

Killington, Vt., is a wonderful area filled with tourist attractions for any time of the year. The winter season attracts skiers of all abilities. Hundreds flock when snow is abundant. Fireplaces roar and make a nice setting for a big mug of hot chocolate. The summer months arrive, and hiking season sets in. The trails that were snow-covered can be seen from a distance as one sets one’s sights on a mountain climb. There are art shows, outdoor plays, music festivals, fishing, hunting and camping.

Since I was a tourist, I scanned the area for T-shirts, sights to see and, most important, places to eat. When I take a mini-vacation, I like to eat bagels, cream cheese and lox in the morning. On the main strips, there were pubs and restaurants, both fancy and casual. But there wasn’t one kosher deli. The menus don’t have lox. There was a restaurant nearby that looked great for pancakes. It served bagels, but no lox. And so I had to settle for pancakes with maple syrup, and a bagel with raspberry jelly for breakfast.


Editor’s Note:

In 1923, the Forward launched a weekly photography supplement known as the Rotogravure. The feature took its name from a process for engraving images onto metal plates for printing. While other newspapers of the era had their own Rotogravure pages, the Forward’s “Roto” stands out as a visual record of the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience. It tackled themes ranging from a “Beauty and Charm Contest” to “Interesting Jewish Types from Africa and Palestine.” Readers from all corners of the globe mailed in their photos for publication.

The new Roto will create an online photographic record of the richness and diversity of today’s Jewish world. We invite our readers to send us their photos.

E-mail your photo to the Roto at roto@forward.com along with a brief explanation of the image and its meaning.

For previous installments of the Roto, click here.


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Roto: The Last Yiddish Writer of Czernowitz

By Roto

Josef Burg

Helene Belndorfer of Vienna writes:

Josef Burg is the last Yiddish writer in the legendary town of Czernowitz (now the Ukrainian Chernivtsi) and one of the few remaining known Yiddish authors in Europe. As the 95-year-old writer can no longer leave his home — or these days even his bed — the telephone is his lifeline to the world. He talks in Yiddish, Russian, Romanian, Hebrew and, to his Austrian friends, such as myself, in the perfect German of days gone by.

I first met him at a reading in Munich in the late 1990s. Intrigued by what I had heard, I found out his address from his publisher and went in 2001 with friends by train to Ukraine to visit him. Since then, we have been in constant touch with him, fascinated by his humor and pragmatism, as well as by the window he opens onto a time when Czernowitz was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and a multicultural hub of literature and education. Now only one person can read the Yiddish Forverts to him, as he is almost blind. This is in a town where 40 Yiddish writers lived before the war. Very much a son of his time and not prone to sentimentality, Josef Burg — born Austrian and then a Romanian, a Soviet and now a Ukrainian citizen — is still sad that “when finally fortune comes along the years are missing.” “But,” he says, “in my books I will live on.”

After more than 40 years of oblivion behind the Iron Curtain, his books were printed again. He started to travel for readings in Germany and Austria. His latest book, “Ueber Jiddische Dichter, Erinnerungen” (“About Yiddish Writers, Memories”), was published on the occasion of his 95th birthday at the end of May as part of a series of precious booklets called “Der Erzaehler Josef Burg” (“The Narrator Josef Burg”), published by the German publisher Hans-Boldt Verlag and translated from Yiddish into German by Beate Petras and Armin Eidherr. (Unfortunately, the books currently are only available in German.) On July 17 Josef Burg was presented in his home with the highest official award for science and art from the Austrian government — and his Austrian friends were there by his side. A few weeks earlier, Otto Habsburg-Lothringen, son of the last Austrian emperor and also born in 1912, had come to see him.

Editor’s Note:

In 1923, the Forward launched a weekly photography supplement known as the Rotogravure. The feature took its name from a process for engraving images onto metal plates for printing. While other newspapers of the era had their own Rotogravure pages, the Forward’s “Roto” stands out as a visual record of the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience. It tackled themes ranging from a “Beauty and Charm Contest” to “Interesting Jewish Types from Africa and Palestine.” Readers from all corners of the globe mailed in their photos for publication.

The new Roto will create an online photographic record of the richness and diversity of today’s Jewish world. We invite our readers to send us their photos.

E-mail your photo to the Roto at roto@forward.com along with a brief explanation of the image and its meaning.

For previous installments of the Roto, click here.


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Roto: Rebuilding the Temple — in Wellesley, Mass.

By Roto

Lego Temple

Judy Avnery, Limud director at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley, Mass., writes:

The students of the Limud program (grades K-5) built this replica of the Second Temple made of 35,000 Lego bricks specially ordered from Denmark. Building a replica of Jerusalem’s old Temple connected these 365 young Jewish learners from Temple Beth Elohim to what will soon be the creation of their own new temple here in Wellesley. We dreamed up this school-wide project to share the excitement of Temple Beth Elohim’s new home by emphasizing the role of the community in bringing it to life. We wanted our project to reflect the greater goals of our curriculum and connect the children to the future of our synagogue and to Israel’s past and current history. We wanted the children to feel the importance of their role in building the temple. Every section was essential. Without all the pieces, the Temple would not stand. Just like in days of old, it wasn’t “what” you brought to the Temple, but the fact that you participated in the building and the life of the Temple. The Legos were such a great way to get the kids involved creatively and enthusiastically and ultimately created a stable and vibrant replica. Before the building of the temple began in February, each class learned about the Temple in Jerusalem, its role in Jewish life at that time in history, the differences between The Temple and their temple, and the Jewish rituals and objects that the children can find in their temple today to remember some of the ritual from Jerusalem’s old Temple.


Editor’s Note:

In 1923, the Forward launched a weekly photography supplement known as the Rotogravure. The feature took its name from a process for engraving images onto metal plates for printing. While other newspapers of the era had their own Rotogravure pages, the Forward’s “Roto” stands out as a visual record of the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience. It tackled themes ranging from a “Beauty and Charm Contest” to “Interesting Jewish Types from Africa and Palestine.” Readers from all corners of the globe mailed in their photos for publication.

The new Roto will create an online photographic record of the richness and diversity of today’s Jewish world. We invite our readers to send us their photos.

E-mail your photo to the Roto at bintelblog@forward.com along with a brief explanation of the image and its meaning.


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The Roto Returns: He Yo-Yo’s for a Cause

By Roto

yoyo

Thirteen-year-old Daniel Dietz of Florence, Mass., writes:

Right after my Bar Mitzvah I joined the B’nai Tzedek Teen Philanthropy program, where we each choose our favorite cause to donate to, and we learn all about philanthropy and how to maximize our fundraising.

I wanted to raise money for the Smile Train, an organization that is dedicated to helping the millions of children in the world who are born with a cleft lip and palate by providing free surgery for children in over 60 countries, free training for doctors and research to find a cure. One hundred percent of all donations go toward the surgeries, and it only costs $250.00 to change a child’s life.

I decided to raise money by performing eye-shocking yo-yo tricks. I perform at different street fairs, college sports games, restaurants, concerts and any place that will have me. I perform with a tip jar or get sponsors in advance. So far I have raised over $13,000 and want to continue to raise even more money because there are so many children waiting for surgeries.


Editor’s Note:

This post marks the return of the Forward’s Roto feature.

In 1923, the Forward launched a weekly photography supplement known as the Rotogravure. The feature took its name from a process for engraving images onto metal plates for printing. While other newspapers of the era had their own Rotogravure pages, the Forward’s “Roto” stands out as a visual record of the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience. It tackled themes ranging from a “Beauty and Charm Contest” to “Interesting Jewish Types from Africa and Palestine.” Readers from all corners of the globe mailed in their photos for publication.

The new Roto will create an online photographic record of the richness and diversity of today’s Jewish world. We invite our readers to send us their photos.

E-mail your photo to the Roto at bintelblog@forward.com along with a brief explanation of the image and its meaning.


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In the Beginning…

By Daniel Treiman and Ami Eden

In the beginning, there was the Bintel Brief, the Forward’s legendary advice column. Launched in 1906 by Forward editor Abraham Cahan, the Bintel Brief — literally a “Bundle of Letters” — helped waves of Yiddish-speaking immigrants find their footing in 20th-century American life.

But the Bintel Brief was more than just an advice column. It was a two-way conduit that fostered interaction between Forward readers and staff, one of the many editorial features that helped make the Jewish Daily Forward more than just a newspaper — that built a real community of readers.

That’s why we chose the name the Bintel Blog for the Forward’s new signature Web log. Covering religion, culture, current affairs and Jewish life, this 21st-century bundle of blog posts will be a cyberspace conduit fostering a dynamic engagement between the Forward and its readers. In coming weeks, we will activate the Bintel Blog’s commenting feature, inviting our readers to join the conversation.

We are also bringing back two classic Forward features that will be housed on the Bintel Blog — both reader-generated:

THE BINTEL BRIEF

On Mondays, we will post new online installments of the Forward’s beloved advice column. Each month, a different guest advice columnist will answer readers’ questions on life, love, family, work, Judaism and other topics. We are privileged to have famed psychosexual therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer helping us kick off the rebirth of this legendary Forward feature.

Send your letter to the Bintel Brief at bintelblog@forward.com or mail it to: Forward, Attn: Bintel Brief, 45 E. 33rd St., 5th Floor, New York, NY 10016. Letters selected for the Bintel Brief will be published anonymously.

THE ROTO

In 1923, the Forward launched a weekly photography supplement known as the Rotogravure. The feature took its name from a process for engraving images onto metal plates for printing. While other newspapers of the era had their own Rotogravure pages, the Forward’s “Roto” stands out as a visual record of the richness and diversity of the Jewish experience. The Roto tackled themes ranging from a “Beauty and Charm Contest” to “Interesting Jewish Types from Africa and Palestine.” Readers from all corners of the globe mailed in their photos for publication. The new Roto will create an online photographic record of the richness and diversity of today’s Jewish world. We invite our readers to send us their photos.

E-mail your photo to the Roto at bintelblog@forward.com along with a brief explanation of the image and its meaning.


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