Newsletter Issue # 24 April 4, 2012

An Orthodox Jewish girls high school in Brooklyn ordered their students to close their facebook accounts or face being fined or worse expulsion. Benzion Stock, the administrator of the Crown Heights school said girls are getting killed on the Internet that’s the reason why they are telling their students to close their accounts. In Israel two girls almost succeeded in committing suicide after classmates insulted them on the social media and a man was arrested for harassing young girls on Facebook.

A mass bar mitzva ceremony for more than 100 boys who have lost at least one parent at the Western Wall will be celebrated during the 21st annual communal bar mitzva. the annual bar mitzva is organized by the Chabad movement’s volunteer wing. Chabad originally organized mass bar mitzvas for immigrants from the former Soviet Union, as immigration tapered off, they turned their attention to boys who have lost one or both parents due to terror attacks, car accidents, cancer and other tragedies.

Financially, Pesach is difficult on some people in our community, but one entrepreneurial individual has found a way to make a difference. By opening a pop up wine shop, offering wine by case at prices at 20% to 50% off retail price. The shop is conveniently located at 511 Empire Boulevard, just a few doors down from Empire Kosher. They have been offering neighborhood favorites like Mascato D’Asti for just $8.99 instead of the usual $12, Yarden Mount Hermon for just $9.95, instead of the usual $18, and a case of Kesser for under $40, And they are offering Free Delivery.

Newsweek released its annual list of America’s top 50 rabbis with conservative Rabbi David Wolpe taking the top spot. Wolpe, who moved up from the number two spot last year, heads the largest Conservative congregation on the West Coast and has played a prominent public role defending faith nationwide. Followed by Chabad movement leader Yehuda Krinsky, who held the top slot for two years before being bumped by Wolpe. Then comes Peter Rubinstein who played a crucial political role mediating between the Occupy Wall Street protesters and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The news of Adrienne Rich’s death yesterday at age 82 sent people to bookshelves and do an extended swim through the currents of words she has left behind. All writers believe in the power of words especially poets, whose words are fewer and so carefully chosen. Rich’s writing particularly and persuasively argued for the ability of words, language, expression to create new realities, to change the world.

Passover cooking is certainly defined by the dietary restriction of abstaining from chametz, or leavened grain. We all know people who actively count down the days until they can eat that coveted slice of pizza or bread at the end of the eight-day observance. Since vegetables are central to Sephardic cooking, it is the perfect place to find inspiration. Quajado, is a simple combination of eggs, vegetables, and cheese, creates a signature dish of Sephardic cuisine that in which vegetables take center stage.

It seems that we are so accustomed to hearing negative things about segulas that we’ve forgotten there are ones that actually hold true. Whenever you hear the term segulah, it’s usually followed up with some crazy scenario that has never actually worked. So what’s your favorite segulah?

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