New Olim: IDF, Here We Come!

Ben Yablon, 19, of Portland, has been surrounded by aircraft since childhood. His father is a pilot, two of his uncles are pilots, and even his grandmother was a pilot who took a NASA training course and volunteered in an air defense unit. He himself has been practicing since the age of 16 and received […]

Pigeonholing an Israeli Abroad

I had only known my girlfriend for a few weeks when she invited me to a friend’s house for Shabbat dinner on the Upper West Side. As a 44-year-old secular Israeli who had moved recently to New York City after my divorce, I didn’t have much experience with American Jews. Her friends were great: educated, […]

There’s More To This Story

Two weeks before Boston Pride last year, having recently broken up with my girlfriend of several months, I texted my friend Jamie: “I need to see everyone. There’s more to this story.” Many of my close friends from Framingham High School gathered at Ruby Tuesday’s for one of our longest dinner outings in years. Jamie […]

Internet Revolutionary Aaron Swartz, 26, Kills Himself Amid Legal Battle

An early builder of Reddit and activist who fought to make online content free to the public committed suicide on Friday, prompting an outpouring of grief from prominent voices on the intersection of free speech and the Web. Aaron Swartz, 26, hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment weeks before he was to go on trial […]

Goebbels’ Early Letters Show Controlling Behavior

The love letters, school papers and dramatic works of college-age Joseph Goebbels reveal a romantic young man beginning to show signs of anti-Semitism and egotistical and controlling behavior, according to a Connecticut auction house selling the pre-war writings of Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief. Alexander Historical Auctions plans to sell the collection on Thursday in Stamford, […] Newsletter Issue # 48 September 19, 2012

Chicago White Sox Jewish third baseman Kevin Youkilis, said he was pleased with the time change for the Sept. 25 game to accommodate Yom Kippur. The game against the Cleveland Indians was moved to 1:10 P.M. from 7:10 P.M. The White Sox club said a number of White Sox fans had contacted the club over […]

Jewish Learning on an Oil Rig

Guillermo works in the oil and gas industry, a career path that placed him smack dab in the middle of rural Canada. If the location wasn’t a big enough challenge, Guillermo’s busy schedule made it impossible for him to attend synagogue or be a part of a Jewish community. Or so he thought. When his […]

Man Walks 30km on Shabbat to Propose to Girlfriend

A., a young religious man in-love, decide he could not wait until Shabbat comes out to propose to his girlfriend. Even the fact that he lives in Jerusalem and she resides in Ofra, a West Bank settlement some 30km away was not a deterrent. A. left his home on Friday night carrying a bottle of […]

Dvar Torah Shlach: An Akivan Sinaitic Paradox

I can think of a number of examples from the film industry of future telling, and they usually share something in common: events of the future are foretold insofar as they might likely unfold considering the present state of affairs. First to mind comes Back to the Future (my favorite film): in the 3rd installment, […]

Circumcision Tied to Lower Prostate Cancer Risk, U.S. Study Shows

Circumcised men may have a slightly lower risk of developing prostate cancer than those who still have their foreskin, according to a U.S. study. The World Health Organization already recommends the controversial procedure based on research showing it lowers heterosexual men’s risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Last year scientists also reported […]

Israel Scraps “Don’t Marry an American” Ad Campaign

Just as I was about to sit down and blog about Israel’s recent controversial ad campaign that (not-so-subtly) cautions Israelis living in the U.S. to not marry Americans, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to scrap the campaign. News of the ad campaign was first broken by the Jewish Channel but it went viral […]

Gilad Shalit begins new life

Gilad Shalit woke up in his home in Mitzpe Hila on Wednesday for the first time in five and a half years. Medical Corps representatives, including doctors have arrived at the Shalit residence to coordinate further tests on the freed soldier. Gilad was later seen leaving the house for a short stroll outside, accompanied by […]

7 Habits of Highly Successful BT’s

(OK, I’m not a know-it-all, these are just some things I THINK are extremely helpful, certainly not the last word.) 1. Don’t become irreligious. Not even for a short while. Not even to get back with your old boyfriend/girlfriend for one last fling. 2. Cut yourself some slack. You can’t keep the exact same standards […]

New: ‘Segregated Facebook’ for haredim

Mandy has 321 male friends. His wife, Chaya Mushka, has 321 girlfriends. How many new couples will they be able to match? Well, none. All these friends are on FaceGlat – the haredi version of the Facebook social network, in which Mandy and Chaya Mushka are not even allowed to meet. Yes, the Jewish mind […]

Doctoring Photos for Religious Reasons

The whole media storm over the doctored photo of the National Security Team in the Situation Room (being briefed with the president and vice president on the Osama Bin Laden raid) has raised many questions and additional controversy. Yesterday, I took part in an ad hoc Facebook forum moderated by journalist Steven I. Weiss that […]

The Pin Cushion

In the early summer of 1939, a mere two months before the Nazis invaded Poland, Kaila Burda said to her husband Gamaliel, “I’m at wit’s end. Chasia wants to go to the summer camp with her girlfriends from school. Why not send her?” “Kaila, these are troubled times. When will you understand that we can’t […]

Leonardo DiCaprio Converting to Judaism?

If Leo becomes Jewish, I can imagine him being hoisted on a chair during the Hora dance at his bar mitzvah as he yells “I’m the King of the World!” Here’s the 411 from the JTA (the Jewish version of the AP): Leonardo DiCaprio is rumored to be considering converting to Judaism for his longtime […]

Rapper Finds Order in Orthodox Judaism in Israel

The tall man in the velvet fedora and knee-length black jacket with ritual fringes peeking out takes long, swift strides toward the Western Wall. It’s late in the day, and he does not want to miss afternoon prayers at Judaism’s holiest site.  We have to get there before the sun goes down,” he says, […]

Gift Giving Ideas for Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend

Giving gifts is a tradition during Chanukah. The gift giving tradition of Chanukah is a way to show your love and care for your loved ones. When choosing Chanukah gifts for your boyfriend or girlfriend, your gift can convey a lot of message on how you value your relationship. It can sometimes be difficult to […]

Out of town dating sucks

So I decided mentally that I would begin trying to meet some girls again, I have gone out one date since my girlfriend and I broke up in February. But due to the super active lifestyle I have been leading in California I really haven’t gotten down to business. Alas, I am almost 29 and I […]

Arrest Made in Flatbush Liquor Store Murder of Yosef Robinson HY”D

Police made an arrest in a deadly shooting at a liquor store in Brooklyn. 33-year-old Eion Klass was arrested on charges of 1st and 2nd Degree Murder and Criminal Possession of a Weapon. The victim, 34-year-old Yosef Robinson, was gunned down by a masked man last week while trying to protect his girlfriend. It happened […]

I cooked my first Friday night dinner

I cooked my first Friday night dinner

I have lived on my own since I was 18, so naturally I can cook, sort of. My girlfriend of the summer before last introduced me to wonderful world of eggs, until then I thought I didn’t like eggs. My roommate throughout my college years taught me how to whip together great tasting meals in […]

Website posts recording of racist Gibson rant

Mel Gibson is heard using a racial epithet and calling his ex-girlfriend a “whore” in a recording released by a celebrity news website Friday. The two-minute recording posted by includes segments in which a voice sounding distinctively like thAcademy Award winner  is heard telling his then-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, that she is dressing too provocatively […]

On Balance

A few weeks ago I announced to the world, well my Facebook world, that I had just had the most perfect weekend. EVER. My wonderfully amazing girlfriends immediately asked the obvious question: What happened?! Feeling embarrassed and slightly blushing, but only to Jason, I realized that it did indeed look like I had wanted everyone […]

From Another Planet

My new short story “Hailing Frequency” was just published (and you can hear or read the whole thing online). It’s a story about an unemployed geeky dude who moved to Chicago for his girlfriend’s job, and then the entire planet got invaded by aliens, and everyone’s trying to live life normally, only he doesn’t have […]

4 months in California and loving it

Everyone I have been speaking to on the phone lately has been asking me when I plan to move back to New York and just recently I tell them that as of now I could never imagine moving back east and that’s a pretty scary thought. I originally came out to California on a temporary […]

Faraway Home

by Marilyn Taylor Ages 4-7, 8-11 As 13-year-old Karl Muller watches the Anschluss parade from his family’s Vienna apartment, he worries that his Jewish family will soon be facing terrible danger. Sure enough, as the months pass, Karl loses his gentile girlfriend, watches his uncle sink into despair, and sees the family business destroyed. His […]

Only Yesterday

A Novelby S. Y. AgnonTranslated by: Barbara Harshav Israeli Nobel Laureate S.Y. Agnon’s famous masterpiece, his novel Only Yesterday, here appears in English translation for the first time. Published in 1945, the book tells a seemingly simple tale about a man who immigrates to Palestine with the Second Aliya-the several hundred idealists who returned between […]

The Same Sea

Translated from the Hebrewby Amos OzTranslated by: Nicholas de Lange From the internationally acclaimed Israeli author, a unique novel in verse that will take its place among the great books of our time.This is Oz free of convention – literary and otherwise. Prose leads to poetry, poetry to prose. The cast of characters ranges from […]

Hill Halfon Doesn’t Answer

Hill Halfon Doesn’t Answer (also known ‘Giv’at Halfon Eina Ona’) – 1976 – Comedy. Only NTSC system (American) available. Starring the most famous Israeli comic group known as ‘Hagashash Hachiver’ – Gavri, Poli and Shaike. The military comedy ‘Hill ‘Halfon’ Doesn’t Answer’ begins with Gingi (Gavri) on a mission to find an AWOL soldier named […]