Monday, July 15, 2019


A Special Bat- Mitzvah in Israel

A celebration was hosted at Emunah’s Bet Elezraki Children’s Home for At-Risk Children in Netanya in honor of our daughter, Racheli Schachter’s bat mitzvah. Racheli and five bat-mitzvah age girls from the Home went to a salon together and then for ice cream by the shore. The girls were so friendly and warm; they all got along so well and had a lot of

Ruchama King Feuerman Speaks at Ahavath Torah 3/5

Englewood—Ruchama King Feuerman, author of the new novel, In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist, published by New York Review of Books, will be the featured speaker at a luncheon co-sponsored by Englewood’s  Congregation Ahavath Torah’s Dor LeDor division and Congregation Shomrei Emunah on Wednesday, March 5th at noon at Congregation

Psychological Insights from the Torah: On Building Relationships

As a mental health professional, I often find myself helping couples, family members, and individuals heal the ruptured relationships in their lives. Over the past ten years, I have discovered the Torah as a valuable resource and am in awe at the extent to which current psychological theory and practice draws from Torah truths. The relationships our holy descendants

The Vexing Question: So, Why Aren’t You Married?

I doubt if a married person can pose a more vexing question to a marriage-minded Jewish single than the oft repeated quote, “So how come you’re not married?” Other forms of the question include, “My God, are you still single?” usually exclaimed with great surprise after meeting someone by chance some 20 years after the questioner originally

Marriage Flight

Imagine you are sitting comfortably on a jet that just took off. You were upgraded to business class because of a problem on your last flight and are sitting in the first row, quite close to the pilot and co-pilot’s cabin so you can hear a bit of the talk behind the closed cabin door. While you can’t hear exactly what is being discussed, it is clear from the tone

Rebecca Teplow: A Voice Worth Hearing at the JCC

Teaneck—Rebecca Teplow, 49, wife and mother of three children, is a singer, composer, performer, and former student of internationally renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman, but not someone who one might think would keep her light under a rug. Light seems to be a motif for her as she speaks of her feelings for the art of performance and composition and which she

Rabbinic Interpretations of Kol Ishah

Rebecca relies on Rav Bigman, the Rosh Yeshiva of Maale Gilboa—who defines halakha for Bnei Akiva in Israel—and Rabbi Yechiel Yakov Weinberg who the Rav agrees with regarding a woman being allowed to sing holy songs in front of unrelated men.

Rabbi Yehiel Yaakov Weinberg (Seridei Esh 2:8) defended the German-Jewish custom of mixed-gender  zemirot,

On This Date in 1881

One hundred and thirty three years ago, on March 1, 1881, an assassination of a Russian Czar had a most profound impact upon Russia and the Jewish people.

Czar Alexander II was heading toward his winter palace in St. Petersburg. He had just signed a document granting the first ever constitution to Russia. En route, radical members of Narodaya Volya (The

Photographs of Jewish Europe at Riverdale YM-YWHA

Riverdale—If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Lissa Marum’s exhibition of photos of European synagogues speaks volumes. Recently, Marum, 67, took center stage at a wine and cheese reception inaugurating her exhibit of 22 color photos of synagogues and other Jewish sites from Amsterdam to Moscow in Gallery 18 at the Riverdale YM-YWHA until

Who Killed Religious Zionism?

Who killed Religious Zionism? How did it happen that the moderate, centrist, responsible Mizrachi of the 1950s and 1960s, the Mizrachi of Zerach Warhaftig and Yosef Burg, was replaced by the Mafdal (National Religious Party—NRP) of Gush Emunim, the early radical precursor of today’s “settler movement”? How did Mizrachi permit itself to be hijacked by the

In the Mighty Jungle, the Lions Sleep Tonight

Shloshim (the Jewish 30-day mourning period) has now come and gone for them both. Ariel Sharon and Edgar Bronfman were eulogized as Lions of Judah. Sharon’s first name clearly denoting his role in Israeli life and history, Bronfman’s very being carrying the gravitas of Jewish leadership in a world that can often resemble, well, a jungle.

Edgar and Ariel:

Psychology and the Chance of Bringing Peace to Syria

What hope for an end to bloody conflict? How can we explain the level of savagery that has been seen in Syria? And how on earth do the negotiators in Geneva hope to bridge an abyss of cruelty and suffering that has seen more than 100,000 people killed and almost ten million displaced?

A first thought might be to see the Syrian crisis as simply an unmasking of