Issue 50

Friday, December 12, 2014

Local News

Dare2BU program held on Nov. 13

Dare2BU, a program co-sponsored by Jewish Family Service and Temple Concord, was created to encourage teenagers, grades eight-12, to explore their identities and examine self-esteem issues in a “safe and supportive” environment. Parallel workshops, one for the teenagers and the other for parents, were held at Temple Concord on November 13.

Israel News

News from around Israel

Syria says Israeli planes hit military sites near Damascus; Eilat oil spill twice as large as initially estimated; Israel’s Knesset votes to dissolve gov’t, sets elections for March; Cousin of murdered Palestinian teen helped supermarket terror victims

National News

U.S. Jewish groups opposing Israel’s “Jewish state” law worry about consequences

WASHINGTON (JTA) – It’s not unusual to hear U.S. Jewish groups speaking out against laws that discriminate and framing their protests as protecting Jewish interests. What’s unusual is that the target this time is the Israeli government and the proposed law emphasizes Jewish rights.

International News

In Montreal, Jews from France see a future for themselves

TORONTO (JTA) – When Dan Charbit and his wife, Gaelle Hazan, moved to Montreal from Paris two summers ago, it was meant to be a temporary fix – a year-long attempt for Charbit to reboot his stalled career as a special-effects artist in Quebec’s thriving film and television industry. They agreed to fly home if the experiment failed.

Features

Book review: From Iran to the U.S. from Yemen to Israel

For some American Jews of Ashkenazic origin, Sephardic Judaism still seems exotic and foreign. Religious customs – from holiday foods to life cycle events – are just dissimilar enough for many to be fascinated by the differences. That’s partly the attraction of two recent novels – “The Luminous Heart of Jonah S.” by Gina B. Nahai (Akashic Books) and “Henna House” by Nomi Eve (Scribner) – although each work stands on its own merits.

Opinion

What’s your goat?

I’m sure you’ve heard these two sayings: “Money doesn’t make you happy, but it sure helps,” and “If money doesn’t make you happy, then you probably aren’t spending it right.” Apparently money cannot buy happiness outright, but surely it can contribute to happiness.

Small blessings, quiet moments

My favorite theologian (O.K., the only theologian I regularly read) recently published a new book. I can’t review it for the paper because Anne Lamott is Christian, but her new work, “Small Victories : Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace,” is like a tonic for the soul.

Holiday

How to eat Chanukah sufganiyot without guilt

The average Chanukah sufganiya (jelly donut) has between 300 and 400 calories of nearly pure oil and fat. In honor of the miracle God bestowed on the Maccabees, making oil meant for just a day last eight days, the donut and other traditionally oily Chanukah foods become annual killers for your diet. For those who are health conscious, but do not want to be deprived of the annual treat, here are three healthier recipes selected from Joyofkosher.com. Consider substituting or reducing ingredients further as needed for your diet.

How to do eight nights of Chanukah without creating spoiled brats

MINNEAPOLIS (Kveller.com) – The Chanukah I see in children’s books demonstrates families playing dreidel and eating latkes while the menorah shines brilliantly in the window. Then there’s the inevitable illustration of the kids’ utter elation when the parents unveil a bag of gelt night after night.

The scene sounds delightful, but I can’t imagine it’s realistic in all Jewish homes. Let’s be honest: Starting in October, lots of Jewish kids obsess over the “holiday” (aka Christmas) catalogs that arrive daily in mailboxes across the country.

Right or wrong, at some point this tradition of eight nights of gifts as influenced by Christmas has become part of the Chanukah many of us know and love.

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