Issue 29

Friday, July 18, 2014

Local News

Israeli Scouts to visit Binghamton on July 28

For more than 16 years, the Israeli Scouts have been visiting Binghamton to perform and are scheduled to return this summer as well. The Scouts will spend the day with Camp JCC and then perform for the general public on Wednesday, July 28, at 7 pm, at the Jewish Community Center, 500 Clubhouse Rd., Vestal.

Israel News

New Jerusalem eatery’s uniform pricing seeks to “help people make it”

Dani Mizrahi and Amir Amshalm, two Israeli men in their early 30s, asked themselves: Why not launch a take-out food joint in busy neighborhoods around Jerusalem where everything – and that means everything – goes for five shekels, or about $1.50.

National News

U.S. Human Rights Council envoy vows to target anti-Israel bias

The new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council said battling anti-Israel bias on the body was a “key priority.”

International News

U.S. intervenes in Europe’s circumcision wars

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The Obama administration’s antisemitism monitor has added an issue to his office’s portfolio: defending circumcision in Europe.

In Budapest, young Jews angling for slice of communal pie

BUDAPEST, Hungary (JTA) – Peering through dusty apartment widows isn’t an uncommon pastime in this capital city’s crime-infested 8th District, with its many drug addicts and alcoholics seeking for a fix. But Adam Schoenberger wasn’t scouting for a place to rob on his peeping tour of the district in June.


Local environmentalist to take part in Hazon’s New York Ride and Retreat

Jerry Schwartz has long been interested in ecological and agricultural issues, particularly from a Jewish standpoint. When he lived in New Jersey, Schwartz had an organic vegetable garden. When he moved to New York, he began a sheep farm that uses “sustainable practices” as noted in the farmers’ pledge of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York. (For more information about the pledge, visit As part of his continuing environmental efforts, Schwartz will be biking with his son, Sacha Sigelman-Schwartz, in Hazon’s New York Ride and Retreat. Held from August 29-September 1, it will include a Shabbat retreat at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT, and two days of biking through the Berkshires and Hudson Valley into New York City.

Book Review: Trying-to-catch-up review – part two

One thing I task myself with as a reviewer is to recognize that people have very different tastes when it comes to reading material. Many of us have loved a book panned by the critics and hated something a reviewer loved. So I try to be careful to acknowledge when someone might really enjoy a book that I find mediocre and dislike a book I find wonderful. My reason for writing about this is that none of the books in this review are going to make my favorites’ list, but I just know there are readers who will appreciate them far more than I do.


Taking responsibility

When looking at a mishnah in tractate Sanhedrin, my study partner was confused about a section that spoke of the number of judges needed before deciding it was OK to kill a particular animal. The mishnah is very terse – it was originally memorized and transmitted orally – and the assumption is that readers would understand far more than the text suggests. This case is a reference to the opening section of Deuteronomy chapter 21, verses that struck me as particularly timely.

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