WHY DO JEWS LOVE BASEBALL?: Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent asks around about the national pastime’s special appeal to our tribe. “Maybe Jews love baseball in part because it feels like Judaism," journalist Jeff Zaslow tells the Exponent. "It is a mix of both rules and interpretations. The rulebook of baseball is set in stone, like the Ten Commandments, but then you’ve got the umpire, with discretion over balls and strikes, what’s fair or foul, and the play-by-play guy offering commentary from the broadcasting booth. There’s also a lot to argue about. Jews like that."
ELECTING A CHIEF RABBI: British Jews should be able to vote for their next chief rabbi, Britain’s Jewish Chronicle argues. “It is simply wrong that in the 21st century British Jews can seriously be expected to acquiesce in the next chief rabbi’s appointment by a coterie of secret insiders,” the newspaper editorializes.
WHEN PORK ATTACKS: Rabbi and technophile Eli Garfinkel has devised a smartphone app called “Treyf Invaders!” that he describes as “a shoot-’em-up game that teaches players which animals are kosher according to Halacha and which are not.” The New Jersey Jewish News notes that players had best beware of “bacon bombs.”
CAN L.A. JEWS ADD?: The L.A. Jewish Journal’s Rob Eshman writes that nobody knows how many Jews there are in Los Angeles because the community hasn’t done a demographic survey since 1997. In the absence of data, he finds some optimistic guesswork going on: the Israeli consulate estimating as many as 250,00 Israelis in the area, a Persian Jewish leader pegging his subgroup at the same number and an Orthodox-promoted study finding 100,000 Orthodox Jews. “Are you following on your calculator? That means out of a population of about 600,000 Los Angeles Jews (again, who knows?), half are Israeli, half of Persian origin, and 100,000 are Orthodox,” Eshman writes.
THE DOW JONES AND THE MESSIAH: Writing in The Jewish Press, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis sees a sign in the stock market.
THE COMMUNITY THAT CHANTS TOGETHER: One Shabbat morning a month members of Atlanta’s Congregation Bet Haverim forgo their Siddurs for a single sheet of prayers. The Atlanta Jewish Times reports on the Reconstructionist synagogue’s chanting services.
A RABBI’S ARREST, A CHARITY’S FUTURE: The New Jersey Jewish Standard examines what a local rabbi’s arrest on molestation charges means for the future of a scholarship fund he created to help disadvantaged Israeli kids.
KEIDANER PRIDE: Andrew Cassel is fond of the town of his forebears — and he’s not alone. Writing in the Forward, Cassel notes that the surviving Jews who once inhabited the Lithuanian town of Keidan and their descendants will gather in Israel and New York to mark the 70th anniversary of their community’s destruction on August 28, 1941.
TEN YEARS AFTER SBARRO: Rabbi Binny Friedman recalls the day 10 years ago that his choice of seats in a Jerusalem pizzeria saved his life. “I can still feel the hug of my eldest daughter, who was 11, when I got home that evening; and I still shudder to think how close I came to missing these last 10 years,” he writes in Long Island’s Jewish Star.