JEWISH SECRETS: A community art project now on display at a Montreal café asked young Jews to anonymously divulge their Jewish secrets on postcards. Among the spilled secrets cited by The Canadian Jewish News: “I’ve always been kosher but I wonder what I’m missing”; “I used to go to synagogue to pick up girls”; “I used to hate my Jewish nose… now I think it makes me beautiful,” and “I fake-cried when I landed in Israel.”
CHIEFLESS IN ST. LOUIS: St. Louis’ Orthodox Jews have lost their community’s last chief rabbi with the death of Rabbi Sholom Rivkin, The St. Louis Jewish Light reports. The Jerusalem-born Rivkin had been the city’s chief rabbi Orthodox for more than two decades, until 2005, when he retired due to Parkinson’s disease and was not replaced. The office was a holdover from a bygone era in which various American cities had their own chief rabbis. Shortly after returning to St. Louis to take up the post, Rivkin quipped: “I’ve already made a real difference in St. Louis. The Cardinals have won the World Series for the first time in a long time!"
FEINGOLD PANS STATEHOOD BID: Former Democratic senator and progressive standard-bearer Russ Feingold is cool to the current Palestinian statehood bid. “I’ve long believed there should be a Palestinian state. But I don’t understand how you can ask the United Nations for membership when you don’t even acknowledge the right to exist of the country that’s going to be your neighbor,” he tells The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle.
STRIKE THREE FOR HEBREW CHARTER: The state of New Jersey rejected for a third time an application to start a new Hebrew charter school in Highland Park, citing unspecified “deficiencies” in its application, the New Jersey Jewish News reports.
OLYMPIAN FOOD FIGHT: Five members of the Olympia Food Co-op in Olympia, Wash., are suing members of the co-op’s board, alleging that they failed to follow the co-op’s procedures when adopting an anti-Israel boycott, Seattle’s Jewish Transcript reports.
VOTING VALUES: In the wake of the Republican victory in a New York special congressional election — in which some Orthodox rabbis opposed an Orthodox Democrat over his support for gay marriage — New York’s Jewish Press looks at the debate over whether religious values should determine how Orthodox Jews vote. The election, the paper reports, “brought to the forefront an issue that has increasingly become the subject of debate among Orthodox Jews — the propriety of mixing politics with religion. In other words, should a Torah observant Jew bring his or her religious values into the voting booth or leave them at home?”
STAGE FRIGHT: Israel’s Habima Theatre has been invited to perform for the first time at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre as part of an international festival this spring. Britain’s Jewish Chronicle reports on worries that the company’s planned performance of “The Merchant of Venice” will be disrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters like what happened with a recent London concert by the Israel Philharmonic. "I hope it will be OK, but I have my concerns, and it’s very expensive for the company to go to London,” Habima’s Rut Tonn tells the J.C. “It’s very important for us to do it and also for Israel that it goes well."
A SIBLING’S TRIBUTE: A half-century after his brother was killed in a plane crash over Colombia while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer, Gordon Radley finally visited the site where the aircraft went down. He was flown into the guerrilla-controlled jungle by a Colombian military helicopter. “I said a few words, thanking people, and before I could go on they told me I had only two minutes left,” the Sausalito, Calif., man tells San Francisco’s j. newsweekly. “As the helicopters roared overhead, I pulled out my harmonica and played Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy,’ and I read ‘El Malei Rachamim.’”