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  • Trick or treat: Seeking a sign from Houdini

    With the anniversary nearing of Harry Houdini’s death on Halloween 1926, a New York exhibit joins an annual seance and a graveside ceremony in remembering the daring Jewish escape artist.

  • At San Diego Jewish school, snacks must be kosher — pigskin allowed

    The snack bar is always kosher and the games are never on Friday night. The players huddle up to say Sh’ma before the game. And the quarterback calls the plays in Hebrew. Meet the San Diego Jewish Academy Lions.

  • Dancing with stars on Simchat Torah

    Columnist Edmon J. Rodman does his version of Arthur Murray for the seven hakafot, or circle dances, to send Jews into the fresh circle of the new year.

  • In awe of schach: Searching for the perfect sukkah covering

    Bamboo mats may be fine for some, but others are looking for the real thing in sukkah roof coverings. Columnist Edmon J. Rodman offers a few examples.

  • Tasting a new sweetness in Rosh Hashanah

    Custom has Jews eating apples and honey together to ensure a sweet new year, but for those who want to shake things up, columnist Edmon J. Rodman offers some possibilities dripping with symbolism.

  • Training for Neilah: Doing the prep for Yom Kippur’s finale

    Some ways to prepare — actions that will help you stand and focus, getting you to the closing gates, before the final shofar blows — from JTA columnist Edmon J. Rodman.

  • Seeking forgiveness on Selichot with help from the pros

    With the coming of Selichot, a service of repentance-centered prayers said in preparation for the High Holidays, columnist Edmon J. Rodman mulls whether we can learn from the many aired mea culpas this year by public figures such as Tiger Woods and BP Chairman Tony Hayward.

  • Out on a limb at a Jewish genealogy conference

    Was the Vilna Gaon — 18th century Talmudic scholar, author and the major non-Chasidic Jewish leader of his age — part of his wife’s family tree? Edmon J. Rodman went on a search to find out.

  • Lamenting the gulf on Tisha B’Av

    Edmon J. Rodman offers laments on Tisha B’Av, when the Jewish people darken their mood and grieve their losses, for what has happened in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Rising for Albert and his famous baseball song

    “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is the product of a Jewish-Episcopalian collaboration, but Jewish songwriter Albert Von Tilzer and lyricist Jack Norworth go largely unrecognized by baseball, and Von Tilzer scores barely a nod in the Jewish community.