Jewish holidays

  • Sydney Jews, Trade Unionists Celebrate Chanukah

    Members of an Australian trade union that accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” joined Jewish officials at a Chanukah celebration. A candlelighting ceremony Thursday at union headquarters in New South Wales included members of the Maritime Union of Australia. In March, the union’s Sydney branch endorsed a controversial advertisement in The Australian newspaper that accused Israel… More ▸

  • Bush Recalls Truman at Chanukah Lighting

    President Bush recalled Harry Truman’s legacy at a reception marking Chanukah. Bush’s Chanukah reception Monday night, his last, featured the chanukiyah given to Truman in 1951 by David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, three years after the then-U.S. president was the first world leader to recognize Israel. “A decade after President Truman received this gift,… More ▸

  • Figuring out How to Celebrate Chanukah

    I’ll admit it: Chanukah is a holiday I’ve approached with diminishing enthusiasm over the years. I’m not into latkes; I prefer egg rolls. Dreidel’s not nearly as fun as Scrabble. And as the holiday approaches, so, too, does our loaded debate: Are we giving gifts this year or what? It wasn’t always this way. Growing… More ▸

  • Reform Makes Chanukah Plea in Malaria Fight

    The Reform movement is encouraging its members to dedicate one night of Chanukah to a charity project to fight malaria. The Union for Reform Judaism is calling on American Jews to take part in the Nothing But Nets campaign, which provides insecticide-treated bed nets to Sudanese refugees as part of the global fight against the… More ▸

  • Christmas Tree on Bush Chanukah Invite

    The invitation to the White House Chanukah reception sports a Christmas tree. The picture features a horse pulling a Christmas tree on a wagon traveling in front of the White House. The wagon bears a sign reading “White House Christmas Tree 2008,” the New York Post reported. The president and first lady host an annual… More ▸

  • In Moscow, Reveling on Simchat Torah

    It’s a few minutes to midnight in the Marina Roscha synagogue and the vodka is flowing. Strains of Hebrew dirges fill the cafeteria where hundreds of people line tables that stretch across the hall. Suddenly a black-garbed figure bounds onto the head table, singing fervently, clapping his hands and testing the table’s breaking point with… More ▸

  • A Tale of How Rosh Hashanah Played a Role in the Bailout Vote

    Rosh Hashanah: a time for contemplation? Of course. A time for Jewish lawmakers to stop and reconsider how to save Wall Street from itself? Makes sense — four Jewish lawmakers changed their votes over the holiday. A time to heed the Jewish supplications of Newt Gingrich? Yes, it got that weird last week. The first… More ▸

  • Sukkot of Transition: Use Holidays to Help Cope with Economic Angst

    The start of the month of Elul brings our community into its preparation for the High Holidays. Now the pace of communal life starts to change and our focus is on reflection, reconciliation, repentance and the annual response to new beginnings. For too many in our community, however, this season will hold more angst than… More ▸

  • Rosh Hashanah Liturgy Reminds What We Can Do to Avert Evil

    Sept. 11, 2001 occurred just six days before Rosh Hashanah. It was the tail end of what had been a difficult 12 months on the Jewish calendar: violence in Israel, a presidential election arbitrated by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Enron scandal. Then, on a particularly gorgeous morning, terrorists attacked New York and Washington. Rabbis… More ▸

  • Write Your Own Dirge for Tisha B’av

    Jewish tradition teaches that we are commanded to write a Torah in our lifetime, but not a kinah, or dirge. For ages, our prophets and rabbis have done this for us, filtering and distancing, putting our most painful group memories into acrostic, poetic form. Beginning with Eicha (Lamentations) and continuing with additional kinot, our forebears… More ▸