Lifecycle

  • Jews Looking Outside Synagogues for New Rituals and Life-cycle Events

    Sam Sontag’s parents wanted him to have a bar mitzvah, but they aren’t religious and felt it would be hypocritical to join a congregation. Shalva Sorani is active in her Berkeley, Calif., congregation, but when she faced a mastectomy her friends wanted a female rabbi to lead their all-women healing circle. These are some of… More ▸

  • Mission of Spiritual Sustenance to Beleaguered Biloxi Synagogue

    When Rabbi Sam Kieffer flew over Biloxi, Miss., all he could see below was complete devastation. “From the plane, you see almost every rooftop covered in blue tarp” indicating extensive damage, he says. Kieffer and his wife, Melinda, of B’nai Aviv, a Conservative congregation in Weston, Fla., and Harry Silverman, the southeastern regional director for… More ▸

  • Venezuelan Jews Fleeing Instability Find Sunny Security in South Florida

    On the edge of the Florida Everglades, in an upscale suburb known for its golf courses, towering coconut palms and shady bicycle paths, Vivian Goshen has found her land of milk and honey. For a Jew fleeing economic and political chaos, Weston isn’t such a bad place to be. The Venezuela-born Goshen, her Israeli husband… More ▸

  • In Arizona Desert, Jewish Woman Helps Needy Mexican Immigrants

    Shanti Sellz says she never meant to be a troublemaker. A college student just back from a seven-month biological research project in Ecuador, Sellz, 23, was driving the back roads of southern Arizona on July 9 looking for Mexican migrants in distress when she and a friend stopped to help a family suffering from dehydration…. More ▸

  • Chabad of Thailand Sponsors Toy Drive for Young Tsunami Victims

    The unrelenting drizzle turned clean-pressed shirts into sodden rags and transformed the potholed asphalt ground below the open-air festival into an archipelago of ankle-deep wading pools. But no amount of water could dampen the spirits of the 500 or so children from southern Thailand’s tsunami-ravaged villages who gathered one day in early May for fun… More ▸

  • News Brief

    A Torah portion and a love of Belgian chocolate inspired a Bat Mitzvah present from a girl in suburban Chicago. Karly Brint and her family, members of the Am Shalom synagogue in Glencoe, Ill., donated the Torah to the International Jewish Center in Brussels in honor of Karly’s Bat Mitzvah, scheduled for Feb. 26. The… More ▸

  • Jews Make Way at Prep Schools, Historically Bastions of Blue Blood

    Muffy and Biff aren’t exactly making way for Hannah and Shlomo at America’s prep schools, but Jewish life is making its presence felt at these long-standing bastions of WASP-dom. Sometimes it just happens in odd ways. Matthew Feldberg launched the Jewish club at the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, Calif., as a joke. Annoyed that… More ▸