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  • Mexican odds and ends

    Wrapped up the final bits and pieces from my 10 days in Mexico. Two stories went live last night — one about the tentative steps to open up Mexico’s traditionally closed Jewish community, and another about a historical archive with some fascinating documents about Diego Rivera’s connections with Jewish intellectuals, as well as other gems. … More ▸

  • Eating Mexican in Mexico

    First, muchas gracias to the Jewish community of Guadalajara for their hospitality the last two days. Rabbi Joshua Kullock and the Conservative community hosted us for a pre-fast meal and Kol Nidre on Sunday night, and Fanny Mizrahi and the older Orthodox community took care of us on Monday and for the break fast. I’ll… More ▸

  • Teaching Yiddish in Mexico City

    Shortly after 10:00 on Wednesday, I set out for one of Mexico City’s three Yiddish schools — so-called because they retain a significant amount of Yiddish language and culture in the curriculum. My appointment was at 11, and an hour later we were still driving — first past Polanco, the more urban Jewish area where… More ▸

  • El presidente

    Tuesday I met with the president of Comite Central de la Comunidad Judia de Mexico, Oskar Gorodzinsky, and the organization’s director, Mauricio Lulka. Gorodzinsky is a father of three who works in the family business and looks a little like Silvio Berlusconi. When I arrived he asked to keep the meeting to 45 minutes because… More ▸

  • Radio free Mexico

    As many Mexican Jews will tell you, despite the community’s relatively small numbers — with some 40,000-50,000 souls, Mexican Jews make up .04 percent of the country’s population — they are nonetheless believed to number many more. That’s predominantly a function of the community’s relative affluence and outsized influence on the wider culture.  When I… More ▸

  • Video of the Burn

    Took a little longer than I had hoped, but after clearing the censors here, my video has gone live. I can reasonably attest that this is about the most explicit video of Burning Man that you will ever see from JTA. And given that, here’s the requisite disclaimer: Adult Content. Viewer Discretion Advised. Later this… More ▸

  • Burning Shabbat

    The high point of activities for the week at Sukkat Shalom was easily the Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat service. With all of the debauchery on offer on the playa, it was refreshing to have a holy experience, even if the largely traditional service did have a distinct Burning Man quality to it: bare breasted women… More ▸

  • Jewish mothers and burning men

    We had our first day out on the playa, the dry lakebed that is the site of Burning Man. I realize I haven’t fully explained exactly what Burning Man is, which may be because I’ve largely felt inadequate to the task. Painting a picture in words of this otherwordly place seems daunting mostly because metaphors… More ▸

  • First Date 2.0: ShidduchVision aims to ease shidduch crisis

    A new service will permit Orthodox singles to go on first “dates” via video conference rather than travel to far-off locales to meet potential suitors. It’s the latest in a slew of initiatives addressing what is often described as a crisis of Orthodox singles unable to find suitable mates. More ▸