Religion & Jewish Life

Why you might find bacon flavors next time you go to a kosher restaurant

Chef Michael Gershkovich uses the skills and flavor knowledge he gleaned from years of study in the non-kosher world to infuse the kosher cuisine at his New York restaurant, Mike's Bistro. (Courtesy of Gershkovich)

NEW YORK – Tuna poke nachos marinated Hawaiian style. Lightly smoked duck breasts with quinoa and turnips. Hormone- and antibiotic-free USDA prime angus steaks. The kosher restaurant scene today has come a long way from the pastrami sandwiches and matzah ball soups of old (though you can still get… Read more »

Secular young Jews come here for drinks, socializing — and Torah learning

Participants at a Wednesday night event hosted by Meor Manhattan. (Josefin Dolsten)

  NEW YORK (JTA) — The scene inside the brick-walled locale minutes from Union Square has the typical trappings of a New York hangout. On a recent Wednesday, 20-somethings in jeans and button-downs crowd around tables, raising their voices to be heard over the loud pop music. The bar is… Read more »

This kippah could save the lives of kids with allergies

The "Allergy Alert" kippah is designed to alert adults who might not be aware of a child's allergies. (iKippah)

(JTA) — At 3 1/2, Peretz Apfelbaum may not completely understand it yet, but some kitchens can put his life in danger. The Brooklyn boy is allergic to peanuts, cashews, pistachios, flax seeds, mustard seeds, coconut, peas, eggs and beef. Some of the foods give him hives, but the nuts can… Read more »

How this 650-year-old French synagogue withstood centuries of anti-Semitism

Women from the Jewish community of Carpentras chatting while preparing for Shabbat at the town's synagogue, July 7, 2017. (Cnaan Liphshiz)

CARPENTRAS, France (JTA) — The synagogue in this Provence town is Western Europe’s oldest functioning Jewish house of worship — and one of the prettiest on the continent. The Synagogue of Carpentras, which this year is celebrating its 650th anniversary, has a Baroque-style interior and a gold-ornamented hall with a blue… Read more »

How a Korean-Jewish entrepreneur uses food to empower immigrants

Jeanette Chawki, far right, teaches League of Kitchens workshop participants how to cook Lebanese food. (Josefin Dolsten)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Several times a month Jeanette Chawki welcomes a handful of strangers into her Brooklyn home. There, the visitors learn about life in her native Lebanon, talk about their own backgrounds, and eat food — lots of it. Among the dishes visitors tried on a recent… Read more »

I gave my child the Jewiest name

(Kveller via JTA) — I took a poll of my friends when I was pregnant. We run in an observant crowd in Manhattan, and most of our friends have the kinds of names you’d find multiple times over at your Jewish summer camp: Adams and Davids, Elianas and Yaels. My… Read more »

How a Chinese-Jewish chef finds inspiration on a North Dakota farm

Molly Yeh has taken the food blogging world by storm with her bubbly personality and creative recipes. (Chantell Quernemoen)

(JTA) — Not much could have prepared Molly Yeh for moving from New York City to Grand Forks, North Dakota — a city of a little over 50,000 residents near the state’s eastern border with Minnesota. At the time of her move in 2013, Yeh (pronounced “yay,” as her… Read more »

13 Jewish grandparent names that are due for a comeback

(Kveller via JTA) — Kveller often writes about trending Jewish baby names — but what about more retro names that are due to come back in style? Parents-to-be may not want to go with what’s popular right now and instead choose something ahead of the curve — by which… Read more »

Temple Emanu-El celebrates b’nai mitzvah with a difference

Grey Schwartzberg (left) and his father, Gary, carry Torahs at their b’nai mitzvah ceremony on May 6 at Temple Emanu-El. (Courtesy Gary Schwartzman)

A bar or bat mitzvah brings families together in a special way. In recent months, three Temple Emanu-El members with interfaith backgrounds created new family traditions as they demonstrated their commitment through this age-old rite of passage. A father and son celebrated a joint b’nai mitzvah, and the son of… Read more »

LGBT Jews say it’s increasingly difficult to be pro-Israel and queer

Marchers at the New York City Pride Parade hold signs for an LGBT synagogue in Manhattan, June 25, 2017. (Harold Levine)

NEW YORK (JTA) — For years, Laurie Grauer had waved a rainbow flag emblazoned with a Jewish star at the Chicago Dyke March, sometimes marching near activists waving Palestinian flags. It had never been a problem. But this year, Grauer was confronted by the LGBT parade’s organizers, questioned about… Read more »

Netanyahu defends suspending the Western Wall agreement. Here’s how.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, leads the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, June 25, 2017. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool/Flash90)

  (JTA) — American Jewish leaders are calling it a betrayal. They say that 17 months after achieving a historic agreement to provide a non-Orthodox space at Judaism’s holiest prayer site, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reneged in a Cabinet vote June 25, effectively canceling the deal and caving to… Read more »

Meet Diego Schwartzman, the best Jewish tennis player on earth

Diego Schwartzman practices in Buenos Aires, Feb. 1, 2017. (Gabriel Rossi/LatinContent/Getty Images)

  (JTA) — When Wimbledon starts this week, no other Jewish tennis player will be seeded higher than Diego Schwartzman. The scrappy 24-year-old from Argentina, fresh off an impressive five-set duel with perennial star Novak Djokovic at the French Open earlier this month, is No. 37 in the Association of Tennis… Read more »

OP-ED Fewer marriages and fewer children means fewer Jews doing Jewish

Rabbi Jonathan Roos blows the shofar for nursery school children at Temple Sinai synagogue in Washington, D.C., Sept. 30, 2016. (Evelyn Hockstein/for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

  (JTA) — On Jan. 16, 1949, Toby Fassman married Max Cohen (Steven M. Cohen’s parents, now both of blessed memory). At 24, Toby was among the last of her circle of friends in Brooklyn to marry, and several jokingly remarked that Max had rescued her from lifelong singlehood.… Read more »

Robert Kraft brings football Hall of Famers to Israel

Robert Kraft, in black shirt, with Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk, right, and, in rear, from left, Ron Yary, Roger Staubach and Dave Casper in Ramat Hasharon, Israel, June 15, 2017. (Hillel Kuttler)

RAMAT HASHARON, Israel (JTA) – An Israeli soldier clapped football great and Vietnam War veteran Roger Staubach on the shoulder at a soccer field here, telling the 1963 Heisman Trophy winner and U.S. Naval Academy grad that he and his brother serve in the paratroopers. The introduction Thursday evening prompted… Read more »

ANALYSIS ‘Jewish spouses matter,’ says a new demographic study. Let the battle begin.

Adam and Eve depicted on a 19th-century ketubah, a Jewish marriage contract, from the Norsa-Torrazzo Synagogue in Mantua, Italy. (DeAgostini/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — One of the wisest things ever said about intermarriage came from former Atlantic sports columnist Jake Simpson: “No stat could have predicted … the wonder that was David Tyree’s helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII.” Granted, Simpson wasn’t writing about the high rates of Jews marrying non-Jews.… Read more »