Tagged Chabad

Sochi ready for Jewish arrivals

Short track speed skater Vladislav Bykanov of the Israel Olympic team carries his country's flag during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics on Feb. 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Soft sand and turquoise beaches make Sochi a lovely holiday destination, but this coastal Russian city is less than ideal for providing religious services to large numbers of Jewish visitors. With few native Jews and only one resident rabbi, the Black Sea resort of 400,000 residents would… Read more »

Sucker punch: Brooklyn Jews targeted in ‘knockout’ attacks

Crown Heights resident Pinchas Woolstone says the neighborhood is 'light years away" from the era of the riots. (Julie Wiener)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Chava, a student at a Chabad seminary, has lived in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn for six years, but it’s only in the past few days that she started carrying pepper spray in her handbag. Her younger brother gave her the deterrent after news… Read more »

Passover without wine? For Jewish addicts, sober Seders are a life-saver

Wine is an integral part of the Passover Seder as matzah, but for alcoholics this can pose a serious problem. (Shutterstock)

NEW YORK (JTA) — It’s rare that an Orthodox rabbi chooses to omit an important Jewish ritual in his holiday celebrations. But in the spring of 2000, Rabbi Yosef Lipsker cleared his living room of furniture, set up three large dining tables and invited dozens of people to a… Read more »

For Chabad misfits, a place to call home

Chevra Ahavas Yisroel, a new synagogue in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn shown here celebrating 2013 Purim, is breaking down stereotypes within the Chabad Community. (Courtesy Chevra Ahavas Yisroel)

NEW YORK (JTA) — On a freezing Friday night in Brooklyn, a group of 18 Crown Heights residents scurry through the crowds of Jews leaving synagogue and make their way to a second-story apartment on Rogers Avenue for Shabbat dinner. Inside, hippie art and vintage John Lennon photos share… Read more »

Jewish millennials are showing increased attachments

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The older generation always thinks of the younger generation as losing its traditional values, wondering “Why can’t they be just like us?” But in a time of expanding globalism, open social networking and greater geographical disbursement, a surprising finding of a recent poll we conducted shows that… Read more »

Penn State’s Jewish community weighs how to move forward

Former Penn State University President Graham Spanier was forced to resign following criticism of his response to the sexual abuse scandal at the school. (via Creative Commons)

NEW YORK (JTA) — One unlikely venue for fallout from the Penn State University sex abuse scandal is the campus Hillel, for which now ousted university president Graham Spanier — the school’s first Jewish leader — was a fundraiser and vocal supporter. On Monday, the Penn State community was… Read more »

Oro Valley to get Chabad rabbi and rebbetzin

Rabbi Ephraim Zimmerman with his wife, Mushkie, and daughters Devora (right) and Chana

Chabad of Tucson has appointed Rabbi Ephraim Zimmerman to be the first full-time rabbi serving the spiritual, religious and educational needs of Oro Valley Jews. “This is a response to the growing Jewish population in the Northwest,” says Rabbi Yossie Shemtov, regional director of Chabad of Tucson. Zimmerman and… Read more »

N.Y. Chasid resorts to hunger strike after nearly a year in Bolivian prison

Jacob Ostreicher (Courtesy Miriam Ungar)

NEW YORK (JTA) – Supporters say he’s an innocent man caught up in the tentacles of a corrupt Latin American regime. Authorities in Bolivia, however, allege that he’s a shady businessman with ties to drug dealers and money launderers. What’s certain is that Jacob Ostreicher, a 53-year-old Chasidic Jew… Read more »

Chabad to bring healing author/blogger to Tucson

Rabbi Shais Taub

Chabad of Tucson is launching its 2012 lecture series with Rabbi Shais Taub, a scholar, author and blogger on Jewish mysticism, on Sunday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m. at the Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. Dubbed “an expert in Jewish mysticism and the 12 steps” by National Public Radio… Read more »

Eric Yoffie: The exit interview

NEW YORK (JTA) — At the end of this year, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the president of Union for Reform Judaism, will be stepping down after 16 years at the movement’s helm. Last week, Yoffie sat down with JTA Managing Editor Uriel Heilman at the URJ’s offices in New York ahead… Read more »

Finding Jewish leadership in far-flung Iceland

Mike Levin, seen here holding the Icelandic Jewish community's paper Torah scroll, once baked his own matzah for a Passover Seder because none was available in the country for purchase. (Alex Weisler)

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (JTA) — For Mike Levin, a native of Chicago, it took a move to Iceland to turn him into a Jewish leader. More than 25 years ago, Levin met an Icelandic woman while both were studying music at a university in Vienna. They married soon after, moved… Read more »

In Iceland, tiny Jewish community celebrates new beginnings

Rabbi Berel Pewzner, left, and Rabbi Berel Grunblatt on the seventh-floor balcony of the Hotel Cabin, where Rosh Hashanah services in Reykjavik were held, September 2011. (Alex Weisler)

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (JTA) — Nearly half an hour after Rosh Hashanah services were set to begin, the congregation in this chilly city still was one man short of a minyan. But as the small group of Jewish expats and their Icelandic spouses mingled and waited, no one complained. After… Read more »

Eretz Peru: Cusco is a popular spot for young Israelis

(Tablet Magazine) — Walk down the cobblestone alley and you’ll see it lined with restaurants serving falafel and schnitzel, and Internet cafes advertising their businesses with Hebrew signs and Israeli flags. Shoppers speak Hebrew, and Israeli pop music emanates from storefronts. A shopkeeper waves and calls out “Shalom!” to… Read more »

Torah to get new home at Chabad on River

Chabad on River will welcome its first Sefer Torah on Sunday, April 10 at 10 a.m. with a processional from the Tucson Jewish Community Center to Chabad on River, followed by a celebratory brunch. The Torah, says Rabbi Ram Bigelman, was originally written for a yeshiva in Tiberias, Israel,… Read more »

New Zealand quake kills Israeli, destroys Chabad house

The Chabad House in Christchurch, New Zealand, before it was devastated by an earthquake on Feb. 21, 2011, had the city's only kosher cafe.

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — For the Jewish community, the devastating earthquake that hit New Zealand struck close to home. An Israeli backpacker is believed to be among the 65 people killed in Tuesday’s quake, and the destruction in Christchurch on the country’s South Island included the city’s Chabad house.… Read more »

At site of Nazi power, a chanukah menorah at Brandenberg Gate

A costumed Maccabee stands at a Chanukah menorah-lighting ceremony at Berlin's Brandenberg Gate, Dec. 1, 2010. (Toby Axelrod)

BERLIN (JTA) — Icicles formed on Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal’s beard as he helped set up the towering menorah in the center of Berlin. It wasn’t just any menorah among the thousands that the Chabad-Lubavitch movement erects every Chanukah in public locations around the world. Teichtal, the Chabad rabbi in the… Read more »