Pick Your Filling

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Prepare to get your celebration mode in gear, it’s time for Purim! Head to your nearest synagogue, crank up your groggers, and get ready to drown out the name of Haman while cheering on Esther and Mordechai. As a prerequisite to any and all Purim celebrations (and seudahs), it’s time to dig out your favorite… Read More

The Best Present My Parents Gave Me

The best present my parents gave me wasn’t something sentimental, like a family heirloom, nor was it something extravagant, like a new car. In fact, if I had to guess at its purchase price, I would probably put it in the $4.99 plus tax category. What was the gift? It was a binder — not… Read More

Double Standards

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The screw-tightening Israeli drama “Bethlehem” pivots on the personal bond between a Shin Bet officer and the Palestinian teenager he’s cultivated as an informant. That may sound like a bad case of misplaced trust by both parties. In the context of this harrowing film, where every character has his own agenda and loyalty is measured… Read More

Family Business

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Asked how he got his start in the theater business, veteran actor and director Rick Grossman will tell you he was born in a trunk. And things haven’t changed much. These days, Grossman, who was raised among three generations of theater people, is living not in, but out of a trunk, as he tours the… Read More

Head of the Glass

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NEW YORK — Watching Rebecca Yoshor in action for the Yeshiva University women’s basketball team, the skills are evident: the shot making, quickness, leadership and court smarts. They are skills honed in what her father describes as “fierce games” with her brothers and the neighborhood kids in the driveway of her Houston home and playing… Read More

Romanian Expression

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BUCHAREST, Romania — When secret police opened fire on protesters near her home, Maia Morgenstern headed for the Jewish State Theater. It was 1989, and Morgenstern, then 27, and a few of her friends took refuge in the theater, as protesters outside clashed with forces loyal to Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Hundreds died in two… Read More

Alice Herz-Sommer On Film

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LOS ANGELES — In her 110 years, Alice Herz-Sommer has been an accomplished concert pianist and teacher, a wife and mother — and a prisoner in Theresienstadt. Now she is the star of an Oscar-nominated documentary showing her indomitable optimism, cheerfulness and vitality, despite all the upheavals and horrors she faced in the 20th century…. Read More

Rocking into the Night

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The frigid night air of winter was stopped at the door to Beth Shalom Congregation as the Columbia synagogue’s in-house band heated up the sanctuary for the congregation’s second annual concert. Divine Intervention headlined “An Evening at the Coffee House” Jan. 25, playing through an eclectic program of swing standards such as Glen Miller’s “In… Read More

Beth Tfiloh On Top

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In this, his first season as the head coach of the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School’s boys varsity basketball team, Ari Braun led his players to a 17-9 overall record, 10-4 in their conference. That was good enough to earn second place in the Class C Division of the tough Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association…. Read More

Semisweet Secrets

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My late mother told me to wait for post-holiday sales for great buys on anything. This adage still rings true. Even a non-Jewish holiday such as Valentine’s Day can provide residual benefits and bargains for Jewish cooks. On Feb. 15 — and the week after — you can find many kosher chocolates marked to 75… Read More