Author: Barbara Bensoussan

Jews By Choice

“A convert is Jewish now and part of the community. Treat them as Jews and love them as anyone else.”

Sephardic Kinot: Exploring Moroccan Tradition

In Morocco we didn’t eat meat the entire Nine Days , although there were three different customs regarding meat consumption on Shabbat, depending on one’s family tradition and the city in which one lived.

When Bad Things Bring Out Good People

I always thought tragedy was something that happened to other people: the fatal car crash, the devastating diagnosis, the freak accident. I lived in a rose-colored bubble in which normal people got married, raised kids, and the cycle repeated itself tranquilly. That bubble proved as fragile and evanescent as...

Rabbis At Risk: What Can Be Done?

“This is a tough time to be a rabbi,” lamented Rabbi Shaul Robinson of Manhattan’s Lincoln Square Synagogue in a recent derashah following the latest rabbinic scandal. “All rabbinic reputations have been diminished.” Any unsavory incident that involves rabbis or community leaders is one too many. Rabbis are the...

Shidduchim Go High-Tech

Technological developments are often aimed at solving the world’s great problems: feeding the hungry, reversing global warming, curing disease. But what about the world’s most pressing problem, at least from a Jewish mother’s point of view: the “shidduch crisis”? Dr. Tova Weinberg, an exuberant retired dentist who is the...

FRANK BUCHWEITZ: The Planner Par Excellence

Frank Buchweitz’s office at the Orthodox Union headquarters in downtown Manhattan is small, his desk crowded but not disorderly. A dry-erase board on the wall across from him has every square inch scrawled over in purple marker: Call Rabbi G. Confirm appointment with Rabbi S. Follow up on printing...

Putting the “Unity” Back Into “Community”

Mention Edmonton, Alberta, and what comes to mind? The very name evokes a shiver, conjuring images of blizzards and bitter cold. Some may recall that the world’s largest mall is located within its city limits. But Edmonton as the center of a vibrant Jewish community? No one would have...

Extending the Mitzvah of Chesed Shel Emet: The Work of Alan Reinitz

When a family member passes away, we follow the Torah’s guidelines for the proper burial of the body. The interment of a body and the erecting of a headstone are important for the deceased, but they are also important for the survivors. It is vital for family members to...