Tuesday, October 19th 2021   |

Jews in the News

Former Baptist Sunday school teacher designing for the frum fashionista

By TALIA LAVIN

(JTA) — Just before Maria Patricia de Sousa set out for a yearlong stint at a seminary in Jerusalem seven years ago, she stopped by the house of an Orthodox Jewish woman in her home city of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

She wanted to find out about life in Jerusalem — where to eat, how to get around, what to bring for a Sabbath gift. But de Sousa...

Dialing the dead: Rebecca Rosen is psychic to the stars

By TALIA LAVIN

(JTA) — Many Jews feel a connection with their ancestors, but how many have regular conversations with them?

Rebecca Rosen, a 36-year-old mother of two, is one who does.

Rosen lists her profession as “psychic medium,” and her specialty is communing with the dead, acting as “the bridge between the spiritual and the physical world.”

Rosen is a far cry from most psychics, with their store-front tables,...

Husband of terror victim pens memoir of quest to meet bomber

By TALIA LAVIN

NEW YORK (JTA) — David Harris-Gershon, author of the forthcoming memoir “What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?,” is frank about the contradictions in his personality.

An admitted “natural introvert,” Harris-Gershon describes himself as “surprisingly good” at public speaking. In 2013, he won the GrandSLAM Storytelling Championship at the Pittsburgh branch of the Moth, a nationwide storytelling organization, with...

Struck by lightning at camp, Ethan Kadish battling catastrophic injury

By TALIA LAVIN

NEW YORK (JTA) — On Saturday, two weeks after Ethan Kadish’s 13th birthday, the members of his family will gather around a Torah scroll in the chapel of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for a small ceremony marking his entrance into adulthood.

This was not the bar mitzvah that Scott and Alexia Kadish envisioned seven weeks ago when Ethan was still at the Goldman Union Camp Institute, a Reform...

Hadassa Margolese, fighter for religious tolerance, quits Beit Shemesh

By BEN SALES

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Two years ago, Hadassa Margolese became a symbol of resistance to haredi Orthodox domination after she allowed her 8-year-old daughter to tell an Israeli reporter how religious men had spit on her as she walked to school.

The report made headlines around the world and cast Margolese into the spotlight as a defender of the rights and values of the Modern Orthodox community...

‘Homeland’ writer’s work shaped by IDF service, Jewish heritage

By ROBERT GLUCK

(JNS.org) – Israeli-born writer and director Gideon Raff knows the cost of war. That knowledge, as well as his Jewish background, helped him create two of television’s most compelling dramas.

Raff’s “Prisoners of War” series on Israel’s Channel 2 won the Israeli equivalent of an Academy Award for best drama in 2010 and was sold to 20th Century Fox. Originally titled Hatufim in Hebrew, the show was adapted into the acclaimed Showtime series “Homeland” in...

After career in Congress, Peter Deutsch finds new life in Israel

By URIEL HEILMAN

RAANANA, Israel (JTA) — When U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch lost his campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2004, forcing him out of Congress for the first time in 12 years, he didn’t quite know what to do with himself.

So he did something not entirely uncommon among American Jews who haven’t quite figured out their next step: He went to Israel.

More than eight years later, Deutsch...

Double wedding in Seattle caps rapper’s transformation

By DEBRA RUBIN

(JTA) — Five years ago he was D-Black, a hip-hop artist rapping about the violence, gang activity and drugs of his African-American ’hood. Today he’s Nissim Black, an Orthodox Jew davening in a Sephardic shul in Seattle and writing songs he describes as rap/urban alternative that “speak a message of hope and inspiration.”

The shift in his musical message will be on full display with his new...

Israeli pianist soldier (finally) strikes the right key

By TAL BLUMSTEIN

NEW YORK (JTA) — “You have night blindness,” the Israeli army doctor announced unsympathetically at my pre-service medical examination.

“You’re dismissed from your IDF mandatory army service by law,” he said and called the next soldier-to-be.

I was frightened by the diagnosis. I had worn glasses since I was 3, but I never thought I would lose my vision at 18.

It turned out not to be...

Meet restauranteur Lisa Schroeder, Portland’s resident Jewish mother in chief

By GIL SHEFLER

PORTLAND, Ore. (JTA) — It’s brunch time at Mother’s Bistro & Bar and owner-chef Lisa Schroeder has a small crisis on her hands involving the accidental defenestration of a busboy.

Moments earlier, a server had tripped and gone flying through one of the restaurant’s large picture windows. Shattered glass covered the pavement outside, where the hapless staffer was being treated for a nasty gash by an ambulance...