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Culture & Traditions

Sheepshead Bay

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Submitted by Adam Cohen, October 1, 2013 – My family grew up in Brooklyn including my parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and both sets of grandparents. I was dubbed a first generation New Jerseyan by many of my family members. As you could imagine, we spent a lot of time in Brooklyn. My parents would take my sister and I into Brooklyn on a whim and show us where they grew… Read More »Sheepshead Bay

Haven’t Heard of Thanksgivukkah? Are you on Mars?

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By Sarina Roffé In the next week, we will begin to see menorahs of all shapes and sizes populate the windows of homes in Brooklyn. Then there are the public candle lighting ceremonies everywhere from Grand Army Plaza to Coney Island. But this year is special. It’s Thanksgivukuh! Seriously, if you haven’t heard the term Thanksgivukuh by now, you must have been on Mars! I mean really? Even the NY… Read More »Haven’t Heard of Thanksgivukkah? Are you on Mars?

Kosher Food is Busting Out

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Out of the Lower East Side and its creative constraints Clever chefs like Moshe Wendel and Itta Werdiger Roth are bringing kosher into the 21st century at eateries like Pardes, Mason & Mug, Blossom and Reserve Cut BY MICHAEL KAMINER / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2013, 2:00 AM When the Lower East Side’s last kosher restaurant closed last month, “oy veys” could be heard all the way to the Bronx.In… Read More »Kosher Food is Busting Out

Disposal of old prayerbooks a mounting problem

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After years of watching synagogue members die or move away, the Sephardic Jewish Center of Canarsie made the difficult decision to downsize.

The 50-year-old Brooklyn synagogue had been a thriving center for the area’s Sephardim. But after accepting that it could no longer pull together enough money to cover expenses, let alone muster the 10 men necessary for daily prayer, the synagogue disposed of most of its belongings and began holding Shabbat services in a nearby Ashkenazi congregation.

But what to do with its prayerbooks? The center owned several hundred volumes in the Spanish-Portuguese liturgical style — some tattered, some like new and some belonging to older members that may have had significant worth.

“We donated some to a local shul, but we had to get rid of a lot of them and bury them,” said Rabbi Myron Rakowitz. “It was difficult because we didn’t just want to throw them out or claim them unusable. We want other people to use them, to give them purpose when we no longer can.”

What to do with old books is a growing problem for synagogues across the United States.

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Young Israel of Flatbush

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SUNSHINE1012 Avenue I, Brooklyn

The Young Israel was established on December 6, 1921 and held its first Synagogue Shabbat Services on March 3, 1922.  In its many years of existence, we have been active on several fronts.  The Young Israel was instrumental in providing assistance in rescue efforts for our suffering brethren during the Holocaust, financial aid during the early years of our beloved State of Israel and in its wars of existence, and support to our brothers behind the Iron Curtain.  Here at home, we have been the leading Congregation in the community – the force behind the creation of the local Mikveh, the Gemilut Chassadim Organization and the Greater Flatbush Eruv.  We have also assisted local Yeshivot, Rabbinic Courts and the needy of our community.  In addition to being open all day, every day, we have provided a myriad of services to our membership, including religious and educational enrichment, youth and outreach programs and social activities.

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Old-meets-new for Modern Orthodox artist fresh off exhibiting work in Miami

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Boerum Hill artist Elke Reva Sudin, 26, recently exhibited an oil painting in Miami through Con Artist, a Lower East Side artists’ space. ‘Showing this painting was personal for me,’ she tells The News.


Boerum Hill artist Elke Reva Sudin

Boerum Hill artist Elke Reva Sudin is fresh from her first exhibition during Art Basel in Miami

Blending a complex religious identity in modern painting? Brooklyn resident Elke Reva Sudin has it down to an art.

The 26-year-old Boerum Hill artist, a Modern Orthodox Jew, is fresh off of exhibiting her work in Miami as part of the SELECT Fair, an exhibition for emerging artists that ran alongside Art Basel.

The painter said she doesn’t identify herself as an adherent of any one sect of Judaism. “I’m watchful of the commandments,” Sudin told The News. “But culturally, I’m an artist.”

Sudin, perhaps best known for her tongue-in-cheek “Hipsters & Hassids” series in which she compares and contrasts the seemingly contradictory Brooklyn cultures, showed her work, “Yael Approaches the General,” as a part of a Lower East Side-based artists’ space, Con Artist.

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Brooklyn native and longtime Hollywood director tells all in recent memoir

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Allen Baron

Despite his success as a Hollywood film and TV director, Brooklyn native Allen Baron came from humble beginnings. In his recent memoir “Blast of Silence,” published this past July by Parker Publishing, Baron tells all, chronicling his convoluted path to launching a decades-long career in the film industry and revealing his passionate and opinionated take on 20th century Hollywood. “If it was hard to make a connection between the East New York section of Brooklyn where I had been born and this place,” he writes, recalling his experience at the 1965 Academy Awards Governors Ball, “it was almost impossible to see a link between my poverty-stricken years wearing hand-me-down clothes, living among smelly trash cans, nickel and dime stealing, and this glamorous setting.” Replete with a range of photographs depicting his toddler years through his years a director, “Blast of Silence” is a deeply confessional account of Baron’s fascinating life, which began right here in Brooklyn.

Born in East New York, Baron grew up in poverty during the Great Depression. His parents were Polish and Russian immigrants who spoke English with a thick accent and interspersed with Yiddish words. Baron recalls that most of his friends also had foreign-born parents, and that “The kids at Public School 202 would only associate with their ethnic groups.” He lived on Logan Street and then on Sutter Avenue.

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