August 12, 2015 |
Jake Vistoso and his brother, Evan, both wear hearing aids, yet had trouble understanding the rabbi at their synagogue in Newtown. Since Jake had just turned 13, he wanted to tackle that auditory challenge for his bar mitzvah project. The answer was a "hearing loop" - a strand of wire hidden under the carpet of the sanctuary at Congregation Brothers of Israel. Jake helped raise more than $3,000 for the loop system, which transmits audio from the rabbi's microphone directly into most hearing aids.
July 30, 2015 |
When Peter Ryba, 89, opened the letter from a young stranger in the United States, the Australian businessman couldn't believe what he was reading. Are you related to Gregory Ryba, a young Jewish boy who perished during the Holocaust? the letter asked? Ryba was born in Berlin in 1926 to Polish parents. "We had a good life," he recalled. "We lived in an apartment and were financially doing OK - I had a governess and there was a maid. " In 1931, Ryba's little brother, Gregory, was born.
April 30, 2015 |
WHEN TATTLE was a kid, an over-the-top bar mitzvah party was one held at night - with steak. "Star Wars"-themed bar mitzvahs were a big deal. So were sports-themed. Sure, a boy was becoming a man, but he was still a boy. Now . . . Matt Murstein , the 13-year-old son of NYC rich guy Andrew Murstein , had his bar mitzvah party at Manhattan's swanky Pierre Hotel on Saturday night, and London's Daily Mail reports that the entertainment was . . . Nicki Minaj . Makes Tattle think that the snake in the Garden of Eden may have been an anaconda.
March 25, 2015
THIS WEEKEND we went to a bat mitzvah. For many black families, this peek into Jewish tradition is culture shock. For the Joneses? It's old hat. We've been to so many bat mitzvahs that LaVeta is starting to hum along to the tunes. Little Solomon has started checking out the young men's yarmulkes. And Eve? Well, she's 13, so she's eyeing the bat mitzvah benefits. Having been to three bat mitzvahs so far, Eve has come to understand that girls her age who become "bat mitzvah" have the same rights as adults, are morally responsible for their actions and, best of all, get lots and lots of stuff.
June 19, 2014 |
Claire Dickson will start her summer vacation as usual at the end of this month, but when it's over she will not reopen her eponymous women's boutique the second week in August as she's done for 35 years. Dickson, one of the area's czarinas of special-occasion fashion, has decided to retire. And her daughter and business partner, Debbie, wants to spend more time with her teenage daughter. Rather than look for a replacement, Dickson is calling it quits. There is canasta to be played.
October 10, 2013 |
When Clarke Horowitz needed a bar mitzvah community service project, selling beads to help children in Africa seemed like a perfect way to give back. So far, Horowitz, 13, of Voorhees, has raised $1,200 to support children in Uganda. Although his bar mitzvah was a few weeks ago, he plans to keep selling the beads. "I enjoy it, so I would like to help," Horowitz said. "I know there's probably a kid just like me in Africa. " Horowitz and two other students who organized projects in South Jersey to help children in Uganda whose families have been ravaged by HIV/AIDS had a chance Tuesday to hear firsthand how their work has made a difference.
April 4, 2013 |
When it comes to his memories as an 8-year-old in 1938, Kurt Herman can recall every detail: how his school friends in Vienna shunned him within days after Hitler annexed Austria; how his father hid at the top of a closet when Nazis searched their apartment; and how a Philadelphia couple eventually rescued him and 49 other children in what would be the largest single kindertransport to the United States. But even Herman, now 83, was surprised to learn some of the details of the Krauses' daring exploit that emerge from a new documentary being telecast Monday on HBO. 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus is a tale of a tenacious Philadelphia lawyer, Gilbert Kraus, outmaneuvering a tightfisted U.S. State Department to find visas that did not exist; telegrams across the ocean from a husband anxious for his wife's help; a 34-year-old mother, Eleanor Kraus, leaving behind her two children, ages 9 and 13, to take the next ship to Europe; the emotional process of screening hundreds of children whose parents are desperate to send them to safety; and, just as the children are nearing freedom, a frightening encounter with Germany's and Italy's top military leaders.
February 8, 2013 |
ABRAM KHLIBNIKOV, 75, from Tel Aviv, who speaks only Russian and Hebrew, arrived at Philadelphia International Airport on a Saturday last month. He found a Russian-speaking cabdriver and said that he'd come here to visit his cousin but that his cousin didn't want to see him, so now what? The cabdriver is from Northeast Philadelphia, so he figured that there's one place that could do a mitzvah - a good deed, a solid - for an abandoned Russian-speaking senior from Israel. It's the Raymond & Miriam Klein Jewish Community Center, on Jamison Avenue near Red Lion Road.
March 28, 2012 |
It was a simple walk from her seat to the front of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, a New York City synagogue. But when 12-year-old Judith Kaplan was summoned by her rabbi father to read from her Bible and recite some blessings, the act was revolutionary. On a March Saturday in 1922, two years after women in America got the right to vote, Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan broke tradition. He had, in essence, held a coming-of-age ceremony for his daughter, what boys at 13 had celebrated for centuries.
March 28, 2012
In celebration of the bat mitzvah's 90th anniversary this year, we asked readers for their memories, and we got a heap. We heard from women ranging in age from 88 to 14, with bat mitzvahs dating from 1953 to 2011. Some were funny, others poignant, a few regretful, many joyful. To all our readers who shared, thank you (and mazel tov!) Back in 1970, girls were relegated to second-class status. We conducted the Friday night service, but there was no Saturday Torah reading for us. That was OK, but I was exceedingly jealous of my male counterparts who got lavish Saturday evening parties - with live bands!