February 9, 2016 / 30th of Shvat, 5776
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David Levy

  • About three and a half years ago, I got an email from Bonnie Rosenbaum, the Director of Communications at Keshet, where I sit on the board. CJP was holding a meeting for area organizations to come learn about a new project they were developing called JewishBoston.com. Could I attend on Keshet's behalf?

    I had no idea how that meeting would change my life. Patty Jacobson and Liz Polay-Wettengel, the co-founders of JewishBoston.com, presented their vision of how this website could change our commun...

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  • created at: 2011-01-20We like to celebrate just about every holiday with music. (Yes, even Yom Kippur has some gorgeous melodies.) Tu BiShvat, which begins on the evening of Friday, January 25, this year, has a couple of traditional folk songs, sure...but it's also an excuse to enjoy the broad range of music that's been written about fruit, nuts and trees. So for your listening and viewing pleasure, we've compiled some of our favorites into this YouTube playlist:

    Did we miss any of yo...

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  • Growing up in America, we might feel like we know everything there is to know about Christmas. I mean, it's everywhere, from television specials to muzak to more tinsel than you can shake a candy cane at. But the superficial trappings of the holiday, however fun they might be, belie a complex collection of rituals and beliefs as you might expect from a major world religion's big holy day.

    Last year, as we planned our winter content for JewishBoston.com, we got to talking about our feelings at be...

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  • Making Chanukkah decorations at Temple of Aaron, St. Paul. Photograph Collection 1960, Minnesota Historical Society

    Curious to learn more about where this holiday comes from? Check out these links.

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  • Don't tell your grandmother, but it's time to head back to the old country of Dorchester to catch the Fiddlehead Theatre Company's excellent new production of Ragtime: The Musical now playing at The Strand Theatre. The City of Boston is investing in reinvigorating this storied old theater as a center for arts and culture in the city, particularly for the communities of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan.

    Adam Shapiro as Tateh and Julia Deluzio as his daughter; photo by Matt McKee Photography

    Ragtime is a particularly poignant show for the occasion, offering an epic s...

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  • Most of our holidays commemorate specific events: Passover recalls the exodus from Egypt, Hanukkah the rededication of the Temple following a military victory against the Greeks, Yom Ha'atzmaut the founding of the modern State of Israel, and so on. But Sukkot is different. Sukkot reminds us of the time between the Exodus and our ancestors' entry into the promised land of Israel.

    created at: 2010-09-21Jews remember this time of wandering in the dessert by building temporary dwellings, little booths call...

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  • tsimmes, photo used under CC license from Flickr user Edsel LittleTzimmes is an Ashkenazi specialty generally associated with Rosh Hashannah due to its sweetness. There are as many variations on tzimmes as there are Jews, but the common threads are that it's a sweet dish made from carrots and whatever else you want to throw in. A common version is "tzimmes with flanken," featuring short ribs to add a meaty savor. 

    Tzimmes has a reputation for being a big pain in the neck to make -- so much so that the phrase "to make a ...

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  • Most Ashkenazi Jewish food traditions can be summed up with the sentence, "Our ancestors were poor, and this is what they could afford to eat." Even so, it's pretty incredible how creatively our forebears were able to construct themed dishes for the holidays that worked on a tight budget.

    Stuffed cabbage—known in the shtetl as holishkes—are one such dish. They get paired with Sukkot in part because cabbage is in season now, and in part because two holishkes placed nex...

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  • Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) are collectively called the High Holidays (or, alternately, the High Holy Days). The entire 10-day period is referred to as the Yamim Noraim (literally "Days of Awe") or Aseret Yamei Teshuva ("Ten Days of Repentence").

    Rosh Hashanah 2013 begins at sundown on Wednesday, September 4, and ends at dusk on Friday, September 6. (Some Reform synagogues observe only one day of Rosh Hashanah.) This year, we will be inaugu...

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  • Last Shabbat, I was invited by Rav Claudia Kreiman to give the drash (sermon) at Temple Beth Zion in Brookline for the GLBTQ Pride Shabbat. She asked me to speak on the question of why gay pride is a Jewish concern. Here's what I had to say:

    Falsettos - Broadway PlaybillIn 1992, the summer before I started high school, I saw Falsettos on my second-ever trip to Broadway. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it was the combination of two earlier, ground-breaking off-Broadway musicals by songwrit...

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David Levy is the marketing director of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. From 2010 to 2013, he was editor of JewishBoston.com.

Latest Comments

A huge loss for Boston... Thanks for being you Dlevy!!
Farewell from JewishBoston.com's Managing Editor
David - thanks for all you've done in building, growing, and leading JewishBoston.com. May you go from strength to strength.
Farewell from JewishBoston.com's Managing Editor
I am so proud to have been on this journey with you. The Jewish community is lucky to have someone as passionate and devoted as you.
Farewell from JewishBoston.com's Managing Editor
How about "Let's Listen to the Land" from Epcot Center Land Pavillion? Just make believe you’re a tiny little seed, a tiny little seed that’s reaching up to meet your need. With the right amount of faith and the right amount of earth. you’ll grow to see the sunshine on your day of birth. Chorus: Let’s listen to the land we all love. Nature’s plan will shine above. Listen to the land, listen to the land.
Tu BiShvat: A Time for Cherry Pie & Canned Peaches
Line the bottom and sides of the pot with the dark outer layer of the cabbage leaves before you cook the rolls. The bottom will not burn.
Stuffed Cabbage (aka Holishkes): Edible Torahs for Sukkot
High Holidays 101
If you are looking for a unique, hand painted Ecard for the High Holidays, please see my site www.leimation.com. Thanks!
High Holidays 101
Thank you David, this is wonderful. Love how you contextualize Pride within Tikkun olam. Great drash!
What's Jewish about Gay Pride?