Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Johanna Ginsberg

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  • NJ store to close after a century of suiting up bar mitzvah boys and the occasional mobster

    Johanna Ginsberg|Sep 28, 2018

    WHIPPANY, N.J. (New Jersey Jewish News via JTA)-When Clifford Kulwin celebrated his 13th anniversary as rabbi at Temple B'nai Abraham in Livingston, New Jersey, he knew he had to mention another local institution. "I understand there are some present who do not consider this a 'real' bar mitzvah. To them I have just one word: Sam's!" he said before opening his suit jacket and pointing to the label sewn into the lining: Sam's Fine Men's Clothing in Livingston. "Eight hundred people there utterly... Full story

  • New Jersey synagogue shares mountain mitzvah in Kentucky

    Johanna Ginsberg, New Jersey Jewish News|Jun 28, 2013

    McROBERTS, Ky.—The morning mist hovers over the narrow valley in the lush Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. A creek rushing by the side of the main road passes through the town of Neon in once prosperous Letcher County, deep in the state’s coal mining region. The empty storefronts reflect the industry’s losing battle with mechanization, depleted coal deposits and cheaper-to-mine western coal. Up the road a piece, people sit in rocking chairs on the porches of mostly rundown homes watch... Full story

  • Chant expert seeks 'healing of the spirit'

    Johanna Ginsberg, New Jersey Jewish News|Jun 7, 2013

    In three-part harmony, a group of more than 50 people—mostly women, mostly middle-aged and older—began chanting a verse from Leviticus: Aish tamid tukad al hamizbei’ach; lo tichbeh (“Fire always shall be kept burning on the altar; it shall not go out”). They were led by Rabbi Shefa Gold, who added an overlay of harmony, drumming, and the droning sound of an accordion-like “shruti box.” As the chant continued, it grew more intensely spiritual, less self-conscious, louder and more harmonious. For three hours on May 19, Gold led participants... Full story

  • Rahm's big brother offers up family secrets

    Johanna Ginsberg, New Jersey Jewish News|Jun 7, 2013

    OK, let’s face it. One of the burning questions of the day, if you happen to be a Jewish parent, is: How do I get my kids to grow up like those Emanuel boys? You know: Ari, the wealthy L.A. talent agent who inspired an iconic sitcom character; Ezekiel, the bioethicist at The Hastings Center; and Rahm, former right-hand man to a president and now mayor of Chicago. Hurry to your local independent bookstore. Ezekiel has provided a how-to guide. Sort of. Don’t get too excited. “The Brothers Emanuel:... Full story

  • Klein is first gay man to head group

    Johanna Ginsberg, New Jersey Jewish News|Apr 5, 2013

    Growing up in Montclair, N.J., Jason Klein found a role model in Rabbi Perry Rank of Congregation Shomrei Emunah. “He really had a way that was very charismatic and warm and connected with children and adults,” said Klein. “I always looked forward to events at the synagogue.” Now a rabbi himself, Klein is thinking a lot about role models these days. Earlier this month, he was elected president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, making him the public face of the youngest of Judaism... Full story