Lights, Camera, Take Action! Yachad Launches Video Contest

May 1, 2014, by

Just what does inclusion mean to you? That was the question posed by the Yachad Youth Leadership Council (YYLC) last month in their “Lights, Camera, Take Action!” video contest. As part of the competition, Yachad members and the Jewish community at large were invited to submit a short video describing what the term meant to

Too Tight

April 30, 2014, by

Feeling stiff? Well, you probably are too tight, even if you don’t feel that way. Whether you are sitting all day or doing some motion with any part of your body repeatedly, such as walking, the odds are that your muscles and connective tissue need to be stretched out. People who read my columns or

Ask Aviva: Huffy Hubby

April 30, 2014, by

Dear Aviva, I am newly married and very upset with myself. I know that marriage is not supposed to be easy and nobody is perfect. I knew that when I started dating and I promised myself that I would always love my wife and never get angry. Well, I am totally failing. She is not

The Dynamic Doctor Duo: A Couple with a Mission

April 25, 2014, by

Drs. Peter and Laurel Steinherz are not only married to each other—they’re married to a common calling. For over three decades they’ve worked in tandem, helping cancer patients survive in the face of seemingly impossible odds. They met at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He loaned her his textbooks and his dissecting kit—they married soon

Reflections on the Power of Prayer

April 23, 2014, by

This article was featured in Jewish Action Fall 2009.  There were precious few things that I shared in common with my father, Velvel Herschkopf a”h. He was born at the turn of the 20th century in a shtetl in Eastern Europe; I was born in the second half of the century in the most cosmopolitan city

Busy Law Students Don’t Pass Over Seder

April 11, 2014, by

Forget mock trial. How about a mock seder? This March, Jewish students and alumni at St. Thomas University School of Law enjoyed a mock seder courtesy of Southern NCSY. More than 30 Jewish students, alumni and guests gathered for a three-hour seder in the weeks before Passover, despite being in the midst of finals. With

Ask Aviva: Muzzled Mother

April 10, 2014, by

Dear Aviva, I am hosting my three married kids and their families for the first days of Pesach. My youngest son’s wife is a very difficult person. She is very clingy to my son. When we are gathered around the table, she monopolizes the conversation and if someone asks my son a question she answers

An Incredibly Inspiring Chapter of Passover Seder Law

April 9, 2014, by

This article originally appeared at When it comes to inspiration, most Orthodox Jews turn to glorious books of Mussar, or historical legends about our Torah sages, or fiery speeches by modern day orators, or the latest inspirational story, or other Torah content that is heavy on encouragement or equally overloaded with deprecation. When

Accepting Our Own: The Bias Against Black-Hatters

April 9, 2014, by

This article was originally published in The YU Observer. It was a recent Friday night in the Heights when, in the middle of a neutral conversation, someone suddenly slipped a derogatory aside about the ultra-Orthodox. I was sitting across from her at the Shabbat table, involved in the stimulating discussion until this point. Immediately, a round

Do What Worked for Our Ancestors in Egypt—4 Lessons from the Exodus

April 9, 2014, by

Our rabbis inform us that we are currently in the final stages before the arrival of the Messiah. The Sages teach that the future redemption will parallel the redemption from Egypt (derived from Micah 7:15). By understanding what occurred then, we will gain insight into what is occurring now. Before the Jews were redeemed from

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