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DECEMBER 14, 2017 – When I was growing up in Jewish Mattapan, Hanukkah was a home holiday, a time to light the candles for eight nights to recall that a simple band of Maccabees led a successful uprising against the mighty Syrian army. High on the agenda was the cleansing of the defiled temple and Read More

DECEMBER 14, 2017 - BOSTON – What happens when you assemble more than 6,000 Jews in one building? Boston got a glimpse of that last week at the Hynes Convention Center when the Union for Reform Judaism gathered for its Biennial meeting, touted as the largest gathering of Jews in North America. And the result Read More

Hanukkah was always kind of a letdown when I was a kid growing up in New England. Sure, we had the eight days of presents that caused my non-Jewish friends no shortage of jealousy, but I was more envious of them for having the market on the tinsel, outdoor home displays, and all the bells Read More

DECEMBER 14, 2017 – From earliest memory, I pondered the mysteries of the universe. Why did the chicken cross the road? And, even more puzzling: which came first, the chicken or the egg? Beyond these (eventually) soup-related brain-teasers, I also could not figure out a couple of very significant doughnut-related questions. Whatever happened to the Read More

DECEMBER 14, 2017 – Instead of sleeping late on Christmas day, Barry Silverman rises with a purpose. For the last 22 years, he has hopped into his car in Peabody and driven to My Brother’s Table in Lynn, where he oversees a cadre of volunteers who serve hundreds of meals to guests who have nowhere Read More

DECEMBER 14, 2017 – In the lexicon of medical doctors, Ryan Zaklin often uses a word for healing that most practitioners have been loathe to utter: cannabis. While medical marijuana has been legal in Massachusetts since 2013, just 212 of the state’s 36,287 doctors have agreed to certify patients for legal use. Dr. Zaklin, who Read More

DECEMBER 7, 2017 – LAWRENCE – It all began when a wave of Russian and Polish Jews came to Lawrence at the turn of the 20th century when the city welcomed immigrants to work in the textile industries. Later, Jewish merchants, some from Lithuania, opened dry goods and retail shops. These days, some of the Read More

DECEMBER 7, 2017 – PEABODY – Rim Meirowitz recently taught a three-part series of classes that drew 70 fellow residents of all religions at Brooksby Village. The rabbi emeritus at Temple Shir Tikva in Winchester, Meirowitz went through the Jewish calendar and major holidays, and also led a discussion about the difference between the concept Read More

DECEMBER 7, 2017 – “Nobody likes succotash,” muttered my grandmother, as Dora brought in a cold casserole dish from the Thanksgiving table. With the feasting and multilingual merriment still in full raucous swing, it was only me, my grandmother, Dora, and great-aunt Rivka who bore chill witness to that greatest of household sins: the obscene Read More

NOVEMBER 30, 2017 – GLOUCESTER – Hanukkah 5778 carries special meaning for Temple Ahavat Achim in Gloucester. Observance of the eight-day festival commemorating the rededication of the temple after the Maccabee triumph is inextricably linked with the lighting of flames. Ten years ago, in the early hours of December 15, flames spread from a fire Read More