U.S. President Barack Obama's grandmother has received death threats from the African branch of al-Qaida, prompting stepped up security around her home in Kenya, ABC News reported on Thursday.
Rachel Somekh teaches two classic Iraqi appetizers, potato chops and cigars
The evening was billed as, "A Journey Along the Cradle of Muslim Civilizations: Based on the Eleventh Century Travels of Nasir Khusraw." It was presented by His Highness Prince Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for Western United States. Since Sept. 11, we have all been pursuing a continuing education in Islam, but this name, Ismaili, was new to me. The woman who extended the invitation, Dr. Nur Amersi, the council's communications chair, explained that the Ismaili are a small sect within the Shi'a denomination of Islam.
"I really didn't want to do it" said Chiara Greene, 16, of her bat mitzvah. "When I was 12, it really did not seem that important to me. I was not religion oriented, and I didn't want to do something that I didn't completely understand."
Those were not words that Chiara's father, Richard Greene, wanted to hear. "I kept telling her you are Jewish, you are my daughter, and I want you to have this experience," he said.
You knew this was bound to happen.
Just this past Purim, The Journal reported about how hamantashen were becoming a hot food delicacy outside of Jewish circles. Now, two enterprising Los Angeles-area women are bent on doing the same for yet another holiday dessert staple -- the macaroon.
In a sunny hotel room overlooking the Pacific, Debra Winger is telling Jewish tales as big and bad as "Big Bad Love," her first film since abruptly quitting show business seven years ago. Her turquoise eyes well up and her raspy voice breaks as she breathlessly describes attending Manhattan's Congregation B'nai Jeshurun a couple of days before her son, Noah, became bat mitzvah in 2000. "It was the first time I was ever called to the Torah," says Winger, who wasn't allowed to have a bar mitzvah growing up in the Valley. "My Orthodox grandmother wouldn't hear of a girl on the bimah."
At first glance, it would be hard to imagine two women with less in common than my mother and my husband's mother. You can begin with the obvious differences in cultural and religious background: my mother grew up Jewish in the Bronx, while my mother-in-law, a Presbyterian, has lived in Virginia all her life.
And while neither exactly bears out a stereotype, each carries somewhat predictable ethnic and regional markers. My mother, Lois, is voluble and huggy, a devotee of popular arts, an ace shopper. Lloyd (yes, Lloyd -- like many other Southern women, she was assigned a family surname as her given name) is much more reticent and reserved. To me, she seems very much the patrician Virginia gentlewoman, while my mother has a large measure of what one novelist once called the "yolky warmth" typical of many Jewish women.
My mother called to give me an update on my aunt Ruthie's condition. She had a cancer-spotted kidney removed a few days ago,and the family Jew-Ex was hot with medical reports. My mother, whose curse it was to be the firstborn, was cursed a second time by havinga daughter who she used to liken to her sister Ruth whenever I stepped out of line -- which was often, according to my mother.Ruthie's curse was to be born two years after my mother and to neverhave had a daughter.