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Karen Schwartz

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Karen Schwartz is a freelance writer whose stories have appeared in the New York Times, Houston Chronicle, Detroit Jewish News and Red Thread magazine. A Columbia University Journalism School graduate, she hails from Detroit and currently resides in Brooklyn.
Comfort and companionship in Sonoma and Napa, as residents brace for the long road ahead
Californians are in the midst of assessing damages to homes, business and property as they return to neighborhoods ravaged by last week’s rampant wildfires. Some of them—hundeds, in fact—will be welcomed by Chabad of Sonoma County and the Napa Valley Chab...
Devastation everywhere, with at least 15 dead and thousands left homeless
The phone rang in the middle of the night. A friend who had been evacuated due to California’s raging wildfires called Rabbi Mendel and Altie Wolvovsky, co-directors of Chabad of Sonoma County, to check in. It was almost 3 a.m. on Monday, after a busy day...
The meaning of temporary shelter resounds even more strongly for some this year
Charles Wiese of Houston, Texas, drove to his gutted home right after Yom Kippur to retrieve his sukkah decorations, stored on a high shelf in what had once been his garage. The walls and boards of the sukkah itself are gone, as is most of his house, due ...
Recovery efforts from Houston to the Caribbean foster unity in trying times
It’s been a rough month. While Jews around the world have been hearing the call of the shofar during Elul and joyfully preparing for the approach of the High Holiday season, those in some parts of the United States continue to struggle every day with deva...
Serving visitors and the local community in the central part of the state
New Yorkers Laurie Tobias-Cohen and her husband, Yosef Cohen, fondly recall a memorable vacation weekend in Bangor, Maine. Thanks to Chabad of Bangor, established two years ago by Rabbi Chaim and Esther Wilansky, they didn’t have to rush home for Shabbat ...
Spending Labor Day weekend with disaster victims salvaging items from their homes
Student volunteers from college campuses from as far away as Boulder, Colo., arrived in Houston on Sunday to spend Labor Day weekend in sodden homes and drying streets, providing relief for victims of Harvey. Groups that included students, alumni and camp...
Couple deposits themselves in Nevada City right before the High Holidays
Bar Adam moved to Nevada City, Calif., two years ago from Israel with her husband and two children. When they arrived, they started looking for a Jewish outlet to meet their family’s needs, eventually deciding to shuttle the kids to Chabad in Roseville, a...
Restaurant doubles as a Chabad welcome center
Jamaican Jerk chicken may have met its match in the form of falafel. Chabad’s Kosher Hot Spot, which opened on July 13 in Montego Bay, allows Jewish tourists to enjoy kosher vegetarian fare with the local spice of the islands. In addition to tourists, who...
They surpassed a goal of 1,000 in honor of the 50th year of the Rebbe’s campaign
Schneur Deren boards the city bus every Friday afternoon to visit offices, homes and stores in the Detroit suburbs of Oak Park and Southfield, Mich. The 16-year-old has had the same route for three years now, ever since he started attending the Lubavitch ...
Ritual bath is another sign of increased Jewish observance in and around Merrick, N.Y.
Cindy Knoll, her husband Lawrence and their three grown children welcomed “Mikvah Mei Leah” when its doors opened at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Merrick, N.Y. Knoll, who has been involved with the center since its establishment a decade ago, even...
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