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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.
The backstory of the annual Kinus group picture in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Chaim Perl is no stranger to the annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries (Kinus Hashluchim), which draws rabbis from around the globe in for several days of learning, camaraderie and rejuvenation. His parents co-direct Chabad of Min...
An evening where women focus on themselves and their Judaism
Shterna Simmonds, co-director of Chabad Lubavitch of Regina, is getting ready for an extra-special Shabbat. The Canada-based emissary will host a Friday-night dinner on Nov. 17 for women for the fourth year in a row, while her husband, Rabbi Avrohom Simmo...
Donor family helps a popular project reach more people
Ruby Ichikowitz, 23, takes putting on tefillin seriously. He also makes it a practice to take “tefillin selfies” (or what he dubs, “telfies”) when he travels to exciting places in the world, aspiring one day to be able to say that he’s put them on in all ...
Prepping for the international student Shabbaton, couples now serve at 256 centers worldwide
The annual Chabad on Campus International Shabbaton—now called Pegisha: International Student Conference—takes place from Nov. 3 to Nov. 5, when more than 1,200 university students will converge on New York to learn, pray, socialize, tour and spend a trad...
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...
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