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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.
From a Torah scroll in an Arizona living room to a 12,500-square-foot full-service facility
Some 13 years ago, Flagstaff, Ariz., resident Baruch Gershater heard a knock at his office door. Standing on the other side was Rabbi Dovie Shapiro, who asked if he could come in and chat. Shapiro and his wife, Chaya, were new in town as co-directors of C...
Thousands of young people are among the 50,000 who visited the Ohel for Gimmel Tammuz
When 16-year old Eitan Suss of Teaneck, N.J., first heard about the Ohel a few years ago, he told his parents that he wanted to go, and they were happy to oblige. Eitan first went with his father and then with friends from school. Late last week, he retur...
Students praise the practical wisdom and connection to G-d they experienced
A group of women eagerly gathered in a classroom in Chicago on Sunday morning of the Fourth of July weekend to complete a project that began in December 2013: A weekly study of the Tanya, the preeminent work of practical Jewish spirituality and the founda...
Mitchell Leshchiner says he was motivated by the Poway shooting
When Mitchell Leshchiner, 14, walked across the stage during his middle-school graduation on Tuesday, not only was he proudly wearing his graduation robe and the medals he earned for his various school accomplishments, on this special day, he also decided...
Public seders, chametz sales and inspiration still available at Chabad.org
Rabbi Zalman and Zelda Refson are getting ready to host their first Passover seders. Co-directors of Chabad of Savannah, Ga., they serve students from nearby schools and the broader Jewish community, which includes many young professionals and young famil...
Historic Brooklyn neighborhood undergoing a Jewish renaissance
Having mezuzahs on her family’s doorposts has changed Anna Shur’s outlook on Judaism. “It gives me a sense of who I am; it’s a reminder to be thankful to G‑d,” says Shur, who started lighting Shabbat candles regularly and enrolled her 7-year-old son and 6...
Lots of new faces in places like New York’s West Village, Montana’s Flathead Valley, St. Lucia
Maren Faiella is really looking forward to celebrating Purim this year. Faiella, who lives in New York City’s West Village, plans to join neighbors and friends for an evening of festivities hosted by Rabbi Berel and Chana Gurevitch, who just last year lau...
Programs boost high-schoolers’ Jewish pride and self-esteem
Thousands of Jewish teens from around the globe gathered this weekend in New York City for the 11th annual CTeen International Leadership Conference, a multi-day event designed to connect, empower and inspire the 2,600 high-schoolers. Their time together ...
75 years late, family and friends joined a milestone for Mordechai (Murray) Miller
Julian Miller grew up in a kosher home in the Howard Beach neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., and over the decades has attended many bar mitzvah celebrations of family and friends. But just last month, Miller had the opportunity to attend what he calls the mos...
New building actualizes multi-generational dream in the state’s Jewish history
When Simone Blankstein, 35, moved to Vermont with her husband five years ago, she went to the Chabad House in Burlington to meet new friends. Since then, the couple has taken part in holiday programs and other events and classes at the Chabad center, whic...
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