Abstract Portrait of Marilyn Monroe

13 Aug

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~ Jennie Rubin

Why Do DIY Nail Art?

9 Aug

Would you want to cover your nails with a margarita? If you had Essie’s Margarita nail color,  you might. As an admirer of Essie as well as other nail polish companies, I enjoy doing nail art.  According to the New York Times, nail polish sales in the US were up 67% between 2010 and 2011, with non-traditional shades and textures becoming more and more popular. The overall popularity of nail art increased over 54% in the past 10 years, according to research by the Huffington Post. Some people look around at this new trend and can wonder why manicuring has raised attractiveness recently.

Some experts think that the weak US economy, still recovering from the 2008 recession, has encouraged  people to try saving money with everything they do. Jewelry and makeup can get pricey, since each outfit has a different style that needs to be created. However, nail polish can be put on once a week, to last through multiple events and occasions, as an affordable accessory. People can add a pop of color to their look with a $10 manicure rather than a $35 statement necklace. As CNN claims, “Even when people don’t have enough money for a lovely holiday or a fabulous facial, they probably have enough they can spend a little bit on their nails.” My fellow classmate from Manhattan High School for Girls, Talia  Weisberg, 18, is a co-creator of Maidelle.com, a writing, art, and fashion website for Jewish teenage girls. According to her, “DIY nail art gives people a sense of empowerment in their own creativity.”

In addition, people like manicuring because it works for all types. Whether you are curvy or petite, you can still benefit from beautifully groomed nails. There is always a color to match your skin tone, or a new design to match your mood. This look can be a fun change that doesn’t have to be drastic. Seeing someone with an interesting design on their hands is a great conversation starter and can help someone in their social life. According to Jennifer Walter, 23, a New York nail art enthusiast and blogger, “So many friendships are born from just sitting across a table for 30 minutes with another person. I have the opportunity to bond with people of all ages just because we share the common interest of nail art.”

One concern about getting a manicure has been whether or not it is healthy. In the past, people thought that the polish and polish removers had lethal poisons. However, thanks to technology advancements, scientists were able to change the formula of the liquids to contain vitamins and moisturizers for the hands and nails.  There are also more tools to assist people do their nails with a professional look, including stencils, thin brushes, and polish pens. Ever since gel and shellac polish made their debut, chip-free nail color is now also an option for people.

So, if you are looking for an inexpensive way to be cool and trendy, consider covering your nails with margarita—or lilacism, or marshmallow, or hot coco. So grab a couple of friends, pop out the polish, and have some creative, inexpensive, fashion fun.

 

~ Miriam Sara Kavian

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DIY Nail Art: Music Notes!

21 Jul

Thoughts on Tisha B’Av

17 Jul

I hope you all had an enjoyable and meaningful fast and now sit satisfied and full as you think back to your inspiration.

I wanted to share one thing I gained this year.

I am in Camp Nageela right now, a camp for girls who are interested in expanding spiritually. As you can imagine, Tisha B’Av is a little different when girls have no concept of what it is at all and come into this day confused as to why staff members are crying and starving themselves. At first I was a little annoyed, feeling like I was robbing myself of Tisha B’av. After all, it’s hard to compare the inspiration I would have gotten if I could have listened to endless shiurim or moved to Ohr Naava for 24 hours to helping girls make a skit about Titus and OD kids while they fall asleep blasting non-Jewish music on their iPods. I don’t know, I just felt like I was robbing myself of what I could have had.
But then it all changed. I reluctantly got out of bed to teach my Davening Group, who usually has an endless amount of energy and doesn’t let me speak a second. This morning it was different. I came down holding one of my favorite books, On the Derech, and sat down against the wall and said, “Today I’m being serious – anyone who doesn’t understand why we are being serious or can’t be, please just leave now. We are learning today.”

One girl left. She came back a minute later.

For the next half hour, I spoke about yissurim and Hashem being there with us no matter what. Each girl begged to share a story. We all ignored the loud announcement saying “Davening Groups are now over…”
But it got better. At 2:00, the staff put on a cantata. Scene after scene, the staff portrayed the frightening things which happened to the Jews throughout the ages. Sitting among campers, I got chills as I heard gentle weeps from all over. At the end, the camp showed a video about the suffering in Eretz Yisroel today.

For the first time in my life, I cried on Tisha B’Av as I held a girl in my arms as she wept. A 9-year-old girl. In public school. Keeps nothing at home. Her first year in camp. And she was crying like I’ve never seen before.

And I was, too. I don’t cry. It takes a lot for me to cry. But I was bawling.

Here’s a neshama who somehow feels it. Somehow, even with no understanding before, now feels that emotion. That tzelem elokim. That pintele yid, that Jewish spark.

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And as I sat with her, I cried. I cried because I’m holding a girl who’s wearing shorts. I’m sitting in a room full of over 100 neshamos. Beautiful neshamos. But they are robbed of what they could have. And their neshamos want it because they’re c
And then every girl received a paper person on which each girl wrote a kabbalah she took upon herself.rying now.

Through teary eyes, I watched as girl after girl came up and handed hers to be hung up.

Here is one I wanted to share with you.

I don’t know about you, but after watching a girl yearn so hard for the next Bais HaMikdash to be built, I couldn’t hold it in. Standing in a semi-circle with my bunk of 4th graders, many of them crying as we all sung “Yisroel Yisroel, where have you been all these years…” I couldn’t help but suddenly need Moshiach. What is it we still need? Every one of those kabbalos were written genuinely. Everyone of those Shemas and Brochos girls committed to say are greater than our daily mitzvos.

I cried because suddenly it ached that this is what the Chorbon brought. Children who now see it for the first time. Children who will go home and eat tried. Children who beg their parents to switch to Yeshiva. Children. Babies. Tinokim sheh’nishbah.

Why didn’t Moshiach come today?

Why?

~ Alti Bukalov

The Red Star Line Museum: A Story of Immigration

15 Jul

During the late nineteenth century and early twentieth, hundreds of thousands of Jews left their European countries of birth and immigrated to North America. Many of these Jews traveled from the alter heim (old country) to the United States via the Red Star Line (RSL), a transatlantic passenger ship line operating from 1873 to some time in 1934. During this time period, about 2.6 million passengers sailed on RSL ships to the US and Canada, about one-quarter of whom were Jewish. The list of notable Jews who immigrated through the RSL includes Albert Einstein, Golda Meir, Admiral Hyman Rickover, Irving Berlin, and my mentor and National Organization for Women (NOW) cofounder Sonia Pressman Fuentes. All but Einstein came as children.

Sonia was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1928. Five years later, Hitler rose to power. Sonia’s 18-year-old brother Hermann realized that Germany would not be a safe place for Jews and had the foresight to flee the country. In May of 1933, he traveled alone to Antwerp. His parents refused to go with him as they had lived in Germany over twenty years and were well established there.  They thought Hitler and the Nazis would shortly blow over. Two months later, his parents and five-year-old sister Sonia joined him. Hermann spent nine months trying to obtain permanent residence permits for the family to remain in Belgium, but was unsuccessful. Threatened with deportation to Poland, the family managed to book passage on the RSL’s SS Westernland.  They arrived in New York City on May 1, 1934, safe from Nazi brutality.

Many Jews, like Sonia and her family, traveled on the RSL to escape Hitler’s oppression or earlier anti-Semitism and pogroms. Others left to escape poor economic times or for the opportunities for advancement they believed lay in the goldene medine (golden land). Some traveled for pleasure.

Although the RSL ceased operations some time in 1934, its history is still alive almost eighty years later. On September 28, 2013, the RSL Museum will be opened in Antwerp dedicated to immigration and the RSL. It will include exhibitions about Antwerp, one of Europe’s largest seaports, and the passengers on the RSL. One exhibit will be about the journey Sonia and her family took from Berlin to their temporary residence in Antwerp and then to their permanent move to the U.S. The Museum will also show a documentary film it commissioned about Sonia.

“[The Museum is] a story about ships, but more importantly, it’s a story about people,” said Philip Heylen, Antwerp’s vice mayor for culture and tourism in an August 6, 2011, speech to Sonia’s congregation, the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism in Sarasota, Florida. The Museum’s motto, “People on the Move,” underscores this point. The Museum is intent on preserving the stories of its passengers who traveled on RSL ships to find a better life.

~ Talia Weisberg

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The Needed Enemy

7 Jul

In a still black room, filled with the soft breathing of two sisters

Each sleeping in a soothing, unhurried, utopia,

With lids innocently closed and creases smoothed,

A vibrant enemy reigns.

 

 

It slithers through the darkness.

Then with the burst of banging metals

My stomach crumbles into

A pile of old autumn leaves.

 

 

My lids stay sealed, shading the dazzling glow

As groans reach my ears; a body flips over.

Lazily a finger triumphs over the foe

And I awake into a world where the lack of sleep cannot be forgotten.

 

~ Frumi Cohn

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