A few months ago I reunited with a stranger who was an important part of my life more than three decades ago. For a few years in the late 1970s, while I was working as editor of Buffalo’s weekly Jewish newspaper, I decided I wanted to personalize the plight of Russia’s imprisoned refuseniks, the Jews who lacked the freedom to live as Jews in their homeland, or leave for freedom elsewhere.
The announcements of an approaching storm. The warnings about possible damage. The advice about what to do and not to do. The panic, and the inevitable been-there-heard-that-I’m staying-put attitude of some people.
To New Yorkers, the advance of Hurricane Sandy from the South last week was a novel experience. How often do hurricanes strike the Big Apple?
The Jewish landmarks of my childhood in the Jewish section of north Buffalo are now Christian.
Temple Emanu-El, the Conservative congregation where I became bar mitzvah under the tutelage of one of the denomination’s most prominent scholars, Rabbi Isaac Klein, is now a church. So is the Modern Orthodox shul down the block. And another synagogue a few blocks away.