Andy Ram, a native of Uruguay, calls himself “a huge soccer fan.” But he was on an airplane during the World Cup final on Sunday, unable to watch Italy’s victory over France.
“I had the best excuse,” he said — he had made history the previous night.
Ram, 26, teamed with Vera Zvonareva of the Czech Republic to win the mixed doubles finals at Wimbledon, in England. His win marked the first by an Israeli in a tennis Grand Slam tournament.
Stuart Wolfer, who grew up in Dix Hills, L.I., surprised his parents on a visit back home during his freshman year in college when he announced he was going to join the ROTC military training program and eventually serve in the U.S. Army.
“We’re not army people. This is not your personality,” his father, Len, told him.
“I only go around once. I want to try everything,” Stuart Wolfer answered.
by Sharon Udasin
Eight years after the Twin Towers crumbled over downtown Manhattan, rescue worker Charlie Giles still wakes up regularly with nightmares of the North Tower collapsing on top of him, enveloping his body his flames and in suffocating debris. One night recently, he even woke up to find himself throwing things.
The Israeli organization that represents the nearly 9,000 people evacuated from Gaza in 2005 has started a $40 million fundraising effort in the United States for the evacuees’ financial, educational and psychological needs.
The $40 million, to be raised over three years, will fill “the gap” between basic needs and the money that the government has pledged to provide, said Dror Vanunu, international coordinator or the Gush Katif Residents Committee (www.katifund.org; Friends of Gush Katif, P.O.B. 1184, Teaneck, NJ 07666).
They come from South America, they live in Israel and they made history in Australia.
Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich, Israel’s top men’s doubles team since they met at the Wingate Institute in the 1990s and competed at the highest levels of international tennis, won the doubles title at the Australian Open last week.
Their victory marked the first Israeli championship in a Grand Slam tournament — Ram had twice shared a Grand Slam mixed doubles title with a woman from another country.
The Super Bowl, this Sunday’s National Football League championship game, isn’t the only notable sports event to take place on a Feb. 3 — there was also the 26 points scored by Phil Rabin of the Kingston Colonials against the Brooklyn Jewels in a 1937 American Basketball League game, and the Buffalo Bisons’ Max Kaminsky’s 1943 appearance in the first American Hockey League All-Star Game.
First came the dogs. At 5, two years after he was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor, Spenser Scharfman had developed a love for animals, and he told his parents he wanted a pet. “When you’re 7, we’ll get you a dog,” they told him. “We had no idea what that meant,” Stewart Scharfman says — they didn’t think Spenser would survive two more years.
When Israel finally flatlines, don’t say The Atlantic didn’t warn you.
In May 2005, Atlantic published a lengthy speculation, “Will Israel Live to 100?” The answer suggested that the Zionist house was built more of twigs than of bricks. Now that Israel is hitting 60, the Atlantic asks again, more ominously and more immediately: “Is Israel Finished?”
For some students, summer vacation isn’t a vacation from studying or from community service. While many high school and college students spend June through August making money or working on their tans, others use the time giving their time. This summer there were members of the American Jewish Society for Service who built Habitat for Humanity houses in Wyoming, and volunteers from Yeshiva and University Students for the Spiritual Revival of Soviet Jewry group who tutored at Jewish camps in the former Soviet Union.