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.
Even by Tamir Goodman’s standards it has been an unusual two weeks. There’s the all-day studies at a Baltimore yeshiva, some basketball after school, homework and Gemara review — and the interviews with CBS Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN and all the local TV stations.
Goodman, a 17-year-old bochur, is becoming a basketball star.
It was another in the endless series of calls that Ted Arison received, asking for a handout. The person on the phone a few years ago wanted a sizable sum, as he had in the past.
Mr. Arison gave the full amount.
“Why don’t you simply say, ‘No! That’s enough!’?” Maks Birnbach asked his old friend.
“He could not say no,” Birnbach says of Mr. Arison, who died last week of a heart attack in his Tel Aviv home.
Repairing A House Divided
Called too pluralistic by the right and too Jewish by the left, Rabbi Mordechai Gafni carries on his crusade to get the secular and religious talking to one another.
Daniel Elazar, an authority on — and sometimes critic of — the Jewish community, died Dec. 2 of lymphoma in his Jerusalem home. He was 65. Professor Elazar, a Minneapolis-born scholar, made aliyah in the 1970s, subsequently splitting his time between Israel and Philadelphia, where he served as director of Temple University’s Center for the Study of Federalism.
The author of more than 70 books and 700 articles, he is best known for “Community and Polity,” his 1995 book on the American Jewish community.
Who remembers Alfred Hajos-Guttman? He was the Mark Spitz of his day — 1896.
At the first modern Olympic Games, in Athens, the Hungarian swimmer won two gold medals, in 100-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle.
Jewish athletes won eight more medals at the inaugural Games, starting a sporting tradition that continues until today.
Vienna — For Isaac Rabinowitz, the surge in support for far-right candidate Joerg Haider in last week’s national elections is not an international issue.
It’s the policeman who guards his synagogue.
A rotating group of police officers have stood outside Rabinowitz’s shul in the center of the capital since a terrorist incident here in 1983. Most are polite. When one is rude, Rabinowitz says he offers a warning: the Jewish community has political connections.
It’s mid-morning in mid-Manhattan, and a former Hollywood comedy writer is working the crowd.
“Yossi,” asks Mort Scharfman, “you were in the armed forces?”
“Sure,” says Yossi, a veteran and proud of it.
Yossi, an American veteran, shakes his head in mock disgust. The crowd groans.
Scharfman, MSW, is rolling.
Allen Klein, a former silk screen designer, became an author and speaker about the therapeutic affects of humor — he calls himself a “jollyologist” — after his wife died 20 years ago from a terminal illness. His latest book, “The Courage to Laugh: Humor, Hope and Healing in the Face of Death and Dying” (Jeremy P. Tarcher), advises that “laughter and tears are both valid in the dying and grieving process.”
Hebrew is a familiar medium for Walter Turnbull’s vocalists. “We were singing in Hebrew 10 years ago,” says the founder and director of the Boys Choir of Harlem. Psalms are a constant part of the group’s repertoire. “We’ve always sung in Hebrew.”