Human Interest

Daniel Elazar

12/09/1999 - 19:00
Staff Writer
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.

Olympic Games 2000: Hopes Up Down Under

09/14/2000 - 20:00
Staff Writer
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.

Anxious In Austria

10/14/1999 - 20:00
Staff Writer
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.

Shtick Treatment

01/20/1999 - 19:00
Staff Writer
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. “Ours?” Yossi, an American veteran, shakes his head in mock disgust. The crowd groans. Scharfman, MSW, is rolling.

Humor Gives People Hope

01/20/1999 - 19:00
Staff Writer
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.”

Ethnic Harmony

07/28/1999 - 20:00
Staff Writer
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.”

The Federation’s Rabbi

01/08/2008 - 19:00
Staff Writer
Shortly after the 1979 revolution in Iran, which made many of the country’s Jews nervous about their future in a fundamentalist Muslim country, Iranian Jewish families arranged for a few thousand of their children to come alone to the United States to attend Jewish schools.

Closer To God, Far from Shul

09/05/2007 - 20:00
Staff Writer
Steve Solinga, 47-year-old tax attorney and baal teshuvah for a few years, passed all the familiar places and all the familiar faces during his morning strolls on Rosh HaShanah last year. Outside the Young Israel of New Rochelle, his congregation, he greeted his friends. “It felt funny walking past the shul when everybody was there,” he says. Solinga didn’t stop walking until he reached a Chinese restaurant. Where he attended High Holy Days services.

New WJC Exec: Lauder To Head Restitution Effort

08/25/2007 - 20:00
Staff Writer
The new top leadership team of the embattled World Jewish Congress will head to Eastern Europe soon to re-energize stalled negotiations over Holocaust-era restitution payments, Michael Schneider, the group’s next secretary general, said this week. The political discussions will represent a return by the WJC, perceived as rudderless in recent years, to the activity that cemented its reputation as a representative of Jewish interests.

Painless Gift Of Life

06/21/2007 - 20:00
Staff Writer
One of the guests of honor at the recent commencement exercises of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, sitting at the far left of the first row of the sanctuary in Temple Emanu-El, was neither guest speaker, college official Nor financial supporter of the institution. Dalia Samansky, a third-year rabbinical student at the school’s Los Angeles campus who received her master’s degree in L.A. the following week, was invited to the New York commencement as role model. She had saved a life.
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