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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some Jewish federation leaders measure success by the numbers — dollars raised, allocations granted, etc. But Susan Stern, the immediate past chair of UJA-Federation of New York, measures success by the smiles from people whose lives she has touched through her 25 years of volunteer work with the organization.
“We need to see the faces at the end of the dollars,” said Stern, known to most people as Susie, during a recent interview. She officially stepped down from the chairmanship July 1, completing a three-year term.
Within weeks of Bernard Madoff’s arrest last December, Andrew Kirtzman had signed a deal with Harper Collins to tell the story. The veteran New York journalist, who has worked for the Daily News, NY1 and most recently WCBS News, spent the next seven months sifting through the wreckage of the con man’s life, from his childhood neighborhood of Laurelton, Queens, to Palm Beach, Fla., which became a feeding ground for Madoff’s multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme. Kirtzman, 48, spoke to N.Y. Minute about “Betrayal: The Life and Lies of Bernie Madoff,” which was No.
While no one can deny that yeshivot and day schools and the parents who utilize them are in a crisis over the skyrocketing cost of full-time Jewish education, there is no consensus about how unique and how critical that crisis is.
And even less agreement on where to focus solutions.
That schism was apparent at a forum co-sponsored by The Jewish Week and the Jewish Values Network in Midtown last week, as three rabbis with firsthand knowledge of the crisis shared ideas.
With Betsy Gotbaum declining to seek re-election, there is no incumbent in this year’s heated race for public advocate. Or is there?
Mark Green, the Democrat who narrowly lost the mayoral race in 2001 after two terms as public advocate, is looking for his old job back. In 1997, Green won more votes in his re-election bid in that job than did Mayor Rudy Giuliani in his.
When planning a celebration, few choices are as important as the music selection, which not only sets the tone and pace of the event but sends a message to guests about the host’s values and taste. Jeff Neckonoff has been a party DJ since the days when they actually spun vinyl records on turntables under disco balls. But since he took up Orthodox observance in 2004, he’s changed his perspective on the impact of music on kids and on the Jewish quality of a celebration.