David Rosenn did not intend to become a rabbi. After graduating college with a philosophy degree, he spent three years — in Israel and the United States — finding an answer to one question: “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?”
He took a variety of jobs, for anti-poverty and civil rights organizations. Later Rosenn heard about a Christian group that recruited young volunteers to work in poor neighborhoods. Where was the Jewish version, he wondered. “There was no Jewish version,” he says.
For a professional critic, it was an unusual admission. “Maybe,” said Frank Rich, “I’m a Pollyanna.”
Rich, former chief drama critic for The New York Times (when reminded of his nickname, “the butcher of Broadway,” he quipped: “kosher butcher”), current op-ed page columnist for the paper and senior writer for its magazine, spoke Tuesday at a forum sponsored by The Jewish Week. More than 250 people attended the event, part of a series of public programs sponsored by the paper.
For the last 20 years, lunchtime for Rabbi T. has meant a two-and-a-half block walk from one Lower East Side institution, Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem, the yeshiva where he teaches Talmud, to Gertel’s, a kosher bakery where he buys a snack and sits at a small table, reviewing a Hebrew text. (Many members of the haredi community are publicity-shy.)
Starting Monday, Rabbi T. will have to get his lunch somewhere else.
A record of bickering and partisanship, not legislative accomplishment
With nuclear proliferation, terrorism, economic dislocation and potential environmental disaster all on the table, these are challenging times for Congress. Unfortunately, there are signs our elected representatives in Washington may not be up to the job.
The partisan bickering and shortsighted leadership that produced chronic gridlock on Capitol Hill in recent years have if anything worsened since the Democrats expanded their majorities in January and the Republicans adopted a negative strategy.
When Sam Antar recites the viduy list of sins in the Yom Kippur liturgy Monday, it will be a like a checklist of his past.
He has stolen. He has cheated. He has betrayed. He has caused others to sin.
And by his own admission, he loved every minute of it.
“I enjoyed committing my crimes, and I did it for fun and profit,” says the former chief financial officer of the Crazy Eddie electronics chain, who helped bilk customers, investors and the government out of hundreds of millions of dollars.
A Sephardic organization working to avoid collateral damage from last month’s arrest of three Syrian rabbis in an alleged money-laundering scheme has named a lawyer and accounting firm to oversee many of the community’s charities.
As they toured the heavily Jewish summer vacation areas of the Catskills Sunday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Councilman Simcha Felder appeared as they usually do — good friends with common interests.
They have developed a strong rapport over the years, with Felder, who represents Borough Park, often accompanying the mayor not only to Jewish events and areas in the city but to Israel and upstate.
Felder campaigned strongly for Bloomberg’s 2005 re-election, and is on board for the mayor’s third bid.
When Stuart Reichman, a chef from Teaneck, N.J., was forced out of his job at a large kosher processing plant due to downsizing last year, he put what he had learned there to good use.
“I had never worked in a factory before,” said Reichman, 44. “It was a very different kind of work, and I learned about production, quality control and the creativity of making a new product. I also came across ingredients that in all my years of cooking I had never come across.”
Forget the sports teams, the debating club, or the science lab.
Get used to a more crowded classroom, with only one teacher. And if there are any computers, they won’t be state-of-the-art.
Welcome to the low-cost, no-frills yeshiva, an idea whose time may have come in this era of financial struggle, and one that could be a reality as soon as next year.
The Orthodox Union says 135 existing schools in North America are in discussions about creating new, discount full-time Jewish education for $6,500 per year, or less than half the current average of $15,000.