Krakow, Poland — In January 1994, an American tourist stepped out of a taxi into a cold, drizzling rain and entered the Jarden Jewish Bookshop at the far end of the square in the Jewish quarter of Krakow.
On the counter he splayed a weeks-old copy of The New York Times before bookshop owner Les Zdzislaw.
What follows is the sermon I delivered in my synagogue in Forest Hills last week. I wanted to share it with you because it is a more thorough treatment of the subject than I could do in a briefer piece, and I think it important. I hope you will as well.
"Settlers" usually gets you thinking of Israel, but The Atlantic has a curious dispatch in its new issue about settlers of another sort. In Dothan, Alabama, a small Southern town that's seen its Jewish population drastically dwindle over the last 40 years, a wealthy Jewish businessman is now offering $50,000 to any Jewish family that decides to move to the town. "I tell them there's running water, that we wear shoes, have a Starbucks," the director of the resettlement program tells The Atlantic.
A light rain fell as hundreds of New Yorkers rallied across the street from the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan Wednesday to voice their support for the embattled Jewish state in the wake of the Gaza flotilla deaths.
“This is a consensus rally,” said Rabbi Avi Weiss, the founder of AMCHA-The Coalition for Jewish Concerns. “Israel is facing an existential threat. It’s important for everyone to express solidarity with Israel.”
Sixteen years later, I can still hear the sudden gasp, followed by a loud, spontaneous and mournful wail that erupted from the thousands gathered outside 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn when the simple wooden casket carrying the remains of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, emerged from the movement’s headquarters on June 12, 1994, corresponding to the third of Tammuz (this coming Tuesday).
Interfaith women’s event
an exchange of food, stories and experiences.
Special To The Jewish Week
Breaking bread together, literally, helped launch conversations between some of the county’s Muslims and Jews.
In mid-April, several women from the local American Women’s Muslim Association along with several women from Westchester’s Jewish community, gathered at Hartsdale’s Chef Central to share such dishes as biryani, baba ghanoush, kasha varnishkes and noodle kugel.
The dispute now raging over how American Jewry should fund overseas Jewish needs will have at least one important outcome: it will put a serious discussion about Jewish identity on the front burner of the organized American Jewish community (“Jewish Agency, JDC, Stake Claims In Funding Fight,” May 7). Such a discussion is long overdue.