Social Issues

‘Beautiful Words Written Beautifully’

Irene Hizme, an Auschwitz survivor who suffers from multiple sclerosis crafts, hand-lettered cards
to benefit aging Holocaust victims.

06/15/2010
Staff Writer

In the basement of her Oceanside, L.I., home, next to a window and a hand-lettered “Patience” poster, Irene Hizme sits at a drawing board, creating works of intricate calligraphy and flower-filled branches.

A Czechoslovakia-born Holocaust survivor in her “early 70s” and retired biochemist/computer programmer, she spends much of her free time these days making thank-you notes and birthday cards. She does many of her works as a volunteer for The Blue Card, an organization that offers financial assistance to aging Holocaust survivors.

“I’ve had a good life,” says Irene Hizme, who survived the Holocaust and now copes with multiple sclerosis.

BP oil spill: Obama's 'Katrina?'

 For weeks, Republicans have been gleefully predicting that the massive BP oil spill and the uneven response of the federal government would be President Obama's Hurricane Katrina.

Generally, I've scoffed at the claim Obama's response will define his presidency – and that the definition would include the word “incompetence.”

But now I'm not so sure, but not necessarily for the reasons the Republicans say.

Reid-McConnell letter: Consider Turkish Charity for Terror List

06/15/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Leaders of both parties in the U.S. Senate are urging President Obama to consider placing the Turkish charity involved in the Gaza flotilla incident on the terrorism list.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), its minority leader, circulated a letter last Friday among their colleagues that would press Obama to investigate the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation.

Rubashkin Acquitted In Child Labor Case

06/09/2010

(JTA) — Kosher meatpacking executive Sholom Rubashkin was acquitted in an Iowa state court of child labor violations.

Rubashkin was found not guilty on all 67 counts of child labor violations, relating to 26 teenagers from South America who worked at the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa.

Several then-underage workers at the Agriprocessors plant were flown in from Guatemala by the court to testify against Rubashkin.

Rabbi Nesenoff's 25,000 Pieces of Hate Mail

Before this past weekend, Rabbi David Nesenoff was a virtually unknown rabbi who lives and works on Long Island. When his teenage son finished his high school exams and uploaded a 2-minute video of Helen Thomas expressing her anti-Israel views on the Whitehouse lawn, Nesenoff gained global fame. That 2-minute video on his RabbiLIVE.com website brought Helen Thomas' long career in journalism to an abrupt and embarrassing end.

This photo of Charles Manson was sent to Rabbi David Nesenoff

Jews, Muslims Cook Up Peace

Interfaith women’s event
an exchange of food, stories and experiences.

06/08/2010
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.

Jewish and Muslim women cook together in coexistence effort at Chef Central in Hartsdale.

Jewish Identity: Finally, The Right Discussion

06/08/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

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.

The Feminist Funder

Ma'yan benefactor, now chair of American Jewish World Service, focuses on women near and far.

06/08/2010
Staff Writer

When it comes to projects focused on empowering Jewish women and girls, it’s a good bet that Barbara Dobkin’s name is listed among the supporters. And if it isn’t, you have good reason to ask why not.

Barbara Dobkin, center, with Women’s Funding Network CEO Chris Grumm, left, and Jacki Zehner, vice-chair of the group’s board.

A Holocaust Survivor’s Bond With Troubled Teens

Documentary on Fanya Gottesfeld Heller focuses on the relationships she developed speaking in
inner-city schools about her wartime experience.

06/08/2010
Staff Writer

The first time Holocaust survivor Fanya Gottesfeld Heller told her story at Pacific High School, an alternative public school in downtown Brooklyn, she jumped every time a school bell sounded. The students, mostly black and Latino, all from low-income and troubled homes, noticed.

And all understood. Some 70 years after she came under Nazi rule as a young teen in her native Ukraine, and some 50 years after she immigrated to the United States, part of her is still that frightened adolescent.

Pacific High School students gather with Heller. Narell Hunt, third from left, holds her 4-year-old daughter, Nia.

Israel’s Robust Economy Is Linked To Its Burgeoning Real Estate Market

06/08/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Even during the darkest days of the global economic meltdown, the value of Israeli real estate properties across the entire country continued to rise. The combination of low-interest rates and the limited number of affordable new apartments in major cities and towns, created the perfect real estate storm for local and foreign buyers.

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