Phyllis Blackman had been alternately attending the West Side Jewish Center and a Chabad synagogue when she suddenly sprained her ankle and found herself unable to walk more than a block. "And then like magic, they opened this synagogue around the corner from me," she said, referring to the Jewish Enrichment Center on the second floor of 176 Madison Ave. at 34th Street. "I had known the rabbi from [his previous pulpit at] the Murray Hill Synagogue. When he opened here, he called me and invited me to check it out."
Ari Sonesh came up with the idea for his 3-year-old company in the mid-1980s while he was overseeing the computer support system at Comverse Technologies in Woodbury.
"I saw the potential to improve customer support services," he explained. "So I put things together and came up with an idea. I discussed it with Steve [Kowarsky at Comverse] and others, and decided it was an idea I had to commit myself to. So I left Comverse."
Sonesh's idea: Allow customers to speak directly with representatives of a company through its web site.
Saying the last 18 months have been one of the "saddest chapters in our country's history," the executive vice president of UJA-Federation detailed his organization's struggle to deal with the impact of welfare reform.
"I can report to you the panic that ensued" as legal immigrants here more than five years realized they would lose Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and food stamps, Stephen Solender told a recent UJA-Federation-sponsored legislative breakfast.
Holocaust survivors dealing with the sometimes mystifying restitution process now can get help in filling out the forms.
The newly created Holocaust Compensation Assistance Project will offer the assistance on claims for the German Slave and Forced Labor fund and the Swiss bank settlement, as well as other free legal help and support to survivors and their families.
Jewish leaders this week feared a collapse of the international consensus for sanctions against Iran after the release Monday of a National Intelligence Estimate concluding Iran had shut its nuclear weapons program down in 2003.
Disarray was evident as Jewish groups struggled to assimilate the new report and adjust their tactics in response.
“It will have an enormous impact because people will use it as an excuse to do nothing,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project, a group that has made Iran a top priority.