Battery Park City is a neighborhood made from scratch. Its 92 acres sit on landfill, soil excavated during the construction of the World Trade Center in the 1960s. Atop what used to be dilapidated piers, a village of high-rise and low-rise housing, plazas, playgrounds and pocket parks has arisen, with a population of about 10,000 people.
Washington Post article questions the legitimacy
of a prominent rabbi who claims he’s rescued
Two years ago, philanthropist David Rubenstein offered to buy a Torah scroll for Manhattan’s Central Synagogue. The story of the scroll was as impressive as the object itself: Rabbi Menachem Youlus, a Maryland Torah scribe and Jewish bookstore owner, said he had discovered the sefer Torah in a cemetery in Oswiecim, the Polish town the occupying Germans called Auschwitz.
The scroll was dedicated in a gala ceremony at Central Synagogue on Yom HaShoah 2008. On Rosh HaShanah that year, Rabbi Peter Rubinstein repeated the Torah’s story of survival.
Fifteen months ago, with Lower Manhattan engulfed in ashes, the idea of building a Jewish community center here might have seemed like a bizarre joke.
Jewish parenting classes, arts programming (maybe even a swimming pool) within blocks of the most horrific scene of Islamic fundamentalist-inspired destruction?
But, ironically, momentum is now building for a Jewish center below Canal Street: and it is because of, rather than in spite of, the Sept. 11 attacks.
Alan Rubin has always worn a kipa, but he says it’s bigger these days. His wife, Debi, has always dressed modestly, but she says she dresses more modestly these days.
The couple has always found time for their five children, but they say they find more time these days.
These days are the six months since Sept. 11, 2001.
The Rubins, who live in Elizabeth, N.J., say they have been on a spiritual journey since 9-11, a path that will end this summer in Jerusalem.
The Rubins are making aliyah — because of 9-11.
A photocopy of a small, handwritten note in German, composed about 60 years ago, was another translation job for Philipp Bulgarini the other day.
The final words of a death camp-bound Jew in Nazi Germany, scribbled in a crowded cattle car, the message was apparently thrown off a train with the hope that it would reach his or her relatives still in safety.
Bulgarini says the words spoke to him.