Naftali Weisz went to Israel along with 400 Yeshiva University students on the Operation Torah Shield II in January, studying Torah as a form of solidarity with Israelis, attending seminars on how to act as “ambassadors” back home, meeting families of the Jews killed during the current Palestinian Arab uprising.
How do we apply everything we learned there, Weisz and some fellow YU students asked themselves when they returned to the United States.
Their answer is on page 34 of this week’s Jewish Week.
In the last six months, Temple Emanuel of Long Beach, L.I., opened its doors for a social adult day-care program for seniors with dementia. Seven seniors attend twice a week and the synagogue's spiritual leader, Rabbi Bennett Herman, described it as "probably the best example of group work activity I've ever seen."
While Marjorie Rosenthal was caring for her elderly mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease during the last seven years of her life, she realized how difficult it would be had she not been able to afford a home-care attendant.
"People are living longer and longer and our bodies break down at some point," she said. "There aren't a lot of places you would want to put a relative with Alzheimer's, and itís a very difficult job caring for the person by yourself at home."
With the nation riveted to the political turmoil in Washington, Jewish women at a conference in Woodbury were told that the Jewish community's clout depended on their involvement on the political stage.
"Political activism is necessary for the preservation of Jewish freedoms and institutions, and for the safety and security of Israel," said Betty Ehrenberg, executive director of the Orthodox Union's Institute for Public Affairs. "Jews have reached a point of privilege in society because they have fought in the political arena and made their voices heard."
With her 10-year-old son at her side, a disabled widow from Long Beach told a hushed group of 500 UJA-Federation lay and professional leaders that the local Jewish community center has "been there for us in the very darkest of times."
"I have an immune disease called fibromyalga," explained Harriet Cohen, 46, at the annual Long Island General Assembly in Roslyn, which provides UJA-Federation-funded organizations an opportunity to display their activities.