Rabbi Andrew Davids, executive director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America, makes no secret of the challenges his group faces as it tries to increase aliyah, or immigration to Israel, within the Reform movement.
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.
The most dramatic moment I’ve ever experienced at a GA (General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America) took place in 1977, in Dallas, on a Shabbat afternoon, when Golda Meir walked onto the stage for what many of the several thousand in the audience suspected might well be her last appearance in the U.S. And it was. She died in Jerusalem less than a year later.
Shortly after Linda Moses and Arthur Gurevitch, a young couple on the Upper East Side, enrolled their 5-year-old son in an art class this fall at the 92nd Street Y, they discovered that the Y's Sunday Young Artists class was starting on Sukkot.
Moses and Gurevitch, "somewhat observant" Conservative Jews and participants in Y programming for two decades, had assumed that the art class, as in past years, would skip Sukkot, which was last Sunday, and Simchat Torah, this Sunday.