In a Trenton, N.J., courtroom last week, Rabbi Juda Mintz, a charismatic Orthodox champion of Jewish pluralism, stood before a federal judge, his fate in the balance. He faced Federal District Court Judge Mary Cooper, charged with downloading child pornography onto his synagogue computer. The rabbi and his followers hoped the judge would allow him to serve his time at the Los Angeles residential Jewish addiction center he moved to a year ago.
A major German company cooperates with the Third Reich during World War II. Years later, it apologizes for its actions and makes reparation payments to Holocaust survivors. The firm is honored in the United States by the Jewish community.
Another major German company cooperates with the Third Reich. It also apologizes and makes reparation payments. In an attempt to strengthen its public image in the U.S., it bids to put its name on a prominent football stadium. The firm is heavily criticized here by the Jewish community.
Two days after Rosh HaShanah this year comes another Yom HaZikaron. The first anniversary of the attack on America occurs during the Jewish Days of Repentance (the Jewish New Year is traditionally referred to by its Hebrew name, the day of memorial) and the Jewish community will join all Americans in honoring the memory of the 3,000 victims of Sept. 11, 2001.
The next head of the New York Board of Rabbis will have a new headquarters, but the same headaches, as the outgoing executive vice president. Running an interdenominational organization, to which members of the four major denominations of Judaism belong, gets harder each year, said Rabbi Gilbert Rosenthal, who retired last week after a decade in the position.
"Unequivocally, yes," Rabbi Rosenthal said on his last day on the job, sitting in the board's temporary office, a plain conference room in the Bnai Zion building on East 39th Street.
In a synagogue library in northern Westchester, a dozen senior citizens sit around a long table discussing current events. In a temple conference room on the Upper West Side, a young family talks about the tensions raised by a child’s serious illness. In the meeting room of a Long Island JCC, a group of recent widows share photographs and memories of their late husbands.
Buenos Aires — Ten years after a terrorist bomb destroyed the Israeli Embassy here and shook the confidence of Argentine Jewry, the Jewish community commemorated the tragedy that took 22 lives. And Jewish leaders, both local and from the United States, despite a declaration by Argentina’s president of his interest in the perpetrators’ capture and conviction, criticized the government for a decade of inaction in the case.
Buenos Aires — In the good years, Marcela would begin her Passover shopping a few weeks before the seders. The usual matzah and wine and fish, new clothing for her two children, some coins to be hidden around the family’s apartment for the afikoman search. “Everything,” she said.
This year, nothing. No clothes, no coins.
In the days following the mass murder on the Virginia Tech campus last month, the school’s Hillel chapter joined Blacksburg Jewry and the wider university population in addressing students’ immediate physical and spiritual needs. Hillel sponsored a series of well-attended events, including nightly dinners and an end-of-semester picnic.
Now, with many emotionally shaken students leaving the campus for the summer, the focus is on the long-term psychological health of students and Blacksburg residents.