These weeks before Passover are in one coincidental way like the ancient Jews’ exodus from Egypt: everything is done in a hurry. There’s chametz to remove, boxes of dishes to shlep, food to buy, seder guests to invite, etc.
With time at a premium, who has the leisure to prepare for the spiritual purpose of Pesach — removing the chametz from us, imagining ourselves as part of the throng of ex-slaves entering an unknown wilderness? If your meals are ready for yom tov but you’re not, what have you accomplished?
Military service is in the Perl family’s blood.
Pvt. Otto Perl spent nearly a year in the Austrian army from 1937 to 1938. His father had been an officer in that same army in World War I, and two of his uncles had served in WWI.
Perl, a tailor, was 22 in early 1938 when he was discharged a few months before his homeland was annexed by Nazi Germany. A Jew, he was arrested and sent to the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps for a year. He survived the forced labor and beatings and frigid weather.
The Obama administration’s willingness to expand its involvement in the United Nations has not attracted strong criticism from pro-Israel groups, despite the longstanding belief that the international body is decidedly anti-Israel.
In recent days, Washington has signaled a new effort to try to effect change from within the UN and its agencies, and Jewish leaders here, though somewhat skeptical, seem prepared to give the administration some latitude.
The Jewish connection to the Olympic Games is as old as the modern Olympics movement. Unfortunately, some of the connections are tragic, like the murder of 11 members of Israel’s team at the Munich Games in 1972.
Last week The Jewish Week looked at some largely unknown parts of Olympic Jewish history. This week, the Olympics and the Holocaust.
To open a kosher restaurant, you have to lease the space, order food, buy pots and pans, train chefs in the laws of kashrut and hire a mashgiach.
In Athens on the eve of the Olympic Games, you also have to arrange for security guards.
“We’re very concerned about [security],” Rabbi Mendel Hendel said in a phone interview from Athens.
Dozens of young Israelis have traveled to three continents on a privately sponsored public relations campaign for the Jewish state because Joey Low asked himself a question two years ago.
Low, a national Hillel board member who lives in Purchase, found that “college kids knew nothing about Israel” and he wondered, “What can we do to change that?”
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.
Yossi Goldberg played soccer and basketball as a boy growing up in Israel, but figure skating was in his blood — his mother was a figure skater in Lithuania.
That, says Goldberg, founder and president of the Israeli Figure Skating Association, is why he has devoted a dozen years to a winter sport in a Mediterranean country.
Shortly after he moved here in 2001, Rome-born journalist Maurizio Molinari went shopping in a Manhattan supermarket where he found a wide variety of certified-kosher items. “It was not a Jewish store,” he notes.
Before Sukkot he noticed lulav-and-etrog sets being sold by vendors along West 72nd Street. No one seemed surprised, he says. “For the non-Jews, it was normal.”
One day he went to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. A “huge Judaica section” stood out. Most of the shoppers in the store, as he recalls, weren’t Jewish.
A few dozen friends of an elderly Jewish woman who died in February were not able to come to her funeral service at the Plaza Jewish Community Chapel on the Upper West Side, but they joined the mourners, virtually, via the Internet. In cities across the United States and Europe, were the first people to take part in a new service: funerals carried live, or archived, on the Internet’s broadcasting, aka “streaming,” technology.