Romania

The Law Won

04/03/2009

Aaron and I lingered at the buffet table, enormous bowls of pasta salad and vegetables spread out in front of us. Our minyan was celebrating the purchase of a pre-World War II Torah that had been recently rescued from its hiding spot in the basement of an old synagogue in Romania. 

“It’s funny, that guy over there just asked if we were dating,” I mentioned, as I reached for some tortellini with pesto. “It’s not the first time I’ve heard that question. Earlier this week, someone asked me the same thing.” 

The Law Won

Hope that love could bend the rules of kosher observance only went so far.

04/03/2009
Aaron and I lingered at the buffet table, enormous bowls of pasta salad and vegetables spread out in front of us. Our minyan was celebrating the purchase of a pre-World War II Torah that had been recently rescued from its hiding spot in the basement of an old synagogue in Romania. “It’s funny, that guy over there just asked if we were dating,” I mentioned, as I reached for some tortellini with pesto. “It’s not the first time I’ve heard that question. Earlier this week, someone asked me the same thing.”

Universal Appeal

06/28/2002
Staff Writer
Two uniformed guards recently stopped Michal Rovner as she tried to enter the third-floor galleries at the Whitney Museum of American Art. "We're sorry, ma'am," Rovner said she was told, "the galleries are closed." To get through security, the diminutive Israeli-born artist simply looked up. Taped to the wall (in expectation of an upcoming exhibition) was a sign bearing her name.  

A Century Of Scholarship

11/09/2007
Staff Writer
Rabbi Moshe Carmilly of the Upper West Side is celebrating his birthday early and often, and internationally, this year. The first birthday party was thrown last month in Romania by a Jewish studies institute at the University of Babes-Bolyai in Cluj that bears his name. A second event, a festive Kiddush, will be hosted on Saturday at Congregation Shearith Israel, Rabbi Carmilly’s synagogue. Imagine the celebration on his actual birthday, next April 7, when he turns 100.

Gentrification Eats Up Kosher Bakery

06/22/2007
Staff Writer
A country steeped in memory, the cup of coffee and a Danish. For the last 20 years, lunchtime for Rabbi T. has meant a two-and-a-half block walk from one Lower East Side institution, Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem, the yeshiva where he teaches Talmud, to Gertel’s, a kosher bakery where he buys a snack and sits at a small table, reviewing a Hebrew text. (Many members of the haredi community are publicity-shy.) Starting Monday, Rabbi T. will have to get his lunch somewhere else.

‘A Prince Of The Game’

11/20/1998
Staff Writer
Most young boys learning to play basketball at the Jewish Community House in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, in the early 1970s were trying to shoot jump shots like former New York Knick superstar Willis Reed. Or “shake and bake” like Earl (The Pearl) Monroe. Or play defense like Walt “Clyde” Frazier. “Bradley from the corner. Yes!” That was the oft-heard exclamation from a happy 12-year-old who just launched a successful shot from the corner of the gym like his hero, “Dollar” Bill Bradley.

‘It’s Getting Really Bad Again’

07/10/1998
Staff Writer
Israel’s standing in the United Nations continues to deteriorate as the Palestinian voice grows stronger. The overwhelming vote by the UN General Assembly Tuesday (124 to 4) upgrading the Palestinian’s status gives Palestinian representatives the power for the first time to raise issues regarding the peace process before the 185-member international body.

Schumer Urges Repairs To Jewish Cemeteries

08/04/2006
Staff Writer
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a letter sent last week to Romanian President Traian Basescu urged Romania to restore and protect the country’s Jewish cemeteries, which fell into disrepair during the communist era. “Cemeteries are an important issue to worldwide Jewry, and Jewish cemeteries are no exception,” Schumer wrote. “For many Jews in the United States these cemeteries are the last link to their ancestry.”

Back To Bucharest

04/13/2007
Staff Writer
Like most members of his generation, who grew up in communist Eastern Europe during the last years of communism, Sorin Rosen had no Jewish education or upbringing. “Nothing at all,” he says. Like many Jews from former Iron Curtain countries who belatedly discovered their Jewish roots, Rosen became interested as a teen in learning what he had not as a child. After visiting some distant relatives in Israel, he became active in several Jewish organizations in Bucharest, his Romanian hometown. Like some, he drifted toward religious observance.
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