During the funeral last week for Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam, a weeping voice barreled over loudspeakers to tens of thousands of mourners gathered outside the main Bobover synagogue in Borough Park. From the crowded synagogue in the Brooklyn neighborhood, where a simple wooden coffin held the 92-year-old body of the Bobover rebbe, the speaker announced, in Yiddish, that Rabbi Halberstam's eldest son, Naftali, would succeed him as leader of the chasidic group.
"Mazel tov," the speaker added in a tearful undertone.
Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam, a Polish-born Holocaust survivor who revived his Bobover chasidic group in Borough Park and helped turn the Brooklyn neighborhood into one of the largest American bastions of Orthodoxy, died there Wednesday in Maimonides Medical Center. He was 92, and had been in poor health in recent years.
At 11th hour, safe streets now an issue, thanks to Giuliani; will it help or hurt Bloomberg?
Assistant Managing Editor
Rudolph Giuliani’s much-maligned comments at a Jewish breakfast Sunday, implying the city might fall into anarchy under Democrat William Thompson, have placed Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a bind.
The aura of continuing his predecessor’s tough-on-crime policies is vitally important to the incumbent’s re-election effort. Yet Bloomberg has struggled not to be seen as polarizing and divisive, the way much of the city views Giuliani’s eight-year tenure.
Rabbi Elimelech Schachter, a faculty member at the Yeshiva University rabbinical school for nearly 50 years, died Feb. 26 in Borough Park. He was 93.
Rabbi Schachter served as professor of rabbinics at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and taught at many divisions of YU, mentoring generations of rabbinical students. He was the author of “The Babylonian and Jerusalem Mishnah and wrote several rabbinic opinions and scholarly articles.
El Al Airlines added an additional flight from New York to Tel Aviv Thursday to help passengers left stranded Monday night when Tower Air unexpectedly halted all scheduled flights. The shutdown triggered an angry reaction among passengers flying from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv who were left standing in the rain at Kennedy Airport.
Irate Israeli passengers called the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan for help at 10 p.m. when they found the Tower Air terminal closed. The financially strapped airline had filed for bankruptcy protection just two months ago.
At-risk Orthodox Jewish teenagers in Brooklyn (involved in everything from credit card fraud to sexual promiscuity and drug abuse) have created their own informal support network that attracts similarly troubled youngsters from across the city and seeks to recruit "regular youngsters" to their ranks.
An estimated 50,000 needy Jews in the city received special Rosh HaShanah food packages in the past two weeks, and UJA-Federation provided a special grant to allow those below the poverty level to receive food vouchers redeemable at their local supermarkets.
"We've been doing this for 20 years," said William Rapfogel, executive director of the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty.
While he was a second-year student at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1992, Gary (Gidone) Busch was diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease that changed his life.
"He learned that he had a kidney disease that causes partial renal failure, and a nephrologist told him it could be life threatening," recalled his brother, Glenn, 39, a Manhattan lawyer.