Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s future could lie in the hands of a millionaire Long Island rabbi and businessman who is reportedly set to testify as early as this week that he gave bribes to Olmert while Olmert served as Jerusalem’s mayor from 1999 to 2002.
Retelling the story of the exodus to freedom will have a special meaning this Passover for two elderly former Soviet Jews, both of whom became American citizens recently with the help of citizenship courses funded by UJA-Federation.
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.
As Israelis buried their dead following back-to-back Palestinian suicide bombings Sunday in Tel Aviv that killed 22 bystanders (seven of them foreign workers) political campaign commercials began running on Israel TV Tuesday night and analysts wondered how the terror attack and new political scandals would impact the Jan. 28 national election.
More than 40 years ago, a Ramaz high school boy living near the Parkchester section of the Bronx received a telescope as a present. He discovered that if he aimed that telescope just so out of his bedroom window, peering over the cement backyards and black-tar garage rooftops, he could see the Parkchester elevated train station as if it were some distant star.
Other than the occasional murder, few newspaper stories, if any, originate from the desolation of East Tremont Avenue; certainly no stories in Jewish newspapers, now that all the Jews have long ago scattered from these Bronx streets. Thereís nothing left on East Tremont, is there? But let it be written, in the words of the biblical Jacob: ìSurely, God is in this place ó and I, I did not know.
Invariably, when I come back to work after the two days of Seders, people will come over and ask, “so how was your Passover?”
This makes me a little crazy, even though it’s an innocuous question, even a caring one. What I want to say is, “Well, the first two days of the holiday were fine, but of course there are six more to go, so it’s way far from over, only one-quarter of the way complete, in fact, got that?”
What if I skip the next few paragraphs? Would anyone notice? If they do, would they mind, or be glad?
These are the questions that can often cross your mind when you lead a seder, as I’ve found myself doing for the past 20 years or so. It’s not a role I’ve ever sought out, and I’d much rather share the responsibility with others, but it seems to fall on me by default.
The other day, on a lark, I created a Facebook group called “I Refuse To Join Pointless Facebook Groups,” and invited several hundred of my online friends to join. As of this writing, about three dozen have joined this pointless group, some perhaps aware of the irony, some not.
Jerusalem – In the Bible, Jews are commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Temple three times a year, on each of the festivals of Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot – a tradition that was revived after Israel’s victory in the Six Day War reunited the city of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, at the site of the Temple.