Decked out in brown suede Nikes, distressed denim jeans and black Ray-Ban sunglasses, Rabbi Dan Ain stood atop a “kosher” soapbox in Washington Square Park Monday afternoon, extolling heresy and encouraging his listeners to break from tradition during these 10 days of awe and repentance.
If the supporters of the Likud Party have their way, the Golan Heights will be on the lips of every Jewish New Yorker next month.
"Have the Golan on your table for Rosh HaShanah," is the theme of a new campaign the American Friends of Likud is launching to encourage New Yorkers to drink wine from the vineyards of the Golan Heights on the Jewish New Year. It is to remind New Yorkers of Likud's position against Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights in any peace treaty with Syria.
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.
The New York Board of Rabbis held its annual sermon seminar last week to permit rabbis to share ideas for their High Holy Days sermons. Rabbi Marc Schneier of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, L.I., and president of the board, chaired the discussion featuring spiritual leaders from all movements.
Jewish Week: What will be some of the themes of sermons this year?
Suddenly in Jewish Westchester, land of spacious homes and ample backyards, nothing seems to fit.
Westchesterís Jews, once limited by upper-crust restrictions, are experiencing a 40-percent population surge in the past 10 years, only to find that their infrastructure of schools and shuls now seems too small, tight around the seams.
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.
After feasting for two days on festive Rosh Hashanah meals, there no doubt are many of us who have sworn off food today. But there are others who are doing thesame for religious rather than dietary reasons.
That’s because the day after Rosh Hashanah on the Jewish calendar is Tzom Gedaliah, the Fast of Gedaliah, a little-known minor fast (meaning it is “only” from dawn to dark, unlike Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av, which start the night before).
Monday, September 29th, 2008
James Besser in Washington
With bank failures and a bearish stock market casting a dark shadow over the Capitol, Congress is scrambling to pass the record $700 billion financial bailout package this week. And that’s causing big problems for numerous Jewish lawmakers.
Many Jewish House members - there are 30 of them - were watching the clock as today’s debate dragged on and their prospects for getting out of town in time for the beginning of Rosh Hashanah diminished with every tick.