Several hundred New York City Jewish community leaders and elected officials gathered last Thursday night to commemorate the third anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin. The two-hour memorial for the Israeli leader who risked his life for peace was unfolding even as the drums of war rumbled once again in the Middle East as the late Rabin’s good friend, President Bill Clinton, was deciding on military action against Iraq.
It’s not your zayde’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut.
Next Monday, New York’s Jewish community will hold its annual Israel Independence Day celebration, as usual, with singing and dancing. But the music will be contemporary, authentically Israeli.
“No ‘Hava Nagila,’ ” says Tzameret Fuerst, co-chair of the event and a founder of the half-year-old Dor Chadash organization that is the main sponsor of the celebration.
The dancing will be hip — probably no hora.
Liviu Librescu, a secular Jew in rural Virginia, received a hero’s welcome — and an Orthodox funeral service — in Brooklyn last week because of the kindness of strangers in Borough Park’s haredi community.
As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu openly courts pro-settler nationalists in his bid for re-election May 17, some of his biggest American supporters on the ideological right are either abandoning him or saying they are open to other candidates.
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.
Grand Central Station will be turned into an Israel showcase during a week in April to demonstrate to New Yorkers the attractions of the Jewish state: its products, its technical know-how, its business opportunities and travel destinations.
"Half a million people move through Grand Central Station each day," said Israel's consul general in New York, Shmuel Sisso. "They spend three to eight minutes in the station and we have to attract their attention" through innovative and interesting exhibits.
Thursday, May 7th, 2009
Washington area Jewish institutions are about to be visited by the wandering group of religious activists who believe they are winning friends and supporters by picketing the funerals of dead U.S. servicemen and women with their message that America is damned because of its tolerance of homosexuality.
The response by the Jewish institutions? To deny the demonstrators what they want most: publicity.