The People of the Book produce no books in greater quantity than the Passover Haggadah. As surely as the seder brings Jews together every year, the seder table holds a selection of the new Haggadot that appeal to the scholar, the art lover, the historian of all ages.
Here are some of the latest selections:
The Seder Night: An Exalted Evening by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Edited by Rabbi Menachem D. Genack. OU Press. 203 pages. $25.
‘Musically inclined,” Dr. Paul Brody learned to chant the Scroll of Esther, or at least part of the Megillah, while studying at Yeshiva University several decades ago. He picked up the basics at the school’s Cantorial Training Institute. Then his grandfather, Rabbi Jacob Brown, convinced him to learn how to layn the gantze Megillah, the entire scroll.
Philadelphia — Aviva Koloski, a junior at Stern Hebrew High School here, plays on her Modern Orthodox day school’s girls’ basketball team, but she never considered playing basketball in college.
Because of various halachic restrictions, “I never would have thought it was possible for an Orthodox Jewish girl to play basketball” at the collegiate level, she said.
Today, Koloski is giving the matter another thought.
Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, a towering figure in the Modern Orthodox community who long before it was fashionable fought for women unable to get Jewish divorces and who was instrumental in founding The Jewish Week, died here Monday. He was 98 and died of natural causes.
David Weinberg will call his mother in Toronto on Sunday morning, as usual, to wish her a happy Mother's Day. Sunday afternoon he'll make another call (for an end to the genocide in Sudan) as the leader of a rally in Central Park.
Weinberg, 23, a senior at Yeshiva University, is the founding director of Not Now Not Ever, a nonprofit organization he and two Stern College students launched a few months ago to protest the ongoing Sudan tragedy. The group already has gone national.
The hundreds of Yeshiva University and Stern College students who took up epee, foil and saber during Arthur Tauber's quarter-century as fencing coach talk about how he would make time for his young athletes. After practice, on bus rides, often late at night he would counsel the students, serving as a sounding board or surrogate parent.
This month many of Tauber's onetime fencers will make time for him.
Yisrael Schachter was a bystander during Operation Torah Shield, when a few hundred students from Yeshiva University and Stern College for Women flew to Israel on the eve of the 1991 Gulf War on a solidarity and learning program.
"I was too young," in elementary school, he says. His father, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a rosh yeshiva at YU, and three sisters joined the mission.
During Torah Shield II, during Intifada II a year ago, Schachter was a participant.
During 31 years at Columbia University, Rabbi Charles Sheer has seen a succession of political movements wax and wane: anti-war at the beginning, then feminist issues, and gay rights in recent years.
But the rabbi's most poignant memories at the university are about small classes, not sweeping events.
Since becoming the school's Jewish chaplain in 1969, two years after he was ordained by Yeshiva University, Rabbi Sheer has taught classes every semester, usually in Chumash (Torah) or Gemara (Talmud).
The Rev. Abraham Lopes Cardozo, a descendant of a prominent Dutch Jewish family who served as a cantor for more than six decades and worked to preserve the musical traditions of Spanish and Portuguese Jewry, died Feb. 21 in Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. He was 91, and had been in poor health since fracturing a hip last year.
Rabbi Feivel Wagner, spiritual leader of the Young Israel of Forest Hills, Queens, for more than two decades, died Feb. 7 in Booth Memorial Hospital from injuries he had suffered two days earlier during a fall in his Forest Hills home. He was 58.
About 2,000 congregants and members of the community attended the funeral for Rabbi Wagner in the synagogue, many listening to the service broadcast outside on loudspeakers, before the rabbi's body was flown to Jerusalem for burial, said Nechemia Reiss, executive director of the congregation.