A congregant in Rabbi David Hirsch’s synagogue approached him with a request one recent Shabbat after shacharit services: She wanted a new prayerbook, one with more-extensive commentaries.
Rabbi Hirsch, spiritual leader of the Fleetwood Synagogue in Mount Vernon for four years, was delighted. The veteran member of the congregation was part of the new Fleetwood Kollel, the first community kollel of its kind in Westchester.
Grodno, Belarus — Tsilia Brido remembers her early Belarus Passover in her Polotsk hometown, her grandfather leading the seders in Hebrew, women from the neighborhood baking their matzahs in her family’s large wood stove.
“It was before the war,” she says, referring to World War II. Belarus was the first of the former Soviet Union’s republics to be invaded by the German army.
Brido remembers the seders ending after 1941, first under the Nazis, then under the communists.
Bobby Fischer, the eccentric chess champion who was born into a Jewish family but became an outspoken anti-Semite as he aged, spent some time at Yeshiva University four decades ago.
Actually, an hour.
In 1963, Fischer, at 19 already an international grandmaster and U.S. champion, was invited to play the members of the Yeshiva College Chess Club — all 30 simultaneously.
Thirty boards were set up around the YU dining hall; Fischer walked from table to table, moving his pieces.
Rabbi Sholom Klass, who founded The Jewish Press 40 years ago and built the weekly newspaper into a leading, and often controversial, voice of the Orthodox community, died this week at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn after a long illness. He was 83 and lived in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn.
Rabbi Klass, who grew up in Williamsburg, was ordained by Yeshiva Torah Vodaath. He was a co-publisher of The Brooklyn Daily newspaper before starting The Jewish Press in 1960.
For some students, summer vacation isn’t a vacation from studying or from community service. While many high school and college students spend June through August making money or working on their tans, others use the time giving their time. This summer there were members of the American Jewish Society for Service who built Habitat for Humanity houses in Wyoming, and volunteers from Yeshiva and University Students for the Spiritual Revival of Soviet Jewry group who tutored at Jewish camps in the former Soviet Union.
This is how Benjamin Young spent his summer vacation: A tour of Florence. A day trip to Pisa. A museum in Venice. “It was not just a vacation,” says Young, a senior at Yeshiva University — it was his introduction to the school’s new Honors Program.
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.
After a four-year battle to maintain control over who can share living quarters at its Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University quietly changed its policy this month, avoiding a trial in the lawsuit brought by lesbian students who claimed discrimination.
Under the previous policy, unmarried couples were allowed to share housing only if both parties were students at the college.