Joshua Boettiger may be the only rabbinic student who can trace his roots to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The 31-year-old is a great-grandson of Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Depression and World War II leader alternately exalted and reviled by the American Jewish community.The elder son of an Episcopalian father –– the son of President Roosevelt’s daughter, Anna –– and a Jewish mother, Boettiger grew up attending church and synagogue. “I don’t know whether to be Jewish or Christian,” a 5-year-old Boettiger told his parents.
Jehoshua Pomeranz and Jackie Gartenberg lived in the same Monsey community for more than three decades. Their kids attended the same school. And way back when, their wives played in the same bowling league. But only recently did they discover that they are first cousins — and that Gartenberg is a kohen (a member of the priestly tribe). The ironic twist? They still haven’t met. That’s because it was Pomeranz’s recent aliyah — and the newspaper article chronicling it — that brought them together.