Rena Rackovsky Bannett has worn many hats in her 53 years, both the literal ones she dons as an observant married woman, and also the figurative ones — artist, scientist, educator, grandmother. In another four years, Bannett may gain another identity, that of Orthodox rabbi.
Riverdale Jews wanted to do something in reaction to the terrorist plot to blow up two shuls — but what? If you weren’t a rabbi or a politician getting your picture taken, the interfaith gathering (May 21) at Riverdale Jewish Center was as much of a dud as the fake bombs. On the other hand, no one really wanted to have a outdoor rally with speakers and placards. Someone suggested a candelight vigil, or community march, such as black leaders organized the other week after the accidental shooting of a black policeman. The black leaders understood that a communal display of unity and dignity was not only a tribute to the deceased but a statement of caring that would get media reaction, as well as giving a traumatized neighborhood inspiration, a sense of community, and something to do — if only to walk.