Belgrade: Svetogorska Street is crowded tonight. Across from the Karenjim clothing store and a small food kiosk, scores of Serbians, some in jeans, some in business suits and dresses, walk up a wide set of stairs, through the front door, and file down a narrow staircase to a room where an old Jewish man, a black kipa atop his head, sits on a ratty, overstuffed chair.
Soon there is a knock at the door.
And another night of "Visiting Mr. Green," something of a Jewish cultural phenomenon in a land where there are few Jews, is under way.
Phyllis Blackman had been alternately attending the West Side Jewish Center and a Chabad synagogue when she suddenly sprained her ankle and found herself unable to walk more than a block. "And then like magic, they opened this synagogue around the corner from me," she said, referring to the Jewish Enrichment Center on the second floor of 176 Madison Ave. at 34th Street. "I had known the rabbi from [his previous pulpit at] the Murray Hill Synagogue. When he opened here, he called me and invited me to check it out."