Rabbi William Berkowitz, a longtime pulpit rabbi and communal leader here, and founder of a popular dialogue series that featured public interviews with hundreds of major politicians and other prominent figures, died in his Manhattan home on Feb. 3 of natural causes. He was 83.
Amid all the kvetching (including my own) about the fear of losing disengaged young Jews, so many of whom show little concern for Israel and affiliating with American Jewish organizations, let us offer a word of praise for their parents and, more likely, grandparents who make up the majority of attendees at so many mainstream Jewish events.
As the tables were cleared at Sunday's breakfast of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, Fernando Ferrer paused to chat with a pair of city Councilmen. Then, with barely a glance behind him, the former Bronx borough president and Democratic mayoral frontrunner said "OK, K-man, let's go."
Minutes later, in a scene familiar to any observer of the campaign trail, Ferrer and Kalman Yeger were headed down the hotel stairs into Yeger's waiting minivan, off to march in the Salute to Israel parade and discussing the rest of the day's schedule.