During a recent lesson about biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, fourth-graders at Manhattan’s Central Synagogue Hebrew school watched as role-playing talk show host, “Shecky Bevakasha,” mediated a dispute between Jacob’s two wives, sisters Leah and Rachel. While some students watched the Jerry Springer-like feud play out before them, others observed equally sensational Torah stories, starring Judaism’s forefathers and mothers.
Washington Post article questions the legitimacy
of a prominent rabbi who claims he’s rescued
Two years ago, philanthropist David Rubenstein offered to buy a Torah scroll for Manhattan’s Central Synagogue. The story of the scroll was as impressive as the object itself: Rabbi Menachem Youlus, a Maryland Torah scribe and Jewish bookstore owner, said he had discovered the sefer Torah in a cemetery in Oswiecim, the Polish town the occupying Germans called Auschwitz.
The scroll was dedicated in a gala ceremony at Central Synagogue on Yom HaShoah 2008. On Rosh HaShanah that year, Rabbi Peter Rubinstein repeated the Torah’s story of survival.
Members of fire-ravaged Central Synagogue on Manhattan’s East Side expressed heartfelt appreciation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his brief visit to show support for the congregation devastated by an Aug. 28 blaze.
The visit last Sunday marked Netanyahu’s first official trip to a Reform synagogue since he took office two years ago. Reform movement leaders said it signified progress in their attempt to gain greater recognition in Israel.