Elbasan, Albania — Maybe I should have picked another city or a different group of students.
I was teaching English to a classroom of Kosovar refugees at a refugee camp in Albania a couple of weeks ago. Introductory stuff. “Hello.” “My name is …” “How are you?”
For one’s day unit — a pretentious description for a seat-of-the-pants curriculum — I had my score of students perform drills asking and answering “Where are you from?”
Debbie wanted to do some volunteer work in Israel this summer, but no one volunteered to help the college student from New York.
“I was sending e-mails, sending faxes and making phone calls to different organizations and places in Israel and the U.S. on a daily basis for about a month,” she says. “I was unable to find a suitable place to volunteer.”
One of the guests of honor at the recent commencement exercises of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, sitting at the far left of the first row of the sanctuary in Temple Emanu-El, was neither guest speaker, college official Nor financial supporter of the institution.
Dalia Samansky, a third-year rabbinical student at the school’s Los Angeles campus who received her master’s degree in L.A. the following week, was invited to the New York commencement as role model.
She had saved a life.
Rabbi Elimelech Schachter, a faculty member at the Yeshiva University rabbinical school for nearly 50 years, died Feb. 26 in Borough Park. He was 93.
Rabbi Schachter served as professor of rabbinics at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and taught at many divisions of YU, mentoring generations of rabbinical students. He was the author of “The Babylonian and Jerusalem Mishnah and wrote several rabbinic opinions and scholarly articles.
A mezuzah placed on the door of a condo in South Florida, of all places, is stirring a controversy.
Laurie Richter, a recent law school graduate, attached the mezuzah to the doorpost of her condo apartment in Fort Lauderdale when she moved in on Dec. 1, and the condo board told her recently to take it down. The Port condominium told Richter that the mezuzah violates bylaws that prohibit owners and occupants from attaching, hanging, affixing or displaying anything on the building’s walls, doors, balconies, railings and windows.
Each year the 12th-grade students of the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester spend a week in Poland, on the way to Israel, learning about Jewish history at the site of death camps, synagogues and forests.
This year their most poignant lesson came at an antiques shop on a Warsaw side street.
They discovered a Torah scroll there.
It began with a visit to a single grave.
About a decade ago, Rabbi Manfred Gans, spiritual leader of Congregation Machane Chodosh in Forest Hills, accompanied a congregant, a recent widower, to the man’s late wife’s grave in Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, L.I. The congregant, Jack Kremski, and his wife, Anna, were Holocaust survivors, natives of Czestachowa, in Poland.
Monday, July 13th, 2009
Here’s Steve Lipman’s visit to the Orthodox Bunaglows Baseball League. Sheldon Silver was a player but not Pedro Espada.
And here’s a terrific piece by Andy Silow-Carroll, editor of the New Jersey Jewish News, on the many virtues of Jewish bungalow life, and his own bungalow memories: