In a move that promises to speed fare collection on its 240 trains nationwide, Amtrak has contracted with Motorola to automate the system using equipment developed and manufactured in Israel.
Amtrak, announcing the $24 million contract, said the new system would be introduced on its new Acela Express high-speed rail service linking Boston, New York and Washington. That service had been expected to begin this year, but wheel problems have delayed it until next spring, according to a spokesman for Amtrak, John Wolf.
Birthright Israel, the unprecedented offer of a free 10-day trip to Israel for 6,000 Jewish college students worldwide, has met with such a huge response that three of the 14 organizations sponsoring trips have stopped taking applications.
Funding for the January trip is available for 5,000 students from North America but Moshe Margolin, vice president of educational services for Birthright Israel, North America, said that based on the response to date, "we will significantly exceed 15,000 applications."
While Marjorie Rosenthal was caring for her elderly mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease during the last seven years of her life, she realized how difficult it would be had she not been able to afford a home-care attendant.
"People are living longer and longer and our bodies break down at some point," she said. "There aren't a lot of places you would want to put a relative with Alzheimer's, and itís a very difficult job caring for the person by yourself at home."
Israel, which has made it a point not to walk out of the United Nations despite all of the abuse hurled at it from member nations over the years, will be pointedly absent when the General Assembly convenes on Monday, Yom Kippur.
So will President Bill Clinton. Israel's ambassador to the UN, Dore Gold, said this is the first time an American president has not spoken at the start of the General Assembly's general debate. He will speak Tuesday instead.
Grand Central Station will be turned into an Israel showcase during a week in April to demonstrate to New Yorkers the attractions of the Jewish state: its products, its technical know-how, its business opportunities and travel destinations.
"Half a million people move through Grand Central Station each day," said Israel's consul general in New York, Shmuel Sisso. "They spend three to eight minutes in the station and we have to attract their attention" through innovative and interesting exhibits.
An estimated 50,000 needy Jews in the city received special Rosh HaShanah food packages in the past two weeks, and UJA-Federation provided a special grant to allow those below the poverty level to receive food vouchers redeemable at their local supermarkets.
"We've been doing this for 20 years," said William Rapfogel, executive director of the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty.
The New York Board of Rabbis held its annual sermon seminar last week to permit rabbis to share ideas for their High Holy Days sermons. Rabbi Marc Schneier of The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, L.I., and president of the board, chaired the discussion featuring spiritual leaders from all movements.
Jewish Week: What will be some of the themes of sermons this year?
Simy, a 75-year-old woman who was "well off" financially until four years ago, found herself alone and virtually penniless when her husband of 50 years dumped her for their 20-year-old housekeeper.
"I couldn't believe he would throw away 50 years for a young kid," she says of her husband, a retired engineer. "And she had an infant. ... He's 85 years old!"
Kicked out of her Queens home, Simy found a room in a private home on Long Island. "My Social Security payment covers the rent," she says.
The tires of three cars parked at the South Huntington (L.I.) Jewish Center were slashed while their owners attended pre-High Holy Day services Saturday night, and a few hours later in Centereach, L.I., other vandals scrawled swastikas and anti-Semitic and anti-black epithets on a public school.
While he was a second-year student at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1992, Gary (Gidone) Busch was diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease that changed his life.
"He learned that he had a kidney disease that causes partial renal failure, and a nephrologist told him it could be life threatening," recalled his brother, Glenn, 39, a Manhattan lawyer.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.