Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
The blogosphere is buzzing with commentary about an op-ed in today’s New York Times blasting the group Human Rights Watch for its obsession with Israel – an obsession the writer says diminishes its effectiveness in addressing epidemic human rights abuses around the world.
eon Levy, a son of Turkish Jewish immigrants who became a philanthropist and leader of several major Jewish organizations in the United States, died Sept. 19 in Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital of heart and lung failure. A resident of Jamaica Estates, Queens, he was 84.
Still reeling from the shocking deaths of their rabbi and his wife in a fierce house fire last Friday night, the congregants of Young Israel of Scarsdale this week were gathering photos and videos of the couple from their own family albums — taken at simchas and other gatherings — to share with the four Rubenstein children.
A new and more serious indictment — possibly including rape charges — may be filed as early as next week against Israel’s disgraced former president Moshe Katsav after his withdrawal Tuesday from a plea deal that would have kept him out of jail.
“I want to fight for my innocence,” Katsav told a three-judge panel in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. “I have been thinking about this for a long time, and it was finalized in my mind today.”
Jerusalem — A visitor handed Teddy Kollek a book to autograph several years ago. Kollek, sitting behind his desk in the office of The Jerusalem Foundation, where he worked as international chairman after losing a race for re-election as the city’s mayor in 1993, looked at the cover — the book, distributed by the foundation, was a collection of writings and photographs from his career.
“Where did you get this?” Kollek asked.An assistant said she had given it to the visitor.
There was more spin in the news last week — this time the politicians weren’t doing it, the U.S. Postal Service was.
In what has become an American philatelic tradition, the postal service issued a Chanukah stamp in time for the winter holiday season, which joins stamps issued in recent years for Christmas, Kwanzaa and a pair of Muslim holidays.
Elana Minkove decided a few months ago that she wanted to use her graduate degree in social work to do some good works in her spare time.
Niti Minkove, her mother-in-law and the director of volunteers at the Bronx Jewish Community Council, suggested Elana perform those virtuous deeds in Co-op City. That Bronx area is where Betty Katz lives.
It’s not your zayde’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut.
Next Monday, New York’s Jewish community will hold its annual Israel Independence Day celebration, as usual, with singing and dancing. But the music will be contemporary, authentically Israeli.
“No ‘Hava Nagila,’ ” says Tzameret Fuerst, co-chair of the event and a founder of the half-year-old Dor Chadash organization that is the main sponsor of the celebration.
The dancing will be hip — probably no hora.
Netanyahu speech could be dry run for meeting with Obama
In a speech that could be a dry run for his upcoming meetings with President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said his government is ready to “resume peace negotiations” with the Palestinians “without any delay, without any preconditions, the sooner the better” and called for a “triple-track” approach that includes political as well as economic and security negotiations.
In Olympic years, some People of the Book become people of the backstroke, the clean-and-jerk, and the high hurdles.
The Games, Summer and Winter, serve as a showcase for the best athletes, Jewish and non-Jewish. From A (Ruth Abeles) to Z (Eli Zuckerman), names like Mark Spitz and Kerry Strug are in the record books as well as Jewish history texts.
Beginning with 10 medals won by Jewish athletes at the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896, Jews have been a steady presence at the international competition.