Israel’s day of rest came four days early this year.
The country’s 400,000 public sector workers, including employees of religious councils, went on strike to protest delayed payment of wages. The nationwide strike was called on Tuesday, four days before Yom Kippur. The third strike called by the Histadrut labor federation in the last year, it shut down government offices and hospitals, the stock exchange and banks, railways and sea ports, ambulance services and fire departments, mail delivery and utilities.
In medieval times in the Middle East, translators in synagogues would render the reading of the weekly Torah portion from Hebrew into the vernacular Arabic or Aramaic.
Something similar took place in Manhattan this week.
The new top leadership team of the embattled World Jewish Congress will head to Eastern Europe soon to re-energize stalled negotiations over Holocaust-era restitution payments, Michael Schneider, the group’s next secretary general, said this week.
The political discussions will represent a return by the WJC, perceived as rudderless in recent years, to the activity that cemented its reputation as a representative of Jewish interests.
In the late 1970s the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the New York-based organization that supports Jewish life in small communities around the world, needed someone to head its office in Tehran.
Two JDC staffers told Ralph Goldman, the Joint’s executive vice president, that he should consider Michael Schneider, a social worker in London.
After a four-hour interview with Schneider, a native of South Africa who left his homeland to escape arrest for anti-apartheid activities, Goldman offered him the job in Iran.
Jewish groups in the United States and Italy have welcomed the suggestion by a high Vatican official that a proposal to restore a Catholic prayer that is offensive to the Jewish community may be withdrawn. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said last week that a prayer in the recently revived Latin Mass for the conversion of Jews could be eliminated from the church’s liturgy. That would “solve all the problems,” Cardinal Bertone said, following a groundswell of Jewish criticism that questioned the efficacy of decades of Jewish-Catholic dialogue.
Rabbi Abraham Klausner, an American rabbi who as a chaplain in the U.S. Army served as an advocate for the needs of Jewish Holocaust survivors, died June 28 in his Sante Fe, N.M., home of complications of Parkinson’s Disease. He was 92.
For 25 years he had served as spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-El in Yonkers, N.Y., retiring in 1989.
The first American Jewish chaplain to arrive at Dachau after its liberation in 1945, he coordinated efforts on behalf of survivors in the American zone of Germany who remained in displaced-persons camps for years after the war.
A cup of coffee and a Danish.
For the last 20 years, lunchtime for Rabbi T. has meant a two-and-a-half block walk from one Lower East Side institution, Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem, the yeshiva where he teaches Talmud, to Gertel’s, a kosher bakery where he buys a snack and sits at a small table, reviewing a Hebrew text. (Many members of the haredi community are publicity-shy.)
Starting Monday, Rabbi T. will have to get his lunch somewhere else.
In the days following the mass murder on the Virginia Tech campus last month, the school’s Hillel chapter joined Blacksburg Jewry and the wider university population in addressing students’ immediate physical and spiritual needs. Hillel sponsored a series of well-attended events, including nightly dinners and an end-of-semester picnic.
Now, with many emotionally shaken students leaving the campus for the summer, the focus is on the long-term psychological health of students and Blacksburg residents.
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), a prominent member of the Jewish delegation in Congress and an early and vocal Barack Obama supporter, is leaving Congress to head up a group devoted to Middle East peace, according to the Miami Herald.
Rabbi Joseph Ozarowski finds an empty seat on the 8:12 from Valley Stream and takes a few photocopied pages with Aramaic printing from his briefcase. By the time his LIRR train reaches Penn Station, he’s completed the day’s daf yomi Talmud study.
A brisk walk cross-town, and he is at his office at NYU Medical Center, First Avenue and 34th Street.
His business card identifies him as Jewish chaplain, “but they’ve changed it to hospital rabbi,” he says.