In Mick Fine’s classroom, the sixth-graders are creating cartoons and board games and posters for their family’s upcoming seders. In the classroom of Nicole Levy and Vanessa Miller, the kindergarteners are putting the finishing touches on artworks that will be bound together into mini-Haggadot to be shared with their families next week. Throughout the classrooms of the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, the K-8 students are learning about the traditions of Passover in other non-traditional, hands-on ways.
The People of the Book produce no books in greater quantity than the Passover Haggadah. As surely as the seder brings Jews together every year, the seder table holds a selection of the new Haggadot that appeal to the scholar, the art lover, the historian of all ages.
Here are some of the latest selections:
The Seder Night: An Exalted Evening by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Edited by Rabbi Menachem D. Genack. OU Press. 203 pages. $25.
Galveston, Texas — Shabbat services in a synagogue lobby. Volunteers fixing cemetery gravestones. A Jewish federation budget meeting.
Those are the signs of damage, and of recovery, in Southwest Texas three months after Hurricane Ike, the Category 2 storm that ranked as the worst to strike the United States this year and the third worst ever.
The next head of the New York Board of Rabbis will have a new headquarters, but the same headaches, as the outgoing executive vice president. Running an interdenominational organization, to which members of the four major denominations of Judaism belong, gets harder each year, said Rabbi Gilbert Rosenthal, who retired last week after a decade in the position.
"Unequivocally, yes," Rabbi Rosenthal said on his last day on the job, sitting in the board's temporary office, a plain conference room in the Bnai Zion building on East 39th Street.
In the next few days, upon his return from a weeklong business trip to the United States, Rami Sulimani will arrange meetings with the leaders of community projects in five Israeli cities.
Sulimani, the head of a major social welfare agency in Israel that works with the country's at-risk youth, will tell the leaders to be more innovative.
He will tell them to be more proactive.
He will tell them to be more assertive in dealing with the government agencies and private foundations that support their activities.
A man who likes extinct languages, Mel Gibson had a chance to practice his Latin this summer — he made several mea culpas.
Following his drunken, sexist, profane, anti-Semitic tirade in Malibu in July, the actor-director apologized to the police officers who arrested him. He apologized in a general public statement for saying “despicable” things. He apologized “specifically to everyone in the Jewish community,” to “those who have been hurt and offended by those words.”
Rabbi Seymour Fox, a prominent Jewish educator in the United States and Israel for a half-century, died of heart failure July 10 in his Jerusalem home, two weeks after announcing his plans to retire from administration and return to teaching. He was 77.
Known in Israel by his Hebrew name, Shlomo, he had served with the educational Mandel Foundation at the time of his death. A prolific author, he was known as an inspirational teacher and manager.
During his 43 years as a human rights activist, Rabbi Arthur Schneier has met three popes in the Vatican.
Next week the current head of the Catholic Church will pay the rabbi a return visit.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced on Thursday that Pope Benedict XVI will visit Park East Synagogue on the Upper East Side on the afternoon of Friday, April 18, during the pontiff's first trip to the United States. Only two popes are known to have previously set foot in a synagogue: Benedict XVI in Cologne in 2005, and his predecessor, John Paul II, in Rome in 1986.