North Conway, N.H. — Karen Eisenberg brought the homemade chopped liver. Joan Kurz brought a bagful of bottled gefilte fish. Suzie Laskin, the charoset.
And other women came to Maestro’s Italian restaurant last week, carrying yom tov staples, as the sun set over the White Mountains.
It was time for the second-night seder of Chavurah HeHarim, the Jewish community of rural east-central New Hampshire and western Maine, and the restaurant staff had prepared a meal of roast chicken, tsimmes and chametz-free chocolate cake.
U.S. Jewish organizations have joined Polish government and Jewish community leaders in denouncing the volatile language in a property lawsuit that accuses Poland of a pattern of ethnic cleansing of Jews after World War II. One Polish newspaper editor attacked the lawsuit filed in U.S. federal court as "a priceless gift for anti-Semites in Poland." The round of criticism comes as Polish legislators began summer vacation after drafting landmark legislation to return private property seized from Polish citizens by the Nazis or the Communists more than 55 years ago.
A city report is charging that a Houston-based international conglomerate has been quietly taking over local, family-owned Jewish funeral homes and inflating prices.
The result is that a Jewish funeral in Manhattan at a funeral home run by Service Corporation International costs 50 percent more than at an independent firm, according to the report issued this week by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Poland should pay $40 million in monthly “rent” to Polish Jewish Holocaust survivors for property they once owned that is now managed by the Polish government.
So says a new initiative put forth by a coalition of Holocaust survivor groups who fear Poland’s continued delay in passing a private property restitution law will mean that sick and elderly survivors with property claims may wind up with nothing.
Eric J. Greenberg is a staff writer. James D. Besser is the Washington correspondent.
Washington — Since its opening in 1993, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum here has tried to position itself as a respected national institution, not an instrument of Jewish politics.
But this week it became ensnared in just what it hoped to avoid when its top lay and professional leaders spurned an administration request for an official welcome for Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat during his trip to Washington.
More than 1,000 abandoned or neglected Jewish cemeteries in Poland would be protected from development under a proposal being considered by the Polish government, The Jewish Week has learned.
The plan calls for the creation of an international Jewish committee headed by Israel’s two chief rabbis that would identify and fence off forgotten Polish Jewish cemeteries. It would ensure that the land is not rezoned by local officials for commercial or any other purpose.
Should a Jewish research center set aside a prayer room adhering to the standards of one Jewish denomination? The question has generated a debate between secularists and religionists over the multimillion-dollar renovations at Manhattan’s Center for Jewish History.
Hate crimes against Jews continued across the nation this week even as political leaders from New York’s City Hall to the White House were promising stepped-up protection and renewed attempts to push tougher anti-hate and gun control laws.
The moves come in response to the shootings at a Los Angeles-area Jewish community center in which five people were wounded, including a 5-year-old boy and two 6-year-olds.
Like the biblical prophets Samuel and Nathan, who admonished their kings for sinning, the spiritual head of the Conservative movement found himself a lone Jewish voice in the nation this week following his daring call for President Clinton to resign.
Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, last week thus became the first national Jewish religious figure to urge Clinton to quit because of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He said the president’s moral authority has been “destroyed” and in effect cannot be recovered.
On the eve of Thanksgiving, a local shochet provides a sharp contrast to the big slaughterhouses.
Special to the Jewish Week
Walton, N.Y. — Andy Kastner rarely eats meat and wishes others would eat less, too.
So why, you might ask, was this man slaughtering kosher turkeys this week for Thanksgiving?
Kastner is a shochet, the fellow ordained to kill livestock according to Jewish law. But he also considers himself an educator. It’s his job, he explained, to remind the public about the cost of meat beyond the sticker price: in blood and emotion.
“It’s a profound experience that is generally written off as disgusting or brutal,” he said.