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Frank Talk

10/09/1998
Jewish Week Book Critic

Next June, Anne Frank would be 70 years old. Public interest in the young Anne Frank and her diary — an account of her 25 months hiding from the Nazis in a secret annex in Amsterdam, which has now been translated into 55 languages, with more than 25 million copies sold — is unceasing, with new editions of the diary, a recent revival of the Broadway play, documentary films, children’s books, dissertations and critical articles, with frequent contention between the people and organizations who claim to represent her interests.

Seeking A New Balance In Philanthropy

01/30/2008
Special To The Jewish Week

‘Being a child of the ‘60s, I actually believe that Federation is countercultural in many ways,” the CEO of UJA-Federation of New York recently told a roomful of people attending a symposium at his organization’s headquarters. “Many of us,” said John Ruskay, “are going against the grain of rampant individualism” in a consumer-driven era.

New Roots At An Old Agency

05/04/2007
Special to The Jewish Week

 What caused Edward Karan, a stylish 34-year-old banker for Citi Private Bank, to become a founding member of the Young Leadership Initiative at the Hebrew Free Loan Society? After all, Hebrew Free Loan is a venerable community institution that evokes images of peddlers with pushcarts on the Lower East Side of a century ago, and in fact has been providing interest-free loans to members of the New York Jewish community since 1892.

State Funds Chernobyl Screening

04/13/2007
Special to The Jewish Week

 Amid the publicity given to Gov. Elliot Spitzer’s partially successful efforts to achieve significant savings in health care costs in the state budget, one little-noticed line item expanding state funding for health care was inserted with the support of the leadership of both houses of the State Legislature — $540,000 for thyroid cancer screening for New Yorkers who were exposed to massive amounts of harmful radiation during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.

An Iraqi Pol’s Risky Platform

01/28/2005
Special to The Jewish Week

 Mithal Al-Alusi is literally betting his life that Iraqis are ready for their country to open a positive relationship with Israel.In a phone interview from his party’s office in Baghdad, Alusi, 51, a former Iraqi government official who was indicted in October after attending a conference in Israel on charges of violating a 1969 law barring contacts with enemy states, said, “I believe in living in peace with Israel, a country with which Iraq has no conflict.“Iraq has no reason to be against Israel simply because Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinians have disputes

I Can Help Them Get Through This

06/22/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

Nella Shapiro’s waiting room feels more like a living room than an antiseptic medical office. European vintage posters, lush plants and colorful sofas fill the room, and the breast surgeon is often up front, greeting patients by name. One day last week, a woman who had surgery about six years ago insisted on coming in with a friend who is now a patient, just to say hello to the doctor.

"You saved my life," she reminds the doctor, who then asks about the woman’s grandson.

High-Wire Act

The eruv — that ethereal yet physical boundary enabling observant Jews to push strollers and use wheelchairs on Shabbat — fosters community even as it sparks tensions.

03/06/2009
Before the Internet Age rendered geography irrelevant to community there was the eruv, the rabbinic response to spatial separation. A strategically placed wire here, a natural hedge border there, the inclusion of a fence or a highway, turns a neighborhood into an imaginary walled community of halachic intent, as such a deliberate remembrance of pre-diasporic Jerusalem.  

L.I. Synagogue Zoning Controversy Continues

02/23/2007
Staff Writer
A state court has cast a cloud on Chabad of Southampton’s synagogue. State Supreme Court Justice Thomas F. Whelan ruled last week in favor of attorneys for neighbors who contended that the Southampton Zoning Board of Appeals did not follow proper procedure when it granted Chabad the variances it needed to operate a synagogue in a converted private home at 214 Hill St.

Showdown Over Bills On Sex-Abuse Statute

04/03/2009
Special to The Jewish Week

 The legislative effort to help victims of child sexual abuse in New York State got much more complicated this week as two competing bills have now been cleared to go to a vote on the Assembly floor. 

The bills are sponsored by Margaret Markey (D-Queens) and Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) respectively, and have already set up a showdown, pitting survivors of abuse and their advocates — who support the Markey bill — against major Catholic and Jewish institutions, which are backing the Lopez version.

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