With her ‘Shir Fun’ classes and albums, singer Dafna Israel-Kotok
is at the forefront of a new type of Jewish children’s edu-tainment.
On a Wednesday morning shortly before Passover, in a sunny room overlooking the Henry Hudson Parkway, Dafna Israel-Kotok is in her element.
Joyously shaking her long, straight black hair as she plays guitar and sings for about 10 small children and their moms, the 30-something Sabra musician freely alternates between English and her native Hebrew.
Three days before Passover, Eytan Meyersdorf, a 20-year-old American oleh and soldier in a unit of the Israel Defense Force’s elite Golani Brigade, was told by an officer to pack a bag, leave his post near the Gaza Strip and head to Jerusalem.
Horseradish was more important than romance. That was the hard truth for Melissa Gold, who had a fellow very interested in her but she had to attend to business. He wanted to go out. She had to think of Passover and the Seder table.
Melissa was a graduate of Syracuse University (business studies) and a fifth generation worker in the family firm: Gold Pure Food Company. Her father is the president of the kosher condiment firm in Hempstead, New York. Millions of jars of Gold horseradish had to be ready for the holiday. She hoped that Adam would wait.
Program includes work in Harlem and the Jewish community, but raises questions for some.
Special To The Jewish Week
Thousands of Jewish students in recent years have spent their winter, spring and summer breaks building homes in New Orleans, working with the rural poor in Guatemala and helping staff human rights groups in Asia and Africa. It’s all part of an upswing in community service opportunities offered by organizations like Hillel, the American Jewish World Service, Jewish federations and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
When 16-year-old Ariella Steinreich heard that four young siblings died in a March 22 house fire in her hometown of Teaneck, N.J., she felt an urgent need to help the three surviving sisters and their still-hospitalized mother, Philyss Seidenfeld.“It wasn’t like ‘Should I do something?’ It was ‘I have to do something,’ ” said Steinreich, a sophomore at Teaneck’s Ma’ayanot High School for Girls, who started the Seidenfeld Chesed Project the day after the fire.
NBA’s Sabra rookie Omri Casspi, who faces the Nets next week, is big draw on and off the court. And he wears Number 18.
The game last month featured a pair of teams with losing records and sorry recent histories, but the seats behind one of the baskets at Madison Square Garden was crowded with scores of flag-waving, photo-snapping fans nearly two hours before tip-off between the New York Knicks and the visiting Sacramento Kings.
Miriam Harary used to scour New York City bookstores in search of Hebrew textbooks for her students at Hillel High School in Ocean, N.J.Until recently, Hebrew language instruction at Hillel, like dozens of other Jewish day schools, depended largely on the initiative of individual teachers. Yet even the most ambitious instructors often were discouraged by the lack of formal curricula and age-appropriate materials for teaching modern Hebrew to teens.