Monday, November 2nd, 2009
There’s nothing more predictable than politicians (and their followers) saying “my opponent is playing to people’s fears,” as if that disccredits the reason people are afraid in the first place. Opponents of William Thompson have warned that if elected this Democrat might turn New York back into the Fort Apache anarchy of the David Dinkins years, or into the Detroit or Newark of this year.
Houston — Tzipora Mintz’s first concern when her husband learned he had to come here for medical treatment in early 2003 was his health. He had lymphoma, an advanced form of the cancer of the immune system.
Her second concern was housing. She and her husband — a young Orthodox couple from Brooklyn, they had recently had a new child — would be spending months, on and off, in Houston, while he received care at the Texas Medical Center.
Afew dozen people showed up when Bruce Kahn gave his first speech on on-line Jewish genealogical research in 1993. The setting was the annual Conference on Jewish Genealogy, sponsored by the Jewish Genealogical Society (JGS).
Kahn, then a research scientist at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, N.Y., and a founder of the city's JGS branch, predicted that the Internet would revolutionize genealogical research.
"People thought I was crazy," he says.
Lake Placid, N.Y.
If the United States has a winter sports capital, it is this hilly village 40 miles from the Canadian border and site of two Winter Olympics.
And if this capital has its 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., it is 218 Main St., across from the shore of Mirror Lake, where the Olympic Center skating rink is located, where the "Miracle on Ice" gold medal victory of the U.S. men's hockey team in the 1980 Games took place, where the Winter Olympics Museum Lake Placid displays the community's proud photographs and artifacts from 1932 and '80.
In the chasidic world, matchmakers bring young men and women together.
In the case of Rabbi Mendy and Rachel Traxler, the shadchan was Katrina.
Mendy, 22, part of the Chabad-Lubavitch rescue-and-relief effort in Baton Rouge following the hurricane a year ago, traveled to Houston to join his parents, Chabad emissaries there, for the High Holy Days season. Rachel Kaufmann, also 22, was in Houston with her family, also Chabad shluchim, who left their home in New Orleans for temporary accommodations in Houston.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a letter sent last week to Romanian President Traian Basescu urged Romania to restore and protect the country’s Jewish cemeteries, which fell into disrepair during the communist era. “Cemeteries are an important issue to worldwide Jewry, and Jewish cemeteries are no exception,” Schumer wrote. “For many Jews in the United States these cemeteries are the last link to their ancestry.”
For a forthcoming television documentary and DVD about contemporary anti-Semitism, New York producer Andrew Goldberg interviewed academicians, theologians and journalists on four continents. Many of the experts were Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East, because, as the documentary shows, that region is the source of most anti-Semitism today.
For another, less-intellectual, perspective, Goldberg also wanted a look at public opinion, the “Arab street.” So he went to an Arab street.
In Rabbi Eric Ertel’s pursuit to help Israel, it was P. Diddy who jogged his mind on how he should do it.
The rabbi, educational director at Aish NY, wasn’t quite sure how to get started in his efforts to assist the country he had lived and studied in for several years. Then he read about the rap star running the New York City Marathon last year to raise money for local educational programs.
It’s not your zayde’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut.
Next Monday, New York’s Jewish community will hold its annual Israel Independence Day celebration, as usual, with singing and dancing. But the music will be contemporary, authentically Israeli.
“No ‘Hava Nagila,’ ” says Tzameret Fuerst, co-chair of the event and a founder of the half-year-old Dor Chadash organization that is the main sponsor of the celebration.
The dancing will be hip — probably no hora.