The Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, brought 30 of his troops with him when he came to New York in March. He introduced his Dream Team at a Friends of the IDF fundraising dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria, which was emceed by syndicated radio host Monica Crowley.
“Shalom, y’all,” said Daniel, one of the Dream Team members.
“March Madness” is much, much more than a basketball tournament. As Jewish students on campuses across the country were exhilarated – or disappointed -- by one of the most exciting NCAA college basketball post-seasons in recent memory, they’ve also been involved in exciting developments at home and abroad, from Passover celebrations to fighting an anti-Israel divestment vote at the UC-Berkeley campus.
Passover on Campus Celebrations
Okay, everybody knows Ed Koch is a former New York mayor and a major player in Jewish politics. In 2008 he campaigned aggressively for Democratic nominee Barack Obama; these days he's giving President Obama heartburn by leading the charge against his current Middle East policies.
But Ed Koch is also a film buff and a keen-eyed critic, as recipients of his movie review emails know.
Mr. Koch was kind enough to share his top movie picks of the past 12 months with the Jewish Week:
It’s no secret that some Jewish leaders are anxious about a national mood of choleric rage and what it means for populations that have been the targets of past populist surges, starting with the Jews.
But while few have spoken out in public, one group has struck back with biting humor.
It’s the Jewish Funds for Justice that’s behind the just-announced HaikuGlennBeck.com Web site, aimed at a talk radio host and Fox News talk show host who seems to be handsomely profiting from the recent craziness.
Much has already been made of the social media posting habits of William Daroff. Whether on Twitter or Facebook, the well-connected director of the Washington Office of The Jewish Federations of North America (and its VP for Public Policy) isn't afraid to go public with his whereabouts, upcoming speaking engagements, or even his drinking buddies.
Those of a certain age and inclination will recognize this lyric from a great Buffalo Springfield song of the late '60's: "Something's happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear…" That's exactly what it feels like to me in America right now. Something's happening. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it feels visceral and scary, and I'm sure I'm not making it up.
This column is a protest: its intent is to help prevent Jewish thought from being hijacked to the monastic serenity of quiet mountaintops where peace is chosen over truth and the self over the collective. Authentic religion today is lived in the hustle and bustle of the streets and it is here that Torah can be most transformative for 21st century Jews. As Moses is reassured (Deuteronomy 30:12), “Lo bishamayim hi” – The Torah is not in the heavens!
New York Sate Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is amazed how Pomegranate, the ultramodern kosher supermarket in Brooklyn, has inspired so many kosher shoppers.
"My wife gets her Shabbos food there every Friday," he told me.
Having made an impact on shoppers - with its valet parking, and aisles wide enough to navigate with a golf cart, never mind shopping cart - it's no wonder that the store's owner was one of four honorees recognized by Met Council.
Humor is an enigma. Philosophers and physicians and psychologists, historians and linguists have for centuries pondered why we laugh. Aristotle and Freud, Kant and Bergson have offered explanations of humor. But at bottom, there ain’t nothing like a good joke.